autumn raffle winners
A big thanks to everyone who sold and bought raffle tickets in the PTES autumn raffle which raised made over £9,000 for our work on the endangered hazel dormouse.
The first prize of £750 was won by Mrs Witts of Avon, second prize of £250 went to Mrs Joffe of Wiltshire and the third prize of a framed panther cross-stitch to Mr Saxton of Kent. A further ten prizes of Britain’s Mammals: a concise guide were also won.
The donations will help support the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme and its 500 volunteers, dormouse reintroductions, small grants and research projects.
Watch this space for the next raffle in the spring. If you missed out on the raffle and would like to donate to help dormice and other endangered species, please click here to find out how to support PTES.
2nd December 2011
christmas gifts for wildlife lovers
Support endangered wildlife at home and abroad this Christmas with our fantastic unique range of gifts for wildlife lovers.
You can support our current conservation projects by buying a loved one a Gift of Nature. For example £8 will fund a ‘Harvest mice spy’, £20 will by ‘Wildlife lessons of locals’ in Kenya and £80 will help ‘Join the spots’ for Persian leopard conservation.
Get your orders in early for our Christmas card packs and wrapping, this year featuring red deer, red squirrels, penguins, hedgehogs and more.
Other new additions include our British mammal calendar, jute shopping bags and a range of books and guides for all ages.
Shop with confidence in knowing that all products are made using environmentally friendly materials and 100% of profits go straight into funding our conservation work.
LAST ORDERS TO BE RECEIVED BY FRIDAY 16TH DECEMBER
30th October 2011
take action for hedgehogs
Our hedgehogs are in trouble. This sad truth came to light through our regular surveys of mammals, suggesting that numbers have nose-dived over the last ten years. A conservative estimate is that a quarter of the hedgehog population has been lost in the last decade. In many areas the decline is worse – a third – and in places as many as half the hedgehogs have gone.
In May, with the help of BBC Springwatch, we launched Hedgehog Street to mobilise people to take action on their own doorsteps. We invited people to become hedgehog‘champions’ and rally their neighbours to work together to create ideal hedgehog habitat throughout their street, estate or communal grounds. Since our big publicity push over 15 000 people have requested packs – proof that people really do care about our spiny friends. Our champions are telling us how they are getting on through a special online forum and already we have had some great feedback and lots of photos.
Whilst it is really important to be encouraging all this practical action, it’s also vital to make sure we are off ering the best advice to help hedgehogs. There are still lots of things we don’t know about them and we are supporting a range of scientific projects to answer these questions building on research that we have already supported at Royal Holloway University of London.
We are working hard to solve these questions so that we put out the best management advice. Please help us with this important work by donating today. Thank you.
OR print a donation slip by clicking here
26th October 2011
mammals on your iPhone
PTES has launched a free iPhone app to help to report mammals seen dead or alive on the road, as part of our 10th annual wildlife survey.
If you have already used your Mammals on Roads app you can view and edit your journeys by clicking here.
The Mammals on Roads app tracks mammals seen during the course of car journeys over 20 miles, helping to build up a clearer picture of the state of our wildlife populations. The survey started in 2001 and runs annually between July and September. Continuous monitoring of wildlife is vital to help us understand the issues facing individual species and inform decisions about how best to take action to help them. For example, data from 10 years of Mammals on Roads surveys has revealed the decline of a quarter of hedgehogs over that period, leading PTES to initiate a campaign to protect the endangered animals called Hedgehog Street.
PTES Surveys Officer David Wembridge explains: “We hope that with the launch of our new app, even more people will take part in Mammals on Roads. The app makes it easier to take part on the move, recording sightings when and where mammals are spotted and making wildlife recording instantaneous, rather than relying on the traditional pen and paper method. By using the inbuilt GPS of iPhones, we can record the location of sightings, as well as the routes of participants’ journeys. The information captured will be sent to the Mammals on Roads database and analysed by wildlife experts at PTES.”
Visit the Apple App Store and download the Mammals on Roads app for free. Or you can contact email@example.com or call 020 7498 4533 to request a printed survey pack.
save ethiopian wolves today
Ethiopian wolves are facing extinction. Fewer than 500 individuals survive in isolated mountain pockets of Ethiopia, and face threats on all fronts. The carnivores, closely related to grey wolves and coyotes, are particularly in danger from rabies spread by domestic dogs, as well as loss and fragmentation of their home range and climate change.
The Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme (EWCP) working alongside Oxford University’s WildCRU, have been carrying out extensive surveys and studies with the aim of devising a rescue plan for the wolves that also ensures the sustainability of people’s livelihoods.
