Latest News, Wildlife | Posted: Friday, September 18th, 2020 at 10:17 am | return to news

Spot local wildlife this autumn for the Living with Mammals survey

You may not see a badger, but you can have the pleasure of discovering a variety of wildlife in a challenge taking place this autumn.

A badger spotted during the spring survey. Photo by Michael Ninger for Shutterstock
A badger spotted during the spring survey. Photo by Michael Ninger for Shutterstock

Following a successful survey earlier this year, the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is running an autumn Living with Mammals survey until Sunday 29 November.

The survey, which usually only takes place once a year, asks people to record the presence of mammals in their gardens or local green spaces online.

Volunteers are asked to spend a little time each week looking out for wild mammals (or signs such as footprints or droppings) in gardens, local parks or other green spaces. Volunteers can record their sightings at www.ptes.org/LwM. Comparing the results with those from earlier surveys will enable conservationists to better understand how wild mammal populations nationwide are changing.

David Wembridge, mammal surveys coordinator at PTES, explains, “During the spring over 1,100 people took part in our Living with Mammals survey and over 10,000 mammal records were submitted – the highest on record since the survey began 18 years ago. As we find a ‘new normal’, we don’t want to lose this momentum and we want to keep sight of the connection with nature lockdown afforded us.”

The spring results showed that the top five species most commonly recorded online in urban areas were: hedgehogs, squirrels (grey and red), foxes, bats and badgers.

David adds, “The results don’t necessarily mean that mammal numbers are increasing, just that, with more people spotting wildlife, we can get a better picture of how well or otherwise different species are doing, and find out what we can all do to encourage the wildlife on our doorsteps. For many people, that connection to nature, during a difficult time, has been a very valuable and positive thing.”

To take part in the 2020 autumn survey (and find out how to identify different mammals, from pine martens to polecats) visit www.ptes.org/LwM. And, if you’re on social media, PTES would love to see your mammal photos using #LivingWithMammals.

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