Innovative mammal conservation

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Volunteering and learning with VWT – Volunteer Blog

Having just completed a degree in environmental science, it was important for me to have the experience that would be essential in gaining a career in conservation. Now, I was not your usual early to mid-twenties student fresh out of school and full of ideas; I was approaching 50 and looking to begin a new Read More

30th May 2022

Getting to grips with greater horseshoe bat conservation: my work placement with Vincent Wildlife Trust

Despite being in my third year of my PhD studying bats, I had yet to see a bat up close in person. I study bat genetics and how they relate to white-nose disease tolerance, and the extent of my contact with bats had been extracting DNA from little scraps of bat skin from the lab Read More

13th May 2022

Counting bats in Kerry – VWT Ireland’s volunteer, Nora, keeps an eye on lesser horseshoe bats and their roosts

The Trust owns seven buildings in County Kerry that held just under 2,000 adult lesser horseshoe bats in 2021. We rely on two long-term volunteers, Nora Coffey and Maire O’Connell, to conduct emergence counts at six of these each summer, between the last week of May and the first week of July. Two of these, Read More

15th March 2022

Mustelids, Mostelas…and lots of mice – Volunteer Blog

Having never seen a weasel or stoat for more than a few seconds at the most and, also never having captured one with a trail camera, VWT Volunteers’ newsletter about ‘Mostelas’ was very intriguing. Following a quick email exchange with Laura, Volunteering and Community Engagement Officer at VWT, I soon had the plans to make Read More

26th January 2022

My work placement with VWT

I am a PhD student at Durham University and I work with the citizen science project MammalWeb to better understand how we can use camera traps to monitor wild mammals and engage members of the public in the process. I am enjoying my studies but unfortunately, as I am in the final year, I am Read More

15th December 2021

Building up a picture of weasels and stoats

Why weasels and stoats? Despite their undeniably charismatic appeal, small mustelids like weasels and stoats, are some of our least studied mammals. In part, this is because they are notoriously challenging to study, and populations have historically not been of conservation concern. However, whilst both species are considered to be widespread and common in Britain, Read More

9th November 2021

Encouraging signs from our greater horseshoe bat population

Although times have been difficult over the last 18 months and we’ve all had to adapt our working lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s good to see that greater horseshoe bats are still showing encouraging signs of population recovery. During July 2020, we documented record bat numbers at four of our six greater horseshoe bat Read More

7th September 2021

First evidence of Welsh pine marten kits in 2021 – Volunteer Blog

For many years my wife and I had walked regularly in local woodlands enjoying the spring carpets of bluebells, the autumn crunch of beech nuts under foot, the scamper of squirrels and the cheerful chatter of birds in the treetops. ‘I wonder if there are otters here?’ we would muse. ‘That’s a big hole – Read More

5th July 2021

The return of pine martens

It is more than five years since I drove from Scotland to a vast expanse of woodland in mid-Wales with a precious cargo of four pine martens − of varying temperaments! Feeding blueberries to a pine marten in the car park of a service station on the M6 is something I will always remember. This Read More

12th April 2021

A new way to volunteer at VWT’s bat reserves

In recent years, volunteers have played a vital and ever-increasing role in Vincent Wildlife Trust’s mammal conservation efforts. When it comes to our pine marten projects, volunteers have contributed thousands of hours of their time: walking forest tracks looking for evidence of marten presence in the form of scats; maintaining camera traps and trawling through Read More

15th March 2021
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