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Protected species.

AS WELL as the dune and green-flowered helleborines, Merseyside Bio Bank is carrying out surveys on a range of local species.

The organisation works as a local records office, collecting and managing biological and environmental information.

The results of the surveys are used to make maps of where the species live, which help in their protection.

To get involved, visit www.merseysidebiobank.org.uk or call: 0151 737 4150.

Merseyside Bio Bank is based at Court Hey Park, in Knowsley, and covers Sefton, Liverpool, St Helens and Knowsley.

The plants and animals currently being surveyed include:

BLUEBELLS: Native blue bells, often found in woodlands, hedgerows, under bracken and on sea cliffs; Hybrid bluebells and Spanish bluebells, mainly found in the vicinity of villages, towns and cities and are frequently seen in churchyards, cemeteries, parks and gardens.

URBAN BIRDS: House sparrows, thought to be common but actually a declining species; swifts and house martins, summer visitors to the UK which breed almost entirely in our buildings.

BROWN HARES: Often mistaken for rabbits, they are a lot larger and weigh twice as much, are golden brown in colour, have larger ears and back legs.

They have solitary lives above ground, hiding in cover or shallow depressions and their young are born above the ground, fully furred with their eyes open.

REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS: Common toads, with a broad, squat body covered in warts and skin that looks dry and varies from dark brown to grey or olive; Common frogs, with a slender body, short limbs, webbed toes and an obvious dark brown patch behind the eye, smooth damp skin varying in colour from grey, olive green, yellow or brown with darker patches; slowworms, with a long, snakelike body, eyelids (making them distinguishable from snakes), smooth, wet looking skin varying from grey, bronze and light brown; Common lizard with a long body and short legs, grey, brown, bronze or green skin and a line of white spots down the flanks.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 26, 2008
Words:327
Previous Article:Putting Helleborines on the map; Laura Davis takes a walk on the wild side to report on a project to locate our rare orchids.
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