Trail Camera for Wildlife Living in a Tree Hollow ① (Japanese Marten)

This article is written for people who are interested in Japanese wildlife, nature and trail camera.
You will see a part of life of Japanese Marten.

Good afternoon, I’m Kon.

I set a trail camera from March 29, 2020 to May 2 in the primeval beach forest on the Masuzawa Trail in Mt. Funagata.
This camera was aimed for tree holllow.
I found something interesting, so I would like to share it.

Primeval beach forest at Masuzawa Trail

The animal who used the tree hollow is ・・・

This camera was set to capture animals living in a tree hollow as Giant Flying Squirrel and Flying Squirrel.
But the animal taken by the trail camera was Japanese Marten!
I have learnt by book that Japanese Marten is good at climbing tree and roost in a tree hollow, but I didn’t expect it use such a smooth vertical tree like this.

The tree hollow is at the height of 2m and the hole is about 5.5cm in diameter.
Tree name is Kurobe in Japanese(Thuja Standishii).

Japanese Marten with winter far came back his roost in the afternoon.
He is just stopped by his roost.

About Japanese Marten

Japanese Marten is “TEN” in Japanese.
It is the biggest marten in Japan.
Head and body length is 45~55cm, and tail length is 17~25cm.
It was used to live in deep mountain, but now we can see it in the woodland near the village.

It is basically omnivorous but tend to be carnivore in summer and switch to herbivore/fruit eater from autumn.
It is good at climbing trees and sometimes hunts Squirrel, Giant Squirrel and bird egg.
It gives birth to two to four baby in the tree hollow, under the rock, under the house and something like that

Japanese Marten’s life seen from date and time of pictures

I found something intriguing from picture date and time of in/out of tree hollow.

date sunrise sunset in out
March 29 5:27 17:56   18:10
March 30 5:56 17:57 4:33
March 31 No data of in/out
April 1 5:23 17:59 5:17
April 2 5:21 18:00 5:03
April 3 5:20 18:01 4:09
April 4 No data of in/out
April 5 No data of in/out
April 6 No data of in/out
April 7 5:14 18:05 5:02
April 8 No data of in/out
April 9 No data of in/out
April 10 5:09 18:08 4:55
April 11 5:08 18:08 4:42
April 12 No data of in/out
April 13 No data of in/out
April 14 5:03 18:11 14:02 14:04

(~m)shows what time it goes out after sunset and comes back before sunrise.
※ Maybe camera battery died on April 14.

He goes out 15-20 minutes after sunset like the daily routine.
It is a nocturnal animal.
However, he gets home at different times. It probably depend on the situation of hunting, dating or something interesting for him.
If you want to see Japanese Marten, just stay in front of the roost for 30 minutes after sunset.

Another discovery ~Mystery Claw Mark~

There is an another discovery.

It is a long-year mystery.
I sometimes see small scratches on the tree and wooden walls in the mountain.
I had no idea whose scratch they are.
I guessed the suspects are Japanese Marten, Masked Musang, Japanese Squirrel and Woodpecker.
Close observation shows the scratches usually have five claw marks, so I could narrow down the suspects into Japanese Marten and Masked Musang.
But I couldn’t agree with that!
Scratches are on the vertical trees and walls.
Now I know Japanese Marten can climb it, and maybe Masked Musang does either.

Claw marks on the tree.
Japanese Marten’s foot prints on the mud. You can see five finger print.

Foot prints of Japanese Marten on the mud around the area.

Set trail camera again

I set trail camera at the same place again.
This will tell me more about Japanese Marten.
It will be summer fur next time and maybe we will see something related to breeding.
I will collect this trail camera at the end of May.

If you are interested in the next episode, please click the below link.
Trail Camera for Wildlife Living in a Tree Hollow ② (Japanese Dwarf Flying Squirrel and Dormouse)

【today's bird -extra-】

Japanese Thrush, Brown-headed Thrush, Japanese Robin, Narcissus Flycatcher, Eastern Crowned Leaf Warbler, Asian Stubtail, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Japanese Green Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Eurasian Nuthatch etc



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