A statement was released yesterday from The Vincent Wildlife Trust confirming that the pine marten recovered from the A38 near Belper was pine marten No 3 – an individual from their pine marten recovery project.
The male had until recently held a territory in North Wales 120km away and he is thought to have travelled across to Derbyshire.
Such long journeys by pine martens are unusual but not unheard of and it may be the result of this animal being displaced by a more dominant pine marten. A post mortem will be carried out in due course to discover the cause of death.
Angela Mayson, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Head of Living Landscapes South said, “This makes us even more determined to see pine martens thriving in Derbyshire again as they once would have and will be working with The Vincent Wildlife Trust to determine if we have a resident population and/or if we could have in the future.”
Wildlife photographer Andy Parkinson spotted it as he was on route to Wales but realising its importance he passed on the information which enabled its body to be retrieved. Lizzie Croose who heads up the The Vincent Wildlife Trust’s work with pine martens has since confirmed it was a male.
Pine martens are about the size of a cat and have chestnut brown fur with a creamy yellow bib over the throat and chest. They are related to weasels, ferrets, polecats and otters. Male pine martens defend large territories up to 25km2 and can travel as far as five miles in a single night.
There have been several sightings of pine martens in Derbyshire over the years but little physical or photographic evidence. If you think you have seen a pine marten please report your sighting here.
To learn more about pine martens please visit Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s website.
Photo: Pine marten by Terry Whittaker 2020VISION