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What is the Mammal Society?

Logo: The Mammal Society

The Mammal Society is the only organisation dedicated to the study and conservation of all mammals of the British Isles. Since 1954, we’ve been supporting a growing network of experts working with mammals across the country and abroad, and providing a hub of information and expertise. We are the national voice for mammals when advising on conservation policy decisions, with science at the heart of everything we do.

Mammal conservation, underpinned by science

Our mission is to:

  • Raise public awareness of mammals, their ecology and conservation needs
  • Encourage people to participate in mammal monitoring
  • Develop the knowledge and field skills of those working with mammals
  • Disseminate new information and the results of research
  • Provide up-to-date, reliable information and science-led advice for effective conservation policy.
Hare by Elliott Hook
Hare by Elliott Hook

Raising awareness

In practice, our work to raise awareness of mammals runs through all of our activities and communications.

Our regular publications include a scientific journal Mammal Review, members’ magazine Mammal News and regular e-bulletins and newsletters. Mammal Society members are automatically subscribed to Mammal News and you can subscribe to our regular e-bulletin for free via our website www.mammal.org.uk (scroll to bottom of most pages of our website to sign up). You can also find us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Mammal News Autumn 2019 cover (The Mammal Society)
Mammal News Autumn 2019 cover (The Mammal Society)

Encouraging participation

We encourage Britain’s citizen scientists to get out and about, on foot or by bike/car/train, in both town and country, to record what they see. Over the past few years we have been working hard to develop and promote our Mammal Mapper app. This free app allows you to record mammals along a route (whilst you’re walking/running/cycling or even a passenger in a car), or as one-off sightings.

Mammal Mapper screenshot (The Mammal Society)
Mammal Mapper screenshot (The Mammal Society)

Whenever we can, we visit local groups and other organisations to explain how best to use the app when conducting mammal surveys. The University Mammal Challenge (UMAC) is our annual competition that sees teams of students using the Mammal Mapper app, alongside other techniques, to record the mammals on their campuses. The competition is open to all students, not just those studying biosciences. To find out more/register go to https://www.mammal.org.uk/umac/ and submit your entry form by 31 December 2019.

If you’re already out and about recording mammals you might be interested to know that the Mammal Society’s annual photography competition Mammal Photographer of the Year is accepting entries until 1 February 2020. It is completely free to enter and there are some fantastic prizes to be won. Find out more at https://www.mammal.org.uk/mpoy/.

Developing knowledge and field skills

The Mammal Society runs a varied programme of training events for beginners and specialists throughout the year. Every year we train hundreds of people in subjects as diverse as water vole ecology, and bone identification at venues across the UK. Twice a year, in the Spring and Autumn, we hold conferences, which provide fantastic opportunities for knowledge sharing and networking with specialists and enthusiasts. Click here to see Mammal Society Chair, Fiona Mathews, explaining more about Mammal Society training.

UMAC infographic 2018 (The Mammal Society)
UMAC infographic 2018 (The Mammal Society)

Research

We undertake our own research, sometimes in partnership with other wildlife conservation organisations, the results of which help us advise on effective conservation policies. One of our current projects involves working with People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to investigate the causes of hedgehog declines.

Providing up to date information and advice

We turn data into useful and accessible guides.

In 2018 the Mammal Society completed the first Review of the Population and Conservation Status of British Mammals for more than 20 years. The Review was published by Natural England in June 2018, together with the Red List of Threatened Mammals for Great Britain. A technical summary of the Review and Red List are available on the Mammal Society website.  Britain’s Mammals 2018, a fully-illustrated guide to the status of Britain’s mammals along with the complete 700-page Review are available from NHBS.

We have developed an online tool called Ecobat. Ecobat helps ecologists and planners to interpret bat activity data and decide whether a site is likely to be particularly adversely affected by development. We recently added new features that will help to flag sites that may be close to maternity colonies and we would like to expand the tool to include other vulnerable species.

Greater mouse eared bat by Henry Schofield
Greater mouse eared bat by Henry Schofield

The Mammal Society is proud to have been one of the many organisations involved in producing the 2019 State of Nature Report which was published in October. The thousands of records collected by Mammal Society volunteers, together with the work we have done to assess the conservation status of Britain’s mammals, played a vital part in helping to bring about the Report.

We have two important publications due for release in early 2020, the Atlas of the Mammals of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Review of the Population and Conservation Status of Mammals in Wales. We will also be publishing the results of our hedgehog on roads research very soon.

Out in the field - training days (The Mammal Society)
Out in the field - training days (The Mammal Society)

How you can help

Unlike most charitable organisations monitoring British wildlife, the Mammal Society receives no central government funding for our core work. Our activities to halt the decline of threatened species, monitor their conservation status, raise awareness of mammal conservation issues and advise on issues affecting British mammals, depends entirely on the generosity of our supporters.

You can help us by:

  • Becoming a member – for around £3 a month you will receive regular copies of our magazine Mammal News, discounts on training and conferences and much more.
  • Making a donation or fundraising for us – whether you’re a runner, baker or wild swimmer, we’d love to hear from you. Contact pr@themammalsociety.org.
  • Buying a Mammal Society tee, hoodie or bag from our online store or shopping with one of the companies who support us by donating part of their profits to us.
  • Volunteering – we have occasional opportunities for office-based volunteers – look out for advertisements on the CJS volunteering page. We would also like to hear from you if you’re a filmmaker or have other skills that you would be willing to lend us – contact us directly at info@themammalsociety.org.

Mammal Society, 18 St John's Church Road, London E9 6EJ. Registered Company Number 1455136 Charity Number 278918.

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