Photo of Fouine

The Beech Marten (fouine) is found across much of mainland Europe. The first time that many people come across a Beech Marten is when loud noises are heard in the attic above, or the ceilings below start to become damaged - the attic being the preferred habitat, along with old barns and outbuildings. They also inhabit stony areas, and are hence also known as Stone Martens.

The beech marten is approximately 50cm long, and has a long bushy tail, and is also readily identifiable by the white marking around the throat. Confusion can arise when distinguishing between a beech marten and a pine marten - the shape and whiteness of the white fur area is the main distinguishing feature. The beech marten also has fur on the bottom of its feet, which may be visible on footprints the animal leaves behind.

By preference the beech marten is carnivorous, and eats small mammals, eggs (often attacking chicken coops, where both the eggs and the chickens may be attacked) and worms, although fruits are also eaten. The marten will also catch mice and rats.

Being predominantly nocturnal, it is unusual to see a Beech Marten, with dusk and dawn being the most likely times.

A litter of 2-5 martens is born in March or April, following mating the previous summer.

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