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Australia identifies 113 species in need of ‘urgent help’ after bushfires
Loss of habitat had been so severe for some species that 'emergency intervention' was needed.

Severe habitat loss places millions at risk

The Australian government has identified 113 species that will need emergency support in the weeks and months following the bushfires that ravaged the country from 2019 to 2020.

On Tuesday 11 February, the Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel published a provisional list of animal species identified by experts as ‘the highest priorities for urgent management intervention’ over the coming months.

Expert input was provided by researchers and professionals from organisations including CSIRO; the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP); and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE). As well as the country’s top universities.

The list includes 19 mammal, 13 bird, 20 reptile, 17 frog, five invertebrate, 22 crayfish and 17 fish species. According to the panel, almost all the species on the list had lost at least 30 per cent of their habitat in the fires.

Species were prioritised based on the amount of habitat loss they had suffered; whether they were listed beforehand as being vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered; and their vulnerability to fire based on physical, behavioural and ecological traits.

The panel stated in its report: “Many [species] were considered secure and not threatened before the fires, but have now lost much of their habitat and may be imperiled.”

Species most at risk of extinction included the Blue Mountains water skink, the Kangaroo Island dunnart and the Pugh’s frog.

Loss of habitat had been so severe for species such as the koala and the smoky mouse that ‘emergency intervention’ was needed to support their recovery.

 

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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.