Conservation effort boosts England’s pine marten population

The pine marten population has doubled overnight in England thanks to a reintroduction programme.

© Alastair Rae/Flickr

The mammal, which is almost extinct in the country, has seen its population decline in recent years to only 20 pine martens due to hunting and habitat destruction.

The Wildlife Trusts have released 18 individuals into the Forest of Dean in an attempt to boost numbers and to allow the species to establish a breeding stronghold there.

The reintroduction programme is part of the British Government’s 2025 wildlife manifesto which outlined the importance of reintroducing animals in the country such as otters and polecats.

Dr. Catherine McNicol, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s Conservation Project Manager, will be following up on the project by using tracking devices to follow up on the reintroduced pine martens and assess how they fare in the forest. 

She said to The Telegraph: “Pine martens are elusive and shy animals, with their presence often only indicated by scats in the middle of forestry tracks. They only give birth to a few kits each year if breeding is even successful, so the rate of marten population recovery in the UK is low. It is hoped that their protection, alongside these reintroductions, will give them the boost they need to become resilient and thrive”.

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