CEO of the Wild Foundation Vance Martin comments on Save China's Tigers Rewilding and Reintroduction Project
Vance Martin is CEO of the Wild Foundation, and he comments on Save China's Tigers Rewilding and Reintroduction Project
Tigers in Africa seems a fanciful thought…but they are there! Though they do not roam completely free in the wilderness, the South China Tiger can be found in carefully managed, large wildland areas in South Africa, the subject of an ambitious effort to rescue it from extinction. The 33,000ha (82,000 acre) LaohuValley Reserve is the centerpiece of Save China’s Tigers experimental bid to breed the South China Tiger and eventually return it to its natural habitat.
This effort has generated significant controversy, so I went there in January to better understand what it is doing and to determine its role in the broad spectrum of conservation work occurring around the globe. I found a valid initiative, doing good work, and fighting two battles simultaneously: one to save a tiger (arguably a sub-species), and (as if that were not enough) another to defend itself against the (sometimes) seemingly endless internal sniping of the nature conservation world. Who needs enemies when fellow conservationists often serve that function?!
I encourage you to go to the SCT website to see details. They’re making progress. I’ll just briefly give my response to some of the “sniping” I’ve heard from other groups and conservationists.
1.Tigers don’t belong in Africa. Why start a breeding facility there, almost halfway around the world from their home range? – The historically-proven and commonsense strategy to save a very small remnant population is to create geographically-separated gene pools, or small groups of the survivors, in order to protect them from potential threats such as disease, human pressure, etc. If they breed successfully, and there are adequate wild reserves
Springwatch presenter Chris Packham relives his enchanted childhood... and the awful moment he was told: no pet crocodile
Sorry, I don't have change for a ladybird,' said the ice-cream man, trying to coax the red beetle scuttling across the counter of his van back into the matchbox.
'Why don't you take these lollies and tell your mum she owes me a shilling?'
He smiled and I carefully placed the little box back in my pocket and set off for home, the rocket-shaped lolly dribbling down my Thunderbirds T-shirt
Malaysia: Shooting of rare tiger defended
The head of Malaysia's volunteer security corps said Friday one of his men shot an endangered tiger to protect villagers and he would have done the same, despite criticism by wildlife activists.
Mohamad Sulong Che Ros shot the 3-year-old Malayan tiger after it was found foraging for food in his village in northern Perak state Tuesday. He is part of Malaysia's security corps, known by its Malay acronym RELA, whose members are allowed to carry firearms.
Conservationists have condemned the killing, and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks is investigating.
RELA Director General Zaidon Asmuni said
PM's panda diplomacy fails to woo Auckland Zoo
Aucklanders are likely to lose out to Wellington in housing giant pandas at the zoo because Auckland Zoo turned up its nose at Prime Minister John Key's offer to broker a panda deal with China.
Auckland Zoo was offered first dibs on housing the two giant pandas Key hoped to rent from the Chinese government, but the zoo declined because "black and white pandas are not in our collection plan".
Key says long before Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast's announcement last week that she wanted a pair of the endangered bears for Wellington Zoo, he had had the same idea, but was thinking of acquiring them for Auckland Zoo because the larger city had better odds of recouping the high cost of keeping the crowd-pleasing bears.
Visitor numbers at Adelaide Zoo in Australia have leapt by 70% in the six months since it acquired a pair of pandas.
But Key told the Sunday Star-Times that when Auckland Zoo was approached by the government, the response was lukewarm.
"There was some initial discussion with people, who didn't say no, but they certainly didn't say
Predator-prey relationships play large part in zoo’s setup
Asahiyama Zoo tackled the problem this April in its brand new, ¥70-million raptor display. Built to accommodate endangered Blakinston’s fish owls in the future, the house-size black metal cage currently holds three white-tailed eagles. It also features a small pond stocked with rainbow trout intended to supplement the eagles’ regular diet of dead fish supplied by their keepers.
Gen Bando, the zoo director, said that designing the exhibit was tricky.
“There is certainly the ability of the predator to chase its prey, but there is also the ability of the prey to escape its predator. If you put the prey into an environment where it can’t escape, there’s the possibility that it will simply become a cruel one-sided show,” he said. To avoid that situation, the pool in the raptor cage has been designed with nooks and crannies where the fish can escape the eagles.
A different kind of problem arises when it comes to feeding the snakes, said Bando.
“We feed mice to our snakes, and visitors don’t object. But if we fed the snake a rabbit, we’d have a bad scene on our hands. People will only watch if the prey is an animal that’s slightly disgusting to them,” he explained ” adding that
See subject above: I wrote on this very subject only a very short time ago. Please read:
Live Feeding To Zoo Animals
Sariska may see two more tigers this rainy season
Call them monsoon tigers, for this time round too the rainy season will mark the arrival of tigers in Sariska. As soon as the season's first showers lash the slopes of the mighty Aravallis, another pair of wild tigers would be shifted to Sariska Tiger Reserve from Ranthambhore National Park. The twosome—a male and a female—would join the group of one male and two females which have already made the Sariska woods their home since the first ever tiger re-location in the country two years ago.
“The temperature has to come down. We cannot release the tigers if the temperature is above 40 degrees C. The ideal situation to carry out the exercise is the rainy season,” says the Chief Wildlife Warden of Rajasthan, R. N. Mehrotra.
“Now that the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests has given clearance for another round of re-location, we have started the preparations. It can happen some time in the first fortnight of July,” Mr. Mehrotra reveals.
Environmentalists and tiger lovers are happy about the end to the impasse over tiger-shifting as after an unsavoury controversy over the wisdom of bringing together the tigers from the same gene pool the National Tiger Conservation Authority had started acting tough on the issue. Though still positive about the re-introduction of the tiger population in Sariska – after the reserve lost all its tigers some time
Zoo Negara to have more wildlife from Sabah
Zoo Negara visitors will soon be able to view more exotic wildlife from Sabah.
