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Japanese Marten

Latin Name Martes melampus
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location East Asia
Colour Brown/Yellow
Length 50 cm (19.7 inches)
Tail 20 cm (7.9 inches)
Weight 1 - 1.5 Kgs (2.2 - 3.3 lbs)
Life Expectancy


Main Characteristics

Japanese Martens have a body length of approximately 50 cms (19.7 inches), a tail length of around 20 cms (7.9 inches) and they weigh between 1 and 1.5 kgs (2.2 - 3.3 lbs).

They vary in colour from dark brown to a dull yellow and they have a cream coloured throat patch.


Japanese Martens can be found in the broad leaved forests of east Asia. They sleep in a den in a ground burrow or a hollow tree.


Japanese Martens feed on small birds, small mammals, fish, frogs, insects, fruit and seeds.


Japanese Martens breed from late March to mid May and they give birth between mid July and early August. They produce litters of 1 - 5 young which are blind, deaf and covered in fur at birth.

When the youngsters are between 3 and 4 months old they are able to kill their own prey and they become independent shortly after this. They reach sexual maturity at 1 - 2 years of age.


Predators of Japanese Martens are humans and domestic dogs.


Subspecies of the Japanese Marten include:

Martes melampus melampus - several Japanese islands

Martes melampus tsuensis - Tsushima Island

Martes melampus coreensis - North and South Korea

Interesting Facts

Similar Animals

Beech Marten
European Pine Marten
American Marten
Nilgiri Marten
Yellow-Throated Marten


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