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THE UNLUCKY THIR TEEN

By Aimee Kathleen Pope


“Our planet is in the middle of a mass extinction. It’s estimated that every hour three species are lost forever. That’s seventy a day, five hundred a week, twenty-seven thousand species every year, which would make it the fastest rate of extinction in Earth’s history. And there’s no doubt about the cause, it’s us” Andrew Marr, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea

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“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the savage races throughout the world.�

Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

With thanks to the following without whom this would not have been made possible

Zoological Society of London: London Zoo Natural History Museum (London) David Attenborough

and his numerous nature documentaries

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and The Lonely Dodo The BBC

Eliskan of DeviantArt.com (eliskan.deviantart.com)

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CONTENTS

6. Introduction 8. World Map : Origins 10. African Cape Hunting Dog 12. Asiatic Lion 14. Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin 16. Long-Tailed Chinchilla 18. Northern Rockhopper Penguin 20. Philippines Crocodile 22. Rodriguez Fruit Bat 24. Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture 26. Short-Snouted Seahorse 28. Sumatran Tiger 30. Victoria Crowned Pigeon 32. Western Honey Bee 34. Western Lowland Gorilla 36. Glossary

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INTRODUCTION

Founded in 1826, London Zoo has been an epicentre for wild and exotic animals from all over the world for just under two hundred years. It has housed and continues to house many famous creatures over the years, from Winnie the Black Bear, given to the zoo by a Canadian Lieutenant in 1914, who later inspired A. A. Milne to write Winnie the Pooh, to the pair of Komodo Dragons who recently featured in a scene from Ian Fleming’s, James Bond: Skyfall in 2012 with the help of CGI. London Zoo originally began simply as a collection of varying animals that ranged from Arabian Oryx to the now extinct Quagga and Thylacine. It was opened to the public in 1847 to help with funding the zoo and people were soon entertained by the enigmatic creatures such as the elephants. The idea of these priceless creatures being important to the very survival of the human race may have seemed too far-fetched to the Victorian crowd that London Zoo was borne into. Now, the zoo forms a fundemental part of animal conservation with its many projects inside and outside of London Zoo and its sister site, Whipsnade.

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If it were not for places and organisations such as The Zoological Society of London, animals around the world would would be under a lot more strain. We can all do more to help the world upon which we need to survive and thrive.

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WORLD MAP : ORIGINS

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AFRICAN CAPE HUNTING DOG LATIN NAME lycaon pictus

STATUS RESIDENCY IN ZSL Endangered Into Africa

WHY THEM? Unique amongst their kind, they use markings of browns, blacks and white to distinguish individuals within a pack. They are resourceful with a 95% success rate for a kill and are seldom wasteful with their food, consuming far more than the average lion at a sitting. African Cape Hunting Dogs are also the second largest canid in the world. They are cursorial hunters, meaning that they will give chase for long time periods. They are intelligent, thought to be capable of both instinctive and learned behaviours. They are also vital for the health of wild herds that humans also depend on in order to survive.

WHY ARE THEY DISAPPEARING? Once widespread across Africa, numbers are now in rapid decline and now have become endangered. A pack requires a territorial range of 900 square miles in order to thrive in the competitive world around. This however brings them into direct confrontation with farming communities in Africa who see them as pests, actively shooting them on sight or going out of their way to kill them by using poison. This is being done on a wide scale and if this does not stop soon, it is likely that this creature will not be seen outside of Zoological breeding programs.

HOW DO THEY BENEFIT US? All Predators provide a useful service both for the species they hunt and for us as a whole. They will target the young, the old and the sick. This in turn forces the prey species to adapt, to become stronger than they were previously. It prevents diseased or sick animals from passing on faulty genes. This helps the stock to be strong and healthy and offers less chance of an African family contracting a bad desease from eating bad meat when they depend on wild stock in order to survive.

