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Chimpanzee population threatened by Chinese dam
Moyen-Bafing National Park is home to 16,500 Western chimpanzees.

Up to 1,500 Western chimpanzees could die as a result of the project

Experts have criticised plans to build a hydroelectric dam in the Moyen-Bafing National Park, Guinea, warning that it could have a detrimental effect on the chimpanzees that live there.

Moyen-Bafing is home to 16,500 Western chimpanzees. The species is reported to have declined by 80 per cent in the past decade and is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Last week Chinese firm Sinohydro signed a contract to build a new dam inside the park. The Guardian reports that local representatives were keen to secure a project that would bring energy and funds to one of Africa’s poorest countries. 

But primatologist Rebecca Kormos said that up to 1,500 chimpanzees could die as a consequence of the project, either by having their territory flooded or because of territorial conflicts if they attempt to move.

“I hope Sinohydro will reconsider engaging in a project that could drive the western chimpanzee into extinction. Once a species goes, it’s gone forever,” she said.

The Guardian reports that the nature reserve was created in 2016 intended as a “chimpanzee offset” funded by two mining companies and the World Bank.
But while the plan for the dam is popular in Guinea, locals are said to be unaware that the energy created will not go to them.

"This is not a case of the international community outting chimpanzees before before people," Kormos continued. "Three-quarters of the energy will be sold to neighbouring countries and the remaining quarter is for the mining industry."

Since the project was launched, some 140,000 people have signed a petition calling on the government of Guinea to stop its construction. 

 

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Celebrity chefs urge public to get baking to support Cats Protection fundraiser

News Story 1
 In support of Cats Protection's Pawsome Afternoon Tea fundraiser, Masterchef winner Tim Anderson and Great British Bake Off star Kim-Joy have shared biscuit recipes to help keen bakers raise money for needy cats across April.

The celebrity chefs are both cat owners and have said that they hope this fundraiser will help to raise awareness of cats in need and the importance of adopting a cat, rather than buying one.

This is the fourth year Cats Protection has run its Pawsome Afternoon Tea campaign, which encourages people to hold tea parties, bake sales and fundraising events to help raise money for the charity.

To view the recipes and other fundraising resources please visit the Cats Protection website. 

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News Shorts
BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.