Conservation & Research interests
David's main area of interest is with carnivore conservation, and more specifically felid based conservation and research issues. Most of his recent work and experience has been focusing on captive management and breeding programme management whilst establishing global conservation projects for Pallas's cats. This work has allowed David to create new conservation networks between Zoological institutions and active in-situ field teams with the long-term goal of improving global awareness of small cat species and effective conservation efforts.
David has worked for the RZSS for 13 years and first started working with primates, before moving through all animal areas within Edinburgh Zoo before specialising on the carnivore section and becoming the Senior keeper of Carnivores, primates and birds at the Highland Wildlife Park. For the last 7 years he has coordinated the EEP for Pallas's cats whilst also holding the ISB for the past 4 years. Prior to joining the RZSS he graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Animal Biology from Napier University and has since gone on to graduate from Sparsholt College with both an ANC in the Management of Zoo Animals and an FdSc in Zoo Resource Management whilst with the RZSS. David's background, current position on the EAZA Felid Taxon Advisory Group and as a member of the Pallas's cat working group provides a great platform for his position as Cat Conservation Project Officer which currently focuses on the Scottish wildcat project and a new collaborative project with Pallas's cat and Snow leopards.
- BSc (Hons) Animal Biology - Napier University
- FdSc Zoo Resource Management - Sparsholt College
- ANC Management of Zoo Animals - Sparsholt College
- Basic & Advanced breeding programme management course
- Pallas's cat EEP & ISB coordinator
- EAZA Felid TAG member
- Pallas's cat Working Group member
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RZSS response to the UK Government’s intention to deprioritise species restoration
I was surprised and dismayed to read about the UK Government’s intention to deprioritise species restoration, which fails to recognise the importance of that vital pillar of biodiversity recovery, as well as flying in the face of recent guidance from the world authority for conservation, the IUCN.
Critically endangered wildcats now call the Cairngorms National Park home
The first round of wildcat releases in Scotland has been completed by Saving Wildcats, led by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) in partnership with NatureScot, Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS), The Cairngorms National Park Authority, Nordens Ark and Consejería de Sostenibilidad, Medio Ambiente y Economía Azul de la Junta de Andalucía.