Please help us to support this crucial work and secure a future for Ethiopian wolves, by donating today. Thank you.
OR print a donation slip by clicking here
(Photo credits: M Harvey)
4th August 2011
spring raffle winners
A big thank you to everyone who bought and sold raffle tickets in our recent spring raffle. The first prize of £750 was won by Miss Jacobs of Herts, second prize of £250 went to Mr Swan of West Yorks and the third prize of a limited edition Richard Spare badger print to Miss Hudzieczek of Bucks. Twenty further prizes of Britain’s Mammals: a concise guide were also won.
An amazing £8,889 was raised and will go towards conservation projects in the UK. Watch this space for our autumn raffle.
4th July 2011
help save harvest mice
The numbers of harvest mice have decreased by as much as 70% in the last 30 years and may be even rarer than we thought. They face a variety of threats from predators, cold weather and more critically modern farming practices. Surprisingly little in known about these tiny mice and yet they are of increasing conservation concern and have now been added to the priority list of species for conservation action.
With your support we will be able to carry on funding work at Suffolk Wildlife Trust to locate harvest mice through barn owl pellet analysis, and in Surrey to trial new monitoring techniques such as remote cameras.
There is an urgent need to establish the national picture, reverse declines and protect remaining strongholds for harvest mice. Can you help by continuing to fund our research projects?
OR print a donation slip by clicking here.
(Main photo credit: Mark Hows)
18th April 2011
help save rhinos and gharials
At the foothills of the Himalayas lies the remaining fragments of the Terai region, which supports many highly threatened species such as the great one-horned Asian rhinoceros, Royal Bengal tiger, wild Asian elephant and gharial crocodile.
This land is the last remaining habitat for many species so protecting this unique area is crucial. The parks within the area face a constant battle against poachers and human encroachment and there is now an urgent need for community support for conservation across this area of Nepal. Greater one-horned rhinos have been reduced by about a third since 2000 and the number of gharial crocodiles is severely limited due to habitat disturbance and overfishing.
PTES is supporting the Zoological Society of London, the National Trust for Nature Conservation and EarthBeat Nepali Theatre Company in educating to change human behaviour through storytelling and performance. This traditional method of communication works especially well in poor, illiterate communities from which many poachers come from. Please donate today to help support this extensive and sustained community education programme in the heart of the conflict area.
OR print a donation slip by clicking here.
29th March 2011
year of the bat partnership
People’s Trust for Endangered Species is delighted to join the global partner network as an official regional partner of the Year of the Bat 2011-2012 campaign.
The campaign’s website has loads of great bat facts and tips, lists of bat events worldwide, bat gallery and a bat school section for schools coming soon. So if you are an educator or just love bats like us visit www.yearofthebat.org.
Read more about PTES’ role in bat conservation on our UK grants pages.
3rd March 2011
help save badgers today
Badgers are an iconic symbol of British wildlife but despite being protected by law it is estimated that up to 10,000 badgers may be killed illegally by baiting and digging. Added to the 50,000 killed on the roads every year this is causing considerable badger mortality and population fragmentation. It is therefore crucial to understand badger populations and how they respond to changing conditions.
People’s Trust for Endangered Species has been supporting extensive badger studies at the University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (Wild CRU) since 1987. The database of information on these badgers is now huge and provides a vital resource for future conservation, especially in tackling the spread of bovine TB.
The task of analysing the data is painstaking and time-consuming and can only be carried out by skilled and experienced scientists. Please make a donation to help us continue this ground breaking work and protect our native badgers.
23rd Feb 2011
help save cheetahs today
People’s Trust for Endangered Species is working with the Cheetah Outreach Trust to protect the remaining cheetah population in South Africa, using an innovative method involving Anatolian guard dogs.
These specially trained dogs are a simple solution to reduce the conflict between cheetahs and humans on farms. Sadly many cheetahs are shot, trapped or poisoned in an attempt to reduce the killing of farmers’ livestock. Anatolian puppies are placed on farms with the role of protecting the animals there and trials have shown a 95-100% reduction of livestock losses.
Help us to place 20 more much needed guard dog puppies with approved farmers in cheetah territories by making a donation. Together we can help cheetahs to thrive again in their homelands and build on the amazing achievements of many committed people in southern Africa.
27th Jan 2011
Thank you to everyone who bought and sold raffle tickets in our autumn raffle the proceeds of which will go towards hedgehog work in the UK.
