The Yellow-throated marten is an Asian marten species and is the largest marten in the Old World, with the tail making up more than half its length. Its fur is brightly colored, consisting of a unique blend of black, white, golden-yellow and brown. The color becomes browner on the hindquarters. The flanks and belly are bright yellowish in tone. The chest and lower part of the throat area brighter, orange-golden color than the back and belly. The chin and lower lips are pure white. The tail is of a shiny pure black color, though the tip has a light, violet wash. The base of the tail is greyish brown. Yellow-throated martens are large, robust, muscular and flexible animals with an elongated thorax, a small pointed head, and a long neck. Their ears are large and broad but short with rounded tips. The soles of the feet are covered with coarse, flexible hairs, though the digital and foot pads are naked and the paws are weakly furred.
Yellow-throated martens occur in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in the Himalayas of India, Nepal and Bhutan, the Korean Peninsula, southern China, Taiwan, and eastern Russia. In the south, its range extends to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, Laos, Cambodia, and Viet Nam. They live in coniferous and broad-leaved forests, montane forests, tropical dry and moist forests. They are also found in shrublands, lowland swamps and treeless mountains.
Yellow-throated martens are diurnal hunters, which usually hunt in pairs, but may also hunt in packs of three or more. These animals hold extensive, but not permanent, home-ranges. They actively patrol their territory, having been known to cover over 10 to 20 km in a single day and night. They primarily hunt on the ground but can climb trees proficiently, being capable of making jumps up to 8 to 9 meters in distance between branches. Yellow-throated martens are fearless animals; they have only a few natural predators due to their powerful build, their bright coloration, and unpleasant odor. They are not afraid of humans or dogs and are easily tamed.
Yellow-throated martens are omnivores, whose sources of food range from fruit and nectar to small deer. Their diet includes rats, mice, hares, snakes, lizards, eggs and ground-nesting birds such as pheasants and francolins. They also prey on cats and poultry, and small ungulates such as Musk deer, wapiti, Spotted deer, Roe deer, and goral. Wild boar piglets and panda cubs are also taken on occasion.
Little is known about the mating system in Yellow-throated martens. They breed from mid-February to late March and from late June to early August. During these periods, the males fight each other for access to females. Females typically give birth to 2 or 3 kits per litter, although litters of 4 or 5 have been observed. The gestation period usually lasts between 220 and 290 days.
There are no major threats to this species at present.
According to IUCN, the Yellow-throated marten is abundant and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. However, there is an estimate of its populations in Russia holding around 2,500-3,500 individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.
Being top-level predators, Yellow-throated martens have a huge influence on prey populations, especially of the Musk deer, thus controlling and contributing to the formation of the forest community. As these martens eat fruit, they may also disperse seeds throughout the forest they inhabit.