MammalWeb – trapping and spotting wildlife across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

Rosalind Johnston, NBRC Manager, tells us about MammalWeb and how you can get involved

How many of us have wildlife cameras set up at home? This new technology gives a particularly helpful view for seeing our shyer garden visitors – set up to view 24 hour hours a day, images and videos can capture this hidden world. Those of you who have set up your own trail cam will know that 24 hour monitoring will treat you with some rare delights. A visiting garden fox, the emergence of hedgehogs from your compost heap and squirrels cleverly leaping and balancing to visit the bird feeders – it also will give you a lot of images, as triggered by any movement!  

MammalWeb was set up with this in mind, harnessing trail camera footage and images and creating a platform for ‘trappers’ who capture this footage, and ‘spotters’ who view and assess the contents with eagle eyes to detect the species within. Spotters vote on the species seen, giving verification weight to each other’s species level sightings, sorting the ‘unmistakeable, hedgehog’ from the ‘potentially trickier, yellow-necked mouse’– this helps us, local mammal groups, and county recorders, process these sightings as biological records quicker, leaving only the disputed identification to the experts. 

How to take part
We have set up a Wildlife Trust Monitoring and Research project, with sub projects for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire in collaboration with our hosted local environmental record centres CPERC, BRMC & NBRC and the Cambridgeshire Mammal Group. We hope you will set your cameras, upload your footage, and take part identifying and generating biological records of the species you see. Due to the illusive nature of mammals, we know records of key ‘once common’ species such as hedgehogs are not as widely shown in our databases, meaning when trends change they are not as easily picked up - this project aims to help change that!

Cameras can be set up and used for monitoring in your own garden, and with landowner permissions on other sites. For set up on our reserves you will need to first gain our permission by contacting the teams in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. Please direct cameras towards wildlife areas and avoid places with lots of human activity (images will be removed from MammalWeb if flagged) and ensure you can legally collect and submit the images (images of a person is covered under GDPR as personal data).
Read the MammalWeb user guides, create a log in and head over to our project pages to take part.
https://www.mammalweb.org/en/get-started 

Wildlife Trail Camera Training 
If you are new to ‘trapping’ or want to improve your camera set up - join our wildlife training workshop on the 3rd August and learn from Henry Stainer 
Wildlife cameras have become more and more affordable to wildlife lovers – our shop has a range of options for observing your local wildlife 
https://shop.wildlifebcn.org/collections/for-observing/camera