Surveys and Projects
The Hedgehog Watch Project
The 2017 Hedgehog Watch Survey has now closed for 2017 and results are being analysed.
The once familiar hedgehog has declined dramatically over the past few decades. Surprisingly, for such a well-loved creature, very little is known about why the hedgehog is in crisis. This makes it difficult to target conservation efforts to where they will be most effective. It is presumed that road accidents, and the loss of suitable, well-connected habitat might be important. Yet in some areas the hedgehog still seems to be thriving. It is not known whether this is because they are being given supplementary food in people’s gardens.
Our first Hedgehog Watch Survey during National Mammal Week in October 2016 nearly 4,000 responses, allowing us to map hedgehog sightings across the UK and share this data with other organisations completing hedgehog research. 87% of those who reported hedgehog sightings had seen them in gardens, and 70% of these were providing food for hedgehogs. This reassured us of the overwhelming support that these unique mammals are receiving from UK homes. We will continue to run this survey during National Mammal Week each year to build on these findings, and would like to particularly focus on gathering records of areas where hedgehogs are absent.
If you would like to register your interest for getting involved in future Mammal Society research using trail cameras please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hedgehog and Lighting Project
Following on from the results gained from our first year of running the Hedgehog Watch survey during National Mammal Week, we are conducting a project investigating how artificial lighting affects hedgehogs in gardens.
The Hedgehog Watch Survey confirmed the commitment and passion of many members of the UK public to feeding hedgehogs in their gardens. Gardens, like the wider landscape, are increasingly lit at night. We know that lighting affects the behaviour of many nocturnal animals, including bats and rodents, and also that of flying invertebrates such as moths. However, we do not know whether artificial night lighting is also affecting hedgehogs, either directly or through impacts on their natural food items. Hedgehogs are becoming an increasingly sub-urban species and so this research is becoming increasingly essential to determine how our living habits are affecting those of Britain’s favourite mammal.
To do this, we have asked citizens scientists whose gardens, hedgehogs and garden lighting fulfil the requirements of the project to film their feeding hedgehogs in light and dark conditions using camera traps. We hope to find out whether the presence or absence of light influences hedgehog feeding behaviour.
The National Mammal Atlas Project
Submit records of any mammal every time you see one to help us map mammal distribution as part of the National Mammal Atlas Project (NMAP). The National Mammal Atlas Project (NMAP) aims to produce the first atlas in over 20 years to present vital new baseline distribution data, which will be continually updated through ongoing monitoring. Records can be submitted through our Record Submission page or through the Mammal Tracker App.
The Mammal Review Project
The Mammal Review project aims to estimate the population size of each terrestrial mammal in the UK, along with information on trends and conservation status. The project will report to Natural England, Natural Resources Wales and Scottish Natural Heritage, is being produced in collaboration with the Biological Records Centre and will incorporate records from 1995 to 2016. The project will be published in early 2018.
The Water Vole Displacement Project
Every year, many miles of habitat occupied by water voles is cleared by strimming. The idea is that water voles will move out of areas designated for development, and create new burrow systems elsewhere.
However, rather than moving animals from a dangerous construction site, there is a risk that the voles simply stay in the bare habitat, risking death from starvation or predation.
Therefore, the Mammal Society is working with WildCRU at the University of Oxford to assess the threat posed to water vole populations by strimming, and attempt to identify workable solutions. What is more, the recent changes in licensing requirements for work with water voles mean that the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations will be able to act on our findings.
Completed Surveys and Projects
The Mammal Society has completed a number of mammal surveys and research over the years:
- The Mammal Watch South East project (MaWSE)
- Methods for Monitoring Harvest Mice – MMM Research Report 2008
- National Water Shrew Survey 2004-2006
- Winter Mammal Monitoring 2005
- Domestic Cat Predation on Wildlife
- Garden Mammals Survey 2001
- Road Deaths Survey 2000 – 2001
- National Fox Mange Survey 1999 – 2000
- Living with Yellow-necked Mice 1998-1999
Volunteer on surveys
We encourage everyone to take part in surveys, which gather data on presence and abundance. The Mammal Society is currently developing a set of survey guidelines which will help you survey mammals easily and reliably in different habitats. In the meantime you can take part in one of our existing surveys:
- National Owl Pellet Survey
For all enquiries for the above surveys please email email@example.com
Longworth or Tube Trap Hire
The Mammal Society owns 130 Longworth traps, 50 Bioecoss traps and 5 camera traps which are available to loan. Please contact our training officer Jackie Wells on firstname.lastname@example.org or 02380010984 for more information. Mammal Society membership and loan fees apply.