The Herefordshire Mammal Group formerly known as the Herefordshire Action for Mammals (HAM)

Hereford Times: Water Vole numbers in Herefordshire are being closely monitored buy the Herefordshire Mammal Group. Water Vole numbers in Herefordshire are being closely monitored buy the Herefordshire Mammal Group.

A Herefordshire special interest group is starting the new year with a new name and a new and ambitious project.

THE Herefordshire Mammal Group formerly known as the Herefordshire Action for Mammals (HAM), is building on 15 years of recording local mammal populations such as dormouse, water voles, and bats to produce an atlas showing the distribution of mammals in the country.

In addition to the Herefordshire Mammal Atlas, the Herefordshire Mammal Group is currently working on another local project "Herefordshire Woodland Bats Project".

Both projects involve collecting mammal records and submitting them to the local HBRC which will help to determine the state of Herefordshire's wildlife.

Submitting records to the Herefordshire Biological Records Centre for mammals observed is really useful even it is a squirrel or rabbit. Interestingly the mole is an endangered species in Herefordshire as we have very few records in the county.

It is extremely important to conserve the ecosystems of our local mammals as their habitats are very much under pressure from farming practices, development and the recent weather.

Herefordshire is still a very rural county and it has a diversity of mammal species. Higher predators that rely on them, like barn owls and kestrels are seriously in decline so we have to consider providing habitat which will support the smaller mammals for iconic species like the barn owl to survive.

The Herefordshire Mammal Group provides many varied winter talks, licence training for bats and dormice and survey training for small mammals and larger mammals like otters and deer.

They also provide habitat training which is useful for volunteers who have to provide habitat surveys for their volunteer projects. The Herefordshire Mammal Group supports other research groups like the Vincent Wildlife Trust, Bat Conservation Trust and the Mammal Society.

Anyone is welcome to get involved in surveying for mammals and if you would like more details, check out their website.

This is a great way to encourage a healthy lifestyle by getting plenty of exercise and fresh air.

Learning about the local wildlife, habitat management, countryside and meeting like-minded people is an extra bonus. HMG can be contacted at herefordmammals@bigfoot.com for more details.

Website Address: http://ham.btck.co.uk/

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