Yorkshire, UK: With just days until a unique competition closes, a conservation project, which has focuses on both UK and foreign shores, has created a unique opportunity for schools, colleges and youth groups – the chance to name a bra nd new species of tree which a Yorkshire based conservationist discovered during a research project in Tanzania.
Dr Andrew R. Marshall who is Senior Lecturer at University of York and Director of Conservation Science at Flamingo Land Resort Yorkshire discovered the tree whilst working in a remote mountain forest as he studied one of the world’s rarest primates – the kipunji monkey, as part of CIRCLE in collaboration with the Udzungwa Forest Project (UFP).
“I was amazed to discover that scientists had not named it before and saw a great opportunity for children to become involved and understand the worldwide need for conservation and protecting our natural habitats,” said Dr Marshall. “Further research at the National Museums of Kenya showed that it was an entirely new species from the genus Polyceratocarpus, but that a species name had never been attributed to it.”
Children and their schools, colleges or youth groups are to enter the ‘Schools for Forests’ competition via its Just Giving Page of the same name. The school that raises the most money will have the 20-metre tall tree named after them. Those who raise over £1000 will be twinned with a school in Tanzania, and other top fundraisers will be invited to Flamingo Land for an activity day, and to see the conservation work that is taking place and enjoy the wild animals and wilder rides.
Just a matter of days ago, Flamingo Land planted its 10,000th tree as part of an ongoing conservation project in conjunction with the Woodland Trust and its MOREWOODS scheme to develop natural habitats. It is hoped to encourage native species to the park to live alongside its more unique residents that call the park home through Flamingo Land’s work on global breeding programs for threatened species.
Other rewards, such as t-shirts, will be given to those who raise over £50, and all schools signing up for the Schools for Forests competition will receive teaching resources tailored for the primary and secondary curriculum. The competition closes on 31st March 2016.
Dr Marshall concluded; “Learning about conservation and the natural world is an important part of a holistic education and one which we are keen to pass on to younger generations. By understanding that there are species of tree and perhaps insect and animal yet to be discovered shows just how fascinating and unique our natural world really is.”
“I would also like to thank my colleagues from Ohio Wesleyan University, the National Museums of Kenya, and various other institutions, who were instrumental in helping me to describe this tree. I would also like to thank Flamingo Land and the Mammal Working Group of the British and Irish Association for Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) for funding the expedition that led to the discovery of the new species, and both the United Bank of Carbon and Santander for supporting the Schools for Forests campaign.”
If anyone would like to support or nominate a school, college or youth group, please follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/schoolsforforests/posts/1678296229114527?fref=nf
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