Malaysian Zoological Associ-ation president Datuk Ismail Hutson said efforts are being made to get animals from Sabah to be relocated at the zoo in Hulu Kelang.
“Preparations are underway to receive Borneo pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, orang utans and hornbills,” he said after witnessing the launch of the zoo’s rain harvesting system by Natural Resources and Environment Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Azmi Che Mat yesterday.
The harvested rain water process was carried out in collaboration with the Drainage and Irrigation Department.
It is an environmental friendly project which recycles rain water to be utilised for the zoo sewerage system and several
Zoo told to make night houses for monkeys
A health advisory committee, a panel to advise zoo administration on the hygiene, nutrition, health and treatment of animals, examined the health and general upkeep of the animals in the Patna zoo on Saturday.
The committee also examined tiger Ram, tigress Sita and elephant Mala. According to zoo director Abhay Kumar, Ram has been suffering from posterior paresis for quite sometime and has also a wound for years now. The tiger has not been on display for last three months and has continuously been kept under treatment.
"All efforts are being made to improve the big cat’s health. We have also increased the size of the cubicle where it sleeps. A water channel has been constructed to provide a bigger space and better living conditions to it," said Kumar.
The zoo has currently one pair of yellow tiger and one white tigress, Sita. Sita, despite her old age, is maintaining a normal health.
"We are in talks with the Junagarh and Hyderabad zoos to bring a pair of tigers by the end of this year," said Kumar.
Mala has a wound at the left shoulder joint since long. Till a few years back, children have had the pleasure of a joyride on its back.
After the Central Zoo Authority (CZA)-New Delhi banned keeping elephants in the zoo, two elephants from the Patna zoo were sent to the Valmiki Tiger Reserve where they are used for patrolling purposes. However, the zoo administration intends to retain Mala due to her poor health, and a request to the effect has been sent to the CZA.
The health panel found the arrangements for handling possible health problems due to extreme summer conditions quite satisfactory. There has not been any casualty due to heat wave this year, the director said.
The committee, however, recommended increase in space and construction of night houses for rhinos, monkeys and gharials. Other suggestions include planting of elephant grass in the elephant enclosure, purchase of a new tranquilliser gun, construction
Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has announced the 2010 recipients of nearly $1.5 million in grants to protect vulnerable wildlife and ecosystems around the world.
The funding enables nonprofit organizations to provide support for more than 45 species across the globe–from protecting the critically endangered Sumatran rhino in Indonesia, to tracking northern jaguars in the foothills of Mexico, to studying the threats of the endangered green sea turtle.
“As part of Disney’s longstanding commitment to the environment, the work supported through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund is more important today than ever in helping preserve our planet’s most precious resources,” said Dr. Beth Stevens, senior vice president, Environmental Affairs, The Walt Disney Company. “We are proud to support these organizations that are truly making a difference around the world to aid in the protection of wildlife and the natural environments they depend on to flourish.”
Over the past decade, the DWCF—through support from The Walt Disney Company and Disney Guests—has provided more than $15 million in grants for the study of wildlife, protection of habitats, land management plans, community conservation and education. Along with a focus on support for species and habitat conservation science, the DWCF encourages programs that engage local residents and benefit both human and animal communities.
Below is a highlight of some of this year’s recipients:
· Wildlife Trust: Black Lion Tamarin Conservation through Research and Community Involvement - Wildlife Trust teaches communities about sustainable development alternatives, including tree nurseries and handicrafts, to protect the black lion tamarins living in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest.
· Northern Jaguar Project: Northern Jaguar Feline Photo Project - In an effort to reduce jaguar mortality and build conservation alliances with rural landowners, Northern Jaguar Project works directly with local ranch owners in Mexico to monitor and protect the species.
· Save the Elephants: Elephants and Bees - Save the Elephants minimizes human-wildlife conflict by studying and researching innovative strategies to reduce crop-raiding. By using beehives as a deterrent, community crops are left un-touched and families have a new source of income through honey production.
· University of Hawaii: Conserving the Green Sea Turtle in Hawaii - This program advances the understanding of the impact of pollution on endangered green sea turtles. Through further research, conservationists are able to work more effectively with local communities and governments to protect the turtles.
· International Rhino Foundation: Sumatran Rhino Conservation - The Sumatran rhino is considered the most endangered rhino species with numbers declining more than 70 percent in the past two decades. International Rhino Foundation is protecting the species through research and outreach programs in local communities.
To date the DWCF has accomplished the following milestones:
· More than $1 million to primate conservation efforts
· More than $900,000 to protect cats worldwide
· More than $850,000 to elephant conservation
· More than $850,000 to study and save sea turtles
· More than $625,000 to rhino conservation efforts
Since 1998, the DWCF has also awarded more than $575,000 in Rapid Response funds to assist with more than 120 environmental and animal emergencies. In the past year, the DWCF has provided more than $125,000 to support efforts worldwide including veterinary care and vaccinations for animals in the wake of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti and rehabilitation
There's always someone who ruins a photo.....
FIRE AT AMAZON WORLD TWO TREATED
Emergency services have been called to a large blaze in Newchurch the Gazette can reveal
Fire crews were called just before six pm today Sunday (June 27) to Amazon World in Watery Lane in Newchurch
Staff at the zoo, which houses over 200 animal species, discovered the blaze in an outbuilding and raised the alarm.
Robert Westmore Amazon Zoo Manager said, “Staff tried to tackle the fire using a garden hose as it was feared that the fire might spread to the quarantine area of th
Giraffe is born at Miami Metrozoo
This is the 43rd giraffe to be born at the zoo, which will soon be renamed Zoo Miami.
One of world's most endangered species, Guam kingfishers live on in zoos in struggle to survive
Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo has two chicks being raised by different parents
A mated pair of Guam Micronesian kingfishers, one of the most severely endangered animal species in the world, laid two fertile eggs this spring deep inside a hollowed-out palm log in a special breeding room of the Lincoln Park Zoo bird house. Keepers promptly stole one of the eggs.
The parents incubated and hatched one egg in the hollow log June 3 and now rear the chick there. The other egg hatched June 5 inside an incubation machine in a lab, where the chick now lives, fed by keepers from tweezers protruding beneath the beak of an over-sized kingfisher hand puppet.
Taking the second egg is standard procedure in 20 American zoos that for 25 years have struggled to save the bird from extinction. Guam kingfisher pairs often lay two eggs. In nature the stronger of the two kingfisher
Jerusalem to expand Biblical Zoo
The Jerusalem Planning Committee yesterday approved plans to expand the city's Biblical Zoo, Israel's most popular tourist destination for three years running.
In a unanimous decision, Jerusalem Municipal Planning Committee members yesterday approved plans to expand the city's Biblical Zoo, Israel's most popular tourist destination for three years in a row. The plan would increase the zoo's area from 250 to 400 dunams over the next few years. The decision was prompted by a survey which revealed the zoo had beat out the ancient ruins of Masada and Caesarea, and the hot springs of Hamat Gader, to become the country's top tourist attraction. In 2007 alone, 700,000
Poachers doom rare Javan rhino
The International Rhino Foundation fears that the animal shot dead in Cat Tien National Park in late April may have been Viet Nam's last Javan rhino. Sai Gon Tiep thi (Sai Gon Marketing) spoke to park director Tran Van Thanh.
Was the dead rhino Viet Nam's last?
Park rangers searched for rhino traces after we found the bones of the dead animal. Previously, when we found indications of the rhino in the south of the park, we co-operated with World Wild Fund experts to search for more rhino but were unsuccessful.
It's possible that Viet Nam has no rhino; but that's just a theory drawn from experience.
So what will you do now?
We will comb the entire park for two or three weeks for traces of rhino and wait for the results of DNA verification due in July. We sent 60 samples of droppings taken from the dead rhino for DNA tests at Queen's University, Ontario. If they find the DNA matches that of the slaughtered rhino, it means there was just one Javan rhino in Viet Nam and it's dead.
Poachers killed the Javan rhino, so what was the responsibility of the park's rangers in its death? Will the animal's death influence WWF projects
The last great cat of Yemen
Many years ago, when Arabia was connected to Africa, wild animals roamed the mountains of Yemen. According to the Greek writer Agatharhides of Cnidus who lived in the second century BC, the northwest of the country once abounded with lions, wolves and leopards. But now Arabian lions are believed to be extinct. Only a few of the great cats survive, and their existence is threatened with human settlement and the depletion of their natural prey.
In Yemen, the dark chocolate spotted Arabian leopard is thought to still live in the eastern and north western parts of the country. Its relatives have been shot by shepherds, killed for sport or for their skin, and caught for sale to private zoos. Weary of humans, it is believed to hunt in a large area including the governorates of Amran, Mahwit and Hajja.
Chances of seeing the leopard are reportedly similar to the chances of being struck by lightning, but one Sana’a-based organization continues to be determined to set up trail cameras to capture it on film. The organization is headed by David Stanton, formerly a teacher at the Sana’a International School, who two years ago became executive director of the Foundation for the Protection of the Arabian Leopard in Yemen. The conservationist, who is also adviser to the Minister for Water and the Environment on the conservation of the animal, spoke to Alice Hackman.
The Arabian leopard has been Yemen’s national animal since April 2008, says David Stanton, but so far its national status has not really been exploited, either to muster patriotism among Yemenis, or to put it at the center of a campaign to push for the protection of all the species in its food cycle.
Save something at the top of a food chain and you save everything underneath, he explains. To conserve Yemen’s leopard, the water resources should be pure, the ecosystem should be intact, and the vegetation should be adequate to support the prey species that the leopard eats.
But the animal at the top of this food chain, a ‘critically endangered’ animal on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s red list, has not so far been the focus of a campaign run by the government’s “easily moveable
Zoo 60 years old and going strong
At 60 years of age, the Hattiesburg Zoo has never looked better, thanks to the occasional facelift and improvements over the years. New animal habitats and landscaping have made the zoo more pleasant for animals and visitors alike, but even more is planned this year.
"What we want is for the visual appearance to pull off Hardy Street better," said Rick Taylor, executive director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission, which now oversees the operation and promotion of the zoo. "With the animals, you have to provide some screening. We're looking at landscaping and asking how do we meet the needs of both animals and humans? We're looking nationally (at other zoos). One of the benefits we've brought to the zoo is the ability to ask questions as a guest. That lets us address things."
The latest addition to the landscaping is a waterfall and koi pond at the entrance to the train depot, sponsored by Mike Keith of Waterflow Productions.
"We're going to have to monitor the koi carefully because, despite
Rhino horn man Mark Rowland jailed
A man caught selling banned rhino horns on eBay has been jailed.
Mark Rowland, 24, tried to sell a tusk for £2,000 to a buyer in the US, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Just two years earlier, Rowland, of Swaffham, Norfolk, was convicted of dealing in rare stuffed animals, including a buzzard and black bear, on the website.
He was jailed for nine months and banned
King of the swimmers: How orangutan Suryia loves a summer dip with his trainer
When people talk about getting an all-over tan for summer, they're not usually talking about getting an all-over orangutan.
But 30-year-old Moksha Bybee has the most unusual of swimming partners - a seven-year-old urangutan who clings to her as she dives beneath the surface.
The jungle-dwelling creatures are not known for their love of the water, but Suryia appears to have permanently swapped tree trunks for swimming trunks.
See above: Something else which I have written on recently. Please see:
It May Be Clever But Is It Right?
