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Relationship between Food Habits and Activity Patterns of Pine Martens

William J. Zielinski, Wayne D. Spencer, Reginald H. Barrett
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1380351 387-396 First published online: 18 August 1983


Pine martens (Martes americana) consume a variety of food types annually but seasonal foraging is restricted to a subset of available prey. Winter foods include chickarees (Tamiasciurus douglasii), voles (Microtus spp.), snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus), and flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus), whereas ground-dwelling sciurids (Spermophilus spp. and Eutamias spp.) comprise the bulk of the diet during the remainder of the year. Activity also is variable by season, with martens foraging at night during winter and by day during summer. Seasonal marten activity does not appear associated with optimal ambient temperature but instead appears synchronized with the activity of prey.

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