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Wildlife boom captured in major garden survey

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 17, 2014

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MORE than half of people in South Derbyshire see frogs in their garden – but rarely the endangered red squirrel, according to a new survey.

Results from the world’s biggest wildlife survey, conducted by the RSPB, revealed the wide variety of creatures that can be found hiding in our gardens.

The statistics showed that 72.4 per cent of people questioned in the area saw a grey squirrel every month, with 54.7 per cent spotting a common garden frog.

Muntjac deer and red squirrels were the least common, being seen by only 0.3 per cent in the area.

Daniel Hayhow, RSPB conservation scientist, said: “This massive survey shows how important our gardens are for the amazing variety of wildlife living there.

“The report showed that we need more information across many species groups, so widening the Big Garden Birdwatch’s scope to include other animals made perfect sense.

“This is the start of something big and something very, very important.

“In a few years’ time we’ll be able to compare how the distribution of garden wildlife may have changed.

“Hopefully, the fact that more people are helping to give nature a home in their gardens and outside spaces will mean we see improvements rather than declines.”

Almost half a million people took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch and most of them supplied extra information on other garden wildlife they have seen.

Although still quite widespread and seen in 68.5 per cent of the area’s gardens at least once, hedgehogs were only seen regularly in less than a third of gardens and their populations have seriously declined by around 30 per cent since the millennium.

The most common spotted was the grey squirrel which was seen by 93.7 per cent of people at some point, with the least spotted being the Muntjac deer.

To find out more visit rspb.org.uk/homes

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