Volunteers needed to monitor endangered water voles lives

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ONCE a familiar sight along our waterways, water voles have rapidly disappeared from much of the landscape.

Havant still has some in the streams around the town centre but they are rarely seen.

Now the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is calling on the public to help it capture a true picture of how many water voles there are.

Emily Thomas, is co-ordinating the programme.

She said: ‘In the past couple of decades, conservation groups have been working hard to try and save the much-loved water vole. However, it’s difficult to track the overall effectiveness of this work without seeing how the national picture has changed since the 1990s.

‘The National Water Vole Monitoring Programme will show us where water voles are and in what numbers, as well as where they’ve disappeared, allowing us plan and carry out effective conservation actions that will really make a difference to water voles.’

Volunteers are required to carry out a field survey on a single site and, while no experience is required, those taking part will need to learn how to identify water vole field signs.

Participants will be able to choose one or more of the pre-selected sites in the area and survey it once a year.

If you already monitor water voles you can add your site and data to survey.

To find out more about taking part go to ptes.org/watervoles.