Suit: Stop funding zoo's 'cruel' elephant treatment
Two women have sued the city of Seattle in an effort to stop their tax dollars from funding what they call "cruel, inhumane and unlawful" treatment of elephants at the Woodland Park Zoo.
For years, Mary Sebek and Nancy Farnam have been a part of a growing movement of people who believe zoo elephants do not thrive in captivity and should be released to sanctuaries.
In 2006, local advocates filed a lawsuit accusing Woodland Park Zoo of violating federal laws in its treatment of Bamboo, a female Asian elephant. That complaint was dismissed. In 2007, advocates again complained vociferously about the zoo, after the beloved baby elephant Hansa died of herpes.
This time, plaintiffs have the backing of the California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund. Filed Tuesday in King County Superior Court, the complaint alleges that the three elephants currently at the zoo -- Bamboo, Watoto and Chai -- suffer from painful foot and joint injuries, psychological distress and abusive breeding practices.
In addition to the usual allegations that the zoo is violating animal-cruelty laws, the plaintiffs want the city to stop funding the zoo.
"The injuries suffered by the Zoo elephants constitute waste of public property," the complaint says.
Or, in the words of Farnam, a longtime elephant activist from Edmonds:
"I shop frequently in Seattle. I pay sales taxes. I'm very concerned, because the city of Seattle has been put on notice on the condition of these animals. It hasn't made any difference. We're very much afraid these elephants are going to die."
Like many elephant advocates, she wants the animals released to an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee.
Spokespeople at the zoo and the City Attorney's office had no comment Tuesday on the complaint, citing a policy of not publicly discussing lawsuits.
The complaint alleges the elephants suffer from a plethora of painful foot injuries caused by zoo conditions, including hard concrete floors and lack of space for natural roaming and foraging behavior.
Based on publicly disclosed medical records, the lawsuit says the elephants suffer from ostereoarthritis, abscesses, infections, lesions and cracks, and that Chai, a female 31-year-old Thai elephant, was treated more than 80 times in 2008 for abscesses, infections and lesions.
The complaint also says the elephants exhibit behavior consistent with psychological distress, including rocking and pacing.
Plaintiffs also condemn the zoo's breeding program, in which they say the zoo has used artificial insemination to try to impregnate Chai more than 57 times. None of the attempts have worked, and Chai has suffered from multiple miscarriages, the plaintiffs said. (Chai gave birth to Hansa in 2000, after impregnated by a bull elephant at another zoo).
The complaint also alleges that a fourth Woodland Park elephant, Sri, suffered a stillbirth, after being impregnated while on loan to the St. Louis Zoo.
"Sri has been carrying the deceased, slowly mummifying fetus in her birth canal for more than four years," the complaint said.
In 2006, when elephant advocates accused the zoo of creating conditions that led to Bamboo's difficult, aggressive behavior, zoo officials bragged about its elephant care.
"We are proud of the world-class care and treatment afforded all our zoo's animals, including Bamboo and our other elephants that reside and socialize in our award-winnin
What The Elephants Know
On the morning of November 30, at around 7:45, three keepers entered the elephant enclosure at the Toronto Zoo to begin their daily routine. The elephants live on a dusty one-hectare tract of land with huge umbrellas for shade and three simulated termite mounds. During winter, they spend their nights in a concrete building with a corrugated roof, a poured rubber floor and metal bars as thick as tree trunks. That morning, the keepers were greeted with an alarming sight. Tara, the 41-year-old matriarch of the group, was on her side, unable to get up.
Most elephants can’t lie on their sides for extended periods of time—their sheer mass puts too much pressure on their internal organs—so zoo staff immediately began trying to raise her. Getting into the pen with an elephant is dangerous work—one elephant gored a keeper in 1993. But there wasn’t much time, and the team was desperate.
The eight staff who tend to the elephants had agreed that they wanted to be called in if one of their charges ever went down, and soon off-duty keepers were rushing down to the enclosure to help out or, more likely, to say goodbye. The African animal supervisor, Eric Cole, a 30-year zoo veteran with short-cropped hair and the remnants of an Irish brogue, had had some success coaxing fallen elephants back to their feet in the past. At first, Tara swiped angrily at the keepers with her trunk. She eventually calmed down, allowing Cole and his team to get straps underneath her. Using a winch, they raised the 3,800-kilogram animal to her sternum. Tara struggled. She managed to lift her hind legs but wasn’t able to pull her front legs under her. Keepers tried a few more times to raise her, but she wouldn’t budge. At around 11 that morning, Tara died. “She didn’t appear to have the will,” recalled Maria Franke, curator of mammals. “It’s like she decided to let go.”
The keepers were devastated. “It was pretty shattering,” Cole told me. “Everyone was just drained; the staff was all crying.” They brought Tara’s body out to the paddock so that the other elephants, Thika, Toka and Iringa, could mourn her. Elephants are highly social animals, and females live in tight-knit groups their entire lives. When an elephant, particularly the matriarch, dies in the wild, the loss can reverberate for months or even years. There are stories of elephants returning to the bones of a family member years after the death, rubbing their trunks along the teeth of the skull’s lower jaw in the same way they greet one another in life.
Tara had to be autopsied, so mourning could last only a few hours. The zoo’s remaining elephants—animals who lived with Tara for decades—straddled her and stroked her skin. They used their trunks to throw dirt on her. At the end of the day, keepers transported Tara and brought the rest of the elephants back inside for the night. Because the elephants don’t always get along, they are often kept in separate pens and spend the night apart. When keepers arrived the next morning, however, they found all the elephant dung piled close to the connecting corners of their respective pens. The three elephants—the final members of a haphazardly formed family group that had once been eight—had spent that night huddled together, as close to one another as possible.
