Blogs for February 2018

Newquay Zoo’s latest noisy neighbour

Posted on Wednesday 28th February, 2018

Newquay Zoo’s latest noisy neighbour

Two male coppery titi monkeys have arrived at Newquay Zoo.

Tsuak, aged 2, from La Vallee des Singes in France and Tucker, aged 2, from Blackpool Zoo have travelled to their new home in Cornwall. These small monkeys have joined the Geoffrey’s marmosets on the small island enclosure inside the tapir paddock.

Titi monkeys are New World monkeys, a term which describes monkeys from Central and South America. Standing at around 40cm tall, coppery titi monkeys have coarse fur, which varies in colour; their face is a copper colour whereas their backs appear a darker shade of brown with a lighter underside.

The species likes to live near water and are known to be territorial, often using visual displays such as body swaying, tail lashing and bared teeth to protect their habitat. Titi monkeys are documented as quite a vocal species, often heard shouting in the early mornings to announce their presence. Titi monkeys have a very wide range of vocal calls and when together, can be seen to entwine their tails for comfort and to reinforce the bond between the animals.

These monkeys live on a diet of vegetables and fruit with some live insects, which are their main source of protein. In their native habitat they often search for food in the lower parts of the rainforest canopy.

 The coppery titi monkey has a Least Concern IUCN ranking, as the species appears to have minimal known threats due to their choice of remote habitat and tolerance of forest disturbance from humans, which makes the species more resilient to human contact. The main threat for titi monkeys are natural predators such as birds of prey.

Senior Primate Keeper, Dave Rich, comments: ‘This charismatic species was brought to the zoo to join the Geoffrey’s marmosets on their island to provide a more dynamic and stimulating environment for both species. By housing a mixed exhibit, with the occasional visit from a tapir and capybara it is a very interactive South American exhibit. In addition to its conservation importance, the species has a fantastic colouration and are renowned for their range of vocalisations, adding further visual and auditory aspects to the park, the two boys seem to have hit it off from the start and are introducing themselves to their new neighbours.’

 

National Trust Cornwall beaches take part in the ‘Great British Spring Clean’ campaign

Posted on Monday 26th February, 2018

National Trust Cornwall beaches take part in the ‘Great British Spring Clean’ campaign

From the 2-4 March, Keep Britain Tidy are launching the national campaign ‘Great British Spring Clean’ and the National Trust are taking part with organised beach cleans across Cornwall.

A huge amount of litter gets washed up on the beaches across the South West every day. It's a true team effort keeping them clean and as a conservation charity the National Trust rely on local rangers, volunteers, visitors and local community groups to help clear away  the litter washed up on the coast.

The national campaign run by Keep Britain Tidy is an opportunity to enthuse and inspire local communities to take part in beach cleans as well as raise awareness to what happens to litter after it’s collected.

Jeff Cherrington, Lead Ranger on the North Cornwall Coast says ‘our rangers and volunteers spend hundreds of hours each year collecting rubbish from our beaches and countryside, including plastics, clothing, food packaging and more. Not only is litter an eyesore, it is deadly for wildlife, impacts tourism, and poses a threat to public health. We work closely with Keep Britain Tidy throughout the year to help with the ongoing care of these amazing places’.

‘The Great British Spring Clean is about communities coming together to tackle this issue head on, and we encourage people to get out in their local areas to play their part.’

Working in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy and Exeter City Council, the National Trust have been taking part in a recycling trial that has been running since the summer of 2017. On the back of this it has been uncovered that:  

  • 80% of what is found on beaches can be recycled instead of going into landfill
  • 7.3 tonnes of plastic has been recycled that would otherwise have gone to landfill
  • Some of the plastic collected has gone to Imperial College to be used in 3-D printing projects and being re-used to make kayaks
  • Thanks to this trial and pre-sort of the litter found on the beaches those involved have been able to achieve a 90% recycle rate

Beach cleaning not only helps to improve the coastal habitat for plants and animals but also to ensure beaches that the Trust cares for are clean and ready for the thousands of people that visit them. Working in partnership has allowed the Trust to do this much more effectively.

