Friday, 8 August 2008

Small Mammal Survey event, Sunday, 3rd August

A big thank you to everyone who attended, and a special thank you to Nick Martin (BTCV) for lending his time and experience. Despite recent rains, we hit lucky and the morning was dry and largely sunny. The turnout too was a great success, with around 20 people in attendance.

Here’s the vital statistics of what we caught on the day.

Trap Species Sex Weight
1 Wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus Female 23g
2 Wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus Male 16g
3 Wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus Female 26g
4 Wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus Female 19g

Only catching wood mice bears out surveying undertaken prior to the event. Wood mice are the UK’s most common rodent and can be found around most habitats, their preferred habitats fields and woodland. See the Mammal Society’s Fact Sheet on Wood Mice for more information:

The traps successful on the day were ones positioned around brambles and woodland margins. The field surveyed proved fruitless, backing up trials done in previous weeks. Though there is a population of field and bank voles, we’ve heard them and seen evidence of their ‘runs’ in the grass, the fact that the field isn’t grazed means that it is not as well-suited as it could be. Similar grassland around Chorlton Water Park (particularly Kenworthy fields and Barlow tip) have shown to have a healthy population of field and bank voles – backed up by the greater kestrel numbers that reside there. One possible reason for this is these area’s rabbit population, their grazing creating the lush, ‘grassy’ habitat preferred by voles.

We did manage to see a bank vole on the day – though sadly one found dead on a footpath.

Please leave any comments as to what you thought about the event, including any similar follow up events you’d like to see run by FoCM in the future.

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