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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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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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RCVS names Professor John Innes as chair of Fellowship Board

Professor John Innes has been elected chair of the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Board, replacing Professor Nick Bacon who comes to the end of his three-year term.


Professor Innes will be responsible for making sure the Fellowship progresses towards fulfilling its strategic goals, determining its ongoing strategy and objectives, and reporting to the RCVS Advancement of the Professions Committee on developments within the Fellowship.