show episodes
 
Delve into topical issues in zoology, conservation and the environment, from saving species and protecting the planet, to finding out about the animals living across the globe, including in London’s own river Thames. Learn more about the science behind the conservation work being done by ZSL and others, in this podcast from ZSL’s Institute of Zoology. Hosted by Dr Monni Böhm.
 
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show series
 
Conservationists are working hard to stem global biodiversity loss. Yet, just like biodiversity itself, the conservation movement is very diverse, with a variety of ideas shaping its framing, purpose and application. In this episode, Monni and co-hosts Yara Shennan-Farpón, Helen Muller and Thalassa McMurdo Hamilton, speak with Dr Chris Sandbrook, c…
 
Rewilding has emerged as a captivating, but controversial, concept in conservation. Depending on how rewilding is defined, it aims to increase “wildness” of nature, regenerate ecosystem functioning, develop self-sustaining ecosystems, or a combination of these. Join Monni as she finds out from the experts how real “wildness” can be achieved, and wh…
 
Madagascar is famed for its incredible biodiversity and charismatic lemurs, but has also seen extensive loss of natural habitat. Monni finds out from a panel of Madagascar aficionados what the island has been like in the past and what the challenges are for its surviving wildlife. How big is an elephant bird and its poo? What can old bones tell us?…
 
Small-scale fisheries (SSFs) provide around two-thirds of the world’s catch intended for human consumption, and support 90% of employment in the fisheries sector, therefore should have a huge role to play in achieving some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Despite this, they are barely mentioned. Monni finds out from a panel of SSF a-fis…
 
For decades, conservationists, vets and farmers in the UK have been at loggerheads about the best way to manage bovine tuberculosis (bTB). This cattle disease is a huge burden on the farming industry and can pass between cattle and badgers, making it difficult to eradicate. In this episode, Monni teams up with bTB & badger specialists, to discuss b…
 
Human-induced urbanisation, invasive species and land clearing are changing the environment at a far quicker pace than animals are able to evolve. Cognitive mechanisms can play a crucial role in determining how well animals adapt to this change. In this episode, Monni and a team of experts explore how integrating cognitive mechanisms into conservat…
 
Indigenous communities around the world possess an extremely rich body of knowledge about local environmental resources and biodiversity, which has the potential to be an invaluable conservation tool. However, this local ecological knowledge is being progressively eroded worldwide. Hear Monni and a diverse panel of experts discuss the challenges an…
 
People and nature depend on each other, and although humans are needed to manage and protect nature, conservation practices can interfere with human livelihoods and create conflict between groups of people with competing interests. In this episode our guest host Charlotte Coales teams up with four experts to explore the complexity of these conflict…
 
June 9th is World Swallowtail Day, and what better way to celebrate than with a trip to ZSL’s Butterfly Paradise to marvel at swallowtails, their bird poo mimicking larvae and get a good sniff of the osmeterium. The what? Find out in this episode, where Monni and guests discuss important conservation work for swallowtails at home and abroad, learn …
 
Hold your breath while we remain underwater for this next episode - Monni and a team of specialists investigate the science behind marine plastic pollution. What are the impacts of plastic on wildlife, people and our coasts? What are the future avenues for tackling this issue? What can each one of us do to reduce single-use plastic in our everyday …
 
The marine environment is vast and until recently its sheer size and inaccessibility have hindered our ability to understand the impacts of environmental changes on marine life. Monni and a team of marine wildlife experts reveal how advances in electronic tracking equipment have allowed us to remotely monitor marine animals. How do you tag marine a…
 
Conservation often tries to restore habitats to what they were - but given that our climate is changing fast, this kind of ecosystem restoration may no longer be possible. Monni and guests explore how rewilding can help build resilient ecosystems for the future. Why is rewilding often so contentious? How can it be applied to help threatened species…
 
Monni teams up with ZSL's Behavioural Management Committee (BMC) to find out how giving animals choice positively enhances their welfare and how this is put into practice every day at our zoos. What is the BMC and what happens at 'enrichment evenings'? How do you assess the welfare needs of an ant? How long does it take a gorilla to solve a puzzle …
 
Nearly half of the world’s human population lives in urban environments and this is projected to increase in future. While many species suffer the effects from urbanisation, other species thrive (or at least persist) in our urban landscapes. Monni and guests explore what creatures are lurking in our cities at night, how we can improve our urban lan…
 
