By Shaun Micklewright, County Mammal Recorder.
In 1982 Worcestershire Biological Records Centre carried out a survey of the county's mammals. Records from this survey together with historic records held on the BRCs database were used to produce a atlas which mapped mammal distribution within the county on a tetrad basis. Sadly the atlas was never published although from four examples were printed in Worcestershire Record No 6 April 1999, and some maps from the survey were presented at the annual recorders meeting in March 1999. The maps contain many gaps, and it now seems an appropriate time to try and fill these gaps whilst updating the information to take into account the rapid changes which have occurred in mammal distribution since 1982.
At the beginning of March 2001 an informal meeting of mammal recorders was held to discuss a proposed new mammal survey for Worcestershire. The general feedback from this meeting was that a new survey should go ahead, as Worcestershire was an area where rapid changes in mammal distribution were taking place, and these should be documented as far as possible.
Geographically the survey will be based on Greater Worcestershire, the combined VC37 and the administrative county as used for the Flora Project. The survey will run for five years with data collected from this period being added to data from the last five years to give a ten year time period.
At the end of the five years it may be possible to publish a new atlas.
A new recording form and validation system have been produced with a list of species likely to be encountered in Worcestershire together with guidelines on evidence needed to support records. - see recording form enclosed with this Worcestershire Record.
Record collection will be managed by the county mammal recorder and WBRC volunteers who will collect and collate records with all data going directly onto the WBRC Recorder database.
It is hoped that in the near future a county mammal group will be established through the Mammal Society network to help generate interest in mammal recording and study. I would be very pleased to hear from anyone interested in helping set up such a group. It is hoped that am inaugural meeting of all those interested will be arranged in the autumn.
I look forward to receiving your mammal records.
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