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Meet the Mischievous Pine Martens of New Forest Wildlife Park

30th May 2024

Get ready to fall in love with one of the New Forest Wildlife Park's most adorable residents – the European Pine Marten.
These elusive creatures are full of personality, and we're so excited to tell you more about them!

What is a Pine Marten?
A member of the mustelid family, related to ferrets and polecats to name a few, they have beautiful chestnut-brown fur and a fluffy cream-coloured bib. Pine martens are skilled hunters, feasting on small mammals and birds. They also happily munch on fruits and berries when they're in season. These agile critters have incredible leaping abilities, allowing them to chase squirrels effortlessly through the trees.They can even climb down headfirst thanks to their sharp claws and swivelling hind legs!

Pine martens also play an important role in the forest ecosystem.They help keep populations of invasive rodents like grey squirrels in check, which benefits our native red squirrels.

Pine Martens: Family Life and Challenges
Pine martens enjoy their own space, but they'll mark their territory to communicate with others. Breeding season takes place during the summer, with the adorable kits arriving after a long delay. Mums typically have 3-5 kits and raise them independently. The youngsters quickly become independent but might stick around mum's territory for a while before venturing out fully on their own.
Sadly, pine martens have faced threats like hunting, habitat loss, and poisoning, making them less common in the wild. But there's hope! Their numbers are slowly increasing, and they've even been spotted in the New Forest National Park.

Meet the Martens of New Forest Wildlife Park
We're lucky to have a successful breeding pair of pine martens right here at the park – Hamish and Rolo! These two have been amazing parents, and their kits have gone on to help other conservation programs. Come see their playful antics for yourself! Find out more about our residents

Keeper Experiences: Get Up Close and Personal
Want an unforgettable wildlife experience? Our Keeper Experiences let you work alongside our expert keepers and learn all about the amazing pine martens. You might even get a chance to help prepare their food and hide it around their enclosure!

Visit Us and Be Inspired!
Ready to see these incredible animals for yourself? Plan your visit to New Forest Wildlife Park today. You'll not only encounter the charming pine martens but also support important conservation efforts that ensure these creatures and others have a bright future.

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