Shout out to members of WBG

A shout out to members of Wiltshire Bat Group:

Many WBG members join the group by paying cash or by bank standing order (standing orders are preferred as they are easier for us to administrate!).

However, a small number of members have joined without providing any contact details (for example by setting up standing orders without telling us who they are!), or haven’t provided updated contact details if they’ve changed.

If you believe you are a member, but are not receiving regular updates and information from our Secretary, it is because we don’t have your up-to-date email address.

We have over 170 members, but only contact email addresses for around 150. If you want to get our updates via email please contact us on wiltsbgmembership-at-gmail.com, and we’ll make sure our records are updated.

Thanks! WP.

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Voluntary recording scheme reveals ongoing decline in the United Kingdom hazel dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius population

Read the Mammal Society’s recently published paper on the ongoing decline in the hazel dormouse population which is despite a high level of species protection and widespread conservation measures. Read the paper in full.

A plea for more owl pellets!

WMG’s owl pellet analysis project, run by Paul Wexler, is going spectacularly well, generating some fascinating species records for the atlas project and involving a number of folk in the analyses. Thank you to all who are participating.

We need more pellets please! If you are able to collect pellets from any owls and raptors in Wiltshire (either near breeding sites or roosts or plucking posts), we’d be grateful to receive samples, noting the bird species, a 6 figure grid reference and date of collection. Please collect a dozen or so of the freshest pellets. Please don’t disturb nesting sites during the breeding season unless you are suitably licensed or involved in specific monitoring projects – it may be possible to collect pellets from below nestboxes on the floor of buildings for example, without causing any disturbance.

For more information, please contact us – Batches of pellets can be posted to Paul Wexler c/o Wiltshire College Lackham, Lacock, nr Chippenham SN15 2NY or contact us for advice regarding storage of pellets.

Thanks. GH.

It’s finished! Mammals in Wiltshire, 2nd Edition

It is with great pleasure that we announce the completion of the new atlas, entitled, Mammals in Wiltshire, 2nd Edition.

The new atlas can be downloaded here, free of charge. Mammals in Wiltshire_2nd edition_ver 1.0

The intention has been to produce a freely-accessible web-based document to ensure the information is widely available, not least to the many recorders and organisations contributing to its production. Furthermore, such a document can be easily updated in the near future as new survey findings and data are added. The version number and future additions will be listed in the introductory pages of the document.Atlas Cover

This publication has been supported by Wiltshire Natural History Publications Trust, whose grant supported the map production and data management by WSBRC. Huge thanks are extended to the many other contributors, including those writing species accounts, capturing data, surveying and submitting records and to Dr Fiona Mathews and Dr Patrick Dillon for providing their insights for the foreword.

There has been a huge effort since 2013 to deliver this work. To assist with more of this work by Wiltshire Mammal Group, Wiltshire Bat Group and WSBRC, we’d be grateful if you could make a donation using this link. Wiltshire Wildlife Trust are kindly hosting this donation page and all funding will be administered by WSBRC to support future atlas projects as well as bat group and mammal group projects.

Make a donation

Suggested donation – £10 for individuals, £25 for ecological consultancies and other organisations.

It is hoped that this atlas will help to promote the importance of the county, its habitats and mammal species, to a wider audience, promoting the importance of safeguarding important sites for mammals, now and in the future, to local planning authorities, statutory bodies such as Natural England and Environment Agency, as well as nature reserve managers across the county. This includes those sites where mammals are the feature of interest for designated sites, for example the bat species listed on the Special Areas of Conservation at Bath & Bradford-on-Avon and Chilmark Quarries, and Dormice included as features of the Savernake Forest SSSI.

Wiltshire is an incredible county supporting significant numbers of many of the UK’s species of conservation, ranging from recovering populations of Otters and Polecat, to Brown Hare, Water vole, Harvest Mice and Hedgehog. The county also supports nationally and internationally-important sites for bats (such as the SACs mentioned above). Furthermore, recent surveys are highlighting important populations of rare woodland bats such as Bechstein’s and Barbastelle bats.

Help support your local mammal populations, whether by supporting the Hedgehogs in your garden, or supporting the survey work by the mammal group and bat group.

The atlas project may complete, but we still need to continue the survey and monitoring of mammals across Wiltshire – we will deliver updates to the atlas as we make new significant discoveries and advances in knowledge. Please keep submitting your records.

Further information here.

Happy reading!

Quick Reminder! Evening Talk: Dr Fiona Mathews – Resolving conflicts between development and wildlife in Britain

Just a quick reminder of Dr Fiona Mathew’s forthcoming evening talk.

Wiltshire Mammal Group is pleased to announce that it will be hosting Dr Fiona Mathews presenting an evening talk at Lackham College, Chippenham on Saturday 18th February. Dr Mathews is Associate Professor of Mammalian Biology at University of Exeter & Chair of The Mammal Society. She will be providing an update on the recent achievements of The Mammal Society, followed by, after a short interval, a discussion on Resolving conflicts between development and wildlife in Britain (ranging from her recently published work on bats & wind turbines to habitat fragmentation and much more!).

