By Emma and Robi
Zoology RamblingsDec 23, 2020
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
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!
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
Robi & Emma
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.
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.
COP26 and climate change:
Thanks as always to the wonderful Allie for the piano tune.
We hope you enjoy our latest ramble!
Emma & Robi
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.
Nile crocodiles: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/facts/nile-crocodile
Reticulated siren: http://www.sci-news.com/biology/reticulated-siren-06694.html?fbclid=IwAR1NeRVqO80h2aSiWZbKdCXqs33O8N-4A0zub9ZE5ak3PK3_iPq_h36rVZ0
And thank you Allie for the piano tune!
We hope you enjoy our latest ramble :)
Emma & Robi
Conservation News, Short-eared dog, Little Black Tapir, Vaquita update and Rice's Whale
In Episode 13 of Zoology Ramblings, we introduce a new section called "conservation news" where Robi and I each talk about a recent positive conservation news story. We discuss our animals of the week: I decided to talk about the illusive, weird short-eared dog (thanks @wayne_wildlife for the suggestion) and Robi talks about the Little Black Tapir and whether this is in fact a new species or not. We then delve deeper into some wider conservation stories where I give a sad update about the status of Vaquitas and Robi talks about the newly discovered, yet already critically endangered Rice's Whale.
Episode 4 of Zoology Ramblings: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6QtXRBbQ8d26LFFr5r3Z70?si=01ddd5e1d8474f5c
Episode 19 of the Biome Podcast: The Vaquita Crisis https://open.spotify.com/episode/6lUf2Ax7DMqbEWBZJIUBk4?si=xFsf1PgFSe6qtLHsSXapfQ&dl_branch=1
Ivory Identification Guide:
Thank you to the lovely Allie for the piano tune at the beginning and start of this podcast:)
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!
Tayra, Monito del Monte, Zoonotic diseases, African elephants, Welsh Beavers and White Storks
In episode 11, Robi and I ramble about our animals of the week- I talk about the tayra and Robi talks about the tiny Monito del Monte. We each tackle large global conservation topics including zoonotic diseases and the lessons we can learn from the Covid 19 pandemic. Robi discusses why the taxonomic classification of African elephant species is important! For our UK conservation topics I talk about the very exciting reintroduction of beavers to Wales for the first time in 400 years. Robi talks about the fantastic white stork project and our recent interview with the wonderful conservationist and project manager of the white stork project Lucy Groves.
We hope you enjoy our latest ramble- here are the links to some of the resources used in the Zoonotic diseases section if you wanted to read more about the Manhattan and Berlin principles.
Thanks as always to the lovely Allie for the piano tune!
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 :)
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.
We hope you enjoy this latest ramble!
Thank you Allie for the wonderful piano tune :)
Hot pink slugs, Alien-like Hirola and The Elephant Ivory Trade
Welcome to episode 9, part 1 of Zoology Ramblings with Emma and Robi! Apologies we haven't released one of these in a while- we have been busy with our other podcast 'The Biome Podcast'. Please feel free to check that one out if you wanted more regular content.
This week we talk about neon-pink slugs which live on one mountain-top in Australia and nowhere else in the world. They really are hot pink and awesome but are also threatened by climate change. Robi talks about the Hirola, which is an alien-looking antelope with very large scent glands below its eyes, which is threatened by political turbulence and harsh environmental conditions.
We also talk about elephants and the ivory trade which has been catastrophic to African elephant populations. We discuss an amazing conservation project called elephants and bees which is helping reduce human-elephant conflict as well as empowering farmers.
Thank you Allie for the wonderful little piano tune :)
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!!
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.