Dartmoor archaeologists need you!

Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted: Fri, 07/31/2015 - 9:54am

Help Dartmoor National Park Archaeologists and Rangers look after prehistoric stone rows on a two day conservation work project on 19 and 20 August 2015.

Dartmoor’s landscape is among the richest in western Europe in terms of its prehistoric archaeological remains. Dartmoor contains the longest stone row in the world and has the greatest number of archaeological sites out of all the UK National Parks. In fact 60% of all stone rows to be found in England are on Dartmoor and 1/3 of all stone rows in the UK and Brittany are on Dartmoor.

All of this takes some looking after!...

Tiny moment of calm in a troubled land

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Sat, 06/06/2015 - 12:10pm

While Zimbabwe collapses economically and socially, dedicated conservationists continue their battle to save the country’s wildlife. This tiny antelope – an orphaned Sharpe’s grysbok – is being cared for at Dambari field station, near Bulawayo, after it was found orphaned near Hwange National Park.

You might expect the Director of the Dambari Wildlife Trust, vet Verity Bowman, to have bigger things to worry about than this fragile fawn. She spends her working day guiding her charity through the stormy seas of Zimbabwean life and trying to combat the latest rhino poaching atrocity...

Bird conservationist banks on success

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Thu, 04/30/2015 - 8:31am

A bird expert has travelled from South Devon to South Africa to help save an endangered African seabird. And within days of arriving, Living Coasts Senior Head Keeper Lois Rowell has found herself hand-rearing precious chicks.

Lois, an experienced bird keeper practiced in the delicate art of hand-rearing, is spending six weeks working with bank cormorants. She is helping SANCCOB, a leading marine conservation charity specialising in threatened seabirds such as the bank cormorant and African penguin. They are Living Coasts’ long-term partner in the country.

Lois travelled to...

Zoo staff play Cupid for love birds

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Fri, 02/13/2015 - 1:19pm

These love birds at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park are doing what comes naturally, but there can be a lot of hard work behind the scenes to make sure rare species continue to breed.

Paignton Zoo curator of birds Jo Gregson holds the European Studbook for the wrinkled hornbill. “It’s my job to collect and collate information from other zoos on hatchings, matchings and dispatchings for the species and to make recommendations for pairings.” Which means that Jo gets to play cupid.

There are 140 European Studbooks; the system is run by the European Association of Zoo &...

Conservation in action at A la Ronde

Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted: Fri, 02/13/2015 - 11:00am

A la Ronde is open for visitors again following its winter clean, but some conservation work can still be seen taking place in this unique house.

Every Wednesday and Thursday, the in-house team of expert conservators will be carrying out their work in front of visitors so they can find out more about the specialist techniques used for cleaning ceramics, metals, beating carpets and conserving the book collection.

Laura Fox, House Steward, says: “we are delighted to be able to invite visitors to watch conservation in action at A la Ronde and meet some experts in their fields...

Devon charity builds international presence

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Fri, 01/30/2015 - 9:22am

A leading South West conservation charity has created two new posts as it expands its crucial overseas work. The Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, based at Paignton Zoo, has announced new staff for its projects in Vietnam and Nigeria.

Emmanuel Olabode has been appointed as Education & Research Coordinator at the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, while Heidi Quine takes up the post of International Technical Advisor with Save Vietnam's Wildlife.

Dr Andrew Bowkett, Programmes Manager for the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, explained: “We don’t employ staff...

Litter threat to sea life

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Tue, 10/21/2014 - 10:45am

Staff at Torquay’s coastal zoo have spoken out about the amount of litter on the beaches and in the sea and highlighted the threat to marine life.

Clare Rugg, from Living Coasts, explained: “Beacon Cove is the beach on our doorstep. Some litter is brought in by the waves but much of it is left by beach users. The Council regularly cleans the beach – but it becomes littered again overnight! We think the problem is getting worse. Some people who volunteered at our recent big beach clean weekend were horrified by how much rubbish was picked up.

“Our beach litter problem is...

Trust rears rare Devon species

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Fri, 07/18/2014 - 10:35am

A Devon conservation charity has taken another step to help save a threatened native species.

The Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, based at Paignton Zoo, has teamed up with the Environment Agency and Buglife to rear white-clawed crayfish.

The white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) is one of the largest freshwater invertebrates in the UK but is under threat of extinction in the wild because of the introduced North American signal crayfish, which out-competes its British counterpart for food and carries a killer plague.

WWCT UK Conservation Officer,...

Rare Bat Project wins Funding

Authored by Huw Oxburgh
Posted: Tue, 04/01/2014 - 4:56pm

Conservationists have been awarded funding to develop plans to protect a rare species of bat in Devon. The funding secured by Devon Wildlife Trust from the Heritage Lottery Fund for will go towards a project protecting the Greater Horseshoe Bat. The project plan to be developed over the next 12 months by the Greater Horseshoe Bat Partnership could then see a further £750,000 in long-term funding. “In the last century they’ve seen their numbers decline by 90% and Devon and the wider South West, is really the last remaining stronghold for that species.” said Steve Hussey of the Devon...

Paignton Zoo staff save tiny rare baby

Authored by Paigntonzoo
Posted: Wed, 03/19/2014 - 10:46am

Dedicated keepers at Paignton Zoo are caring for a rare baby that weighed little more than a CD at birth.

The pygmy slow loris – which weighed just 22 grams when it was born - was one of twins born to a first-time mother. One twin did not survive, and keepers stepped in to save the other when its mother abandoned it.

For the first night head mammal keeper Craig Gilchrist slept in an office in the Zoo, feeding the minute youngster every couple of hours. It was given SMA gold cap milk replacer using a 1ml syringe and a small rubber teat.

Seven mammal keepers now take...