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Newsletter of the Devon Mammal Group

VIEWS: 8 PAGES: 8

									          Newsletter of the Devon Mammal Group
                                                                                                         Summer 2009


                                2009 AGM by Tom Williams
The 2009 AGM was held at the Ley Arms, Kenn on April 28th. altogether. An initial show of hands suggested that a number
Attendance was excellent with 22 members present, and a of those present would be interested in filling the various
further 18 sent their apologies.                             committee roles, so the membership was asked to vote on
                                                             the future of the group with all three options on the table.
The meeting began with a review of the projects which have
                                                             The vote was unanimously in favour of continuing the Group
received funding from the Small Grant Scheme this year. A
                                                             in its current form.
brief summary of these is included on Page 2, and we hope
to bring you some detailed reports on individual projects in After a much needed break, members interested in filling the
the future.                                                  vacant committee posts were asked to make themselves
                                                             known. All required posts were filled, with the 2009 - 2010
Next came the presentation of accounts. Two areas in which
                                                             committee being as follows:
the group has made savings were highlighted - sending out
newsletters electronically and collecting membership fees by Chair: Emma-Rose Herrera
standing order. The electronic newsletters cut down on Vice chair: Kate Stokes
printing and postage costs, as well as reducing paper usage, Treasurer: Ellie Knott
while the standing orders for membership reduce admin Secretary: Stephanie Ashman
work and allow the DMG to claim Gift Aid on subscriptions.   Membership Secretary: Julia Clark
                                                             Newsletter Editor/Publicity: Li-Li Williams
Mary-Rose Lane then gave the Chair-person's report into the
                                                             Website Manager/Publicity: Tom Williams
previous year’s activities. The Paignton Zoo badger watch
                                                             Additional members: Richard Knott, Roger Crouch, Stephen
and the group trip to Sweden were both great successes,
                                                             Carroll and Sue Smallshire
however other Summer events were either very poorly
attended or had to be cancelled due to low bookings. As a In addition, Gary Mock, Sue Searle, Sue Rogers, Tom Davies
result of this the events programme for this year will focus and Paul Chanin have all offered their support to the new
more on DMG participation in regional events (see committee if required.
elsewhere in this issue). The Winter talks programme was
                                                             A great deal of thanks must go to the outgoing committee
much better attended with an almost full house on most
                                                             members, Mary-Rose Lane (Chair), Sue Searle (Vice-chair),
occasions. The final event on the 08/09 calendar, the DMG
                                                             Gary Mock (Newsletter editor), Dave Barker (website
Bat Symposium in May, was cancelled because it conflicted
                                                             manager), Kate O’Neill, Ali Hawkins and George Bemment
with the Bat Conservation Trust's annual conference. Some
                                                             for     their    contributions    both    to   the    group
members will no doubt have attended this, and for those
                                                             and to mammal conservation in Devon.
who didn't Li-Li Williams has written a report which appears
elsewhere in this issue. As always, any content which
members could submit for the Newsletter would be very
                                                               The new Committee is keen to hear from members
much welcomed!
                                                               who might have suggestions for future events or
The meeting then moved on to discuss the future of the articles for the newsletter. Please get in touch
group. As members will be aware from the AGM papers through the "Contact Us" page at
circulated prior to the event, the majority of the Group's www.devonmammalgroup.org or write to:
committee had been forced to stand down by increasing
commitments in other areas. In order for the DMG to Devon Mammal Group
continue in its current form, all vacant posts would have to 8 Lucky Lane
be filled. Other options were to maintain the Group simply Exeter, EX2 4UJ
as a fundraising organisation which would distribute money
through the Small Grants Scheme, or to wind it up


           … furthering the conservation and understanding of mammals in Devon
DMG Small Grant Scheme
Members at the AGM heard a number of interesting talks on research projects in Devon that
have received grants from the DMG Small Grant Scheme, including:

       Dormice in Your Garden project (Stephen Carroll)
       Devon Dormouse survey (Jackie Gage)
       Paignton Zoo bat project (Katie Luxmoore)
       The North Devon Dormouse scheme (Janice Whittington)

We hope to feature some of these in future newsletters—with highlights including dormice in
dressing gowns, this is certainly something to look forward to!

