Monday, August 11, 2014
Dolphin Drive Fishery in Taiji: WAZA/JAZA summit leads to incremental progress
WAZA convened a meeting today in Tokyo with representatives from the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA)...
10 August 2014, Tokyo, JAPAN - The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) convened a meeting today in Tokyo with representatives from the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) in order to discuss concerns regarding the Taiji dolphin drive fishery hunt. Representatives from Elsa Nature Conservancy were also in attendance. Potential steps forward were identified during the meeting.
The complexity of the entire issue was discussed in detail and the different purposes of catches and the multiple involved parties were identified and discussed. It was made clear that the take of dolphins for JAZA institutions was relatively minor compared to the large demand for export of dolphins to many non-JAZA institutions, the majority of them in China, as well as the continued primary demand for dolphin meat for consumption in Japan. Non-JAZA institutions and commercial brokers who facilitate the export of live dolphins in combination account for far more dolphin takes than do members of JAZA.
However, as JAZA members still play a role in the live takes, WAZA approached the meeting by advocating for the eventual elimination of the drive fishery hunt. At the outset of the meeting, WAZA representatives, Lee Ehmke, President and Gerald Dick, Executive Director and Suzanne Gendron, Aquarium Committee Vice-Chair advocated for a moratorium in which dolphin takes would cease for two years in order to allow for the development of alternatives. Unfortunately, JAZA indicated that this was not realistic and therefore did not accept the concept of a moratorium.
As a step towards the eventual elimination of the drive fisheries, WAZA then proposed that the hunting and capturing activities be completely separated, JAZA indicated that the Japanese government and other parties had in the past rejected a similar proposal but indicated they would reconsider this approach. JAZA then outlined a number of changes to current practices which will reduce the scope and impact of JAZA members' involvement in the annual take of dolphins. While WAZA acknowledges this positive gesture, WAZA indicated that this can only be seen as a beginning and that more substantive changes must follow.
Following the initial meeting between WAZA and JAZA, all parties met with several representatives of Japanese NGOs, organized by ELSA Conservancy to discuss the drive fisheries operation and agreed to continue open dialogue to seek ways of ending the dolphin kill.
Though the developments of the highly anticipated meeting fell short of WAZAs expectations, WAZA will continue to pursue all opportunities to end the dolphin drive fishery hunt and will consider further steps and consequences.
The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is a global organisation that harmonises the principles, policies, practices and strategy for Zoos and Aquariums worldwide. Via member regional associations WAZA reaches over 1,300 leading Zoos and Aquariums. WAZA is the unifying representative of the global Zoos and Aquarium community and works in partnership with international conservation organisations such as IUCN and other non-government organisations to advocate for high standards of animal welfare and to achieve conservation in Zoos and Aquariums (ex situ) and in nature (in situ). www.waza.org
WAZA Facts and Figures
Attracting more than 700 million visitors a year, the 1,300 zoos and aquariums that are part of the WAZA network have the unique potential to attract, inspire and mobilize public engagement for species and habitat conservation. The Biodiversity Is Us campaign allows visitors to make a direct connection between people and wildlife. Zoos and aquariums educate the public on biodiversity conservation, and hence promote environmentally sustainable development and social and political change. Some of the revenue produced by the zoos and aquariums is dedicated to field conservation projects around the world. Collectively, the amount contributed to these efforts by zoos and aquariums matches or surpasses the contributions of other leading global conservation organizations.
With 70% of the world's population living in cities by 2030, zoos and aquariums offer a vital connection to the importance of biodiversity in our lives.
Hyatt Antognini Amin, Communications Executive for WAZA
(0041) 22 999 07 93
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Saturday, July 26, 2014
A new phase for the Great Bustard Reintroduction
The Great Bustard Trial Reintroduction has entered a momentous new phase. Up until this year the project has used only birds sourced from Saratov in Russia, and the UK Government restricted this to birds hatched from eggs rescued from destroyed or abandoned nests.
The difficulties in rescuing the eggs, combined with the huge distances and logistical challenges of working in Russia meant that the number of birds the project was able to import into the UK was small – often as low as six birds a year.
The Great Bustard Group received a tremendous boost last year however when Dr. Paul O’Donoghue of the University of Chester undertook a genetic comparison of European Great Bustard populations. He discovered that, contrary to the previously held belief, the Great Bustards in Spain form the closest living population of Great Bustards to the original UK population before its extinction.
The Great Bustard Group is very grateful to the museums and private collections that allowed genetic material to be removed from their specimens. Spain holds around two thirds of the world’s Great Bustard population with over 30, 000 birds, and that number is increasing.
Working with the invaluable support of local land owners and government officials in Spain, the Great Bustard Group undertook the collection of Great Bustard eggs from the Castilla la Mancha region. Having been granted the appropriate licences from the regional and national governments, a team of four GBG staff with two specially trained dogs and two staff from RSPB collected 56 Great Bustard eggs.
The eggs were exported in partnership with Madrid Zoo and transported by ferry to the UK to specialist bird park, Birdworld in Farnham, Surrey, home to the only public captive Great Bustard enclosure in Britain. Here park curator Duncan Bolton and a team of incubation experts undertook the incubation and hatching of the eggs with excellent results, achieving a hatch rate of over 82% of the viable eggs.
The young chicks were then taken from Birdworld to the GBG Project Site in Wiltshire and reared by Great Bustard Group and RSPB staff. The young chicks need to be bill fed with a puppet and exercised as they grow. The rearing team wear dehumanisation suits to stop the chicks becoming imprinted on their human foster parents.
