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Zoology Ramblings

Zoology Ramblings

By Emma and Robi

Just two zoology course mates who love rambling about animals, conservation, the injustices of the world and everything in between!

You can follow more of our weird and wonderful wildlife adventures on instagram: @emma_hodson_wildlife
@robi_watkinson_wildlife
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Hot pink slugs, Alien-like Hirola and The Elephant Ivory Trade

Zoology RamblingsFeb 13, 2021

00:00
50:05
New Beginnings, Bridges for Howler Monkeys, Orchids and Ejaculating Beetles, Leopards in Nepal, Elephant in the room

New Beginnings, Bridges for Howler Monkeys, Orchids and Ejaculating Beetles, Leopards in Nepal, Elephant in the room

In episode 19 of Zoology Ramblings, Robi and I reconnect as he embarks on an exciting new journey in Cape Town and I get my first paid job in conservation! I talk about the awesome project that's helping howler monkeys in Costa Rica by putting up rope bridges and Robi enlightens us about the significance of a beetle ejaculating on a rare orchid. We then take a short break to go eat cheese and crackers and come back to talk about canine distemper virus affecting leopards in Nepal, which is escalating human-wildlife conflict. Robi ends this podcast with a fascinating thought experiment about elephants and their natural predators. 

We hope you enjoy our latest ramble, thank you as ever for listening and engaging with our endless chats about wildlife and conservation. Thanks for the piano tune Allie, you are awesome. 

Emma & Robi 

Feb 22, 202349:21
Truss going backwards, Cheetahs in India, Bottlenose dolphins, The black stork, Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre and Lions of the Gir Forest

Truss going backwards, Cheetahs in India, Bottlenose dolphins, The black stork, Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre and Lions of the Gir Forest

In episode 18, Robi and I record our latest episode from the middle of nowhere in New Quay, Wales. We talk about how the UK government is taking steps backwards when it comes to key environmental laws and tackling the climate and biodiversity crises. We chat about the reintroduction of cheetahs to Kuno National Park in India, and why this has proved to be a controversial and divisive topic. For our animals of the week, I go down a marine tangent and talk about Bottlenose dolphins and touch on the research I am conducting at the moment on marine mammals. Robi talks about the black stork, which he saw recently on a trip to northern Greece. We end our podcast with our conservation stories, where I delve deeper into the work of the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, where I am currently volunteering. Robi talks about the Lions of the Gir Forest, which may be suffering at the hands of pride and stubbornness of the state of Gujarat, who want to keep sole monopoly over these Asiatic lions. 

We hope you enjoy out latest ramble! 

Oct 14, 202201:10:56
Return of the Bison, EU nature laws, Springhare, African finfoot, The 'Beenome' Project and all things Rewilding

Return of the Bison, EU nature laws, Springhare, African finfoot, The 'Beenome' Project and all things Rewilding

In Episode 17 of Zoology Ramblings, Robi and I talk about the very exciting imminent return of European bison to the UK, some uplifting new nature legislation in the EU, the weird and wonderful springhare whose fur is biofluorescent, the obscure and illusive African finfoot with bright orange feet, an exciting new project to map bee genomes and we break down the different types of Rewilding. We also share some exciting news about a new Rewilding documentary that we are working on at the moment. 

We hope you enjoy our latest ramble. Thanks as always to the lovely Allie for the piano tune and if you want to follow more of what we are up to you can follow us on instagram where we are @emma_hodson_wildlife and @robi_watkinson_wildlife 

Happy listening, 

Robi & Emma 

Jul 15, 202247:04
Dissertations, South Africa Field Course and South African Wildlife Conservation

Dissertations, South Africa Field Course and South African Wildlife Conservation

Apologies for the complete radio silence for the past 7 months... we have been caught up in our final year at university. We have now finished out last exam at the University of Leeds so we are officially done with our Zoology degrees! In episode 16, we explain where we've been for the past 7 months and talk you through our final year dissertation projects and tell you about our incredible field course in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. We then end this episode by touching briefly on wildlife management and conservation in South Africa. We have been M.I.A for 7 months but we are now back and promise to have more exciting wildlife content soon. To stay up to date with what we've been up to, you can follow us on instagram - @emma_hodson_wildlife and @robi_watkinson_wildlife. 

