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Researchers discover new primate species in Myanmar
The Popa langur resides in central Myanmar.

Animal dubbed the Popa langur is threatened by habitat loss and hunting.

Fauna & Flora International has announced the discovery of a new primate species in Myanmar following the analysis of a 100-year-old specimen.

The new species, dubbed the Popa langur, is described in the journal Zoological Research and follows years of study by the German Primate Centre (DPZ), Leibniz Institute for Primate Research in Göttingen, and conservation NGO Fauna & Flora International (FFI). 

Found only in central Myanmar, Langurs are named after the sacred Mount Popa - an extinct volcano featuring an important wildlife sanctuary. The species is said to differ from known species in its fur colouration, tail length and skull measurements.

A DNA analysis, using a 100-year-old tissue sample from the London Natural History Museum, revealed that Langurs separated from known species around one million years ago. There are now said to be just 200 to 250 of the animals residing in four isolated populations in Myanmar. 

Researchers say that across their range, Langurs are threatened by habitat loss and hunting, and can therefore be considered as critically endangered. Christian Roos, a scientist in the primate genetics laboratory at DPZ said:

“The DNA analysis of a museum specimen collected for the London Natural History Museum more than 100 years ago has finally led to the description of this new species, confirmed also by samples collected from the field by FFI’s research team.”

Ngwe Lwin, an FFI primatologist in Myanmar, added: “Additional field surveys and protection measures are urgently required and will be conducted by FFI and others to save the langurs from extinction.”

Image (C) Aung Ko Lin/FFI.

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RCVS launches photo contest for Mental Health Awareness Week

News Story 1
 The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) is holding a photo competition for Mental Health Awareness Week to highlight the link between the natural world and wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) aims to encourage people to talk about their mental health and reduce the stigma that can prevent people from seeking help. This year's theme is nature - notably the connection between the natural world and better mental health.

The RCVS is calling on aspiring photographers to submit a photo on this theme to Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters manager, at l.quigley@rcvs.org.uk with a short explanation about their submission and why nature improves their mental health and wellbeing.  

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News Shorts
WSAVA to host free webinar on illegal online puppy trade

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has announced a free webinar to update veterinary professionals across Europe about the illegal online puppy trade. Taking place on Tuesday, 25 May, the webinar will also discuss the importance of the new EU Animal Health Law to help prevent illegal pet sales and make sellers accountable for their actions.

WSAVA chair Dr Natasha Lee said: "Veterinary professionals regularly have to deal with the repercussions of illicit breeding and trading when presented with clinically ill and sometimes dying puppies and distraught owners. Our webinar will equip veterinarians in Europe with the knowledge to play their part in upholding the new legislation and to contribute to new solutions for regulating the online puppy trade."

For more details visit wsava.org