Monday, August 11, 2014

Dolphin Drive Fishery in Taiji: WAZA/JAZA summit leads to incremental progress

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).

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

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.

David Waters
Director Great Bustard Group

Tel: 07974 785426

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Raid on ex-zoo-chief Blaszkiewitz

Raid on ex-zoo-chief Blaszkiewitz

Investigation for suspected illegal waste disposal
The Berlin public prosecutor, the private residence of the former head of the Berlin zoos and animal parks, Bernhard Blaszkiewitz searched. This was confirmed by Justice spokesman Martin Steltner on Friday. Background are the investigations against Blaszkiewitz in connection with the illegal disposal of contaminated soil on the zoo grounds. Be unclear whether a commissioned disposal company knew that it is contaminated soil. The search has already taken place on Wednesday of last week.
During the tenure of Blaszkiewitz mounds were in September 2013 in the rear part of the zoo near the farmyard filled up. It is estimated up to 30,000 tons Erdhub, which was allegedly given away to the zoo. According to media reports Blaszkiewitz should have planned to scatter the sand in the enclosures. However, the sand is to be contaminated with heavy metals. Since there is more than the amount of the accumulated excavated earth and its composition uncertainty and the cost of disposal can not be predicted, the Management Board and Supervisory Board of Zoo and Wildlife Park have not been approved for fiscal year. In consultation with the Senate Environment Management, a ground survey was commissioned, said the zoo. The prosecutor under investigation for illegal waste disposal and unauthorized operating a plant. The long-standing and controversial zoo boss Blaszkiewitz had to give up his post because his contract was not renewed.
Blaszkiewitz successor Andreas Knieriem occurred on April 1, to the service. He is also a zoological and commercial director of Zoo and Wildlife Park .

Translated by Google from:

China Admits to Tiger Skin Trade but not to Bones

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.

China 'admits' trading in tiger skins

11 July 2014

Learn More

And lets not forget the Rhinoceros

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Monkey Mauls Six Month Old Baby To Death

Monkey Mauls Six Month Old Baby To Death

A six-month-old baby has been mauled to death by a monkey in the Black Sea region of Crimea, a news report said Thursday.
The incident took place in city of Sevastopol after the monkey, which was kept in a private zoo, managed to escape from its leash while its 65-year-old owner was cleaning its cage, the Interior Ministry told news agency Interfax on Thursday.
The monkey then scaled a fence into a neighboring garden, where it launched an attack upon the six-month old child, who was lying asleep in a stroller.
The baby's parents were nearby at the time of the attack but were unable to save their child from the "aggressive animal," the report added.
An Interior Ministry spokesman told Interfax that investigators were looking into the incident.
It was unclear from the report what happened to the monkey.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Zoo Licensing for Zoo Keepers and Managers

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.

Day 1
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

Day 2
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.

1.00– Lunch

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