Martes pennanti

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I am a solitary animal that does not take kindly to other males of my species stepping on my toes!  I tolerate members of the opposite sex only.  Although we males are larger than the females of the species, our footsteps are the same size.

I am THE expert when it comes to catching a porcupine. Quills or not, it’s impossible to escape me, even by going up in the trees. Let me explain : my hind legs can rotate 180 degrees on their axis, allowing me to descend head first along a tree trunk. For its part, the porcupine can only climb down backwards and quite slowly to be honest. Once on the ground I run circles around it to make it dizzy and deliver powerful bites to its face. I can then turn it on its back to consume it. In the end, with only a few quills around my neck, head and torso, I do just fine thank you very much. Ironically the quills have slight antibiotic properties that help prevent infection … what luck for me!

Our numbers vary from year to year depending on the availability of food, the thickness of snow on the ground, and the number of trappers. As white tailed deer are found in greater numbers recently, so are we. We have managed to adapt and to take advantage of the carcasses left behind by hunters in the woods.





Total Length 703 - 1 073 mm
Tail Length 253 - 400 mm
Weight M : 2,6 - 5,5 kg F : 1,3 - 3,1 kg


4 to 5 years on average, record is 10 years in the wild and in captivity


Mature mixed or coniferous forests


Field mice, mice, shrews, squirrels, hares, porcupines as well as deer and moose carcasses


1 brood per year; 1 to 6 young

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