European Pine Marten

Latin Name Martes martes
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Mustelidae
IUCN status Least concern
Habitat Woodlands, forests and adjacent grasslands
Distribution Northern Europe including United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and Russia

General Information

This stunning, elusive animal has a chestnut brown fur and a creamy throat bib. Pine marten’s main diet are small mammals and birds but they will also forage for seasonal fruits and berries. They are territorial marking their range with faeces (scats).

After much persecution and habitat loss leading to fragmentation the pine marten is slowly incresing it’s range and there have been some sightings in the north of England and Wales.

Fun Fact

They are so agile that they can jump distances of up to 20ft between the trees and descend head first easily due to their sharp claws and hind legs that can swivel around 180degrees – quick enough to catch a squirrel!

Keeper Notes

There are very few collections around the UK that keep Pine Martens. They are difficult to breed in captivity and after many unsuccessful years with one pair, we now have a new pair, Hamish and Rolo. 

Hamish is a male wild rescue who came into us from the Scottish Highlands with his two sisters, Iona & Morag, in 2012.

Rolo is a female who was captive bred at Wildwood Trust, in Kent, in 2012.

But after a few hectic weeks of breeding season in June/July, it will be April/May the next year before we find out if they have been successful.

Rolo & Hamish has successfully produced two litters of 3 kits in 2015 & 2017. WE are keeping our fingers crossed for 2019!

Rory is our elderly male Pine Marten, who joined us in 2003 from Highland Wildlife Park, where he came in as a wild rescue in 2000!