Pine Marten Conservation in the UK: are there lessons for protecting red squirrels?

At Westmorland Red Squirrels’ AGM on 25 May 2017 John Martin entertained us with an informative illustrated talk on Pine Martens and their relationship with red and grey squirrels. John described his research on the ecology, lifestyle and breeding habits of pine martens over the past 14 years in Galloway Forest, relating it to other research in Ireland and central Wales.

John’s images and analysis of scats, and what they tell us about pine martens’ diet, were particularly informative, not least in exposing the extent to which martens predate grey or red squirrels. The evidence in Galloway at least, but also apparently emerging in studies in Ireland and mid-Wales, suggests that field voles, small birds, and fruit and nuts make up the majority of their diet, though environment and seasonality are influential. Evidence of red or grey squirrel in scats, in John’s experience, was extremely rare. Here’s a link to John’s presentation>>

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