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Pine Marten Pine Martens

Latin name:  Martes martes

Size:  Around 60 to 65cm from nose to tip of tail

Distribution:  Rare. Found mainly in north west Scotland, the Peak District and the Lake District. Also reports of some in Churnet Valley, Staffordshire. Increasing in numbers in Northern Ireland around County Down and Armagh

Months seen:  All year round

Habitat:  Woodlands

Food:  Small mammals and birds

Special features:  Pine martens belong to the same family as stoats, weasels and otters.  They have chestnut brown fur with a creamy-yellow throat and chest.  They're equipped with strong claws which they use for climbing trees to catch their prey.

Pine martens almost became extinct in Britain after years of persecution by gamekeepers, and hunters who trapped and killed them for their fur.  Thanks to the work of conservation groups they are slowly making a comeback in some areas.

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