Two days later, the Toronto Zoo was quiet, empty save for a few groups of teenagers playing hooky and a handful of daycare kids who toddled past the simulated Serengeti bush camp toward the empty Africa Restaurant (a Harvey’s and a Pizza Pizza outlet in a jungle-themed pavilion). It was a bright, unseasonably warm day, and most of the animals were in their outdoor display areas: tigers stretching out in the sunny section of their Indo-Malaya enclosure, muddy-looking polar bears in the new Tundra Trek area, a group of impalas and kudu blinking in a broad pasture, indifferent to the intruding raccoon and flock of Canada geese that compromised the verisimilitude of their savannah habitat.
At the African elephant exhibit, the mood was sombre. A young zookeeper in gumboots and khakis told me that she’d had an emotional few days. “We look after these animals eight hours a day,” she said. “We become close.” Since Tara’s death, the elephants had been unusually subdued, keeping near to one another, acting tentative. Thika, a 30-year-old female, stood motionless under one of the large wooden umbrellas, one foot cocked at the ankle. In the stillness, you could hear the swish of her trunk as she rubbed it over her rough body, over her head, over her ears, over her
World first for vultures facing extinction
Globally extinct within 10 years: that has been the worst prediction for three species of vulture which have disappeared from huge swathes of southern Asia. But the latest exciting news from a conservation partnership in India reveals that all three species have now successfully reared young in a captive breeding centre, providing some long-term hope for these three Critically Endangered species, especially as the ultimate aspiration will be to return birds to the wild.
Reportedly, before their population crash, Asia's vulture population extended to tens of millions of birds, but now the combined population of all three species numbers is believed to be well below 60,000 individuals. And with the population of at least one species almost halving each year, the success of captive breeding may give some hope that these magnificent birds will be prevented from reaching oblivion.
The centre reports that 10 vulture chicks have fledged this year, with three Indian Vulture Gyps indicus chicks fledging in captivity for the first time ever. These chicks were complemented by the fledging of three Slender-billed Vultures G. tenuirostris and four White-rumped Vultures G. bengalensis.
The population crash of Asia's vultures was first noted in the late 1990s, since then their rate of decline has been steeper than many other species, including the infamous extinction of the dodo. The vultures' catastrophic decline has been driven by the veterinary use of diclofenac. A vulture will die of acute kidney
Drugged tigers do not a zoo make
THERE have been a lot of news reports on private zoos and resorts management of wildlife over the past few months. Many of these reports have focused on either how zoos are used as fronts for the laundering of wildlife or the exploitation of wildlife for profit. One establishment rents (yes, rents) tigers to companies for photographic opportunities and to bring the companies luck. One instance was the footage captured by a member of the public, shown on YouTube on the allegedly drugged tiger at a zoo in a resort. These reports were not only published locally but also broadcast by international television stations watched by millions.
Granted that these establishments were given special permits and licences to display wildlife as exhibits but some have gone to the extent of claiming that this is their conservation effort to save wildlife. I am having a difficult time accepting this. How does having tigers photographed for a fee or renting them add to conservation value?
The manager of the resort, when asked whether the tiger in the video was drugged for the keeper to manipulate for that perfect photo, explained that since the animal is sleepy in the day and well-fed, the keeper needed to coax it to perform as the dutiful tiger. Seriously? When I first read this, I could not believe that the public would be so ignorant as to believe this excuse. So, I was glad to see the public responding in anger to the treatment of the tiger, and demanding that these animals be treated with respect and in a humane manner. The public is not swallowing the excuses these establishments give to justify their treatment of wildlife as playthings.
My main contention is why are these "zoos" touting themselves as promoting conservation, and calling themselves zoos. The purpose of a zoo, when displaying captive wildlife, should primarily be for the conservation of the species, education and research. Entertainment of visitors should always be secondary. This means that to function within the definition and purpose of a zoo, it should do one or a few of the following: conduct research on the wildlife it is keeping; study the animals behaviour and publish the findings to contribute
Thousands of Sea Turtle Eggs To Be Moved Out of Oil's Way
For the tens of thousands of sea turtle eggs incubating in the sands of the northern Gulf of Mexico—and dangerously near the oil—it's come to this: Officials are planning to dig up the approximately 700 nests on Alabama and the Florida panhandle beaches, pack the eggs in Styrofoam boxes, and fly them to a facility in eastern Florida where they can mature. Once the eggs have hatched, the young turtles will be released in darkness on Florida's Atlantic beaches into oil-free water. Translocation of nests on this scale has never been attempted before.
"This is really a worst-case scenario," says Michael Ziccardi, a University of California, Davis, veterinarian and oil-spill veteran who is leading the government's response efforts for marine mammals and sea turtles. "We hoped we wouldn't get to this point."
Sea turtles that hatch in the Northern Gulf of Mexico typically spend a few months near the coast, and many eventually enter the Loop Current to make their way into the Atlantic. This year, that path would put them right in the oil spill. Federal officials in charge of response "believe that most, if not all, of the 2010 Northern Gulf hatchling cohort would be at high risk of encountering oil during this period," according to the written translocation plan, developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service, and the
Pride of lions spotted roaming S.African village
South African authorities on Wednesday said they were searching for four lions believed to have escaped from a wildlife park which have been spotted roaming villages in the northwest.
"A search party of rangers has been out since last week but they have not managed to capture the four lions," said Joshua Kwapa, a spokesman for Limpopo province.
Kwapa said villagers in Giyane, which lies close to the Kruger National Park, north of the country have spotted the lions on numerous occasions.
"They are three adults and a calf. We suspect they might have escaped from one of the parks in the Kruger National Park area," said Kwapa.
"The lions pose danger to both humans and domestic animals," he added.
But officials in the Kruger Park denied suggestions
Conservationists hail arrival of India vulture chicks
Three species of rare vultures in India have been successfully bred in captivity, conservationists say.
Most of the birds were reared in the Indian state of Haryana, but also in the state of West Bengal.
