Friday 31st October marks the first ever World Lemur Day, a celebration spearheaded by the Malagasy primate expert group Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche sur les Primates (GERP), to raise awareness of lemur diversity and highlight critical conservation needs at both national and international levels. More than just a celebration, World Lemur Day is also intended to show the Malagasy government how the rest of the world is interested in lemurs; encouraging the government to conserve them.
Throughout the month of November, Bristol Zoological Society is celebrating the 50th anniversary of International Union for Conserving Nature (IUCN) Red List, which identifies the world’s most threatened species and facilitates their conservation. Bristol Zoological Society is home to approximately 557 species, of which 255 are listed as Vulnerable in the wild, or a higher level of threat as Endangered or Critically Endangered. The Zoo’s Asiatic lions, for example, are listed as Critically Endangered, with as few as 400 left in the wild.
There are less than 19,000 penguin mating pairs left in the wild in South Africa. The global population of African penguins fell a devastating 70% between 2001 and 2013. Numerous penguin chicks are abandoned around this time of year, just before their parents start their moulting cycle, when they develop a new set of waterproof feathers. Adult African penguins still need to make foraging trips during this time and leave their chicks behind. Due to an increasing decline in fish stocks, penguins have to journey further afield for their food but are unable to swim before their moulting cycle. Thus meaning they cannot feed their chicks, which are not yet ready to fledge due to lack of food availability, resulting in abandonment and starvation.
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