      Please contact Emma-Rose Herrera (via the DMG website) if you would like an
      application form or more information about our Small Mammal Grant Scheme


South West Bat Conference by Li-Li Williams
This April, members of DMG attended the Bat Conservation Trust’s first South West Bat
Conference; a DMG symposium on bats had been proposed, but was coincidentally arranged
for the same week!

There was a huge turnout of people, who enjoyed a series of interesting talks. The wide range
of topics included the impact of lighting on commuting bats (recently featured in several
newspapers - also see the Snippets page), stories of a 'fringe' colony of lesser horseshoes in
Dorset, and radiotracking Barbastelles on Dartmoor.

We also learnt about BCT’s 'Count Bat' project and were encouraged to participate in the
National Bat Monitoring Programme, which offers a range of surveys for differing levels of
experience (see http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/nbmp.html for more details).

The afternoon was spent in workshops of our choosing, including mitigation, bats and
planning, species identification, and an introduction to Anabat detectors. The meeting closed
with updates from all of the local bat groups. It was a really interesting day, and hopefully
these regional conferences will continue to be held in the future...

                      Note from the Editor                              CONTENTS
                                                                        Page 1: 2009 AGM
Please send us your mammal stories! Have you had an exciting
                                                                        Page 2: Small Grants/BCT Conference
close encounter? Seen some unusual behaviour? Had an
                                                                        Page 3: Meet Your New Committee
interesting visitor in your garden? Then tell us about it! If you
                                                                        Page 4: Chairman’s Chat/Otters in Exeter
wish to submit an article (photos also welcome!) for the
                                                                        Page 5: Ethiopia’s Jewel
newsletter then please email it to: ljw@glisglis.co.uk
                                                                        Page 6: Thieves in the Night
                                             Happy reading! Li-Li       Page 7: Snippets & Studies
                                                                        Page 8: Summer Events


