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Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference! The schedule is subject to change (as of November 19, 2018). Please check back for updates. To return to the main Conference website, go to: www.midwestfw.org.

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Tuesday, January 29 • 11:00am - 11:20am
(WILDLIFE: MAMMALS) Habitat-mediated Interactions Between American Martens (Martes americana) and Their Predators

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AUTHORS: Michael J. Joyce, University of Minnesota Duluth; John D. Erb, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Barry A. Sampson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Ron A. Moen, University of Minnesota Duluth.

ABSTRACT: Intraguild predation is common in nature and can have profound effects on trophic interactions, community structure, and population regulation. Habitat can play an important role in modulating the frequency and outcome of encounters between intraguild predators and intraguild prey. Fine-scale habitat structure could reduce susceptibility of intraguild prey by providing concealment, escape cover, and refugia, or increase predation risk by impeding detection of potential predators. American martens are small mustelid carnivores that are susceptible to predation by several predator species. Although predation risk is often used to explain habitat selection patterns of martens, there are few direct tests of the role of habitat structure on marten-predator interactions. Our objectives were to examine the role that habitat structure plays in mediating interactions between martens and predators. Because bobcats are frequent predators of martens, we primarily focused our analyses on marten-bobcat interactions, but also evaluated interactions with other predators. We used light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data to measure canopy and understory characteristics and compared characteristics between sites where martens were killed by predators and telemetry locations from when martens were alive. Sites where martens were killed by bobcats were closer to non-forested habitat and were in areas composed of more non-forested habitat than locations where martens were alive. The structural characteristics and types of non-forested habitats associated with mortality sites varied among carnivore species. Our results provide direct evidence that martens experience elevated mortality risk when in or near non-forested areas without tree canopy, including shrublands, wetlands, and young/regenerating forest.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am