The first prize of £750 was won by Ms Hamilton of London and second prize of £250 went to Mrs Breeze of Powys. Five first day covers of Royal Mail mammal stamps and twenty £10 Wildlife Encounters gift vouchers were also won.
Look out for our Spring Raffle next year.
22nd Dec 2010
latest global projects
People’s Trust for Endangered Species has awarded grants to scientific researchers and conservationists for many years and this year was no exception. Over £102,000 has been awarded for work that is aimed at the preservation of endangered species, either through research or practical field work.
Some exciting projects supported this year include cross river gorillas, Rothschild’s giraffes, mountain chicken frogs and beavers in Scotland. Click here to read a full list of the most recently awarded grants.
30th July 2010
Become a hedgerow survey volunteer this summer and help restore hedgerow highways for the endangered dormouse.
PTES are running a series of workshops in selected dormouse ‘hotspots’ to train people how to survey and map the condition of hedgerows. By the end of the workshop, the trained volunteers will be able to assist with the mapping of hedgerows corridors and will be assigned hedgerows in their chosen hotspots.
The free workshops are part of PTES’ Hedgerows for Dormice project which aims to work alongside and help build upon the excellent work already begun in some counties, looking at dormouse habitat connectivity and hedgerow management.
Upcoming workshops include:
- Kent Hedge Survey Workshop: Mon 2nd August 2010 10am-4pm, Brook Village Hall near Ashford, Kent TN25 5PE
- Hertfordshire Hedge Survey Workshop: Mon 9th August 2010 10am-4pm, Hewitt Room, Weathampstead Memorial Hall, Marford Road, St. Albans AL4 8AY.
To find out more information and to reserve a free place please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For other ways to get involved visit our surveys and projects pages by clicking here.
15th July 2010
stag beetle season
To mark National Insect Week the outreach team hosted a stag beetle funday at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo to teach visitors how to identify and look after for stag beetles, and created some cool bug bling with the younger visitors! Visit our outreach pages to see upcoming events.
If you have seen a stag beetle you can record your sightings at our great stag hunt pages and visit our stag pages for further information. Colin, from Sidcup, did just that and sent in these amazing photos of mating and fighting beetles!
30th June 2010
competition winners…and cake!
A huge thank you to everybody who bought tickets in the latest dormouse raffle which raised £11,890 which will go towards our dormouse conservation work. The first prize of £750 went to Mrs Kenyaian, second prize of £250 went to Mr Henson and third prize of first day cover stamps went to Mr Bradley. A further 20 prizes of £10 Wildlife Encounters gift vouchers were also won.
Other winners this month include those supporters who sent us these stunning photos of their local wildlife and won a collectors set of Royal Mail’s mammal stamps.
And finally, in an effort to raise money for PTES, Amy Greenwood made this fantastic Alice in Wonderland cake as part of a dormouse tea party! If you are interested in holding a tea party or raising money for our conservation projects please visit our fundraising pages here.
30th June 2010
help count mammals on roads
Is British wildlife in trouble? Roads affect our environment in many ways but the animals that are killed on them can provide information about those in the wider landscape.
Take part in our 10th annual Mammals on Roads survey this summer by counting animal casualties so we can see how our wildlife in faring.
The survey takes place during July, August and September and we are looking for people young and old, all over the UK to get involved. Click here to read more and request a survey pack. Sightings can be posted back to us or you can enter your data online.
And to remind you to watch out for hedgehogs on the roads why not purchase a hedgehog car air freshener! All proceeds go towards hedgehog conservation in the UK.
18th June 2010
People’s Trust for Endangered Species are hoping to support our brightest students and future conservationists by providing grants to enable them to work on a specific invertebrate related project.
This year there will be 2 invertebrate internships on offer. All applications must be recieved by 30th June 2010. Guidelines and applications are available by clicking here.
The Trust also offers grants to conservation projects worldwide for a range of species. Past projects have included research work on leatherback turtles, sumatran tigers, mongolion long eared jerboas, wild dogs, saker falcons and flower bees. The next deadline for applications is 30th June 2010. Click here to read more about PTES worldwide grants.
1st June 2010
online spring survey
This Spring, PTES is asking members of the public to keep an eye on mammals in the green spaces around their homes and places of work as part of our annual survey, Living with Mammals.
Simply register online, tell us about your green space and get recording. You can log on each week to update your sightings and add new sites.
The survey records the public’s observations of mammals and their tell-tale signs in the built environment, helping provide a picture of how towns and cities can support our native wildlife. Click here to read more about how to take part in 2010.
