More than 100 young water voles – one of Wales’s most endangered species – are being released this week in Cosmeston Lakes Country Park.
The re-stocking of Cosmeston with young water-voles – specially bred at a hatchery in Mid Wales – is being carried out by the Vale of Glamorgan Council in association with Wales’s envionmental organisation Natural Resources Wales (NRW) – . [The scheme was first reported by PDN here: http://tinyurl.com/y7kkfscp ]
The Vale of Glamorgan and NRW have now published an on line video showing the young voles being released this week from captivity and being given their freedom on the banks of Cosmeston’s main lake.
Water voles have suffered a 95% decline since the 1960s – largely due to a loss of habitat. To combat this, the Vale of Glamorgan Council has worked with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to develop a specially prepared environment in which they can live safely.
An NRW team is on hand at Cosmeston all this week to help the voles adjust to their new envoronment . Food – and the artificial nests in which the animals have been reared – will be removed and the community of voles will be left to enjoy their new home.
Richard Davies of the NRW says “Water voles were once common in rivers, canals and ponds across Wales, and an important part of our environment. Habitat loss and predation by American mink have reduced their numbers and they’re now endangered. Our work to breed them at our hatchery in mid Wales and our partnership with local authorities, wildlife trusts and land owners to improve habitats and to set up new populations, will boost their chance of survival.”
The only threat the Cosmeston voles now face is the pending decision of the new Vale of Glamorgan Council on whether or not to scrap the previous Vale Labour administration’s scheme to set up a commercial wake-boarding centre on Cosmeston’s largest lake.
The NRW says it will object to such a scheme.