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ZSL launches appeal to double wild tiger numbers in Nepal
"Around the world, wildlife is going extinct - if we act now we can turn the tide and stop incredible species, like tigers, from disappearing forever.”
Donations will be matched by the UK government

International conservation charity ZSL has launched a UK Aid Match appeal to double the number of wild tigers in Nepal.

It is hoped the appeal - For People, For Wildlife - will expand existing conservation programmes in Nepal, helping local communities plan and create environmentally sustainable ways to make a living and build the same opportunities in Kenya too.

ZSL hopes to alleviate the pressures of poverty which make communities in Kenya vulnerable to exploitation by the international wildlife trade. For every £1 donated to the UK Aid Match charity appeal, the government will also contribute £1 of UK aid up to £2million.

“Around the world, wildlife is going extinct - if we act now we can turn the tide and stop incredible species, like tigers, from disappearing forever,” said ZSL director-general Dominic Jermey. “Just one donation can transform the future, for people and for wildlife. Your pound has never been more valuable.”

There are thought to be no more than 4,000 tigers left in the wild across Asia. In Nepal, wild tiger numbers increased to 235 in 2018 from only 121 in 2008, thanks to conservation efforts by ZSL, the government of Nepal and local people. But as ZSL’s Dr Hem Baral, Nepal country manager, explains, there is still much to be done:

“In Nepal, we are very proud of our wildlife, but when peoples’ livelihoods are threatened, some are pushed into wildlife crime to support their families, such as going into national parks to hunt,” he said. “ZSL has been working in Nepal for nearly 25 years, supporting communities and changing attitudes towards wildlife conservation.

“With starter loans and training, people can build legal, safer and more sustainable livings such as dairies, hotels, beauty salons and tailor’s studios. This breaks their dependence on the forest.”

Plagued by poverty, locals enter the borderland’s of Nepal’s national parks, risking both their lives and the integrity of the tigers’ habitat. With the human population rising, competition for space and resources is also growing, and the survival of some of the world’s most iconic species hangs in the balance.

Conservationists say that without further support for communities, trees will be felled, rivers will be overfished, and deer that sustain large predators will be hunted unsustainably. 

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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.