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WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THEM? Farming communities can be given and taught how to use a variety of technology that can help them keep their domestic livestock safe. By making a hunting attempt appear more trouble than it is worth, half the battle is won. Every farmer should be given free education and encouragement as to why these dogs are so vitally important, The government should also be encouraged to actively sponsor any farmer who works to co-exist with hunting dogs. Hunting dogs need to be seen not as a pest but as helping hands.

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ASIATIC “GIR” LION LATIN NAME STATUS panthera leo persica Critically Endangered

RESIDENCY IN ZSL Cats & Gibbons

WHY THEM? There are so few lions left in the world that along with the African and much rarer Barbary Lion, the Gir Lion is worth saving and represents the last of a dying link of lion lineage that used to roam from Africa, across the middle East and through to Asia. Gir Lions are also the only lions left in the entire world to give a right meaning to ‘King of the Jungle’. They are a beautiful link to an ancient past that also give protection to the rest of the Gir Forest’s occupants in India since they need the forest for their own survival.

WHY ARE THEY DISAPPEARING? Gir Lions need a wide range of area to thrive on and all Lions face this need. However, the Gir Forest in India has undergone severe habitat loss through human need for timber and fuel. This means that there is less forest for prey animals to live in and in turn, less prey for the predators. With not enough forest for them to thrive in, this brings confrontation between lion and man. With India’s human population ever increasing, it puts great strain on the herds Lions need in order to survive. No prey means that lions in their need to sate their hunger will turn to hunting man. Unfortunately, this means that mankind has killed any lion they could find or came across to protect their own families.

HOW DO THEY BENEFIT US? Lions, along with all predators, provide a boost to the health and variety of ‘prey animal’ herds. They weed out the old, the sick and the vulnerable of the herd and thus make the herd far healthier and stronger in their need to adapt. Predators also help to control numbers when a species over-populates. They can also remind us that life used to be a much harsher lifestyle and we should not be so ready to forget it.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THEM?

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The Gir Lion is currently protected by Indian Law and numbers are also being supplimented with African Lion females to help with their genetics and numbers. The Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctury in Northern Madhya Pradesh has been identified as a potential reintroduction site. However, before that can happen, local attitudes need to be encouraged to change, to help local farmers and families to see the lion as a friend to their cause and to protect them from those that seek to harm the lion population.


The Gir Forest should also be restocked with native trees to help it remain a forest and to help protect its inhabitants from the world outside. It would also be a shame to lose a forest home to many native animals that live alongside the lion too. It is also necessary to give lions the space they need so that they won’t turn to killing man instead. They could also benefit from proper use of tourism with elephant trails as is done for the Bengal Tiger to help bring awareness to their situation and need to be protected.

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GOLDEN-HEADED LION TAMARIN LATIN NAME leontopithecus chrysomelas

STATUS Endangered

RESIDENCY IN ZSL Rainforest Life

WHY THEM? These Tamarins are a link to our own past, much like other primates, monkeys and apes, and it is important to remember our heritage. They live in families over large amounts of canopy forest, knowing what time of year each different kinds of fruit that they eat are ripe enough. They are a vastly intelligent and empathic creature, working out their problems through learned and passed on down information. Because they need to live in the upper canopies, they need plenty of forest which in turn provides a home for other animals such as Tapir, Macaws and Jaguars.

WHY ARE THEY DISAPPEARING? The Amazonian Forest faces the problem of every primary forest in the world but the Amazon Forest is by far the most important to save than most. It helps to provide the weather systems for other places in the world such as Africa. It is also the home for these Tamarins and other natives. However, the forest is being harvested in man’s need for timber, fuel and farmland, especially for big corporate companies such as McDonald’s. These Tamarins also suffer from being hunted, often suffering a great deal of stress that they don’t recover from, for the ever growing pet trade. Our need for animal companionship is causing Tamarin numbers to decline rapidly along with the loss of habitat.

HOW DO THEY BENEFIT US? Golden-Headed Lion Tamarins, along with all the other species of primates, monkeys and apes, provide us a link to our own evolutionary history. They can help us to understand how to survive, what we are and why we have come to be. They also give the reason for the forest to be saved helping to save numerous lives of other equally endangered species such as Jaguars. They give the forest a purpose to exist and to be saved for the generations ahead. Humanity needs permenant forests and coral reefs to exist in order to provide the air we breathe and that can’t happen if all the forests are gone for good. Since the Amazon Forest covers a vast stretch of South America, it is vitally important to keep it saved if humanity is to survive.