May 26, 202244:32
COP26, A new shark species, Hog badgers, Potoos, Rhino breeding program update and Tuskless elephants

COP26, A new shark species, Hog badgers, Potoos, Rhino breeding program update and Tuskless elephants

In episode 15 of Zoology Ramblings, Robi and I record our first episode from Leeds, where we are living together for our final year of university. For our news section we talk about COP26 and whether it is going far enough to tackle the climate crisis and Robi talks about a new species of shark. For our animals of the week, I talk about the bizarre and wonderful hog badger and Robi talks about the slightly terrifying Potoo bird. For our conservation section, I talk about the decision to withdraw one of the last two northern white rhinos from the breeding program and Robi talks about tuskless elephants in response to ivory poaching. 

Resources:

COP26 and climate change: 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-59116611

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-56901261

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f8iF-Ktf-c&t=116s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b10P0ya828&t=3s 

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/climate/cop/science-pavilion#Sat06

Sharks:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/353128440_Apristurus_manocheriani_Carcharhiniformes_Pentanchidae_a_new_species_of_catshark_from_the_Southwest_Indian_Ocean

Hog badgers: 

https://animalia.bio/hog-badger 

Potoos: 

https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/A-molecular-phylogenetic-survey-of-the-nightjars-on-Mariaux-Braun/4b1ddad44525faa9f15a9049ed8538aafe97d1ff

Rhinos:

https://news.mongabay.com/2021/11/one-of-worlds-last-two-northern-white-rhinos-withdrawn-from-breeding-program/

Tuskless elephants: 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-59008037 

Thanks as always to the wonderful Allie for the piano tune. 

We hope you enjoy our latest ramble! 

Emma & Robi 


Nov 06, 202146:41
Legal protection for beavers, Hope for tunas, Nile Crocodiles, Reticulated Siren, Futuristic seed coatings and Jaguar Recovery in the USA

Legal protection for beavers, Hope for tunas, Nile Crocodiles, Reticulated Siren, Futuristic seed coatings and Jaguar Recovery in the USA

In episode 14 of Zoology Ramblings Robi and I record the first ever episode in person rather than over Zoom! We stick to the new format of: News, Animals of the week and end with current wider conservation stories. In this episode I talk about the recent decision by the British Government to possibly give beavers native species status and legal protection, Robi talks about some hope for tuna species despite dwindling populations of other marine species. For our animals of the week, I talk about nile crocodiles and Robi about the little-known, bizarre reticulated siren. In the final wider conservation section, I talk about research to make seeds more drought resistant by using organic materials and Robi explores the possibility of recovering jaguar populations in the USA. 

Resources:

Beavers: https://beavertrust.org  

Tunas: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-58441142?fbclid=IwAR20gAxJD8pv0526uM47kyI7km9Orhy9xQBjuMpHOLDo3kocPWAwfhmuJ5U 

Nile crocodiles: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/facts/nile-crocodile

https://researchspace.ukzn.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10413/10742/Champion_Garreth_2010.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

https://www.speciesconservation.org/case-studies-projects/nile-crocodile/574

https://www.nature.com/articles/news.2011.535

Reticulated siren: http://www.sci-news.com/biology/reticulated-siren-06694.html?fbclid=IwAR1NeRVqO80h2aSiWZbKdCXqs33O8N-4A0zub9ZE5ak3PK3_iPq_h36rVZ0 

Jaguars: https://news.mongabay.com/2021/07/huge-wildlife-corridor-in-belize-sees-progress-boosting-hope-for-jaguars-and-more-commentary/?fbclid=IwAR14aHvYvgczlwojpw_Zjzuox1UXne-LrALNs5IAFcXN9aVKWo1RBW0DKy0

https://news.mongabay.com/2021/09/is-it-time-to-rethink-jaguar-recovery-in-the-u-s-commentary/?fbclid=IwAR0mDPYUkpTnyU-XE1KDRGnv19KSXSNCAVEg9cZfvJuSB9DWbLXU1a2hyDY 

And thank you Allie for the piano tune! 

