Tag Archive: conservation

Australia’s Moo-st Wanted

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A guilty TV pleasure of mine, much to my housemates’ dismay, are those documentaries focussing on the exciting* world of border security and customs control. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line, Passport Patrol – you name it, give me a Sunday afternoon and I’ll watch hour after hour of disgruntled international travellers being separated from their dried meat delicacies and Kiwis climbing into the hulls of luxury yachts to seek out illegal immigrants hiding below deck. However, wild plants and animals tend to roam much more freely between destinations rather than spending their time queuing at airports. That’s why the DAISIE database exists. Set up to prevent the invasion of alien species, it aims to limit the damage caused to native fauna by invading species. These unwanted immigrants have the ability to displace species from their natural environment, steal their food and disrupt entire ecosystems. DAISIE – Delivering Alien Invasive Species In Europe – was funded by the sixth framework programme …

Lions are losing out on the savannahs of Africa

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There may be as little as 32,000 lions left in the wild in Africa, and their savannah home is shrinking rapidly in the face of human population expansion. This is the grim message of the wild cat charity Panthera and a team of scientists from across the globe. The habitable area for lions in the African savannah is now only 3.4 million square kilometers, 25% of the amount potentially available to them. The lion’s plight is even worse than this number suggests, as much of the territory available to them is not in one accesible area, but fragmented into around 67 small ‘islands’ of habitability. The ‘oceans’ in between each island prevent populations from interacting, raises the likelihood of deleterious inbreeding and puts each subpopulation in greater danger of dying out.  This situation is also occuring in Asia, where a subspecies of lion – Panthera leo persica – has diminished to a population of just 400 individuals, all descended from a dozen …

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