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Martes gwatkinsii

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Ordo: Carnivora
Subordo: Caniformia
Familia: Mustelidae
Subfamila: Mustelinae
Genus: Martes
Species: Martes gwatkinsii


Martes gwatkinsii (Horsfield, 1851)

Type locality: "Madras" [India].


* Horsfield, T. 1851. Cat. Mamm. Mus. E. India Co.: 90.
* Martes gwatkinsii on Mammal Species of the World.
* Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 2 Volume Set edited by Don E. Wilson, DeeAnn M. Reeder
* IUCN link: Martes gwatkinsii (Horsfield, 1851) (Vulnerable)
* Martes gwatkinsii (Horsfield, 1851) Report on ITIS

Vernacular names
English: Nilgiri Marten
മലയാളം: മരനായ
Polski: Kuna nilgiri
Türkçe: Nilgiri sansarı

The Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii) is the only species of marten found in southern India. It occurs in the hills of the Nilgiris and parts of the Western Ghats.


The Nilgiri marten is similar to the yellow-throated marten, but is larger and essentially different in the structure of the skull - it has a prominent frontal concavity. It is unmistakable in the field as it is dark above with a bright throat ranging in colour from yellow to orange.[2]

It is about 55 to 65 cm long from head to vent and has a tail of 40 to 45 cm. It weighs about 2.1 kg.[2]

Local names include the generic Tamil names of Maranai and in Malayalam as Marapatti, Karumvernku and Koduvalli.[2]


The species is reported from the Nilgiris, parts of southern Kodagu and northern Kerala, up to the Charmadi ghats.[3][4][5][6][7]

Ecology and Behaviour

Very little is known about the Nilgiri marten. It is diurnal, and though arboreal, descends to the ground occasionally. It is reported to prey on birds, small mammals and insects such as cicadas.[8][9]

^ Choudhury, A., Wozencraft, C., Muddapa, D. & Yonzon, P. (2008). Martes gwatkinsii. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 21 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of vulnerable
^ a b c "Zoological Survey of India, Pune". Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
^ Christopher, G. & Jayson, E.A. (1996) Sightings of Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii Horsfield) at Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary and Silent Valley National Park, Kerala, India. Small Carnivore Conservation, 15, 3-4.
^ Madhusudan, M.D. (1995) Sighting of the Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii) at Eravikulam National Park, Kerala, India. Small Carnivore Conservation, 13, 6-7.
^ Gokula, V. & Ramachandran, N.K. (1996) A record of the Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii Horsfield). J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc., 93, 82.
^ Muduppa, D. 1999 Lesser known carnivores of the Western Ghats IN ENVIS Bulletin : Wildlife, Protected areas: Mustelids, Viverrids and Herpestides of India 2(2): 65-70 Publisher: Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun, Editor: S. A. Hussain.
^ Krishna, K. & Karnad, D. (2010) New records of the Nilgiri marten Martes gwatkinsii in the Western Ghats, India. Small Carnivore Conservation, 43, 23-27.
^ Hutton, A.F. (1944) Feeding habits of the Nilgiri marten. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc., 48, 374-375
^ "Nilgiri marten Martes gwatkinsii Horsfield, 1851". Archived from the original on September 15, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2011.

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