American Pine Marten
The American Pine Marten (Martes americana) is perhaps one of more vicious wild animals on Grouse Mountain. It is a member of the Mustelidae family, with such distinguished members such as badgers, mink, otters and wolverine. It gets its name from living amongst the tall coniferous trees here on the coast of BC. In the past they have been hunted for their fur and their pelts were often traded in colonial times. A male Marten can be very territorial and males can roam a large territory up to 8 square kilometers. He will chase away or fight with other males in this space but will allow multiple females for mating. They have a high metabolism so are almost always on the hunt for small mammals such as squirrels, chipmunks and rodents. They will also hunt birds with strong leaps, and will forage for insects and carrion if hunting prey is scarce. They are known for their ferocity, however, and will often take on prey larger than themselves such as snowshoe hares and marmots. Keep an eye out in our tall grasses and trees this summer if you are out hiking - you might see a Marten skulking nearby!