September and new observations
Bad weather caused the third camera-survey to last up to a week; all cameras worked well, except for those in Cicogna and Belmello, the batteries of which discharged quicker than expected, about after one week working.
Mustelids were camera-trapped by 15 traps: as usual, stone martens were trapped the most, with 33 captures, while only three and one video-clips were recorded for the pine marten and badger, respectively. Fourteen videos were filed as “Martes sp.”
Since the starting of the monitoring, about a two months and a half long period, we have ascertained stone marten occurrence in 20 out of the 27 localities monitored, spread between 400 (Ponte Casletto) and 1848 m (Bocchetta di Terza) above sea level.
Currently we are carefully checking all pictures and videos to look for the occurrence of clearly different individuals, such as those showing specific patterns of their throat spot or showing clearly different sizes when trapped at the same site. The aim is to find the minimum number of individuals occurring in the study area in summer 2015.
An important, new pine marten record has been collected a few hundred meters far from the bivouac at Pian di Boit, Consequently, this species has currently been sampled at four sites.
Comparing the videoclips collected in 2014 and 2015, we recorded that the pine marten sampled this summer at Alpe Uovo, last year had been camera-trapped about 1.4 km apart, at Prebusa,
Till now, no video showing two individuals of any mustelid species has been collected.
A total of 101 faecal samples has been collected for dietary analyses, of which 61 were partially preserved in ethanol for genetic analyses.