Over the weekend I helped out Oxon Mammals who were surveying small mammal populations in woodlands as part of a larger survey for the Mammal Society.
50 Longworth traps were set out in pairs over a 5 x 5 grid, 15m apart on Friday morning, then checked and reset Friday evening, Saturday morning and evening and Sunday morning and evening.
The traps were set with apple for moisture, seeds for food, plus shrew food and hay for warmth and bedding. The traps were covered with bracken for extra warm over night and protection from the sun during the day.
The corner of the whole grid was marked with canes, and blue ribbon marked where each pair of traps where laid.
Each small mammal caught was identified, sexed, weighed and had its fur clipped so we would be able to tell if it was re-captured.
The fur clipping was quite a complicated system of combinations, but each combination was logged and checked every time another mouse or vole was caught.
Over the whole weekend 43 animals in total were caught
25 bank voles
2 field voles
16 wood mice
15 were caught more than once and two of the Bank voles were caught three times.
It was also interesting to note how far the recaptures had travelled if they weren’t caught in the same trap.
Thanks to my mum who took the photos and footage while I was helping with the survey