After months of preparation Uuganbadrakh is now ready to travel to the remote Gobi desert to begin his fieldwork on the long-eared jerboa. We wish him all the very best with his work, and hope that he manages to encourage the local communities to help protect this very special creature.
The team were delighted to hear that the slow loris has been upgraded to Appendix I of CITES at the recent 14th Conference of the Parties of CITES. The proposal was accepted by consensus, which means that there was such broad support that no vote was necessary. According to Dr Anna Nekaris, a loris specialist based at Oxford Brookes University in the UK, range countries that verbally supported the transfer included Cambodia (who brought forward the proposal), Thailand, India, and Indonesia. The proposal also received verbal votes from the EU, USA, Qatar, and best of all, from Japan – one of the leading importers of lorises for the pet trade. See here for more information.
Helen gave a sneak preview of some of the top EDGE amphibians at Tuesday’s ZSL Scientific Meeting, which discussed the causes behind the current alarming amphibian declines. Almost a third of amphibians are threatened with extinction and many people regard them as the canaries in the coalmine. Unless urgent and drastic action is taken the consequences of the declines could be catastrophic. The EDGE Amphibians programme aims to support conservation projects for species such as the Critically Endangered Chinese giant salamander, golden mantilla and axolotl. Keep watching the blog for more amphibian news.
Next week we are hoping to meet with Enkhbileg Dulamtseren (Bilgee), the project manager for the Wild Camel Protection Foundation in Mongolia. Bilgee is going to help supervise Adiya, our second EDGE Fellow, who is hoping to start researching human hunting as a threat to the wild Bactrian camel next week. More on this next week.