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Yellow-Throated Marten

Scientific Name: Martes flavigula

Yellow-throated martens are the largest marten species in the Old World (Africa, Europe and Asia). Martens are related to ferrets, weasels and badgers. Their coat colour ranges from dark brown to a yellow-brown with a distinctive creamy yellow throat. Their fur is dense with a bushy tail reaching lengths of 30 to 40 centimetres.

These martens live in small groups of up to four individuals. Most of the time these martens will hunt during the day. However, around full moon they will use the increased light to hunt at night. They are mostly terrestrial but in the northern parts of their range, they will spend more time in the trees to avoid the freezing ground. They are capable of leaping eight to nine metres from branch to branch!

Breeding can occur twice a year, between February and March and June and August, when males will fight over access to females. A litter of up to four kits are born after seven to nine month gestation.

The omnivorous diet of the yellow-throated marten is mostly small mammals, birds and insects. They will also forage for fruits in trees and on the ground. In Russia, small groups of up to seven individuals have been observed catching musk deer.

Yellow-throated martens are a common species with a large range. In Laos, they are heavily hunted for their fur but are protected in many surrounding countries including China and Malaysia. The biggest threat facing them is habitat loss. However, they are surviving well in the remaining areas and do adapt to living in close proximity to humans.

Key Facts:

  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Distribution: South East Asia, Southern Asia
  • Habitat: Coniferous & Broadleaf Forests
  • Diet: Birds, Fruit, Insects, Small Amphibians, Small Mammals, Small Reptiles
  • Height: 50 – 70cm
  • Weight: 1 – 5kg
  • Gestation: 220 – 290 days
  • No. of young: 2 – 3
  • Life Span: 14 years