British Wildlife Conservation Foundation Degree students carried out a 24 hour wildlife survey of the Royal Agricultural University and Cirencester College sites.
Many different survey techniques were used including footprint tunnels, camera traps, small mammal traps, pitfall traps, reptile refugia, moth trap, bat transects and bird counts. The students were joined on Tuesday evening by ex- student (BSc (Hons) Countryside and Wildlife management) Martin Smith who now works at an ecological consultant to help survey for bats using the two sites.
Then on Wednesday morning the students were joined by David Scott Langley and Ken Cservenka from the Gloucestershire Naturalists Society to help identify the many invertebrate species the students had caught in the pitfall and moth traps. The survey forms part of an assessment for the Wildlife Handling and Survey unit in the first year of the course and introduces students to many of the techniques in setting wildlife surveys and analysing results. The students hope to repeat the surveys each year to build up a picture of the wildlife on site.
Stephanie Masefield, lecturer explained, “Some of the species highlights were the bank voles, pipistrelle bats, mining bees, wolf spiders and some interesting moth species such as the Hebrew character and lime hawk moth. The camera traps revealed an unseen world of secret squirrels, foxes and many pigeons! Next year the team of students will be doubled as the new Animal Science Foundation Degree students join the group.”
The British Wildlife Conservation Foundation Degree is delivered in partnership with the Royal Agricultural University,you can find more information on their website www.rau.ac.uk