Chief Executive’s Blog

January 31, 2014 § Leave a comment

Happy Friday!

I’m delighted to share that RZSS has received a few awards and nominations; we’re obviously on a roll after Tian Tian the giant panda won Favourite International Panda Outside of China in the Giant Panda Zoo Awards.

Beaver Kit by Phillip Rice

Beaver Kit by Phillip Rice

The Scottish Beaver Trial (SBT), the first ever licensed reintroduction project for beavers in the UK, has won ‘Britain’s Best Conservation Project’ in the 2013 BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards. The Trial was up against two other conservation projects in this category: a basking shark tagging project aimed at understanding the world’s largest fish and a campaign against the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which are having a detrimental effect on bee populations.

You’ll probably have seen me write about SBT before in my blog, but just to recap, it’s a partnership between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and Scottish Wildlife Trust, and the five year study is now in its final monitoring year and fieldwork is scheduled to wrap up in May 2014. There will then be a holding period while the Scottish Government reviews data collected throughout the trial and make a decision on the future of beavers in Scotland. We’re delighted to receive the award and it’s a great accolade and testament to all the pioneering work RZSS is doing in the field of conservation science and research. I’m particularly delighted for everyone that is involved who work tirelessly on the ground in Knapdale, Argyll, to deliver this important project.

Lifelinks Winter 2013 Edition

Lifelinks Winter 2013 Edition

Our exclusive membership magazine LifeLinks has also been shortlisted in the prestigious 2014 Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) Scotland Awards for Best Stakeholder Printed Publication and Best Member Publication. Available if you become one of our valued members of RZSS, the publication comes out three times per year and updates readers on the goings on across Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park, as well as the vital UK and international conservation work of the Society. The ultimate IoIC Award winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held on 21 March 2014 in Glasgow. If you’d like to find out more about becoming one of our members, please visit

On the research front, primate researcher Camilla Galheigo Coelho, has joined the team at Living Links for a couple of weeks to do a brief study with the capuchins. Titled Social dynamics and Diffusion of Novel Behaviour Patterns in Wild Capuchin monkeys, Camilla’s been working with wild tufted capuchins in Brazil and her research and subjects were featured on last week’s BBC 2 Wild Brazil. We look forward to seeing what she discovers.

“The time is always right to do what’s right” — Martin Luther King, Jr.


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