MammalWeb is the citizen science platform we're developing to monitor wild mammals in County Durham and surrounding areas. The project is being spearheaded by Pen-Yuan Hsing and is a collaboration between members of the Conservation Ecology Group and Durham Wildlife Trust. The project has received a huge boost with Durham Wildlife Trust winning a grant of c. £52K from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will help to support a dedicated project officer and to enable purchase of camera traps that can be deployed by members of the public, in order to expand our coverage of the County.
Welcome to Daniele Battocchio, who will be visiting us from the University of Sassari, Italy, until the end of July. Daniele is working towards a PhD on the ecology and management of ungulates in Tuscany. Whilst in Durham, he will be looking at data on culled roe deer from Tuscany, and considering issues of maternal condition and reproductive decisions.
A new NERC IAPETUS funded project will officially commence this October exploring the UK’s dawn chorus, it’s drivers, and it’s impact on both the birds that take part in it and on the people that experience it. The project includes British Trust for Ornithology as a CASE partner, and we will also be working with Professor Mark Whittingham, a biologist at Newcastle University. We are excited to be welcoming Stuart Brooker back to the CEG as a PhD student to work on the project in October. Stuart is shortly to submit his research MSc with CEG exploring ecosystem services and biodiversity in urban environments.
We will be using newly available acoustic recorders and automated song recognition software to monitor and characterise the dawn chorus as its spreads across the UK. We deployed 20 recorders across UK woodland in 2014 and have just redeployed them again to monitor the onset of this year’s dawn chorus, which is now becoming apparent as dawn gets earlier.
We’ll post updates on the project, which is working in collaboration with RSPB reserves across the country, during the course of the project.
Welcome to Dr Francesco Ferretti, who will be visiting us from the University of Siena, Italy, until the end of April. Francesco works on competitive interactions between herbivores, focusing particularly on red deer chamois interactions in the Apennines. Whilst in Durham, he will be looking at the potential for climate change to interact with and modulate the intensity of competition in this system.