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WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THEM? The Brazilian Government has already set aside a reserve for the GoldenHeaded Lion Tamarin called the Una Biological Reserve and they intend to buy more forest to give the Tamarins more room. The Government also need to continue encouraging the locals to look after and protect them and their habitat. They are currently looking at tourism to help bring awareness to their need to be saved but they also need to raise awareness that Tamarins should not be bought or ordered for pets, which in turn would nullify the need for those to hunt them in the first place.

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LONG-TAILED CHINCHILLA LATIN NAME STATUS chinchilla lanigera Critically Endangered

RESIDENCY IN ZSL Nightlife

WHY THEM? These Chinchillas do look incredibly adorable complete with their fluffy tails, cute expression and soft pelts of fur. They are a natural part of the Chilean landscape, perfectly suited to surviving harsh conditions. It is necessary for us to take the step back and not remove something from its natural environment just because it looks cute or safe to keep. They always look right at home in their natural habitat.

WHY ARE THEY DISAPPEARING? The main threat to this species is down to the pet trade. The first thought is usually ‘cute’ or ‘adorable’ and we instantly want one. However, the means of getting them means that these creatures are captured and removed from their rightful place and put in a cage. The other contributories to their reduced number can be put down to the fur trade because of their soft pelts and to habitat degradation. They are in significant danger of becoming a purely domesticated species.

HOW DO THEY BENEFIT US? Chinchillas are part of a food chain and breaking that food chain would have repercussions in the species that local human populations need in order to make a living. Because there are so few left in the wild, genetic diversity is suffering which in turns means that for those wanting to look after domesticated Chinchillas may not have any opportunity to do so.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THEM? Both the Long-Tailed and the Short-Tailed species are currently protected by law but more needs to be done to protect its habitat as well. Locals should be encouraged through sponsorship programmes to help protect, maintain and reintroduce both plant species and Chinchillas in their local area. More also needs to be done in raising awareness for prospective Chinchilla owners, to make sure that they source their Chinchilla from a breeder and not one from the wild. A thorough ban on Chinchilla export and import to other countries also should be enforced as is done with species like the Gila Monster.

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NORTHERN ROCKHOPPER PENGUIN LATIN NAME eudyptes moseleyi

STATUS Endangered

RESIDENCY IN ZSL Penguin Beach

WHY THEM? Every penguin species represents their plight regardless of whether they live in Antarctica or not. They also show ho well animal life can adapt to make use of the environment around it. They have white undersides to help camouflage them from lurking hunters below. Their wings help them not in air but to fly through the water providing agility and speed as they chase their prey. Some penguins choose extreme weathers whilst others adapt to warmer climbs but they all share the amazing ability to adapt and evolve in a variety of ways.

WHY ARE THEY DISAPPEARING? For the Northern Rockhopper, it is found on a number of Southern Ocean islands but the largest of populations reside on Tristan da Cunha and Gough. As such, it is highly vulnerable to non-beneficial circumstances. It also seems that these quirky birds seem to be suffering from breeding losses but the reason for this is not yet known. They could be suffering from increased predation, decrease of prey stock, egg thieving rodents, increased disturbance and pollution, climate change or too much competition for the same resources.

HOW DO THEY BENEFIT US? Rockhopper Penguins, both Northern and Southern, are charimastic and quirky penguins. They represent the plight of all penguins who rely on fish in order to survive. They can help make sure that fish stocks remain healthy and force these fish to stay ahead of the game. They are the canaries for the health of the oceans fish stocks. People like to eat fish so if the penguins are dying out, it means there is something wrong with fish stocks. We can help improve fish stocks by helping out the penguins.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THEM? The RSPB are doing all they can for this bird’s future but they do not yet know exactly what seems to causing their decrease in numbers. Fishermen across the world need to be encouraged to only fish in designated areas and to fish sustainably and responsibly.

