Who’s been sleeping in our woods?

Trail cams snap pictures of American marten in La Sals

A Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologist discovered this picture of an American marten on trail camera video that was taken high in the La Sal Mountains Sept. 2. Courtesy of DWR

The Utah Department of Wildlife Resources is reporting that an American marten was spotted in the La Sal Mountains, answering a question biologists have pondered for decades.

“One of our biologists has made an incredible finding! Trail cameras set high in the La Sal Mountains near Moab have captured the first credible documentation of an American marten seen in that area,” wrote UDWR on its Facebook page.

An employee of the U.S. Forest Service photographed this American marten near Missoula, Montana, where they are common. Trail cameras have documented them in the La Sal Mountains. Photo courtesy of USFS/Wikimedia Commons

Since the 1920s, biologists have speculated if the range of these animals extended into the La Sals. “Now we have evidence that they do,” continued the post. American martens are members of the weasel family, typically preying on squirrels and rodents.

They can be found in mature northern forests in other areas of the state, but due to the geographical isolation of the La Sal Mountains, “it’s a pleasant surprise to discover at least a few of these remarkable creatures living in southeastern Utah,” UDWR concluded.