                                                                    2
Meet Your New DMG Committee!
Chair: Emma Herrera
My interest in the natural world started at an early age,   Biodiversity in Cornwall. My passion is Dormice, and as
growing up on a farm in East Hertfordshire although it      Devon is a national hotspot it seems I have come to the
was during my Biology degree that I realised it was         right place! I am also interested in all things mammal-
mammals that really interested me. I was lucky              like and can’t wait for the great events we have lined
enough to get my ‘dream job’ working for the                up this year. Hope to see you all there.
Environment Agency shortly after graduating and have
                                                            Membership Secretary: Julia Clark
been there for the past 11 years. I now manage the
                                                            I'm an Agri-environment Field Surveyor covering a large
Devon Fisheries, Recreation & Biodiversity Team. This
                                                            area of England as part of a high profile EC-wide
is great because my team is involved some of the most
                                                            project. I am also a keen ecologist and have a soft spot
important mammal conservation work in Devon
                                                            for Dormice & Water Voles. I recently set up my own
including the otter post-mortem project and water vole
                                                            Dormouse nest box scheme on Dartmoor. I made 30
reintroductions and despite the many demands of
                                                            nest boxes and got a grant from the PTES for the other
management admin I still get the chance to get ‘hands
                                                            20. I am also currently surveying selected water
on’ from time to time. As the new Chair I’m really keen
                                                            courses for Water Vole signs as part of the Bucks, Berks
to ensure our members have ample opportunity to
                                                            & Oxon Wildlife Trust's Water Vole Recovery
express their views and ideas about mammal
                                                            Programme. I live in Buckinghamshire but my heart is
conservation and to influence the activities of the
                                                            in Devon!
group.
                                                            Newsletter Editor/Publicity Officer: Li-Li Williams
Vice Chair: Kate Stokes
                                                            I work as an ecologist and get involved with bat and
Having helped set up the first DMG meeting over 10
                                                            dormouse survey work, which is fantastic! I also love to
years ago, I then moved to Cornwall (and set up
                                                            spend my spare time watching, photographing and
Cornwall Mammal Group). I moved back to Devon last
                                                            drawing wildlife. Tom and I are working to transform
year and am delighted to be back in this fabulous
                                                            our garden from a Leylandii monoculture into a mini
County and supporting DMG. I now live on the edge
                                                            wildlife haven, encouraged by recently finding
of Dartmoor and two of my favourite past times are
                                                            hedgehog droppings!
watching the hares and bats around the farm. I'm still
looking for signs of otter....                       Website Editor/Publicity Officer: Tom Williams
                                                     I’ve been fascinated by natural history from an early
Treasurer: Ellie Knott
                                                     age. Luckily my parents encouraged this, even putting
I have been involved with DMG since 2000, and have
                                                     up with the many strange creatures I used to unearth
been Treasurer since 2005. I work for Devon Wildlife
                                                     around the garden and take indoors to show them.
Trust, managing the Devon Biodiversity Records
Centre. DBRC manages all of DMG’s mammal data, as I now work as a freelance 3D modeller, and in my free
well as collecting data from other groups and time I enjoy photography and wildlife sound recording
individuals.                                         – a real challenge in an increasingly noisy world!
I have been involved in otter survey for the several        Additional Committee Members
years, and have been helping with Operation Otter and
the River Axe Catchment Otter survey. I am also             Sue Smallshire
interested in mammal tracks and signs; what you can         I suppose I’m basically a musician with a passion for
tell about an animal from the signs it leaves behind.       wildlife. After spending many years teaching music and
Despite being involved in otter survey, I have yet to see   playing the violin, I decided to retrain in order to spend
a wild otter in Devon. One day….!                           more time doing survey work. I now work for a local
                                                            consultant, and am a regular volunteer at Stover
General Secretary: Stephanie Ashman                         Country Park.
Having been elected Secretary at my very first DMG
committee meeting, I am looking forward to getting to Stephen Carroll
know everyone! I moved to Exeter a few months ago Richard Knott
after studying for my MSc in Conservation and         Roger Crouch

                       Once again, many thanks to the outgoing committee!

                                                       3
   Chairman’s Chat by Emma-Rose Herrera
Dear members,
Welcome to the (slightly belated) Spring/Summer                   garden since we moved in 3 years ago. It was with great
newsletter for 2009. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster for       pleasure that I then sent in my hedgehog record to DBRC
DMG over the past few months but I’m delighted that the           – please remember to do the same as it’s important we
AGM resulted in the group continuing and a revitalised            keep recording the everyday mammal sightings not just
committee. As your new Chair I hope that I can help the           the rare ones like water voles!
group find its feet again and carry on providing great
                                                                  We have a good range of activities lined up for the
value and opportunities for our members and make a
                                                                  summer and autumn, ending with a Christmas Quiz which
difference for Devon’s mammals through our Small Grant
                                                                  we have revived after an absence of several years. We
Scheme. I’d like to thank all of the outgoing committee,
                                                                  have tried to organise more events in partnership with
and particularly Mary-Rose Lane who has done a sterling
                                                                  other groups to help reduce the time burden on
job as Chair for the past 12 months and steered us
                                                                  committee members. We’d really appreciate feedback
through that sticky patch.
                                                                  from our members on whether this approach is successful
I hope that Summer is bringing you lots of exciting               and if not, what you as members would like us to be
mammal encounters. I know I was absolutely thrilled to            doing more of. You can use the ‘Contact Us’ link on the
be able to help with the recent water vole reintroductions        website for this and any other queries or requests.
in East Devon (look out for an article and exclusive
pictures in the next newsletter). But just as exciting, and       All the best for the summer and happy mammaling!
proving that you don’t have to work in conservation to
get up close to mammals, was finding out that fitting a           Emma-Rose Herrera
new garden gate resulted in the first hedgehog in our



Otters at Cricklepit Mill - Devon Wildlife Trust

After months of tantalising signs, there are now plentiful
photos and videos of an otter visiting Devon Wildlife
Trust’s (DWT) offices at Cricklepit Mill...

