big cat research in Sussex

Wildlife surveys with trail cameras

The use of trail cameras along with the use of conventional cameras are part of the eventual goal of the much sought after undisputed pictures of the bigcats that live in Sussex.Although on this website are pictures of what we call a British Bigcat that have been taken in Sussex and the classic shape of small,boxy head,long neck,long sleek body,chunky legs and extra long,s-shaped tail are clearly visible,close up pictures preferably in daylight that go as far as defining the type of cat are what is needed.At present,the only pictures taken anywhere in the country are very much disputable.

To this end trail cameras are used and positioned at secret locations,scattered about Sussex.However not all of the trailcams are specifically after bigcats,in addition to this i am asked to do wildlife surveys by various landowners,farmers,wildlife groups etc. for them to get an idea of what animals are out and about on their ground.This can be useful in many ways as,for example,too many deer would affect the local ecosystem browsing the scrub and coppice layer of woods destroying woodcock or nightingale habitat.Conversely,not enough woodpeckers showing up on the cameras might well indicate a wood poor in dead and rotten standing or fallen trees and therefore containing a lot less in the form of insect life,the essential bottom of the food chain.Depending on how and where they are set,different animals can be targeted.

A very enjoyable byproduct to the trailcam site owners  are wildlife pictures i supply to them and some of them can be outstanding to look at.By granting me permission to set up cameras on a place releases land owners/managers from this task and is completely free of charge.I benefit from getting an idea what types of big cat prey certain areas can support at certain times of the year and in knowing this i would have an idea what could be missing animal wise when a big cat passes through or what it could be living on if i think it was actually stopping off to hunt.By many years of doing wildlife surveys i have been able to build up a valuable picture of a typical years hunting patterns and prey preferences in all the seasons by big cats and this has been proved to be accurate time and time again but by no means the only way,actual on the ground evidence in the form of carcases is another.To find out what predators eat it is necessary to find out about the "being eaten".They are affected by many other factors though such as weather patterns and so it is an ongoing project.........

Old fashioned wildlife surveys using on the ground evidence gathering and wildlife photography from hides is also undertaken but due to the time-hungry nature of this operation there is a seasonal waiting list however for small pieces of ground that could be surveyed in a matter of hours they can be slotted in as and when.Due to a lifetime of living in the Sussex countryside i have extensive knowledge of some farms which could be of use to new owners however there is a small charge for accessing this data which can take a while to gather.Some of these files go back 30 years but abbreviated versions are also available..........

 N.B. No wildlife surveys are to be undertaken until well after the end of the Bird Nesting Season which officially ends on july 31st however i usually start again in september.....

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