Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bristol Zoo Director to lead European conservation committee

The director of Bristol Zoo Gardens has been appointed as chairman of a Europe-wide conservation committee.

Dr Bryan Carroll will lead the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) Conservation Committee, which co-ordinates and encourages the field conservation efforts of zoos across Europe, while heading campaigns to protect endangered species in the wild.

EAZA is an organisation with members from the European zoo and aquarium community. Its mission is to promote cooperation between zoos to benefit animal collection planning and wildlife conservation.

Bryan, who lives in Backwell, North Somerset, will now lead EAZA’s Conservation Committee, whose main task is to coordinate the field (in the wild) conservation activities of member institutions and to liaise with conservation organisations.

He said: “The EAZA Conservation Committee is an internationally recognized and respected committee with outstanding conservation credentials. The committee does a fantastic job and I am honoured to have been asked to be the new chairman. I also believe my appointment to the position is in recognition of Bristol Zoo’s conservation efforts around the world.”

Membership of EAZA is open to all zoos and aquaria across Europe which are willing to comply with EAZA's standards.

While the conservation breeding programmes of zoos are well recognised, the conservation carried out in the wild is not so well known. EAZA members support hundreds of conservation projects in the wild and contribute more than €100 million to biodiversity conservation each year.

EAZA also promotes education and contributes to relevant meetings and discussions of organisations such as IUCN, European Union and CITES. It also lobbies the European Union, or other representative committees such as the European Parliament and the European Council on issues such as the bushmeat trade and palm oil.

Bryan succeeds Pierre Gay, director of Zoo Doué La Fontaine, in France. Bryan added: “The committee has gone from strength to strength under Pierre’s leadership and I have a hard act to follow. I wish him well for the future.”

Bryan joined Bristol Zoo in 1995 as Operations Manager and took on the position of Deputy Director in 2003.

Before joining Bristol Zoo, Bryan worked at Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust (Jersey Zoo) where he was Curator of Mammals for six years. In 1993, Bryan gained his PhD in primate social behaviour.

In 2003, Bryan became Deputy Director of Bristol Zoo Gardens with responsibility for the animal collections, the gardens, research and field conservation programmes.

Bryan chairs the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) Bushmeat Working Group, the Callitrichidae Taxon Advisory Group, and the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conservation and Sustainability Committee.

Within EAZA, he is a member of Council, the EEP Committee (which oversees collaborative breeding programmes) and the Conservation Committee.

Bryan is a member of the IUCN/SSC Chiroptera Specialist Group, Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, Primate Specialist Group and also the IUCN UK Executive Committee.

He is also a member of the International Zoo Seminar Group and of the Defra-Zoo Liaison Group and is a Defra Zoo Inspector.

Bryan is a Trustee of Ape Action Africa, a charity dedicated to helping Cameroon’s threatened primates.

For more information about Bristol Zoo Gardens visit the website at  or phone 0117 974 7300.


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