Pine Martens

Paul_Exeter

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hmm... reading it a few times... that last one seems to be a case of "I saw something" but not directly, through an IR scope, and... it kinda falls into the anecdote category. Is it a cat? seemingly yes, is it larger than 30 pounds? enh.... not sure we have evidence to support that.

Really wish it was an IR camera... :/
It is never easy:

“How did this 80cm-long nocturnal tree dweller pass unnoticed for so long? The report's author, pine marten expert Johnny Birks, told the Guardian: "Not everybody overlooked the pine martens. Some dedicated naturalists, who had been watching them for many years, kept hope burning that the species' presence would be recognised. The trouble is the authorities are used to cheap and easy survey methods which don't work on something as elusive and scarce as pine martens and the wrong perception has arisen that there were none left."

For the period 1996 to 2007, researchers analysed records, talked to people with convincing sightings, collected roadkill and used DNA testing on scat – pine marten poo – to slowly piece together the true picture.”

https://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com/2010/06/pine-martens-make-comeback-in-uk-after.html
 

hunck

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It is never easy:

“How did this 80cm-long nocturnal tree dweller pass unnoticed for so long? The report's author, pine marten expert Johnny Birks, told the Guardian: "Not everybody overlooked the pine martens. Some dedicated naturalists, who had been watching them for many years, kept hope burning that the species' presence would be recognised. The trouble is the authorities are used to cheap and easy survey methods which don't work on something as elusive and scarce as pine martens and the wrong perception has arisen that there were none left."

For the period 1996 to 2007, researchers analysed records, talked to people with convincing sightings, collected roadkill and used DNA testing on scat – pine marten poo – to slowly piece together the true picture.”

https://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com/2010/06/pine-martens-make-comeback-in-uk-after.html
Re Pine Martens,

Pine marten spotted in London for first time in more than a century

This particular pine marten was caught on camera in a woodland in south-west London where cameras were installed by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) as part of the London HogWatch project to monitor and conserve the capital’s hedgehog population.
“As part of our ongoing hedgehog monitoring work, we deploy camera traps across woodlands,” said Kate Scott-Gatty, research assistant for ZSL and London HogWatch. “In this area, these are usually set off by the movement of common species such as foxes and badgers, so you can imagine our surprise at seeing a pine marten – a species usually only glimpsed in Scotland and northern England.”

Pine martens are mobile animals but it is not known if the animal captured by the camera had made its way naturally from the nearest known population in the New Forest 80 miles away or if it had been released, possibly as part of an unofficial reintroduction effort.
Research in Northern Ireland has shown that pine martens normally avoid busy urban areas but there is plenty of food available in London with grey squirrels a particularly easy target. Experts believe it is unlikely to have been targeting the hedgehogs in the woodland although pine martens have been recorded taking young hedgehogs.
1662640215526.png
 

marhawkman

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Excellent news :)

“The endangered mustelid was driven to extinction in England a hundred years ago and was only sighted again for the first time in the Shropshire hills in 2015, remaining an extremely rare animal.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environ...-london-for-first-time-in-more-than-a-century

*Sigh* elusive, dispersed populations rather than extinct
NOTE: it also says "England" not the entire British Isles. was it declared absent from Wales or Scotland? Oh wait, the article specifically says they were NOT ever believed to be extinct in Scotland.... so some just migrated south I guess?
 

BS3

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Pine martens never officially went away in Wales. Of course as a small mustelid is unlikely to know or care about arbitrary lines on the map, this makes it probable they never really went away from the English borders either.
 

Paul_Exeter

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NOTE: it also says "England" not the entire British Isles. was it declared absent from Wales or Scotland? Oh wait, the article specifically says they were NOT ever believed to be extinct in Scotland.... so some just migrated south I guess?
Amateur naturalists were reporting their presence in parts of England throughout the time they were presumed extinct. Jon Downes of the CFZ was apparently ridiculed by professional naturalists for his informed belief that there were pine martens in England all the while before the "official" recognition:

"How did this 80cm-long nocturnal tree dweller pass unnoticed for so long? The report's author, pine marten expert Johnny Birks, told the Guardian: "Not everybody overlooked the pine martens. Some dedicated naturalists, who had been watching them for many years, kept hope burning that the species' presence would be recognised. The trouble is the authorities are used to cheap and easy survey methods which don't work on something as elusive and scarce as pine martens and the wrong perception has arisen that there were none left."

