(Last Updated On: March 20, 2021)

The beech marten, scientific name Martes foina, also called the stone marten, home marten or white-breasted marten, is a species of marten native to a lot of Europe and Central Asia, although it has established feral inhabitants in North America. In this article, I am going to talk about Beech Marten range, size, animal, pet, facts, track, vs pine marten, baby, cute, etc.

It is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN on account of its extensive distribution, its giant inhabitants, and its presence in a lot of protected areas.

It is superficially just like the pine marten, however differs from it by its smaller size and habitat preferences. While the pine marten is a forest specialist, the beech marten is a more generalist and adaptable species, occurring in a lot of open and forest habitats.


The beech marten is a widespread species that happens all through a lot of Europe and Central Asia. It happens from Spain and Portugal within the west, by way of Central and Southern Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia, extending as far east because of the Altai and Tien Shan mountains and northwest China.

Within Europe, the species is absent within the British Isles, Scandinavian peninsula, Finland, Denmark, the northern Baltic, and northern European Russia. It happens in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and was not too long ago confirmed to inhabit northern Burma.

Beech Marten Profile

Cute, sensible, and mischievous like a weasel, the Beech marten is native to a lot of Central Asia and Europe, though there’s a feral inhabitant inside North America. These martens range in coloration from pale grayish brown to darkish brown. A buffy or white streak might be seen beneath the chin, reaching from the animal’s neck to its chest.

In some eastern and southern areas, the white streak is absent. The younger have grey fur on their backs. The Beech marten is about the identical size as a home cat, however has a more slender body.

The Beech marten is present in a lot of central Asia and Europe, as far to the north as Denmark, within the west to Spain, southwards into Italy, and the islands of Corfu, Crete, and Rhodes, and east to the Himalayas and Mongolia. A population has additionally been established in Wisconsin within the United States, as a result of the pet trade.

These animals want rock croppings and open deciduous forest in mountainous habitats, preferring open landscapes, as they’re much less dependent on forested areas than different martens. They are sometimes discovered dwelling shut by human habitation, and will den in buildings.

Beech martens are primarily solitary animals, excluding family teams (moms and younger) and mating interactions. Martes foina is a nocturnal species, nonetheless, in the course of the mating season, they will steadily be seen in the course of the day.

The gait of this animal varies with the velocity at which it’s touring. If the animal is strolling, the gait is meandering with the front feet parallel and the hind feet on a slight angle from the front. When the animal is operating, the hind feet land in the same spot because of the front feet.

When on the prowl, beech martens shock their prey by pouncing on them. They are wonderful climbers, utilizing this capacity to access the nests of birds.

Martes foina is an opportunistic, omnivorous species, though animal prey is most popular. Diet varies with season and prey availability. They eat obtainable small mammals and birds, particularly nestlings and eggs.

Bird eggs are eaten by making a small incision that permits the yolk to be sucked out, leaving a hole shell. Beech martens will eat all kinds of vertebrates and invertebrates, although, together with frogs and huge arthropods.

During summer months seasonal berries, corresponding to blackberries, raspberries, and elderberries are essential, in addition to different fruits. In some areas, vegetable matter is a serious part of the summer season diet.

When meals are scarce they are going to feed on carrion. Beech martens have additionally been recognized to raid rooster coops and rabbit hutches and cache extra meals till it’s wanted, as do different mustelids.

Beech Marten

Beech Marten Description

The beech marten is superficially just like the pine marten, however has a considerably longer tail, a more elongated and angular head, and has shorter, more rounded, and broadly spaced ears. Its nostril can also be of a light peach or gray color, whereas that of the pine marten is darkish black or greyish-black.

Its feet will not be as densely furred as these of the pine marten, thus making them look much less broad, with the paw pads remaining seen even in winter.

Because of its shorter limbs, the beech marten’s method of locomotion differs from that of the pine marten; the beech marten strikes by creeping in a polecat-like method, whereas the pine marten and sable transfer by bounds.

The load per 1 cm2 of the supporting floor of the beech marten’s foot (30.9 g) is double that of the pine marten (15.2 g), thus it’s obliged to keep away from snowy areas.

Its skull is just like that of the pine marten, however differs in its shorter facial area, more convex profile, bigger carnassials, and smaller molars.

