Photo Credit: John Marriott

Pine Martin
[North American: Martes americana]
[European: Martes martes]

Pine martens are elusive nocturnal mammals which are found in pine forests and rocky scree areas. Suitable refuge sites include rocky crevices, disused squirrel nests (dreys) and holes in trees. Their fur is dark brown to black in colour with conspicuous creamy-orange throat patches. They have a pointed muzzle, prominent ears and a bushy tail. From head to tail adults are 64-81cm (25-32 inches) long . They weigh 1.3-1.7kg (2.8-3.7lb).

Feeding Pine martens are excellent climbers, and climb with agility in a squirrel-like manner from tree to tree as they search for food sources (such as birds, squirrels, rodents, rabbits, eggs, beetles, berries and even honey). They may also track down food on the ground where they are equally at home as in the trees.

Pine marten signs: Tracks and droppings indicate the presence of pine martens. Their foot prints are round and cat-like with five toes; claw prints are normally absent as they are only visible in soft ground. Droppings containing hair and feathers are deposited in regular latrines near to a boulder or log.