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Beech marten

Martes foina

The beech marten’s head and body are 42 to 50 centimetres long, and its bushy tail 25 to 30 centimetres. It weighs around 1.5 to 2 kilograms, is 12 centimetres tall, and has a life expectancy of 18 years (in captivity). It has greyish-brown to black fur with a white bib on its breast that runs down both forelegs, divided by a dark stripe. It has short, round ears and a pointed muzzle.

Beech martens inhabit settlements, rocky regions, quarries and forests at altitudes of up to 2,400 metres. They live in barns, roof spaces, abandoned houses and hollows. They can be found throughout Eurasia, with the exception of the British Isles, Scandinavia and some Mediterranean islands.

Eating mostly rodents and birds, beech martens also feed on lizards, frogs, insects, eggs, fruit and food scraps found around towns and villages. A nocturnal animal, the beech marten is extremely active, relatively noisy, and a very good climber.

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