News | News Archive | Feasibility Report Published29th January 2015
Successful translocations of pine marten to recently and historically occupied, suitable habitat could be a major proactive step towards improving the conservation status and genetic diversity of pine marten in England and Wales. This report provides an initial assessment of the feasibility of undertaking translocations to reinforce existing populations that have failed to recover naturally.
A landscape modelling approach was used to predict habitat suitability for pine marten across England and Wales at the 10km square resolution. The model identified a number of areas with high suitability values, these were in the north of England (Northumberland, the Lake District and in the Pennines), with some clustered in the West Country and around the Forest of Dean. There was a proportionately greater predicted area of high suitability in Wales, from Snowdonia in the north down the Cambrian Mountains through central Wales and in the Vale of Neath in the south. Informed by the results of habitat modelling, and our database of reported pine marten sightings collected since 1996, six potential reinforcement regions (PRRs) were identified.
The emphasis of the initial, desk-based study presented here is primarily on landscape scale habitat suitability and environmental factors that may affect establishment of viable pine marten populations. In other work, which will be undertaken from August 2014 to December 2015, the focus will be on the social feasibility of pine marten reinforcements in consultation with stakeholders and communities in potential release areas.