Until the 19th Century, pine martens were found throughout much of mainland Britain, the Isle of Wight and some of the Scottish islands. Habitat fragmentation, persecution by gamekeepers and martens being killed for their fur, drastically reduced this distribution. By 1926, the main pine marten population in Britain was restricted to a small area of north-west Scotland. Martens are now increasing their range in Scotland, but it is not known whether their populations in England and Wales are expanding, or even if they still exist. Prime habitats for pine martens seem to be well wooded areas, with high densities of voles that are their principal prey. Female pine martens with young are extremely sensitive to human disturbance, which can cause a female to move her young from a den or even eat them.
There is one species of Martes that is consodered as "Endangered"; two are considered as "Vulnerable" and one as "Data Deficient" by the IUCN Red List.