Thursday, 7 June 2012

Finding leopard kill sites with GPS collars

Ross baiting a tree with a wildebeest leg in an attempt to
catpure a leopard for collaring.
Ross Tyzack Pitman has just completed  his undergraduate Conservation Biology course with us. His final-year project used a combination of GPS collars and computer analysis to identify potential leopard feeding sites, followed by painstaking fieldwork to visit the sites for confirmation. The project was submitted for marking four months early, so that work could begin on a paper for publication. This paper has just been accepted by the Journal of Zoology.

The paper was co-authored with Lourens Swanepoel (University of Pretoria) and Paul Ramsay (here in Plymouth). The paper is not yet published but should appear in the Early View section of the journal’s webpage before it finally finds its way into the journal.

OPAL South-West Gets Further Funding

The OPAL South-West team, based with Biological Sciences at Plymouth, are delighted to announce that the project has been granted further funding to continue its work engaging communities in researching their local environments.
Over the past five years OPAL South-West has worked to bring together scientists, amateur-experts, local interest groups and the public, to enable people to explore and understand their local environments. The project has engaged over 19,000 people in surveys of soil quality, air quality, freshwater quality, biodiversity and invertebrate populations, helping to develop a greater understanding about the relevance of environmental issues in people’s lives and inspiring an interest in ecology. Hundreds of schools have taken part as well as students and the general public. The additional funding from the Big Lottery was awarded to projects able to demonstrate exceptional impact on the communities engaged with their work.