Innovative mammal conservation

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Pine marten

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Jordan, N. et al. (2011). The Great North Pine Marten Pursuit Report

The ‘Great North Pine Marten Pursuit’ surveys were initiated in order to collect pine marten DNA from extant populations of England. They aimed to determine the presence of pine martens in specific areas, and so allow a focussing of future conservation resources in those areas, whilst also determining the genetic haplotype of the pine martens.

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Messenger, J. et al. (2010). Pine Marten Scat DNA Survey of England and Wales 2008-2009

In 1995 The Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT) revived its interest in pine martens and explored a number of different methods of detecting the presence of martens, including scat surveys. During this period the Trust’s experiences led to a growing scepticism about the reliability of the field identification of scats on the basis of physical attributes.

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Birks, J. et al. (2005). Diversity of den sites used by pine martens

Dens are an important resource for pine martens and sites are selected in response to predation risks and energetic constraints. We compiled a sample of 370 pine marten dens to test the hypothesis that a scarcity of sites leads to the use of suboptimal structures.

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Guidance note on a fur snagging system for pine martens

A guidance note on a system employing a stretched spring to trap dorsal hairs of pine martens which can then be subjected to DNA analysis. This advice note includes the construction, deployment and maintenance of this system used for collecting hair samples from pine martens as they visit specially designed baiting stations.

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Birks, J. et al. (2004). Are scat surveys a reliable method for assessing distribution of pine martens?

Systematic searches for marten feces or ‘scats’ have been used since 1980 for assessing the status of protected populations of pine martens in Britain. This report reviews the recent history of survey programs for pine marten populations in Britain and examines the accuracy of marten scat identification in the field.

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Davison, A. et al. (2002). On the origin of faeces: morphological versus molecular methods for surveying rare carnivores from their scats

Charismatic mammals remain a linchpin in attracting publicity and funds for the conservation of native habitats and organisms. Unfortunately, the same animals are frequently scarce and difficult to survey. For many, confirming their presence through faecal surveys is the only cost-effective approach.

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Davison, A. et al (2001). Mitochondrial phylogeography and population history of pine martens compared with polecats

The flora and fauna of Europe are linked by a common biogeographic history, most recently the Pleistocene glaciations that restricted the range of most, if not all, species to southern refugial populations. Changes in population size and migration, as well as selection, all left a signature on the genetic differentiation that is present today.

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