Worcestershire Record No. 20 April 2007 p. 7


John Dodgson

Bottles and cans must be open and positioned such that the animal gets in but not out. Searching is best during the winter months when the vegetation is less lush.

WHERE MOST LIKELY        *** Safety first where there is traffic.

Thick vegetation so the container gets stuck.
Roads near towns
Roads banked above surroundings.
Un-flailed hedges; ditches; ***lay-bys .
***Fishing spots; picnic spots.
Canal towpaths.
Flood debris in or near streams and rivers.


Thin vegetation
Wide or very narrow verges.
Deep road cuttings
High hedge with no verge.
Very quiet roads.
Places distant from roads.

A useful tool is a stick with a side branch as above. Poke the hooked end into the container and fish it out of the vegetation. Find a flat surface ( NOT THE ROAD); tip out the contents. Sort through the gunge with a small stick and if there are small mammal bores extract the skull and lower jaw; wrap in a thin plastic bag; note the grid reference.

If the contents don't come out easily you may have a whole corpse. Drain off the liquid; flex the can until it fractures and rip it apart.

At home unwrap the catch and holding the skull/jaw in tweezers (teeth upwards lest they fall cut) swish around in hot water until fairly clean. Leave to dry then examine with lens or dissecting microscope.

Further advice and guidance: 0121 444 7077

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