More information here.

Don’t forget to bring a friend – the more the merrier!

Wiltshire Bat Group newsletter

The latest newsletter from our sister group, Wiltshire Bat Group, is released today. The bat group has had another busy year with further fascinating findings and monitoring data from across the county. Download here: wbg-newsletter-2-spring-2017.

The bat group has a new facebook page which is rapidly gaining popularity – the mammal group also has a facebook group too! Join them and find out more about mammals in Wiltshire!

Contributions for the forthcoming Wiltshire Mammal Group newsletter are still welcome – its not too late!

 

Evening Talk: Dr Fiona Mathews – Resolving conflicts between development and wildlife in Britain

Wiltshire Mammal Group is pleased to announce that it will be hosting Dr Fiona Mathews presenting an evening talk at Lackham College, Chippenham on Saturday 18th February. Dr Mathews is Associate Professor of Mammalian Biology at University of Exeter & Chair of The Mammal Society. She will be providing an update on the recent achievements of The Mammal Society, followed by, after a short interval, a discussion on Resolving conflicts between development and wildlife in Britain (ranging from her recently published work on bats & wind turbines to habitat fragmentation and much more!).

Doors open from 1830 hours, starting at 1900 hours. Refreshments will be provided. Entrance £3. With thanks to Lackham College for hosting. Lackham College is located off the A350, between Chippenham and Lacock and is signposted Wiltshire College, Lackham. Postcode is SN15 2NY, directions may be found here. There is plenty of car parking. The talk will be in S18 located at the far end of the campus as you drive in (Grid ref ST 92696 70122)  – there will be signage in place to guide you.

No booking necessary. Please bring a friend!

Email wiltshiremammalgroup@hotmail.co.uk with any queries.

Happy New Year and…..

A few WMG-related things to wrap up 2016 and begin 2017……

We are now on Facebook!

Wiltshire Mammal Group now has a Facebook Group – or search Wiltshire Mammal Group on Facebook to join us.  We hope this will be a friendly space for everyone to contribute photos, ideas, news, stories, questions and all things mammal related.  We hope you enjoy this group and make it your own.

Wiltshire Bat Group have also launched their own Facebook Group too…….

Publication of next newsletter

Thank you to those of you who have sent in submissions for the upcoming WMG newsletter, they are greatly appreciated. This is a final call for submissions, pictures, news stories, quizzes etc. you know the drill! 

Data

The amount of data being submitted has fallen markedly this year.  This is probably down to the fact that the deadline for data to be included in the Wiltshire Mammal Atlas has now passed.  Although data submitted now won’t make it into this edition of the atlas it is still extremely useful and will likely make the next edition.  This is a plea to everyone to submit all those records that you have been meaning to and just haven’t found the time or just forgot about.  

Why not work off some of those mince pies and go for a lovely winter stroll in the countryside, become a mammal detective and send in those records?  I find it a very welcome break from all hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping; it is also a great excuse to escape the in-laws for an hour or two!

Upcoming events

The Group’s next event will be the Owl Pellet Workshop on Sunday 22nd January …….we look forward to seeing some of you there!

We are planning a number of exciting talks for the new year which would be lovely to as many of you at as possible.  We also hope to run a series of semi guided mammal walks throughout the county – the idea being to go for a walk with a great bunch of people and record the tracks, signs and sightings of mammals along the way.  Depending on location and attendees there may also be the option of a pub lunch / drink to warm up after the walk.  These will e free to attend (but you will have to buy your own food and drink – sorry!) and are open to everyone – no experience necessary.  If anyone is interested in leading one of these walks then please get in touch.

Happy New Year!

 

Wiltshire Recorders’ Forum 2017

Bookings are now open for the Wiltshire Recorder’s Forum 2017, at the Town Hall, Devizes on Wednesday 22nd February 2017, brought to you by Wiltshire & Swindon Biological Records Centre & the Wild Connections Project:

 To book your place on this free event, please email Richard Callow  or book online here

Further information here: wilts-recorders-forum-2017-flyer-with-links

This event is open to anyone with an interest in Wiltshire’s wildlife and natural environment, particularly those involved or interested in the county’s various recording groups and projects. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

An amazing diversity of wildlife survey and monitoring happens each year in Wiltshire and we hope to promote these groups and their fantastic contributions to our knowledge of Wiltshire’s astonishing biodiversity at the 2017 Wiltshire Recorder’s Forum.

The event will include some excellent speakers and displays from a variety of projects and organisations in Wiltshire. This will be an opportunity for these projects to promote themselves and to engage with new volunteers and recorders – and of course, for potential volunteers to engage with new projects!

Conserving all Wiltshire & Swindon's mammals