What has your cat dragged in?

What has your cat dragged in?
Kilkenny County Council Heritage Office is looking for your help with our small mammal survey!

We’re seeking photos of any mice, shrews and voles that you find in your area, or which your cat brings home to you. This unusual strategy is part of an effort to map where in the county small mammals live.

Small mammals, like wood mice, are an essential part of Kilkenny’s biodiversity and without them, iconic species like the barn owl would disappear. Knowing what species of small mammal we have in Kilkenny, and where they live, helps us in our efforts to protect our native biodiversity, including our barn owls.

The County Council has commissioned zoologist Dave Tosh to survey small mammals in Kilkenny this August. Dave is particularly interested to know if our native pygmy shrew is still present in Kilkenny or has been displaced by the non-native, larger Great White Toothed Shrew.  The information from this survey will be used to inform our on-going project with BirdWatch Ireland to map the barn owls in Kilkenny.

Ireland has 6 different kinds of small mammal. Four are native (the pygmy shrew, wood mouse, house mouse, rat) whilst two (the bank vole and greater white-toothed shrew) were introduced to Ireland and are considered invasive.

We are inviting the public to become citizen scientists and to help record Kilkenny’s small mammals. Please send your photos, along with the location, to heritage@kilkennycoco.ie.

We’ll have more information about the project, including videos, online at www.heritageweek.ie during national Heritage Week (14th– 22nd Aug).

This project is supported by Kilkenny County Council, the Department of Housing, Planning and Heritage (under the National Biodiversity Action Plan Fund), and the Heritage Council.