Monday, 4 June 2012


Hafod- Me and Luna with presenter Martin Hughes-Games, with Cameraman and producer.

We did filming for Springwatch with Luna our Pine Marten Scat Detection dog in Hafod woods, in Aberystwyth. There has been some potential Pine Marten sightings in this area recently and the Vincent Wildlife Trust in conjunction with Springwatch 2012 where interested in seeing if Luna could detect some Scats.

Whilst filming we conducted some searches of the area and viewed some unusual behaviours off Luna. These where not indications but areas of interest where Luna showed lots of activity in curtain areas as though she was trying to locate a scat or a scent.

For filming, Martin the presenter had brought along some scat that they had found in Scotland whilst filming recently and wanted to see if it was Pine Marten scat and placed this down for Luna to see what her behaviour would be like.
 This was unexpected for me however I was confident in Luna's ability that if the scat was Pine Marten that Luna would indicate positively. We had to run this section on film which was a little nerve racking, however Luna did a fantastic job and indicated amazingly, even with a camera positioned right in front of the Scat would could have put her off but didn't. I was so pleased with her behaviour. she did me very proud.

During the filming day we didn't have enough time to adequately cover the designated area so a week later we went back (29th May) to spend a whole day searching the area the best we could. Myself, Luna and Colleague Aran returned and we were accompanied by Jenny Macpherson of the Vincent Wildlife Trust who helped us navigate the areas and directed us to particular areas of interest.

Once again we had no scats located however we did witness Luna showing interest on a few areas and at one point she attempted to climb a tree and claw at a tree. She also showed numerous interest at the base of many tree's.

 This was noted by Jenny and GPS location recorded, and Jenny was also able to photograph Luna's attempted climb (see above). It turns out that one of the areas that Luna showed interest was where a potential sighting had been recorded recently which was very positive information.

Areas where Luna had shown interest or odd behaviours we checked the surrounding area visually for any scat, we did find one scat that is being sent off for sampling but it was squashed into a tree, Luna hadn't pinpointed this scat in this area she had show interest. But it is definitely worth sending off for sampling to see what it is.

We will most definitely visit the area again looking for scat, as if there is a low abundance of Pine Marten in this area to find one or two scat in this very large area will take time but I think a scat dog is the best method possible. so fingers crossed we come across a scat in our next visits.

Don't forget to watch us on Springwatch and see the amazing Luna in action. I have been informed that Luna should be on Springwatch- Monday 4th June at 8pm BBC 2

However if its not on tonight it will be on this week, so keep your eyes peeled....

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