Among the 10 chicks that have fledged this year are four oriental white-backed vultures.
Experts say this species - once found all over India - has been declining at a "rate quicker than the dodo before it became extinct".
The birds have been bred by a partnership of British and Indian conservation groups including BirdLife International, Bombay Natural History Society, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), UK International Centre for Birds of Prey (ICBP), and the Zoological Society of London
Elephant hurts keeper at Toledo Zoo
An elephant keeper was injured by an elephant at the Toledo, Ohio, Zoo on Thursday afternoon, according to officials.
Don RedFox, the keeper, was taken to the University of Toledo Medical Center, said zoo spokesman Andi Norman. RedFox's injuries are not life threatening, according to the zoo. RedFox is the elephant manager and has been employed at the zoo for more than 30 years, mostly working with elephants.
The elephant involved in the incident is a 7-year-old named "Louie." "He was born at the zoo in 2003 and had been under the keeper's care since then," Norman said.
The incident between the keeper and the elephant occurred at 3:45 p.m. ET Thursday, said Norman. "A zoo
'New' giant ape found in DR Congo
Scientists believe they have discovered a new group of giant apes in the jungles of central Africa.
The animals, with characteristics of both gorillas and chimpanzees, have been sighted in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to local villagers, the apes are ferocious, and even capable of killing lions.
A report about the mysterious creatures is published in this week's edition of the UK magazine New Scientist.
If they are a new species of primate, it could be one of the most important wildlife discoveries in decades.
The discovery of these apes "reveals just how much we still have to learn about our closest living relatives," New
Giant pandas make group debut at park
Fourteen giant pandas made a public group debut at Shanghai Wild Animal Park on Wednesday, marking the opening of the zoo's giant panda pavilion, China News Service reports.
The giant panda group consisted of four old park residents, including a bear that was born in 1983 and three pandas that have a chance of being sent to Taiwan. The other 10 were World Expo pandas born after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which had been relocated to the park two days ago from another part of Shanghai.
A 10,000-square-meter bamboo forest had been prepared for the pandas featuring a variety of bamboo plants. The Expo Giant Panda Pavilion inside the forest was built to resemble the natural living environment of the giant pandas.
Breeders say that the 10 Expo pandas have been in good health since they were moved to Shanghai from their hometown Wolong in Sichuan Province in January. Although their recent move has affected their eating and sleeping habits, the pandas
Scarred by his traumatic childhood, Jeremy Keeling found solace working with exotic animals. Now, in his enchanting and touching book, he reveals how he became a mother to an abandoned baby orang-utan called Amy - and how she healed his broken heart..
Jeremy Keeling first met Amy, an orang-utan, when he was looking after the private menagerie of rock n roll music producer Gordon Mills. A friendship was forged that would become the defining relationship of both their lives. One day, when Jeremy was driving along with one-year-old Amy sitting beside him in the passenger seat, he fell asleep at the wheel and caused a horrific car crash. The first policeman on the scene crawled into the wreckage of the upturned car where he was staggered to see a hairy, non-human hand cradling Jeremy s head amid the glass and twisted metal: having been saved by Jeremy, Amy now refused to let him go. For Jeremy, it was to be a long convalescence, but he was able to repay his debt to Amy when he joined forces with Jim Cronin, a tough-talking primate-lover from the Bronx, who shared his vision of creating a sanctuary for abused and abandoned monkeys. Pooling their meagre resources, the two men took on a derelict pig farm in Dorset and, over the next twenty years transformed it into a 65-acre, cage-less sanctuary for beleaguered primates, rescued all over the world. Monkey World is now internationally famous and attracts some 800,000 visitors a year.
Jeremy and Amy is a story of high-wire adventure, of grit and determination and at its heart an inspiring and life-changing relationship between one man and his ape.
Look to the right within the blog and see and click on blog postings. Some of these have not been mailed out by email. Most will have been posted on the Facebook Page however.
Panthera has created a second video that is now live in Times Square! 2010 is the
Year of the Tiger but sadly, wild tigers are vanishing. Our latest tiger video is raising awareness about what is at stake - that tigers in the wild could be lost forever.
Panthera: Tigers in Times Square from Panthera Cats on Vimeo.
WILDLIFE CRIME - Vietnam
The main features:
* Under the cover of conservation: breeding of tigers at private farms must end.
* Euthanasia: an option for consideration in dealing with confiscated wildlife.
* Urgent notice to law enforcement agencies to deal with trade of rhino horn.
* Major crimes units of crime log (case reference ENV from January to May in 2010).
