A clear understanding of habitat associations of martens (Martes americana) is necessary to effectively manage and monitor populations. However, this information was lacking for martens in most of their southern range, particularly during the summer season. We studied the distribution and habitat correlates of martens from 2004 to 2006 in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) across 3 spatial scales: site-specific, home-range, and landscape. We used remote-sensored cameras from early August through late October to inventory occurrence of martens and modeled occurrence as a function of habitat and landscape variables using binary response (BR) and binomial count (BC) logistic regression, and occupancy modeling (OM). We also assessed which was the most appropriate modeling technique for martens in RMNP. Of the 3 modeling techniques, OM appeared to be most appropriate given the explanatory power of derived models and its incorporation of detection probabilities, although the results from BR and BC provided corroborating evidence of important habitat correlates. Location of sites in the western portion of the park, riparian mixed-conifer stands, and mixed-conifer with aspen patches were most frequently positively correlated with occurrence of martens, whereas more xeric and open sites were avoided. Additionally, OM yielded unbiased occupancy values ranging from 91% to 100% and 20% to 30% for the western and eastern portions of RMNP, respectively. ?? 2008 American Society of Mammalogists.
Additional publication details
Distribution, occupancy, and habitat correlates of American martens (Martes americana) in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado