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.
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 Director & Principal Ecologist Chris Gleed-Owen will be away from the UK from 7-23 May 2013, on honeymoon in Trinidad & Tobago. Please forgive any lack of service in the meantime.
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.
Several news sources are reporting that North American signal crayfish have been detected in the Eden River catchment in Cumbria, considered a UK stronghold of the native white-clawed crayfish. This is very bad news indeed.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has announced that neonicotinoid pesticides are dangerous to honey bees, and should not be used on crops that are attractive to them. The Parliament UK website quoted the Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Joan Walley MP, as saying:
According to a press release by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), around 146 beavers are now established in about 40 family groups in the Tayside region of Scotland. They originated from accidental escapes or deliberate releases around 2006.
Ireland's National Biodiversity Data Centre has announced a new red list of Irish maflies, produced in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Northern Ireland Environment Agency. It assessed threats to all 33 species of Irish mayflies. Six are categorised as under threat of extinction, and two are near threatened.