It has been suggested to me in more than a few emails recently that I am "biting the hand that feeds me." There is a lot of truth in that because for a lot of the time donations to Zoo News Digest are my one and only income. Hardly lucratitive, you try and survive on five dollars a day. I would say that I am sorry but I'm not. My 'stubborn principles' (one of the more polite descriptives coined about me) come to the fore and I criticise what I perceive to be wrong. I am so very much against the Bad Zoos, the Dysfuntional Zoos but also recognise that even they can have their good sides. Take for instance Bangkok Safari World. This large popular commercial collection, beautiful as it is has not the faintest inkling about conservation or breeding programmes and cares even less and yet with their 'Egg World' they have one of the finest zoo educational exhibits in the world. A case of a good egg within an all bad box. Of course not all are like that and some bad zoos are rotten to the core.
Then there are the Good Zoos. Many, very sadly lose their sense of direction at times, often under leadership as stubborn as my own. I'm not always right and I know that. Perhaps that is my strength, I can with a balance of information learn where I am wrong.
Why did I publish the link to the CAPS report about the White Lions in a Japanese Circus? Why not? If I was a West Midland Safari Park keeper I would be truly devastated. I would not be surprised if some have resigned because of it (though I have seen no newspaper articles about this). I criticised West Midlands when they aquired the White Lions in the first place. I really could not see their fixation with white...white Wallabies, white Rheas and now white lions. White lions have no place in the modern zoo. Yet they are turning up all over the place promoted as rare when they are in fact a deliberately bred freak. A lot of these end up in the canned hunt market in Africa. So when the West Midlands bred from these Lions it was almost inevitable that they would end up in a Dysfunctional Zoo or, as they have done, a circus.
I most certainly and am definitely not an animal rights extremist and in fact detest them and their kind but at the same time I hate the idea of animals going from zoos to circuses regardless of the circumstances. I don't give a hoot what the laws or regulations say, I perceive this as wrong. Perhaps it has got something to do with being in the zoo business for so long and having worked in some Dysfuntional Zoos. In my early days I worked in zoos along ex-circus staff and whereas some were my friends I did not like their methods or ways of thinking. The other thing I hate is zoos selling animals for commercial gain or exchanging, loaning or donating animals to collections who they know nothing about or are hopelessly ill prepared to house or care for them. I still maintain, regardless of the criticisms I get that Zoo Legislation in the UK is the best in the world but there are faults, loopholes that need to be sewn tightly shut.
So what should have been done with these White Lions? Well better that they were never bred at all. It should not have happened. I open myself to criticism straight away by saying they should have been euthanased. I have said the same of the other freaks (Tigons, Ligers, White Tigers etc) being bred in other zoos around the world. Okay I know, so you don't have to tell me, it is not the animals fault. No it most definitely is not. It is management who are to blame. I only hope that they will learn from this and not repeat the mistake. Euthanasia is the 'kind kill', it doesn't hurt and can prevent years of suffering. Then there are those who will call me to task for calling circuses cruel, well again, I'm not sorry but I do perceive them to be exactly that.
Bobby Roberts and Anne the Elephant. What are my thoughts there? I have posted two links. Read the first and then read the second. Make up your own mind. I have mine made up and again, I'm not sorry but I don't believe the Roberts. They may not have known exactly what was going on but they did know something was going on. I do believe that they should have got more of a punishment. I would still like to know what happened to Anne. Was she 'rescued' as the newspapers claimed or was she purchased? And if she was not purchased as I believe she must have been then would she have been still with the Roberts up to now. That being the case with such a light ticking off by the judge she would probably still be with the Roberts even now. So can anyone tell me 'rescued' or puchased?
My first link this week are the thoughts of Karl Amman. No doubt it will also be something with which many readers will disagree. Fair enough but it is food for thought and I for one largely agree with what he has to say.
My choice of Zoo News Digest links I have always based on the sort of items of interest that we would have discussed daily in the staffroom of the Welsh Mountain Zoo. There was practically no zoo related subject we did not touch upon. This remains my guide.
I remain committed to the work of GOOD zoos, not DYSFUNCTIONAL zoos.
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More money for more conversations about conservation.
by Karl Ammann.
Having recently been sent some press statements concerning the out of control trade in great apes , I decide to look up the link below on how the issue was raised at last week’s GRASP council meeting at UNESCO in Paris.
Scanning over the images and names in the various picture galleries I concluded that I am familiar with most of these players. Many have been in the great ape business for decades. My guess is that cumulatively they have spent tens of millions of dollars attending such venues and held thousands of such conversations about conservation.
