Innovative mammal conservation

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In search of polecats – PhD Student Blog

‘Why are you researching the poll tax?’ is just one of the questions that I have been asked when explaining what I do. Or a more usual first question is: ‘oh, pole cats. Is that like a wild cat…actually, what are they again?’ It is testimony to the elusive nature of the polecat that one of Read More

1st February 2017

Pine martens and grey squirrels – PhD Student Blog

I am now over halfway into my PhD looking at the impact of the native pine marten on invasive grey squirrel populations. Working alongside the Pine Marten Recovery Project team in Wales, I am tracking and observing grey squirrels to try to understand their response, if any, to the presence of pine martens. My introduction Read More

4th January 2017

Second phase of pine marten translocations

After the excitement of finding our first Welsh born pine marten kits in early summer, there was more good news. Josie, our Field Assistant, managed to track down another female, PM13, who had moved a little way north of the release area. Josie put some baited cameras out to check on her and was rewarded Read More

14th November 2016

Bechstein’s bat – PhD Student Blog

It has now been a year and a half since I’ve started my PhD at the University of Exeter and I still tend to get confused faces each time I start talking about my project. The bat lovers don’t always understand why I’m doing genetics and the geneticists don’t understand why I’m studying the Bechstein’s Read More

1st September 2016

Miss Piggy’s year

It doesn’t seem like five minutes since the pine marten team stood in the dark on a drizzly September morning welcoming the first translocated martens onto Welsh soil. Since then the project has zoomed along at what seems like an incredible rate, hitting all the milestones we hoped it would: releases, sightings by the public, Read More

13th July 2016

Pine marten translocations – PhD Student Blog

We have asked our PhD students to write a series of blogs about their research. This is the first in the series and written by the VWT’s Pine Marten Project Officer and part-time PhD student David Bavin. It’s hard to know where to start with this blog about my PhD research; I started in April Read More

26th April 2016

Back to the Highlands

Having spent a couple of months in the Highlands last autumn while we trapped pine martens for translocation to Wales, subsequently followed by a couple of months in the office (recuperating?!), it was great to head back to the Highlands in early March. We were greeted with some glorious spring-like weather, stunning snow-topped mountains and, Read More

21st March 2016

The lady in the van

So there I was, driving down the M6 in a van with four pine martens and a PhD student called Patrick. It’s not often you get a chance to do something as bizarre and exciting as this, and I was thrilled (and slightly nervous) to be invited along as a co-driver during one of the Read More

10th February 2016

Pine Marten Recovery Project January Update

Since the last blog update the recovery project has really progressed. Not only have all 20 of this year’s pine martens made it safely to their new home in Wales, they have also begun to establish their own territories. If you have been keeping an eye on our Facebook then you will have seen that Read More

6th January 2016

Pine Marten Recovery Project November Update

The past two months have been exhausting but hugely rewarding for all of us on the project team, as the first pine martens were successfully trapped, translocated and released in Wales. Trapping began in early September and this has gone extremely well. We are taking a small number of martens from each of several sites Read More

3rd November 2015
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