Chief Executive’s Blog

May 24, 2013 § 1 Comment


At the Highland Wildlife Park one of the female macaques, Angara, gave birth last week and both mother and baby are well. Angara is the dominant female in the macaque troop and this is her second baby in the same number of years. The female capercaillie has laid 10 eggs so far and the Satyr tragopan has laid three.

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Water Vole by Gordon Jack/Scotimage.com

Four female water voles also arrived in our northerly park and have been divided into breeding pairs with the males. The offspring will be released into the wild at the end of the summer as part of the Trossachs Water Vole Project. Population segmentation and the need to diversify genes means that wild caught water voles from various locations around Scotland are brought to the Highland Wildlife Park; the adults and offspring are then released in the Trossachs at the end of the summer. The Highland Wildlife Park has shown great success in creating and caring for breeding pairs.

Our Discovery and Learning team are entering their busiest time of the year. As some of you may be aware, this is the peak time for school visits to the Zoo and Park. In May and June we have 10,000 pupils being taught at the Zoo and circa. 2,000 at the Park.  Meanwhile the D&L team are also preparing for the six weeks of summer schools in July and August, which are fully booked already. On Saturday 18th May, Jasper Hughes, our HWP Education Officer, represented the Society at the public ‘Celebrating Nature’ 10 years of Cairngorms National Park event in Aviemore and Stephen Woollard, our Head of Discovery & Learning, is on the UK Government Zoos Expert Committee which meets in London this week.

blue_titIn our bird box cam, in celebration of Year of Natural Scotland, the first blue tit eggs have started to hatch. Amazing viewing, you can actually watch the action live! This bird box is just one of many around Edinburgh Zoo to encourage our native birds and for use in our public education work http://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/birdbox.html

As part of our focus on native species, we are also asking visitors to report which species they see entering our various bird boxes across the site during their visit. If you make a sighting, please make a note of it at reception on your way out or e-mail jsilvey@rzss.org.uk

If I may, I would like to tell you about the Antarctic Ocean Alliance who are currently campaigning for the protection of over 40% of the Southern Ocean, as they are home to almost 10,000 unique and diverse species – including penguins, Weddell seals, albatross and Antarctic toothfish. This links in with our conservation support for penguins, including the Falkland Islands. An online petition showing support for this campaign can be found here: http://antarcticocean.org/

Best wishes,

Chris West

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§ One Response to Chief Executive’s Blog

  • Love the use of your bird box webcams! I think it’s a great thing for the native birds as well as educational for visitors! Keep up the great work!

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