History & Achievements
The Mammal Society was formed in April 1954 by several eminent ecologists and naturalists to address the dire lack of any information on mammals available to the general public. An inaugural conference was held at Birmingham University to form the first committee, with Lord J Cranbrook as President.
Moment of nostalgia: Attendees at the 1st AGM, Exeter, 1955, organised by Ian Linn. Photo by Harry Savory.
Firsts for Mammals
1957: Our first publication, "Field Guide to British Deer", was published.
1959: The Society responded to overwhelming interest and established an office in London. This year also saw the successful completion of the Society's first national Bat-ringing Scheme and National Badger Survey, with county recorders appointed to collect the data and respond to the high level of interest in these species.
1963: The first edition of the 'Handbook of British Mammals' was published. Now on its 4th edition, it remains the pre-eminent publication of The Mammal Society. The second edition appeared in 1977, the third in 1991, and the fourth in 2008.
1965: First National Mammal Distribution Survey completed since 1904, responding to a desperate shortage of information on populations and distribution. Applying scientific rigour and expertise to all its work made the Society the trusted source and authority on mammals of the British Isles.
Mammal Review, Mammal News and books
1955 - 1969: The Bulletin was circulated bi-annually to members, as an 'unofficial' summary of current research on mammals; Notes on British Mammals, a collation of scientific papers reprinted from the Journal of Zoology, ran alongside this for members (until 1997).
February 1970: The first issue of our scientific journal Mammal Review was published, to replace thel Bulletin. Today, Mammal Review is an internationally cited journal of mammalogy.
March 1970: The first members' Newsletter was published. It was renamed Mammal News in 1991.
1975: Published our second book: "Idetification of prey remains in owl pellets". The third in the series, "Live Trapping Small Mammals" was published in 1982.
1984: The first species booklets in the series, "Woodmice", "Foxes" and "Fallow Deer" were published.
2003: The definitive "How to Find and Identify Mammals" was first published.
Surveys and Monitoring
1971: First 10km-square (hectad) Atlas of British mammals was published in Mammal Review, the result of collaboration with hundreds of recorders, and was the first atlas of any animal group at this scale; only a botannical atlas preceded it.
1973 - 1977: First national Harvest mouse survey completed, based on finding nests.
1980: The Mammal Society critically responded to the Lord Zuckerman report "Badgers, Cattle and Tuberculosis", published in Nature.
1985 - 1988: First systematic national survey of Badger distribution and status in Great Britain completed. This was completed a second time between 1994 and 1997.
1991 - 1993: First national survey of Brown hare distribution and status in Great Britain completed. This was repeated between 1997 and 1999.
1993: Published the first Red Data Book for Mammals, along with a definitive Atlas of British Mammals, collating all the records submitted to us and the Biological Records Centre.
1998: First Yellow-necked mouse survey completed.
1999 - 2000 (and 2001): First National Fox Survey completed, using transect surveys to find scats.
2004 - 2005: Carried out first-ever national survey of Water Shrew distribution and habitat requirements, exploiting the new technique of bait-tubes.