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Martes melampus melampus

Basic information
Scientific name Martes melampus melampus

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Common names Yellow marten, Japanese marten
Higher taxon Mustelidae, Carnivora, Mammalia
Natural range Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Another subspecies M. m. tsuensis occur on Tsushima.
Habitat Broad leaved forest, sometimes around human houses near forest.
Invasion information
Range in Japan Southern Hokkaido and Sadogashima Is. Range in Japan
Origin Tohoku District to Hokkaido. Unknown for Sadogashima population (somewhere in Honshu).
Date In Hokkaido, this species was bred for fur production since just before W.W.II., and after released.
In Sadogashima, released in 1959 to 1963.
Route Deliberate: Introduced to Hokkaido for fur production, and to Sadogashima for control of the Japanese hare Lepus branchyurus as a forestry pest.
Impact Potentially: Competition and Hybridization with sable on Hokkaido.
Actually: Predatoin on native hare.
Native organism(s) affected: Sable Mertes zibellina in Hokkaido, potentially competitive and/or hybridizing with M. melampus.
Japanese hare Lepus branchyurus in Sadogashima (sometimes treated as an endemic subspecies L. b. lyoni), declined by predation by M. melampus. As a result, the hare on Sadogashima has been listed in the Red Data Book of Niigata Pref.
Regulation in Japan No action for prevention, mitigation, control, or eradication.
Introduced range in other countries None.
Reference Notes
  • Abe (ed) (1994) A Guide to Mammals of Japan. Tokai Univ. Press, Hatano (in Jpn)
  • Ecol Soc Jpn (ed) (2002) Handbook of Alien Species in Japan. Chijinshokan, Tokyo (in Jpn)
  • Hirakawa et al. (2010) Can we distinguish between the sable, which is native to Hokkaido, and the Japanese marten, which was introduced to Hokkaido, in photographs?. Mammal Sci. 50(2), 145-155 (in Jpn with English abst)
  • Kawamichi (ed) (1996) The Encyclopedia of Animals in Japan 1 Mammals I. Heibonsha, Tokyo (in Jpn)
  • Nigata Pref. (2001) Red Data Book Niigata (Accessed on 2012-7-06) (in Jpn)
  • Ohdachi et al. (eds) (2009) The Wild Mammals of Japan. Shokado, Kyoto.
  • etc.
In Sadogashima, this species once damaged on Nipponia nippon bred by Ministry of the Environment of Japan in Mar 2010.