We hope you enjoy our latest ramble :)

Emma & Robi 


Sep 30, 202157:45
Conservation News, Short-eared dog, Little Black Tapir, Vaquita update and Rice's Whale
Aug 01, 202101:11:51
Exciting news, All things beaver, White-Eyed River Martin & Cicadas

Exciting news, All things beaver, White-Eyed River Martin & Cicadas

In episode 12 of Zoology Ramblings, Robi and I reveal some very exciting news about our podcast and its selection as one of the 8 winners of the Spotify Next Wave Initiative! We are so thrilled to have been selected alongside 7 other amazing podcasts which cover some very important and pressing topics in our society today. 

We also talk about our recent beaver adventure down in Devon, where we had the amazing opportunity to film wild beavers in the UK! We were amazed how close we were able to see them during the day: they are chonky, stealthy and all round incredible animals. We are looking forward to releasing our 'Beavers part 2' documentary in the coming months. Robi and I are off to Mull to make a series of wildlife documentaries, so you might not hear from us for a while as we will be off grid looking for eagles and pine martens! But we will tell you guys all about it when we get back!

We also talk about our animals of the week: Robi covers the elusive, possibly extinct White-Eyed River Martin, last seen in Thailand in the 1980s! I talk about cicadas (thanks Haley for the suggestion!) and their weird and wonderful lifecycle underground for 17 years!! 

We hope you enjoy our latest ramble :) 

Thanks to the lovely Allie for the piano tune and to the amazing Madeleine who designed our new cover art! 

May 25, 202144:28
Tayra, Monito del Monte, Zoonotic diseases, African elephants, Welsh Beavers and White Storks
Apr 18, 202101:24:22
Sunda Island Tigers, Albatross, Eagle Owls in Britain, Cumbria Coal mine and Coral Gardening

Sunda Island Tigers, Albatross, Eagle Owls in Britain, Cumbria Coal mine and Coral Gardening

This week in episode 10 of Zoology Ramblings we talk about an animal of the week each: Robi talks about the Sunda Island Tigers and throws in a bit of epic tiger taxonomy and palaeontology! I talk about the Laysan Albatross following an article about the world's oldest wild bird 'Wisdom' who has just had her 37th chick! For our UK conservation stories, Robi talks about the majestic Eagle Owl in Britain and how a mysterious group of them has 're-appeared' in the UK. I talk about the controversial Coal mine proposal in Cumbria and whether this is a good idea in the face of a climate emergency where we should be moving away from our reliance on fossil fuels. For our global conservation story, we discuss coral aquaculture/ coral gardening which is offering hope for re-building and recovering coral reefs threatened by global warming and bleaching events. 

Here is the link to the petition to campaign against the Cumbria Coal Mine: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-cumbria-coal-mine 

Thanks Allie for the lovely piano tune :) 

Mar 17, 202101:23:40
Ebo Forest and Invasive American Mink

Ebo Forest and Invasive American Mink

Welcome to episode 9, part 2 of Zoology Ramblings with Emma and Robi. This is a continuation from part 1 of episode 9. In this episode we talk about the Ebo Forest in Cameroon and the incredible biodiversity of animal life which is supported there. We also talk about threats to this forest and how public pressure can be important in lobbying governments to change. We also talk about the invasive American Mink which has exploded in numbers here in the UK and across Europe. This mink is threatening native species like the water vole and is partly responsible for driving the European mink to the brink of extinction across its range. 

https://whitleyaward.org/winners/community-protection-of-the-great-apes-of-ebo-forest/ 

We hope you enjoy this latest ramble! 

Thank you Allie for the wonderful piano tune :) 

Feb 13, 202126:58
Hot pink slugs, Alien-like Hirola and The Elephant Ivory Trade
Feb 13, 202150:05
The plight of the pangolin

The plight of the pangolin

In episode 8 of Zoology Ramblings, Robi and I talk about the illegal pangolin trade and the threats which both the Asian and African pangolins are facing. We highlight some amazing people and organisations which are doing fantastic work to try and conserve these incredible animals. We also briefly touch on the links between the pangolin and the SARS-CoV-2 virus which is currently causing the covid 19 pandemic. We hope you enjoy our latest ramble and learn lots about the amazing pangolin! 

Dec 23, 202024:10
Orca in Scotland

Orca in Scotland

In episode 7 of Zoology Ramblings, Robi and I talk about the remarkable creatures that are Orcas. We talk about their distribution around the world, their complex social structures, the global threats they are facing and we explore the dynamics and the plight of our Orca pod here in the UK. We hope you enjoy our latest ramble! 