7th April 2010
get cracking with the Great Nut Hunt
March 2010 update:
Thank you to those 300 people who have already been out in the woods and sent us back the results of your nut hunts. From those visits you have found over 60 sites with dormice- that’s a wonderful result. We now have records from over 18 counties, but we need more, so if you haven’t had a chance to or would like to head back out into the woods, please send us your nuts this month!
what is the Great Nut Hunt?
This winter, we are asking members of the public to help save the rare hazel dormouse by taking part in a nationwide survey of woodlands around the country. The Great Nut Hunt enlists the help of the public to ferret out gnawed nuts to determine the distribution and numbers of this rare woodland mammal.
The Great Nut Hunt is run by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and supported by Natural England.
To encourage would-be ‘nutters’ to take part in the survey, PTES has hidden 21 specially-commissioned nuts, 20 in silver and a single gold one, across counties in England and Wales.
“The best time to conduct the survey is over the autumn and winter when discarded nut shells are easiest to find on the woodland floor, before the leaf litter is too dense,” said PTES Chief Executive Jill Nelson. “The survey uses simple techniques requiring no specialised skills, making the Great Nut Hunt a fun activity for young and old ‘nutters’ alike as well as an ideal family expedition. With the help of the public, this year we hope to exceed the 250 000 nuts found in 1993!”
“Nut Hunts are a great way of monitoring dormice and this method has now been copied in other countries,” said Dr Helen Phillips, Chief Executive of Natural England. “The nuts you send in really do make a difference to dormouse conservation by helping us understand how well dormice are surviving and where they still occur so that steps can be taken to ensure their long term survival. What better excuse to get out and enjoy our fantastic woodlands and help save these rare mammals.”
So, if you go down to the woods, make sure to look for signs of dormice and you may just find a gold nut!
Participants will receive a survey pack which contains more information about the silver and gold nut prizes and clues as to their whereabouts, as well as more information about the hazel dormouse, a recording form, the Countryside Code and guides on how to identify hazel tress and nibbled nuts.
5th March 2010
PTES set hedgelaying record
A team from People’s Trust for Endangered Species have become the first ever mainlanders to take part in the 2010 Annual Isle of Wight Hedgelaying Competition – and be placed 4th!
This year’s competition, held at Kings Manor, was the biggest ever with 24 pitches, all aiming to prove they could create the best looking, structurally sound natural fence that will also help wildlife. After several rounds of judging PTES were awarded 4th place and presented with some new tools.
4th March 2010
PTES encourages curtain twitching
This Spring we are asking members of the public to keep an eye on mammals in the green spaces around their homes and places of work as part of our annual survey, Living with Mammals. The survey records the public’s observations of mammals and their tell-tale signs in the built environment, helping provide a picture of how towns and cities can support our native wildlife. Click here to read more about how to take part in 2010.
In 2009, volunteers surveyed mammals across 500 urban sites in the UK. Analysis of data collected from the survey, now in its eighth year, indicates that:
• 21 individual species of wild mammal were identified, including 14 Species of Conservation Concern
• 72% of sites (four-fifths of which were gardens) recorded one or more Species of Conservation Concern
• Bats were the most commonly recorded Species of Conservation Concern, turning up at 54% of sites; only the grey squirrel and fox were more common – present at 72% and 59% of sites respectively
• Whilst hedgehogs were present at 36% of the sites, they continue to be a cause for concern, with numbers steadily declining since 2003 and with this year representing the second lowest figure for hedgehog records since the survey began
• Badgers are more abundant in the South West, with presence in a third of sites compared with a fifth of sites in the South East
Several records of otters and mink were also picked up by the survey in 2009:
• Threatened otter populations are increasing and they are now recorded in every English county, except in Northern Ireland where over the last 20 years there has been a 10% decline in population numbers. Improving water quality and fish stocks seem to be key to their success and sightings are increasing in UK towns and cities.
• American mink arrived in Britain in the 1920s and spread quickly, impacting most on native water voles. Mink numbers have been stable since the mid-1980s but have shown recent decline in some areas, including Devon, Cornwall and Scotland. The 2009 survey only provided 2 sightings.
The survey begins on the 31st March so to find out more or to take part this year click here.
30th February 2010
new hope for prairie dog
A PTES funded project in Mexico has led to the establishment of the first federally protected area designated as such to protect grasslands, home to the threatened black-tailed prarie dog.
The conservation work in Janos, funded by PTES among others, resulted in the Presidential Decree of the Janos Biosphere Reserve in December 2009. This half a million hectare Biosphere Reserve is the first federally protected area created with the main purpose of protecting the grassland ecosystem. Its wildlife includes black-tailed prairie dogs, bison, kit foxes, mountain plovers, burrowing owls, black bears and thick-billed parrots.
