The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) has announced it wants to put a particular furry friend back in our woods. But first, they’ll need to survey the crowd. In the meantime, while they decide what questions to ask, we can be thinking about the real possibility of seeing a new old critter in Pennsylvania: the marten.
The PGC has been studying and exploring the possibility of reintroducing American martens to Pennsylvania for the last few years. They recently drafted the “American Marten Reintroduction and Management Plan for Pennsylvania,” a long-term, 10-year strategy to translocate the species back to the state.
The plan includes submissions from a middle- and high-school art contest. But it will not be made available for viewing until after the PGC confirms that, as it believes, 92% of the public is in favor of reintroduction. That’s where the survey comes in. I will post a link when it becomes available.
What is a marten?
The PGC writes, “The American marten (Martes americana) is a small furbearer that’s about the same size as adult mink or fox squirrel. Martens weigh between 1 and 3 pounds and measure between 19 and 27 inches.
“Martens were once commonly found in portions of Pennsylvania. They disappeared from the Commonwealth in the early 1900s, though, as a result of deforestation and unregulated harvest.”
It has been determined that there is sufficient habitat within Pennsylvania for the martens and that they pose little to no risk to other species if reintroduced.
Until then, to see photos, discover martens and their history, and learn about the PGC project, visit https://american-marten-pagame.hub.arcgis.com/.
Beware: they’re cute.