living with mammals survey
Wildlife | Posted: Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 at 3:53 pm |
Wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is calling for volunteers to take part in its annual Living with Mammals survey, by asking members of the public to survey a garden or local green space once a week between Monday 26 March and Sunday 24 June 2018, and recording the wild mammals they see.
PTES is keen to hear from anyone in the UK who can give up some of their time this spring to help spot the likes of Mrs Tiggywinkle and Fantastic Mr Fox.
Last year, volunteers in the South East and East of England regions returned the greatest number of surveys, while residents of Scotland and the North East, the fewest.
Volunteers can choose any green space to survey: this could be a rural or urban garden, an allotment, a park, or a green space near to work, as long as the site is within 200 metres of a building. Once a suitable space has been identified, PTES is asking volunteers to visit this site for a short amount of time each week, and record any sightings of mammals, or the signs they leave behind, such as droppings or footprints.
Volunteers can submit their findings online at www.ptes.org/lwm, which is also home to a guide on how to spot mammals, and how to tell a pine marten from a polecat, if you’re lucky enough to see one!
David Wembridge, surveys officer at PTES explains, “Understanding how wildlife in our towns and cities is changing is essential in supporting our wild neighbours such as foxes, rabbits and hedgehogs. We’ve always shared our green spaces with wildlife, so by counting the number of mammals each spring, we can tell where conservation efforts are needed most. By identifying population trends, finding pockets where certain species are thriving or under pressure, we can ultimately encourage biodiversity around us.”
Many of Britain’s mammals, including hedgehogs, foxes, grey squirrels and bats, are typically found in household gardens, recreational areas, cemeteries and brownfield sites, but other green spaces close to buildings may also provide a home to them. However, there are some mammals that only live in certain parts of the country: for example, hazel dormice, which are rare but occasional visitors to gardens, are mostly found in southern counties of England and in Wales.
To take part in PTES’ 2018 Living with Mammals survey, register online at www.ptes.org/lwm. The survey can also be completed via a printed pack, which can be sent to your door. Just contactLwM@ptes.org to find out how.
If you want to support PTES’ ongoing conservation work but can’t commit to taking time out mammal watching each week, you can donate £3 by texting ‘PTES18 £3’ to 70070.
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