Friday 9 May 2014

Scots pine marten recovery spreads south

A new report has shown pine martens are starting to re-colonise the south of Scotland after being absent from most of the area for nearly 200 years.

The Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) study, with The Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT), found them in three areas.

The new sites are south and west of Glasgow, the Upper Tweed Valley and Annandale and Eskdalemuir.

VWT survey coordinator Lizzie Croose described the discovery of the rare animals as "significant".

Pine martens were once found throughout the UK, but suffered a dramatic decline in the 19th century due to woodland clearance, trapping for fur, and predator control by gamekeepers.

In the last half of the 20th century, however, populations recovered in Scotland and are now established in most areas north of the Central Belt, including the northern fringes of Glasgow and some other parts of the Central Belt.

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