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Trail cams to monitor county's wild mammals.

Byline: Tony Henderson Environment Editor tony.henderson@ncjmedia.co.uk

A"SPRINGWATCH" style scheme is coming to the North East thanks to backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Durham Wildlife Trust has received PS51,420 for its two-year "Mammal Web" project.

Led by volunteers, it will use an initial 30 remote-capture trail cameras to monitor animals.

The project will lend trail cameras to individuals, schools and community groups to enable people to discover what mammals are using their gardens or local area.

The images will be uploaded on to a dedicated Mammal Web internet portal for analysis by scientists at Durham University.

The public will also be able to see what animals have been recorded.

The cameras are fixed to locations such as trees and are triggered by the movement of passing animals.

The project will give vital information about where mammals live, how they move around, when they breed and their favourite feeding areas.

The data gathered by the participants will address the need for more comprehensive information about mammal populations in the Durham Wildlife Trust area and involve local communities in discovering and understanding the wildlife which lives alongside them.

Project officer Dr Vivien Kent, said: "We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are confident the project will contribute to our knowledge of the North East's mammal populations through a wide network of citizen science volunteers." Ivor Crowther, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: "Local people of all ages will have great fun while learning about the North East's mammal population and help share that knowledge online with a much wider audience. " Trust director Jim Cokill said: "Mammals like badgers, foxes and hedgehogs are often nocturnal and the project will allow people to see what wildlife is in their backyards . "It will hopefully foster enthusiasm for wildlife and provide information on animals' distribution and when they are active and the health of populations."

CAPTION(S):

A fox, above and a pair of badgers, below, recorded on a trail camera

A deer in a Couny Durham woodland - the kind of animal which will hopefully be recorded on trail cameras

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2015
Words:360
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