11th Jul, 2020

Wildlife surveys at Warwick University offer break from lockdown for stuck students

John Carlon 15th May, 2020

STUDENTS who are living on the Warwick University campus during lockdown are surveying wildlife for a biodiversity project.

The few staff and students who remain living on campus are being asked to help count animal species as they take their exercise. The information is being collected by the university’s Energy and Sustainability Team who are currently developing a biodiversity and ecology strategy.

Katherine Mayfield from the University of Warwick said: “The University is committed to conserving and improving habitats and species across our estate. To help enhance our knowledge of the species present we are encouraging staff and students on campus during lockdown to record the birds and butterflies they see while they are out walking.

“We are lucky to have such a green campus and one which includes nature reserves. By recording what they see, our residents will be contributing to the data which will help us to understand and preserve these valuable habitats and resources.”

Professor Rosemary Collier from Warwick’s School of Life Sciences said: “Even if you are a complete novice when it comes to identifying birds and butterflies, this is a chance for those already living on campus to engage in a new and enjoyable pastime and contribute something valuable to our community at Warwick.”

Another wildlife project taking place during lockdown at Warwick is taking place at its Wellesbourne campus, looking at the nesting and feeding sites of the tree sparrow – one of Britain’s endangered bird species. The University of Warwick is a partner in The Arden Farm Wildlife Network which aims to create a network of ‘tree sparrow villages’ on 11 farms in Warwickshire. As part of the project nest boxes have been installed in colony arrangements in trees on site.

The field trials team at School of Life Science’s Warwick Crop Centre, Wellesbourne Campus have been working safely to ensure optimum drilling of the wildflower strips to provide pollen and nectar habitats for insects and also bird feed seed mixes in readiness for autumn feeding by wild birds and to encourage some of the less common species that can be spotted on site.

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