Location & Date: Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Camera Set-Up: Nikon D800 w/ 200-400mm @ 400mm
Shutter Speed: 1/500th
Pine martens haunted my dreams for years before we realized that a three hour drive north of our home in Toronto lives, perhaps, the densest population of this member of the mustelid family. In fact, one particular spot in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park houses 10-12 individuals within one square kilometre of each other – shocking, given that martens are territorial and density usually ranges between .4 and 2.5 martens in an area of equivalent size. Clearly, the park agrees with the martens, likely in large part due to the sizeable populations of their preferred prey, such as hares and red squirrels, not to mention the odd suet bird feeder, which they commonly raid. While I hope more studies are done on why Algonquin supports such a large population (front and back country), we’ll continue to enjoy the frequent sightings while we can. If my photography past has taught me anything its to never take for granted a few precious moments with a fast moving and often elusive creature like a marten.