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Winter Mammal Monitoring Project

Project methodology

WMM protocol is very similar to that of the BBS. Participants are randomly allocated a 1km grid square within 10km of their home address and asked to choose a transect route which crosses the square twice, and therefore is approximately 2km long. The route should, where possible, follow linear features such as tracks, footpaths, hedgerows and field margins. This transect is walked on three occasions during the winter period (October-March):

  • Habitat surveying. On one of these visits details of the habitat on either side of the transect route are recorded using a standardised coding system.
  • Sightings transect. On another occasion, participants are asked to record the identity and number of all wild mammal species they see and map their location. The sightings visit should be made as soon after daybreak as this is a period of relatively high mammal activity.
  • Field signs transect. Finally, observers are asked to record the presence of a standard set of field signs along, and immediately adjacent to, their transect route. It is important that field signs are recorded as well as sightings because nocturnal mammals (e.g. badgers and foxes) and burrowing species (e.g. moles) are unlikely to be seen even when abundant.

All data are recorded on printed sheets that are contained in the WMM Starter Pack together with information on project protocol and mammal identification. If you would like to take part in the Winter Mammal Monitoring project, please contact us at mammals@bto.org.

Rabbit © Tommy Holden
The type and number of all mammals seen during the sightings transect is recorded.

Badger latrine © Mike Toms
Badger latrines are one of the standard signs recorded during the field signs transect

Click here to download the Final Report (.pdf 2.46Mb*)

* Needs Adobe Acrobat Reader - download a copy here

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