The otter has been visiting DWT for several months,
climbing up the water wheel, sprainting on the platform,
then carrying on upstream. A webcam was put in in May,
and DWT now get regular videos of the otter.




                   Videos are available on the DWT website www.devonwildlifetrust.org
                              Look for Cricklepit Mill listed under “Projects”



                                                              4
Is time running out for Ethiopia’s jewel? By Sue Smallshire

Our recent trip around Ethiopia took us through some                                   eyes stuck high on the top of its head and tiny ears behind,
spectacular and dramatic mountain scenery. The Bale                                    looked more like a prototype for a Wallace and Gromit
Mountains National Park, which protects Ethiopia’s second                              cartoon. The whole area was littered with likely-looking
highest mountain range, is the best place to see a cross                               holes, so we sat and waited. It took quite a while before one
section of the country’s unique vertebrates, including                                 popped its head up, glanced nervously around and then
Ethiopian Wolf Canis simensis, Mountain Nyala, Menelik’s                               disappeared again. We had several more glimpses but one
Bushbuck, Giant Root-rat Tachyoryctes macrocephalus, and                               slightly blurred photo was all we achieved. As we drove on
16 endemic bird species. Our journey up to the Sanetti                                 across the plateau an adult wolf lay by the roadside and our
Plateau was to search for the wolf and its favourite food                              vehicle acted as a hide as we drew up alongside it. We
item, the Giant Root-rat.                                                              watched it sniffing the air as it lay there. It continued to
                                                                                       wander around and pose in front of us for some time,
                                                                                       providing us with some of the best shots of our trip. We



                                                             Photo by Sue Smallshire
                                                                                       were so lucky.

                                                                                       Continuous loss of habitat due to high-altitude subsistence
                                                                                       agriculture represents the major current threat to the
                                                                                       Ethiopian wolf. Sixty percent of all land above 3,200 m
                                                                                       (10,000') has been converted into farmland, and all
                                                                                       Ethiopian wolf populations below 3,700 m (12,000') are
                                                                                       particularly vulnerable to further habitat loss. Habitat loss is
                                                                                       exacerbated by overgrazing of highland pastures by
                                                                                       domestic livestock, and in some areas habitat is threatened
The Ethiopian Wolf is the world’s rarest canine. With its                              by proposed development of commercial sheep farms and
bright chestnut-coloured coat, bushy tail, pointed ears,                               roads. The population in the remote southern region of
slender snout and long legs, it weighs 11 - 19 kg (24 - 42 lb).                        Bale’s Web Valley has been decimated by an outbreak of
It is a localized species and is confined to isolated pockets of                       rabies among the domestic dog population. It’s estimated
grasslands and heath. It prefers short vegetation in areas                             that there are only around 500 wolves left. The dogs are
above 3000 m. Rodents account for more than 90% of its                                 mainly sheepdogs guarding local flocks.
prey and the Giant Root-rat is its main food item. Other prey
includes grass rats and hares. Dens usually consist of a                               Scientists from both the UK, including some from Oxford
system of burrows beneath a rock overhang or cliffs.                                   University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU),
Caching prey and scavenged material in shallow holes is                                and Ethiopia are vaccinating wolf packs to prevent the
common. Although Ethiopian Wolves live in packs that share                             disease from spreading any further. More than 40 wolves
and defend an exclusive territory, for the most part they                              have already been trapped, vaccinated and released. Dr
forage and feed alone. This is in contrast to the general                              Claudio Sillero of WildCRU says: “If left unchecked, rabies is
tendency in larger carnivores for species that live in groups                          likely to kill over two-thirds of all wolves in Bale’s Web
to hunt cooperatively. In optimal habitat, packs include 3 -                           Valley, and spread further, with wolves dying horrible
13 adults and, on average, are comprised of 6 adults, 1 - 6                            deaths and numbers dwindling to perilously low levels.”
yearlings and 1 - 7 pups. A typical pack is an extended family                         Scientists are indeed racing against time to save the world’s
group formed by all males born into the pack during                                    rarest wolf species from extinction.
consecutive years and 1 - 2 females. All pack members
participate in the defence and marking of the den, and
parents and sub-adult helpers contribute to the rearing of
pups.
                                                                                                                                                          Photo by Sue Smallshire




After only a short search we spotted a distant group of
wolves, including four cubs, ambling around and playing just
as a group of friendly dogs might do. We watched them
excitedly for some time until the last of them had vanished
from view.

