January 2024 – May 2024
UMAC is back!
This year we’ve made some changes to how teams can earn points – in addition to recording mammals on campus, teams can also earn point for fundraising and engaging others in mammal conservation. Just like the real world of conservation – with the impacts of biodiversity loss becoming clear, we must do more than just monitor, we need to take actions to protect wildlife too.
For updates follow Mammal Society Students (@MammSocStudents) on Twitter.
What is the University Mammal Challenge?
The University Mammal Challenge, or UMAC, is the Mammal Society’s annual competition that sees teams of up to 5 students recording the mammals on their campuses. There are a few rules to follow, and some set surveying methods, but we encourage students to gather as many records and engage as many people as possible. After all, it is a competition! There are prizes up for grabs, so you can contribute to UK mammal conservation whilst enjoying some friendly rivalry with other university campus teams!
UMAC Teams & Rules
- Teams must consist of 1-5 current students. All students welcome whether university or further education and including PhD students/candidates. You’re all welcome!
- Each team must have a Team Leader who is the main point of contact between the team and the Mammal Society Student Officer.
- There can be multiple teams from each university, but we encourage you to work collaboratively and avoid surveying the same locations so that you cover a wider area.
- You do not have to use all of the suggested survey methods, but you must not use any other methods (unless discussed with Fiona). We are committed to promoting non-invasive survey methods and will not accept records of mammals from any survey methods not included in the UMAC Pack.
How to Take Part
- Simply register as an individual or team here. You can register to take part at any point of the competition.
- Once registered you will receive an email from Fiona (our Education and Training Officer) who will be your point of contact during UMAC. In this email you will receive the UMAC Pack containing all the relevant documentation and instructions for taking part.
- Once you’re all set you can start recording mammals using the recommended survey techniques (walking transects using the Mammal Mapper app, camera traps, footprint tunnels, acoustic bat monitors) on your university campus.
- There will be a series of online workshops aimed at mammal tracks and signs identification and the different survey methods.
- Camera trap photos and videos should be uploaded to, and then tagged in, MammalWeb. We will provide all necessary help for learning how to use MammalWeb.
- At the end of every month you should submit your records as a team to Fiona, using the data sheet provided.
- All records will be collated at the end of each month into a team leader board.
Benefits of Taking Part
- Prizes of course, but also…
- Free workshops to learn how to use different survey methods and then put those new skills into practice – a nice CV booster!
- Perfect excuse to spend some time outdoors in nature.
- Easy access to Mammal Society experts and a chance to get involved with the work of the Society.
- Contribute to mammal conservation by collecting vital records of mammal presence and absence.
- A chance to bond with friends and even make new ones by working as a team.
UMAC Pack Contents
- Instructions for taking part
- Instructions on how to use each survey method
- How to borrow survey equipment
- Digital data recording sheet
- Risk Assessment
- Template signage to put up when using camera traps
For updates follow Mammal Society Students on Twitter: @MammSocStudents
To find out more, email Fiona on email@example.com