Yellow-throated Marten (Martes flavigula)


HB: 450-600; T: 380-430; HF: 90-110; E: 28-40; W: 2-3 kg.

With a long weasel like body and the longest tail of the Martens, which is an indicator of its arboreal habits. The upper half of the head and neck, the legs and the tail are black; the rest of the body is light brown except for the bright yellow patch from the chin to the throat and chest. The ears are rounded and whitish at the rims. The female has 4 mammae. There is a clinical variation in body size of both males and females, with the largest ones found in the northernmost part of the rage and the smallest found south of the equator. The skull is large and broad with a short facial region. The braincase is expanded, with only a slight post orbital constriction. The zygomatic arch is slender and flat. The sagittal crest varies with age and sex, being most strongly developed in old males. There is a sexual dimorphism in the dentition, with males having considerably larger canines. The upper molar is distinctive, with the upper lobe not expanding nor the waste constricted, and the outer lobe emarginate rather than convex. There is one more premolar in each half of each jaw than in Mustela

Range Description:

 The yellow-throated marten has an Asian and Sundaic distribution, and countries where this species is found include China, India, Indonesia (Islands of Sumatra, Java, and Borneo), DPR Korea, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Taiwan, Vietnam (Wozencraft 2005; Le Xuan Canh et al. 1997; Roberton et al. in prep), Lao PDR (Duckworth 1997), Thailand (Grassman et al. 2005), Myanmar (Than Zaw et al. in press), Malaysia (Azlan 2003), Cambodia (J. L. Walston pers. comm.), and possibly Singapore (Meiri 2005). The species elevational range extends from sea-level to 3,000 m (Lekagul and McNeely 1977, Duckworth 1995, Than Zaw et al. in press).
Countries: Native:
Bangladesh; Bhutan; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; India; Indonesia (Jawa, Kalimantan, Sumatera); Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak); Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Russian Federation; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Vietnam

Population [top] Population: Few population assessments of the yellow-throated marten exist. Grassman et al. (2005) recorded 40 individuals in Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand between 1998 and 2002. In Sikhote-Alinsky Nature Reserve (Russian Far East) the population density was estimated to be 1-5 per 100 square kilometres (Matyushkin 1993). The total amount in Russia is estimated as 2500-3500 specimens (Alexei Abramov pers. comm. 2006). It is evidently common across Lao PDR (Duckworth 1997) and Myanmar (Than Zaw et al. in press) and probably widely in at least South-east Asia (Parr and Duckworth 2007).
Population Trend: Stable

 Habitat and Ecology:

In the Russian Far East the yellow-throated marten prefers mixed (spruce and broad-leaved) forests of the Manchurian type, while it occurs rarely in the dark coniferous taiga of the upper mountain zone and in the oak forests zone (Matyushkin, 1993). In Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand this species is found in forests and various other adjacent habitats across a wide altitudinal range (Duckworth et al.1999, Lekagul and McNeely 1977, Than Zaw et al. in press), but it clearly favours forests. It was recorded in secondary forest, that was logged in the 1970s, and which surrounds a palm estate, in Malaysia in 2000-01 by Azlan (2003) and there are many records from other areas of secondary forest, even areas well isolated from old-growth stands. Although sometimes said to be largely or entirely nocturnal, the species is primarily diurnal, but also hunts at night increasing nocturnal activity during lunar nights (plus or minus 7 days from full moon) (Duckworth 1997, Grassman et al. 2005, Than Zaw et al. in press, Parr and Duckworth 2007, J. L. Walston pers. comm. (for Cambodia)). Common food items include squirrels, birds, snakes, and lizards, though insects, eggs, frogs, fruit, nectar, and berries are also taken, as well as honey and bees (Lekagul and McNeely 1977) and in fact it probably has a very wide diet (Parr and Duckworth 2007). In nature, groups of two to three or more rarely, five to seven individuals can be seen; in the Russian Far East the species hunts in groups for musk deer (Matyushkin 1993). It is also usually found in small groups, rather than as single individuals, at least in tropical parts of its range (Parr and Duckworth, 2007). Grassman et al. (2005) found that this species has a mean annual range size of 7.2 kmē with a mean overlap of 34% in a study on this species conducted in Phu Kieo Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand. The litter size is up to five, and the gestation period is 220-290 days, and it has life span of up to 14 years (Lekagul and McNeely 1977).
Systems: Terrestrial

 Major Threat(s):

 As the yellow-throated marten is tied to forest areas, at least in the Southeast Asian parts of its range, forest conversion there over the last few decades will have resulted in some overall population reduction. Nevertheless, the species is surviving well within remaining forests (including secondary stands), perhaps because it is less preferred as food by most residents and its scansorial nature reduces its exposure to snares and other traps, as well as allows easy escape from dogs. Therefore, no significant threats at the population level are known to the species in Southeast Asia, although it is no doubt below carrying capacity in heavily hunted areas such as Lao PDR. It is occasionally hunted in Siberia (Russia) and DPR Korea for its fur (A. Abramov pers. comm. 2006, J. W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2006) but this does not constitute a global threat, rather it affects local populations at most. It can habituate to close approach of many people and take food from human waste (Parr and Duckworth 2007).

 Conservation Actions:

 The yellow-throated marten is protected in many parts of its range. In Myanmar, this species is protected all year under the Wildlife Act of 1994 (Su Su 2005) and in Peninsular Malaysia it is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 (WPA 1972; Azlan, 2003). This species is listed on CITES Appendix III (India) and Category II of the China Wildlife Protection Law (1988) (Li et al. 2000). This species is listed as Near Threatened on the China Red List (Wang and Xie, 2004). This species is known from many protected areas across its range. Grassman et al. (2005) studied it in Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary in north central Thailand. It was recorded by Azlan (2003) in Jerangau Forest Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia in 2000-01.