Record Mammal count is healthy sign

image image image imageShropshire Wildlife Trust carried out a count of small Mammals on Whitcliffe recently. Stuart Edmunds from the Trust says:” As a good area of varying habitat: deciduous woodland, river bank and grassland, there was good potential for running a small mammal survey to get a closer look at some of the mammal inhabitants of the reserve. A small mammal survey involves using small mammal traps, all filled with bedding and bait, along a 100m line. The traps are left out overnight and checked first thing the next morning and are the most reliable way of obtaining data of small mammals that would rarely be seen.
Whitcliffe didn’t disappoint: 5 different species were trapped: wood mice(6), bank vole(2), pygmy shrew(2), yellow-necked mouse(1) and common shrew(1) and 12 of the 30 traps used were successfully triggered. This was a record collection of mammal records from a single survey for me in 2017! Finding a good variety of small mammals on Whitcliffe Common is a good sign that the management is having a positive impact on wildlife: the presence of small mammals will mean that there is good potential for larger carnivores (foxes, polecats…even a passing pine marten!) to use the site as well as barn owls and kestrels. A return is planned for some time in 2018.