Wild in Wales
Engaging with future wildlife conservationists is a priority topic here at WildAid. So we were thrilled to be invited to Northop College, North Wales to introduce the principles and practice of wildlife surveys to final year Animal Care students.
The backdrop to leading the wildlife surveys was a diversity of habitats ranging from wild woodland, managed pasture, parkland and wetland. The hot topic survey of the day was birds.
Wildlife Charlie said: "The students quickly embraced theory into practice as we indulged on a morning of bird and habitat surveys across the campus. Introducing a new skill to identify birds not only by sight, but by vocals, flight and habitat type was a new skill for all the students."
The methods and practice of wildlife surveys is historically very well represented in the UK. "While few detailed surveys of fauna or flora exist in England from the period before the nineteenth century, it is possible to combine the evidence of historical sources (ranging from game books, diaries, churchwardens' accounts and even folk songs) and our wider knowledge of past land use and landscape, with contemporary analyses made by modern natural scientists, in order to model the situation at various times and places in the more remote past."
The representation of wildlife surveys, and those who conduct them, has never been so valuable. The recent publication of the State of Nature 2019 in the UK presents a detailed overview of how the UK's wildlife is faring:
"The statistics demonstrate that the abundance and distribution of the UK’s species has, on average, declined since 1970 and many metrics suggest this decline has continued in the most recent decade.
There has been no let-up in the net loss of nature in the UK."
Positive conclusions identify that we need a strong new set of environmental laws to hold our governments and others to account and to set long-term and ambitious targets. Only a robust approach to environmental protections and law making can deliver this for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.The UK has a long history of love for, and fascination with, its natural heritage thanks to this, tens of thousands of volunteers collect data on wildlife every year. Without their dedication this report would not be possible.
Wildlife Charlie looks forward to returning to Northop College early in 2020 to expand the range and level of wildlife surveys to the students and to amplify the neccesary contribution their part plays in UK wildlife conservation.
"It's all about encouraging people to participate and learn about the natural world through hands on discovery."
Established in 1991 as a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre, WildAid has been making a difference for wildlife welfare throughout the UK ever since.
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