Mammal Society Latest news 2020

State of Nature report for 2019

 The Mammal Society is pleased to have worked with many other conservation organisations in the UK to produce the State of Nature Report 2019. Thousands of records collected by Mammal Society volunteers, and the work we have done to assess the conservation status of our mammals, underpins the report.


No let-up in net loss of UK’s nature

The UK’s wildlife continues to decline according to the State of Nature 2019 report. The latest findings show that since rigorous scientific monitoring began in the 1970s there has been a 13% decline in average abundance across wildlife studied and that the declines continue unabated.

 Following the State of Nature reports in 2013 and 2016, leading professionals from more than 70 wildlife organisations have joined with government agencies for the first time, to present the clearest picture to date of the status of our species across land and sea.

 The State of Nature 2019 report also reveals that 41% of UK species studied have declined, 26% have increased and 33% shown little change since 1970, while 133 species assessed have already been lost from our shores since 1500.  

Butterflies and moths have been particularly hard hit with numbers of butterflies down by 17% and moths down by 25%. The numbers of species, such as the High Brown Fritillary and Grayling, that require more specialised habitats have declined by more than three quarters.

 The UK’s mammals also fare badly with greater than 26% of species at risk of disappearing altogether. The Wild Cat and Greater Mouse-eared Bat are among those species teetering on the edge of disappearing.

Much is known about the causes of decline and about some of the ways in which we could reduce impacts and help struggling species. The evidence from the last 50 years shows that significant and ongoing changes in the way we manage our land for agriculture, and the ongoing effects of climate change are having the biggest impacts on nature.

Pollution is also a major issue. Whilst emissions of many pollutants have been reduced dramatically in recent decades, pollution continues to have a severe impact on the UK’s sensitive habitats and freshwaters, and new pollutant threats are continuing to emerge.

 Daniel Hayhow, lead author on the report, said: “We know more about the UK’s wildlife than any other country on the planet, and what it is telling us should make us sit up and listen. We need to respond more urgently across the board if we are to put nature back where it belongs. Governments, conservation groups and individuals must continue to work together to help restore our land and sea for wildlife and people in a way that is both ambitious and inspiring for future generations”

“In this report we have drawn on the best available data on the UK’s biodiversity, produced by partnerships between conservation NGOs, research institutes, UK and national governments, and thousands of dedicated volunteers. It’s through working together that we can help nature recover but the battle must intensify.”

Whilst the data that the report shows are alarming there is also cause for some cautious hope. The report showcases a wide range of exciting conservation initiatives, with partnerships delivering inspiring results for some of the UK’s nature. Species such as Bitterns and Large Blue Butterfly have been saved through the concerted efforts of organisations and individuals.

 Reflecting growing concern about the environmental and climate emergencies, public support for conservation also continues to grow, with NGO expenditure up by 26% since 2010/11 and time donated by volunteers having increased by 40% since 2000. However, public sector expenditure on biodiversity in the UK, as a proportion of GDP, has fallen by 42% since a peak in 2008/09.

The report has a foreword by a collective of young conservationists who are passionate about conservation and the future of our wildlife and nature to preserve it for future generations.

Full report available to view 

For the full report visit      https://www.mammal.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/55654-1_RSPB_State-of-Nature-Report_ONLINE_AW3_v4-1.pdf

Mammal Society appeal -are we driving hedgehogs to extinction?

Hedgehog  Immage courtesy of Michael Gabler CC BY-SA 3.0 licenseErinaceus europaeus (Linnaeus, 1758).jpg

Sadly, hedgehog populations are now so low that we rarely see them, even squashed ones on the side of the road. However, we know that vehicles are still one of the main threats to hedgehog conservation. 

Together with People’s Trust for Endangered Species and British Hedgehog Preservation Society we are undertaking a national study of hedgehog roadkills with the aim of building a true picture of the impact cars have on our already dwindling hedgehog population.


The study, in a nutshell

A large body of data on hedgehog roadkill has been collected over the last seven years. We are currently analysing this data, with a view to gaining a better understanding of:

  • habitat features associated with hedgehog roadkill;
  • road features which might impact roadkill numbers;
  • periods in the year when roadkill is likely to more prevalent;
  • environmental factors which may have an influence.
We need£1,500 to fund part of the research. Can you help? To make a donation (however small. To Donate please visit.

 https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/9945#!/     Thank you.
The Mammal Society receives no central government funding for our core work so we rely on public donations to continue important work such as this study.

We have other exciting projects in the pipeline, don’t forget you can still donate or  support us in other ways to help fund our wider work in conserving UK mammals.



Hedgehog road kill report.

A report just published on hedgehog mortality on British roads looked at the effect on hedgehog populations in the UK.

The mammal society response  --

 Our work to reduce the number of hedgehog road deaths doesn’t end with the report. In fact it’s just the beginning.

We now want to carry out further studies to find out whether introducing speed limits in high risk areas might be a way of reducing the likelihood of hedgehog road deaths.

to do this we need

.  Even more DATA – tell us when you see hedgehogs (dead or alive). You can do this easily using the free Mammal Mapper app. We urgently need this information to help us pinpoint where interventions can be most effective at saving hedgehogs.

.  Even more DATA – tell us when you see hedgehogs (dead or alive). You can do this easily using the free Mammal Mapper app. We urgently need this information to help us pinpoint where interventions can be most effective at saving hedgehogs.


How you can help

 Help us track hedgehog road casualties by using the Mammal Mapper app. Mammal Mapper is a FREE app that has been designed to enable you to record signs and sightings of hedgehogs and other wild mammals in the UK. Mammals can be recorded along a route whilst you’re walking/running/cycling or even a passenger in a car, or as one off sightings.

 Click on the Mammal Mapper icon to find out more/download the app.

Become a Mammal Society member today – membership costs around £3 a month (even less with concessions). What’s more, if you join in January/February you’ll receive a FREE copy of Pat Morris’ excellent guide book The Hedgehog (while stocks last)!

To Read the report visit  http://www.mammal.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Predicting-hedgehog-mortality-risks-on-British-roads-January-2020.pdf