Determination of Stone marten (Martes foina) and Pine marten (Martes martes) in natural habitats using camera traps

Department of Animal Production – Non-ruminants and Other Animals, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, Stara Zagora 6000, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 15 May 2018; accepted for publication 4 June 2018)

Abstract. In the nature, difficulties with distinguishing of closely related species like Stone marten (Martes foina) and Pine marten (Martes martes) appear. Based on 280 photos a non-invasive method for determining the Stone marten and the Pine marten by camera trapping was performed. Sloping trees (similar to Leaning-Pole or Running-Pole) were used as a route for animals to pass with a purpose to be photographed. Honey and distal parts of bird wings were used as a lure. The camera was set to capture the climbing animal from the side. The coat coloration and scent marking patterns – proper species indicators – were clearly visible on daily photos. The night photos showed the differences in body proportion but not these in throat patch coloration. Profile photographing also allowed an individual determination based on throat patch shape and area.