ANIMAL lovers across Sefton and West Lancs are being called on to record mammal sightings in their gardens during the lockdown to help national conservation efforts.
The wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is calling for volunteers to take part in its annual Living with Mammals survey, which started this week – and they are looking for sightings of Formby’s red squirrels in particular.
Volunteers across the country are needed to record sightings of wild mammals and the signs they leave behind, such as footprints or droppings in their gardens or from their windows, to help conservationists understand how their numbers are changing.
Many of Britain’s mammals are under threat, but recording sightings of these species can help conservationists protect their future.
David Wembridge, Mammal Surveys Coordinator at PTES, explains: “Living with Mammals is something positive we can do at a difficult time and while we all stay in, we hope people will take the opportunity to appreciate their wild neighbours.
“People across the country are helping to build an extraordinary picture of how our wildlife is changing, but with fewer records in some areas, the picture is less clear. For a species like hedgehogs, that are still widespread but whose numbers have been going down, it’s as important to get as good an idea of how they’re doing in Scotland, say, as elsewhere, where we have more records.
“For species whose strongholds are in the north, these might be the majority of records we receive. Three-quarters of red squirrels, for example, and almost all pine martens, in Britain are found in Scotland. So, we’re keen to hear from anyone living there or in the north of England. Red squirrels are still present in a few parts of England, such as along the Formby Coast and around Newcastle, but elsewhere they are rarely seen.”
PTES was created in 1977, to help ensure a future for endangered species throughout the world. They protect some of our most threatened wildlife species and habitats, and provide practical conservation support through research, grant-aid, educational programmes, wildlife surveys, publications and public events.
Volunteers are asked to report their sightings online at ptes.org/LwM