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Mammal Report 2001

by Michael Thompson

During 2000 I have received records of twenty-three species of mammal, some common, and others, because of their size, probably much under-recorded. I have listed these below as they are classified in The Handbook of British Mammals (1991 edition). All these records have been entered into the Mammal Society’s Look Out For Mammals recording scheme, organised by the Yorkshire Mammal Group, which covers North Yorkshire and the area covered by the Ryedale Natural History Society. Each mammal record will have a species name, recorder, location, date and a grid reference number as a minimum amount of information required to enter the Look Out For Mammals scheme, but for the purposes of this report I have only listed species and location, with a few further details. In time all computerised records will be passed on to the recently-established North and East Yorkshire Ecological Data Trust based in St. William’s College, York. There are now well over 1000 records for the area in the scheme.

1. Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus
Most records are of hedgehogs recorded as ‘dead on the road’ (d.o.r.) such as at Hutton-le-Hole, Kirkbymoorside (A169) and Welburn. A juvenile was observed in broad daylight at Arden Hall, Hawnby in August, suggesting it was either starving or diseased. Another youngster was about on 29th November in Slingsby, presumably having come out of hibernation with warmer weather conditions (12°C). Hedgehog droppings were found in the vicinity of the inner precinct of Helmsley Castle.
2. Mole Talpa europaea
Widespread with activity recorded from Sutton Bank, Byland Abbey, Oldstead, Rosedale, Hawnby and Gilling. Probable increased mortality in extensive flooding in the Vale of Pickering.
3. Common Shrew Sorex saraneus
Single record from East Ness
4. Pygmy Shrew Sorex minutus
Again a single record from a dormouse box (see Newsletter 2000).
5. Whiskered Bat Myotis mystacinus
Regularly found in bat boxes at Keldy Ponds, Cropton Forest. A male ringed on 22.6.00
6. Common Pipistrelle Pipistrelus pipistrelus
A male ringed at Newton Dale, also at Keldy Ponds. 32 juveniles counted out from a nursery colony at Slingsby on 2.8.00
7. Soprano Pipistrelle Pipistrelus pygmaeus
Recorded at Holbeck, East Ness, using Bat Box III detector, also on R. Rye, Nunnington.
8. Daubenton’s Bat Myotis daubentoni
Well established over R. Rye at Nunnington. 1999 Bat Conservation Trust survey for this species repeated in 2000. Also at Holbeck, East Ness.
9. Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus
Widespread with records from near Helmsley, Oldstead, Gilling, Hutton-le-Hole, Hawnby and Rosedale.
10. Brown Hare Lepus europaeus
Well recorded: records form Wombleton airfield, Southolme, West Ness, Stonegrave, Gillamoor, Fadmoor, Harome, Redcar, East Newton, Yearsley, Cauklass, Leysthorpe, Hutton-le-Hole and Hawnby. Seven recorded next to Dawson’s Wood near Sinnington. Many bronw hares recorded from the Gilling area, including seven on 29th March with two ‘boxing’.
11. Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis
Several records. Seen on YNU outing to Oldstead 10.6.00 – similar outing to Oldstead in 1902 recorded red squirrel only.
12. Bank Vole Clethrionmys glareolus
Recorded from near Redcar Farm near Gilling, Nunnington and Slingsby.
13. Field Vole Microtus agrestis
Recorded at Oldstead.
14. Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus
Like other small mammals, under-recorded. Records from Slingsby and Gilling.
15. Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus
More numerous, several records, Probably due to mild winters increasing survival.
dormouse 16. Common Dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius
A good breeding first year of the captive-release programme. 20 present in boxes at the October inspection, mixture of adults and juveniles. [Pic of dormouse right]
17. Fox Vulpes vulpes
Records from Gilling, Blackdale, Oldstead, Fadmoor and Hovingham.
18. Stoat Mustels erminea
Stoat records, as usual, more common than weasel. Records from Welburn Grange, Slignsby (x2) and East Ness.
19. Weasel Mustela nivalis
One record from Slingsby, single adult in recorder’s kitchen garden, and from Fadmoor.
20. Badger Meles meles
Footrprints in forest ride, Oldstead, on 10.6.00, single alive on the road near Nunnington, one found dead on A170 nr. Welburn, also another d.o.r. at East Ness. Some found drowned after November floods sway from known setts, according to Jean Thorpe.
21. Otter Lutra lutra
Otter spraints noted on R. Rye near Helmsley. Further records obtainable from Gordon Woodroffe.
22. Fallow Deer Dama dama
Fallow Deer slots noted on forest ride, Oldstead on 10.6.00 (YNU outing).
Roe Deer Capreolus capraea
Slots noted in conifer plantations, Oldstead on 10.6.00, also at HAwnby. Seen at Ashberry (?roe, very dark specimen), Cropton, Gilling, Fadmoor and Beacon. Single doe seen just south of Pickering Low Carr Farm (just outside the Ryenats area, a new Y.W.T. farm reserve).
Roe Deer

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