Dr Rurik List, of the Instituto de Ecologia, UNAM, remarked, “PTES should be pleased to know that their funding has carried a long way, far beyond the black-tailed prairie dog research project for which it was requested.”
25th Feb 2010
PTES launches competition to create des-res for rare dormice
Farmers and small landowners are under starter’s orders as the race begins to find the most wildlife friendly farmer in England and Wales as the People’s Trust for Endangered Species re-launches its ‘Reconnecting the Countryside’ competition for 2010. This year saw more than 17 miles of hedgerows and almost 1,000 acres of woodland planted by entrants in this annual competition to reward farmers and landowners for their active conservation of woodland and hedgerow habitats.
The competition aims to highlight the importance of woodlands, scrub and hedgerows as both habitats and wildlife corridors, whilst celebrating the efforts made by the farming and land-owning community to protect them for posterity. These iconic features of the British landscape support a huge variety of native wildlife, such as the threatened hazel dormouse, and other vulnerable species, yet their decline is widespread.
For the hazel dormouse good quality, species-rich hedgerows and well-managed diverse woodlands provide a source of food and a means of dispersal to other populations. Unsympathetic management and fragmentation of woodlands and the lack of management and loss of hedgerows can therefore have a disproportionate impact on the local dormouse population which may become isolated. Once widespread in the UK, the hazel dormouse is now rare and vulnerable to extinction: nationally they have disappeared from more than half of their historic range. So whilst improving woody habitat conservation will certainly have a positive impact on our dormouse population, many other species will also benefit, including other small mammals, bats, birds, butterflies, moths and other invertebrates.
To win the competition, entrants have to link wooded areas to create the largest possible continuous cover of dormouse-friendly habitat by planting, coppicing and/or filling in gaps in existing hedges and woodlands.
For a ‘Reconnecting the Countryside’ entry pack, or for more details about the competition, please contact us on 020 7498 4533 or email us. The packs contain details of competition rules and guidelines, information about the hazel dormouse, plus booklets giving practical advice on hedgerow planting, cutting and management.
orangutans in Indonesia update
Since February 2007 People’s Trust for Endangered Species have been part funding the University of Kent in their studies into creating harmony between people and orangutans in Sumatra.
The overall aim of this project is to conserve orangutans in the wild through focusing on ways to mitigate the problems posed by human-orangutan conflict in northern Sumatra.
25th January 2010
hedgerow management workshops
In October 2008, People’s Trust for Endangered Species was awarded a Countdown 2010 grant from Natural England for a two-and-a-half year project (the Hedgerows for Dormice project) aimed at reconnecting isolated dormice populations by gapping-up and planting hedgerows and encouraging good practice in hedgerow management.
The Hedgerows for Dormice project needs your help! We are looking for hedgerow survey volunteers, practical conservation volunteers and landowners who would like to know more about management of hedgerows for wildlife, particularly dormice. This winter there will be free hedgerow management workshops in Dorset, Shropshire, Essex and Surrey.
10th January 2010
KIDS try our wild quiz
Calling all wild kids! Do you know your winter wildlife? Test your knowledge against Webster the otter in our wild Christmas quiz. Simply answer 10 questions correctly to claim a free prize!
Whilst visiting our kids pages make sure you check out our tops tips for looking after mammals in your garden this winter and try your hand at some fun animal inspired recipes. Visit our Kids Gone Wild pages now by clicking here.
A Kids Gone Wild membership is the ideal Christmas gift for animal mad kids! Find out more about our Kids Gone Wild club by clicking here, or visit our online shop.
20th November 2009
PTES grant recipient on BBC show
A PTES grant recipient, Mr. Muse Opiang, is featured on the spectacular new BBC series Lost Land of the Volvano.
Mr. Opiang received a worldwide grant from the Trust to fund his work on long beaked echidnas.
9th September, 2009
PTES grant recipient hits headlines
A conservation project that was successful in winning a People’s Trust for Endangered Species worldwide grant has hit the headlines due to some bizarre footage.
The tadpoles of the critically endangered mountain chicken frog, one of the world’s largest frogs, have been captured in an ‘alien like’ feeding frenzy. View the footage shot by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust by clicking here
The mountain chicken frog (Leptodactylus fallax) is found only on Montserrat and Dominica and is now under threat from a deadly fungus. Andrew Cunningham of the Zoological Society London was awarded a PTES grant to find a treatment for the devastating epidemic.