For the period 1996 to 2007, researchers analysed records, talked to people with convincing sightings, collected roadkill and used DNA testing on scat – pine marten poo – to slowly piece together the true picture."

http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com/2010/06/pine-martens-make-comeback-in-uk-after.html

Having followed the work of Jon Downes for many years, I can attest he is someone with a wide network of friends, colleagues and like-minded people and has always 'had his ear to the ground' as regards mystery and supposedly-extinct animal sightings and evidence.
 

hunck

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Amateur naturalists were reporting their presence in parts of England throughout the time they were presumed extinct. Jon Downes of the CFZ was apparently ridiculed by professional naturalists for his informed belief that there were pine martens in England all the while before the "official" recognition:

"How did this 80cm-long nocturnal tree dweller pass unnoticed for so long? The report's author, pine marten expert Johnny Birks, told the Guardian: "Not everybody overlooked the pine martens. Some dedicated naturalists, who had been watching them for many years, kept hope burning that the species' presence would be recognised. The trouble is the authorities are used to cheap and easy survey methods which don't work on something as elusive and scarce as pine martens and the wrong perception has arisen that there were none left."

For the period 1996 to 2007, researchers analysed records, talked to people with convincing sightings, collected roadkill and used DNA testing on scat – pine marten poo – to slowly piece together the true picture."

http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com/2010/06/pine-martens-make-comeback-in-uk-after.html

Having followed the work of Jon Downes for many years, I can attest he is someone with a wide network of friends, colleagues and like-minded people and has always 'had his ear to the ground' as regards mystery and supposedly-extinct animal sightings and evidence.
Pine Martens have been in the New Forest for some years. It’s possible they were always there in small numbers but not commonly seen til camera traps set up..

Pine martens return to the south of England

The earliest sighting of a pine marten in the New Forest was made in 1993 by the New Forest Badger Group. Over the years, a series of other sightings have been recorded including video of pine martens inadvertently captured on hidden cameras set up to monitor other species.
 

hunck

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They were always known for being notoriously hard to see/find, even in places (Scotland's - west coast) where they were known to frequent.
They’re largely nocturnal for a start so unless you happen to be out & about in woods at night..
 

hunck

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Fishing/Camping/Motorbike/and Walking trips.
Not saying no-one is ever out at night in woods but got to be less than daytime. Then add in a small amount of animals in a large forest..
 

BS3

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I think most sensible pine martens would also, probably, run a mile at the slightest noise of motorbikes, campers, walkers etc anyway. Weasels are very, very common animals but how many times have you seen a weasel?
 

marhawkman

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Amateur naturalists were reporting their presence in parts of England throughout the time they were presumed extinct. Jon Downes of the CFZ was apparently ridiculed by professional naturalists for his informed belief that there were pine martens in England all the while before the "official" recognition:

"How did this 80cm-long nocturnal tree dweller pass unnoticed for so long? The report's author, pine marten expert Johnny Birks, told the Guardian: "Not everybody overlooked the pine martens. Some dedicated naturalists, who had been watching them for many years, kept hope burning that the species' presence would be recognised. The trouble is the authorities are used to cheap and easy survey methods which don't work on something as elusive and scarce as pine martens and the wrong perception has arisen that there were none left."

For the period 1996 to 2007, researchers analysed records, talked to people with convincing sightings, collected roadkill and used DNA testing on scat – pine marten poo – to slowly piece together the true picture."

http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com/2010/06/pine-martens-make-comeback-in-uk-after.html

Having followed the work of Jon Downes for many years, I can attest he is someone with a wide network of friends, colleagues and like-minded people and has always 'had his ear to the ground' as regards mystery and supposedly-extinct animal sightings and evidence.
The more you talk about this, the more I question why Pine Martens were ever declared to be extinct in England. Was it as simple as someone who doesn't know how to find them tried looking and failed???
 

marhawkman

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I think most sensible pine martens would also, probably, run a mile at the slightest noise of motorbikes, campers, walkers etc anyway. Weasels are very, very common animals but how many times have you seen a weasel?
Also, they're smaller than house cats. They may be around 80cm long, but only weigh around 1.5 Kg.
 

