Rise of the Pine Marten
Historically widespread throughout the country, the pine marten suffered serious population decline due to habitat destruction, hunting for the fur trade; accidental poisoning and persecution by game-keepers so that, by the 1950s, it had become one of our rarest animals. But now the pine marten is on the rise once again and sightings are increasing across the midlands. Colin visits a small school in Co. Leitrim, in which a female pine marten chose to set up home and the pupils explain how they felt about this new addition to their school. Colin also explores the impact of this spread of the pine marten on other animals, meeting up with Emma Sheehy from NUI Galway in an Offaly woodland, where she is studying the interesting relationship between the pine marten, the red squirrel and the introduced grey squirrel.
Locations: Creevelea National School, Drumkeeran, Co. Leitrim; Woodland, Co. Offaly
Contributors: Aisling Tighe, Principal and pupils of Creevelea NS, Co Leitrim; Fiona Wheeldon, NPWS ranger; Emma Sheehy, Researcher NUI Galway.
Picture Caption: Mammal researcher Emma Sheehy shows Colin around her trapping site.