Whilst we may be a little biased, some remote cameras set up by our Pine Marten Project Field Assistant, Josie Bridges, have captured some amazing pine marten footage.
We have had several cameras trained on a den box in which PM02 had chosen to give birth and one of the cameras caught some fabulous footage of one of the kits trying to take its first steps out of the box and then falling. Mum comes to the rescue, but is mid-lunch when it happens and she has a grey squirrel in her mouth! Mum drops the squirrel and rescues her wayward kit, carrying it back up the tree before returning for her squirrel.
The main aim of the Pine Marten Recovery Project is to produce a self sustaining population of martens in Wales to prevent this native and charismatic animal from extinction in this area of southern Britain. However, another positive outcome might be grey squirrel control. Josie describes PM02 as our golden girl: the first pine marten translocated, the first one to set up a stable territory, the first one to have kits and the first one we can undoubtedly confirm is killing grey squirrels!
“Everyone involved in the project has worked so hard to make it a success and clips like this really make it worthwhile” said Josie. “When we first found that kits had been born it was a feeling somewhere between elation and relief. To know that the martens are breeding is a sure way for us to know that they are truly thriving in the Welsh landscape”.
The kit is getting more and more adventurous and will soon be accompanying PM02. Our remote cameras will be there to follow its slow (and somewhat wobbly) footsteps out into the wider world!