Accurate information on reproductive ecology is necessary to develop conservation actions for at-risk wildlife species. Our objective was to describe female reproductive parameters and den use of two subspecies of wild, untrapped Pacific martens (Humboldt marten, Martes caurina humboldtensis; Sierran marten, M. c. sierrae) of conservation interest in California. We used radio telemetry and remotely triggered cameras to monitor 10 Humboldt martens (2014 to 2016) and six Sierran martens (2016 to 2017) over 23 total denning periods. For Humboldt martens, mean parturition date was 13 April, proportion of adult females reproducing was 80% (n = 12 of 15), and mean litter size was 1.8 ± 0.6 kits (x̄ ± SD). For Sierran martens, mean parturition date was 29 April, proportion of adult females reproducing was 87% (n = 7 of 8), and mean litter size was 1.9 ± 0.7 kits. Humboldt and Sierran marten dens were predominantly located in woody structures, with live trees, snags, and logs comprising 91% and 79% of dens, respectively. Although reproductive ecologies of Humboldt and Sierran martens were largely similar, Sierran marten parturition dates were significantly later. We compare our study populations to other North American marten populations and examine factors that could influence consistency or variability in reproductive parameters between populations.
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Vol. 94 • No. 3-4