UK Mammals: Species Status and Population Trends
(2005)
Jessamy Battersby (Edited and compiled)
JNCC/Tracking Mammals Partnership 2005
This is a projected series of annual reports on the work carried out by the Partnership, bringing together in one place the wealth of available information.

Summary

 
The Tracking Mammals Partnership (TMP) is a collaborative initiative, involving 24 organisations with a variety of interests in mammals. It aims to improve the quality, quantity and dissemination of information on the status of mammal species in UK. Government at all levels, and many sectors of the mammal community, require good quality data to guide conservation and wildlife management policy. Joint working within the Partnership ensures a co-ordinated approach - the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.
 
The TMP aims to standardise survey design, assess where information is missing, exchange data and expertise, share best practice and share information on new technology and data collected.  Organisations within the TMP also cooperate to recruit, train and support the network of volunteers who carry out the surveys.
 
The first major report shows that the TMP is currently assessing population change for 34 mammals (including bats), over half of our 65 land mammal species (and sub-species) in the UK. Ten natives have shown increases since the mid 1990s, otter and roe deer by more than half, four appear to have stable populations, and three have shown declines  (water voles by more than 50%). For eight native species more years of study are needed before it is possible to assess population change reliably. Six non-natives have increasing populations, two show no change, and one is declining.  Plans are underway to introduce surveillance schemes for the remaining mammal species over the next few years.
 
The TMP has a programme of 17 surveillance schemes - nine multi-species schemes in the wider countryside, four schemes collecting data on urban mammal populations and four schemes dedicated to a single species. The majority of schemes engage volunteers, and in some cases those who work in the countryside help to collect the data. Over 14,000 volunteers are currently taking part in mammal monitoring every year, carrying out over 140,000 hours of survey work, covering more than 16,500 survey sites across the UK, collecting the valuable data. Analysis then provides the population trends.
 
The estimated value of the time given by volunteers is in the region of £4.5 million a year, considerably more than the estimated £500,000 currently spent on running the surveys by Government and Non-Government Organisations in the TMP, and shows the vital contribution the volunteers make to the success of the monitoring programme.
 
The wide range of species covered by the TMP includes those of conservation concern, such as common dormouse, water vole, greater horseshoe bat and lesser horseshoe bat, as well as those that are considered a problem, such as grey squirrel, mink and muntjac. The data collected are essential to make informed decisions about conservation and wildlife management of these species and their habitats.
 
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ISBN 1 86107 568 5
 
Please cite as: Jessamy Battersby (Edited and compiled), (2005), UK Mammals: Species Status and Population Trends, JNCC/Tracking Mammals Partnership 2005, ISBN 1 86107 568 5