Red Squirrels and Pine Martens in Fermanagh

Amid all the fevered discussion of recent days I thought something much lighter and fun was called for.

From the BBC:

Queens academic Dr. David Tosh has been trying to gain further information about the distribution of red and grey squirrels in Fermanagh with help from the Fermanagh Red Squirrel Group and the National Trust in putting up camera traps to photograph red squirrels. This has been somewhat successful but has actually taken many more photographs of the rarer and more elusive Pine Marten.

From the BBC

“But we found more pine martens than we did red squirrels, which was a very pleasant surprise because they are also a protected and endangered species as well.
“We found pine martens in one in every three forests we surveyed while we only found red squirrels in every one in five.
“That doesn’t mean that red squirrels are in decline, it’s just that we found more pine martens than we did red squirrels, which is no bad thing in itself.
“They are very photogenic little creatures, they are not shy. They enjoy getting their photo taken.”

There is apparently a correlation between larger number of Pine Martens and more red squirrels. It has been suggested that Pine Martens are more easily able to catch the red squirrels’ main competitors, the grey squirrels, hence, giving the reds an advantage in areas where there are pine martens.