Creating change through surveying, University of Stirling

Tags: guide | biodiversity | campus | University of Stirling | surveying

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At the University of Stirling, students are encouraged to undertake projects focused on campus issues. This provides a wide range of project opportunities, stimulates action on campus biodiversity and helps students feel valued through the contribution they make to improve their local environment. One recent project aimed to identify the presence and numbers of American Mink on campus.

Concerns were raised in 2014 about sightings of American Mink on campus. American Mink is an aggressive invasive species that can devastate other small animal populations. During 2014, the University worked with the River Forth Fisheries Trust and the University's Nature Society to implement a programme of monitoring of American Mink on the campus. Monitoring stations, clay footprint traps, camera traps and humane cage traps were set around the loch in locations that were likely routes for Mink but which were also unlikely to get disturbed. Although the traps were deployed over several months, only mink footprints were observed.

This project, together with progress on other environmental matters, is considered by the University’s Safety, Health and Environment Committee. This raises awareness of biodiversity at a senior level alongside other important safety, health and environmental issues.