Marten excrement in France, probably Stone Marten that has been eating animal matter.
A strange Marten excrement, (one of several along a track), with what appeared to be tree seeds.
Marten excrement with Maize, likely to be stone Marten.
Marten excrement with high fruit content, probably Pine Marten.
Marten excrement with blackberry, probably Pine Marten.
As mentioned above, for both species excrement will vary depending on what they have been eating and I have included five different examples here.
The Pine Marten can also be found in most regions of France, in this case where there are sufficient trees, whether this is in the form of forest or copses, conifer, broadleaf or mixed. Size is similar to that of the Stone marten, as is the colouration but without the greyish tinge, larger more prominent rounded ears and generally a larger bushy tail, the chin and upper breast patch is more cream or yellowish and doesn’t divide in two but forms a solid patch.
Although omnivorous they usually have a different diet regime to the Stone Marten. During the spring and summer field voles, common voles and birds will play a major role as will frogs and beetles. As summer progresses fruits, such as blackberries, and nuts will be consumed in larger quantities and nuts will sometimes be collected and stored. In winter it’s mainly small mammals and any grains or seeds that are avialable.
There are many similarities shared by these two extremely close species both in their visual characteristics and their overall behaviour, an attempt has been made to draw attention to the major differences.
The Stone Marten, sometimes known as Beech Marten, is widespread in most regions of France where there is adequate cover, buildings, trees or dense scrub. They can grow to 50 centimetres with about half as much again for the tail, their fur can be various shades of brown, usually dark or chocolate, possibly with a greyish tinge, white patch under the chin and top of the chest which divides in two running down each front leg, the size of this is variable.