The martens constitute the genus Martes within the subfamily Mustelinae, in the family Mustelidae. Martens are slender, agile animals, adapted to living in taigas, and are found in coniferous and northern deciduous forests across the northern hemisphere. They have bushy tails, and large paws with partially retractible claws. The fur varies from yellowish to dark brown, depending on the species, and, in many cases, is valued by fur trappers. Martens are omnivorous animals related to wolverines, minks, badgers, ferrets, and weasels. Their diet consists of squirrels, mice, rabbits, birds, fish, insects, and eggs, and they will also eat fruit and nuts when these are available. Martens are solitary animals, meeting only to breed in late spring or early summer. Litters of up to five blind and nearly hairless kits are born in early spring. They are weaned after around two months, and leave the mother to fend for themselves at about three to four months of age.
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