Yesterday saw the start of a brand new study on a species very special species to Dorset, the Dartford Warbler. The BTO runs several surveys, one of which now has a brand new study species.
RAS (retrapping adults for survival) aims to monitor population trends with an easily targetable species. Dartford Warblers are not too difficult to catch (under license of course!) and are visible enough to monitor throughout the breeding season. We are aiming to colour ring as many adults as possible and then work too re-sight birds throughout the season. Over the coming years we’ll be able to see how the study population fluctuates with the winter weather and also see how site faithful Dartford Warblers are.
Yesterday’s session was pretty successful with 7 males being trapped and ringed. Most patches of gorse had a male Dartford on territory with 10 being found altogether yesterday. Another visit should produce something similar as there’s still lots of gorse to stare at on the Lulworth Army Ranges (LAR perhaps?) which is where the study will be taking place.
Most information can be found about the RAS study at the BTO website. http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/ringing/surveys/ras/about-ras