Emily Thomas, Key Species Monitoring and Data Officer at PTES, discusses the results from last year's water vole monitoring and how people can get involved in 2016.
The results are in!
We are delighted by the response to the first year of our National Water Vole Monitoring Programme, with 188 sites surveyed and data submitted online. This was well over our initial target to survey 100 sites in the first year, so a big thank you to everyone who took part and made this possible.
Almost 150 sites were ones surveyed in the previous national surveys run by The Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT) and 44 were new sites registered with the programme by volunteers . Of the 188 sites, 68 had water vole signs present on one or more transect. 35 of these positive sites were the initial national survey sites and 33 were new sites.
We aim to increase the number of sites surveyed each year so we can collect robust data on year on year trends as they happen. To achieve this we would of course like everyone who surveyed a site last year to re-survey their site this year. And we would also like to increase the number of sites being surveyed and ensure that all regions have sites being monitored.
If you would be interested in taking part this year, you can register and then have a look at the map of available sites when you log in at www.ptes.org/watervoles . If you know someone who might be interested in getting involved, please do also ask them to visit the webpages to find out more or if you know of anyone else currently monitoring water voles elsewhere please ask them to register their site with the programme so their data can be included in our annual analysis.
We will once again be asking for surveys to take place during May if possible to try and standardise the data from all the sites.