Invertebrates carrying disease or causing annoyance, Prevention of damage by pests in kitchens and food factories, Controlling pests in kitchens and food factories, Precautions against infestations by pests of textiles. Unsurprisingly, when I contacted the mammal department at the British Museum (Natural History), they were adamant that they had no knowledge of any specimens of M.foina from the U.K.Alston also noted that even in 1879, Martens (of whatever species) had an uncanny habit of turning up in areas where they had previously been considered extinct.“In the north of England, Mr. W.A. Beech martens are very skilful climbers, and they can get through gaps with a diameter of only 6 cm. They often find their way up to the roof by using espalier fruit trees, drainpipes or even large trees growing close to the house. ‘Splitters’, conversely created several ‘new’ species from one ‘old’ species on the basis of tiny, and often arbitrary differences. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was simply regarded as a big red mink. As we have seen, the naturalists of the late Victorian and early 20th Century eras were renowned for both their arbitrary ‘lumping together’ of disparate species and their equally arbitrary creation of new ones, simply in order to make life easier for the taxonomist.It is an indisputable fact that, whereas a hundred and fifty years ago there were two species of Marten recognised in Britain, only one has ever made it into the history books, and it also seems reasonable that utilising cryptozoological methodology, giving credence to eyewitness reports, and to the etymological evidence, the people who were actually familiar with the creatures considered them to belong to two separate species, which seems to be valuable circumstantial evidence pointing towards them being two separate species. No one thought of it as a distinct species.In fact, it was so badly misidentified that some people thought the large arboreal marten was the same species! In each instance one shilling was paid. It has short legs, and a lighter muzzle. It was originally identified as a Pine Marten, but it was eventually found to be a Beech Marten, (Martes foina), a species that is not supposed to have existed in these islands since before the last Ice Age.The corpse seems to have disappeared as so many important pieces of quasi fortean evidence are wont to do, and the matter for the moment must remain unsolved. The soles of the feet of M.foina are not as hairy either, although, unless examining a dead, very tame or anaesthetised specimen, this might be hard to ascertain.The head and body length is 42 – 48 cm (M.martes 38 – 48 cm), the tail 23 – 26 cm (M.martes 25 – 28 cm), the height at the shoulder 12 cm (M.martes 15cm), and the weight between 1.3 and 2.3 kg (M.martes 0.5 – 1.5 kg).It ranges across most of Europe except for the Mediterranean islands (they are found on Crete), and supposedly the British Isles. H.P. This is undoubtedly the case, but as we have already seen the ‘bib’ of the Pine Marten can be equally bifurcated in some populations and so therefore the sight of a Marten with a fragmented ‘bib’ is not necessarily a bona fide sighting of M.foina rather than M.martes. As the animal has been recorded from Hampshire fairly recently the record is possibly correct but as the animal was only seen for a fairly short time and is unfamiliar I should prefer before admitting a record to see a skin of a Dorset specimen”.It was not until 1879, when Edward Alston published an article entitled “On the Specific Identity of the British Marten” for the Royal Zoological Society, that what had hitherto been described as two separate species, became lumped together as one.Within only a few years, the mammal reports of each of the regional societies that we have examined contained a sentence reading:“Animals formerly supposed to belong to the species M.foina or Marten Cat are now considered to be Pine Martens”.Alston gave few reasons behind his decision to ‘lump’ the two species together as far as Great Britain was concerned. However, the species had already gone extinct-- most likely in the 1860's, but the traditional account says it went extinct on Campobello Island, Nova Scotia, in 1894. They are found throughout the rest of Europe, so it wouldn't be surprising if they were found there.
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