conservation

Living with mammals

Every spring the People’s Trust for Endangered Species runs a survey on the animals that share Britain’s cities, towns and villages. It’s a useful way of gathering data on urban foxes, badgers, muntjac deer and the many other creatures that live alongside people, often surreptitiously. It helps to track species in decline, such as hedgehogs.

red-squirrelThe survey also keeps an eye on the spread of invasive species. Last week I was far enough north to be in red squirrel territory, one of the few places where the larger grey squirrel has not forced them out. I had an eye out for them all weekend, but sadly the only red squirrel we saw was roadkill.

The Living with Mammals survey relies on volunteers, who look out for animals or signs of animals in a particular green space. It could be a garden, a churchyard or a park, any green space within 200 yards of a building. There’s a guide to download with tips on identifying animals and their signs, and participants keep a diary for eight weeks.

If you’re interested in taking part in some citizen science, and supporting the wildlife in your area, visit the PTES website for all the details.

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