The 18th issue of the Journal of Threatened Taxa is online at http://www.threatenedtaxa.org/
June 2010 | Vol. 2 | No. 6 | Pages 901-1000 | Date of Publication 26 June 2010
ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print)
Parasitic associations of a threatened Sri Lankan rainforest rodent, Mus mayori pococki (Rodentia: Muridae)
-- Pamoda B. Ratnaweera, Mayuri R. Wijesinghe & Preethi V. Udagama-Randeniya, Pp. 901-907
Dietary energy estimate inferred from fruit preferences of Cynopterus sphinx (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) in a flight cage in tropical China
-- Aeshita Mukherjee, Burkhard Wilske & Jin Chen, Pp. 908-918
Communication value of displays and postures in Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer (Aves: Pycnonotidae)
-- Anil Kumar, Pp. 919-929
Stand structure of a primate rich rainforest region in the central Western Ghats of southern India
-- Kuladeep Roy, Mewa Singh, H.S. Sushma & Mridula Singh, Pp. 930-939
Transfer of two Indian Idiops spp. to the genus Heligmomerus Simon, 1892 (Araneae: Idiopidae) with redescription of H. barkudensis (Gravely, 1921)
-- Manju Siliwal, Sanjay Molur & Robert Raven, Pp. 940-947
Studies on external genitalia of seven Indian species of the genus Spilarctia Butler (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae: Arctiinae) alongwith the description of a new species
-- Jagbir Singh Kirti & Navneet Singh Gill, Pp. 948-960
Studies on the mosquito populations from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
-- K. Manimegalai, Pp. 961-969
Additions to wood decaying fungi of India
-- C.K. Tiwari, Jagrati Parihar & R.K. Verma, Pp. 970-973
Five new records of nematodes from East Antarctica
-- P. Bohra, A.K. Sanyal, A. Hussain & B. Mitra, Pp. 974-977
New record of a phasmid, Sipyloidea fontanesina Giglio-Tos, 1910 (Necrosciinae: Diapheromeridae) from Barnwapara, Chhattisgarh, India
-- T.K. Mukherjee, K.K. Banerjee, B. Gupta & S. Mukherjee, Pp. 978-979
Addition to araneofauna of Andhra Pradesh, India: occurrence of three species of Argyrodes Simon, 1864 (Araneae: Theridiidae)
-- S.M. Maqsood Javed, C. Srinivasulu & Farida Tampal,
New locality records of Rhacophorus lateralis Boulenger, 1883 (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae), in Western Ghats, India
-- K.P. Dinesh, C. Radhakrishnan, K.V. Gururaja & Anil Zacariya, Pp. 986-989
Sighting of King Cobra Ophiophagus Hannah in Sikkim, India: A new altitude record for the Northeast
-- T. Bashir, K. Poudyal, T. Bhattacharya, S. Sathyakumar & J.B. Subba, Pp. 990-991
Ichthyofauna of Dimna Lake, East Singhbhum District, Jharkhand, India
-- Sushant Kumar Verma & Thakur Das Murmu, Pp. 992-993
Birds of Mahi River estuary, Gujarat, India
- Pranav J. Pandya & Kauresh D. Vachhrajani, Pp. 994-1000
(those interested please use email@example.com)
Neotropical Primate Conservation is a UK registered charity dedicated to the conservation of monkeys and their habitat in the tropical rainforests of South and Central America.
Our aim is to promote the conservation of Neotropical forests and protect biodiversity by working in several ways:
Conducting scientific investigations of plants, animals and ecosystems
Protection of wilderness areas for the future
Improvement of degraded habitat through reforestation
Rescue, rehabilitate and reintroduce primates to their natural habitats
Promote conservation education and public awareness
Commercialisation of sustainable products on behalf of local communities
NPC began as a non-profit organization and was awarded UK charity status in August 2009 (Registered Charity number 1131122).
We are seeking a highly motivated Trustee to join the Board with the view to taking on the role as Chair. NPC is a small, friendly organization with a current Board of three persons and two project managers in Peru.
The role requires knowledge of charity adminstration, flexibility, strong organizational skills, experience managing volunteers, fundraising experience and a passion for animal welfare.
This is a voluntary role for a minimum of a one year committment. Applicants must be legal residents of the UK and present in the UK for at least six months of the year.
Please send your CV and a covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 July 2010. Interviews to be held week commencing 19 July in London.
For further details about NPC please visit http://www.neoprimate.org/
Obituary for ZOO’s biggest donor and fan : my father … an eccentric but sincere conservationist and naturalist-- Sally Raulston Walker, Pp. 1-2
Insider perspective on Zoo Outreach Organisation-- Pravin Kumar, P. 3
YOUR TURN. ZOO and Us ... the Srinivasulu Family Pp. 4-5
Letter to the Editor P. 5
This month-That age. ZOOS’ PRINT 25 years ago - July 1986 Pp. 6-10
WAZA makes international news promoting zoos as leaders in biodiversity conservation P.11
Celebrate WED IYB – Reports Pp. 12-17
Education Reports form India Pp. 17-19
A Day with a very young wild Elephant calf -- A.T. Mishra, P. 20
ZOO LEX - Zoo Duisburg AG Rio Negro P. 21
Announcement: Update on International Studbooks, Markus Gusset, WAZA Executive Office P. 22
Technical articles-- Anwaruddin Choudhury, Lohit Gogoi, Rakesh Soud and P.K. Dutta, B M. Chandranaik, R. Rishikesavan, Roopa Sathish, K. Basavarajappa, P. Giridhar and C. Renukaprasad, V. Vishnu Savanth, P.C. Saseendran, K.S. Anil, V. Ramnath and P. Sureshkumar, A. Mohamed Samsoor Ali, Pp. 23-32
The ZOOS' PRINT Journal has been closed and a new Journal called Journal of Threatened Taxa is being published and has its own website which can be accessed from this link http://www.threatenedtaxa.org/
Tiger Temple Truths has just received some important news via email from Edwin Wiek, the conservationist currently battling with the Tiger Temple in both legal and civil court cases concerning the animal abuse and illegal tiger trading taking place at the Tiger Temple.
Originally, founder of the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) Edwin Wiek was due to appear in court for the legal case on June 28th - this is now won't be happening...
The prosecution lawyer has asked the police to extend the investigation further, due to evidence being uncovered that proves the tigers at the Tiger Temple are officially government property, after being confiscated by the Thai Department of National Parks several years ago.
Basically, the tigers at the Tiger Temple are not their property - they belong to the Thai government, who understandably are furious about the negative publicity the Tiger Temple is generating, and the fact that the Tiger Temple has been illegally using confiscated tigers to profit from.
It seems that the prosecutor fighting on the side of the Tiger Temple is growing increasingly uneasy as the evidence against the Tiger Temple is shown to him. With official DNP (Department of National Parks) documentation being included as evidence, the Tiger Temple have the right to be very worried!
We have learnt that the Director General of the DNP has ordered a ban on the movement of tigers from the Tiger Temple, effectively ensuring the halt of illegal trading - whether the Tiger Temple will adhere to this or ignore the DG's order remains to be seen.
