A Quiet Revolution Replacing the Use of Animals in Research

May 31, 2019

By Andrew Rowan, DPhil.

Great Britain : Animal Experiments & Procedures : 1900-2017

On 16 May (2019), the Sanger Institute outside Cambridge in the UK announced it would be closing its laboratory animal facility in the next few years. It came to this decision “following a rigorous review” of its scientific strategy and after consulting with the Wellcome Trust, one of the major funders of biomedical research in the world today and a very generous supporter of programs at the Sanger Institute. This is a momentous decision, but it is not particularly surprising (except for the timing – earlier than expected) to those of us who have been following the animal research issue over the past thirty years.


IPBES Report

May 2019
Taken from

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an intergovernmental (UN) body which assesses the state of biodiversity and the ecosystem services provided to society. It was established by member states in 2012 and its objective is to strengthen the science-policy interface on long-term sustainable development and human well-being. There are currently over 130 member states and a large number of civil society representatives participate in the formal IPBES process as observers.


Corridors & Crossings: Advancing Connectivity Conservation

May 6, 2019

By Elizabeth Fairbank and Aaron Laur, Center for Large Landscape Conservation.

Banff National Park (Canada) Courtesy: Susan Hagood, Humane Society (United States).

Across the globe, the movement of species and flow of ecological processes are being interrupted by human development. Natural areas are losing vital connections once used by wildlife to migrate, disperse, mate, feed, and thrive. This ongoing fragmentation is leaving nature susceptible to a wide range of maladies including habitat destruction, species extinction, and loss of critical ecosystem functions. To protect these vital interconnections, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation (CLLC) fosters networks of communities and institutions to identify the threats to ecological connectivity and prioritize science, policy, and management actions across terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments. Specifically, CLLC’s Corridors &Crossings Program is accelerating large-scale conservation across North America and internationally.


Roads, Transport Corridors, Infrastructure and Wildlife

March 31, 2019
From 19-22 March of this year, several hundred conservation biologists, activists, economists, lawyers and political scientists convened in the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre in Worcester College, Oxford to discuss global-scale challenges to wildlife and how the assembled cornucopia of disciplines could help to address and mitigate those challenges. There were many interesting and provocative presentations but the one that stood out for me was a presentation by William Laurance on the impact that infrastructure development is going to have on wildlife and wild places.

International Day of Happiness

March 19, 2019

Wednesday March 20, 2019 features the sixth annual celebration of the United Nation’s International Day of Happiness. The 2019 World Happiness Report will be published on that day. In the 2018 report, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland topped the rankings and all scored well on the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. The report is produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network which is also involved in producing the Global Happiness and Well-being Policy Report (the second edition of which was issued last month).

Human-Baboon Conflict Mitigation

February 25, 2019

The chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) is one of the largest of all monkeys and is a relatively common sight in the Cape Province in South Africa.  In fact, the 500 or so baboons living on the mountain slopes of the Cape Peninsula (Cape Town, South Africa) are now the focus of serious human-wildlife conflict concerns.  The baboons have learned that food and people are closely linked.  Individual baboons have learned to open car doors parked in the Cape Point Nature Reserve and baboon troops now get into houses and raid refrigerators in Cape Town and its suburbs.  However, the human-baboon conflict is widespread in South Africa and the following is a description of how the Greyton community is resolving this conflict.

Plastics in the Ocean

February 25, 2019

As the global production of plastic items explodes, plastic debris and waste is accumulating across the planet’s oceans. A 20-fold increase in plastic production occurred between 1964 and 2014, and the rate of production continues to increase (see figure:  407 million tonnes in 2015, 302 million tonnes of which ended up in the waste stream in 2015). Between them, China (60mt), the USA (38mt), Germany (14.5 mt), and Brazil (12 mt) account for 40% of this waste.  An excellent update on this topic is provided by a new website – Our World in Data – produced by academics at Oxford University.

Costa Rica

October 26, 2018

–WBI’s first blog details the impressive,positive changes in the human-dog relationship in Costa Rica over the past twenty to thirty years.  These developments are occurring in countries around the globe but on different timescales in each country.

Dog Management in the USA

October 26, 2018

– A recent analysis of trends in US dog populations and dog management has been published in the Open Access journal, Animals by Andrew Rowan and Tamara Kartal .  The article was published on April 28, 2018 and has received 1,779 views since then. 

Baboon Monitor Team

October 26, 2018

A recent posting on Facebook by a resident of Greyton, a town (and artists’ retreat) about 80 miles from Cape Town in South Africa, asked readers if they were wondering why they were not seeing baboons around or in Greyton.