Some of the relevant summary statements at the opening of this get together make it clear that they accept that things today are worse for the apes than they have been at any time in the recent past. However the players attending this GRASP meeting and generally flying from meeting to meeting are also the ones who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on conservation projects supposedly doing something about the plight of the apes.
Now they are telling us we are worse off than before.
The sanctuaries are full (some of those attending still advocating euthanasia for the orphans supposedly because they are lost to the wild genetic pool, not accepting the fact that each new orphan is a failure of their conservation efforts).
The bush meat trade is far from under control, the forests in Indonesia and with it the habitat of the orangutans are coming down faster than ever before, more live ape orphans have been traded in the last decade then at any time since CITES came into the picture.
What does this say about the effectiveness of these ‘silverbacks’ attending these meetings and campaigning to get even more funding with absolutely no indication that they have learnt anything from past failure or have any real plans to test any new approaches (maybe jettison some of the political correctness and not go the the way of least resistance for a change).
The fact is in the corporate world most of these players, based on their track record on the table, would have been led out to pasture a long time ago. Only in the conservation industry do they get away with 30 years of declaring to be on top of things and patting each other on the shoulder while indeed the track record on the ground is that all major battles and certainly the war is being lost on a very wide front.
Once they have a bunch of corporate executives sitting on the moderating podium demanding independent third party audits of projects (a more businesslike approach to conservation as suggested in an earlier opinion piece) with the results being put in the public domain and lessons being learnt from past failure, I will pull out my cheque book and write a big one (by my standards) for whoever will carry the ball on this front.
In the meantime my assessment is that these are many more feel good conversations about conservation, talking about and financing a band aid project here and there while the patient is dying of terminal cancer.
Is the world’s largest tiger reserve a front for Burma’s cronies?
In the Hukawng Valley in northern Burma, locals say they haven’t seen any tigers for years. It’s an odd revelation, for the area is home to the world’s largest tiger reserve whose establishment in 2001 was championed by the Burmese government and a legion of international conservationists as a sign of unprecedented environmental progress.
But all appears not what it seems. The area is bereft of tigers, according to activist Bauk Ja who spoke with the Irrawaddy last week. “The hunters have told me there are no more tigers left,” she says.
“In mid-2010, less than a year before fighting erupted throughout Kachin State, Bawk Jar conducted an extensive field trip to remote parts of the valley where tigers were known to live,” writes the Irrawaddy, in a thorough piece
My dream zoo has become my worst nightmare: TV presenter Anna Ryder Richardson heartbroken after £100,000 court fine for accident at her animal park
This morning, like any other, I’ll walk around the grounds of my zoo, stopping to greet each of the animals, from the gibbons to the zebras, meerkats, lemurs and our pride and joy, two young rhinos named Zamba and Jambo.
Over the past five years since fulfilling a lifelong dream by buying Manor House Wildlife Park in Pembrokeshire, Wales, I’ve had a privileged existence. I spend my days tramping about in my wellies among these incredible creatures, covered in mud and looking as though I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards, and I love it.
But this weekend, not even the animals can lift my spirits. After a court ruling last week, I have no idea whether my dream can
Film to show behind-the-scenes work of keepers at the Memphis Zoo
Filmmakers Joann Self Selvidge and Sara Kaye Larson wanted to make a documentary about the Memphis Zoo, but were a little stumped.
After all, you could find dozens of ideas for a film at the zoo ... but what to focus on?
Then a realization dawned: Why not focus the documentary on the folks who know everything about a zoo, the keepers? Why not tell the stories of those who spend much of their lives making sure the animals are cared for?
"You have keepers who know more than anybody else about what it's like to care for animals in captivity," Selvidge said. "They have the most amazing stories about the animals, about the zoo, about their profession. So many of the keepers we've met are really fascinating, above and beyond the fact that they have this really cool job."
In September, the pair began filming keepers at the zoo, and plan to continue shooting through the next few months.
They hope to finish shooting, editing and production by the summer in time to get "The Keepers" showing at various film festivals.
So far, they've raised about $10,000 toward their goal of $30,000 to finance the film. More details, as well as preliminary footage, can be found online at indiegogo.com/thekeepersmovie.
Still, it wasn't easy to convince the zoo to allow them the kind of access they needed, Selvidge said. Fortunately, they had an ally in
FOX Files: Zoo Poison Results
Lab tests appear to contradict statements by the St. Louis Zoo about a cup of coffee reportedly `poisoned.` The Zoo has since fired the supervisor who gagged on his coffee and a spokesman disputes anything was poisoned. So Fox Files investigator Chris Hayes asked chemists to analyze the lab results. The result even surprised former employees who allege `cover up.`
This involves the 2nd reported poisoning of a zoo employee. Both incidents happened in a common area where employees took their eyes off their drinks, then later gagged on something they said was not supposed to be there.