The Director General is also now considering whether to remove the tigers from the temple completely. There are facilities within Thailand that it would now be possible to move the tigers to, so this may be an option, although a decision on this matter is likely to take time.
With positive progress in the legal case between conservationists and the Tiger Temple, we now look at the civil case - a case brought against Edwin Wiek and a Thai newspaper who printed Mr Wiek's statements on the Tiger Temple.
Mr Wiek stated in the newspaper that the Tiger Temple was involved in animal abuse, the illegal trading of tigers and that they offered no benefit to conservation - all claims he can support with evidence.
The Tiger Temple was originally suing Mr Wiek and the newspaper in Thai court for very large sums of money - money that might have ended up funding the forthcoming Pattaya branch of the Tiger Temple. Perhaps realising they have opened a can of worms, however, the Tiger Temple have now dramatically backed down, instead requesting an official apology from the newspaper and some free advertising. From Mr Wiek, the Tiger Temple would like an apology.
This is quite a change in direction. We suspect that due to the evidence mounting up against them, the Tiger Temple are looking for a quick and quiet conclusion to this civil case, hoping to brush the issues under the table, but that will not be happening.
Mr Wiek has exclusively told Tiger Temple Truths that this requested apology will not be given. Having ample evidence to back up his claims, apologising for publicising the truth and for stating the facts is not a route that will be taken, and Mr Wiek is determined to push this case as far forward as possible.
Tiger Temple Truths
June 29, 2010 at 8:19am
Subject: More Tiger Temple Court Case News
Tiger Temple Truths has yet more news regarding the legal court case between the Tiger Temple and conservationist and founder of the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) Edwin Wiek.
We can now announce that the prosecutor, whose job it is under Thai law to investigate cases and determine whether a case is substantial enough to actually go to court, has asked for a minimum of 2 months delay on the case, and ordered the police to investigate the illegal activities at the Tiger Temple further.
The Thai police have asked the Abbot of the Tiger Temple for an interview, to ask him further questions regarding the Tiger Temple and it's abused tigers, but the Abbot has refused to give an interview so far.
The police have stated that they would like to interview the Abbot and see evidence regarding the following issues, amongst others:
Where the original and later tigers came from...
Exactly how many tigers are at the Tiger Temple...
Evidence of the temple's zoo license...
Details of when the Tiger Temple started breeding tigers (incidentally this was well before they were legally licensed to do so)...
Details of their tiger trafficking between Thailand and Laos, which the Abbot himself signed documents relating to...
What has happened to the tigers who have disappeared over the years and have the 'deaths' of tigers been reported?
Incidentally, we know already that the deaths/disappearances of numerous tigers have not been reported according to official DNP (Department of National Parks) records, so that too should be an awkward question for the Abbot to answer.
The Tiger Temple claims it has lost money due to Mr Wiek's comments in a Thai newspaper regarding the shocking treatment of the tigers there, and the police are also eager to ask the Abbot how exactly this money has been lost, given that the high number of visitors ignorant to the cruelty at the temple makes this very unlikely.
Again, the Abbot of the Tiger Temple has so far refused to answer these questions. In a court case originally initiated by the Tiger Temple, the Abbot there has refused to talk to the police, and refused to answer these very simple questions.
Whilst the Abbot decides whether he will talk to the police, Mr Wiek is free for the next 2 months minimum to continue campaigning against the cruelty, illegal trading and lack of conservation benefit at the Tiger Temple.
More news when we have it.
July 1, 2010 at 9:37am
Another News Update - Tiger Temple Desperate for Negotiations!
Another new update regarding the Tiger Temple court case, and it seems that the Tiger Temple are more worried than ever with regards to the progress of the case.
We have just learnt this morning that the lawyers of those charged with speaking the truth regarding the cruelty and illegal trading at the Tiger Temple in a Thai newspaper article in 2009, met with the lawyer of the Tiger Temple earlier today.
Legal representatives of Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand founder Edwin Wiek, Thai Society for Protection Against Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA) Secretary General Sawan Sangbunlang and Wildlife Fund Secretary General Dr. Surapon Duangkae, gathered with the lawyer of the newspaper where remarks were published, to meet with a Tiger Temple lawyer earlier today. This was to discuss the progress of the case and the Tiger Temple's increasing unease over this matter, and their desperate desire to negotiate before it's too late and the evidence against them is put in front of a court.
The Tiger Temple are so desperate for this case to not go to court, that they have now stated that they are officially willing to drop ALL charges against those concerned, if just an apology is given.
It's clear that since the Police have been putting pressure on the Abbot to answer their questions, the Tiger Temple are more anxious than ever for a deal to be made, in order to stop this case - a case they started - from now going to court.
Speaking to Mr Wiek this morning, he revealed that one of the major reasons the Abbot must be so worried is the possibility of him being de-frocked, or expelled from the monkhood. Should the Abbot lose the case - which is highly likely given the stack of evidence piled up against the Tiger Temple - and should this result in a equally likely successful countersue by Mr Wiek, ultimately under Thai law, it would be impossible for a convicted monk to remain an Abbot. This obviously would be very damaging for the Tiger Temple.
It is no wonder that the Tiger Temple are desperate to make a deal. With such strong evidence against the Tiger Temple on their side though, it's likely that all the conservationists involved will want to push on with the case. Desperate to stop the case going ahead, Mr Wiek has even been invited by Tiger Temple representatives to visit the Tiger Temple next week (this time not undercover!) to further hear their terms for dropping the case. This invitation has not yet been accepted.
More news when we have it,
I am delighted to see that something is happening with the Tiger Temple. This apalling place needs to be closed or work practices radically changed. I am pleased that my article The Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi Thailand played a small part in drawing attention to what was going on. At the same time I am saddened by the fact that not a single reputable zoo anywhere was prepared to assist by putting a warning label on their tiger enclosures asking people not to visit the Tiger Temple.
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