Pelagic: Publisher of the Month for May

Pelagic was founded in 2010 to fill the publishing gap in practical books available on ecology and conservation. They publish books for scientists, conservationists, ecologists, wildlife enthusiasts – anyone with a passion for understanding and exploring the natural world. Their books cover ecological survey and evolutionary biology to natural history dictionaries and environmental statistics. With a prodigious amount of recent publishing, it is our great pleasure to announce Pelagic as our Publisher of the Month for May 2019.

New books for 2019





Pelagic have already published a plethora of great titles for 2019, from a call to action to halt biodiversity with Rebirding: Rewilding Britain and its Birds to recording the wildlife in woods with the Woodland Survey Handbook. This follows on from very strong publishing in 2018 with Bat Roosts in Trees continuing to be one of our bestsellers since it’s publication last October.

Pelagic and bat books





With two eagerly awaited bat titles:  Is That a Bat? and The Barbastelle Bat Conservation Handbook in preparation and a wealth of bat survey and monitoring books already published, Pelagic are the go-to publisher for Chiroptera.

Other Pelagic books

Pelagic have – in a very short space of time – carved out a niche for themselves in wildlife publishing.  A selection of their publishing is divided into series which are continually added to – these include:

Conservation Handbooks: bridging the gap between scientific theory and practical conservation implementation.


Naturalists’ Handbooks: information, covering biology, practical notes on identifying, in the field or in the laboratory, with plates of individual species and line drawings of many of the key identification characteristics.

Data in the Wild: data collection and analysis for for ecologists, includes books on camera trapping, CCTV and remote sensing.


Synopses of Conservation Evidence: The aim of the project is to make scientific evidence more accessible, in turn making practical wildlife and environmental conservation more evidence-based. 

In addition to series collections, Pelagic publish many stand-alone books for practical ecologists, such as Habitat Management for Invertebrates and for travelling ornithologists, there’s the recent Where to Watch Guides ensuring you get the most from your wildlife travels.

You can browse all Pelagic publications here.


NHBS Guide to Dormouse Survey Equipment

Dormice are a distinctive family of rodents, found widely across Eurasia and Africa. The Hazel Dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) is a native British species which resides primarily in deciduous woodland. They are protected by EU law because of their rapidly declining numbers – studies suggest they have suffered a 72% population reduction in the last 22 years. Dormice are an important bioindicator as they are particularly sensitive to habitat and population fragmentation, so their presence is an indication of habitat integrity.

To enforce legal protection and ensure the success of conservation projects, current data about the distribution of Hazel Dormice is very important. A variety of survey equipment and methods can be used by licenced dormouse handlers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Nest Boxes

Perhaps the simplest survey technique to determine dormouse presence is searching for the nest box residents. Dormouse nest boxes are largely similar to standard bird boxes, but with the entrance hole facing the tree. Nest boxes can be important conservation tools as they can boost the local dormouse population density and aid re-introduction schemes.

The Standard Dormouse Nest Box is built from FSC softwood and has a removable lid with a wire closure for monitoring. This box can also come with a perspex inner screen allowing  surveyors to check the boxes inhabitants, without the risk of escape or  injury.

The more resilient Heavy Duty Dormouse Box is made from thicker  ¾” FSC marine plywood and is ideal for long-term monitoring projects. 

Dormouse Tubes

Dormouse nest tubes are a cheap, easy and popular method of determining the presence of dormice within a habitat. They can be an effective alternative to using wooden nest boxes.

The tubes consist of a wooden tray and a nesting tube. Dormice make their nests in the tubes and it is these that are used as indicators of their presence in the habitat. Nest tubes can be set up and checked without a licence until the first evidence of dormouse activity is found. After that, only a licensed handler can check them. For attaching to a tree, Hook and Loop Strapping is a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic cable ties, as they are reusable, reducing plastic waste.

Dormouse Footprint Tunnels

The latest dormouse surveying technique uses footprint tunnels. This technique was created by Suffolk Wildlife Trust with PTES funding and has since been recommended in the CIEEM magazine In Practice in September 2018.

It is a non-invasive survey technique, which does not require a licence as the chance of disturbing dormice is very low. The 40cm tube, houses a wooden platform which contains the charcoal ink and paper on which footprints are left. Compared with nest tube surveys, footprint tunnels can reduce the survey period required and provide an indication of the presence or likely absence of dormice at a site.

Dormouse Nut Hunting

Dormice leave very characteristic marks when they eat Hazel nuts. They gnaw a round hole in the shell leaving a smooth edge with very few teeth marks, unlike mice or voles. Systematic nut searches under Hazel trees are still regarded as one of the best survey techniques, only hand lenses and a keen eye are required.

