YOUNG WILDCATS – Catch me if you CAM

February 16th 2018

They were on a mission: To find and photograph the shy and nocturnal animals living in and around the school grounds. The children of Lochinver Primary were right up for this challenge and over the next six weeks set up a trail camera in the Culag Community Woods. They hid the camera deep in the undergrowth and far from the normal footpaths and left some bait to lure animals close in. Then they waited. The camera was designed to be triggered by the body heat and motion of any passing animal or bird

Each week they tried different food baits. The results were stunning. They photographed and filmed red deer, roe deer, badgers, foxes, pine martens and wood mice. They caught in the camera several dogs and on the final week a very strange visitor! Lexy said “ it was very exciting going each week to see what we had recorded”. Seamus said “he did not believe there were so many animals living so close to Lochinver primary”.

All the sightings and data collected by the children have been sent to the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas Scotland.

The project was part of a trial being conducted by twenty primary schools across the Highlands lead by Dr Keri Langridge from Scottish Wildcat Action and supported by the Highlife Highland Rangers and funded the global conservation charity Earthwatch an organisation that empowers people to save our planet through hands-on science. The children of Lochinver Primary are now waiting anxiously to see if any of their photographs has won in the competition for the best photo as judged by Gordon Buchanan.

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Recent Sightings

Black-tailed Godwit

single bird Bay of Culkein (Janet French). Photo - Gallery Birds (21/05)

Garganey

single male Loch Neil Bhain (DAH). This is only the third Assynt record of this species. Photo - Gallery Birds (19/05)

Lapwing

three adult birds and one chick, Loch Neil Bhain (DAH) (19/05)

Whimbrel

two birds near Culkein Drumbeg jetty (DAH). Photo - Gallery Birds (19/05)

Risso's Dolphin

four animals off Stoerhead Lighthouse (DAH) (19/05)

Arctic Tern

15+ birds on offshore island Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (19/05)

Shelduck

pair still present Oldany estuary area (DAH) (19/05)

Golden Plover

at least four birds on grazing land Balchladich (Janet French) (18/05)

Map