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Public urged to report water vole sightings
Water voles were once a common site along UK riverbanks and waterways.
Annual National Water Vole Monitoring Programme returns

A conservation charity is calling on the British public to help survey endangered water voles.

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) has made the plea as part of its annual National Water Vole Monitoring Programme (NWVMP). Now in its fourth year, the programme was launched in response to a severe decline in water vole populations.

Emily Thomas, key species, monitoring and data officer at PTES, said that volunteers are crucial to helping the charity collect robust data about the state of water voles across the UK.

“We use the data gathered to monitor population trends year on year, which in turn help guide our conservation efforts and inform us where action is needed most,” she said.

Water voles were once a common site along UK riverbanks and waterways. But thanks to habitat loss, river pollution and American mink, the species has seen a dramatic fall in numbers.

More than 200 volunteers have taken part in the NWVMP since its launch in 2015. Last year, participants collected data from 222 sites across England, Scotland and Wales, of which 82 showed signs of water voles.

This year, volunteers will be asked to survey one of nearly 900 sites across the UK, recording all sightings and signs of the species along a 500m length of a riverbank. The recording only needs to take place once during the course of the programme (15 April-15 June) and no prior experience is required.

To find out more about the programme and how you can get involved, visit ptes.org/get-involved/surveys/countryside-2/national-water-vole-monitoring-programme/ 

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Amur leopard cubs caught on camera

News Story 1
 A pair of Amur leopards have been captured on camera for the first time since their birth. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland announced the birth in July, but with human presence being kept to a minimum, it was not known how many cubs had been born.

Motion sensitive cameras have now revealed that two cubs emerged from the den - at least one of which may be released into the wild in Russia within the next two or three years. The Amur leopard habitat is not open to the public, to help ensure the cubs retain their wild instincts and behaviour. Image © RZSS 

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News Shorts
New canine and feline dentistry manual announced

A new canine and feline dentistry and oral surgery manual has been published by the BSAVA. Announcing the news on its website, the BSAVA said this latest edition contains new step-by-step operative techniques, together with full-colour illustrations and photographs.

‘This is a timely publication; veterinary dentistry is a field that continues to grow in importance for the general veterinary practitioner,’ the BSAVA said. ‘The manual has been fully revised and updated to include the most relevant, evidence-based techniques.’

The BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Dentistry and Oral Surgery, 4th edition is available to purchase from www.bsava.com/shop