North Meadow Small Mammal Survey

posted in: North Meadow, Wildlife | 0

NGP MAMMAL SURVEYS- INVITATION TO TAKE PART

We recently posted information on the NGP Facebook page about undertaking surveys of the mammal populations present on the Meadow and in the adjoining woodland. Their purpose will be to provide information about the diversity of mammal life to be found, and hence what if anything would benefit increasing its abundance.

Dates for the surveys have now been confirmed with our specialist Robyn Dean as 1st-8th and 23rd-29th of August. The plan is to set humane Longford traps as used by professional naturalists to catch and record small mammals, footprint traps through which small mammals walk across an ink pad and leave their footprints, and camera traps to record larger mammals such as deer and foxes. The traps would be set over four nights in each week, the provisional timetable being:

SESSION 1

Monday: Set traps 8pm – 9pm

Tuesday: Check traps 6-7/7.30 am

SESSION 2

Wednesday: Reset traps 8 – 9/9.30pm

Thursday: Check traps 6-7/7.30 am

SESSION 3 

Friday: Reset traps 8 – 9/9.30pm

Saturday: Check traps 6-7/7.30 am

SESSION 4

Saturday Reset traps 8 – 9/9.30pm

Sunday: Check traps 6-7/7.30 am

The timetable is provisional and inclement weather may cause sessions to be cancelled or postponed

Full training will be provided by Robyn to cover the basic principles of mammal surveys, species identification, how to safely set the traps and release captive animals, and recording the results. Training sessions will take place in the field during the weekend before each week’s survey. Further details to be provided.

Please note:

  • These activities are not suitable for young children under the age of 10, but older children will be very welcome if accompanied by a responsible adult
  • Participants must attend one of the training sessions in order to take part
  • As you will see, the trapping and recording involve late evenings and early mornings. This is to minimise the time spent by animals in the Longford traps. The footprint traps are open at each end, allowing animals to simply pass through

You will need to have thick gardening gloves with you- even small animals can bite. Everything else will be provided.

We would like to invite you to participate in this one-off exploration of Goldsworth Park’s natural environment. If you would like to take part in the surveys either over the whole of each week or for specific morning/evening sessions, please email Bob Challoner, Project Manager for Natural Goldsworth Park at projects@ourgoldsworthpark.org.uk . Numbers of participants may have to be limited depending on how many traps our supporter Thames Water is able to lend us.

Many thanks

Bob Challoner

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