As part of National Biodiversity Week, local environmental group ReWild Wicklow has announced a new website and a Europe-wide initiative called ‘Snapshot Europe.’ The website is rewildwicklow.ie and it features details on all the organisation’s projects, tips and resources on rewilding and how to volunteer and donate.
One of those projects featured is an initiative called ‘Snapshot Europe.’ Launched last year, the aim is to collect wildlife camera trap data across as many sites in Europe as possible during September and October. In 2021, the UCD Wildlife Department represented Ireland in the project by placing just ten cameras across the Wicklow Mountains. This year ReWild Wicklow are partnering with UCD Wildlife and they have just secured funding from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Local Authority Waters Programme to purchase 25 camera traps.
“This will be the largest ever such camera trap monitoring project of mammals in Ireland,” said Danny Alvey, chairperson of ReWild Wicklow, “and we are delighted to have this happen right here in Wicklow. However to access these grants, we need matched fundraising from the public. I would urge anyone with an interest in Wicklow’s beautiful wildlife to visit our new website, find out more about the project and consider a donation.”
ReWild Wicklow was only formed in January this year but it has already recruited nearly 300 volunteers. These volunteers have taken part in a whole range of activities aimed at improving biodiversity in the county. In spring they planted over 1,600 trees across seven different sites with various private and NGO partners. More recently, they have partnered with NPWS rangers in the Wicklow Mountains to help restore degraded peatland. As part of Snapshot Europe, the group will not only provide additional camera traps to be used but also its volunteers to setup, monitor and move the camera traps around difficult, secluded terrain.
“This project will help establish the distribution of mammals such as red squirrels, pine marten and badgers across Wicklow,” continued Danny. “We will be sharing the images we capture on our social media channels and website during the project. As an added thank you to any person or business that sponsors a whole camera trap setup (€218), they can name the camera and all sightings on it will be reported using that name. A perfect opportunity to honour the memory of a loved one or promote a local business’s commitment to Wicklow’s wildlife.”
The group is also seeking landowners who have native woods on their land and would be happy to have a camera trap setup to discover what animals might be lurking there unknown. And they are also seeking more volunteers for this and all their activities. Visit rewildwicklow.ie to find out more and donate, volunteer or contact the group.