Nav: Home

British mammals' fight for survival

June 13, 2018

Almost one in five of British mammal species face a high risk of extinction, according to the first comprehensive review of their populations for more than 20 years launched today by The Mammal Society and Natural England.

The red squirrel, wildcat and the grey long-eared bat are all listed as facing severe threats to their survival.

The review - commissioned by Natural England working in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage and Natural Resources Wales - also found other mammals such as the hedgehog and water vole have seen their populations decline by up to 66% over the past 20 years.

Climate change, loss of habitat, use of pesticides and road deaths are all putting pressure on some of the best loved and most recognisable of Britain's 58 terrestrial mammals, whose current status, historical and recent population trends, threats, and future prospects have all been assessed in the review. The work will prioritise conservation actions and also sets an agenda for future research efforts.

Prof Fiona Mathews, Mammal Society Chair and professor of Environmental Biology at the University of Sussex, said: "This is happening on our own doorstep so it falls upon all of us to try and do what we can to ensure that our threatened species do not go the way of the lynx, wolf and elk and disappear from our shores forever."

The Mammal Society is now calling for more research to be carried out urgently to get a clearer and more accurate picture of Britain's mammal populations. For many species, including common animals such as rabbits and moles, very little information is available.

Last month, the Society launched a Mammal Mapper app so that any nature lover could record sightings of local mammals using just their smartphone.

Prof Mathews, lead author of the Review of the Population and Conservation Status of British Mammals, said: "The report highlights an urgent requirement for more research to assess population densities in key habitats because at present, uncertainty levels are unacceptably high. It is possible that declines in many species are being overlooked because a lack of robust evidence precludes assessment. There is also an urgent need to quantify precisely the scale of declines in species such as the hedgehog, rabbit, water vole and grey long-eared bat. Effective and evidence-based strategies for mammal conservation and management must be developed before it is too late."

The report does highlight that some British mammal populations are in more robust health. Five species have increased in numbers in 20 years, and 18 species have increased their geographical range. The otter, polecat, beaver, wild boar are all now found in more locations than they were 20 years ago although it is also notable that many of the 'success stories' are species recently introduced to Great Britain, such as the grey squirrel and muntjac deer.

Surprisingly given their importance to both humans and wildlife, there is very little information on species such as brown rats and house mice: their population estimates are around 7 million, and 5 million respectively, but could in reality be much higher or lower.

Natural England Senior Specialist for Mammals, Katherine Walsh, who coordinated the project, said: "This project has significantly improved our understanding of the current status of terrestrial mammals known to breed in Great Britain, which is essential to underpin our efforts to protect them and their habitats. Natural England has been leading the way in efforts to recover these vulnerable species, notably through the 'Back from the Brink' project which aims to support the recovery of mammals and other species through habitat improvements across England."

Natural England have been leading the way in efforts to protect these vulnerable species, they have been working in partnership with a number of expert conservation organisations on the Back from the Brink project which aims to bring more than 20 species back from the brink of extinction. This project will benefit hundreds of species, improving habitats and helping to secure the natural recovery of mammals in Great Britain.

Liz Halliwell, Mammal Ecologist for Natural Resources Wales said: "The project has given us a better understanding of the status of many of the mammals in Wales. It has underlined the importance of having good data for all our mammal species, including some of our most common and widespread. Given the varying patterns of distribution across Britain, understanding area population trends is important."
-end-


University of Sussex

Related Research Articles:


Related Research Reading:

The Craft of Research, Fourth Edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)
by Wayne C. Booth (Author), Gregory G. Colomb (Author), Joseph M. Williams (Author), Joseph Bizup (Author), William T. FitzGerald (Author)

With more than three-quarters of a million copies sold since its first publication, The Craft of Research has helped generations of researchers at every level—from first-year undergraduates to advanced graduate students to research reporters in business and government—learn how to conduct effective and meaningful research. Conceived by seasoned researchers and educators Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, this fundamental work explains how to find and evaluate sources, anticipate and respond to reader reservations, and integrate these pieces into an... View Details


Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches
by John W. Creswell (Author), J. David Creswell (Author)

This bestselling text pioneered the comparison of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research design. For all three approaches, John W. Creswell and new co-author J. David Creswell include a preliminary consideration of philosophical assumptions; key elements of the research process; a review of the literature; an assessment of the use of theory in research applications, and reflections about the importance of writing and ethics in scholarly inquiry.

