Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Pine Martens have mated
A week ago now a regular visitor and member of the Centre informed me that they thought they saw our pine martens mating. After talking to them further the description was very accurate, although I was not holding my breath since this is something we have been waiting for for years. However, the day after during my Owl Display all I could hear was the obvious vocalizations that go with the pine martens courtship and mating. Since this Bonnie and Clyde's behavior has changed somewhat, and they have become a little less forthcoming for the keeper talk, again a possible sign that their mind is on other things.
Pine Martens are slower breeders compared to the other mustelids in the UK usually only having 2 or 3 kits each litter, and usually only breed every other year due to their delayed implantation. They mate in July or August and if successful, delay the active gestation by 5.5 - 6.5 months before an active pregnancy of only 30 days. This means we have all our fingers crossed for possibly our first litter of pine marten kits late March early April next year.
I am sure most of you appreciate I am extremely excited about this news!