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MAMMAL RECORDS T H E E A R L OF CRANBROOK

IN 1965 the Mammal Society started a scheme to collect records of wild mammals in the British Isles on a 10 km. Square basis, with the intention of publishing maps showing the distribution of each species. It was hoped to complete the scheme in five years giving a picture of the Situation 1965 to 1970 since mammal populations are always fluctuating: during that period for instance the polecat seems to have increased in numbers and ränge, the otter to have decreased. Though the country is far from covered it has been decided to go forward and publish maps showing all records received up to the end of 1969. Obviously any scheme of this nature tends to show as much the distribution of the naturalists who take part as it does of the animals or plants they record, and Suffolk is no exception as the following maps show. All too few records have been received and it is hoped that this evidence will encourage members to seek for and report SufFolk mammals during 1969 so that the county can be adequately covered when the Mammal Society maps are finally published. Notes on how to obtain records of the various mammals are set out below, and as the maps show, records of even the most common are wanted. MOLES

show their presence by runs and mole hills.

HEDGEHOGS

are often seen dead on roads.

will know of stoats, weasels, hedgehogs, badgers, and foxes.

GAMEKEEPERS

rats,

sitting still with rod and float may see Otters, water voles, water shrews, coypu, mink, and if fishing a reed fringed river or pond, harvest mice climbing amongst the reeds.

FISHERMEN

like fishermen, will see many mammals, adding squirrels, bank and field voles to the above list.

BIRD WATCHERS,

and M I C E plague everybody, R A B B I T S and H A R E S plague farmers and foresters, but few of these victims have so far recorded the occurrence of their enemies as the maps show.

RATS

Those who hunt with F O X H O U N D S , H A R R I E R S or BEAGLES will obviously know of the distribution of foxes and hares.


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Nearly all the animals mentioned above are easily recognized and most of t h e m often seen. All that is wanted are postcards reporting t h e m . T h e smaller mammals — field mice, voles, and shrews are seldom seen and can in general only be identified with accuracy as corpses in the hand. All are very common, most are destructive and no compunction need be feit about killing them. All can be caught in ordinary 'breakback' mouse traps baited with cheese, chocolate or a piece of fish and set in t h e runs which can be found in long grass or hedgerow. T h e household cat will bring in many bodies and any gardener whose peas or lettuces are being eaten or whose apple störe is being raided will catch many too. give a good cross section of the small mammals of a district, usually consisting mainly of the für, bones, and skulls of their prey.

O W L PELLETS

The identification of these small animals, even the identification of skulls and teeth in owl pellets is not as difficult as many people think and can very easily be done with the help of ' T h e identification of British M a m m a l s ' by G. B. Corbet which can be got from the Natural History M u s e u m , Cromwell Road, L o n d o n , S.W.7, price 4/9d. post free. T h e two recorders will happily identify bodies of small mammals but these should always be sent by First Class, 'fivepenny' post and in the s u m m e r should not be posted on Saturday. Indeed in warm weather they should be paunched like a rabbit before being sent off, shrews in particular stink to high heaven after a day or so in the post in high s u m m e r . All records and if necessary bodies for identification should be sent to one or other of the two recorders: — T h e Barl of Cranbrook, Red House Farm, Great Glemham, S a x m u n d h a m .

EAST S U F F O L K

WEST SUFFOLK

— W . H . Payn, Härtest Place, Bury St. E d m u n d s .

All that is required is the species f o u n d or seen and the locality. If the 10 km. square is not known the parish or e.g., 'four miles o m S a x m u n d h a m on F r a m l i n g h a m road' would suffice. Bats, deer, and seals have been excluded f r o m the maps. Bats because they cannot be identified in flight and are very rarely nandled in t h e flesh: the recorders will be pleased to identify any sent to them. Seals have already been recorded in all our estuaries rt i s hoped to publish t h e result of the Society's deer survey in


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