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In the meantime, all must be done to help this penguin along with other penguin species to not be lost to history.


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PHILIPPINE CROCODILE LATIN NAME crocodylus mindorensis

STATUS Critically Endangered

RESIDENCY IN ZSL Reptile House

WHY THEM? Like snakes, arachnids and sharks, Crocodiles are often misunderstood creatures that have stood the test of time thanks to an adaptive, hard wearing design. Due to their ‘if it smells good, chomp’ nature, these reptiles often receive bad press for simply doing what their instinct tells them to. However, these ancient creatures present a fascinating insight to how nature adapted to the environment around it as crocodile species can be found in both saltwater and in freshwater. They also offer us a way to better help understand how the dinosaurs may have behaved in regards to hunting and social behaviours,

WHY ARE THEY DISAPPEARING? They suffer from over-exploitation for commercial uses such as for their skin in the demand for handbags and wallets. They also are a victim of habitat destruction to make way for rice fields to help feed the human explosion of numbers. They are also hunted in the belief that they are man-killers. There is some truth in this but it is the much larger crocodylus porosus, which does have a reputation for killing mankind, that is to blame and in turn has a negative future for the smaller Philippine Crocodile. These crocodiles are often shot on site and thanks to years of the crocodile’s supposed man-killing, the word ‘Crocodile’ in the Filipino language has become an insult.

HOW DO THEY BENEFIT US? The role of predators is to maintain healthy stocks of those they prey on and this follows on down the food chain, which includes species necessary for the Filipino peoples to thrive on. This two-way competition forces other creatures to be better, which in turn gives the Filipino people a much healthier prey stock to live off and don’t have to worry about eating disease-carrying fish. They also provide us a link to an ancient past, a midway point of reptiles going from the water and taking to life on land. It would be a shame to lose this heritage.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THEM?

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Lacoste, a perfume company, is sponsoring and encouraging locals to look after their little Philippine Crocodile and to help them see this creatures as a boon to their economy. It is protected from international trade by its listing on Appendix I of CITES but only in one specifically protected area. More needs to be done to protect the possibly beleived 300 individuals left in the wild. Breeding programs are undergoing in places around the world and more awareness programs should be looked into.


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RODRIGUES FRUIT BAT LATIN NAME pteropus rodricensis

STATUS Critically Endangered

RESIDENCY IN ZSL Mammal End

WHY THEM? It is the largest bat in the world that is also known as a Flying Fox for its vulpine features. They are perhaps one of the more vulnerable bat species considering they are only found on one island after which they are so named. Bats are the only mammal capable of powered flight and are incredibly adaptive in nature. People have a fear of bats, known as Chiroptophobia, because of the Dracula tales but most bats are either frugivores or insectivores. However, this fear gives these creatures bad press.

WHY ARE THEY DISAPPEARING? Their home is under threat from severe habitat loss, hunting for its meats and it is also under threat from cyclones that do naturally appear that opten disorient them and sweep these bats out into open ocean as well as further damaging their natural food sources and where they shelter. These bats need several fruiting resources that fruit at different times of the year upon which to survive.

HOW DO THEY BENEFIT US? Like birds, they ingest the seeds and stones from the fruit they eat and disperse at a later time after those inedible seeds and stones have passed through their systems. This helps to regerminate the forest into new plants, bolstering the forest naturally. They could help us to understand how to help others of their species that live around the world that face a similar predicament of being at risk of being wiped out through human action. Also to help understand when at what time fruiting plants produce their fruit at the right time to be naturally harvested.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THEM? Due to their island being a natural victim of tropical cyclones, they will always be at risk of being swept out into open ocean and natural habitat destruction. However, we should stop harvesting the trees there ourselves and let nature reclaim its primary forest with a little help of replanting the right trees. Breeding programmes set up in zoos are helping to boost numbers and there are signs that the Rodriguez Fruit Bat population is increasing, but they still need to be protected for many more years to come.

