USFWS to Consider Endangered Species Act Protections for the Humboldt Marten



Arcata, CA–The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today that it is considering the Humboldt marten (Martes americana humboldtensis) for protection under the Endangered Species Act (Act).

The Service has completed a 90-day review of a petition by two environmental groups to list the Humboldt marten as endangered or threatened in coastal northern California and in coastal central and southern Oregon. The Service summarized results of their review in a 90-day finding published in the Federal Register, where they determined that the petitioners presented substantial scientific information indicating that listing the Humboldt marten may be warranted.

The Service will now conduct a comprehensive status review to determine whether listing the Humboldt marten under the Act is warranted. Today’s finding is scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on January 12, 2012, which opens a 60-day public comment period. Comments will be accepted until March 11, 2012. On the date of publication, the 90-day finding will be available at:

To ensure the status review is comprehensive, the Service is seeking information from all interested parties regarding the Humboldt marten and its habitat. You may submit information regarding the Humboldt marten by one of the following methods:

  • 1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow instructions for submitting comments and information.
  • 2. U.S. mail or hand-delivery:

Public Comments Processing
Attn: Docket No FWS–R8–ES–2011–0105
Division of Policy and Directives Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM
Arlington, VA 22203.

We will post all information we receive on This generally means that we will post any personal identifying information you provide us.

The Humboldt marten, a medium-sized forest carnivore in the weasel family, is a subspecies of the American marten that historically occupied coastal northern California from the Oregon border south to Sonoma County. By 1995, the subspecies was considered to be extremely rare or extinct in California.

However, in 1996, a marten was photographed at a camera station near the northern edge of its range on the Six Rivers National Forest in Del Norte County, California. The photograph represented the first verified detection of a marten within the historical range of the News Release subspecies in nearly 50 years. Subsequent range-wide surveys detected martens in a single, small area near the location where a marten was detected in 1996. The area comprises about 5 percent of the subspecies historical range in California.

Recent genetic analyses suggest that martens occurring in two isolated populations in coastal central and southern Oregon may belong to the Humboldt marten subspecies. Further genetic testing is in progress to clarify the phylogenetic relationship between coastal northern California and coastal Oregon marten populations. During our status review, we will conduct a thorough analysis of all information relevant to the taxonomic status of Humboldt martens in coastal California and coastal Oregon.

The single Humboldt marten population in California likely consists of fewer than 100 individuals. The two coastal Oregon populations are also small. All three marten populations are isolated from one another and believed to be in decline.

For more information on the Humboldt marten go to:

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