Thanks to all the county Wildlife Trusts that expressed interest in our recent round of competitions on Twitter. We offered a free slug and snail survey, and a free reptile survey training day.

The following was taken from the Buglife and Exmoor National Park Authority websites:

Buglife and Exmoor National Park Authority are appealing for sightings of White-clawed crayfish on Exmoor. The two organisations are working together on a new project to map the species on Exmoor. 

With the economy still reeling from recession, and more Government cutbacks in the pipeline, the ecological professions face the same uncertain future as other disciplines. Nature conservation is taking a knock in these hard times, and the wildlife is set to suffer if cutbacks result in less protection and conservation.

LIMÓN, Costa Rica— Conservation groups today announced a $10,000 reward for information on the brutal killing of Jairo Mora Sandoval, a sea turtle activist working to protect nesting sea turtles on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast near Limón. According to media reports, the 26-year-old conservationist was kidnapped by armed men on Thursday; his body was found a day later.

Back from Caribbean turtle-watching!

CGO Ecology has been busy lately. A recent highlight was visiting the Caribbean islands of Trinidad & Tobago, where we were honoured to be guests of sea turtle conservation charity SOS Tobago - Save Our Sea Turtles Tobago. Program Manager Giancarlo Lalsingh took us to see their excellent monitoring and guardian work first-hand, all achieved on limited means. We saw five giant nesting female leatherbacks that night - a moving experience, and an impressive spectacle.

CGO Ecology is currently carrying out a reptile capture and translocation exercise in a large china clay quarry complex on the edge of Dartmoor. For centuries, china clay has been quarried in this corner of Devon, within a few miles of Plymouth, and the modern excavations are on a huge scale. China clay from Headon Quarry and neighbouring sites in the Cornwood area is renown for its quality, and has entered products as diverse as paper and protective tiles for NASA space shuttles.

CGO Ecology has just completed a couple of large contracts on behalf of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC), and Natural England respectively. January to March has become increasingly busy in the last couple of years, with projects involving pre-season surveys, reporting, and policy-based work.