Pennsylvania (WTAJ) – A weasel-like animal that was once called the home of Pennsylvania can make its way back to Keystone State.
The American martin was native to the boreal forests of Pennsylvania until it was eradicated in the early 1900s due to deforestation and unregulated harvesting. They are about 20-28 inches long and grow on average to 3.1 pounds.
But, don’t count the little guy yet. Thanks to the Office of Wildlife Management, Marten may have a home in Pennsylvania again.
The Office of Wildlife Management will submit a feasibility assessment of Marten’s reintroduction in Pennsylvania to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) on Friday, July 8 at 1 p.m.
“PGC, along with several agencies, partner organizations and dedicated volunteers, has set a long-standing precedence for restoring extirpated or nearly extirpated species to the state. Bald eagles, river otters, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, hunters, and peregrine falcons, have seen, Elk, beaver, and eagle are successful reintroductions while partridge quail is currently undergoing the process.“There are not many species left to reproduce, and with current resources available, this appears to be the time to move forward,” said Thomas Keeler, a veteran biologist at the Office of Wildlife Management. ahead”.
The meeting scheduled for July 8 begins with the commissioners hearing staff reports. The plenary session will resume again at 8:30 a.m. Saturday to allow community members to speak on a first-come-first-served basis. Registration for those who wish to speak begins at 7:45 am
If the Board of Commissioners of the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission votes to proceed with resubmission, the next step will be to create a resubmission/management plan.
The Office of Wildlife Management and the PGC are looking at many different areas of research to determine if Marten could be reintroduced. These results constitute a feasibility assessment.
There should be a suitable habitat suitable in terms of quality, quantity and connectivity. According to Keeler, suitable habitat is within counties such as Warren, Forest, Elk, McCain, Potter, Tioga, Cameron, Clinton, and Liming. Each of these areas is a structurally mixed forest with canopy cover and skin of hollows and woody debris.
Other areas of interest being considered include diet research, to determine the effect on species currently inhabiting Pennsylvania, such as wild turkeys, grouse grouse, Allegheny woodrat and others.
The evaluation will also consider prey abundance examining the ability to coexist between predatory competitors.
Climate models are also found to favor Marten’s reintroduction.
According to a public survey, it was also found that 92% of fishermen were in favor of reintroduction versus 7% who were against it.
The groups also studied many different reasons for Marten’s reintroduction including environmental, political, economic/social, cultural, and responsibility.
Restoring native species to a community that is missing a piece is an important part of ecosystem restoration. Just as humans are an important part of this comprehensive system, the marten also provides important ecological services such as dispersing seeds or managing rodents within the forest.
The reintroduction plan will specify launch sites as well as source groups, trap and transport planning, disease management, screening, and a variety of other measures. Another important aspect is a vigorous educational campaign to help the public understand and participate in this effort.
More details about the board meeting are available: https://bit.ly/3agQBlT.