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Mammal Surveying at the Cornwall Seal Sanctuary

Seal Sanctuary Survey – 21st/22nd January 2019

To help the Cornish Seal Sanctuary get a better understanding of their resident mammals CMG organised a small mammal survey around the site at Gweek. Five of us placed a mixture of Longworth and BioEcoss live traps out on three sites around the site – the woodland along the main path into the site, around the soon-to-be new wildflower meadow and then in the woodland along the stream running into the estuary. The next day seven of us made the trek down west to clear the traps. About half of the Longworth traps were occupied by woodmice – 10 in total, all but one were males or juveniles and they ranged from 10 to 24g in weight. Only one wood mouse in the BioEcoss traps which suffered a high rate of false trips (or ghost trips as someone described them….). We also recorded a grey squirrel and signs of badgers and rabbits on the site. We had placed four camera traps on the site, particularly along the foreshore, to see if we could pick up anything interesting. We did find good otter prints on the fresh mud when we put the cameras out but they did not oblige us – obviously shy. Instead, alongside a good mix of birds, we recorded fox and grey squirrel and a lot of brown rats – alwa

ys a good record. Now we have to go back in the spring to see if we can find a richer seam of small mammals.

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