Volunteers needed for wildlife survey in South Tyneside

People in South Tyneside are being asked to become wildlife wardens in a bid to save threatened species.

A grey squirrel
A grey squirrel

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is running its Living with Mammals survey throughout 2021 – starting this week – and is hoping for another record number of volunteers.

The charity says last year’s lockdown saw thousands of people nationally collect evidence on the population of mammals like hedgehogs, squirrels, bats, mice and foxes in their gardens, public parks and open spaces.

It is now asking people to look out for and record sightings and signs – footprints and droppings – of wild mammals.

David Wembridge, surveys coordinator at PTES, said: “Despite the challenges of 2020, one positive was the number of people seeing wild mammals more frequently, some for the first time.

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"Connections with nature are so important and hugely beneficial for conservation.”

Over 2,000 people took part in 2020, which resulted in 2,400 surveys being submitted – two and a half times more than in any other year.

The annual survey has been running for 18 years.

The top five species most commonly recorded were: grey squirrels, hedgehogs, foxes, mice and bats.

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David added: “The data gathered enables us to better understand how mammal populations are faring across the UK and where conservation action is needed. With access to this unique long-term database of population trends, we can spot when a species is in trouble and act.”

To take part, go to livingwithmammals.ptes.org.

The charity would also like to see any photographs using #LivingWithMammals.