Humboldt Marten

The Humboldt Marten (martes americana humboldtensis) is a stealthy, cat-sized forest carnivore in the weasel family (related to minks and otters), the Humboldt marten is so rare that it was thought extinct until rediscovered in 1996.

These extremely secretive animals are known for their slinky walking motion and ability to prey on porcupines by biting them on the face. Typically about two feet long, with large, triangular ears and a long tail, they eat small mammals, berries and birds, and are preyed on by larger mammals and raptors.

Due to extensive clear-cut logging and short rotation forestry, which has replaced the diverse native forests of Northern California and Southern Oregon with oversimplified tree plantations, the marten has been eliminated from 95 percent of its historic range.

Other threats to the marten abound, include wildfires and loss of genetic diversity due to population separation and a tiny overall population size. Fewer than 400 of these beautiful mammals are known to survive.

In order to save this unique carnivore from oblivion, we need to keep the Humboldt marten listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, to designate ‘Critical Habitat’ necessary for the marten to survive, and to ban the damaging forestry practices that are driving the Humboldt marten to the brink of extinction, while promoting the restoration of native forests.

Click here to read the petition to list the Humboldt Marten under the Federal Endangered Species Act.


*June 2014, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Publishes Notice on Humboldt Marten.

*In September 2010, EPIC petitioned for the protection of the marten under the Federal Endangered Species Act. 

* October 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declares that it is not going to review the petition.In February 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service aims to publish the 90 day finding –the first step toward potential ESA listing.

*The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined in January 2012 that the marten “may warrant” protection as an endangered species, but failed to make a required 12-month finding to determine whether protection is warranted.

*April 2012, EPIC filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to make a listing decision on the petition.