Water vole spotters wanted
Water vole spotters wanted.
Water vole spotters are wanted in Cumbria and southern Scotland to help protect populations of the under-threat mammal.
Conservation charity the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) launched the first National Water Vole Monitoring Programme in 2015 and is looking for existing volunteers and new recruits to survey sites for signs and sightings of water voles.
The impact of mink has been particularly devastating – between 1989 and 1998 the water vole population crashed by almost 90%.
Since then conservation groups have been working hard to improve habitats and control mink numbers.
“We’ve had a fantastic response to the National Water Vole Monitoring Programme over the last two years and the data collected so far is invaluable.
"With the help of volunteers, we will continue building a robust dataset which will be used to monitor year on year trends in the water vole population, to establish any further changes and to help guide future conservation efforts.” Volunteers are asked to survey one of the nearly 900 pre-selected sites across the UK, recording all sightings and signs of water voles along a 500m length of riverbank during May.
Sites that are already being surveyed can also be registered with the programme.
Though no prior experience is required, volunteers will need to learn how to identify water vole field signs.
To find out more, or to take part in PTES’ 2017 National Water Vole Monitoring Programme, click here.