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Lemur population ‘on brink of extinction’
Lemurs have lived on the island of Madagascar for more than 400 million years.

Experts implementing major action plan for lemur conservation 

Ninety-five per cent of the world’s lemur population is ‘on the brink of extinction’, according to leading primate conservationists.

Experts attending the IUCN Lemur Workshop in Madagascar concluded that out of 111 lemur species, 105 are critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable. The group is now working together to implement a major action plan for lemur conservation.

Big-eyed and charismatic, lemurs have lived on the island of Madagascar for more than 400 million years. But illegal logging, charcoal production and mining have destroyed their natural habitat. New research also shows they are threatened by hunting and live capture for pets.

Experts say that a possible lemur extinction could have a knock-on effect on Madagascar’s ecosystem. Large-seeded plants, which are key to the health of the island’s forests - could be at risk of extinction because lemurs spread their seeds.

A lemur extinction could also have a major impact on Madagascar’s tourist trade, experts say. The island promotes the animal as its greatest asset and people travel from all over the world to see them.

Among the species of lemur raised from Endangered to Critically Endangered are the Indri lemur, Madame Berth’s mouse lemur and the striking blue-eyed black lemur.

The workshop was attended by 50 primate experts from across the globe, including representatives from Global Wildlife Conservation, the Bristol Zoological Society and IUCN’s SOS Programme.

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”