British Wildlife 30.2 December 2018

Was the Stone Marten once established in the wild in the British Isles?

Was there previously more than one species of marten in the British Isles? John A. Burton, Don Jefferies and Johnny Birks review the historic literature to argue that the Stone Marten was once a part of the British fauna.

The established view in all modern texts is that the British Isles have supported only one species of marten since the last Ice Age: the Pine Marten Martes martes. The natural-history literature of the 18th and 19th centuries, however, contains many references to two types of marten living in Britain and Ireland: the Pine Marten and the Stone Marten M. foina (the latter known also as the Beech Marten).

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