Devon Mammal Group

Beavers are back!

Posted on January 29, 2015

Its official, beavers are back! Natural England have just granted Devon Wildlife Trust a five year licence to monitor the River Otter beavers.  Read more about it on the Devon Wildlife Trust website

Hedgehog survey training day

Posted on January 7, 2015

Hedgehog survey training day

Tuesday 21st April 2015 11:00 – 16:00

An opportunity to take part in a national hedgehog survey on Exmoor by attending this training event.  Led by a national hedgehog expert, the day will teach you the methodology for undertaking a hedgehog survey and you will receive details of your own site on the day which must be surveyed during spring/summer.

Booking essential.  Please bring a packed lunch and suitable outdoor clothing.  Tea and coffee provided.

Meet at Simonsbath Sawmill (SS 7715 3915, TA24 7SL), park at Ashcombe car park (SS 774394, TA24 7SH).

For enquiries: Ali Hawkins, ENPA, on 01398 322282.

Polecats and Scottish Wildcats

Posted on November 26, 2014

An interesting article from British Wildlife (June 2014) on hybridization e.g. polecats and feral ferrets, or Scottish Wildcats and domestic cats: is it a polecat or a polecat-ferret and does it matter?

Polecat & cat hybridisation

Christmas Quiz 2014

Posted on November 17, 2014

Fancy an evening of good food and the chance to test the depth of your mammal knowledge? Then join us at the White Hart Hotel, Exeter on December the 10th for a buffet supper and and mammal-themed quiz!

See here for full details...

Last call for bookings…

Posted on November 4, 2014

Less than 4 days to go until the DMG Symposium! If you are still thinking of coming but haven't booked yet then the good news is there are still a few places left - and booking is open until midday on Friday.

Just to remind you that we have some fantastic speakers lined up for this event:

Dr Johnny Birks - Mammal Society Chair
Dr Fiona Mathews - University of Exeter
Vic Simpson - Wildlife Veterinary Investigation Centre
Dr Paul Chanin - Mammal Society President
Dr Dan Forman - University of Cardiff
Ben Williams - Peoples Trust for Endangered Species
Niki Clear - Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Dr Henry Schofield - Vincent Wildlife Trust
Prof. Robbie McDonald - University of Exeter

For more details on all the talks, please see the link to the programme here.

To make sure we reserve a place for you please call Sue Smallshire on 01626 853393 as soon as possible!

Devon Mammal Group Symposium – “60 Years of Celebrating Mammals”

Posted on October 15, 2014

We are pleased to announce the Devon Mammal Group Symposium "60 Years of Celebrating Mammals" which takes place on Saturday 8th November 2014.

As you will see, this is a very exciting programme of events and we have kept the cost as low as possible. We therefore ask you to bring your own lunch, but will be providing coffee/tea etc. free of charge during the morning and lunchtime breaks.

Many members have already booked places for this event, and we are now opening booking to the general public. Please spread the word to friends and colleagues; we would love to see a full house for this exciting event.

For a full programme and booking form (booking essential!) please see here.

Devon Wildlife Trust requesting public comments on East Devon Beavers

Posted on September 25, 2014

Many of our members will no doubt be interested in this request for comments from DWT:

In July 2014 Defra announced its intention to catch and remove the wild beavers of east Devon. Their plan is to re-home the beavers in captivity elsewhere. Defra has given two reasons for this: 1) the disease-risk posed by the beavers, 2) their potential impact on the local landscape and wildlife.

There is significant local and wider opposition to this plan.

What is Devon Wildlife Trust doing?

Devon Wildlife Trust thinks the wild beavers should remain on the River Otter.

However we believe this can only happen if the following are proven:

1.      that the beavers are disease-free

2.      that they are shown to be European beavers rather than the separate species, Canadian beavers

3.      that it can be demonstrated that there is local public support for the beavers to remain

4.      that a well-planned and resourced programme can be put in place to monitor the beaver's impact on local landscape, wildlife and people

Devon Wildlife Trust is asking Natural England for permission to establish such a monitoring project. Using the experience gained from our own captive-bred beaver trial in the west of Devon (see 'Finding out more' below), we believe we have the know-how to run a successful five-year study of east Devon's wild beavers.

You can help decide the beavers' future

As part of our submission to Natural England we are asking the public to let us know their views about east Devon's wild beavers. What should their future be? 

Your views are important! Email and let us know your views, your approximate home location (eg 'Honiton, Devon') and whether we can contact you in the future.

Please note: your views may be shared with Natural England and others as part of our work for Devon's wild beavers.

Or give us a more detailed response by first reading our proposal for the future of Devon's wild beavers and then filling in our response form.

Otter Workshop: Saturday 13 September 2014

Posted on August 28, 2014

Otter Workshop
Saturday 13 September 2014
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

This is a workshop to find out more about otter ecology and the records we have found on East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve.

There will be an indoor session followed by some fieldwork.  Please bring wellington boots, lunch and wet weather gear.

For more information and to book your place contact Albert Knott on 01626 831581 or email

Meet at the Woodland Centre, East Dartmoor NNR, Yarner Wood, TQ13 9LJ. Follow the Brown signs from Bovey.

The Big Exeter Bat Survey

Posted on August 14, 2014

Exeter City Bats are conducting a public city wide bat survey.  The aim is get people interested in and looking for bats, to help people learn more about bats and to produce a map of the findings that will be shared with Devon Bat Group and the Devon Biodiversity Record Centre.

If you're interested in helping or know somebody who might be, please have a look at the website -   From here you can select the area of the city you'd like to survey and find out about free training events.  To book a bat detector contact Emily Stallworthy.

Mammal survey training

Posted on August 12, 2014

Saturday 30th to Sunday 31st August.  A FREE weekend event aimed at showing you how you can find out what mammals are on your doorstep.

Mammal expert Adrian Bayley will introduce you to the trapping and recording techniques used to survey for a range of mammals. He will also show you how to identify tell-tail signs and droppings.

The evenings will be spent looking for badgers and hopefully seeing bats in the hand. The event will be held at the Devon Wildlife Trust site at Woodah Farm, Doddiscombsleigh

Families are welcome but booking is essential, as places are limited.

Please contact Adrian Bayley
01297 551389