Pine Marten found in Wales – the first in 40 years!08/11/2012 10:55:58 Sadly, the proof is a victim of the roadkill
November 2012. A road casualty pine marten has been found near Newtown in Powys - the first known carcass in Wales since 1971.
‘The significance of this find cannot be overstated,' said Natalie Buttriss, Chief Executive with The Vincent Wildlife Trust. ‘It adds to the body of evidence supporting the long-held view of mammal experts that this attractive tree-dwelling animal does exist in Wales, but in such low numbers that very few people ever see one.'
The carcass was found by local resident Olly Amy on the roadside close to the village of Aberhafesp near Newtown. Olly contacted The Vincent Wildlife Trust after correctly identifying it as a pine marten. DNA analysis carried out at Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland has provided unequivocal evidence that this is a pine marten native to the British Isles. The animal was a young male.
300 reported sightings
In recent years, the Trust has organised numerous hunts for pine marten scats using teams of volunteers, deployed remote cameras and set up baited hair tubes, but despite this endeavour no unequivocal evidence has been found since 2007 - until now.
Report a sighting
If you think you have seen a pine marten in England or Wales, please contact The Vincent Wildlife Trust on 01531636441 or www.vwt.org.uk.
The pine marten was foiund after it was killed on a road in Powys, Wales. Photo credit Olly Amy.
This find is also particularly timely with the employment later this month of a new VWT Pine Marten Project Officer, funded by The Co-operative and based in mid Wales. This two-year project aims to determine the status of the pine marten in Wales and help develop long-term conservation plans to ensure a safe future for this rare Welsh mammal.
Pine marten facts
The pine marten in Britain
Recent studies show that the pine marten in Scotland is making a good recovery. South of the Scottish border the situation appears to be different, and the recovery taking place in Scotland has not yet occurred in those parts of England and Wales where pine martens survived. The last known carcass recorded in Wales was in 1971, but the last carcass collected was from Talybont- on-Usk in 1950 (and now in Cardiff Museum).
The Vincent Wildlife Trust has been gathering and evaluating reported sightings of pine martens from England and Wales since the mid-1990s. Data analysis suggests that pine martens are still present in broadly the same parts of Wales and England today as in earlier decades, including the Cambrian Mountains, Snowdonia and Carmarthenshire. However, it is clear that this species is both rare and elusive, and evidence of its presence is very hard to find.