Baker Consultants is taking part in the WildVolunteering Award, a partnership between Derby City Council, the University of Derby and WildDerby for students at the University. We have proposed a project to use electronic detectors to survey and monitor for nightjar (a bird species of high nature conservation concern).

 

The role of the student would be to receive training in the use of Wildlife Acoustics SM2 bird detectors, deploy these on a site local to Cromford, and then download and analyse the data gathered to check for recordings of nightjar song.  The project would be supported by ecologists within Baker Consultants, but the student would be expected to undertake the fieldwork independently and carry out computer analysis of the data.

Nightjars sing (churr) between mid-May and mid-August, with a peak in activity during June.  They are normally surveyed by people walking transects at dusk and dawn, while listening for the distinctive song produced by male birds.  We would like to test the use of automatic recording equipment (often used for bats) which can be programmed, placed in the field and left to record for a period of nights.  Once the survey period is complete, the electronic data is downloaded and can then be analysed using computer software to check for singing nightjars.

 

There are over 50 places on the WildVolunteering scheme open to students of Derby University. Students have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and an insight into the biodiversity and ecology of the region.

Further details of the WildVolunteering scheme can be found at the weblink here:

http://www.derby.ac.uk/community/projects/wildvolunteering-2013