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Red Fox Vulpes vulpes
The fact that I received only three reports of red fox sightings bears no reflection on population levels. Reports were confined to the following locations: Whitwell SE 7166 (Jan 2014); Spaunton SE 726587 (13 Dec 2014) and Hovingham East SE 65 7680 (28 Dec 2014).
Otter Lutra lutra
Otters now frequent all the rivers in Ryedale. Otters and young have been seen regularly on the river Rye at Nunnington SE 670795 (19 Feb 2014) and the Seven at Sinnington (SE 745865).
Badger Meles meles
There appear to be far more badgers than hedgehogs being killed on the roads based on reports, an indication that their numbers are increasing. Reports from Fadmoor bank SE 670910, Gilling SE 6076 and Sinnington SE 744868, but these are only the tip of the iceberg.
Stoat Mustela ermine
Stoats appear to be doing well. Sightings have been made include the following areas: Gilling Golf Course SE 6176; Rosedale East NZ 6900; Appleton le Moors SE 7388 (four animals) ; Castle Howard Arboretum SE 6969; High Askew SE 4391 (four animals); Farndale West SE 6679) (two animals).
Weasel Mustela nivalis
Two reports: road between Helmsley and Harome SE 635825 and south of Fadmoor SE 630885.
Hedgehog Erinaceous europaeus
Hedgehogs seen at three locations: Kirkbymoorside SE 695865; Gillamoor SE 675905 and Rosedale East SE 70996.
Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus
Roe deer are relatively common throughout the area: Rievaulx SE 574855 (4 animals); Appleton Mill SE 746881 (5); Cropton SE 748913; Rosedale SE 7295 (3); Spaunton SE 7193(8) and 10 reports from Gilling SE 5976).
Fallow Deer Dama dama
Rievaulx Terrace SE 582581 (6); Scawton SE 536 839 (7) and Ashberry SE 5685.
Red Deer Cervus elephus
are found from Newton dale to Rosedale and Cropton Forest.
Brown Hare Lepus europaeus
Good numbers ofs hares have been recorded at several locations: Leysthorpe SE 635787 (2) Spaunton SE 635787; Spaunton SE 7193 (6) and (9); Gilling SE 6076.
Water Vole Arvicola amphibius
Water voles are now considered an endangered species. Their distribution appears to be mainly confined to Eller Beck SE 857984; Fen Bog SE 855976 and Hole of Horcum SE 844935.
Small mammals such as Bank and Field Voles, Common, Pigmy and Water Shrews and Wood Mice are distributed throughout Ryedale but unlikely to be seen unless found during trapping studies using Longworth traps. In the winter there are signs of Moles nearly everywhere. Grey squirrels are also common in most of the surrounding woodland.
Alcathoes Bat is a relatively new bat species which is now classed as a native bat species. A swarming site has been identified in the vicinity of Helmsley.
Gordon L. Woodroffe
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