2009 the Tracking Mammals Partnership was managed by a Steering
Group with representatives from all the organisations in the
Partnership. The Steering Group worked to clearly
defined Terms of Reference. Main areas of discussion
included progress with the surveillance and monitoring programme,
data availability, volunteer management, reporting results and
achieving closer co-operation between the organisations
involved.The steering group has not met more recently, although
partner organisations have continued activities and carried on
working together informally.
Welcome to the Tracking Mammals Partnership
(TMP) website. TMP is a collaborative initiative, which aims to
improve the quality, quantity and dissemination of information on
the status of mammal species in the
We have 62 species and 4
of land mammals (these do not include seals and
cetaceans; a specific section of the JNCC website is dedicated to
) with resident populations in the
UK (including bats), all of which are important components of our
rich and varied biodiversity. Many of our 40 native species
experienced substantial declines throughout the 20th century for a
variety of reasons. Many of the 22 non-native species have
detrimental effects on our native fauna and flora.
Some mammals, both native and non
native, have rapidly increasing populations that can cause a
variety of problems, while others are indicators of the quality of
the environment. Many small mammals are ecologically important
because they provide the prey base for mammalian carnivores and
The Tracking Mammals
recognises the importance of cross
sectoral working and involving 25 organisations with a variety of
interests in UK mammals. All organisations involved in the TMP have
signed a Declaration of Intent
organisations to work together to fulfil the aims and objectives of
first major report was
published by the TMP in 2005.
Updates on the work carried out by all
the volunteers who collect data for organisations in the TMP are
also published annually.
Results of mammal surveillance schemes
are published here bringing together all relevant information on
the work of the Partnership.
The Surveillance and Monitoring Programme
is run by organisations in the Partnership, with the help of a
nationwide network of volunteers and provides the data to assess
changes in distribution and abundance of different species.
Two Scoping Studies outline the
rationale for the work of the TMP.
A series of reports provides detailed
information on results from individual schemes.
participation is a key part of information delivery
for the TMP. The organisations that run the surveillance schemes
rely very heavily on volunteers to collect the data. We all
recognise the contribution made by volunteers and the TMP
organisations have concentrated much effort on developing a range
of services to assist volunteers to provide better quality
Practice Guidelines on different issues, ranging from
surveillance and monitoring methods, to managing volunteer
networks, to health and safety issues have been produced through
the collaborative working of the TMP, bringing together the
collective knowledge and expertise of organisations.
The TMP Steering Group manages the
Partnership, providing an advisory and co-ordinating role, working
to agreed Terms of Reference.
Focus Groups have been
formed to make decisions on the best way to carry out surveillance
on different groups of mammals.
A Surveillance and Monitoring
Strategy for UK Terrestrial
The TMP is part of a wider strategy for
biodiversity surveillance and
monitoring across the UK, which intends to cover some
components of all terrestrial habitats (there is a separate marine
surveillance strategy) and species to inform on the following
Policy and management
decisions. The UK government, devolved administrations,
non government organisations, conservation practitioners and
wildlife managers require good quality information on the status
and changing fortunes of different elements of biodiversity in
order to produce effective conservation and wildlife management
policy. It is also important to know whether policy and management
are achieving the intended goals and monitoring changes in habitat
area and structure and species abundance and distribution help to
Human induced environmental pressures.
The Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment has identified five major pressures on the
environment, including habitat transformation, non native species,
pollution, over exploitation of natural resources and climate
change. Information from monitoring changes in species and habitats
can be used in conjunction with other environmental information to
show the affects of these pressures and identify causal factors of
change. This is essential to put corrective management in
International and European
Conventions and Directives and national law and
conservation policy set legislative obligations that
require sound evidence for decision making and national reporting
requirements. All UK terrestrial mammals, excluding island
subspecies, also occur in continental Europe and some have
worldwide distributions. Some species, including otter, Scottish
wildcat and all UK bats, are afforded protection under a range of
international treaties because of European or worldwide declines.
Understanding what is happening to UK populations of these
internationally protected species helps to set their conservation
importance in a wider context.
The UK Biodiversity Action Plan was set up
to provide protection for some of our most threatened species.
Information on changes in distribution and abundance enable us to
assess whether the initiative is being successful.
Public engagement and
education. Skilled volunteers
are extremely important to the success of many surveillance schemes
and often it would be impossible to collect the necessary data
without them. Many volunteers attend training courses to improve
their survey and identification skills and receive newsletters
about the results of the work they have done and thereby improve
their knowledge and understanding.
It is also important to inform the general
public about issues affecting wildlife in urban environments and in
the wider countryside. Obtaining public support and involvement can
be the keys to success. Engaging people more widely in biodiversity
conservation through mass participation surveys, easy to access
websites, and annual reports and newsletters are ideal methods for
achieving better education and information dissemination.
For further information on