The Trust looks after 300 miles of the coastline in the south west and it costs around £3000 per mile to look after our coast for people and nature every year - that is £1million every year in the South West.

The Great British Spring Clean week is a great way to get involved and help with the ongoing care the beaches so desperately needs.

Organised beach cleans to take part in across Cornwall for the Great British Spring Clean:

Hemmick: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-dodman/whats-on

Date: Saturday, 03 March, 2018

Time: 10:00 - 11:00

Pendower: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/roseland/whats-on

Date: Monday, 05 March, 2018

Time: 14:00 - 15:00

Porthcurnick: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/roseland/whats-on

Date: Monday, 05 March, 2018

Time: 10:00 - 11:00

Chapel Porth: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/st-agnes-head/whats-on

Date: Friday, 02 March, 2018

Time: 11:00 - 12:00

Port Gaverne: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/port-quin

Date: Friday 2nd March

Time: 11am-1pm

Sandymouth: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sandymouth

Date: Friday 2nd March

Time: 10:00-12:00

For beach clean dates throughout the year go to https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/beach-cleans-in-devon-and-cornwall

Photo credits- National Trust/John Millar. National Trust/ Symages 

 

Caiman Capers at Blue Reef Aquarium Newquay

Posted on Friday 9th February, 2018

Caiman Capers at Blue Reef Aquarium Newquay

There is a brand new arrival at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay. A male Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman which has been nicknamed ‘The Colonel’ by the staff has taken up residency in the aquariums Amazonian exhibit.

Donated by John Harrison of Lost World Reptiles, the young caiman joins the aquariums existing female Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman, Nibbles who is 16 years his senior. When carefully introduced under the watchful eyes of Blue Reef’s trained aquarists it seemed to be love at first sight for the pair. They are getting on really well and are often spotted snuggling up together by the exhibits waterfall.

“As soon as he got into the water he went straight over to Nibbles who accepted him instantly which was great to see. Often upon introductions there can be territorial arguments between the reptiles, but not with this pair. We are now working on target feeding the caiman so that we can monitor his food intake.” said Jade Hammond aquarist at the Blue Reef Aquarium.

The Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman or Paleosuchus palpebrosus are the smallest species of the crocodilian family with a total length averaging 1.4 m for males and up to 1.2 m for females.

Their size makes them desirable within the illegal pet trade where they are smuggled from South America. They are an extremely dangerous animal and owners are required to have a ‘Dangerous Wild Animal Licence’ and strict conditions to keep them.  They are best kept by zoo and aquarium professionals.

At the Blue Reef Aquarium this February half-term visitors can learn all about the caiman and his friends with a ‘Who Am I?’ quiz and a ‘Lost Caiman’ trail that they can take part in as well as frequent daily talks and feeds featuring all the amazing creatures.

A special Rocky Shore Explore Education event will take place on Friday 16th February where students from the Applied Marine Zoology degree course at Cornwall College Newquay will be displaying all things rocky shore and holding a craft workshop where the kids can make their very own rocky shore in a box.

 

New Newquay Zoo experience to feed critically endangered monkeys

Posted on Wednesday 7th February, 2018

New Newquay Zoo experience to feed critically endangered monkeys

Newquay Zoo is launching a unique experience to get people closer than ever to some rare and charismatic monkeys. Guests can now gain one on one interaction with the charity Zoo’s Critically Endangered Sulawesi crested black macaques.

Visitors will be met by primate keepers, then go behind the scenes to get close to the Sulawesi crested black macaques, learn about the struggles they face in the wild and then feed some of them.

