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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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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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BEVA survey seeks views about antibiotic use in horses

Equine vets are being invited to participate in a BEVA survey that aims to find out more about antimicrobial resistance in equine veterinary practice.

Designed by researchers at the University of Liverpool and incoming BEVA president Tim Mair, the survey aims to fill gaps in knowledge about how antimicrobials are being used in equine practice and the landscape of resistant infections encountered in equine practice.

Researchers hope the results will lead to a greater understanding of the role of antimicrobial treatment and antimicrobial resistance in horses and protect antibiotics for the future of equine and human health.