It now seemed appropriate to look for their preferred prey,
the extraordinary-looking Giant Root-rat. We had seen
photos of this large, flat-faced rodent which, with its


                                                                             5
Thieves in the Night by Gary Mock
Seeing sloth bears is never easy, but we’d been told that the
park’s interior, isolated and mostly unpeopled, was our best                    “It turned to face me. Teeth glinted in the
chance. We’d arrived at noon, travelling from our lodge on the                       beam of light as it sat with a semi-
border of Chitwan National Park.
                                                                                    macerated bar in its pinkish paws.”
Modes of travel had been varied and exciting. Elephants allowed
a dawn search for tigers through head-high grasses before they                 Suddenly, a scrabbling of claws against cloth jolted me awake and
swept us across the cool, glacier-fed waters of the Rapti River like           my heart raced as the adrenaline surged: Bhaula!
animated dhows. Next, an exhilarating walk through riparian
grassland, where another less tractable pachyderm lurked: the                  Fighting the desire to retreat beneath my duvet as I did as a child,
Indian one-horned rhinoceros. At one time this reptilian-looking               scared of shadows in the night, I saw before me a looming,
mammal, with its hooked mouth and grey, plated, armour-like skin,              hunched figure, backlit by the camp’s kerosene lamps. I snapped
was a favoured quarry of the local Maharajas, who hunted them                  on my head torch. The silhouette morphed into a furry lump sitting
with fearsome spears from elephant back. Now it resides like a                 upon my duffel bag: a brown rat tucking into one of my mini mars
sentinel of the grasslands, concealed by lush vegetation, ready to             bars. My movement attracted the rat’s attention. It turned to face
trample the greedy, stupid or unwary - protector of this jungle                me. Teeth glinted in the beam of light as it sat with a semi-
realm.                                                                         macerated bar in its pinkish paws. This was a big rat. A male,
                                                                               grossly enlarged testes protruded from beneath the base of his
Finally, a ride of several kilometres in the back of a tiny jeep took          keratin-ringed tail attesting to his sex. A bandit’s black mask ran
us to our discrete jungle camp. It consisted of a dozen or so tents,           across his face.
forming an enclosure within a grove of stately sal trees. Adorned
with epiphytes and entwined with various vines, these trees had                Before I could get out of my bed he dashed up a tent pole. Hand
an ethereal quality. Within the cradling arms of their voluptuous              over hand and chocolate in mouth, he ran across the inner lining.
crowns, pied hornbills ate the fruit of strangler figs; in the azure air       Sitting nonchalantly above my head, creating a dip in the canvas,
above, ring-necked parakeets streaked like luminous green arrows               he continued gnawing on my mars bar! Infuriated by his audacity I
through the canopy.                                                            kicked him off the tent like a rugby player shooting a drop goal. I
                                                                               returned victorious to my cot.
After the high of our adventures to reach this place, we were all a
little tired and retreated to our tents for a siesta. Before doing this,       As soon as I turned off the light there was more scrabbling - more
the camp manager told us that during the previous few nights -                 rats! I flicked the light back on. This time two rats darted away
when the camp had no guests - a sloth bear had been a regular                  from my travel bag. Scurrying up the tent’s metal poles with
visitor. Its favourite area was right behind my tent, the ground               clinking claws, using their scaly tails as counterbalances, they had
ripped, gouged and torn. It made the damage caused by the                      all the skill of tight-rope walkers.
badgers of home, which can tear up our neatly clipped lawns in
search of leatherjackets, look trivial. Bhaula had obviously found             Having removed these two I lay awake. A feeling of panic began
this area profitable in his search for food.                                   to coalesce as another rat scrabbled under my bed. Something
                                                                               wasn’t right here. I’d always loved rats for their cheeky character
