Pest Guides

Beech/Stone Marten

Martes foina

Appearance

Beech Marten
  • Adults: head and body 400 – 450 mm; tails 200 to 300 mm.
  • Body weight can range from 1.10 to 2.30 kg.
  • They range in colour from dark brown to pale greyish brown. A white or beige streak can be seen just below the chin running down the neck to the chest.

Lifecycle

  • Average lifetime in its natural habitat is 3 years, maximum life expectancy in the wild is 10 years. In captivity, this species may live upwards of 18 years.
  • Mating begins midsummer although implantation of the fertilised eggs in the womb does not occur until early the following spring.
  • Gestation period is 28 days and there are 2 – 7 offspring in a litter.
  • The young are weaned at two months, then taught hunting techniques by their mother. They are independent by the end of the summer.

Habits

  • They prefer to live in open deciduous forest and rocky outcrops in mountainous habitats.
  • They are generally solitary animals except during the mating season.
  • In urban areas they can be a pest. They often have a den in attics or barns; or automobile engine compartments damaging hoses and wires.
  • They are an opportunistic and omnivorous species, although animal prey is preferred. Their diet varies with season and prey availability.