Stone marten (Martes foina)

Stone martens (also known as beech martens) have dark brown fur and a long bushy tail. Most stone martens have a white patch on their throats and chins. Young stone martens have gray fur.

Stone marten

Figure 1: Stone marten

Relevance to snow leopard conservation:
Stone martens play an important role in the ecosystem, including seed dispersal and controlling the population of rodents.  They are not a significant prey species for the snow leopard, but could be a source of prey if other preferred species are scarce.

Stone martens are active at night and during the day. They are good at climbing trees. They live in dens, which can be underground, under rocks, or in trees. Stone martens usually live alone but are sometimes seen in pairs or small, family groups.

Stone martens eat small mammals, birds, reptiles, fruit, insects, and honey.

Stone martens live in forests, meadows, and above the tree line at elevations 1,500 m.

Animals that could be mistaken for this species:
In research camera photos, stone martens can sometimes be confused with mountain weasels due to their similar shape and build. However, stone martens are generally darker in color, have shorter necks, and bushier tails.

Images of bharal

These are images from our research cameras that CatCam visitors have identified as containing at least one marten. Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image


Carter, K. 2004. “Martes foina” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed July 25, 2012 at

Gurung, K.K., & Singh, R. (1996). Field Guide to the Mammals of the Indian Subcontinent: Where to watch mammals in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. London: Academic Press.