Monni explores the ins and outs of biodiversity indicators with IOZ’s Indicator and Assessments Research Unit. Biodiversity indicators are measures of how biodiversity is doing worldwide, and we see them reported in the media: the Living Planet Index, for example, was recently published as part of the 2018 Living Planet Report and shows that popula…
 
Monni and guests explore a new era of shark conservation, focusing on protecting the lesser-known ‘flat sharks’ and rays, such as sawfishes, angel sharks, wedgefishes stingrays and guitar sharks. Large coastal sharks have a greater exposure to habitat degradation and fishing compared to offshore and pelagic species, increasing their risk of extinct…
 
By-catch is defined as the accidental entanglement of non-target species in fishing gear and is a principal cause of strandings for cetaceans. Monni is joined by researchers from the Cetaceans Strandings Investigations Programme (CSIP) and its partners to discuss by-catch as both a welfare and a conservation issue. With the scale of fishing in glob…
 
In this special mini-episode join Monni at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition for a teaser of what our researchers will be talking on our ZSL stand ‘Where the Wild Things Are’. Learn about the camera traps, tags and trackers being deployed around the world to study and monitor wildlife in remote locations, and what we can learn from the da…
 
Monni is joined by co-presenter Rachel Jones to navigate the hot waters of threats to coral reefs. Speakers discuss their experiences and stories from over 30 years' of research into the beauty and importance of these bio-diverse ecosystems. Even away from direct threats such as pollution, the protected reefs of the Chagos Archipelago in the Britis…
 
We have probably all heard about threatened species that are close to extinction, but how do we measure this? Monni travels to the IUCN Red List Unit in Cambridge to find out about the ins and outs of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the extinction risk of species. How do we measure extinction ris…
 
This episode is hosted by guest presenter Charlotte Coales, Public Engagement with Conservation Science Coordinator at ZSL. Charlotte and co-presenter Heidi Ma explore wildlife in China, a vast ‘megadiverse’ country that contains over 10% of global mammal species. From addressing pangolin trade for traditional Chinese medicine to protecting the bea…
 
Monni is joined by co-presenter Helen Gath to navigate the topic of reintroduction, an effective but complex conservation tool that can help save small populations of species. Speakers discuss how difficult reintroduction decisions are made in order to manage the risks and competing stakeholder interests involved, They discuss Helen's work on Mauri…
 
Monni is joined by co-presenter Claudia Gray to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of ZSL's EDGE of Existence Programme. This unique conservation programme aims to save wildlife that’s Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered, including the Chinese giant salamander, clawed frog and long-beaked echidna. Guests delve into the Tree of Life to expl…
 
The West African Savannah stretches 1,600,000 square kilometres across 12 countries, ranging from dense rain forest to arid grassland. It once hosted rhinos, giraffes, lions and other charismatic megafauna more familiar from East African safaris, but populations have declined over the last 40 years. Despite working in an area of economic pressure a…
 
Since being declared ‘biologically dead’ in 1958, the River Thames is now considered a global conservation success story of a recovering urban estuary. Monni talks to guests working on a range of conservation projects by researchers and citizen scientists in the heart of London, including juvenile fish surveys, seal counts and ‘outflow safaris’. Fi…
 
The mountain chicken frog became critically endangered after an outbreak of the amphibian fungal disease chytridiomycosis, which caused an 85% decline in population on its home island of Dominica, and near extinction on the neighbouring island of Montserrat. Monni is joined by a team from the Mountain Chicken Recovery Programme working in ZSL Londo…
 
To mark World Pangolin Day, Monni and guests discuss the plight of pangolins: the odd-looking scaly-anteater victims of an illegal wildlife trade that has brought them to the brink of extinction. Although they are severely threatened, a growing conservation movement is working to prevent poaching, limit trafficking and change consumer behaviour, wi…
 
In our second episode, we discuss the northern ocean, which has only recently become accessible after the retreat of Arctic ice. Fishing vessels, including destructive bottom trawlers, can now venture further north than ever before into previously un-fished waters. Monni Böhm is joined by guests to explore the potential value of marine reserves, co…
 
In this first episode of the ZSL Wild Science podcast, we interview speakers taking part in a debate at the Zoological Society of London: ‘Global biodiversity decline is not impacted by my daily decisions’. Join presenter Monni Böhm, a research scientist in ZSL’s Institute of Zoology, to discuss whether the problem of declining biodiversity require…
 
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