Distribution of pine martens in Scotland as determined by field survey
Scottish Natural Heritage. Distribution of pine martens in Scotland as determined by field survey. Occurrence dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/hwxsv8 accessed via GBIF.org on 2020-03-31.
The results suggest that pine marten have now recolonised some of the northem and western parts of Grampian, Tayside, Central and Strathclyde regions, and are thus no longer confined to the Highlands. To the south, marten have become established on the sides of Loch Awe, in Glen Dochart, and possibly Strathyre. In central Scotland the spread eastwards extends to the glens of Loch Tay, Tummel and Rannoch.
However the spread into the north east has not been so extensive, and the continuous distribution is more similar to that found in 1982 by the Vincent Wildlife Trust marten survey. There was evidence of two pockets of established marten populations further east, one in Strath Avon and one between the Findhoru and Lossie rivers. The expansion into forests near Aviemore may also not be contiguous with other marten populations.
From the 12 martens released into Galloway Forest park in Southem Scotland between 1980 and 1981 a small, separate but currently viable population appears to exist in Glentrool forest.
The pattern of colonisation was different in southern and central Scotland in comparison to the north-east. Scat density was used as a basis on which to distinguish between areas holding established populations of marten and areas with transient or dispersing marten. Both in terms of the dispersal distance covered since 1982 and the number of survey areas with transient as opposed to established marten scat counts, marten appear to be having difficulty getting established east and south-east of Inverness. Habitat or predator control differences are suggested in explanation of these different patterns of colonisation.
Calculations based on the amount of woodland contained within the 1982 marten population distribution, in comparison to the 1994 distribution suggest that the marten population has approximately doubled in twelve years (from estimates of 1200 to 2600 adult martens).