As I dozed I recalled dreamily - no nightmarishly – the tales of the           and playful ways. As a child I used to engage regularly with a pair
local people who had been horribly scarred or killed in                        of rats - one a light brown colour, the other albino - that belonged
confrontations with this bear, which tends to claw and bite at the             to a friend. They’d sit on my shoulder, build a nest in my hair,
head during an attack. Sloth bears assault dozens of local                     nibble gently on my ear.
villagers every year, sometimes fatally. One man I met had his
nose ripped clean off, and now ties a strip of white cloth across his          As a biologist I’d studied small mammals for years. Rats were
face where his nose used to sit. This bear, rather like the rhino, is          always my favourite: adaptive, intelligent, courageous. Indeed, I’d
short-tempered as it is short-sighted. It is ill-advised to surprise           even defended them - on numerous occasions - when people
one, for attack is deemed a very appropriate form of defence.                  talked about them with revulsion. Rats are great I’d say, and they
                                                                               sure aren’t dirty. And they’re probably more intelligent than your
One of my earliest childhood ambitions was to see this star of                 loyal, beloved pet dog.        Yet I couldn’t get away from all the
Kipling’s Jungle Book. This trip was going to be my first - and                negative imagery that surrounds us from early childhood about
possibly only – chance. So far I had come close in terms of spoor              these pestilent, vicious little rodents. How they can gnaw on your
and scat. I had even seen fresh droppings in the middle of the                 face as you sleep…chew on you…eat you alive. The stories and
main camp’s elephant enclosure, where baby elephants run about                 representations just kept bubbling up.
untethered, ready to knock you flying should you turn your back on
them. I could not help but feel uneasy, however, at the thought of             All my personal experience of rats, as well as my biological
a night-time visitation. As I lay beneath the green sheath of the              training, was being tested. My rationality was disintegrating.
tent, the old adage, ‘be careful what you wish for’ drummed on my              Some deep-seated evolutionary memory, flickering like a flame in
brain.                                                                         need of oxygen, flared and told me simply: rats are nasty! I sat on
                                                                               my bed, still arguing inwardly. The hairs on my arms and neck
In the cool of afternoon and early evening we searched for sloth               rose; I pricked with goose bumps. I came abruptly to a decision.
bear in the likely haunts - rocky escarpments and boulder strewn               Grabbing my bag, I scooped up all the mars bars and ran to the
slopes - and found several smashed-up termite mounds. But still                back of the tent. I lifted the window flap and threw them on the
this black, shaggy beast with rake-like claws and a near-toothless             patch of ravaged earth. The rats could have them.
muzzle kept to the shadows. Sightings of gaur, gigantic cattle that
appear to wear crumpled white stockings on their elegant black                 I had a rather restless night, but my ruse worked. The rats left me
legs, and a trip to a reintroduction project for the slender-snouted           alone once the seductive scent of chocolate no longer emanated
gharial, an endangered fish-eating crocodile, helped to sooth my               from my tent. In the morning, atop my rucksack, lay four blackish,
disappointment, but I still felt cheated. Was I ever going to see my           oblong lumps of shit as a thank you. When I went to the back of
bear?                                                                          the tent, peering through the dust-smeared plastic, I saw strips of
                                                                               wrapping paper strewn about, evidence of the night that was. As I
After dinner I retired to my tent, exhausted by an exhilarating day,           contemplated the experience, my reaction to rats invading my
caressed by the soothing sounds of the jungle, and drifted into a              private space, I couldn’t help wonder whether I would rather have
deep sleep.                                                                    been visited by Bhaula after all.




