Time is running out for the pine marten!

Urgent action is needed now to save the beautiful, but critically endangered pine marten

The European pine marten was once widespread in the UK. Sadly, centuries of persecution (including poisoning and hunting for their furs) and the gradual disappearance of suitable habitat, has led this beautiful animal to the brink of extinction in Britain. 

Whilst the population of pine marten are recovering in Scotland and Ireland, only very small populations remain in England and Wales. As a result, the pine marten has been identified as a UK priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, highlighting it as a species that is seriously under threat and in desperate need of immediate conservation.

One donation, twice the impact!

To help save the pine marten, Wildwood Trust are delighted to confirm that thanks to our amazing supporters, we did reach our pledge target of £2,500 and have qualified to take part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge, the UK's biggest match funding campaign. Christmas Challenge week will take place from 12pm (midday) 3rd December #GivingTuesday – 12pm 10th December, when donations will be DOUBLED, so please save this date to make your donation worth even more!

You can of course make donations to this appeal at anytime, but your donation will only be doubled during Christmas Challenge week, so if at all possible, please wait until then and we will share the details of how to donate and double your donation on this page, on social media and by email nearer the time.

Wildwood Trust leading in pine marten captive breeding

Having a good understanding of pine marten ecology and breeding behaviour is very important for any future re-introductions. Unfortunately, pine martens are very difficult to breed in captivity, but thanks to the expertise of Wildwood’s keeper team, we are one of the most successful breeders of pine marten in Britain. 

Due to the aggressive breeding behaviour of pine marten, introducing new pairs can be a worrying time for our keepers. To help ensure their safety, in 2006 Wildwood’s keeper team came up with a unique solution, linking the pine marten territories (enclosures) by a series of tunnels that could be opened and closed as required

Thanks to this ingenious design our pine martens first mated successfully in summer 2009. They have a delayed implantation period of up to 210 days to enable offspring to be born at the best time of year for survival, which meant our first kit was born at Wildwood in spring 2010. A year later, the same tunnel system was used to encourage another pair of pine martens to mate. We were successful, and another kit was born in April 2012. The following year, we were successful again, and two new kits were born in April 2013.

How you can make a difference

Wildwood is very proud of our achievements to date in pine marten conservation, but we urgently need your help to replace Wildwood’s facilities for breeding them. The existing breeding enclosures have become severely degraded over time and are in need of a complete rebuild in order to continue this vital work.

Your donation will help us to rebuild the enclosures, giving us the opportunity to build on our current knowledge and ensure a continued successful breeding programme. We will refine the tunnel system and build a range of specially designed nesting boxes to encourage them to breed. A camera system will be installed within the tunnels and nest boxes giving us the unique opportunity of monitoring the Pine Marten breeding 24 hours a day without causing them any undue, unnecessary stress or disturbance.

In addition, we also need to source and introduce new pine martens to those already at Wildwood to improve our breeding programme further. This can be a very expensive process with high transportation costs and vets bills, so your donation will really help us achieve so much more.

Did you know?

In some areas where pine marten numbers are recovering their former range, grey squirrel numbers are decreasing, which in turn is allowing recolonisation of woodland by red squirrels. Studies have found that by reintroducing the pine martens, this could provide a natural way of reducing grey squirrel numbers, which could allow red squirrels to re-establish their populations.

Red squirrels are small and light enough to scamper to the ends of branches out of reach of hungry pine martens, but the heavier greys are slower and spend more time foraging on the woodland floor, where they are easy prey, this means by helping save the pine martens, we will also be helping the red squirrels have a better chance of survival too!

With your help we can do even more to save them!

If we exceed our target, any additional donations willl be put towards protecting, conserving and rewilding British wildlife. As a charity, Wildwood Trust relies on generous donations and legacies from members of the public. Without the support of yourself and others like you, we would simply not be able to continue our work to protect British wildlife for future generations.

Contact details

Key Contact : Sarah Anstee
Email : appeals@wildwoodtrust.org
Telephone : 01732712111

Video

Supporters

Donation by Mr. Ian Aviolet
£10.00
on 20th August 2019 3:03 PM