New to this Edition

Updated discussion on designing a proposal for a research project and on the steps in designing... View Details


A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Eighth Edition: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)
by Kate L. Turabian (Author), Wayne C. Booth (Editor), Gregory G. Colomb (Editor), Joseph M. Williams (Editor), University of Chicago Press Staff (Editor)

A little more than seventy-five years ago, Kate L. Turabian drafted a set of guidelines to help students understand how to write, cite, and formally submit research writing. Seven editions and more than nine million copies later, the name Turabian has become synonymous with best practices in research writing and style. Her Manual for Writers continues to be the gold standard for generations of college and graduate students in virtually all academic disciplines. Now in its eighth edition, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations has been fully revised to... View Details


Research Strategies: Finding Your Way Through the Information Fog, 5th Edition
by William Badke (Author)

Online resources have given us access to more knowledge than ever before. We're buried in data, and defining what is and what is not genuine information becomes more of a challenge all the time. In this fifth edition of Research Strategies, author William Badke helps you make sense of all of the available information, shows you how to navigate and discern it, and details how to use it to your advantage to become a better researcher. Badke focuses on informational research and provides a host of tips and advice not only for conducting research, but also for everything from finding a topic to... View Details


Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners
by Ranjit Kumar (Author)

Lecturers - request an e-inspection copy of this text  or contact your local SAGE representative to discuss your course needs.

Research Methodology: A Step by Step Guide for Beginners
has been written specifically for those with no previous experience of research or research methodology. Written in a logical and accessible style and providing helpful techniques and examples, it breaks the process of designing and doing a research project into eight manageable operational steps. The book guides you through your project from... View Details


A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Ninth Edition: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)
by Kate L. Turabian (Author), Wayne C. Booth (Editor), Gregory G. Colomb (Editor), Joseph M. Williams (Editor), Joseph Bizup (Editor), William T. FitzGerald (Editor), The University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff (Editor)

Brand New Book Paperback View Details


Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research
by John W. Creswell (Author), Vicki L. Plano Clark (Author)

Combining the latest thinking in the field with practical, step-by-step guidance, the Third Edition of John W. Creswell and Vicki L. Plano Clark’s Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research now covers seven mixed methods designs with accompanying journal articles illustrating each design. The authors walk readers through the entire research process, and present updated examples from published mixed methods studies drawn from multiple disciplines. In addition, this new edition includes... View Details


Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation
by Sharan B. Merriam (Author), Elizabeth J. Tisdell (Author)

The bestselling guide to qualitative research, updated and expanded

Qualitative Research is the essential guide to understanding, designing, conducting, and presenting a qualitative research study. This fourth edition features new material covering mixed methods, action research, arts-based research, online data sources, and the latest in data analysis, including data analysis software packages as well as narrative and poetic analysis strategies. A new section offers multiple ways of presenting qualitative research findings. The reader-friendly, jargon-free style makes this... View Details


Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches
by John W. Creswell (Author)

The eagerly anticipated Fourth Edition of the title that pioneered the comparison of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research design is here! For all three approaches, Creswell includes a preliminary consideration of philosophical assumptions, a review of the literature, an assessment of the use of theory in research approaches, and refl ections about the importance of writing and ethics in scholarly inquiry. He also presents the key elements of the research process, giving specifi c attention to each approach. The Fourth Edition includes... View Details


Research and Evaluation in Education and Psychology: Integrating Diversity With Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods
by Donna M. Mertens (Author)

Focused on increasing the credibility of research and evaluation, the Fourth Edition of Donna M. Mertens’s comprehensive Research and Evaluation in Education and Psychology: Integrating Diversity with Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods incorporates the viewpoints of various research paradigms into its descriptions of these methods. Providing specific advice on conducting research in culturally complex communities, the new edition has been updated to align with the American Psychological Association and the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

The Person You Become
Over the course of our lives, we shed parts of our old selves, embrace new ones, and redefine who we are. This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the experiences that shape the person we become. Guests include aerobatics pilot and public speaker Janine Shepherd, writers Roxane Gay and Taiye Selasi, activist Jackson Bird, and fashion executive Kaustav Dey.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#478 She Has Her Mother's Laugh
What does heredity really mean? Carl Zimmer would argue it's more than your genes along. In "She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Power, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity", Zimmer covers the history of genetics and what kinship and heredity really mean when we're discovering how to alter our own DNA, and, potentially, the DNA of our children.