Winter Mammal Monitoring Survey (WMM)
Run by BTO and The Mammal Society (TMS); Funded by the
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)
Mammal Monitoring Survey
was a pilot survey from
2001-2004, including three field seasons. The remit of the pilot
was to design and test a volunteer-based winter transect survey of
mammals in the UK. The two components, a sightings survey and a
signs survey, were both tested to assess the value of winter
surveillance of mammals, because at this time they are more visible
and, therefore, more likely to be seen. Assessment included: sample
sizes obtained, species coverage, regional differences in species
distribution, survey power and volunteer involvement.
Methods: volunteers were asked to make two
visits during the winter months, to randomly selected 1 km squares
in the countryside and walk a 2 km line transect recording
sightings (first visit) and signs (second visit) of mammals.
Volunteers were also asked to record broad habitat features so that
relationships between mammal presence and habitat type could be
Species coverage: sightings survey;
rabbit, brown hare, grey squirrel, feral cat, roe deer.
Species coverage: Field signs
survey. Eight signs were recorded belonging to seven species:
mole, rabbit, harvest mouse, field vole, common rat, fox,
Survey power: In the sightings survey the
sample sizes indicate that for three species (feral cat, roe deer
and grey squirrel) a halving or doubling could be detected with a
high degree of confidence. For another two species (brown hare and
rabbit) a 25% increase or decrease could be detected with a high
degree of confidence.
In the signs survey the sample sizes achieved indicate that a
halving or doubling in signs of badger, common rat or foxes, and a
change of 25% in signs of mole, rabbit, harvest mouse and field
vole could be detected with confidence.
Mammals on Roads (MoR)
Run by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES)/
Mammals Trust UK (MTUK) and Royal Holloway, University of London
(RHUL); Funded by MTUK
Mammals on Roads
is a pilot project from 2000-2005, set up to assess the power
of the survey method to detect population change for a number of
target species and the relationship between numbers of particular
species killed on the roads, the abundance of those species in
various habitats and the effects of species behaviour and
microhabitat features on road kill numbers. MoR has been run as an
established scheme in 2006.
Methods: volunteers were asked to count
mammals seen on at least 20 mile stretches of road during July,
August and September. For safety and accuracy reasons, volunteers
were asked not to carry out the survey on motorways, dual
carriageways or at night time. Urban areas were also not included
because of the requirements of the survey method, but also because
urban mammal populations may behave differently with regard to
roads than those in the wider countryside. Location was recorded at
the start and the end of each journey and at every junction.
Volunteers were also asked to take a milometer reading every 10
miles. Several calibration exercises were carried out to assess the
rate of decay of corpses of various species; the time lapse
required before repeat journeys along the same stretches of road
could be included in the dataset; the relationship between
abundance of species in the wild (e.g. rabbits) and road
Site coverage: GB with an annual mean of 469
volunteers taking part in the survey. A mean of 1,774 valid
journeys and a mean total of 108,050 valid km were driven each
Species coverage: hedgehog, rabbit, grey
squirrel, fox and badger.
The Great British Deer Survey 2005
Run by the British Deer Society (BDS) with cooperation
from Central Science Laboratory (CSL); Funded by
The BDS is collecting information on the distribution and
abundance of deer species during the Great British Deer
Survey, which has been designed to provide important information
about wild deer populations in the UK. Two previous national deer
surveys have been carried out by the BDS, in 1969 and 1998-2000,
assessing the distribution of deer species across the UK at a 10 km
square level. In the 2005 survey the BDS collected more
information than simply the presence of animals within 10 km
squares, including identifying trends in age-class and sex ratio
distributions within the ranges of British deer and determining
whether each observation represents a resident population, an
occasional route used by some species or a one-off escapee or
release of a single animal. This information will help in the
understanding of how and why British deer are distributed in the
way that they are. It is proposed to carry out a national Deer
Distribution Survey every 5 years. The survey is continuing in 2006
in order to complete coverage.
Methods: the 2005 Great British Deer Survey
used trained and practised observers of deer, and some members of
the general public, to record presence or absence of each of the 6
species of deer in each 10 km square within the UK.
Site coverage: UK. Every 10 km square
searched for presence/absence of deer species.
Species coverage: Red deer, sika deer, fallow
deer, roe deer, muntjac, and water deer.
Survey power: the distribution survey will
provide data across the UK at the 10 km square level.