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Old Wednesday 30th July 2008, 15:56   #1
Capercaillie71
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Otter spraint or Mink scat?

I am tending towards mink scat, but not sure. It was quite small (about 7cm x 1 cm) and seems twisted at the end. Also contains what appear to be mammal bone fragments and none of the fish scales and bones that I normally see in otter spraint. I did try giving it a sniff, but couldn't really smell anything, but then I've got a bit of a cold at the moment, so that doesn't mean much.

Any help gratefully received.
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Old Friday 1st August 2008, 07:52   #2
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I should think the composition would rule out Otter straight away, but is there any reason it couldn't be a Pine Marten?

Are Mink common thereabouts?

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Old Friday 1st August 2008, 08:50   #3
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It's probably dried out too much and so lost its smell. If you moisten it it'll start smelling again. From the composition and location, I agree that Mink is the most likely. Pine Marten scat can be extremely variable in size/shape which is why some Pine Marten researchers are now using DNA analysis to obtain a positive ID.
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Old Friday 1st August 2008, 09:01   #4
malgos
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I,m no expert but we have a Pine Marten visiting our garden on a regular basis and this looks good for Pine Marten.
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Old Friday 1st August 2008, 09:17   #5
Sandra (Taylor)
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Think you might find this amusing: when our grandchildren were small and holidaying in Scotland we frequently saw pine martin droppings on stones - and they always seemed to consist of rowan berries. The girls got to recognise these. When we got home, in the middle of the town they saw some rowan berries on the pavement - "Ooh look Gran - a pine martin must be round here !!" .............

Sorry I'm no help as far as identification of this poo is concerned.
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Old Friday 1st August 2008, 09:17   #6
Capercaillie71
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I didn't think of Pine Marten, but I suppose it is a possibility as the photo was taken in Easter Ross, where all three species occur. I was thinking of Mink more on the basis of habitat as it was next to a watercourse with alder and willow woodland adjacent.

I found two more signs further down the same watercourse which were very old and weathered. These were in more of a classic otter location (on top of a rock in the watercourse), but the first one had fur and a bird's foot in it, which seemed more mink-like, while the second had fish scales in it.
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