Why this pine marten is causing excitement in Yorkshire

Conservationists are celebrating these camera trap images of a pine marten taken on the North York Moors. 

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The first living pine marten in Yorkshire for 35 years © NatureSpy

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The Yorkshire Pine Marten Project has captured the first images of a living pine marten in Yorkshire for 35 years.

A single male pine marten was captured on a wildlife camera trap on Forestry Commission land.

Watch the video:

[video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wGxhb50aRU width:623 height:360]

“To finally prove pine marten presence in Yorkshire is a massive achievement for everyone involved,” says Ed Snell, the project co-ordinator for NatureSpy.

“Pine marten are such an important species, being the second rarest carnivorous mammal in the UK, it’s so exciting to plan the next stage of the project and aid whatever populations we may have here.”

As well as being the first living record for around 35 years, the images are also the first confirmed record of pine marten in the area for 24 years.

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The first living pine marten in Yorkshire for 35 years © NatureSpy

The last confirmed record in Yorkshire was a skull found in 1993, and whilst there have been a number of potential sightings, none of these could be confirmed.

The Yorkshire Pine Marten Project is run by NatureSpy in partnership with the Forestry Commission and was started four years ago to prove that this elusive species lived in Yorkshire.

Now that they have proof, the project is planning to apply a more scientific approach to the study, including collecting DNA samples and estimating population numbers. 

Find out more about pine martens:

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Read more wildlife news stories in BBC Wildlife Magazine