The JNCC has a varied role in mammal conservation here in the UK, and internationally within Europe and beyond.

National and International Policy Advice

There are a number of international treaties whose objectives are to encourage the conservation of mammals and the habitats they use, through national action and international co-operation. The JNCC provides advice and support to the Government in meeting its obligations under the international treaties. The most relevant ones to mammals are:
  • The Habitats Directive has the fundamental purpose of establishing a network of protected areas throughout the European Community designed to maintain both the distribution and abundance of threatened species and habitats. This directive has given rise to a number of Special Areas of Conservation being designated for Annex II species including greater and lesser horseshoe bats, barbastelle bats, Bechstein's bats and otters.
  • The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats. The first international Agreement devoted to the conservation of bats and the first Agreement of its kind under Article IV of the Bonn Convention. A fundamental obligation of the Agreement is to identify and protect shelter and feeding sites that are important for the conservation status of bats. The JNCC provides scientific advice to DEFRA and in this role attends Meetings of the Parties and of the Scientific Advisory Committee and assists in production of the National Report, which is an update on bat activities carried out in the UK under the Agreement.

Tracking Mammals Partnership

The Tracking Mammals Partnership (TMP) was set up to promote joint working in support of mammal surveillance in the UK. Until 2009 the TMP was managed by a Steering Group with representatives from all the organisations in the Partnership. The Steering Group worked to clearly defined Terms of Reference. Main areas of discussion included progress with the surveillance and monitoring programme, data availability, volunteer management, reporting results and achieving closer co-operation between the organisations involved. The steering group has not met more recently, although partner organisations have continued activities and carried on working together informally. The TMP webpage’s are no longer being hosted by JNCC, but they can still be accessed via our archive.

Mammal PublicationsImage of Bat Workers' Manual cover

JNCC has published a number of useful reports and manuals on mammals. These include a review of population estimates and conservation status of terrestrial mammals in the UK (A review of British mammals) and a manual for those carrying out bat work under licence from the Country Agencies (CCW, EN, SNH, EHSNI). There are also a number of reports on individual species, including brown hare, otter, pine marten and red squirrel.
Recent publications include a comprehensive guide and a short leaflet entitled Habitat management for bats. The publications are intended to provide advice to farmers and landowners on how to manage their land to benefit bats.
In 2012, JNCC facilitated a report comparing the trends and geographical variation shown in two surveillance schemes: mammal abundance in the Breeding Bird Survey and the National Gamebag Census. This JNCC report can be downloaded here.
Safety first with new Bat Workers' Manual
JNCC's new 3rd edition of the Bat Workers' Manual includes revised recommendations on the handling of bats, vaccinations against European Bat Lyssavirus (EBLV), and a list of contact details for finding the latest advice on the subject. Updated information on legislation, and other essential advice, has also been included.
The Bat Workers' Manual has always been one of JNCC's best-selling publications. It provides detailed information on all aspects of bats and is an essential reference manual for anyone wishing to obtain a licence to carry out bat work in the UK.