Senior primate keeper Dave Rich explained: “We hope this new feeding experience will raise awareness for this Critically Endangered species. These guys are in real danger of becoming extinct, so the more we can do to highlight the issues that they are facing in the wild the better. This experience is very different from any other that we offer here at Newquay Zoo and we hope it will prove very popular. The feedback we have received so far has been really positive.”

In the wild Sulawesi black crested macaque live only on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. The animal is hunted for food and is often kept as a pet. Newquay Zoo supports Selamatkan Yaki, a programme that aims to help save these rare monkeys in the wild. Over the past 30 years they have faced a decline in population of as much as 90% and as a result have been classed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

 

Historic deal for Eden in China featuring world’s largest indoor waterfall : Agreement signed during PM’s visit to China

Posted on Wednesday 7th February, 2018

Historic deal for Eden in China featuring world’s largest indoor waterfall : Agreement signed during PM’s visit to China

David Harland, Eden Project International Limited chief executive, signed an historic agreement with Zhao Lintao of China Jinmao Holdings Limited, Eden’s partners in the landmark new attraction in the coastal city of Qingdao. Zhao Lintao is general manager of Eden Qingdao.

The agreement sets out the terms of the future development of the Eden Project in Qingdao, including design, construction and operation of the attraction. The signing ceremony took place at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Beijing.

Eden Qingdao will be themed around water and will feature the world’s largest indoor waterfall, which is set to be more than 50m high – roughly the same height as Niagara Falls on the border between the USA and Canada.

The project is due to cost £150m and will create 80 jobs. Construction is due to begin this year (2018) and the project will open to the public in 2020.

David Harland has been travelling with the Prime Minister, Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox and other UK business leaders as part of the three-day trade delegation to China to promote the Mrs May’s vision for a “global Britain”.

David Harland said: “This is a huge development in the history of the Eden Project and the biggest step we have yet taken towards opening an Eden Project in China.

“We are very excited about the possibilities for this attraction and the city of Qingdao and are very pleased to be working with our friends and colleagues at China Jinmao Holdings Limited.”

The agreement follows the creation in July last year (2017) of Eden Project International Limited (EPIL), a company formed to drive the establishment of Eden Projects around the world. Eden Project Co-founder Sir Tim Smit is executive chairman of EPIL.

EPIL is a new entity formed as part of the Eden Trust to partner with like-minded organisations to deliver the Eden mission and to deliver social and ecological benefits during a time of global environmental decline and social disruption.

The new projects will focus on the big global challenges as defined by their specific localities - such as soil, water, food and biodiversity - and will work in collaboration with a wide variety of organisations, companies, communities, research and conservation groups.

Eden Project International is currently working on four projects in China and others in Australia and New Zealand. Other overseas projects, including some in the Middle East and North America, are due to be announced in the coming months.

Eden is working on the China, Australia and New Zealand projects with Grimshaw Architects, who designed the world-famous Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes at the Eden Project.

Among Eden's proposed projects in China is one in the historic city of Yan’an, famed for being the end of Chairman Mao’s Long March and north of the Xian, home of the terracotta warriors.

This project will explore the theme of land and soil and its importance for life on earth. The project will showcase ecological restoration as a vital tool for the future and restore a degraded site just outside the city into a fertile valley full of flowers, agriculture, craft and education.

Eden has announced that it will undertake pre-planning and early feasibility consultancy work for a project in Jizhou (near the city of Tianjin) in a former limestone mine with the ultimate aim of regenerating the landscape and surrounding area.

Eden is also working on a project based at Sheng Lu Vineyard in Beijing. The aim is to create a place to reconnect with nature. Education and training programmes will run from here, offering the chance for children and adults to play in natural environment.

Eden has been asked to provide support in turning the vineyard into a profitable and educational visitor attraction as well as supporting education and offering horticultural and landscaping advice.

The Eden Project is due to welcome its 20 millionth visitor during 2018 and, since opening in March 2001, has generated £1.7bn for the regional economy.

 

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