Bristol Zoological Society will be rowing for conservation in the Sue Ryder Dragon Boat Race this Sunday (14th September). The Society’s directors and other staff members will be donning animal costumes and taking to the water for the annual Bristol boat race.
The People’s Plant Collection, a Bristol project, is gearing up for a chance to win £120,000 of funding from the Big Lottery Fund to help communities transform their area through Grow Wild, a UK mass participation programme. The ‘People’s Plant Collection’ aims to bring a flowerbed of colour to the Cumberland Piazza and transform it into a vibrant greenscape for wild flowers to grow. It will also provide the Bristol community with some of the UK’s rarest native plants to be displayed via ‘pop up’ gardens, which will emerge around the city, illuminating grey areas.
A world-leading primate expert has just been appointed as the new head of conservation science of the Bristol Zoological Society. Dr Gráinne McCabe will head up the conservation science and research team at the Bristol Zoological Society – which operates Bristol Zoo Gardens and the new Wild Place Project at Cribbs Causeway. Gráinne will be tasked with leading the Society’s growing team of Higher Education & Research Officers and developing and implementing a proactive research strategy and programme in collaboration with the Director of Conservation.
Friday 31st October marks the first ever World Lemur Day, a celebration spearheaded by the Malagasy primate expert group Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche sur les Primates (GERP), to raise awareness of lemur diversity and highlight critical conservation needs at both national and international levels. More than just a celebration, World Lemur Day is also intended to show the Malagasy government how the rest of the world is interested in lemurs; encouraging the government to conserve them.
Throughout the month of November, Bristol Zoological Society is celebrating the 50th anniversary of International Union for Conserving Nature (IUCN) Red List, which identifies the world’s most threatened species and facilitates their conservation. Bristol Zoological Society is home to approximately 557 species, of which 255 are listed as Vulnerable in the wild, or a higher level of threat as Endangered or Critically Endangered. The Zoo’s Asiatic lions, for example, are listed as Critically Endangered, with as few as 400 left in the wild.
There are less than 19,000 penguin mating pairs left in the wild in South Africa. The global population of African penguins fell a devastating 70% between 2001 and 2013. Numerous penguin chicks are abandoned around this time of year, just before their parents start their moulting cycle, when they develop a new set of waterproof feathers. Adult African penguins still need to make foraging trips during this time and leave their chicks behind. Due to an increasing decline in fish stocks, penguins have to journey further afield for their food but are unable to swim before their moulting cycle. Thus meaning they cannot feed their chicks, which are not yet ready to fledge due to lack of food availability, resulting in abandonment and starvation.
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