Regina Haywood said her soda can tasted like industrial soap. She claimed the Zoo didn`t take it seriously, waited a week to test the can, then told her it tested negative. She`s positive someone put something in her drink and she believes it`s because she complained about harassment. Her boss at the time, John Huffstutler, accepted the complaint but said his supervisors told him, “Regina needs, if she`s going to be in charge, she needs to be prepared for people to call her a bitch.
New owner promises facelift for Portaferry aquarium
Portaferry's Exploris Aquarium is set for a facelift following news that it is to be managed by private sector company Livingstone Leisure Ltd.
The successful bid by the company marks the latest step in the transfer of management from Ards Borough Council into the private sector and work now starts on finalising the 25-year lease of the aquarium and surrounding parkland.
Livingstone Leisure Ltd, which specialises in operating visitor attractions, is now planning to enhance the experience at Exploris and boost visitor numbers.
The investment will secure the long-term future of the aquarium, according to councillor Robert Gibson
The 51st issue of the Journal of Threatened Taxa is online at www.threatenedtaxa.org. We thank all the subject editors, reviewers, language editors and authors for their contributions in producing this issue.
November 2012 | Vol. 4 | No. 14 | Pages 3233-3376
Date of Publication 26 November 2012 (online & print)
CEPF Western Ghats Special Series
A new genus of the family Theraphosidae (Araneae: Mygalomorphae) with description of three new species from the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India
-- Manju Siliwal, Neha Gupta & Robert Raven, Pp. 3233–3254
Additional records of Tettigoniidae from Arunachal Pradesh, India
-- G. Srinivasan & D. Prabakar, Pp. 3255–3268
CEPF Western Ghats Special Series
Birds of lower Palni Hills, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India
-- Tharmalingam Ramesh, J. Peter Prem Chakravarthi, S. Balachandran & Riddhika Kalle, Pp. 3269–3283
Elephant Elephas maximus Linnaeus (Proboscidea: Elephantidae) migration paths in the Nilgiri Hills, India in the late 1970s
-- E.R.C. Davidar, Peter Davidar, Priya Davidar & Jean-Philippe Puyravaud, Pp. 3284–3293
Wild Water Buffalo Bubalus arnee in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Nepal: status, population and conservation importance
-- Top Bahadur Khatri, Deep Narayan Shah & Nilamber Mishra, Pp. 3294–3301
Reassessment of morphology and historical distribution as factors in conservation efforts for the Endangered Patagonian Huemul Deer Hippocamelus bisulcus (Molina 1782)
-- Huemul Task Force, Pp. 3302–3311
CEPF Western Ghats Special Series
Metazoan community composition in tree hole aquatic habitats of Silent Valley National Park and New Amarambalam Reserve Forest of the Western Ghats, India
-- K.A. Nishadh & K.S. Anoop Das, Pp. 3312–3318
Recent sightings of two very rare butterflies, Lethe margaritae Elwes, 1882 and Neptis nycteus de Nicéville, 1890, from Sikkim, eastern Himalaya, India
-- Sanjyog Rai, Karma Dorjee Bhutia & Krushnamegh Kunte, Pp. 3319–3326
Parambassis waikhomi, a new species of glassfish (Teleostei: Ambassidae) from Loktak Lake, northeastern India
-- K. Geetakumari & C. Basudha, Pp. 3327–3332
Current status of Marsh Crocodiles Crocodylus palustris (Reptilia: Crocodylidae) in Vishwamitri River, Vadodara City, Gujarat, India
-- Raju Vyas, Pp. 3333–3341
Rapid assessment of Wreathed Hornbill Aceros undulatus (Aves: Bucerotidae) populations and conservation issues in fragmented lowland tropical forests of Arunachal Pradesh, India
-- Murali Krishna, Kuladip Sarma & Awadhesh Kumar, Pp. 3342–3348
Distribution, den characteristics and diet of the Indian Fox Vulpes bengalensis (Mammalia: Canidae) in Karnataka, India: preliminary observations
-- H.N. Kumara & Mewa Singh, Pp. 3349–3354
Survey of the Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus Bennett, 1833 (Carnivora: Felidae) and some aspects impacting its conservation in India
-- Shomita Mukherjee, Tiasa Adhya, Prachi Thatte & Uma Ramakrishnan, Pp. 3355–3361
First record of Okenia pellucida Burn, 1967 (Mollusca: Nudibranchia) from India
-- Vishal Bhave & Deepak Apte, Pp. 3362–3365
The hitherto undescribed male of Orthozona quadrilineata (Moore, 1882) (Lepidoptera: Erebidae)
-- Peter Smetacek & I.J. Kitching, Pp. 3366–3368
First record of two tubuliferan and four terebrantian species of Thysanoptera (Insecta) from northeastern India
-- Kh. Bala, O. Tarunkumar Singh, H. Taptamani & R. Varatharajan, Pp. 3369–3372
A note on the migration of Dark Cerulean Jamides bochus (Stoll) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in Eravikulam National Park, Idukki District, Kerala, India
-- Muhamed Jafer Palot, Pp. 3373–3374
Sighting record of Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis (Gmelin, 1789) (Aves: Gruiformes: Otididae) in Lower Dibang Valley District, Arunachal Pradesh, India
-- Alolika Sinha, Jillol Hoque, Tilak Pradhan, Manish Kumar Bakshi, Jibi Pulu, Alok Kumar Singh & M. Firoz Ahmed, Pp. 3375–3376
In case you wish to receive Table of Contents every month please send an email to <TOC@threatenedtaxa.org> with no subject or text.