13th August, 2009
Signs of recovery for threatened species as national dormouse conservation programme comes of age
Twenty one years of continuous monitoring, meticulously planned reintroduction programmes and the efforts of hundreds of volunteers seem to have paid off as People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) reveals that the threatened hazel dormice is beginning to show early signs of recovery.
The National Dormouse Monitoring Programme, which is the longest running national mammal monitoring project in the world, is managed by PTES and co-funded by Natural England. This UK wide conservation initiative has been collecting data provided by volunteers on hazel dormice (Muscardinus avellanarius) numbers since 1988, to find out how well the animal is doing against reports of its chronic decline.
Announcing news of this long-awaited trend, PTES Chief Executive Jill Nelson says:
‘An analysis of data up to 2008 shows that although dormice are still a threatened species the decline appears to be slowing down markedly. It is clearly too early to be totally confident about the long term future of the species, but we have reason to be optimistic that conservation efforts are repaying dividends after more than two decades of dedicated effort.’
The National Dormouse Monitoring Programme data is used to construct an index with which to assess the conservation status of the population. Overall the index shows a decline in dormouse numbers of 39% between 1992 (the first year when there were sufficient records to begin the analysis) and 2008. However a closer look at the data reveals that whilst the decline between1992-2002 was 31%, between 2002-2008 it had slowed to 9%, indicating a less drastic decline over the last six years.
Over the last 21 years of the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme, most of the woodland survey sites have been subject to dormouse-friendly conservation management. ‘Whilst the slow down in the decline is very encouraging’, says Jim Jones who is leading another PTES initiative: the Hedgerows for Dormice campaign, which aims to identify dormouse hotspots and address disastrous fragmentation of habitats, ‘ the species is still in decline, so conservation and monitoring efforts remain a priority if dormice are not to disappear from the British countryside’.
During the 1990s research established that the loss and decline in quality of dormouse woodland and hedgerow habitat were the principle causes of population decline. Guidelines for appropriate habitat management were created and a reintroduction programme was established to return dormice to counties from where they had become extinct. The improvement in the dormice population trends could be an indication of the uptake and success of this conservation advice and the reintroductions, although further research efforts are necessary to establish this conjecture.
Dormice populations are very vulnerable to climatic changes, in particular wetter springs and summers, when foraging for food becomes harder and when warmer winter temperatures interrupt successful hibernation. Unlike other small mammals who are able to breed prolifically, dormice usually have only one litter a year, sometimes two, which means that a poor breeding year can have a heavy impact on a population. Therefore several continuous years of unsettled weather can be catastrophic. Hence why long term monitoring of dormouse numbers is so important, so that trends over many years can be revealed and conservation efforts targeted efficiently and to maximum effect.
The effects of weather are compounded by a lack of food and nesting sites in lower quality habitat, so the corollary is that improving management of woods and hedgerows for dormice can increase the availability of resources and protect populations from the detrimental effects of sustained periods of poor weather. In addition increasing connectivity between dormice habitat allows dormice to disperse to areas where the environment offers them a better chance of survival.
16th July 2009
2009 dormouse release
On June 15th 2009 twenty five young hazel dormice were released into a wood ‘somewhere in Warwickshire’. There were 11 males and 14 females so some of the females will find that they are sharing a mate when they emerge from their nest boxes! The animals had come from several private breeders and wild animal parks, all part of the Common Dormouse Captive Breeders Group – a slight misnomer considering they are no longer a common species – to ensure that the new population has a mixture of genes. This is an exciting event for Warwickshire as the dormouse has recently only been recorded from six woods in the county.
This reintroduction, one of 17 organised by People’s Trust for Endangered Species and Natural England, was attended by local naturalists who helped to construct the large cages that the dormice will live in until they get used to their new surroundings. They will be given fruit, seeds and water every day and after two weeks the doors will be left open so that they can start to live independently in their new woodland.
200 nest boxes have been put up in the wood for these tiny mammals to nest and breed so that by the autumn there will be a lot more animals. To find out what has happened over the summer the boxes will be checked in September and October and any individuals found will be scanned – as the dormice have been micro-chipped it will be possible to find out who they are and how far they have travelled from their cages – and weighed. It is hoped that any young born to these 25 adults this year will have enough time to fatten up over the summer and autumn to survive hibernation over winter and increase next year’s total of breeding adults.
The wood is managed by coppicing which cuts some of the trees, particularly hazel, at ground level and keeps areas of the canopy open. The entry of light allows a variety of woodland plants to grow and produce food and nesting materials for the dormice. They will need a supply of insects, flowers, fruit and nuts until the winter when they will hibernate under the leaf litter until Spring.
