Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Mustelid matings

It's that time of year again when I have to hold my breath and introduce our pine martens together in the hope that they may mate. Pine martens can come into season through July and August, but due to their very solitary nature can show aggression towards each other. Our newest marten, Hamish, seems to have a very volatile nature to him and since our other female, Buttons, is probably too old to mate I will keep those two separate. However, Clyde pictured above, has been let into Bonnie's, pictured below, enclosure in the hope that they will mate.

Pine martens have a delayed implantation, so all things going to plan Bonnie will start her active gestation next Spring and we will have young pine marten kits for the Summer of 2011! If she doesn't take, then next year I will give Hamish a chance of being the father.

As well as the pine martens we are currently pairing up our stoats (pictured above) and weasels in the hope of them breeding. We have 2 young female stoats and 1 male which will be moved to our photographic enclosures opposite the polecats at the end of the week where we will try to introduce them for breeding.

Meanwhile our 2 weasels are currently happily living together and have been seen mating. Hopefully in a few weeks we will have young weasel kits again at the Centre. I am looking to have weasels back out in our photographic pens, next to the stoats, by mid/end of Summer.

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