Volunteers called to help PTES’ ongoing conservation efforts
People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is calling for an army of volunteers to record any sightings of wild mammals they see in their gardens or local green spaces, as part of its annual Living with Mammals survey.
Now in its 15th year, PTES’ Living with Mammals survey relies on members of the public volunteering their time for a few weeks between Monday 3 April and the end of June. Volunteers are required to choose a site close to their home or place of work, and to spend a short time each week looking out for wild mammals or the signs they leave behind. Volunteers can record their sightings online or via paper forms.
David Wembridge, Surveys Officer at PTES, explains: “Living with Mammals provides a nationwide picture of how wildlife is faring in our towns and cities. Recording wildlife and tracking how numbers are changing is key to ongoing efforts to conserve it.”
Last year, grey squirrels were recorded at seven out of every ten sites (69.4%), making them the most commonly reported wild mammal in the survey. But grey squirrels are just one of the 28 wild mammal species that have been recorded during Living with Mammals. Over the survey’s 15-year history, mammal sightings range from smaller species such as wood mice, water voles and hedgehogs, to much larger species including deer, badgers, foxes and otters.
David Wembridge, Surveys Officer at PTES, continues: “One thing to come out of this survey is the surprising number of different mammals present in urban areas. Some are only rare visitors to our gardens and parks, but if we can encourage that diversity, it’s a good indication of the natural health of our towns and cities.”
Many of Britain’s mammals, including the hedgehog – recently voted as the nation’s favourite mammal in a 2016 poll – 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: red squirrels are found mostly in Scotland, on the Isle of Wight and in northern England; while hazel dormice, which are rare but occasional visitors to gardens, are mostly found in southern counties of England and in Wales.
Wembridge concludes: “The natural world is never far away from us, even in towns and cities. The presence of wild mammals is a positive sign of the health of theses spaces, and while it may not be commonplace to see some of these species, we can still find a surprising number. Taking part in Living with Mammals is a huge help to PTES’ ongoing conservation efforts.”
To take part in PTES’ 2017 Living with Mammals survey, register online at www.ptes.org/living-with-mammals/
If you want to support PTES’ ongoing conservation work, you can donate £3 by texting ‘PTES17 £3’ to 70070.
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For further information, interview requests, or images please call Adela Cragg or Jane Bevan at Firebird PR on 01235 835297/ 07977 459 547 or email email@example.com
Notes to Editors
Available for interview:
- David Wembridge, Surveys Officer, PTES
- Jill Nelson, CEO, PTES
About Living with Mammals
- The Living with Mammals survey takes place through April, May and June each year and requires volunteers to spend some time observing a chosen site each week for eight or more weeks in the survey period. You can spend as little as ten minutes through the week observing (although the more the better) and it can be done by an individual or be a team effort.
- Species of Conservation Concern include: bat species; hedgehog; badger; shrew species; roe deer; brown hare; weasel; stoat; red squirrel; water vole; otter; hazel dormouse; red deer; fallow deer.
- A long-term trend analysis by PTES based on their Living with Mammals and Mammals on Roads surveys shows that hedgehog populations have plummeted by over a third in the last ten years.
- Wildlife charities PTES and BHPS launched Hedgehog Street in June 2011 to encourage hedgehog conservation action at a local community or neighbourhood level. Nearly 42,000 volunteer “Hedgehog Champions” up and down the country have registered to help to date and the campaign is ongoing, but we still need your help to make a difference. Visit hedgehogstreet.org
- PTES, a UK conservation charity created in 1977, is ensuring a future for endangered species throughout the world. We protect some of our most threatened wildlife species and habitats, and provide practical conservation support through research, grant-aid, educational programmes, wildlife surveys, publications and public events. Our current priority species and habitats include hazel dormice, hedgehogs, water voles, noble chafers, stag beetles, traditional orchards, native woodlands and wood pasture and parkland.
- If you want to support PTES’ ongoing conservation work, you can donate £3 by texting ‘PTES17 £3’ to 70070.
- Visit ptes.org for more information, or follow PTES on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ptes) and Twitter (@PTES).