I was very lucky today! I was standing stock still leaning against a tree, trying to take a photo of a woodpecker, when I heard a rustling in the ferns nearby… It was a Japanese marten (ten) and it hadn’t noticed me. The sound of the camera shutter made it a bit nervous and it looked in my direction, eventually sneaking off into the brush. I’m happy to have been able to watch it for a few minutes, but I wish my camera was a bit quieter! To be honest, at the time I thought I was watching a weasel (see my post here), but I realized later that it was far too big. After a bit of research on the internet, I found some pictures that suggested it was in fact a marten (see here).

There’s lots of interesting information about the Japanese marten on the Animal Diversity Web run by the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

(Added 14th April): Thanks to Dr. Masatoshi Yasuda for checking my identification. He works in the Forest Zoology Laboratory, Kyushu Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute.


Family: Mustelidae (badgers, otters, weasels, and relatives)
Subfamily: Mustelinae (martens, weasels, wolverines, and relatives)

Japanese marten = ten
Martes melampus

Location: Near Hyoutan Pond (map)