3rd March 2019 is WORLD WILDLIFE DAY

To celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora

Slow Worm Identification

A zoology student from the University of Cumbria is using an ingenious technique to identify individual slow worms as part of her dissertation research into conserving this seldom seen lizard.

Suzanne Collinson,45, a third year BSc Zoology student at the University of Cumbria has a passion for the UK’s only legless lizard and is working on a conservation project in the village of Dalston, Carlisle, one of the few areas in Cumbria where the creatures are known to reside.

To help her monitor the population in St Michael’s churchyard in the village, Suzanne is using a novel method of photographing the markings on the animals’ chins. These markings are unique and assist Suzanne in identifying individuals, which are otherwise indistinguishable from each other.

It’s begun!

We’re hearing more and more reports of frogspawn in the south west so it’s now time keep your eyes peeled for amorous amphibians… For the third year, we running the PondNet Spawn Survey. We’d like to hear from you about the frog and toad spawn you spot in your garden ponds, local community ponds, and any ponds you come across in your adventures in the countryside. https://freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/projects/pondnet/spawnsurvey2019/

Cardiff University prepares scientists to tackle
global environmental challenges

A new master’s degree from Cardiff University will train the next generation of scientists to tackle urgent global issues that are having significant impacts on wildlife and ecosystems around the world.

The world is facing unprecedented challenges; from a growing human population and increased habitat loss, to plastic pollution and a changing climate. To meet these challenges, there is a need for innovative and adaptable scientists who can develop conservation strategies with real impact.

Cardiff University’s MSc in Global Ecology and Conservation will combine scientific theory with practical research in the field, to equip students with the skills and knowledge to devise effective and scalable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.

From the rivers of South Wales to the Bornean rainforest, it covers the major conservation issues affecting various habitats across the globe, enabling students to learn how to identify and tackle current and emerging threats to species and ecosystems.

The course also takes full advantage of Wales’ incredible ecological diversity, providing the perfect environment for students to develop skills as field researchers.

“The world as we know it is changing at a rapid rate – and our ecosystems are under more stress than ever before,” explains Professor Jim Murray, Head of the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University.

“The School of Biosciences is home to leading scientists who are conducting cutting-edge research into a number of environmental issues – from pioneering climate change research, to developing action plans to preserve native species. The new MSc will offer an exciting opportunity for them to share this knowledge with the next generation of ecological scientists, furnishing them with the knowledge and experience they need to ‘be the change’ and make a real world difference.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, Professor Karen Holford, added: “Research tells us that climate change and the destruction of nature is considered to be the most serious global issue by 18-35 year olds across the world.

“As a responsible organisation with a strong civic mission, Cardiff University is committed to environmental sustainability, and our 2018-23 Way Forward Strategy contains ambitious targets around eliminating single use plastics, reducing carbon emissions and improving recycling rates, for example.

“Our new MSc in Global Ecology and Conservation enables us to take our commitment to environmental issues one step further. Through interdisciplinary research and teaching, this forward-looking course aims to create skilled and knowledgeable global scientists who can devise innovative solutions to some of the key challenges facing the world in the 21st century, and make a positive difference to our environment, both now and in the future.”