Resting and denning sites of American martens in northeastern Oregon
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Resting and denning sites of the American marten (Martes americana) are important habitat components because they provide protection from predators, inclement weather, and thermal stress. In this study carried out in predominantly unmanaged coniferous forests in the Blue Mountains of Oregon (USA) in December 1993-October 1997, resting sites (n=1184) used by 35 radiocollared martens were in trees with natural platforms (43%), in trees with cavities (23%), subnivean (under snow) (23%), in hollow logs or slash piles (7%), and underground (3%). Thirty natal and post-natal dens were in trees with cavities (40%), in hollow logs (37%), underground (17%), and in slash piles (6%). Resting and denning sites in cavities and hollow logs were typically large-diameter structures with extensive heartwood decay that had created hollow chambers. The majority of platforms used as resting sites were formed by broom rust (Chrysomyxa arctostaphyli and Melampsorella caryophyllacearum) and dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium spp.). Incorporating habitat needs of martens in forest management practices by retaining coarse woody debris and trees with brooms is one component necessary for maintaining viable populations of the species.