Leading wildlife charity, Butterfly Conservation, known for its sector-leading butterfly and moth population data going back over 50 years, has launched a plea to the public to help contribute to assessing the effects of climate change while it’s scientists and volunteers are unable to carry out monitoring of wildlife sites during the lockdown.
A vital indicator of the effects of climate change in the UK, butterfly phenology (the study of the timing of natural events) recording is going to be severely affected this spring due to the restrictions on movement to halt the spread of...
The world’s number one selling brand in home pregnancy and fertility tests has donated pregnancy kits – for orang utans.
The Clearblue brand helps over 20 million women every year – and now, a couple of broody female Bornean orang utans… Keepers at Paignton Zoo in Devon approached Clearblue because they hope their orang utans will breed this year.
Senior Head Keeper of Mammals Rob Rouse said: “We now have a male who is old enough to breed. As part of the European Endangered species Programme for Bornean orang utans, we’d like them to be trying for babies, but we need to...
The three South West zoos run by regional conservation charity Wild Planet Trust have a defiant message for coronavirus: “It’s business as usual”.
Staff and volunteers are prepared for the impact of coronavirus, but at this time the charity zoos remain open. Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling said: “We’re monitoring the situation closely and will naturally continue to follow the advice of Public Health England and the Government. We will close if directed or if we no longer have the people to operate safely, but right now WE ARE OPEN!
Ingenious aquarists at Living Coasts, Torquay’s coastal zoo and aquarium, have trained strange fish to help clean their tank of a naturally-occurring pest.
Filefish, or leatherjackets, have been introduced into the charity zoo’s large stingray tank to help control an invasive anemone.
Aquarist Tom Fielding: “Aiptasia is a common temperate and tropical sea anemone. It comes in through our filtration system when seawater is drawn from the Bay. It’s regarded as a pest in saltwater aquariums because it can multiply rapidly and compete for food and space and occasionally even...
Keepers at Living Coasts, Torquay’s coastal zoo, had to do a double-take recently when they discovered that European common lobster Homer had moulted for the first time in two years.
Aquarist Sam Worthington was particularly pleased, as it was the first time he’d moulted in her time at the charity zoo: “This exoskeleton is almost perfect - right down to the antennae and the eyes. Lobsters moult their protective outer shells in order to grow. It’s hard work – some die of exhaustion in the process. It’s made of chitin, a natural polymer related to glucose, which plays a similar role...
Keepers at Paignton Zoo saved scores of animals after recent storms damaged a key building.
High winds ripped open a 36-metre-long air vent in the roof of Reptile Tropics at around 7.30 one morning, exposing vulnerable animals, plants and electrics. Staff rushed to save lizards, snakes, turtles, iguanas, chameleons and geckos as the temperature in the building dropped. Meanwhile, maintenance staff were able to carry out running repairs and prevent further damage.
In all, 65 reptiles and amphibians were saved, along with around 200 birds. It’s thought that no individuals...
An incongruously large development planned for Exeter would greatly overshadow the surrounding low-rise historic townscape
The Victorian Society has objected to proposed plans to build two blocks on the site of the Harlequins shopping centre within Exeter’s Central Conservation Area – which is characterised by predominantly low-rise 18th and 19th century buildings.
The plans involve the demolition of the 1980s Harlequins Centre, which although not an architecturally significant building, it is relatively respectful of the surrounding townscape in terms of scale, and...
A first-time London Marathon competitor is running so that her young children will be able to see wildlife when they grow up.
Franziska Bullimore has entered the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on behalf of conservation charity Paignton Zoo. Franziska, who has a background in working with animals herself, said: “I’m doing this for our children, for the next generation, in the hope that they will still be able to see amazing plants and animals in the world. It’s about respect for the environment. This is my little contribution.”
Paignton Zoo in Devon has hatched three very special – and very beautiful - youngsters. Keepers are hand rearing a trio of Chinese crocodile lizards. In 2018, Paignton Zoo became the first major zoological collection in the UK to breed this species.
You may not be familiar with the Chinese crocodile lizard. It’s not surprising; this small, semiaquatic lizard is found only in the provinces of southern China and northern Vietnam. It’s listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List due to severe population declines and habitat threats.