The People's Trust for Endangered Species has announced a new survey aimed at understanding and encouraging the biodiversity on our doorsteps.
The survey starts on Monday 31st March and all you have to do is spend some time observing a chosen site (such as your garden or allotment, a churchyard or local park) each week, noting any mammals you see or the signs they leave behind. Click here to take part.
You can share your findings and photos, and learn from others via the PTES facebook and twitter pages. They will be having a competition for the best mammal photos taken during the survey so get snapping and sharing.
For more information about the survey and its findings to date take a look at the PTES survey updates section.
A round up of some of the news coverage of the recent discoveries of Geoffroy's Bat in the UK.
The species was first found in Sussex in 2012:
The Sussex individual was located again this year, and in September a second bat was found at Brown's Folly near Bath:
For more information on the sightings see the Bat Conservation Trust's report here: http://www.bats.org.uk/news.php/220/a_new_resident_or_a_visitor_geoffroys_bat_in_britain
The individual found near Bath was only about 50 miles from the Devon border so who knows, before too long it may be added to the list of Devon mammal species!
In January, The Vincent Wildlife Trust is starting a national polecat distribution survey, following on from two previous surveys in the 1990s and early 2000s. The aims of the survey are to gather up-to-date information on the current distribution of the polecat in Britain and investigate hybridisation between polecats and ferrets. They will be collecting records of polecats, polecat-ferrets and feral ferrets from all over mainland Britain during 2014 and 2015.
Have you seen a polecat, polecat-ferret or feral ferret in Devon? If so, the VWT would like to hear from you. Ideally, records should be verified by photos where possible, to allow them to classify animals as polecats, polecat-ferrets or hybrids. They will also be collecting carcasses which will be used for genetic analysis and rodenticide analysis. They will be operating a carcass postage scheme, so if you find a carcass, they will send you a postage box for the animal to be returned in, free of charge.
For more information see the leaflet here or visit the VWT's survey page: http://vwt.org.uk/our-work/projects/national-polecat-survey
Just a reminder that there's still time to book a place at the DMG Christmas quiz evening, Thursday December 5th at the White Hart in Exeter. See the events page for full details and booking instructions.
We have now finalised the line-up for this upcoming evening of short talks. Speakers include some previous recipients of the DMG Small Grant Scheme as well as students involved in local research projects:
- Stephen Powles – Otters and Camera Traps
- Mark Elliot – Devon Beaver Project – the story so far …
- Julie Day – The effects of street lighting on Bats
- Rob Ballard – Stover’s elusive Otters
- Amy Fensome – Do human-altered environments make bats stressed?
- Betina Winkler – Farm habitat characteristics and the incidence of Bovine TB in cattle.
£1.50 for DMG members, £3 for non members. Booking essential, please contact Sue Smallshire on 01626 853393 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book
We are pleased to announce an event specifically aimed at our North Devon members who find Exeter too far to travel to attend our regular talks. Next Friday (15th November, 7pm) Devon mammal expert Adrian Bayley will be speaking about badgers at Fremington Village Hall - more details here.
Just a reminder that there's still time to book a place on next Wednesday's talk at the White Hart. For full details see the poster here: DMG Western Europe's Bears poster
In spite of considerable interest in this event a number of people have said they are unable to attend due to other commitments, and we have been unable to secure enough bookings to meet the minimum number required by Kent's Cavern and the museum.
We will look at re-running the event in future, so if you have a reason why you weren't able to attend this time or a suggestion as to how we could make it more convenient for you to attend next time please let us know!
Following on from the great success of the first two "What's On Your Doorstep" events in Fremington and Doddiscombsleigh, the third in the series will take place in Colyton on the weekends of September 14th/15th and 28th/29th. For more information please download the flyer here.
The Devon Wildlife Trust's annual Wildlife Festival will be taking place in Plymouth city centre this year on Saturday 27 April 2013, from 10am until 4pm.
Due to some of the Committee being away on holiday at the time of the event we urgently need some volunteers to work on the DMG stall. It's a great chance to present the group to the public and hear some interesting mammal-related stories. Anyone can help out and mammal knowledge isn't essential - the most popular activity on our stall is usually the mask and finger-puppet making so skill with scissors and felt tip pens is important as well!
Even if you can only pop along for a couple of hours we could still use your help, so if you are free that day please get in touch through our contact form.