Conservationists report wildlife changes

April 2020

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

With more than a fifth of the world's population in lockdown, we're starting to see ways in which animals have been affected. Monkeys in Thailand are no longer being fed by tourists and have been filmed fighting over scraps on the streets of Lopburi. Wild boars have been seen in Barcelona and coyotes were spotted in San Francisco.

While the rabbits, alpacas, horses, capybaras and emus cared for by key staff at Writtle University College won't see many changes to their routines, we're interested in the habits and behaviour of UK wildlife.

There reports of foxes, hedgehogs and other wild creatures exploring the UK's urban streets. Roads have becomes safer for animals, now that traffic has decreased by more than 60 percent. A herd of goats recently took advantage of lockdown and wandered the empty roads in Llandudno, north Wales.

Kersty Ellis, head of department for FE Human, Animal and Bioveterinary Science at Writtle University College said: "We're living in unprecedented and challenging times. As humans stay home to stay safe, it's unsurprising that some wild creatures have begun to visit previously busy areas. For some creatures, reduced human activity may also cause unforeseen problems. For example, wildfowl have come to rely on the food provided by humans so in some areas ducks and geese may find they no longer have access to all of their usual sources of food."

If you're finishing your GCSEs and are passionate about wildlife, studying a Conservation, Land and Wildlife Management course at Writtle University College (WUC) could help you to take your first step towards a career in the sector. The mixture of theory and practical work will teach you professional skills that could be used to preserve the countryside for future generations. The course is taught at WUC's large, rural campus in the Essex countryside, two miles from the city of Chelmsford. For more information, visit