Hidden Eyes

Recently trail cameras have revolutionized the way we understand animal behavior and even rediscovered  animals that we thought were extinct. It’s helping us understand the ranges of many species, especially species that are hard to see. If you watch Planet Earth or Countryfile you will often see footage taken on trail cams that have shown that certain species have persisted or recolonised areas that previously thought devoid or unsuitable.

Pine Martin in this country are a good one. Their range was previously more or less confined to Scotland and some parts of mid wales. It has now been found that there is a good population in Shropshire and even one in the New Forest. Whether these are natural is yet to be determined. It is unlikely that a population has persisted in the New Forest for hundreds of years, and even less likely that they have recolonised. But you never know and it’s through the implementation of new technology that these things are starting to become apparent.

I use trail cameras regularly at work as they allow me to get some nice shots of animals that are hard to see but they are also useful for monitoring areas. For instance Swanwick Woods is surrounded by a large electrified fence. Yet there is signs of deer browsing inside. Putting cameras up will allow me to judge the population size and assess whether it is necessary to protect coppiced trees from browsing.

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A female Roe, named Elliot by NATs staff. i suspect that she is not the only one in there.

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