Staff from Newquay Zoo have conducted a number of small mammal surveys across site as part of a wider conservation effort for native species.

The Cornish charity zoo gathered a team of 10 staff, volunteers and students to conduct two mornings of small mammal trappings and one evening of bat surveys across site.

The team used 12 Longworth traps, furnished with bedding and food, to capture and identify small mammals, which were then safely released back into the zoo. Bat detectors were also used to convert inaudible, high pitched echolocation calls into sounds and sonograms, which made it possible to identify species.

Higher Education Coordinator Dr Mark Harrison who led the mammal survey group commented: “We don’t have detailed records of native species in the zoo, so we’ve done a little investigating. We found wood mice, bank voles and pipistrelle bats, with potentially good populations of each. I’d expect more detailed surveys to find further species using our site.“

Our zoo is a large – and largely green – space that’s important for native flora and fauna. Newquay Zoo is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, which means its wild corners have been important for local wildlife for a long time. We have more research planned, including a study of bumblebees over the summer.”

Wild Planet Trust is the charity that runs Newquay Zoo, Paignton Zoo in Devon and Living Coasts in Torquay. Newquay Zoo is a registered charity. For more information, go to www.newquayzoo.org.uk or ring 01637 873342.

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