June 7, 2006


Go nuts over elusive pine martens (PETER RANSCOMBE, 6/07/06, The Scotsman)

ITS nocturnal habit of scampering through the forest may make the pine marten one of Scotland's most elusive creatures, but its liking for peanut butter means you are still in with a chance of spotting one.

With its slender body and a long bushy tail, the pine marten is a member of the weasel family. Its body is about 54cm long, with its tail adding another 25cm. In the summer, the pine marten has short, dark brown hair on its back and paws, with creamier hair on its chest and in its ears. When winter comes, its fur turns more grey and becomes bushier, with hairs appearing on the soles of its feet.

The pine marten enjoys a varied diet, from field voles and birds, through to fungi and berries. But its reputation for stealing eggs and killing chickens has earned it a bad name with farmers and gamekeepers - hunting and trapping, when coupled with the destruction of their forest homes, make the pine marten a rare species.

Once common in many parts of Britain, the main strongholds of the pine marten are now north of the Great Glen, although it has recently been introduced to the Galloway Forest and has been spotted along the shores of Loch Lomond.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 7, 2006 8:16 AM

Predator reintroduction is part of the neo-pagan assault on the hunter ecology and on the Noetic covenant. We have visited this issue previously.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 7, 2006 9:13 AM

Go easy on the predators. One enjoyable aspect of them is to watch the reactions of National Park tourons when a squirrel or marmot is harvested by a coyote or weasel. Especially enjoyable iwhen it's one of the habituated vermin who hang around trails looking for handouts that's turned into lunch.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 7, 2006 10:55 AM

A nice thought, but my concern stands.

Every squirrel eaten means one less for the squirrel hunters. Every less squirrel hunter means on less ally against the gun-grabbers. Coyotes eat fawns like popcorn, so the problem is greater with respect to those.

I want them to have to go through a lot of casual hunters before they get to the competitors and collectors. If predators are gobbling up the small and medium game to the point where casual hunters aren't getting shots, and this is definitely what is happening, the hordes will give up the sport and when the gun-grabbers come for us we shall be the only ones left.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 8, 2006 1:01 PM