Japanese Marten

Japanese Marten

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Martes melampus
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
12 yrs
WEIGHT
1-1.5 kg
LENGTH
0.5 m

The Japanese marten is a slender, agile animal most closely related to the sable. Its pelage varies in color from dark brown to dull yellow with a cream-colored throat. Males of this species are generally larger than females.

Distribution

Japanese martens live in broad-leaved forests in much of Japan's mainland and can also be found in suburban areas.

Japanese Marten habitat map

Geography

Continents
Subcontinents
Countries

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Japanese martens are solitary animals; both males and females are territorial, and the size of each individual's territory usually depends on food availability. They are active at night and during the day sleep in a den or a hollow tree.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Japanese martens are omnivores. They prefer meat from fish, frogs, and small birds and mammals, but will also consume insects, fruit, and seeds when necessary.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
March-mid May
BABY CARRYING
1-5 kits
INDEPENDENT AGE
3-4 months
BABY NAME
kit

The breeding season of these animals occurs between March and the middle of May. They usually produce one offspring; however, they can have up to 5 kits per mating season. The young are born blind and deaf. The female nurses her kits, but by 3-4 months of age, they are able to hunt and soon leave their mother. They become reproductive mature and start to breed between 1 and 2 years of age.

Population

Population threats

The biggest threat to the Japanese marten is the logging industry, which targets its preferred habitat of well-established forests. The industry often clear cuts forests quickly destroying the marten's habitat without allowing it to recover. This practice also causes insularization of marten populations, in turn causing changes in foraging behaviors and the decrease of the genetic pool.

Population number

According to IUCN, the Japanese marten is common throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.

Ecological niche

One of the biggest roles Japanese martens play in their ecosystem is seed dispersal. They also have both positive and negative impacts on human activities in their habitats. As a positive, the martens prey on Japanese hares, which lower the quality of trees by their browsing. However, their prey also can include many insects which aid agriculture.

References

1. Japanese Marten on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_marten
2. Japanese Marten on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/41650/45213228

More Fascinating Animals to Learn About