For anyone interested in membership who wasn’t able to make the freshers fair or wants to renew their membership fill in this form!! We’ve got several events coming up including interesting talks and socials! Make sure to fill out the form and not miss out on any fun!!
The common skate (Dipturus batis) is one of the largest fish species in British waters. They are an elasmobranch species found on sandy or muddy seabeds down to depths of 600m. The skate can also live for between 50-100 years!
Although once common to all shores, its distribution is now limited to the Celtic Sea and off the coast of North-West Scotland. This is primarily due to decades of overfishing that have damaged miles of delicate seabed habitats that fish such as this rely on. Their population decline means they are listed as Critically Endangered species on the IUCN Red List and a priority species under the UK Post-2010 biodiversity framework. Fortunately it is prohibited to fish Skate in EU waters and they must be returned to waters unharmed if caught.
Genetic research into the species has found that the common skate is actually 2 species: the flapper skate (Dipturus intermedia) and the blue skate (Dipturus flossada).Flapper skates occur in the northern North Sea and off Scotland’s north-west coast. The smaller blue skate is the main species found in the Celtic Sea and around Rockall. The two species overlap across a wide area of the Celtic Seas ecoregion.
Their diet mostly consists of crustaceans with the help of their powerful jaws although their speed and manoeuvrability also allows them to catch pelagic species such as mackerel too.
The common skate is olive to dark brown in colour with a pattern of lighter ‘spots’ on the back. Adult skates have two rows of 12-18 thorns on their tail. The variation between individuals spot patters has been used in photo-identification studies to monitor and investigate the Scottish skate population. You can visit Skatespotter to find out more!
Skates reproduce by laying egg cases containing embryos which remain on the seabed or attached to sea weed while the embryo develops into a young skate. You can help identify possible skate nurseries and aid conservation efforts by reporting any egg cases you find washed up or taking part in a survey for The Shark Trust.
Love The Oceans will host a talk on Thursday, October 29th at 8pm about getting involved with their organization!
Come join us to learn about getting involved with Love the Oceans! Love The Oceans is a non-profit marine conservation organisation in Guinjata Bay, Mozambique. We use research, education and diving to drive action towards a more sustainable future. We offer a cutting edge volunteer program that gives individuals the chance to work alongside our marine biologists and the local community helping with conservation and research. Volunteers gain experience through our research and community outreach over the space of 2 – 6 weeks (plus an optional extra week including 5 nights in the world famous Greater Kruger Natural Ecosystem!). As a volunteer, you form an essential part of our team. You will rotate around our principal activities of:
– Fisheries data collection
– Megafauna surveys
– Coral reef surveys
– Teaching and painting at the local schools
– Teaching swimming lessons to local children and adults
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will not only give you hands on practical experience that you will not get elsewhere, but also a leg up in the world of conservation careers!
Visit the website to learn more before the talk!
Don’t miss our zoom call today (24.9.20) at 7pm to answer any of your questions about all things zoological at Glasgow University! Join in for a chat with us, we will have postgrads, 4th years, 3rd years and more to answer any of your queries! we’re friendly, we promise.
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 885 517 3424
This week we’re focusing on the Pine Hoverfly (Blera fallax) which is currently one of the rarest species in Scotland.
This hoverfly is a specialist of Caledonian pine forests, with the larvae aiding in breakdown of natural debris on the forest floor and adults acting as pollinators.
This species is critically endangered and the U.K. population is currently restricted to one site in the Cairngorms. The Pine Hoverfly is so rare that it has not been seen in the wild for 7 years!
The cause of their decline is thought to be lack of suitable habitat. As the Pine Hoverfly needs rotten Scots pine tree stumps more than 40cm in width for their larvae to develop.
The huge decline in numbers has resulted in a collaborative conservation effort involving the Malloch Society, RSPB, Forestry and Land Scotland, SNH and RZSS. The RZSS Highland Wildlife Park has a conservation breeding program for the Pine Hoverfly and in a few years will hopefully be able to start reintroducing their individuals back into the wild!
If you’re looking for a chance to do some virtual volunteering the Atlantic Whale and Dolphin foundation based in Tenerife have lots of opportunities to get involved. Check out their website for more info!https://www.fairearthfoundation.org/virtual-volunteering.html
The Great Scottish Squirrel Survey returns for its second year this autumn. Saving Scotlands Red Squirrels are calling on people all over Scotland to explore outdoors on the lookout for tufted ears and bushy tails between 21-27 September, during National Red Squirrel Week.
SSRS monitors squirrel populations all year round; but autumn remains a particularly rewarding time of year for squirrel-spotting. Squirrels are often more visible as they busily forage the autumn harvest in preparation for the winter ahead. Anyone can take part in the Great Scottish Squirrel Survey by reporting sightings of both red and grey squirrels throughout the week.
Each sighting creates a snapshot of the situation, helping the project understand how populations are changing over time and to decide where to focus its conservation efforts.
To find out more and record your squirrel sightings, visit scottishsquirrels.org.ukhttps://scottishsquirrels.org.uk/great-scottish-squirrel-survey/
The Glasgow Natural History Society are hosting a talk tonight at 7pm on Honey-buzzards in Central Scotland!This talk describes a long-term study of Honey-buzzards in Central Scotland. It will cover their identification, breeding biology and annual incidence. A UK wide national survey for Honey-buzzards is planned for 2020-21, and this talk will encourage observers to contribute.
For anyone interested in attending over zoom, send us a message for further details!
Introducing our final member of this years committee; Agate!
Agate is our postgraduate member, doing a masters in biology, conservation and epidemiology.
Her favourite animal is an axolotl
This year she is looking forward to being with ZooSoc for the 5th year and to get fellow postgrads involved with the society!
Interested in finding out more about getting involved in the society and what we do?
Come meet us at the freshers fair today (15.9.20), we’re in the marquee in the East Quad from 9am-6pm!
if you can’t make it or are an existing member and want to renew your membership you can do it here! https://forms.gle/7AL2225jLYW2TEuHA
You can also visit our Facebook page to see more about us, our upcoming events or get your membership!
We’re looking forward to welcoming both old and new members!