Tracks and Signs

Friday, October 5th 2018

Today we've been getting all of the odd jobs done, from maintainign chainsaws and other equipment, to updating signage and checking mink rafts.

The mink raft near the entrance to the Reserve shows signs of predators, notice the difference between the cat and fox prints, the most obvious being the retracted (and therefore lacking) claws on that of the cat. 

The UK is home to 7.4 million domestic cats, which are thought to kill around 55 million birds a year. The number of mammals killed by cats is likely to be around three times greater according to most studies, including that by Woods, McDonald & Harris (2016).

It's not all doom and gloom though, as we have found recent evidence to suggest that our Water Vole population is still persevering near to the site at which these tracks were found!

Elsewhere we have a similar story, with numerous domestic cat tracks found on the mink raft located on the Scrapes. I guess we should be thankful that we have not seen any signs of Mink on the Reserve of late!

As always, Colin has been in filling up feeders in preparation for bird ringing, which will be taking place from 0800 on Sunday (7th), and which all are welcome to come along and see what the Swaledale Ringers Group get up to.


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