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Don’t let me go..

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An amazing night bringing you together with researchers and conservationists dedicated to saving these truly amazing animals: A collaborative conservation-focused event by The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University devised by Daryl Lott. Come and learn more about these incredible creatures and the impact conservation research is making to help save them.

THURSDAY 24 OCTOBER, Manchester Museum is hosting ‘DONT LET ME GO‘, an evening dedicated to endangered rhinos.

MM_Rhino-Event copy2Join us for a night of inspirational talks, debates, drinks, and music, where guests can meet international conservationists and enthusiastic speakers will share their first-hand account of endangered rhinos in the wild. Be bewildered by African plant and rare natural history specimens from the collection of Manchester Museum, and take your first lesson in Kizomba, where the African rhythm will take hold of your feet..





Red Listing in Costa Rica  


Red list assessment keys 

This week I have been taking part in the 2019 IUCN Red List assessment workshop on the amphibians of Costa Rica. This is part of a worldwide effort to assess the status and conservation requirements of all known amphibians. This process is repeated every 10 years to consider all newly described species, and any changes that have occurred that might influence the status of species previously evaluated.

This immense undertaking is the remit of Jennifer Luedtke and Kelsey Neam from the Amphibian Red List Authority – IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. They have been working their way across the world over the past few years, organising workshops and patiently collecting and streamlining the thoughts and findings of hundreds of world’s top herpetologist. To develop the second Global Amphibian Assessment.


The hard working team from IUCN and Amphibian Ark

This is vital work, that will play a key role in informing conservation interventions for a number of species previously overlooked. It is also an opportunity to acknowledge where species are recovering, from conservation work or bouncing back after historical loses.


Luis Carrillo from Amphibian Ark has also had a key role in assessing the new findings and proposing projects to enhance conservation outcomes of the red list. We also fed the findings of the workshop into the database for the Alliance for Zero Extinction, helping to prioritise conservation areas to limit the threat of extinction to some of the world’s rarest species.

Bringing together herpetologists and experts from across multiple disciplines, the workshop has hosted over 30 people who have volunteered their time to help deliver key information towards the project. It has been a great opportunity to share experiences and network with people working on the huge diversity of amphibians found in this country, a total of 216 species to date!

Vc5i7e3hQhSdg3oT+bZ+6ADebating the new data on distribution, threats, research required and conservation needs has kept us all incredibly busy. Although, it has been longs days, the spirit of the group has remained high, buoyed by the great characters and passion of many of the people attending.

It has been a privilege to be involved with this project, and would like to extend my thanks to Yolanda Matamoros and the rest of the staff from Zoológico y Jardín Botánico Nacional Simón Bolívar Park for their hospitality and to Jennifer, Kelsey and Luis for organising such a thorough and fascinating workshop, it has been a great pleasure to be involved.


A fine bunch of herpetologists assembled for this mammoth undertaking! 

Amphibian Ark

In our world..

Historical human population growth - no logo_3The human population has grown beyond Earth’s sustainable means. We are consuming more resources than our planet can regenerate, with devastating consequences.

Take a look at this and see how our population is rising: Worldometer


It took humanity 200,000 years to reach one billion and only 200 years to reach seven billion. We are still adding an extra 80 million each year and are headed towards 10 billion by mid-century.

Biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution, deforestation, water and food shortage—these are all exacerbated by our huge and ever-increasing numbers. Our impact on the environment is a product of our consumption and our numbers. We must address both.

Population Matters

Recent teaching at INSPIRE

69667310_388582178738191_5763065638364905472_nWe’ve been busy once again taking some the live creatures from our Vivarium’s educational collection out to the INSPIRE Chorley youth group for another animal educational session. The focus of our latest session centred around the immense variation in natural adaptations of these animals, highlighting the biodiversity on our planet and also the plight of these unique reptiles and amphibians in our changing world. We are always thrilled with the enthusiasm and prior knowledge that our sessions are met with at INSPIRE.

To me, this engagement from youngsters highlights the natural instinct humans have to connect to the natural world,  and the importance of fostering that connection in young learners so they carry it forward into their adult lives.

For a closer look at our commitment to working with the community on environment and sustainability-based programming for young learners,  here is our recently released video of Inspire visiting Brockholes produced by filmmaker Katie Garrett: 





Do something useful..

I am at a loss. Apparently Indonesia has the fastest deforestation rate in the world. Half of Sumatra’s forests were destroyed in just 20 years.

The relentless destruction of Sumatra’s rainforests has pushed the Sumatran orangutan to the edge of extinction. With only around 14,600 remaining in the wild, the species is classified as Critically Endangered – and we have to raise funds and have publicity to let the Humans responsible know? 


The Sumatran orangutan relies on forests, but the forests of Sumatra are under immense and mounting threat. They are being torn down for farmlands, logging, mining and roads. International demand for products such as Palm oil and timber, combined with weak forest governance and short-sighted land-use policies are driving deforestation at such an alarming rate its unbelievable.

While you sit at home, or are out enjoying your daily life, the world is collapsing around you. I would suggest doing something Useful, to make a difference…   Take some ACTION I would say from the heart, …  or maybe you don’t. I am not the one, or don’t want to be the one who says what you should do. Listen to yourself and act on your own behalf..


MORE Trees Please

Saving Forests

The solution

National Geographic

Watch Here

Ebay seller disgrace

Near threatened bat species available on eBay

The selling of killed vertebrate animals on Ebay continues to escalate seemingly without care – Did you know that thousands of amazing animals are being captured and killed especially to be sold in this way?

It turns out that in many places, such as in Malaysia and Indonesia, there has been an ever growing trade in capturing live rainforest bats and other animals ‘en masse’ for killing and selling online.

Literally thousands of these amazing flying mammals are being taken from their natural habitats, including National Parks, to be sold world-wide for one reason or another. Some of the ways they are treated and killed after being collected really is atrocious. The bats are not pests, but play an extremely important role in the future of rainforests: Bats are crucial to them for many reasons

Near threatened frog, killed, and on eBay

Some species being killed are selected especially to be sold internationally – framed or stapled-up in plastic bags and sold on the internet to buyers who really just don’t care how they got there. I emailed some sellers to say they should be ashamed of themselves for making money this way as they know full well that the bat species in question were being collected and killed especially. Some refer to an ‘Ethical link that doesn’t exist or is absolute rubbish’  and on one occasion I actually got a reply back saying: ‘you are right, I am sorry‘ but then they continued to list the specimens for sale. The mentality of these people, and their lack of conscience, is beyond words.

This ‘trade’, fuelled by selling wild collected animals on eBay, also reflects very badly on countries where these people are living. There are several in the US and the UK, some even listing newly killed tropical frogs which are also ‘prepared by their own entomologists‘. These sellers include the freshly killed and mounted treefrogs in picture frames, some species categorised as being Near threatened with extinction.

Please help by contacting those responsible to voice your views and raise awareness about this vile trade to help stop wild creatures being collected and killed simply to be sold online. Please share your views on Facebook, twitter, and in any way you can:

Buy an especially killed ‘Near Threatened’ frog from an eBay seller here?

Support the capture and killing of beautiful fire bats here?

Buy an especially killed rainforest bat from this UK eBay seller?

Buy a ‘Near threatened’ bat species from a USA eBay seller which was collected alive from the wild in February 2019 and killed just so you could buy it for $11?

Buy Data Deficient (status unknown) bats by bulk direct from Indonesia here (Condition: New)?