Average lifespan: up to 8 years
When to seeJanuary to December
AboutAn elusive Mustelid, the pine marten is mostly found in the north of the UK, particularly Scotland. It prefers woodland habitats, climbing very well and living in tree holes, old squirrel dreys or old birds' nests. It feeds on small rodents, birds, eggs, insects and fruit, and can even be encouraged to visit birdtables laden with peanuts and raisins. During the summer mating season, they make shrill, cat-like calls. The following spring, the female will have a litter of between one to five kits, which are independent by autumn.
How to identifyMostly chestnut-brown in colour, the pine marten has a characteristic pale yellow 'bib' on its chin and throat. It has a long, bushy tail.
In our area
Considered to be extinct in Shropshire for over 100 years, pine martens made a surprise reappearance here in 2015. We have since been running a project to monitor the population using camera traps, which have recorded at least 10 individuals. But they still need our help- woodland habitat is very fragmented in Shropshire and much of our native woodland has been cut down and replanted so recently that trees here are not old enough to develop hollows for pine martens to use as dens. We aim to work with landowners to plant more trees and leave standing dead trees on their land; and also to offer the martens more places to make safe dens by installing den boxes.