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Scientists call for action on threatened species
Human impacts on these species extend across 84 per cent of the world’s surface.
Study reveals global map of wildlife “cool spots” and “hot spots”

“The vast majority of imperilled species that are not extinct yet will be if we don’t take pre-emptive action.”

That is the stark warning from researchers at the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Queensland, who have mapped out the threats faced by thousands of species.

Writing in the journal Plos Biology, the researchers identify the world’s “cool spots," where wildlife is thriving, and “hot spots,” where species are most affected by hunting, land clearing and other industrial activities.

The team assessed a total of 5,457 species, including amphibians, birds and mammals, and found that human impacts on these species extend across 84 per cent of the world’s surface.

Their study also revealed that around a quarter of the species are threatened across nearly 90 per cent of their distribution.

Most concerning, the researchers say, is that 395 species are impacted throughout their entire distribution and are almost certain to face extinction without intervention.

James Allan, a University of Queensland post-doctoral researcher, told The Guardian: “These results are very alarming and that’s because the threats we’ve mapped are specific to the species.

“They’re the primary causes of the species’ decline and the reason they are threatened with extinction. Where a threat overlaps with a species, we know that species will continue to decline.”

The Amazon rainforest, the Andes and the forests of Russia and North America were identified by the researchers as “cool spots”. Leading “hot spots” were dominated by areas in Southeast Asia.

Watson said the results of the study should be used to focus on saving areas that are used as strongholds for these species.

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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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.