Thinking about Marten

Following up on the idea of “Marten Havens”, I imagined for clear-cuts and secondary growth forests could I create sculptures that would supply the winter shelters marten needed, expanding the habitat areas they could use. I met Dr. Steve Buskirk and he introduced me to some of his grad students to take me up to the forest to see where marten shelters exist naturally. They entertained me with stories of their research, how they often caught some of the same marten several times because marten are such moochers, climbing happily into the trap, eating the bait food, and waiting to be released to come back to the newly baited trap. One marten had volunteered to be a research subject 16 times.

American Pine Marten den for winter experiment

When I started in the 1990’s, I was surprised by how many wildlife biologists were delighted to share their research and enthusiasm for other species. And I’m still disappointed when they don’t! At this point in wildlife conservation, getting desperate with so many species in decline, wildlife biologists and some other scientists seem to have realized that all the science data in the world has not created the change in lifestyles that can allow for the survival of even iconic species, so as of the 2010 many more biologists are willing to work with artists and others whose communication skills can touch people emotionally as well as intellectually.

What influences you to make small changes in your life to help wildlife and to address other environmental issues?


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