The beech marten’s penis is bigger than the pine marten’s, with the bacula of younger beech martens usually outsizing these of old pine martens. Males measure 430–590 mm in body size, whereas females measure 380–470 mm. The tail measures 250–320 mm in males and 230–275 mm in females.

Males weigh 1.7–1.8 kg in winter and a couple of–2.1 kg in summer, whereas females weigh 1.1–1.3 kg in winter and 1.4–1.5 kg in summer.

The beech marten’s fur is coarser than the pine marten’s, with elastic guard hairs and fewer dense underfur. Its summer season coat is brief, sparse, and coarse, and the tail is sparsely furred.

The color tone is lighter than the pine martens. Unlike the pine marten, its underfur is whitish, somewhat greyish. The tail is dark brown, whereas the back is darker than that of the pine marten.

The throat patch of the beech marten is all the time white. The patch is giant and customarily has two projections extending backward to the bottom of the forelegs and upward on the legs.

The darkish color of the stomach juts out between the forelegs as a line into the white color of the chest and typically into the neck. In the pine marten, against this, the white color between the forelegs juts backward as a protrusion into the stomach color.

Beech Marten Traits

Beech martens range in coloration from darkish brown to pale grayish brown. A white or buffy streak might be seen just under the chin operating down the neck to the chest. In some southern and eastern areas, this white streak is absent. Young has gray dorsal fur.

Martes foina have little to no fur on the soles of the feet. The limbs are long, a bushy tail is present, and the pelt is coarser than their shut relative Martes martes, pine martens.

The dental method for martens is 3/3 (incisors), 1/1 (canine), 4/4 (premolars), and 1/2 (molars) producing a total of 38 teeth. Males and females are monomorphic.

Total size varies between 40 and 50 cm from head to the end of the body. Beech martens have longer tails than pine martens, from 22 to 30 cm in size. Total weight ranges between 1.1 and a couple of.3 kg. The size of Martes foina has been in comparison with that of a home cat, however with a more slender body.

Beech Marten Behavior

The beech marten is especially a crepuscular and nocturnal animal, although to a lot lesser extent than the European polecat. It is very energetic throughout moonlit nights.

Being a more terrestrial animal than the pine marten, the beech marten is much less arboreal in its habits, although it may be a talented climber in closely forested areas.

It is a talented swimmer, and will sometimes be energetic throughout daytime hours, notably in the summertime, when nights are brief. It usually hunts on the ground. During heavy snowfalls, the beech marten strikes by way of paths made by hares or skis.

Beech Marten Diet

The beech marten’s diet features a lot higher amount of plant meals than that of the pine marten and sable. Plant meals eaten by the beech marten embody cherries, apples, pears, plums, black nightshade, tomatoes, grapes, raspberries, and mountain ash. Plant meals usually predominate in the course of the winter months.

Rats, mice, and chickens are additionally eaten. Among bird species preyed upon by the beech marten, sparrow-like birds predominate, although snowcocks and partridges may additionally be taken.

The marten likes to plunder nests of birds together with passerines, galliformes, and owls, preferring to kill the parents along with the fledglings.

Although it hardly ever assaults poultry, some specimens could develop into specialized poultry raiders, even when wild prey is plentiful. Males have a tendency to focus on a giant, reside prey more than females, who feed on small prey and carrion with larger frequency.

Social and territorial behaviors

In a space of northeastern Spain, the place the beech marten nonetheless lives in comparatively unmodified habitats, one specimen was recorded to have had a house range of 52.5 ha (130 acres) with two centers of activity.

Its interval of most exercise occurred between 6 PM and midnight. Between 9 AM and 6 PM, the animal was discovered to be largely inactive.

In city areas, beech marten’s dens are nearly totally in buildings, notably throughout winter. The beech marten doesn’t dig burrows, nor does it occupy these of different animals.

Instead, it nests in naturally occurring fissures and clefts in rocks, areas between stones in rock slides, and inhabited or uninhabited stone constructions. It could reside in tree holes at a height of as much as 9 meters.

Beech Marten


The average longevity of M. foina in its natural habitat is Three years. The most life expectancy within the wild is 10 years. In captivity, this species could reside upwards of 18 years.


Beech martens largely reside a solitary life, apart from family teams (moms and they’re younger) and mating pairs. They are nocturnal, however, in the course of the mating season can usually be seen within the daytime.

