Thursday, 1 September 2016

Mammal monitoring

Since June our volunteer, Abbi has been carrying out small mammal monitoring in Blakeway Coppice. Due to sporadic weather and people’s availability she has rearranged some dates but still managed to complete 7 surveys, the last one being carried out this week. 
A yellow-necked mouse

The survey consists of two transects with 10 tube traps (live traps) on each: the first is alongside the main track and the second within the Hazel coppice. The traps were baited with seed and apple and some hay is put in for them to make a nest for the night. We didn’t use casters to bait shrews as they have a very high mortality rate in traps. 

A Bank vole
The success rate has been increasing each survey getting as high as 40% (the national average is 17%)! Along with a very healthy slug population Abbi has recorded 25 bank voles and 9 wood mice: the majority being male adults. Also when trapping around our base we caught 2 yellow-necked mice! Thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their time to help, especially Abbi who organised and ran the survey and Charlotte Huntly who has helped at every survey. 
Abbi identifying a small mammal

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