Dec 16, 202032:49
Cave Bears and Ethiopian Geladas

Cave Bears and Ethiopian Geladas

In episode 6 of Zoology Ramblings, Robi talks about the enormous cave bear which used to inhabit the UK, which weighed up to 1000kgs and was entirely vegetarian! I talk about the Gelada monkeys of the Ethiopian highlands and how they have been driven to the roof of the world by humans and aggressive ancestors of baboons. 

Sorry we haven't released an episode for a while, we have been busy with the launch of our new project "Biome". We are collaborating with a production called Grizzly, making exciting video podcasts about wildlife re-introductions to the UK as well as global and local conservation topics. To check out our video podcast, search for "The Biome Podcast" on YouTube. For more wildlife content you can also check Robi and I out on Instragram under emma_hodson_wildlife and robi_watkinson_wildlife

We hope you enjoy our latest ramble with a slightly different structure but hopefully equally engaging animal content! 

Nov 21, 202045:11
Mexican hairy dwarf porcupines, beaked whales, Bolivian bushfires, Sumatran rhinos and Beavers!

Mexican hairy dwarf porcupines, beaked whales, Bolivian bushfires, Sumatran rhinos and Beavers!

In episode 5 of Zoology Ramblings we split our podcast into 3 parts with breaks in between each section to make it easier for you guys, our listeners, in case you don't want to listen to the full hour all at once. Part one ends at 00:15:28, part 2 starts at 00:15:41 and ends at 00:42:18, part 3 starts at 00:42:31 and ends at 00:54:52:10. In part 1 (animals of the week) we talk about the hairy mexican dwarf porcupine (I know right, epic name!), a new species of beaked whale in Japan. In part 2 (global conservation topics) we talk about the wildlifes in the Ambue, Ari, Bolivia and the efforts on the ground to try and tackle the inferno and the plight of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino. In part 3 (our local UK conservation topic) we talk about beavers and their reintroduction to the UK, both legally and illegally (yes, there is such a thing as illegal beavers). Hope you enjoy our latest ramble!  

Nov 07, 202054:56
Aurochs, Tardigrades, Tasmanian Devils and Vaquitas

Aurochs, Tardigrades, Tasmanian Devils and Vaquitas

Welcome to episode 4 of Zoology Ramblings, where we talk about the ancestor of domesticated cattle (the Aurochs), the virtually indestructible Tardigrade which could survive a nuclear holocaust, the very recent reintroduction of the Tasmanian Devil to Australian mainland for the first time in 3,000 years and the conservation efforts needed to save the critically endangered Vaquita. Hope you enjoy our latest ramble!! 

Oct 08, 202049:02
Pine martens, Washington's eagle, white tailed sea eagles and shark finning

Pine martens, Washington's eagle, white tailed sea eagles and shark finning

This week we talk about pine martens and their love of peanut butter, an eagle which may or many not have ever existed, the reintroduction of the white tailed sea eagle to the UK and the recent shark fin trade ban which has been put into place in Florida. The unifying theme of this mish mash of topics is that humans are involved in every aspect of the natural world. If our behaviours become unsustainable and exploitative, this can have catastrophic consequences for species and ecosystems. However, nature has shown time and time again that if given the chance, it can bounce back and recover. We need to give nature that chance before we get to tipping points past which we can no longer reverse the damage we have caused. 

Oct 07, 202057:39
Mobula rays, high arctic camels, the pangolin trade, silver- backed chevrotain and curlews!

Mobula rays, high arctic camels, the pangolin trade, silver- backed chevrotain and curlews!

In our second episode of Zoology Ramblings, Robi and I talk about 'flying' mobula rays, the high arctic camel, the pangolin trade, the re-discovery of the silver- backed chevrotain and why curlews numbers have been declining in the UK. We hope you enjoy...
Sep 10, 202051:03
Sloths, bats, wolves, canned hunting and badger culling!

Sloths, bats, wolves, canned hunting and badger culling!

In our first episode of Zoology Ramblings, Robi and I talk about sloths, ghost bats, research on African golden wolves, canned hunting and the latest badger culling licenses which have been issued. Welcome to our first of hopefully many Zoology...
Sep 10, 202058:16