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The Saving Species Conference

We invite you to join our annual winter conference in Paignton this October.


Conservation Chat UK LTD are a specialist in organising events where the environment is always at the heart.


We are passionate about the environment, especially in our local area, the southwest of England.


This event will bring together a range of guest speakers involved in species conservation. If you are passionate about the environment, be sure to join us. The day will be filled with presentations, discussions and networking opportunities. It will be aimed at those who work in the conservation sector, students, early career researchers, and anyone with a passion for the environment.


Light refreshments will be provided, and to keep ticket prices low, we ask that you bring a packed lunch. We challenge you to go plastic-free!

This event will be an exclusively face-to-face conference, however, we can guarantee full refunds if we must cancel due to the Coronavirus.

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Jack Renwick


Working Towards a Future Where Sharks Thrive

Jack is a conservationist with a passion for being in, on, or under the water. He is currently working as the Fisheries Conservation Officer at the Shark Trust. He studied BSc Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology followed by MSc Marine Conservation, then began a career in conservation in water sampling and then fisheries enforcement. At The Shark Trust, he advocates for sustainable fisheries for non-threatened species and secures necessary management for highly threatened species. He is involved in fisheries policy and management planning, stakeholder engagement, campaign activity, and developing resources.

The Shark Trust was established in 1997 to provide a voice for sharks in the UK. It is now part of a global movement in shark conservation working to protect shark, skate and ray populations and ensure they have a sustainable future. Effective shark conservation comes from a science-based commitment to achieving sustainably managed populations. This places fisheries policy, management and enforcement at the forefront of conservation action, supported by effective, targeted stakeholder engagement to generate political will.

Jack's talk will take you through the Shark Trust's journey and their current work to conserve sharks, skates and rays globally.


Allissia Lancaster


How auditory enrichment affects the behaviour and welfare of a group of Golden Head Lion Tamarins at Shaldon Wildlife Trust.

This presentation will cover the project results and how different audios affected the group's behaviour, how the data can be used to position the group within a zoological collection, and how it can be applied to other species, including which sounds stimulate the most behaviours for enrichment. 

I chose to research auditory enrichment as it isn't widely researched. In addition, it can also play a huge role in how an animal perceives their environment. In addition, how an animal reacts to audio in a zoo is important as it can help determine where you may locate an animal within a zoological collection. Because of this, I chose three categories of sounds Environmental, Native species and man-made audio. Each of the categories consisted of one novel sound and one known sound. 


Cam Molland

“The Whale Pump: Is Whale Poo the Key to Unlocking a Solution to the Climate Crisis?”

Examining the role whales play in combatting climate change, both in sequestering carbon when they die and sink, and the role their digestive byproduct plays in supporting ecosystems of phytoplankton that extract carbon dioxide as they grow. The theme of the conference being saving species, I thought this was a rather left-field and novel approach, as the species I’ll be talking about saving is us! The most destructive species on the planet.

Willow West

Conservation Detection Dog Handler 


Conservation K9 Consultancy is the leader in the use of conservation detection dog teams in the UK. With unrivalled experience in this area of specialist detection CK9C have been the UK pioneers promoting best practice use of conservation dogs in the UK and Worldwide. With their high welfare and ethical training and deployment practices CK9C are employed worldwide to assist, train and support conservation dog projects over a range of species conservation. 

CK9C have dog teams available for UK-wide deployment for, Pine marten, Watervole, Otter, Bar carcass, Bird Carcass, biosecurity; Rodent and Wildlife Crime detection. 

Willow West has been training with Conservation K9 Consultancy since 2017 and working operationally since 2020 as a professional Conservation Dog Handler.  Willow has worked in many areas of conservation such as, conservation research, environmental policy and in ecology. Willow has a wide range of experience working on projects in the UK and abroad, working for national environmental bodies, conservation organizations and in the commercial ecology sector. 

Her wildlife detection work with dogs covers an array of species including conservation of water vole, otter, pine marten, great crested newt and rodent eradication. 

In her role as scientific advisor to Conservation K9 Consultancy, she has developed research into the efficiency and methodology for using dogs in a variety of conservation and ecology settings. 

Willow is one of three authors of national guidelines for best practice in the field of wildlife detection dogs, currently at the review stage and due to be published later this year. 

Zak Showell


Operation Save Our Civets: A One Plan Approach to Small Carnivore Conservation

Zak Showell is the director of Shaldon Wildlife Trust, a small zoo based in Devon that focuses on conserving rare and endangered species. He is the European breeding programme coordinator for 4 species, a trustee of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a founding trustee of the Civet Project and a member of the IUCN Small Carnivore Specialist Group.

Owston’s civets, Chrotogale owstoni, is an endangered viverrid species found in Laos PDR, Vietnam and a small part of southern China. Its restricted distribution, taxonomic status as the sole member of its genus, declining conservation status and the known absence of any effective protection within its range make the Owston’s civet a global priority for carnivore conservation. Owston’s civets have been kept in UK zoo collections for over 20 years and there has been continued support towards field conservation efforts for this species by zoos.

In 2019 the first Owston’s civet conservation strategy was released following a 4 day IUCN CPSG endorsed workshop in Hanoi. In the last 5 years BIAZA members and Save Vietnams Wildlife have worked towards this strategy and this talk explores how some of the smaller zoos in the UK have collaborated to help save a species.

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