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Looking for wildlife during lockdown - People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES)

Wildlife charity calls for volunteers to record mammal sightings in their gardens, aiding national conservation efforts

Although much of life has been placed on hold during the current lockdown, those who are now based at home can do something positive to help Britain’s wildlife, without having to leave their homes or gardens.

Many of Britain’s mammals are under threat, but recording sightings of these species can help conservationists protect their future. Wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is calling for volunteers to take part in its annual Living with Mammals survey, which starts today [30th March], asking for people in Scotland and northern England in particular, to help.

Volunteers across the country are needed to record sightings of wild mammals (or the signs they leave behind, such as footprints or droppings) they see in their gardens, or from their balconies or windows, to help conservationists understand how their numbers are changing. But while many species are found across the whole country, people are less evenly dispersed. Fewer people live in Scotland and northern England than in the southern regions, and participation in PTES’ Living with Mammals survey reflects this.

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.”