Radio: Little River Band plays role in protecting small animal
Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012
"Nearly a hundred years ago a small animal that most people have never heard of was wiped out of the northern forest. In the mid-1980’s, wildlife biologists reintroduced the pine marten in two locations in the Lower Peninsula. They thought the population would take off and spread but it hasn’t. And now researchers are trying to find out why.
The pine marten is the smallest predator in the northern forest. It’s a member of the weasel family… related to otters and ferrets. It weighs roughly two to two-and-a half pounds, has big furry ears, a pointed nose, a bright orange patch on its chest and a bit of a temper.
“I don’t know how big of an animal they would take on but they do have a reputation for being quite fierce.”
Jill Witt is a wildlife biologist with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. She has a marten caught in a wire cage tucked next to a fallen log, half buried in twigs and leaf litter.
More than 80 years ago, martens lived in big pine trees before logging, wildfire and trapping wiped them out."
Get the Story:
Biologists look for answers to pine marten mystery in Michigan
(Michigan Radio 8/21)
Join the Conversation