This year’s annual mammal survey at the Jubilee Wood took place on Tuesday and Wednesday 17-18 October 2017, in partnership with South Staffordshire College, Rodbaston. Students on the Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Animal Science with Animal Behaviour carry our practical skills in setting the traps then identifying those mammals which have been caught the following Day. They are led by their lecturer Andy Wooten from South Staffs College who is an expert in identifying the mammals and their behaviour. Tuesday saw the students put in 20 humane small mammal traps around different sites within the wood. Each trap contained bedding and feed sufficient for an overnight stay. These were then left overnight.
The following day we assembled in the wood along with pupils from Year 5 of Bilbrook Middle School to open the traps and see what we had found. Results were broadly the same as the previous year with wood mouse, common shrew, bank and field vole found. The results are proof that the hard work the Friends of Bilbrook put into creating habitats for all creatures is working.
Nature at Work
Not only that, but while we were putting the traps down a kestrel flew in, hovered for a few seconds, swooped down and flew away with a small rodent in its talons. Kestrels need to eat between 6 and 8 voles a day so there must be plenty available in the Jubilee Wood.