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21 January 2020 Small Mammal Prey Base for American Marten (Martes americana) within the Manistee National Forest of Michigan
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Abstract

American martens (Martes americana) are typically found in late-successional forests with closed canopy cover and high structural diversity. Reintroduced populations of martens in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan inhabit areas that are devoid of many of these features, which may impact their prey base. The goal of our study was to evaluate the small mammal prey base available to martens in the Northern Lower Peninsula. To assess prey availability, diversity, and composition, as well as effects of trap type and habitat features on trapping success, we sampled 24 study plots within the Manistee National Forest for small mammals in 2013 (n=24) and 2014 (n=20). Study plots were situated in four habitat types: conifer, deciduous, mixed conifer-deciduous, and mixed oak. Total capture rates were significantly and positively associated with relative deciduous tree cover. This result highlights how managing tracts of land for small mammal prey base may overlap with goals set forth by researchers for marten habitat needs (e.g., resting site preferences). We found large Sherman traps had significantly higher total capture rates than other trap types (medium Sherman and pitfall traps), and we recommend researchers use a variety of trap types to maximize detectability of small mammal species diversity and richness.

David L. Haskins, Mary Feely, Joseph J. Jacquot, Paul W. Keenlance, Robert L. Sanders, Jacob A. Daly, and David E. Unger "Small Mammal Prey Base for American Marten (Martes americana) within the Manistee National Forest of Michigan," The American Midland Naturalist 183(1), 38-51, (21 January 2020). https://doi.org/10.1637/19-011
Received: 19 February 2019; Accepted: 1 October 2019; Published: 21 January 2020
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