How do zoos decide which animals to keep?

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) boasts over 700 million visitors to its zoos each year – including London Zoo (UK), Calgary Zoo (Canada) and hundreds of other institutions around the world. This makes them a huge asset in raising awareness for the environmental threats that animals face, whilst also generating substantial funds …

News: Tiktok, tuna and the world’s largest bee

This post is just a brief one highlighting some of the top, positive, environmental news from September 2020. Enjoy. Tiktok Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) and Generation Z (late 90s- 2010s) are becoming increasingly more aware of environmental issues by using the Internet, with one notable example being the video-sharing platform Tiktok. Many users …

Palaeoecology: how an understanding of ancient savannas helps inform elephant management

Despite their role as a conservation flagship species, elephants can be highly destructive to their natural environment. They play a huge role in the management of savanna ecosystems across Africa, but in some areas, the widespread damage they bring to vegetation and farmer’s land makes them a pest. Two main control methods have been suggested …

What has Boris got against newts?!

Last month (July 2020) the UK prime minister Boris Johnson said the following words: “Time is money. And the newt-counting delays in our system are a massive drag on the productivity and prosperity of this country.” …What’s that all about? What are newt-counting delays, and how are newts linked with societal productivity and prosperity? This …

Mutualism in nature: Fungal friends and finding Nemo

Mutualism is the technical term used to describe a relationship between organisms from which both parties benefit. For example, bees benefit from the nectar provided by flowers, when the flowers themselves are pollinated by the spread of their pollen to other flowers. It differs from symbiosis, a word which is often used alongside mutualism, as …

Ecotourism: Is it as ‘green’ as it claims to be?

Ecotourism has been defined as the “responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people” (The International Ecotourism Society). The term arose in the 1980s to highlight the connection between conservation and tourism, and the benefits that one can have on the other (Stronza et al., 2019). But …

Captivity: Conservation of Scottish Wildcats

The Scottish Wildcat* (Felis silvestris grampia) represents the last surviving wild member of the cat family in Britain (Fredriksen, 2016). It is a famously elusive and untameable species (Gartner et al., 2014), which resembles the domestic tabby cat, with a large black-tipped bushy tail. It is among the most endangered species in Britain, with under …

Badger Culling

Badgers are charismatic, black-and-white striped mammals which share their scientific family with otters, weasels and ferrets, and are protected in the UK under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 (Bennett & Willis, 2008). They live in underground setts, some of which have been found to extend from 20-100m or more, with the largest in the …

What happened to the Easter Islanders?

“The person who felled the last tree could see it was the last tree. But they still felled it” – Bahn & Fenley (1992) By AD 900, Easter Island, the most remote piece of land in the world, was first inhabited by Polynesian settlers. Around 500-600 years later, their society collapsed. The following article will …

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