Help track activity of deer in the region at local events

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An environmental expert from Sheffield Hallam University is calling on the general public to help record the growing population of deer in the region.

Professor Ian Rotherham is organising a series of free events for local citizen scientists to help spot and record the behaviour of the deer.

The events will form part of the Peak District and Sheffield Area Deer Survey, a citizen science project supported by the British Ecological Society. Work began on the survey - the longest running of its kind in the world - in the 1980s, with people recording and mapping deer activity which, until the 1970s, was practically non-existent. Four species of deer have colonised the region over the survey period and the red deer population has now grown to over three hundred animals and is now entering urban areas across South Yorkshire. Around Totley the red deer have even been seen entering people’s gardens.

Professor Rotherham and his team, who will be working with deer expert Andy Alder, will be holding events on October 5, 6, 23 and November 10 and 12.

Professor Rotherham said: “We are looking for volunteers - our citizen scientists - to listen out for and to record the red deer stags bellowing and rutting across the region. Helped by a British Ecological Society Outreach Grant we have been able to produce an online guide and recording form. Guidance will also be given at the events on how to do send in observations.

“The records will help us find out more about where the deer are, how many there are, and how they behave as these remarkable mammals begin to enter the more urban and populated parts of the city and surrounding settlements.”

Visit www.ukeconet.org for details.