BS3

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The more you talk about this, the more I question why Pine Martens were ever declared to be extinct in England. Was it as simple as someone who doesn't know how to find them tried looking and failed???

I suppose it came about for a couple of reasons:

They were an animal that, as we know, was persecuted by gamekeepers and by the early years of the 20th century gamekeepers just weren't reporting them any more in most of the country, so there was a general understanding they'd disappeared.

The first systematic survey was carried out by the Vincent Wildlife Trust in the 1930s and that didn't find any signs of them (e.g. scat). I suppose more weight will always be given to formal surveys than anecdotal reports of seeing them (particularly as we know people are often mistaken).
 

Mythopoeika

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I think most sensible pine martens would also, probably, run a mile at the slightest noise of motorbikes, campers, walkers etc anyway. Weasels are very, very common animals but how many times have you seen a weasel?
I've never seen a stoat, weasel or ferret out in the wild. They are very good at running and hiding.

Edit: Now I'm thinking about it, I do dimly recall finding a stoat or weasel dead on the ground in a forest once, when I was a kid. Also found a tiny dead lizard when I was about 7. Never see them in the wild unless you know where to find them.
 
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Paul_Exeter

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The former presence of the closely related Beech Marten in England (19th century writers asserted it was present, but very rare) is controversial enough to be filed under cryptozoology.
Good spot,. This is a link to the CFZ blog and we have several CFZ members on this forum, including Lord Mongrove:

"There is a little known report from the 1979 volume of the Transactions of the Devonshire Association. An extremely puzzling corpse was found on the road between Exeter and Exmouth, where it had obviously been knocked over by a car. It was originally identified as a Pine Marten, but it was eventually found to be a Beech Marten, (Martes foina), a species that is not supposed to have existed in these islands since before the last Ice Age."

Read on...

http://forteanzoology.blogspot.com/2009/02/more-on-british-beech-marten.html
 

Paul_Exeter

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I've never seen a stoat, weasel or ferret out in the wild. They are very good at running and hiding.
Couple of glimpses of them on Dartmoor and rather surprisingly a whole family group of stoats whilst walking through the Pynes House estate that is right on the edge of Exeter (just past Cowley Bridge).
 

Coal

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I think most sensible pine martens would also, probably, run a mile at the slightest noise of motorbikes, campers, walkers etc anyway. Weasels are very, very common animals but how many times have you seen a weasel?
I've seen weasels and stoats, but I'm looking. Generally you only see them crossing open ground - they're both small (the weasels is barely the size of three field mice end-to-end) and once in long grass, are generally only heard, and then only if you're nearby...
 

BS3

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I've seen a stoat very briefly, never a weasel though. This was despite growing up in a rural area with lots of good habitat for both.

Either way it seems quite plausible that a very small population of pine martens could pass unnoticed particularly if no one was expecting them to be there in the first place!

There is actually some evidence that English pine martens have a genetic contribution from the American pine marten martes americana - this raises the possibility people have been releasing them over the years. (Irish pine martens are similarly distinct and share alleles with Spanish populations).
 

marhawkman

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I've seen a stoat very briefly, never a weasel though. This was despite growing up in a rural area with lots of good habitat for both.

Either way it seems quite plausible that a very small population of pine martens could pass unnoticed particularly if no one was expecting them to be there in the first place!

There is actually some evidence that English pine martens have a genetic contribution from the American pine marten martes americana - this raises the possibility people have been releasing them over the years. (Irish pine martens are similarly distinct and share alleles with Spanish populations).
I mean, to British people an American weasel is exotic wildlife... and if it escapes or gets released into the wild? hahaaha..... now you have hybrid weasels.
 
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