Volunteers wanted for animal survey

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The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is calling for an army of volunteers to take part in its annual survey.

This year, the Living with Mammals survey begins on Easter Monday, and PTES is asking people to record the mammals they see in local green spaces and to submit this data to the PTES website.

This citizen science project provides a valuable insight into how our wildlife is faring. In 2015, grey squirrels and foxes were the most commonly recorded mammals, with bats being the next most observed, being sighted at almost half of the survey sites. Other species observed included badgers, wood mice and hedgehogs, along with rarer species such as red squirrels and otters. Living with Mammals has been hugely beneficial for the protection of species such as the hedgehog, whose rapid decline over the last ten years was observed through Living with Mammals and other PTES initiates.

David Wembridge, Mammal Surveys co-ordinator at PTES, said: “We share the urban environment with many types of mammals and being able to spot how populations are changing is essential in order to understand and encourage biodiversity on our doorsteps.”

Britain’s mammals can be found in household gardens, recreational areas, cemeteries and brownfield sites, but other green spaces close to buildings may also provide a home to them. Volunteers are required to select a site close to their home or place of work and to spend a short amount of time there each week, recording any observations of mammals.

David added: “Finding out, with the help of volunteers, whether wild mammals are doing well or not can serve as a health check for our towns and cities. Help from the public has been hugely important in informing conservation efforts, such as those to help hedgehogs.”

To register to take part in the 2016 Living with Mammals survey, click here ptes

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