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RUPPELL’S GRIFFON VULTURE LATIN NAME gyps ruppellii

STATUS Endangered

RESIDENCY IN ZSL Raptor Aviary

WHY THEM? Vultures are nature’s binmen, they help to clean up the land of corpses that left to themselves would rot and introduce many diseases into the local fauna and flora. They also make sure that those walking around don’t have to swim through several tonnes of rotting carcasses. They are perfectly evolved to deal with this task by having sharp curved beaks to pick out meat to the last scrap, their heads are featherless so that they remain clean from blood and they can spot a carcass from miles away.

WHY ARE THEY DISAPPEARING? Whilst these birds have not been as well studied as other vulture species, it is known their numbers are being affected by agriculture encroaching into their natural habitat with large-scale poisoning and persecution. In Western Africa, they are also sought after for the use in black magic. They are now only typically found in protected areas of Africa.

HOW DO THEY BENEFIT US? Just as humans have their rubbish men, nature has vultures and hyenas to do this very job in the wild. Without these scavengers, we would be swimming in corpses and more disease than we could handle, this also has a dramatically disastrous affect for the surrounding environment, wildlife and humans as well. These birds are incredibly vital for third world countries as a whole. They also need large ranges to scout for corpses from the air, which in turns means that there should be plenty of land for other animals.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THEM? Farmers need to be educated and encouraged to work with vultures instead of persecuting them for doing what nature and instinct dictates of them to do. By providing them with recently deceased corpses either found or locally from cattle recently died, they could be the farmer’s scarecrows; their presence would detere other scavengers such as rodents from eating that farmer’s crops in the fear of attracting attention from opportune birds.

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They need to be protected by West African law and they currently do exist in already protected areas including Serengeti National Park and the World Heritage Site in Tanzania. Further protection should help prevent further declines from persecution and exploitation.


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SHORT SNOUTED SEAHORSE LATIN NAME hippocampus hippocampus

STATUS Endangered

RESIDENCY IN ZSL Aquarium

WHY THEM? All seahorses are odd and charming. also providing us with a wacky twist in nature for the sole reason that it is the male who is impregnated and carries the offspring around. They are enigmatic and are often loved by all ages, particularly younger ones and can be found throughout the world. However, they are also the most vulnerable of species for many reasons.

WHY ARE THEY DISAPPEARING? The seahorse is greatly vulnerable to fishing equipment such as trawlers and dredges. It is also at threat from climate change and habitat loss and degradation. It is thought that Portugal’s population has suffered by a drastic 73% as a result. They also suffer from by-catch or are at grave risk of being removed to be sold for the pet and aquarium trade. Seahorses around the world also are harvested in their masses for the Chinese Medicine trade and for consumption purposes.

HOW DO THEY BENEFIT US? The Short Snouted and the Long Snouted Seahorse varieties are the mascots for the wildlife in Britain’s coastal waters. It is easy to forget that Britain is also home to endangered species when so many in the world are from more exotic places. These seahorses provide children with fascination and helps to encourage them to learn about the inhabitants of the water. They are a link to the bio-diversity of our waters and help to show the health of the water as well.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THEM? We need to help make sure that the males can give birth to their young, helping to repopulate the species. The Short-Snouted Seahorse is also listed in Appendix II of CITES so that every country that are signatories of CITES is subject to regulations over export. This species is also listed under OSPAR, European CITES, the Bern Convention and the Barcelona Convention. A nationwide ban of the harvesting of seahorses for the Chinese Medicine trade and for the pet and aquarium trade needs to be policed efficiently to help protect them and give them a chance to thrive. Protecting their natural habitat also needs to be enforced with placing strict regulations on trawlers and dredging practices. This in turn should also help other shoreline species as well as other seahorses.

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SUMATRAN TIGER LATIN NAME panthera tigris sumatrae

STATUS Critically Endangered

RESIDENCY IN ZSL Tiger Territory

WHY THEM? These creatures are no less majestic and beautiful than others of their species. They are amazing creatures able to leap ten feet in a single pounce. Like zebras, their stripes are unique to every individual and each tiger has their own personality. They are important for so many other creatures that live alongside them in the wild and it would be strange to think of a world without these majestic big cats being there.

