What we are aiming to do is establish whether we still have a hedgehog population in the Leicestershire area, and if we do, find out where they are based. This money will go towards purchasing supplies to build 10 tracking tunnels which we will be able to use to survey grassland and wooded areas of up to 1km². If ten baited tunnels are set in up to 1km² for 5 consecutive nights and NO hedgehog footprints are detected, we can be 95% sure hedgehog are ABSENT from the area. Each area of grassland/woodland we choose will be surveyed for 5 days. It will take approximately 2-3 hours each day to visit the tracking tunnels in the area and record the results and reset the traps. We will be looking for volunteers from the local area as well as the universities and school to help us collect the data and teach them about surveying techniques and the importance of conservation.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
This project is a great idea, not only because of it's obvious environmental and conservation merits, but also because it will provide a platform for like minded individuals in the area to come together to help improve our community. Given that the recent report by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, has revealed that numbers have dropped by up to 50% since the year 2000, it is more important than ever to help save one of our countries most iconic small mammals. How can we do that without knowing where they are living in our area? This project is aiming to locate our local populations so we can work with the land owners to try and save our hedgehogs in the future. The conservation sector is a difficult one to get into, and one of the most important things that candidates need is practical experience. This project aims to provide that experience for local potential conservation workers to give them a head-start in this field.
Steps to get it done:
Should this project get the funding it needs, and we manage to find local hedgehog populations, we will be planning on building on our results to come up with plans that aim to improve the areas that we found the hedgehogs and provide better habitats in those areas that the hedgehogs were absent from. As well as hedgehogs, the footprint tracking tunnels will also give us an idea of what other small mammals are present in our area, which will give us an idea of how good our local green areas are for wildlife in general.
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