VOLUNTEERS are needed to help survey the Island's water vole population.

Wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is calling for volunteers to take part in its annual survey of the riverside residents, to find out where water voles are living and where they are most in need of conservation action.

The creatures are extremely endangered, having experienced the most rapid and serious decline of any British wild mammal in the last century.

There are various factors behind their decline, from loss and fragmentation of their natural habitats — including streams, rivers and other fresh waterways — and agricultural intensification, to pollution of watercourses and predation by the non-native American mink.

To help save this species, volunteers are asked to survey one of PTES’ 850 pre-selected sites between Monday, April 15, and June 15.

Emily Thomas, key species data and monitoring officer at PTES said: “Water voles used to be found in almost every waterway in England, Scotland and Wales, but sadly now their numbers are declining dramatically.

"These adorable mammals need all the help they can get, so we hope as many people as possible, in all corners of Britain, sign up to survey a site this spring.

"We use the data gathered to monitor population trends year on year, which in turn helps to guide our conservation work and inform us where action is needed most.”

To take part in the 2019 National Water Vole Monitoring Programme, and to find out more about water voles, visit www.ptes.org/watervoles