Half of the world's bird species cannot be sexed by their physical
appearance. This posed a major
problem for conservation breeding, which is dependent upon identification
of the birds' sex for
mating birds, as well as ensuring an equal sex ratio of birds for
reintroduction into the wild.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow developed a simple DNA test to
determine the sex of
birds. The test has been adopted by commercial companies in the UK and
USA, one of which
includes Avian Biotech (USA), who perform approximately 50,000 tests a
year for commercial,
conservation and private breeders, generating revenues of around £618,000.
The test is available
to a broad range of international groups, including zoos and conservation
organisations, where it
has been fundamental to the management of captive breeding of some of the
world's rarest bird
This case study concerns the development, adoption and dissemination of
approaches to the sustainable management of social-ecological systems
(SES) within the
Guiana Shield region of South America. Spanning the countries of Guyana,
Guiana and areas of Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia, this region is of
significance for carbon storage, fresh water resources and biodiversity.
Its indigenous, Amerindian
communities have a potentially crucial role to play in sustainable
conservation policy and practice.
However, local economic and cultural changes, extractive industries, and
global dynamics such as
climate change are bringing profound challenges to these local communities
and their SES.
Research at Royal Holloway has responded to these challenges by involving
indigenous peoples in
both biodiversity science and sustainability policy. The work allows
indigenous communities to
identify, through participatory research methods, the most effective
practices they have for
surviving and thriving sustainably.
The impacts of the research are of four main types: