Wild Fact #323 – Time for a Comeback – Newfoundland Pine Marten

Wild Fact #323 – Time for a Comeback – Newfoundland Pine Marten

Newfoundland Pine Marten

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I had a request to write about the endangered Newfoundland Pine Marten and after doing a little bit of research, I think it is a great animal for all of us to learn about. They are a genetically distinct sub-species of the more common American Marten, however, this cuddly creature is only found in Newfoundland, which explains how they received their name. This particular species shares an honour that only 14 animals in the world are a part of….they are one of the 14 animal species native to Newfoundland. Sure, this isn’t as intriguing as begin the worlds largest animal or the most smelliest creature but I am pretty impressed that there are only 14 different animals native to this Canadian island.

Not Too Picky

As you might expect, the Newfoundland Pine Marten is similar in appearance as their American Marten family members; however, this sub-species is typically larger and will usually have a darker colour of fur. Interestingly enough, the Newfound variety will inhabit a larger range of forest types compared to the regular marten species. This diverse taste in habitat type has most likely helped the Newfoundland Pine Marten survive in a fairly small distribution range. I guess it pays not to be picky.

Newfoundland Pine Marten

Photo by Larry Colwell

Government Action Leads to Population Increase

As mentioned, this particular sub-species is considered to be Endangered, and as such is protected by Canadian legislation such as the Species at Risk Act and Canada’s National Park Act. The protection being offered to the Newfoundland Pine Marten seems to be working as their population has risen from a paltry 300 individuals in the year 2000 to a population between 400 and 850 animals in 2007. This just goes to show that if we take action and implement policies and regulations that work – animal populations can be salvaged.

No Place Like Home

Newfoundland is known for their unique geological landscape, which may be why the Newfoundland Pine Marten called this rocky island home. I am not sure if this particular species is able to appreciate the unique rocks but I am certain they are appreciative of them. That’s because they use these rocks to create their dens. Just think how tough life would be if you didn’t have a nice, comfy home. If they aren’t able to find suitable rocks, the Newfoundland Pine Marten will utilize hollow trees and even the leftovers from those pesky squirrels (you know the mess squirrels make after eating….yeah, they use that for shelter). Again, this ability to adapt to their environment has probably helped these endangered creatures stave off extinction.

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