In total PTES has released over 600 dormice into 12 counties. At three of the reintroduction sites the animals have spread out of the woodlands they were released in, into the surrounding countryside – a great success.
The dormouse is a protected species as it is very scarce, owing to the recent lack of management of woodlands in England and Wales since the Second World War. It is the subject of a national Biodiversity Action Plan and also one of the 50 action plans in the Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Local Biodiversity Action Plan.
Warwickshire Dormouse Group
20th June 2009
Scotland welcomes back the beaver
Three beaver families have been released at carefully selected sites in Knapdale Forest, Mid-Argyll, the first beavers to live in Scotland for over 400 years. The beavers, originally from Norway, have been chosen because they are considered to be the closest type to those once found in the UK and have all completed a six-month statutory quarantine period.
The trial project is being run as a partnership by Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and host partner Forestry Commission Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage is closely involved in the subsequent monitoring of the animals and their habitat. PTES is one of several funders of the project and Jill Nelson and Nida Al Fulaij were privileged to be present at the release in May.
Now that the beavers have been released into the wild, the real work of the trial can begin. First and foremost, the trial is a scientific study of how beavers cope naturally in the Scottish environment and what effect they will have upon it. The beavers’ activities will be closely tracked and a variety of data collected over the next five years. This will help the Scottish Government in making any final decisions on the future of beavers in Knapdale Forest or elsewhere in Scotland.
Knapdale Forest is an ideal location to carry out the project as it covers a range of important habitats and biodiversity. The trial area is also in the heart of a forest which produces timber and provides recreational facilities for people, making it a suitable place to explore how beavers co-exist with forestry operations and the environment.
People will be able to visit the trial site once the beavers are settled in.
The Scottish Government approved a licence for the release of the beaver families in Knapdale Forest in May 2008, following a two-month long public consultation which showed that 73% of respondents were in favour of the trial.
The Scottish trial is being watched with interest by groups elsewhere in the UK that would also like to see the return of beavers.
Have a look at our Wildlife Encounters programme for a chance to see beavers up close in England.
5th June 2009
coral reefs in Vietnam
A Natural World Heritage Site in Vietnam is now flourishing thanks to work part funded by People’s Trust for Endangered Species.
Over the last two years scientists have been rehabilitating damaged coral reefs using various transplanting techniques with financial help from PTES,the Institute of Marine Environment and Resources and Ha Long Bay Management Department.
The coral reefs of Ha Long Bay in north east Vietnam have been devastated by disease and destruction over the years. The study looked at how coral can be grown on artifical substrates and then moved to natural reefs to speed up the rehabilitation process.
Project leader Nguyen Van Quan of the Department of Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Institute of marine environment and resources thanked PTES for their great contribution and hopes to develop the project further.
21st May 2009
big give, big thanks!
Back in February 2009 People’s Trust for Endangered Species were selected as one of a handful of charities to benefit from The Big Give matched funding project.
To celebrate Darwin’s birthday, The Reed Foundation offered to double any donations made through The Big Give website. And thanks to the generosity of our amazing supporters we have raised a total of £13,124!! THANK YOU.
The money raised will go towards conserving our ancient woodland, Briddlesford Woods, on the Isle of Wight which is a haven for endangered species such as dormice and red squirrels.
21st May 2009
bushmeat project progress
A chimp confiscated from hunters and a converted bushmeat seller are just a couple of examples of the success of an overseas project funded by People’s Trust for Endangered Species.
For the last two years People’s Trust for Endangered Species has been funding Community Action for Development (CAD), Cameroon, who have been working closely with local communities in addressing some of the critical issues affecting wildlife and people’s livelihoods in the Bakossi and Muanenguba forest region.
Several endangered wildlife species, particularly primates, in the area are highly threatened with extinction due to pressure from unsuitable hunting practices and trade in bushmeat. The main drive behind this has been poverty, the quest for food and income and ignorance of local populations about national wildlife legislation.
CAD has been raising awareness, educating and providing alternative livelihood options to reduce hunting in the area. The photos below show a chimpanzee seized from a hunter by a group of empowered young people in a small village. The chimp was handed to the community and buried while the hunter paid a fine. The other shows the progress made by a bushmeat seller whose pig has farrowed twice since the project began making a total of 15 piglets which she sells at 15.000 FCFA each.
12th April 2009
prestigious award for PTES grant recipient
We were recently informed of some fantastic news from a PTES grant recipient in Iran. Mohammad Farhadinia won the prestegious Future for Nature award for his work on cheetah and the leopard conservation in Iran.
