Pine marten spotted in Yorkshire
A live pine marten has been spotted on camera in Yorkshire for the first time in over three decades.
There have been no confirmed sightings since 1993, when the skull of a pine marten was found in the county. The last record of a living pine marten, however, was around 35 years ago.
The Yorkshire Pine Marten Project is run by non-profit enterprise NatureSpy and the Forestry Commission. It was launched four years ago to prove pine martens are present in Yorkshire.
Camera traps are placed in various locations on the North Yorkshire Moors to monitor particular areas 24/7, for months at a time.
Pine martens are the UK’s second rarest carnivorous mammal. Proving they are present in Yorkshire was described as a “massive achievement” for the team involved, by NatureSpy’s project co-ordinator Ed Snell.
There have been a number of unconfirmed sightings of the creatures over the years and recent scat DNA tests confirmed their presence in Northumberland. However, previous searches by other organisations proved inconclusive.
Cath Bashforth, an ecologist at the Forestry Commission, added: “It is great to have a confirmed sighting of pine marten on Forestry Commission land. Supporting on this project has been exciting and to discover they are living within our forests after so many years is fantastic! We are looking forward to progressing the project further.”
Going forward, the project will take a more scientific approach, collecting DNA samples, estimating population numbers, investigating habitat preferences and producing habitat management proposals. A second fundraising initiative is underway to raise money for resources for the next phase of the project.
Image © NatureSpy/Youtube