If you’re interested in conservation and ecology, our MammalWeb project needs your help to chart the activity of the UK’s mammals.
Our researchers want to better understand how these animals are coping with ecological challenges such as climate change.
Founded by Durham University scientists in 2013, MammalWeb collects camera trap images of the UK’s mammals to build a picture of their habits and behaviours.
The project’s database has grown from its origins in North East England to gathering data from over 2,500 sites across the UK and beyond.
In the UK, contributors’ camera traps have captured 440,000 classified image sequences and videos, of which more than 180,000 are mammal detections.
In total, the project has recorded the equivalent of more than 340 camera trap years of wild mammal activity across the country.
Now our researchers want to expand MammalWeb’s database further to provide a more comprehensive record of UK mammal activity.
They are encouraging more citizen scientists and organisations to share their camera trap content via the project, creating a comprehensive central store for this information to be used by researchers across the UK and beyond.
This would support future research and conservation while also helping to inform policy decisions that affect wildlife.
Our experts say the need for large scale monitoring is increasingly important as wildlife responds to climate change and other causes of global biodiversity loss strongly linked to human activities.
In the nine years it has been running, MammalWeb’s contributors have captured footage of some rare, and some more expected, mammal activity in the UK.
This includes sightings of both North and South American members of the raccoon family, highly adaptable animals with the potential to cause trouble for native wildlife.
Camera traps have also captured other originally non-native UK species such as muntjac deer, fallow deer, grey squirrels, brown hares and rabbits.
Native UK species caught on film include red squirrels, badgers, otters, foxes, stoats, wild boar and pine marten.
Main image: Otters at night, credit Roland Ascroft. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license.
Badger at night. Credit: PA Stephens.
Red fox looking at camera. Credit: Pen-Yuan Hsing.
Raccoon in Sunderland at night. Credit: Lynne Wood.
Red squirrel and grey squirrel face off at a feeder. Credit: Roland Ascroft.
Adult and juvenile deer together. Credit: Pen-Yuan Hsing.
A hare captured on a camera trap. Credit: Michael Coates.