Keele University Arboretum
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Vertebrates at Keele
There has been little or no work done on the mammals at Keele except for the bats.
Please send any sightings to me by E-Mail or to Geography, Geology and the Environment, William Smith Building.
Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus: Common in gardens.
Mole Talpa europaea: Common all over.
Common Shrew Sorex araneus : trapped in 2016 C. Byrne.
Chiroptera - bats
Bats often turn up in buildings on campus; usually Pipistrelles. The top lake is a good spot to look and to listen (with a bat detector) for bats. Daubenton's is often seen there. The Staffordshire Bat Group has done a lot of work at Keele and more recently Cheryl Byrne and Sarah Taylor. During that work the following species have been recorded:
Brown Long-eared : Plecotus auritus
Daubenton's : Myotis daubentoni
Pipistrelle: Pipistrellus pipistrellus
Sopranao Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pygmaeus
Noctule : Nyctalus noctule
Natterer's : Myotis nattereri
Whiskered : Myotis mystacinus
Brown Hare Lepus capensis: There are old records of Hares in fields off Clock House Drive (Kate Lees, 1987) while the only recent records are of one crossing fields below Keele Hall on 29/1/15 (DWE) and one along Lymes Road in September 2016 (JA Lawrence).
Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus: Common across campus.
Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis: The Grey Squirrel can be seen all over campus. The last sightings of our native Red Squirrel S. vulgaris were back in the 1950s. Any recent reports of them almost certainly refer to Grey Squirrels which often have a reddish tinge to their fur. The population of Greys has always been a subject for debate. They certainly do a great deal of damage to young trees with whole stands being destroyed in some instances. Attempts at controlling the population have always met with opposition.
Water Vole Arvicola terrestris: one on 11/4/75 by dam on Lake 1 and 2 by Lake 4 in October 2010.
Bank Vole Myodes glareolus: Three were trapped in the Walled Garden as part of a Y3 practical on 14/10/14.
Field Vole Microtus agrestis:Seven were trapped in the Walled Garden as part of a Y3 practical on 14/10/14
Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus : trapped 2015 C. Byrne.
House Mouse Mus musculus : trapped in 2015 C. Byrne.
Common Rat Rattus norvegica: common all over campus.
Badger Meles meles: There are a number of active setts in the area though live Badgers are rarely seen. Two were seen in fields near Holly Cross in 2006 (Helen Wescott).
Fox Vulpes vulpes: Common around campus, though often not seen. Their characteristic scent though can often be picked up. There is a report of at least one family that lives in the Horwood/Springpool area (Helen Johnson).
Weasel Mustela nivalis: One record on 16/4/1974 by the old sewage works and another of two on 24/6/74.
Polecat Mustela putorius: It can be difficult to separate Polecats from Polecat x Ferret hybrids which have traditionally been kept as pets. However, the numbers of such animals have increased dramatically over the past few years and it is reasonable to suggest that the following are probably genuine Polecats. One in early 2005 Brent Sutton and one along Lymes Road on 23/6/05 Mark Sutton; One in Clock House Drive 29/7/10 Helen Urwin.
Fallow Deer Dama dama: There is a small population of Fallow Deer on the Mainwaring Estate, two miles to the south. The motorway appears to be a barrier to them reaching the Keele Estate. However, deer prints were seen in the snow on February 28th 2004 (Neil Carter).
Reptiles and Amphibians
Few records for these. Frogs are widespread on campus. Good numbers of Toads have been reported from Lake 5 on the Phase 3 site. There is a record of Common Newt by the Sutainabilty Hub.
There is one record of an unfortnate Grass Snake that was found dead in the boiler of a house in Church Plantation and another was filmed by IC1 28/07/16.