Friday 13th March 2015
Chris Manning, the Lincolnshire Naturalists' Union's mammals recorder, gave us a tour of the many species of mammals found in our county. And there really are quite a few; in order of appearance:
Sperm Whale (March 2012)
Shrews, Common, Pygmy and Water
Vole, Field and Bank
Rat, Brown and Black
Mouse, Wood, Yellow Necked (only one record!), House, Harvest, Hazel-Dormouse (reintroduced 2002 Chambers Wood)
Pine Martin (extinct 100 years ago but was in Chambers Wood)
Deer, Chinese Water, Muntjac, Red, Roe, Sika, Fallow
Seal, Grey, Common, Hooded.
Chris talked about each species in turn, focussing particularly on their Lincolnshire distributions and, for the non-natives, their introduction histories. He stressed how there were many gaps in our records and explained the work of the Lincolnshire Naturalists' Union in recording species and how members of the public could play a valuable role in improving the records by sending their sightings in to the LNU.
We've lost a few mammals from Lincolnshire, the pine martin only relatively recently. There are plans to help the pine martins spread from their Scottish populations, southwards. See the Pine Martin Recovery Project.
Reintroduction of the Lynx to Britain is a more ambitious plan, but with the growing deer populations there are good reasons to think this once native mammal might well fit comfortably within our ecosystem again. See the Lynx UK Trust for the plans to reintroduce this cat to Britain after an absence of perhaps over a thousand years.
In the Q&A discussion at the end of the evening Chris Manning suggested such reintroduction might well be feasible.