Saturday, 15 February 2014

Pine Marten in Scotland

I have been very fortunate to have Martin Hughes, one of the group I was in Scotland with, send me these 2 beautiful Pine Marten photos and so I thought I would give you a little information on this gorgeous animal.

It  is an animal native to Northern Europe belonging to the Mustelid family, which also includes mink, otter, badger, wolverine and weasel.

The body is up to 21 ins in length, and its bushy tail can be 10 ins.  Males are slightly larger than females; on average a Marten weighs around 3.3 lb. Their fur is usually light to dark brown and grows longer and silkier during the winter months. They have a cream to yellow coloured "bib" marking on their throats.


Their habitats are usually well-wooded areas. European Pine Martens usually make their own dens in hollow trees or scrub-covered fields. Martens are the only Mustelids with semi-retractable claws. This enables them to lead more arboreal lifestyles, such as climbing or running on tree branches, although they are also relatively quick runners on the ground. They are mainly active at night and dusk. They have small rounded, highly sensitive ears and sharp teeth for eating small mammals, birds, insects, frogs, and carrion. They have also been known to eat berries, bird's eggs, meat, nuts and honey. European Pine martens are territorial animals that mark their range by depositing faeces (called 'scats') in prominent locations.


Although they are preyed upon occasionally by Golden Eagles and by Red Foxes, humans are the largest threat to Pine Martens. They are vulnerable from conflict with humans, arising from predator control for other species, or following predation of livestock and the use of inhabited buildings for denning. Martens may also be affected by woodland loss.  Persecution (illegal poisoning and shooting) by gamekeepers, and loss of habitat leading to fragmentation, and human disturbance, have caused a considerable decline in the Pine Marten population. They are also prized for their very fine fur in some areas. In the United Kingdom, European Pine Martens and their dens are offered full protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.


The European Pine Marten has lived to 18 years in captivity, but in the wild a lifespan of eight to ten years is more typical. They reach sexual maturity at two or three years of age. The young are usually born in March or April after a 7 month-long gestation period in litters of one to five. Young European Pine Martens weigh around 30 grams at birth. The young begin to emerge from their dens by the middle of June and are fully independent around six months after their birth.

I hope you enjoyed Martin's photos and the information regarding the Pine Marten.  Thank you Martin.

Thank you for visiting and also for those who left comments on any of my blogs.

I am linking this post to Saturdays Critters.

17 comments:

  1. Such a stunning little predator. Thank you, and Martin for introducing me to this fine animal. Sadly humans are OFTEN the biggest threat to a species' survival.

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  2. What a cutie and sad to read his life is or can be such a struggle, humans really can be such inconsiderate bullies. The photos are stunning.

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  3. What a cute critter. I hope these cuties and their habitat is protected. Great post, thanks for sharing. Have a happy weekend!

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  4. What an adorable animal! Thanks for the information behind it.

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  5. Margaret, Thank you for linking up to Saturday's Critter party. Have a happy weekend!

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  6. A very interesting post Margaret and Martin's photos are wonderful. I would so love to see a Pine Martin - such beautiful animals :)

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  7. They're gorgeous animals. I wish you a wonderful weekend!

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  8. Interesting to see, and learn about the pine martens.

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  9. Not many of us get to see these Margaret, me included unfortunately.

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  10. So beautiful and so sad that the Pine Martin, like so many of our other fellow mortals, fall victom to man's indiscretions. The pictures are beautiful and thank you for being so informative. People need to be more aware and you are helping make that happen.

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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  11. I think He must have put a lot of ground work in to get such wonderfull shots, They are not that easy to see even if you live in Scotland. Interesting post.
    All the best Gordon.

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  12. Fascinating post on this little animal, and the shots are excellent

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  13. Stunning animals. It's one of my dreams to see one but I have my doubts that it will ever happen.

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  14. Hello Australia calling! What a wonderful way of combining your birding hobby with cruising - I bet all your family and friends are dead jealous? :)
    Thank you to Martin for giving you the opportunity to tell us more about the Pine Marten, with it's gorgeous bushy tail.
    Wren x

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  15. Oh My Goodness, I have heard of Pine Martens, but for some reason thought they were birds and looky here, I am so surprised and delightedly so...what a beautiful creature Margaret~

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