Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Mammal Tracker App launch at Wildwood - Photo Call at Wildwood Friday 16th May


Mammal Society Mammal Tracker App launch at Wildwood Trust: press photocall

Mammal conservation at your fingertips - boost for citizen science with launch of new Mammal Tracker app!


The Mammal Society is engaging the power of citizen science through the new Heritage Lottery Funded project Mammal Watch South East (MaWSE), with the development of a free, national mobile app 'Mammal Tracker' – believed to be the first of its kind for recording mammals. This exciting new development is due to be launched at The Wildwood Trust, near Canterbury on Saturday 17th May.


As recent reports have shown, nature is under ever increasing pressure from urban development, agricultural intensification and conflicts with human infrastructure and industry; nowhere more so than in the South East of England with the highest population densities and demands on local resources.  Our mammals in particular, elusive and nocturnal, face their own challenges but are all too often out of sight and out of mind.



Photocall notice

Friday 16th May 2014, 10:30am - 11:30am

Hedgehog and water voles will be handled by keepers and otters will be fed, providing good photo opportunities. Peter Smith, Wildwood CEO, will be on hand to answer questions, as well as Louise Sleeman and Richard Austin, Project Officers for the Mammal Watch South East (MaWSE) project.


The Mammal Watch South East project (MaWSE) project will focus on recording mammals in South East England and aims to produce an online South East Mammal Atlas to map mammal distribution across the region.

Louise Sleeman, MaWSE Atlas Officer, is working to engage local communities in mammal recording in the region. She said: "People often don't realise how little is known about the distribution of mammals, and even less is known about their numbers. As a result, information on how they are coping is often patchy and out of date. We need to change this and ensure that mammals are no longer the Cinderella of wildlife conservation".

MaWSE is also developing citizen surveys to aid proactive recording efforts. MaWSE Surveys Officer Richard Austin says "The app will enable people to submit records where and when they can, whether just walking their dog in the woods or carrying out one of our simple surveys, to collect an unprecedented amount of useful information that will inform effective conservation plans for the future."

Louise continues "The app couldn't have come at a better time as this year is The Mammal Society's 60th anniversary and as part of our celebrations we are urging people to make a special effort to send records of all the mammals they see. The app will make this so much easier for people to do when out and about!" 


The app will launch at the Wildwood Trust, Kent's unique British Wildlife park and conservation charity, where people can see many of the different mammals that are found in Kent amongst a wide range of British wildlife past and present.


Vicki Johnson, Conservation Officer at Wildwood says "We are very excited to be hosting the Mammal Watch launch here at Wildwood, as it fits in perfectly with Wildwood's charitable aim to engage as many people as possible with our native wildlife and we wish the Mammal Society every success with the project."


The Mammal Tracker app and MaWSE project will be launched at a special event at Wildwood Wildlife Park, Herne Common, Kent on Saturday 17th May at 10am. Many wildlife organisations will be holding stalls, with mammal demonstrations going on throughout this family friendly day!




Notes to Editors


MaWSE will use new digital resources to increase mammal recording in the South East:

1.     A free smartphone app, 'Mammal Tracker'! This is a new, innovative tool to help people identify and let us know which mammals they see when they're out and about.

2.     Extensive website resources will help people learn how to identify British mammals through direct sightings and their fascinating field signs.

3.     A camera trapping loan scheme for local groups and schools, so that they can discover the elusive mammals that live around them.

Mammal Tracker can be downloaded at the App Store for iphones and on Google play for android devices.


For further information regarding the MaSWE project please contact Louise Sleeman (The Mammal Society) on 07931289717 or Richard Austin on 07747110904 or by emailing mawse@themammalsociety.org


For further information regarding Wildwood or the photocall at Wildwood please contact Fiona Paterson on 01227 712 111 or email fiona@wildwoodtrust.org

Wildwood Trust
Herne Common
Tel 01227 712 111


Wildwood is a registered charity no 1093702



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