Research

Peregrine Falcons

For many years I have been monitoring and researching the behaviour, ecology and breeding of Peregrine Falcons in South Devon.  This is done under a licence issued by the British Trust for Ornithology, with annual data being submitted to the Nest Record Scheme.

Peregrines have recovered well from the harmful effects that chemicals used by farmers casued back in the 1960's and 70's.  Peregrines were also persecuted by egg collectors seeking to take the birds eggs and by pigeon fanciers who would attempt to kill Peregrines to protect their birds.  Sadly these practices still continue to this day.

As a result of the Peregrine's fragile status, every year I monitor the status of the Peregrines that inhabit the South Devon area along with a small group of like minded individuals.  I work closely with the local Widlife Crime Police Officer to ensure that the Peregrines are afforded the best opportunities to behave in a natural manner.

Updates on the research I undertake with Peregrines can be found on Twitter @TQperegrines

Otters

I have a keen interest in Otters, which are an extremely interesting animal to study and I have been fortunate to have spent time photographing Otters across the UK.  Highly adaptable, Otters have recovered from extensive persecution from hunting.  This resurgance has been enhanced by the cleanliness of our waterways which has improved in recent years.  Otters can now be found in every county in England, which is marvellous news.

Locally I study the Otter population on the River Dart in Devon, which is a stronghold of the species with Otters inhabiting its entire course.  Still largely nocturnal, the Otters of the Dart inhabit a diverse network of habitats, from the wide esturine reaches near Dittisham up to the cascading upland stretches on Dartmoor.  It is often said that if you stand on a bridge in Devon for three weeks then you will see an otter for 10 seconds, such is their elusive nature!

A significant part of my Otter studies involve helping and advising fisheries that are affected by Otter predation.  In many cases some simple measures can be implemented to minimise the impact of this keystone species.