The Thamesmead Small Mammal Monitoring Project is an online citizen science project looking at populations of small mammals (mice, voles, shrews etc.) in Thamesmead.
The project is part of the implementation of Peabody’s biodiversity action plan for Thamesmead. This plan aims to increase biodiversity in Thamesmead and foster community engagement with local wildlife and green spaces. A key component of conservation work is surveying and monitoring – you need to know what’s there in order to protect it. We would like to get local people, including school children involved in the monitoring of small mammal populations in Thamesmead.
Mammals are often elusive. Often coming out at night, and not in great numbers, it is hard to monitor their populations, where they are distributed, and how they behave.
Small mammals are an important part of the local ecosystems, dispersing seeds and providing food for larger mammals and birds.
Camera traps are devices that do not actually catch the animals, but detect and photograph any animal that moves in front of them. They are relatively easy to set up, and cause less stress to animals than traditional monitoring methods, like capturing and tagging. Camera trapping can help us to learn what animals occur in an area, when they are active, and how they time important seasonal events, such as reproduction. With careful development and analysis, camera traps can also tell us about the abundance of species in different areas and at different times.
MammalWeb is a ‘citizen science’ platform, engaging a community of citizen scientists, ranging from school children to enthusiasts, researchers, and the general public, to deploy cameras, and help identify the species present in camera trap images from the UK and Europe.
The Thamesmead Small Mammal Monitoring Project uses a modified camera trap to capture images of small mammals inside a baited tunnel. These images are uploaded to www.Mammalweb.org, where registered users can view the images and help to identify which species are present. This will help to build up a picture of which species are living in Thamesmead and where.
See the YouTube video below for examples of images captured by the project.
How can you get involved in this project?
-Register with MammalWeb and help to identify small mammals, in images from around Thamesmead.
-Watch the training presentation below for advice on how to identify small mammals and instructions on how to register.
-Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.