As the Pennsylvania Game Commission continues to explore the possibility of American marten reintroduction within Penn’s Woods, the agency will be providing opportunities to learn more.
Having disappeared from Pennsylvania more than 120 years ago, the American marten once was a common native species that inhabited forested areas within the state. The marten, belonging to the mustelid family, is the same size as the American mink having a similar length to a fox squirrel.
Martens are true omnivores eating a large diversity of mammals, plants, insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. The largest portion of their diet is made up of rodents, plant material and insects.
The Game Commission recently completed a Reintroduction Feasibility Assessment for American Martens, which is available at www.pgc.pa.gov. The assessment found that martens would have sufficient habitat and pose little to no risk to other species. Game Commission staff now are drafting an American Marten Reintroduction and Management Plan. This long-term plan would outline potential translocation and reintroduction efforts, and monitor populations if martens are reintroduced.
Much information about martens is available from the Game Commission. The American Marten Story Map, at the Game Commission’s website links to several maps, videos, webinars and the Feasibility Assessment. Several presentations also will be held across the state to give the public an opportunity to learn more about martens and speak to Game Commission staff. Presentations are scheduled for 10 different dates and locations throughout the state. Here are two of those dates and locations.
• Saturday, March 18, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Elk Country Visitor Center, 950 Winslow Hill Road, Benezette, PA 15821
• Saturday, June 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Game Commission Northwest Region Office, 1509 Pittsburgh Road, Franklin, PA 16323
• For other dates & locations, go to: www.pgc.pa.gov
These events are free and there is no need to RSVP or sign up. They are open to all and are an important component of possible marten reintroduction.
Following the completion of the Management Plan, the Game Commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Management will present the plan to the agency’s Board of Commissioners for consideration. The board then could open the plan to a 60-day public comment period. The comments would help shape the plan’s final draft, which the board could vote to implement.