Heads up: Some or all of the identifications affected by this split may have been replaced with identifications of Martes. This happens when we can't automatically assign an identification to one of the output taxa. Review identifications of Martes americana 41798

Taxonomic Split 94853 (Committed on 07-20-2021)

ASM Mammal Diversity Database Ver. 1.... (Citation)
Added by bobby23 on July 17, 2021 01:42 AM | Committed by bobby23 on July 20, 2021
split into


I'm curious if someone could explain the range data. Is the range data generated from iNat identifications or from an external source? Either way, it doesn't seem to align with data from papers which have analyzed the genetics of these two marten species:

\1. Implications of introgression for wildlife translocations: the case of North American martens, 2019. DOI: 10.1007/s10592-018-1120-5
\2. Reconciling molecules and morphology in North American Martes, 2018. DOI: 10.1093/jmammal/gyy140
\3. Historical biogeography sets the foundation for contemporary conservation of martens (genus Martes) in northwestern North America, 2017. DOI: 10.1093/jmammal/gyx047

All three papers appear to suggest that the range of Martes caurina in British Columbia is largely restricted to certain coastal islands and that in the Columbia Mountains (and perhaps in the Rockies) one finds hybrids of the two species; outside of those areas, it's probably Martes americana.

In case you don't see this, tag: @bobby23

Posted by murphyslab about 2 years ago

Hi, @murphyslab. I adapted the range maps from those available on Yale University's Map of Life (here are the pages for Martes caurina and Martes americana, respectively). The one for M. caurina was downloaded directly from MOP and I constructed the one for M. americana_ myself because of a download error, but I based it directly on what they had on their site, not primarily literature. These maps were also used in the Illustrated Checklist of the Mammals of the World (Burgin et al. 2020).

Posted by bobby23 about 2 years ago

According to the literature cited by the MDD for Martes caurina, there should be significant more overlap between the two species in British Columbia than MOL's maps suggest. I'm not sure what their deriving their maps from.

Posted by bobby23 about 2 years ago

I will contact them to find out what material they cited.

Posted by bobby23 about 2 years ago

Thank you for the replies and for looking into this further, @bobby23 .

Also the Map of Life sounds super useful. I'm not an expert in any of the life sciences, so it's a new resource to me. If iNat isn't clear, I usually just go on GBIF to get an idea of range data.

Posted by murphyslab about 2 years ago

Based on the studies above, and Lucid et al. 2020 (Figure 1 - species' ranges), and the fact I still cannot find any explanation behind the auto-generated ranges used by MOL, I'm going to make new taxon atlases/ranges in QGIS for both species within the next few weeks and apply them to finally fix this issue. Massive pain but somebody has to do it, as adding IDs to M. caurina observations even in Saskatchewan are entirely ignored.

Posted by cgbc over 1 year ago

Thank you, @cgbc!

Posted by murphyslab over 1 year ago

@cgbc I worked in the lab where Map of Life is stationed - they don’t auto-generate the maps. They individually draw them themselves based on primary literature and literary material.

Posted by bobby23 over 1 year ago

It seems that the best course of action would be for me to create a geographic map for Martes caurina from scratch based on the literature provided. I am willing to do this because I believe organisms - especially the ones I curate - should be represented on iNaturalist accurately.

However, creating maps is a long and technically involved process, and I am in the midst of training for a new field research position, so I unfortunately cannot address this in the immediate future. I will likely have to push this off until mid-March. Is that understandable?

Posted by bobby23 over 1 year ago

Sounds quite reasonable to me.

Posted by murphyslab over 1 year ago

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