Mohammed beat 148 other wildlife conservationists from 56 countries around the world participated to recieve the award from Sir David Attenbourough at a ceremony at Burger Zoo in Holland.
PTES have been funding some of Mohammed’s work since November 2007. He was awarded a PTES worldwide grant which enabled local people to help conserve the Asiatic Cheetah.
Mohammed sent a special thanks to PTES saying, “I am sure it will be a significant milestone in my personal life. I would like to thank you so much for your advice and help which empowered me to do my job in the best way.”
Congtratulations from all at PTES!
26th March 2009
beavers in england
Feasibility of reintroducing beavers to England
People’s Trust for Endangered Species and Natural England have published a unique study into the desirability and feasibility of reintroducing European beavers to the English countryside.
Beavers were once a common feature in the British countryside but were driven to extinction in England 400 years ago. Recently there has been considerable interest in the potential for their reintroduction, recognising the contribution that beavers make to river and wetland management and to restoring lost biodiversity. The Habitats & Species Directive’s requirement for EU member states to consider the reintroduction of certain regionally-extinct native species, has given the issue added weight in recent years.
In England there are now captive beavers in large enclosures in five places around the country. In Scotland, a trial reintroduction of beavers will begin later in 2009. In Wales, a feasibility study on reintroduction is currently under way.
“People’s Trust for Endangered Species has a longstanding interest in beavers and their suitability for reintroduction in the UK”, said Jill Nelson, Chief Executive, PTES. “Indeed we have contributed funding to aspects of the current projects in Scotland and in Wales. We welcome this rigorous assessment of the feasibility of beaver reintroductions to England which will help us to consider any proposals to reintroduce beavers there.”
17th March 2009
the state of britain’s mammals 2008 review
Annual review of the threats facing UK wildlife – the winners and the losers.
People’s Trust for Endangered Species has just published its 7th annual assessment of the challenges facing the country’s wildlife. The report which provides a comprehensive overview of research carried out by wildlife and conservation experts across the country, reveals that the water vole, hazel dormouse, hedgehog and mountain hare are all in decline, while on the plus side the otter and the lesser horseshoe bat are showing increases in their population numbers.
Factors such as habitat loss and degradation provide the key to these trends say the report’s authors Professor David Macdonald and Dr Dawn Burnham, from the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at the University of Oxford. The significance of climate change highlights the irrelevance of national boundaries to environmental processes. As with the global financial crisis, conservation problems are affected by supra-national forces and often need large scale solutions. Yet conservation remains an arena in which local action is as important as international intervention.
9th January 2009
2008 dormouse reintroduction
The 2008 dormouse reintroduction took place at Freeholders Wood in the Yorkshire Dales National Park (YDNP) in June this year. It was the 16th release as part of the Species Recovery Programme. The release proceeded without a hitch, and 35 dormice (19 from London Zoo and 16 from Paignton Zoo) were released into 15 cages; some in pairs and some in triplets (one male with two females). There was a larger than normal crowd present due to the presence of a BBC film crew, a photographer and several YDNP volunteers. Everybody pitched in to help with filling water bottles, making up the food and carrying crates of dormouse nest boxes. The woods were lush and green, very different to when I last visited in early April this year when there was still snow on the ground! The dormice were quite active for a summer afternoon but this allowed us great views of them scampering around their new surroundings.
A soft-release method was used where dormice were fed for the first 10 days before cage doors were opened so that they could leave to forage and explore their new environment. Food will be replenished less often until eventually, when there are no signs of dormice feeding at the cages, it will stop altogether and the dormice will fend for themselves, fattening up for hibernation on their natural diet. We hope that a good proportion of them will reproduce and that their offspring will double the numbers emerging from hibernation next spring.
Freeholders wood is in active hazel coppice management on a rotation of 15 years. This is ideal for dormice as it gives the hazel a chance to maximise nut production before being cut. It is the only semi-natural woodland within the YDNP being managed in this way. There is a privately owned newly-planted woodland adjacent to the release site which is hoped may be used by dormice in the future. There is a good network of local volunteers from the YDNP who will monitor the dormice over the coming years.
There have been two previous reintroductions in Yorkshire which have been very successful so far. Release sites are usually located either in counties with no known natural populations, which are adjacent to counties within the core range and are within the known historical range of the dormouse or counties with isolated populations, which require strengthening.
I would like to thank everyone involved including Tim Thom and the wardens and volunteers from YDNP for providing and managing the release site and to the Tanner Trust for helping to fund the release.
25th September 2008