The project is now entering the release phase with a ‘soft release’ technique being used that gently allows the birds to find their freedom in stages. The first birds are now at the release sites. A total of 33 Great Bustards will be released this year at two secret sites in Wiltshire.
The use of Spanish birds promises to be a major step forward for the project. The previously released Russian birds have demonstrated a tendency to disperse in a South Westerly direction, often to their detriment. Studies in Russia by a German/Russian team, and by the GBG and its project partners in Russia - the Severtsov Institute of Ecology - have shown that some birds head South West to escape the worst of the Russian winter, but indicate that others do stay. It was thought that the mild UK winter would encourage the released birds to stay, but many of them dispersed, some even reaching French shores. Although many have successfully completed a return journey from France others are thought to have perished.
The Spanish Great Bustard population is the largest in the world. It is currently increasing and is largely sedentary.
The cost of collecting the eggs and importing them to the UK was covered by the Rural Trust, whose support for the Great Bustard Group goes back to the beginning of the project when the first UK licences were being applied for.
The Great Bustard Trial Reintroduction was started in 2004 by the Great Bustard Group.
Since 2010 the Reintroduction Trial has been assisted by an EU LIFE+ grant which is coordinated by the RSPB. The LIFE+ programme covers up to 75% of eligible expenditure.
Director Great Bustard Group
Tel: 07974 785426
Director Great Bustard Group
Tel: 07974 785426
Saturday, July 12, 2014
China Admits to Tiger Skin Trade but not to Bones
So China has come out and admitted that :
'we don't ban trade in tiger skins but we do ban trade in tiger bones,'
So does this make it any less bad? Most definitely not. The bones remain in the 'zoo' in which the tiger has been skinned. These will have been put into vats of rice wine and steeped for a few months to produce Tiger Bone Wine........
.......which, as far as I am aware there is no ban on trade. I daresay that the bones are rendered down afterwards to produce Tiger Bone Glue and other pseudo Medicinal Ointments.
So what has changed? Nothing! Again I am assuming that is still against the law in China to kill these tigers for the trade and so they are starved to death to keep this horrific trade going.
11 July 2014
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Monday, July 7, 2014
Zoo and Wildlife Solutions Training Courses 2014
Zoo Licensing for Zoo Keepers and Managers
21st and 22nd July 2014 – Chessington World of Adventures
£95 +VAT for BIAZA Members and £125 +VAT for Non-Members
(includes drinks but not lunch available at canteen in zoo)
This training course will provide participants with a full understanding of zoo licensing. The course describes the law and what is required by licensed zoos, explains the licensing and enforcement process and provides in depth insight into what inspectors are looking for and how to prove your zoo complies with the requirements of the Secretary of Sates Standards of
Modern Zoo Practice. This is a highly interactive course based on small group exercises and practical tasks in the zoo.
9.30 – Arrivals and Introductions
10.00 – The Zoo Licensing Act (1981) – Matt Hartley
Summary of the legislation including dispensations, powers of inspection and roles and responsibilities of the inspectors and the local authority. How to gain a new licence or modify your existing one.
11.00 – Small Group Exercise 1
11.15 - Coffee
11.30 – Conservation, Education and Research – Matt Hartley
Statutory requirements for conservation, education and research.
12.00 – Small Group Exercise 2
12.30 - Lunch
1.15 – Visitor Experience, Animal Contact and Zoonoses – Matt Hartley
Covering the requirement regarding visitors in the zoo.
2.00 - Small Group Exercise 3 - in the Zoo Assessing the Visitor
Experience and Public Safety Practical exercise in the zoo undertaking a mock inspection – will you identify the same issues as the zoo inspectors or will you find additional ones. Marc
Boardman Chessington Zoo Manager will be on hand to discuss his last inspection and how he has addressed the recommendations and conditions on his licence.
3.30 – Tea
3.45 – Zoo Management – Matt Hartley
Review of the aspects of zoo management under focus – staff competence, staff training, firearms and escapes, record keeping etc.
4.30 - Small Group Exercise 4
5.00 – Discussion Session
9.30 - Animal Husbandry, Welfare and Ethics and Animal Health - Matt Hartley
How to inspectors assess animal husbandry, welfare and animal health at a one off ‘spot check’ ? What evidence should you provide and how can you present your zoo in the best light ?
10.00 – Health and Safety – Marc Boardman
Elements of Health and Safety are included in the zoo licensing act – Marc explains how he manages Health and Safety at Chessington and how he has worked with the local authority to manage launching the new zoofari attraction.
10.30 – Working with your Local Authority – the zoos perspective – Marc Boardman
Marc provides a zoo operators perspective of zoo licensing and explains how he has turned the process into opportunity for staff training and development and why he has been commended by inspectors unique approach to inspections which made it a positive experience for everyone.
11.00 – Coffee
11.30 – Small Group Exercise 5 – Mock Inspection in the Zoo
A second exercise in the zoo – you will be escorted by a Chessington Keeper to undertake a mock inspection in areas of the zoo. We will come back and discuss your findings and how you would address any issues raised.
1.45 – Enforcing the Zoo Licensing Act – Matt Hartley
What happens when conditions are needed ? What is a Direction Order ? Can the Local Authority close your zoo down. What are the aspects of the ZLA which you can get a criminal record for ? Matt shares his experiences of zoos gone bad !
2.30 – Small Group Exercise 6
3.15 - Tea
3.45- Final discussion session
Booking Information firstname.lastname@example.org