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Pacific martens return to Montana



Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (1) – 3/2/21

The Pacific marten, a member of the weasel family and no bigger than a house cat, has been reintroduced to central Montana after a decade of absence. Martens were once common in the Treasure State—their thick fur and sharp claws combined with the ability to burrow make them perfectly hardy against the harsh mountain climate. In fact, they can still be found in southern portions of the state, including Bozeman. However, for reasons unclear to historical records, they disappeared north of I-90 a decade ago. Over the last two months, two dozen were released in the Little Belt Mountains as a part of a unique collaboration between Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and southwest Montana fur trappers. The trappers worked to capture some martens where they were thriving, and worked with FWP to relocate them in viable areas further north. The goal of the project is to relocate approximately 60 martens by next year.

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