This week wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species’ (PTES) launched their annual Mammals on Roads survey and is calling on the public to get involved.
PTES is looking for your help to record sightings of any mammals, spotted dead or alive, whilst driving along Britain’s road network. Information gathered will build a countrywide picture of how the numbers of hedgehogs, badgers and other species are changing and help conservationists identify where action is needed.
The survey runs for three months over the summer until Sunday 30th September. PTES would like families, car-sharing commuters or anyone on Britain’s roads, to submit their sightings online, at www.ptes.org/mor, or with the Mammals on Roads app (available for free from the App Store or Google Play). Alternatively, a printed survey pack can be requested by emailing the charity (firstname.lastname@example.org).
According to a recent report by the Mammal Society, compiled with PTES’ help, one in five wild mammal species in Britain is at risk of extinction. But getting an idea of the size of populations and how numbers are changing remains difficult.
David Wembridge, Surveys Officer at PTES explains: “At the moment, a lot of what we know is still a ‘best guess’ and what we really need are good records of mammals and of all sorts of species, more generally. Better estimates of numbers will help us understand our wildlife and the ‘natural health’ of the nation.”
David continues: “Together with the more traditional, paper-based methods, we hope the app will encourage more people to get involved in conservation and wildlife recording. The survey, of course, should only be done by passengers in the car – drivers should always have their full attention on the road and other vehicles.”
The survey, along with others that PTES runs, plays a vital role in the ongoing conservation of British wildlife. Previous findings have revealed the shocking decline in hedgehog numbers, which led to the launch of the nationwide campaign Hedgehog Street (run with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society), which now has almost 50,000 volunteers committed to helping save the humble hedgehog.
For more information about the work of People’s Trust for Endangered Species’ (PTES) go to www.ptes.org