Shrinking Habitats, Species Survival
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This event was on Thurs 16th Oct 2008, 7pm, The Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London
Some species are traditionally, and often unfairly, maligned, while other important species in remote areas are barely familiar to the general public. Our most recent lecture with talks by Dr. Dawn Scott on South Africa's Brown Hyaenas, and Dr. Rich Reading on Wildlife of the Mongolian Steppe, drew a large and appreciative audience.
Not only were their projects linked by the issues surrounding human/wildlife conflict, and the active engagement of the local communities to find ways of resolving this, but by a happy and unexpected coincidence we learnt that both speakers had independently conducted research into hyaenas and Mongolian wildlife, and were delighted to meet and swap notes on the day.
Those of you who couldn't attend can now listen to our podcasts below:
Dr. Dawn Scott, University of Brighton
In South Africa the brown hyaena is regionally threatened, with less than 1,700 individuals remaining. At least half of these animals are trying to survive in farmlands where they are often perceived as pests by landowners, being persecuted and killed as a result. Dr. Scott will be talking about the plight of the brown hyaena in South Africa, and how the research she has been undertaking for the last four years, comparing the ecology of populations inside and outside reserves, is helping us to understand and hopefully conserve the remaining populations of these beautiful and shy animals.
Dr. Rich Reading, Denver Zoological Foundation
Mongolia is rich in wildlife, but many species are coming under increasing pressure from mineral exploitation, over-grazing by domestic livestock, and the provision of body parts for traditional Chinese medicine. This project initially focused on the extraordinary argali sheep, but expanded to include a wide range of other local species, from vultures to lizards. Using the data collected on the animal and plant ecology, our scientists have helped initiate conservation management activities. They also work closely with local people to increase their support for conservation, and, most importantly, they are training Mongolian ecologists and conservationists to conduct this work independently.
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