MAMMAL SOCIETY'S NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION SCHEME
THE Mammal Society of the British Isles has recently started a scheme to collect records of the distribution of wild British Mammals on a 10 km. Square basis and to prepare maps showing the distribution of each species. T h e scheme is intended to cover the vvhole of the British Isles, including Ireland and the Channel Islands, and all mammals except whales and domestic ones. As Mammal Recorder of the Suffolk Naturalists' Society I should be grateful if members would send me records of all mammals found in the county however common, even e.g., of hares, rabbits, and moles. No record should be sent unless the identification is quite certain and many members who are not mammalogists may find it difficult to distinguish between some of the smaller animals like mice, voles, and shrews. A useful little book with keys is " T h e identification of British M a m m a l s " by G. B. Corbett, which can be obtained from the British M u s e u m (Natural History), Cromwell Road, London, S.W.7., price 4/-. I n case of doubt the body can be sent to me for identification ( T h e Earl of Cranbrook, Great Glemham House, Saxmundham) but in the height of summer it arrives in a more pleasant condition if paunched like a rabbit before being sent off. Bats in flight cannot be identified with enough certainty to make any record of that nature worth sending in. It has recently been discovered that there are two species of Long-eared bat found in this country : all dead ones should be sent to me for identification. It is important that the ordinary Long-tailed field mouse and the Yellow-necked mouse should not be confused. T h e above mentioned booklet gives a good key. Records of " seal " are of no value. T w o species are seen along the coast here : the Common seal has a retrousse profile like a retriever dog, the Grey seal a Roman nose like a Suffolk sheep. There are four wild or feral species of deer found in the county, red, roe, fallow, and muntjac, and records of " deer " are of no value : the actual species must be given. Many people confuse roe and fallow deer : there are useful keys in " Ă„ Field Guide to British Deer ", Mammal Society, 41 Queen's Gate, London, S.W.7., price 10/-.
Mice, voles, and shrews are often brought in by the household cat who can be a very useful collector of small mammals. Skulls found in Owls' pellets can also give a fairly füll picture of the various small mammals found in the immediate surroundings of that particular roost but, in general, records of mice, voles, and shrews can only be got by trapping. I would be pleased to send notes on trapping, etc., to any member who wants them but very füll and useful instructions can be found in " The Handbook of British Mammals ", H. N. Southern, Blackwell, Oxford, price 37/6. Obviously in an exercise of this sort a map showing distribution of anything—animal, bird, plant, or insect—only too often shows only the distribution of naturalists knowledgeable enough to recognize and energetic enough to report. The report on the Squirrel survey which will be found on page 83 is the result of the work of a large number of people : it is much to be hoped that even more people will co-operate in this survey of the status and distribution of our other mammals. CRANBROOK.