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#1657578 - 12/14/09 07:57 AM Re: Aging Marten [Re: Family Trapper]
Gulo Offline
"On The Other Hand"

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 116
Loc: Idaho
W17...
I don't know; good question. I suspect that if food is inadequate, there would be less development of the musculature. Seems to me it would be the old "nature vs nurture" argument.

FT...
Yeah; spendy. It entails decalcifying the tooth, slicing it serially on a microtome (as I remember, about 16 microns thick), staining, mounting on a slide, and reading the annuli. Really pretty simple, but takes some pretty spendy equipment.

Back to W17...
I really like your idea of furthering the marten science. It would be a good question to pose to Craig, and I can certainly take the lead on questioning him, if you want to assign that to me (or you can ramrod this thing; let me know). At this point, is furtherance of the science best attained by additional tooth sectioning, or would it be better to assist Craig with understanding the diet questions (i.e., stable isotope work)? To me, both are important. I think Craig is currently in New Zealand, so we may need to wait a couple weeks before we can run this by him, if that's what you suggest we do.

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#1657620 - 12/14/09 08:23 AM Re: Aging Marten [Re: Gulo]
white17 Online   content

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 14669
Loc: McGrath, AK
Well I would certainly think you and Craig can better assess his needs than any of us can in terms of what aspect to direct the funds toward. Consider yourself assigned laugh and thanks for volunteering. How much money do you think we'd need to raise to be meaningful ? Which activity would provide the most benefits per dollar ? How do we keep Craig in control and not the department ?


Back to the food: what I was wondering about the muscle development was this. Say a critter grows up in an area where he encounters food that is harder to chew than his more affluent relatives 200 miles away but the same age class. Would the act of chewing tougher food accelerate the rate of growth of the masseter?
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#1657903 - 12/14/09 12:09 PM Re: Aging Marten [Re: white17]
Cazador Offline
trapper

Registered: 02/22/09
Posts: 326
Loc: Eagle River, Alaska
Just a word of caution about what your money will actually buy with the stable isotope work:

People who do that type of work generally look at nitrogen and carbon isotopes. The nitrogen isotopes merely tell if, or how much, of their nutrition comes from the sea (as in salmon consumption)... not real relevant for marten. The carbon work tells how many trophic levels have been passed and how rapidly tissue turns over in particular organs. It doesn't tell what prey species have been consumed. There's a new, budding technology called Qauntitative Fatty Acid Signature Analysis (QFASA) that is designed to tell which species are included in the diets of other species. It's not mature/reliable enough at this point to sink money into because it still has a lot of kinks that need to be worked out. It's one of those emerging technologies that give good results within a particular set of limitations.

The bottom line is that we need to ENSURE that the method we support, if any, will answer the questions at hand, and supporting the stable isotope research won't tell you anything about how prolonged trapping affects the age structure of marten populations. As long as that's understood, and everyone's happy with supporting some other research goal, then funding ongoing research might be in order.


Edited by Cazador (12/14/09 12:12 PM)

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#1658174 - 12/14/09 03:39 PM Re: Aging Marten [Re: Cazador]
Gulo Offline
"On The Other Hand"

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 116
Loc: Idaho
Whuh! Many thanks Caz...

I've not been directly involved (have never done it myself), but was under the impression that stable isotope work (using isotopes of carbon and nitrogen, as you said) would give us an indication of actual dietary components. The guy at UAF that Craig is working with wanted samples of red-back voles, red squirrels, mushrooms, high-bush cranberries, etc., that he could "signature" for looking at marten meat, fat, bones, hair, and claws, indicating that he could use each marten component to get a different "slice" of the life dietary history. Thanks for the heads-up. We should definitely look further into this and know what the capabilities are before we invest any green.

And too, Cazador, you are quite right. They are two dramatically different potential projects (the tooth sectioning versus the dietary components). It is imperative that we look at cost/benefit of either project.

"On the other hand", I'll talk with Craig when he returns, and his priorities, while not necessarily the same as ours, should be weighed.

Give us the wisdom, sensei17...

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#1658635 - 12/14/09 06:27 PM Re: Aging Marten [Re: Gulo]
white17 Online   content

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 14669
Loc: McGrath, AK
As in wisdom teeth ?
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#2879806 - 12/11/11 04:46 AM Re: Aging Marten [Re: white17]
Family Trapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 2087
Loc: Homer, Alaska
ttt
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Passion- There are some people who live in a dream world, and their are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.

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#2881213 - 12/11/11 10:24 PM Re: Aging Marten [Re: white17]
Upst8Mtnman Offline
trapper

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 5
Loc: columbia county NY
Very cool, alot of good info in here. W-17 are you aware of a NYS biologist who has been doing Marten studies for a while now? If not, seems to me you two could have a good conversation and share some thoughts. If interested P.M. me for contact info. Thanks!!

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#2881272 - 12/11/11 11:11 PM Re: Aging Marten [Re: white17]
white17 Online   content

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 14669
Loc: McGrath, AK
No I'm not but I'd like to talk to him and pick his brain. Thanks!
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Mean As Nails

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#2883831 - 12/13/11 10:55 AM Re: Aging Marten [Re: white17]
Tundra 300 Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/25/11
Posts: 0
Loc: Northern Alberta
Talking about ageing marten, what about size?
How long was your biggest marten? Largest I have caught in northern Alberta is
37" nose to tail. I trap approx 150km south of NWT border.

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