Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Madagascar Fauna Group Receives PAAZAB Conservation Award

Linking Ex-situ to In-situ Conservation to Conserve Madagascar’s Biodiversity

Madagascar Fauna Group Receives PAAZAB Conservation Award

The African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZAB) formally awarded the Madagascar Fauna Group (MFG) with its 2008 Conservation Award at this year’s World Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (WAZA) closing ceremony. David Morgan, PAAZAB Executive Director, presented the award to Dr. Eric Miller, MFG Chair, saying that PAAZAB’s recognition of the MFG’s 20-year history of mentoring and supporting an African zoo was long overdue.

The MFG is a consortium of international zoos and one botanical garden that combine annual dues to support the education, conservation, research and capacity building mission of Parc Ivoloina a 300 hectare former forestry station that includes the nation’s second zoo. Together with MFG’s experienced conservation professionals, the dedicated Malagasy staff has assimilated the member zoos’ expertise to evolve into what all modern zoos aspire to be – their community’s centralized resource for conservation information and inspiration. Through education programs that help rural primary school children stay in school, workshops that introduce and train villagers to use alternative techniques from the traditional but environmentally destructive practice of slash and burn farming and by assisting Malagasy universities train future wildlife and natural resource managers, the MFG has developed an inter-disciplinary program that contributes to meeting the region’s conservation challenges. Like other progressive zoo-based organizations, the MFG also works outside Parc Ivoloina’s immediate borders to conserve precious habitat for endangered plants and animals. The MFG has served as the Madagascar National Parks’ conservation research partner in Betampona Natural Reserve since 1990. One of Madagascar’s few remaining lowland rain forests, Betampona is home to 11 lemur species including endangered indri, diadema sifaka and black and white ruffed lemurs. MFG researchers have discovered Betampona’s amphibian diversity is significantly great than previously believed; more than 110 frogs have been identified to date.

In accepting the award, Dr. Miller said "the MFG is only as good as its member institutions which is why we are exceptionally pleased to be presented the award at WAZA’s annual meeting. This honor symbolizes and acknowledges that by collaborating and coordinating their efforts, the world’s zoos can indeed marshal their visitors’ capacity and together become the world’s greatest force for conservation action".

MFG International Headquarters
Eric Miller, DVM, Chair
Ingrid Porton, MS, Vice Chair
Saint Louis Zoo
One Government Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110 USA
remiller@stlzoo.org or porton@stlzoo.org

Madagascar Office
An Bollen, PhD., Program Manager
Madagascar Fauna Group
BP 442 Tamatave (501)

Ivoloina Staff

Betampona Agents An Karen

MFG Member Institutions 2008/2009

Managing Members
Chicago Zoological Society – Brookfield Zoo
Duke Lemur Center
Houston Zoo
Lemur Conservation Foundation
Missouri Botanical Garden
Naples Zoo
Philadelphia Zoo
San Antonio Zoological Gardens and Aquarium
San Diego Zoo
Saint Louis Zoo
Wildlife Conservation Society
Zoo Zurich
Zoological Society of London

Sponsoring Members
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Isle of Wight Zoo
Utah’s Hogle Zoo

Contributing Members
Allwetterzoo Munster
Antwerp Zoo
Biodome de Montreal
Cleveland Zoo AAZK
Dickerson Park Zoo
Dudley Zoological Gardens
Living Rainforest
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Northern Lights Chapter AAZK , Duluth
Rocky Mountain AAZK (Denver Zoo Chapter)
San Francisco Zoo AAZK Chapter
Seneca Park Zoo
Ueno Zoological Gardens
Wild4Ever Conservation Foundation

Friends of the MFG 2008/2009
Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park
Erie Zoo
Lee Richardson Zoo
Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc.
Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens
National Capital AAZK Chapter
Sacramento Zoo
San Francisco Zoological Gardens
Saint Louis Zoo Primate Keepers
Shepreth Wildlife Park
Tulsa Zoo Chapter AAZK

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