It is estimated that each year one million mammals are killed on UK roads. Although it’s not pleasant to see roadkill, recording sightings of dead mammals is important for conservation. This summer, wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is asking the public to record sightings of roadkill as part of their ongoing conservation work for British mammals. Mammals on Roads, which records sightings of live mammals too, informs PTES as to where mammals are present and helps the charity to monitor changing mammal populations across the UK and take action if needed.
PTES has coordinated Mammals on Roads since 2001 and since then, over half a million kilometres of road have been surveyed. Mammals on Roads plays a vital role in the ongoing conservation of British wildlife and findings from this and other PTES surveys showed that hedgehog numbers have declined by over a third in the last decade alone. Based on these findings, PTES has initiated campaigns to help protect hedgehogs – such as Hedgehog Street, a joint campaign with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, which now has thousands of ‘Hedgehog Champions’ committed to help save the humble hedgehog from further decline.
Mammals on Roads requires the public to record sightings of mammals, dead or alive, any time between 1 July and 30 September. To record mammal sightings your car journey must be 20 miles or more (excluding urban areas, dual carriageways and motorways) and completed in one day – perfect for summer day trips and family holidays! Iconic British mammals that you might spot include foxes, badgers, deer and rabbits, but PTES also wants to hear about any sightings of more unusual mammals such as polecats and pine martens.
David Wembridge, Surveys Officer at PTES says: “No-one likes seeing roadkill, but recording it as part of a survey like Mammals on Roads tells us about wildlife more widely. Comparing records year to year enables us to build a picture of how a population is changing, which is key to conservation. Without the help of volunteers, it’s almost impossible to identify these sorts of changes nationally and to spot population trends. Citizen science is essential to conservation—without the efforts of individuals recording the wildlife they see, we would not have the evidence of the recent decline in hedgehog numbers. If you’re going on a road trip this summer, take part in the survey, keep an eye out for mammals and get involved in conservation.”
To take part, you can download the free Mammals on Roads app from the App Store and Google Play. Alternatively, the survey can be completed via a printed survey pack. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 498 4533 to request a pack to be sent to you.
Mammals on Roads runs until 30th September 2016.
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For further information, interviews, or images call Susannah Penn/Adela Cragg at Firebird PR:
T: 01235 835 297/ 07977 459 547
Notes to Editors
Available for interview
- David Wembridge, Surveys Officer, PTES
- Jill Nelson, CEO, PTES
- 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 and native woodlands.
- Visit ptes.org for more information, or follow PTES on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ptes) and Twitter (@PTES).
Mammals on Roads app
- The app was developed by Dr Brock Craft of the London Knowledge Lab and Dr Adam Talcott of Atomic Powered. For more information visit lkl.ac.uk and www.atomicpowered.net respectively.
- The app was adapted for Android by Mark Billinge
- A mammal ID guide is available from the PTES website: https://ptes.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/MoRID07.pdf