Accessories and books

Below are some accessories and books that are commonly used for dormouse surveys and monitoring:

Small Mammal Holding Bag
Pesola Light-Line Spring Scales
From £35.00

Pesola PTS3000 Electronic Scale


Heavy Duty Extra-Large Polythene Sample Bags
£0.70 per bag

Animal Handling Gloves
£5.69 5.99

LED Telescopic Inspection Mirror

How to Find and Identify Mammals

Britain’s Mammals: A field guide to the mammals of Britain and Ireland

Continue reading “NHBS Guide to Dormouse Survey Equipment”

Choosing a GPS – A Quick Guide from NHBS

GPS handsets have become standard field items for much routine survey work. It is quick and easy to record sighting locations and download the information when back from the field for sample identification or analysis with GIS software. Geotagging (adding location metadata to a file or item) has also become increasingly common for digital photographs and video clips – these data can then be overlaid on geographical web services such as Google Earth.

Choosing a GPS can be bewildering due to the range of models and features on offer. This handy NHBS Quick Guide highlights the key features of the GPS models we stock.  Please feel free to contact us by email or phone if you would like further assistance in choosing the right GPS for your needs.

Garmin eTrex Venture HC

Garmin eTrex Venture HC
Affordable mapping GPS with built in memory, 500 waypoints and 14 hour battery life.

Garmin eTrex Summit HC

Garmin eTrex Summit HC
Mapping GPS with built in memory, compass, barometric altimeter, 500 waypoints and 14 hour battery life.

Garmin eTrex Vista HCx

Garmin eTrex Vista HCx
Mapping GPS with expandable SD card memory (not included – you will need to buy a separate SD memory card for this device), compass, barometric altimeter, 1000 waypoints and 25 hour battery life.

Garmin Map60Cx

Garmin Map60Cx
Larger screen mapping GPS with expandable SD card memory (included), 1000 waypoints and 18 hour battery life.

Garmin Map60CSx

Garmin Map60CSx
Larger screen mapping GPS with expandable SD card memory (included), compass, barometric altimeter, 1000 waypoints and 18 hour battery life.

Garmin Colorado 300

Garmin Colorado 300
Large high resolution mapping GPS with built in memory and expandable SD card memory (not included), compass, barometric altimeter, 1000 waypoints and 15 hours battery life.

Frequently Asked Questions about GPS

These are all mapping GPS – what does that mean?

All mapping GPS models come with the Atlantic Highway basemap. This includes Europe, extreme western Russia, Africa, and the Middle East, and covers an area from N75 to S60 Latitude, W30 to E60 Longitude. Also included is a high-level worldwide map with political boundaries and major cities.

The standard global map coverage is:

  • Oceans, rivers and lakes (greater than 30 square miles)
  • Principal cities and a small amount of smaller cities and towns
  • Major motorways and/or interstates and principal highways
  • Political boundaries (state and international borders)
  • Large and medium airports
  • Urban areas greater than 200K

In Iceland, Great Britain, Baltic States, Denmark, Germany, Benelux, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Southern Africa (up to S20 Latitude) the basemap also includes:

  • Small lakes, major streams and rivers
  • Urban areas
  • Railroads
  • Regional arterial roadways
  • Exits for major motorways and/or interstates (Europe Only)
  • Small cities and towns

Many users purchase additional mapping software to download onto their GPS handset. In the UK the Topo Map of Great Britain extends the basic base map on your GPS handset with topographical data from Ordnance Survey.

What accessories should I get?

Our most popular accessories are carry cases to protect your GPS from the elements e.g. the eTrex Carry case & Map60 Carry Case. You may also find a neck strap useful to stop your GPS wandering off.

Waypoints – what should I consider when choosing a GPS model?

If you are using your GPS for survey data then you need to make sure that you have enough waypoints to suit your project. For example, the eTrex Venture HC has 500 waypoints, whereas the Map60Cx has 1,000.

What books can help me get the best out of GPS?

The best guides for beginners are:
Getting Started with your GPS
Using Digital Maps and GPS in Fieldwork
Navigating with GPS
For more advanced users:
GPS for Land Surveyors
Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems

What’s WAAS and how does it differ from older GPS accuracy?

All the new Garmin models are WAAS enabled. WAAS stands for Wide Area Augmentation System – it’s a US system of satellites and ground stations that provide GPS signal corrections, giving you even better position accuracy. How much better? A WAAS-capable receiver can give you a position accuracy of better than three meters 95 percent of the time.

The WAAS system is for North America, in Europe the recently launched Euro Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) does the same job and your WAAS enabled GPS handset is fully compatible with EGNOS meaning you will get accuracy of <3m in Europe.

In parts of the world without an enhanced GPS service resolution is typically 5-15m.

Do I need a cable to connect one of these GPS to my computer?

No – all of these models include a USB cable to connect your GPS to you computer.

I have an older model without a cable – what do I need to connect to my PC?

If you have an older GPS handset without a USB cable then you will need two additional cables to connect to USB: first the Garmin eTrex PC Interface Cable to connect to a 9-pin serial port. If you have a newer PC without the 9-pin serial port then you will also need a Garmin eTrex Serial to USB converter cable. Given that the cost of these cables is quite high most customers end up replacing their GPS handset.

Browse our full range of GPS handsets
Browse our full range of wildlife equipment