Pine Marten captive breeding and research
Pine martens are the arboreal members of the mustelid family, which also includes the badgers, otters, weasels and stoats. They are endangered in the UK due to a combination of habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and persecution.
Pine martens are slow breeders, mating in the summer to produce kits the following spring. This means that once their numbers are lowered in the wild, it takes time to re-build a population.
At Wildwood we are always looking to learn more about the species we hold within our collection. In partnership with Queen Mary University of London, Wildwood is collaborating with research work to better understand the captive diet of the pine marten.
Pine martens are extremely difficult to breed in captivity as they are highly territorial and can be very aggressive to one another. Wildwood has been very successful at breeding pine martens, by adapting their enclosures to incorporate a tunnel system that allows them to meet one another prior to pairing. It is hoped that in the future, with Wildwood’s successes with breeding pine martens, that we will be able to provide individuals for reintroduction programmes.