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Monitoring the critically endangered European mink

The European mink is the rarest terrestrial carnivore in Europe and is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Once widely distributed across Europe (but never present in Britain or Ireland), European mink now persist only in isolated fragments of its former range: in northwestern Spain and southwestern France, the Read More

16th June 2020

Can genetics help us uncover the secret life of Bechstein’s bats?

It is well known that bats are unique amongst mammals. Their ability to fly has allowed them to establish themselves in most continents and habitats, with the exception of Antarctica. Bats have also evolved a distinctive ability among land mammals to use echolocation as a tool for orientation. Both adaptations have allowed them to take Read More

29th May 2020

PhD Student Blog – A team effort: searching for the elusive barbastelle

In summer 2019, I started my PhD at Sussex University in collaboration with Vincent Wildlife Trust, to study one of Britain’s rarest mammals, the barbastelle. Considered to be ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, as well as being an Annex II species (meaning it has special areas of conservation designated Read More

19th May 2020

The Irish Stoat and the Mostela – Volunteer blog

I was just a few weeks into my Master’s degree in Ecological Management and Conservation Biology at Queen’s University Belfast when we were advised to start thinking about our work placement for the following summer. After class, I decided to call Kate McAney, Head of Conservation Development for Vincent Wildlife Trust in Ireland, to see Read More

7th May 2020

In search of stoats and weasels

    I am at the edge of a small mixed woodland in Herefordshire with Lizzie Croose, Vincent Wildlife Trust’s Senior Carnivore Conservation Officer. We are experimenting with a ‘Mostela’. This is a small wooden box with a plastic drainpipe tunnel running through it and a trail camera inside. The camera is set to video and Read More

24th April 2020

A new vision for the critically endangered European mink

VWT has been working with partners in Spain to trial innovative methods of detecting the presence of European mink, a critically endangered mammal. “I’m learning to think like a European mink!” I call out to Harry, who is close by on the river bank. We are on the banks of the Rio Ebro in northern Read More

27th January 2020

The puzzle of polecats in Scotland

  We were recently asked to write a guest blog for Scottish Invasive Species Initiative, after they caught a couple of polecat-ferrets in their mink traps. This blog is reproduced below.  What is a polecat? The polecat is a native mustelid (member of the weasel family) and is closely related to the pine marten, stoat, Read More

12th December 2019

A carnivore good news story

As part of the launch of the new State of Nature report, VWT’s Hilary Macmillan reflects on how the fortunes of Britain’s carnivores have changed. For once we have an environmental good news story – thanks to Britain’s carnivores. In recent history, there was a very real danger of saying goodbye to a sizeable number Read More

12th October 2019

My time as a Trustee for Vincent Wildlife Trust

Rob Lucas reflects on his time as a trustee with VWT.   How did you first become involved with VWT? I met Vincent Weir briefly around 1980 when he came down to Slapton Ley Field Centre in Devon where I worked. He had come to see Johnny Birks, who was doing his PhD on American Read More

2nd October 2019

Bats don’t know about Brexit

Eurobats 24th Meeting of the Advisory Committee While we may be preoccupied with Brexit, our fellow species, especially highly mobile species like bats, have no such awareness of political boundaries and their effect on freedom of movement. All in all, there are 53 European bat species that are found across continental Europe (from the Caucasus Read More

7th May 2019
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