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COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the American Marten (Newfoundland population) in Canada

Existing Protection or Other Status Designations

The American marten population of Newfoundland is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act. The population was designated Endangered in May, 2000 and is listed on Schedule 1. The general status of the population in Newfoundland was “At Risk” in 2005 (Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council 2006) and the species was provincially designated Endangered in 2002 under the Newfoundland and Labrador Endangered Species Act.

The provincial Endangered Species Act protects the Newfoundland marten population from activities such as harassment, capture, trade, and killing. Commercial trapping has been illegal since 1934. There continues to be accidental capture in traps and snares set out for other species.

All trapping and snaring has been prohibited in the three protected areas established in 2002; the Little Grand Lake Provisional Ecological Reserve (731 km²), the Little Grand Lake Wildlife Reserve (569 km²) and the Glover Island Public Reserve (178 km²). Trapping and snaring are also prohibited in the Main River Study Area (200 km²), Terra Nova National Park and parts of Gros Morne National Park (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador 2006).

Modified hare snares, from which marten can be released, are required in 4 zones; the Northwest Grand Lake, Red Indian Lake, Terra Nova and Charlottetown Enclave areas (total of 5,236 km²). The live-release of accidentally captured marten is encouraged in all areas. A total of 57% of the areas of occupancy is protected against accidental mortality (I. Schmelzer, pers. comm., 2007).