BW Wildlife Survey — get spotting
By Bob Naylor
Waterway ecologists are asking for your help to monitor the wildlife on canals and rivers by taking part in the annual British Waterways wildlife survey.
The Kennet & Avon Canal is noted as a haven for the water vole and there have also been sightings of otters. A few years ago one of Britain's rarest birds, the Bittern, a shy, reed-dwelling bird that is on the RSPB's 'Red List' of endangered species was recorded on the K&A Canal.
In past surveys other waterways have recorded exotic inhabitants including dolphins, terrapins and porpoise. And on the K&A’s neighbouring waterway, the Cotswold Canals, among the abandoned bicycles and supermarket trolleys in the Stroudwater Navigation at Stonehouse a few years ago there was said to be at least one crocodile lurking ...on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal there were even reports of ducks being attacked by a crocodile.
But as well as exotic inhabitants, BW want to know about more common species of wildlife such as mallard, swan, moorhen, heron and coot.
In last year's wildlife survey people taking part reported more than 42,500 sightings that included 300 different species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects and mammals that make their homes on our canals and rivers.
The survey ends on September 30th — so there is still time to get out there and spot some wildlife.
Find out more about the survey at: http://www.waterscape.com/media/documents/Wildlife_survey_2010.pdf
and you can report your sightings at: