Here is the last blog in our series of 2.6 Challenge fundraisers’ reports. This one comes from Derek Crawley, founder member of the Staffordshire Mammal Group and co-author of the Atlas of the Mammals of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
When Pam Worrall started her 2.6 Challenge and asked if others would join her I thought that should be easy to record 26 different mammals especially in the 26 weeks leading up to National Mammal Week in October.
The difficulty was trying to do it under lockdown! I didn’t want to have to go out of my way but just see them on my daily exercise or on shopping trips. This worked out well with evening walks to the local mill ponds with bat detector in hand or scanning fields with night vision equipment for rabbit hare and foxes. Finding field signs of deer, moles and badgers on walks, and the sad road kills on the way to town. Mammal trapping helped to pick up the common small mammals. That got me to 23 quite quickly but also almost out of options for local mammals.
I didn’t count the house mouse caught in my house the week before the challenge, nor the dead water shrew or yellow necked mouse I recorded the month before but haven’t seen since.
Once lockdown was over and I could travel for work, including trips to Scotland, Whitby and Kent with records not normally seen in my local Staffordshire or Shropshire, I managed to record sightings of both types of seal, sika deer, red squirrels and porpoise, minke whale and bottle nosed whale, which brought my total to 32. Only seven of these from field signs, I managed to see the rest!
Below is a table listing the mammals signs and sightings recorded by our three fundraisers during the challenge (remember they were only allowed to record each mammal once…it’s harder than it sounds!).
|Brown long-eared bat||x|
|Chinese Water Deer||x|
|Greater horseshoe bat||x|
|Bottle Nosed Whale||x|
If you are planning to fundraise for the Mammal Society THANK YOU! A great place to start is our JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving pages. That way we can keep track of what you’re doing and encourage you along the way. Do drop us a line at email@example.com to let us know what you’re doing and be sure to tag us on social media!