Ecosulis services & outcomes

Biodiversity enhancement: pine marten recovery

The reintroduction project began in autumn 2015, when 20 pine martens were relocated from Scotland to Wales, supplementing the remnant population. Second (19 individuals) and third groups (12 individuals) followed one and two years later. The 51 pine martens have since dispersed and are being monitored by the Vincent Wildlife Trust.

Biodiversity valuation: bird data collection

Pine martens feed on nesting birds and eggs, so the reintroduction of pine martens has the potential to affect songbird populations. To test this, bird data from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) was processed using Ecosulis's proprietary Biodiversity Quality Calculator. This had been collected three times in the spring over a 20-year period by recording bird presence along transects in 1 km x 1 km squares. 

Negligible impact on songbird populations

A change in songbird biomass was noted, which could be the result of pine marten predation on large birds such as wood pigeons. No change in the presence or absence of songbirds was observed, and the number of songbird species remained relatively constant throughout the monitoring period.

More Information

  • Pine martens are considered to be a keystone species, as they are involved in maintaining the ecosystem functionality of woodland by controlling small mammal numbers, especially grey squirrels.
  • Ecosulis is currently working with Vincent Wildlife Trust, as well as Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, to develop and implement monitoring frameworks which will aim to better understand the impact of pine martens on biodiversity. These studies will focus on optimal indicator species, such as bryophytes, bats and moths, which will provide more robust and detailed assessments on how pine martens are affecting biodiversity and the function of ecosystems.

Contact

Head Office

The Rickyard
Newton St Loe
Bath, BA2 9BT
Tel: 01125 874040
Fax: 01225 874554