They are territorial and stay away from others of their species. An average house range measures 12 to 211 ha, the size varies with the season, with bigger ranges throughout summer in comparison with within the winter. Males have a lot bigger ranges than females. This species communicates primarily by way of olfactory cues.

Reproductive readiness and territorial boundaries are communicated by way of scent marking, and in the course of the breeding season, their cries might be heard.

Their gait varies with the velocity they’re touring: if strolling, it’s a meandering gait with parallel front feet whereas the hind feet are on a slight angle in relation to the front.

When it runs, its hind feet land on the identical spot as its front feet. When prowling, Beech martens will shock prey animals by pouncing on them. Being wonderful climbers, they can access birds’ nests.

Beech Marten Reproduction and growth

Beech martens are polygynandrous (promiscuous), with each male and females mating with a number of companions. Mating happens from June to August (throughout midsummer) and the gestation interval lasts 7.5 – 9 months, together with delayed implantation of 6.5 – 8 months.

A litter numbers 2 – 4 kits, that are cared for completely by their mom, being nursed and sorted within the den. They are born bare, with their eyes and ears closed. Young are weaned when they’re 2 months old and are unbiased at a year old. At 15 – 27 months old, they attain reproductive maturity.

Estrus and copulation happen concurrently within the pine marten. Copulation can last more than 1 hour. Mating happens within the June–July period and takes place within the morning or on moonlit nights on the ground or on the roofs of homes.

The gestation interval lasts as long because the pine martens, lasting 236–237 days within the wild, and 254–275 days in fur farms. Parturition takes place in late March-early April, with the average litter consisting of 3-7 kits.

The kits are born blind, and start to see at the age of 30–36 days. The lactation interval lasts 40–45 days. In early July, the younger are indistinguishable from the adults.


Beech martens are typically persecuted for being a pest. They are additionally hunted for his or her fur in India, Russia, and different international locations. There is, nonetheless, no proof of those threats being intensive sufficient to trigger important declines throughout the species’ range.


Stone martens are solitary mammals that talk primarily by utilizing olfactory cues. Territorial boundaries and reproductive readiness are communicated on this means by way of scent marking.

During the mating season, their cries are audible. They are territorial and keep away from contact with others of their variety. Martes foina people have wonderful senses of sight and odor. Both of those senses are helpful in darkness.


According to IUCN, the Beech marten is frequent and broadly distributed throughout its range however no total inhabitants estimate is on the market. Currently, this species is assessed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and its numbers immediately stay stable.

Beech martens assist control the pest populations of mice and rats in central Europe and are prey for foxes, wildcats, and owls. In forested areas, they might contribute to the dispersal of seeds, and are thought to be essential for the dispersal of fleshy-fruited crops in Central Europe’s forests.


Beech martens assist to control the pest inhabitants of rats and mice in central Europe. They additionally present nourishment for foxes, owls, and wildcats. Martes foina has been recognized as a species that may contribute to seed dispersal in forested areas.

Martes foina are thought-about to be essential dispersal vectors for fleshy-fruited crops inhabiting the forests of Central Europe. The quantity of seeds dispersed by stone martens has been decided by counting the seeds per scat, and seed dispersal as associated with plant abundance in particular areas.

Almost all endozoochorous seeds have been from fleshy-fruited species present in M. foina range.

Beech Marten


One unidentified type of Martes foina that when occupied the island of Ibiza within the Balearic Islands was hunted to extinction within the 1960s. Other beech marten populations will not be thought-about threatened.

Beech Marten Facts

Beech martens are resistant to stings from wasps and bees, so are capable of getting honey without damage.

Young martens in captivity are simply tamed, and, with correct care, are tame even when mature.

During summer season months in high mountain ranges, martens might be discovered as much as as high as 4000 meters.

Beech martens have the bizarre behavior of destroying the cables and tubes of automobiles in city areas. Most of those “car attacks” happen within the spring, the time that younger martens are beginning to use their teeth, studying which objects they will eat, and which they can’t.

During the day, Beech martens disguise within the crevices of rocks or contained in the hole timber (within the wild) and in buildings (in city areas).

Beech martens are wonderful swimmers.

The beech marten’s paws will not be very large and will not be coated with ample fur to make sure of their motion throughout the snow. For this cause, the Beech marten makes use of the paths made by hares and skis in the course of the winter.

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