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Investigating UK biodiversity

This summer we are delighted to welcome Katie Sell to our Conservation and Research Team as an intern with a particular focus on UK biodiversity:

“Before joining the Trust I had just completed my Master’s degree in Zoology, so when the opportunity arose to work for the Trust conducting research, I jumped at the chance! Being part of the team here means that not only do I get to improve fieldwork skills that I have learnt over the course of my degree, but also learn new ones. One of the best experiences so far has been helping to ring some of the wild birds that are currently being looked after in the National Bird of Prey Hospital™, including one of my favourite species, the Barn Owl. I’ve also been able to take a closer look at the Raptor Nest Box Project with our UK Conservation Biologist, Dr Matt Stevens, checking nest boxes to identify what species were using the boxes, and ringing the young birds inside.

During my internship, so far I have had the opportunity to take part in and create my own research projects, including moth trapping and plant biodiversity surveys in Reg’s Wildflower Meadow, where the Valley of the Eagles flying display takes place. One of the main projects I’m working on is small mammal trapping to monitor prey availability for our native birds of prey, continuing on from previous year’s research. Being able to compare my results to previous years is interesting, as you can see how the sites have changed.

My main aim for the internship is to have a real-world impact on the conservation and research of birds of prey, and to improve my identification skills, particularly for birds of prey, but also for other animals, like insects and small mammals. In the future, I hope to go into a research career, with a focus on predator behaviour and conservation, as well as human wildlife conflict. I’ve already been able to gain so much experience in the short time being with the Trust, and I’m very excited for it to continue!”

Katie Sell

Conservation and Research Intern

 

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