Skip to main content

Marten, Sable, and Fisher

Marten, Sable, and Fisher

Marten, sable, and fisher are species of mediumsized carnivores in the family Mustelidae, which also includes the weasels, otters, badgers, minks, skunks, and wolverine. Marten, sable, and fisher are generally solitary animals, living in forests of the Northern Hemisphere. All of these species have highly valuable fur, and are trapped intensively.

The American pine marten (Martes americana ) ranges widely in conifer-dominated and mixed wood forests of North America. The closely related pine marten (M. martes ) occurs in similar habitats in northern Europe and Asia, as does the Japanese marten (M. melampus ) of Japan. The fisher (M. pennanti ) of North America is a larger species, as are the beech marten (M. foina ) of Eurasia, the sable (M. zibellina ) of northern Asia, and the Himalayan marten (M. flavigula ) of mountainous regions of southern Asia.

All of these species are excellent climbers, but they also forage on the ground. These animals are efficient predators, feeding largely on squirrels, rabbits, hares, smaller mammals, grouse, partridge, and pheasant.

All of the martens, sable, and fishers have a dense, lustrous fur, which is greatly prized by furriers. These animals have been relentlessly trapped for centuries, and they have become widely endangered or extirpated from much of their natural ranges.

Sable is the source of one of the worlds most desirable furs. The original range of sable in northern Europe and Asia was greater than 20 million sq mi (52 million sq km), but by the mid-1700s the species had been widely extirpated by trapping, and survived in only a few refugia. Fortunately, the sable has greatly increased its range and abundance in recent decades, because of protection in some areas and management of trapping pressure elsewhere, along with the release of thousands of captive-bred animals into suitable habitats in Russia.

American marten and fisher have extensive ranges in North America. Both species suffered many regional extirpations because of intensive trapping over much of their range. These species are also at risk from habitat loss associated with forestry and agriculture, because they are significantly dependent on old growth, coniferous forests over much of their range. Fortunately, both of these species are now protected in many areas, and they have been reintroduced to some areas from which they had been extirpated. The populations of marten and fisher are increasing in some places, although their conservation status requires close monitoring and attention.

Bill Freedman

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Marten, Sable, and Fisher." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Marten, Sable, and Fisher." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/marten-sable-and-fisher-0

"Marten, Sable, and Fisher." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/marten-sable-and-fisher-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.