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Scientists map primate electrocutions in Kenya
Black and white colobus monkeys, Skyes’ monkeys, vervet monkeys and baboons are common species in the area.

Findings could inform conservation efforts in high-risk areas 

Scientists have created a map of primate electrocutions in Diani, Kenya, to show where animals are most at risk from power lines.

The findings, published in the International Journal of Primatology, could help to inform conservation efforts in parts of the world where electrocutions are particularly common.

Electric shocks threaten a wide range of primate species around the world and this issue could become more problematic as humans increasingly dominate the landscape.

Researchers from the University of Bristol investigated electrocutions that occurred along power lines, which threaten five out of six primate species in Diani. Working with Colobus Conservation, they mapped 329 incidents.

Dr Katy Turner, a reader in infectious disease epidemiology, said: "Electrocution is an issue for many threatened primate species, yet the development of effective evidence-based mitigation strategies is limited.

"This study provides a framework for systematic spatial prioritisation of power lines that can be used to reduce primate electrocutions in Diani and other areas of the world where primates are at risk from electrocution."

Diani is a popular tourist town dominated by beach resorts. Over time it has encroached more and more on the habitats of many primate species, putting them at risk from roads and power lines.

Black and white colobus monkeys, Skyes’ monkeys, vervet monkeys and baboons are common species in the area. Whilst they have adapted to the human-dominated landscape, road traffic accidents and electrocutions are among the common causes of death.

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RSPCA braced for ‘hectic hedgehog month’

News Story 1
 The RSPCA says that it is bracing itself for a ‘hectic hedgehog month’ after calls to the charity about the creatures peaked this time last year.

More than 10,000 calls about hedgehogs were made to the RSPCA’s national helpline in 2018, 1,867 of which were in July. This compares with just 133 calls received in February of the same year.

Evie Button, the RSPCA’s scientific officer, said: “July is our busiest month for hedgehogs. Not only do calls about hedgehogs peak, but so do admissions to our four wildlife centres as members of the public and our own officers bring in orphaned, sick or injured animals for treatment and rehabilitation.” 

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ASF traces found in seized meat at NI airport

More than 300kg of illegal meat and dairy products were seized at Northern Ireland’s airports in June, DAERA has revealed.

A sample of these were tested at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, resulting in the detection of African swine fever DNA fragments.

DAERA said that while the discovery does not pose a significant threat to Northern Ireland’s animal health status, it underlines the importance of controls placed on personal imports of meat and dairy products. Holidaymakers travelling overseas are being reminded not to bring any animal or plant products back home.