WHY ARE THEY DISAPPEARING? These tigers are in direct confrontation with human populations because of human affect on their habitat. Tigers face severe habitat loss which means they have small territories in which to hunt and this often forces them into direct contact with humans. They are also wanted for the Chinese Medicine Trade for their body parts. They are also killed in the name of trophy killing, illegal killing, poaching and often face persecution as they are considered a pest to livestock.

HOW DO THEY BENEFIT US? For a healthy herd of livestock and wild animals that humans also feed on and use, it is imperitive to have an apex predator around to make sure that those herds remain strong and healthy. They prey on the weak and the sick, forcing the herd to stay on their toes, improving the herd’s genetics as well. Since these Tigers need large territories to sustain them, the amount of forest required would also be saved along with the several other creatures that depend on the forests to survive.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THEM? Alternative medicines are already in place to take the place of traditional Oriental medicines and people need to be encouraged that these alternatives do actually work to cure symptoms, whereas it has been proved that no part of a Tiger is useful for curing illnesses. More places in the world need to ban and strictly punish for the use of any product containing the part of endangered animals. The Indian Government are doing what they can for tigers and more needs to be done to help ensure they exist in our future. People need to receive education and be encouraged to see the Tiger as a positive in helping the health of local herds such as deer and other prey species.

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VICTORIA CROWNED PIGEON LATIN NAME goura victoria

STATUS Near Threatened

RESIDENCY IN ZSL Blackburn Pavilion

WHY THEM? These birds are the largest of remaining pigeons in the world and are soon on the way to following their cousins, the Dodo, if we do nothing to ensure their future. Like with the Dodo, these have had no previous experience of man to know it should be afraid and it is because it is so docile. The amazing thing about these birds is that, like Flamingos, they produce milk for their young. This is not a usual ability for avians but this is possibly a throwback to their evolutionary heritage. These quirky and beautiful birds who mate for life should not have to face the same future as their larger extinct cousin.

WHY ARE THEY DISAPPEARING? Their plumage makes them a target for poaching, caught for their meat and their feathers as part of local dress codes and their young are also reared for food. They are also collected for the pet trade, prized for their colour. These birds don’t possess much of a flighty nature and do not fly that far when afraid, they prefer low branches which also makes them easier to catch. Their habitat also suffers from deforestation which in turn makes these pigeons more accessible. Mankind is solely at fault for their demise.

HOW DO THEY BENEFIT US? These birds are a distinct reminder for us that we should not put these animals at risk of dying out through our own greed. They are pretty to look at and docile enough to serve well as a pet but they offer the question of why should we take it from its natural habitat. They are also a relative of the extinct Dodo, and could provide answers as to how the bird might have lived, behaved and reacted to the world around it.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THEM? Whlst this bird is listed under Appendix II of CITES, regulations are only enforced over its import and export. More needs to be done to control the pet trade and ban it completely. It is protected by law in Papua New Guinea but enforcement is inadequate. Awareness needs to be raised and locals need to be encouraged to look after this beautiful creature. Breeding programmes need to get underway with the intention of rturning them to the wild. Their habitat will also need to be protected.

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WESTERN HONEY BEE LATIN NAME STATUS apis mellifera Vulnerable / Near Threatened

RESIDENCY IN ZSL Insect House

WHY THEM? Bees are one of those unfortunates that rely on so much existing around them in order to survive such as the broad variety of flowering plants and no interference with how they navigate.They provide us with so much that we cannot live without them in return. Honey Bees often get bad reputations as swarm killers especially through the media and thrillers. However, they don’t sting as much as Yellow-Jacket Wasps that have a very similar appearance. A bee cannot sting twice like a wasp can.

