Pine martens on the Isle of Mull
In recent years we have witnessed the spread of the Pine Marten in Scotland.
One of the most dramatic, but not surprising, movements of re-colonisation was the spread of Pine Martens onto Skye following the construction of the Skye Bridge. Construction of the Skye Bridge started in 1992 with the bridge being opened on October 16th 1995.
It was not long before Pine Martens were being sighted on the Isle of Skye. By 2007 a Pine Marten survey on the Balmacara Estate indicated that up to 48 individual Pine Martens could be found on the estate. Since then the Pine Marten colonisation of Skye has continued with evidence that Pine Martens can be found up to 40 km from the Skye Bridge – their original point of entry.
A recent Scottish Natural Heritage report adds an interesting twist to the spread of the Pine Marten discussing the recent discovery of Pine Marten on the Island of Mull.
The report considers evidence indicating the time frame of re-colonisation a key question being how the Pine Marten may have reached Mull.
With little historical reference to any previous population of Pine Martens on Mull opinion suggests the Mull Pine Marten colonisation is most likely due to stowaways being transported on vehicles.
If you are interested in reading more the full report “Pine martens on the Isle of Mull –
Assessing risks to native species” can be found here