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Study 'reveals north/south genetic divide in Welsh red kite'

A study of the modern red kite population in Wales has revealed a north/south genetic divide that runs along the Towy Valley.

In the 1930s only one breeding pair remained in Wales. Credit: Stephen Wilson/ PA Wire

This is one of the findings of a study of the genetic status of the red kite in Wales by Aberystwyth University postgraduate student Ilze Skujina.

The research was undertaken as part of a project to provide guidance on the long-term conservation of the red kite.

DNA was collected from feathers cast off by the birds.

The molecule acts like a bar-code and provides geneticists with information about the relations between populations and individuals.

I was not only able to reconfirm that the modern Welsh kite population still fall into a Northern and Southern groups (as had been detected in the 1980s using the single genetic fingerprint probe available at the time) but also detect a genetic difference between the older Central-Welsh and the relatively new Red kite population in Shropshire and Herefordshire

– Ilze Skujina, Postgraduate Student, Aberystwyth University

Rabbit on the loose in Cardiff prompts appeal

THE RSPCA is appealing for information after two stray rabbits were found in Cardiff.

One stray rabbit was caught but the other is still on the loose. Credit: RSPCA

The two rabbits have been roaming between gardens on Dartington Drive, Pontprennau, since 20th February.

RSPCA inspector Christine McNeil said: “We were able to catch the black and white rabbit but the other tan coloured rabbit is still loose. The black rabbit has white on his nose and under his chest and is neutered. He has had a check with a vet and he is all fine and healthy.

“We will be making attempts to try and catch the other rabbit. We don’t know if they have escaped from somewhere or if they have been abandoned so we are appealing for information or for their owner to come forward.”


Abandoned newborn seal rescued in Pembrokeshire

A grey seal pup - thought to be just three to four days old - has been taken into care after being found alone near St Davids.

The pup, which was discovered at St Justinian’s, still had its umbilical cord attached.

Credit: RSPCA

A RSPCA spokesperson said it was an unusual discovery because it is outside of the seal breeding season.

In Wales the season is typically August to November.

Credit: RSPCA

The seal has been taken into care and will be released into the wild in a few months time.

The charity warned the public not to approach any seal pups if they see one seemingly abandoned, but to monitor it and call a helpline if needed.

Meet Dollar, the pony helping Daisy with her incredible stroke recovery

Dollar is helping Daisy recover from a stroke Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Dollar the pony was only bought to make up the numbers but he's ended up helping an eight-year-old little girl from Wrexham walk again.

Daisy Pritchard was only a baby when she had a stroke. Her mother never thought she would walk or talk again.

Daisy is now taking huge steps forward in her recovery with thanks to her Dollar.

Rob Shelley travelled along to Wrexham to hear how a small pony is making a huge difference.

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