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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Den boxes as a tool for pine marten Martes martes conservation and population monitoring in a commercial forest in Scotland

Published source details

Croose E., Birks J.D.S. & Martin J. (2016) Den boxes as a tool for pine marten Martes martes conservation and population monitoring in a commercial forest in Scotland. Conservation Evidence, 13, 57-61


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide artificial dens or nest boxes on trees Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2003–2016 in a coniferous forest plantation in Dumfries and Galloway, UK (Croose et al. 2016) found that pine martens Martes martes occupied and, in most years, bred in den boxes. Each year, 30–70% of available den boxes were occupied by pine martens. Martens used 5–20% of den boxes for breeding, in 10 of the 12 years monitored. The study was conducted in an 800-km2 forest into which 12 martens were reintroduced in 1980–1981. Fifty den boxes (55 cm high, 51 cm wide, 24 cm deep) were fitted to trees at approximately 4 m high. Ten boxes were installed in 2003 and 40 in 2013. Boxes were made of wood, had two entrances and had 10 cm depth of softwood shavings inside the chamber. Boxes were checked for martens, signs of use by martens and marten kits, once/year in 2004-2016 (excluding 2013).

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)