Nature Ramble

Yes, I know, it’s Monday again. No excuses today for yesterday. I realised that it was Nature Ramble at 11:25pm and my head was already threatening to hit the keyboard.

I hate it when I wake up and look in the mirror to find “QWERTY” imprinted on my forehead.

On with our post:

I saw this headline on BBC News

Pine marten sightings in Wales investigated

Pine martens are thought to exist in parts of Wales, including Snowdonia and areas near Aberystwyth

The animal, part of the weasel family, was once common in the UK, but persecution and a loss of habitat led to its decline.

The Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT) has received more than 40 unconfirmed sightings of pine martens, one of the UK’s rarest animals, in the past week.

The VWT’s work was touched on by BBC’s Springwatch earlier this week.

Pine martens are about the size of a domestic cat, and are a protected species.

The BBC’s Springwatch, which is based at Ynys Hir Nature Reserve in Ceredigion, has been following up sightings of the animal.

The VWT said it was going through reports of 50 sightings, 40 of them in Wales, in light of the programme’s coverage of the animal.

The trust said pine marten numbers had grown in Scotland in recent years, but they had not recovered in Wales and England.

But it believes the animal does exist in Wales in Snowdonia, the Cambrian Mountains, in areas around Aberystwyth, and parts of Carmarthenshire.

The VWT’s Lizzie Croose said research by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species in the 1990s concluded that the pine marten was extinct in Wales.

“We’ve been working on pine martens in England, Wales and Scotland for about 15 years,” she said.

“More recently, we’ve been working on a project called mammals in a sustainable environment, which has been examining why they are not recovering in Wales like they are in Scotland.

Pine martens were thought to be extinct in Wales

“We’ve no idea how many there are in Wales, but there is evidence they are persisting in small parts of Wales.

“Research by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species in the 1990s couldn’t find evidence of pine martens in Wales and declared them extinct in the country.”

Source: BBC News Read more

Comment:

Martes martes

Well, there’s an animal that I had only heard about in the vaguest sense before, and the little beast has been thought to be extinct in some parts and very rare in others.

Quite a pretty little animal, I discovered (from Wikipedia) that they belonging to the mustelid family, which also includes mink, otter, badger, wolverine and weasel.

Their enemies are eagles, red foxes and, of course, man.  They have been hunted for their fur, poisoned because they threaten game bird species and there is the loss of habitat through urban development.

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