WHY ARE THEY DISAPPEARING? Firstly, the introduction of an invasive species of mite known as varroa jacobsoni has wrought devastation in Honey Bee numbers. The mite attacks the larvae, pupae and adults and seems resistant to most known chemicals. This in turn causes beekeepers to stop the craft of beekeeping which puts further strain on the Honey Bee’s way of life. Inbreeding is also another setback to numbers creating gaps in genetic diversity that can cause sub-species to go extinct. Neonicotinoid pesticides are also having a negative effect on a bee’s ability to navigate, the effect is very much like being drunk is for us and renders them unable to find their way back to the hive.

HOW DO THEY BENEFIT US? A third of what we eat is reliant on bees pollinating flowers or producing honey. Plants need pollinating insects such as bees in order to flourish and we rely on bees for things such as honey, bread, flowers, wax and so on. They are also part of a food chain and their total loss would have repurcussions through those that feed or rely on them. Plants would also be affected and other pollinating insects may not be able to provide the same coverage.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THEM?

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Farmers need to be encouraged to use more natural pesticides such as other creatures that hunt on undesired pests. A total ban of Neonicotinoid pesticides needs to be invested in. Beekeeping also should be encouraged and homeowners should plant bee-friendly plants such as Lavender to encourage bees to increase in number. The European Commission has set up the Beekeeping and Apis Biodiversity in Europe (BABE) project, which aims to conserve local populations and to maintain genetic diversity .


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WESTERN LOWLAND GORILLA LATIN NAME STATUS gorilla gorilla Critically Endangered

RESIDENCY IN ZSL Gorilla Kingdom

WHY THEM? Gorillas are the largest apes left on the planet with Orangutans and Chimpanzees coming in for close seconds. We can see so much ourselves in what they do and how they do things in their every day lives. More than most other beings, they are capable of complex emotional states and they are very smart, smarter than most would be willing to give them credit for.

WHY ARE THEY DISAPPEARING? Lowland Gorillas have long gestation periods coupled with long term parental care, much like it is with humans. Because of this, they cannot reproduce quickly enough, it means that poaching, habitat loss and degradation, logging practices, bushmeat trade and the Ebola Virus has that greater a negative impact on numbers.

HOW DO THEY BENEFIT US? They can teach us more about ourselves in the ways we think and act, we can learn from them and understand our own heritage in more ways than one. They give a reason to exist for the forest habitats they need in order to survive, which in turn benefits other creatures including mankind, which includes local villages who surround their homes.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP THEM?

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Gorillas of all sub-species have been a flagship species for the World Wildlife Fund for over fifty years through their African Great Apes programme. Locals are also being encouraged to protect and peacefully coexist in ways that benefits both parties. Tourism brings a boost to the local economy which gives another reason for keeping and maintain the Gorillas natural habitat. More needs to be done to look into potential areas for new forests to be grown and for Gorillas to be able to grow in number. This is something that they are slowly but steadily doing under the protection of their human relatives.


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GLOSSARY

CGI Computer Generated Image CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species IUCN Internation Union for Conservation of Nature ZSL Zoological Society of London Durrell - Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust OSPAR - Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic Quagga - Extinct subspecie of plains Zebra once found in South Africa Thylacine - Extinct species of carnivorious marsupial once found in Australia. Also known as Tasmanian Wolf but is of no relation to wolves.

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“Our planet is in the middle of a mass extinction. It’s estimated that every hour three species are lost forever. That’s seventy a day, five hundred a week, twenty-seven thousand species every year, which would make it the fastest rate of extinction in Earth’s history. And there’s no doubt about the cause, it’s us” Andrew Marr, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea

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“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the savage races throughout the world.�

Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species


Thirteen animals that live under the protection of London Zoo represent a bleaker outlook for the rest of the world’s population and not just for their species alone. With so many animals disappearing from the living record each day, mankind will eventually have to face up to the fact that by killing and harvesting these creatures, the Unlucky Thirteen being amongst that great number, we are effectively sealing our own fate. This book hopes to shed light to the end of the tunnel by helping you to see that not all is lost. By doing your bit to help each of these thirteen creatures, you’re helping a great number of other species, all great and small, including that of mankind.


The Unlucky 13 by Aimee Kathleen Pope