There have been some busy bunnies on the isles of Scilly recently, with Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Marine Strandings Network (MSN) training up some new recruits!
As part of our 1% for the planet membership we financially support the MSN. Below is a copy of their latest press release.
Well done them!!
Isles of Scilly volunteers trained
in marine mammal strandings
Keen wildlife enthusiasts on the Isles of Scilly have joined a band of volunteer researchers who record stranded marine animals around the coast. Their new skills will enable them to measure and photograph dolphins, seals and other animals that strand on the shore to help with ongoing research.
Fifteen new recruits from the various islands attended a training course on St Mary’s, run by Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Marine Strandings Network (MSN).
“Given the small population on the islands, we were really pleased with the response. We now have a core group of trained volunteers who we know we can call on should the need arise.” said Ruth Williams, Marine Conservation Officer for the Trust.
“We couldn’t have run the course at a better time.” added MSN Co-ordinator, Jan Loveridge. “In the last two weeks alone, we’ve had five stranded animals reported on the islands: three harbour porpoises and two common dolphins, one of which stranded alive and was rescued by our colleagues from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) and people on the islands. One of the porpoises was an 81cm long, new-born calf that stranded on St Agnes. It was retrieved by coastguard Mike Hicks and taken on the launch, the Lyoness Lady, to St Mary’s. Then our friends at the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company very kindly brought it back to the mainland on the Scillonian III. They, and Mike, have helped us several times in the past and we can’t thank them enough for that.”
The baby harbour porpoise, which probably got separated from its mother and possibly stranded alive, was taken to the Veterinary Laboratory Agency in Truro for post-mortem examination.
Mike Hicks was among the delegates who attended the course, as was the island’s vet, Heike Dorn. Representatives and volunteers from the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust (IoSWT) also attended and together they form a great partnership for the islands.
“It’s great that there’s now a team of us to record any strandings we get here on Scilly.” said Ann Horton, a Trustee of IoSWT who has been reporting stranded animals to the Marine Strandings Network for some years. “We get some very interesting animals here in the Isles of Scilly, including rare ones, and the course will help us to identifying different species, know what to do and how to help.”
Protecting Wildlife for the Future
Tel: (01872) 273939
Fax: (01872) 225476
Registered Charity Name:
Cornwall Trust for Nature Conservation Ltd.
Registered Charity No: 214929
A company limited by guarantee
Registration No: 732511
VAT No: 557 3030 53
Five Acres, Allet, Truro,
Cornwall TR4 9DJ.
Affiliated to The Wildlife Trusts
The course was organised through the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust with funding from the The Isles of Scilly Sustainable Development fund (SDF) which is a grant scheme that supports projects that bring social, environmental and economic benefit to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Marine Strandings Network also receives financial support from Frugi, the highly successful children’s organic clothing company, who have an ongoing contribution commitment, as a percentage of its turnover (whether profit or loss), to the MSN through the 1% For the Planet Scheme.
“Frugi’s support for our work is vital, and without it we’d find it very hard to run these courses or to keep the Marine Strandings Network functioning so actively,” said Ruth Williams.
Kurt Jewson, co-founder of Frugi added “We’ve been supporting Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Marine Standings Network for three years as the cutting edge research work that they do is amazing. We want to help the Trust raise as much money as possible to protect marine wildlife and would encourage other businesses to do the same and donate today.”
Cornwall Wildlife Trust strandings partners, British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) ran a live strandings rescue training course the next day which many of the same volunteers attended.
Ruth added “Running the BDMLR course as well as our own Strandings course means that we now have volunteers who are trained to help with rescuing live animals as well as recording those that don’t survive or that wash ashore dead. To have that group of dedicated volunteers is a fantastic achievement for the islands and the information they provide will be invaluable.”
Anyone wishing to report stranded marine wildlife can call the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Strandings Network on 0845 201 2626.