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£3.5m funding given to global wildlife projects
One of the successful projects will use radar devices to track albatrosses in the south Atlantic.

Darwin Plus awards funding to 17 schemes in UK Overseas Territories 

Rare species and iconic landscapes around the world will receive protection through the UK government, after £3.5 million was awarded to 17 innovative projects.

The Darwin Plus initiative is awarding funding to a diverse array of projects in UK Overseas Territories - from radar tracking albatrosses in the south Atlantic, to protecting wetlands in the Caribbean and monitoring drivers of change in the Akrotiri wetlands on Cyprus.

Minister of state for the Overseas Territories, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, said: “The UK’s Overseas Territories have some of the world’s most pristine waters and natural environments, from the polar regions to the Pacific, and we are committed to doing all we can to preserve them.

“This funding will help conservation projects continue their good work, boosting protections for wildlife in areas including the Atlantic and the Caribbean and supporting sustainable livelihoods which will preserve our precious environment for future generations.”

Professor Stephen Blackmore, chair of the Darwin Plus Advisory Group, added: “The range of the projects funded by Darwin Plus in our UK Overseas Territories shows how we can effect change and better support and protect nature around the globe.

“I am proud that we are delivering Darwin Plus funding to benefit animal and plant species and their habitats, which are vital to humanity’s economic and social development.”

Image © Liam Quinn/CC BY-SA 2.0/Wikimedia Commons
 

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Public urged to provide homes for swifts

News Story 1
 The RSPB is calling on the public to help provide new homes for swifts, as figures show the birds' numbers have fallen to less than half what they were 20 years ago.

Swifts arrive in the UK late April-May and can spend up to three months in the country. The RSPB attributes the birds’ decline to modern buildings, which lack the nooks and crannies they need to build nests.

While some house builders have agreed to integrate swift homes into new buildings, the RSPB believes more can be done to help this incredible bird. 'Just, 1,000 additional new nest boxes could make a difference’, the charity said.  

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News Shorts
Detection time for omeprazole reduced to 48 hours in racehorses

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that the detection time for omeprazole has been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. This is effective from 1 February 2019.

Omeprazole can be prescribed for the management of gastric ulcers in racehorses; however, studies have recently become available that show no direct effect of omeprazole on performance.

Tim Morris, the Authority’s Director of Equine Science and Welfare, commented: “Medication control in horse racing is essential to allow treatment for good welfare but also to ensure fair racing by medication withdrawal before racing. Trainers have asked for more information, especially on anti-ulcer medications, and we have used existing information to make a harmonised detection time for omeprazole available as soon as we could.”