MISE is a new project funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Ireland Wales Programme 2007-2013 (INTERREG IVA), and will set out to foster involvement of communities in Ireland and Wales in mammal conservation. The nature of the Welsh/Irish INTERREG IVA collaboration will allow the sharing of skills and expertise across the cross border regions. Monitoring and conserving biodiversity is increasingly being recognised as critical for sustainable development. Small and medium sized mammals are key components of most ecosystems but can be difficult to monitor due to small numbers, elusive and or nocturnal behaviour.
The Area Within the INTERREG IVA area, fieldwork in Ireland will largely be carried out in Waterford but will also involve Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Wexford, Dublin and Wicklow. In Wales, fieldwork will be throughout the INTERREG IVA region.
- Scat/spraint collections
- Hair-tube surveys
- Small mammal feeding stations
DNA analysis at Waterford Institute of Technology DNA techniques developed at WIT will be used to provide species identification from collected samples. Further analysis on some species (such as pine martens, otters and squirrels) will provide information such as population size and structure, gender assignment and genetic diversity of the species. Prey analysis will also be used to identify small mammals from scats. This information will subsequently be used to identify potential threats and to advise conservation strategies. Volunteers will get feedback from this analysis on samples collected during surveys.