                                                                           6
Snippets and studies

     Sleep-or-Hide Mammals                                      Aerodynamic bat ears
“Sleep-or-Hide” mammals have a lower risk                   A study on the lift and drag of the ears
of extinction resulting from climate change                 of Brown Long-Eared Bats
The research shows that mammal species that                 The functions of structures such as ears and
exhibit “Sleep-or-Hide” behaviour such as                   tail in flight are poorly understood. In this
hibernation, torpor and use of burrows are less             study, a simplified model of a bat body was
likely to be represented in the International Union         created, with measurements based on the
for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List                  brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus). The
categories. Being less exposed to the elements              aerodynamic implications (lift-to-drag ratio) of
buffers them from changes in temperature and                flying with large ears were studied, and it was
allows them to function at lower metabolic rates.           calculated that to maximise the lift benefits
This gives them a greater change of surviving the           from the ears, a flying bat should hold its ears
Earth’s accelerating environmental change.                  at an angle of 10 degrees. There was no
                                                            evidence that the ears can be used as flight
Abstract modified from a scientific paper by Liow,
Fortelius, Lintulaakso, Mannila & Stenseth (2009)           control structures. The additional drag
American Naturalist 173 2 pp.264-272                        produced by the ears affects the foraging
                                                            behaviour of brown long-eared bats by
                                                            reducing their night speed and foraging range.
        Bats and Streetlights                               Abstract modified from a scientific paper by
Research from the University of Bristol is the first to     Gardiner, Dimitriadis, Sellers & Codd (2008) Acta
provide evidence that streetlights negatively affect        Chiropterologica 10 2 pp.313-321
‘commuting’ behaviour of some bat species. High-
pressure sodium lights that mimic streetlights were
installed along commuting routes of lesser
horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus hipposideros), a
threatened species. Bat activity was reduced                  Visit devonmammalgroup.org for
dramatically and commuting behaviour started                news, events, and other information -
later. The research shows that light pollution may          as well as links to interesting mammal
result in bats using longer routes to get to their
                                                             sites. You can use it to submit your
feeding grounds, using more energy along the way.
                                                                     mammal records too!
Abstract modified from a scientific paper by Stone, Jones
and Harris (2009) Current Biology (Article In Press)



             Janice Whittington has spotted
             this seal on Lundy Island, and is
             currently trying hard to find
             someone who can help. She
             has found out that it has been
             like this for about two years,
             and is regularly seen in the
             same spot...



                                                       7
Summer Events 2009
Messing About on the River – Celebrating 100 years of Wind in the
Willows
Sunday 19 July 2009, from 10am
A day by the river at Escot, with a "Wind in the Willows" theme. Suitable for the
whole family, with activities from 10am until early evening.

£5 per adult and £1 per child (all proceeds to Tale Valley Trust)


     Pipistrelles and Pints
     Wednesday 5 Aug from 8pm
     Batty circular walk around Exeter quay, followed by a possible pub visit. Some bat
     detectors will be available but please bring your own if you have one. Joint event
     with Devon Wildlife Trust. Donations to Devon Mammal Group welcomed

     Free event—no need to book, just turn up on the night. Meet at Devon Wildlife Trust’s
     Cricklepit Mill, Commercial Rd, Exeter (off Exeter quay)


Who Are You Calling Edible?
DMG members have been invited to take part once again in a monitoring session
for the Edible dormouse Glis glis in Hertfordshire. As before we are looking at the
late September - early October check, when previously there have been lots of
animals to observe, handle, weigh, and generally get ones teeth into (and vice
versa).

The trip would take place over a weekend (at time of writing expected to be 3 and
4 Oct 2009), travelling on the Saturday for the check on Sunday.
Expenses previously have been around £50, covering B&B, travel, and an evening
meal. There would also be an opportunity to visit the famous Tring natural history
museum. There is no fee for the actual check, but there is likely to be a maximum
number of people who can attend.

If anyone is interested please get in contact with Stephen Carroll c/o the DMG committee.
       With luck it should be possible to organise lift shares and joint B&B booking.



Further events to be announced, hopefully to include an Exeter Otter Survey and
        Devon Nut Hunts… Keep up to date by visiting the DMG website!
        www.devonmammalgroup.org

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