Raise a glass to support Rhino Conservation
Cape Town, South Africa, 13 November 2012—Rhino Wine South Africa today launched a new range of wines, which aim to support conservation efforts to protect South Africa’s rhinos.
Rhino poaching is currently at an all-time high, with South Africa, home to the world’s largest rhino populations particularly affected.
For every bottle of wine purchased, R2.00 will be donated to TRAFFIC, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, to support conservation work in southern Africa.
“The philosophy behind the Rhino Wine SA brand is for consumers to gain awareness of the crisis facing rhinos, raise funds for TRAFFIC’s conservation efforts, while at the same time enjoying a glass of Vino with a CAUSE (responsibly, of course!),” said Charise Matthews for Rhino Wine SA.
The new wine range, exclusively bottled by a top wine estate in the Western Cape, includes a Sauvignon Blanc and a blend of Shiraz/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon.
“Rhino Wine SA’s support is warmly welcomed by TRAFFIC for our efforts to help bring about an end to the poaching crisis facing the rhino, one of South Africa’s national icons,” said David Newton, Regional Director for TRAFFIC in East and Southern Africa.
Rhino poaching in South Africa has escalated in recent years. In 2007, 13 rhino were illegally killed in South Africa. But in 2012, according to official figures released by the South African National Parks Authority last month, by 30th October a total of 488 rhinos had been illegally killed, with 214 arrests for rhino-related crimes.
Hardest hit has been world famous Kruger National Park, where 296 rhinos have been poached in 2012.
High demand for rhino horn from Asia, in particular Viet Nam, is considered to be the driving force leading to the rhino poaching crisis.
In August, TRAFFIC launched “The South Africa – Viet Nam Rhino Horn Trade Nexus: A deadly combination of institutional lapses, corrupt wildlife industry professionals and Asian crime syndicates”, a key report examining the nature of the illegal trade in rhino horn from South Africa to Viet Nam.
Zoo boss hits out at council ‘delays’
A ZOO owner has hit out at council officials, saying they are delaying a £5m expansion that would bring much needed jobs to the area.
South Lakes Wild Animal Park’s owner, David Gill, has launched a Facebook appeal asking people to question why Barrow Borough Council is taking so long to give the green light to work at the park.
Mr Gill said he received a letter from the local authority on Friday saying it was waiting for Cumbria County Council to give the all-clear to plans for a minor entrance to a car park, which is part of the expansion.
He said the expansion would “give people and animals more space” as well as introducing new animals to the zoo, such as wolves, rhinos and zebras.
The zoo founder said he has been “jumping through hoops” since he put in the planning application in 2009.
In July last year, the plans were initially rejected by Barrow Borough Council’s planning committee – Mr Gill appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, which ruled in his favour in February.
In May he gave the council a report on how he would fulfil conditions it had put on granting the application.
Mr Gill, who founded the animal park 18 years ago, said: “Barrow Borough Council make it very, very hard for us.”
Since the plans are taking so long to be approved the contractors for the building
Exposed: UK zoo is source of inbred lions used in Japanese circus
Investigators from UK charities, Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) and Lion Aid, have today released evidence to suggest that white lions bred at West Midland Safari Park have been shipped, via a UK animal trainer, to a travelling circus in Japan. The news has been branded “a shocking betrayal of both the animals and the public” by the two investigating organisations.
In 2010, CAPS obtained footage of white lions being trained for a circus-style performance at Oxfordshire-based animal training business, Amazing Animals (which also goes by the name Heythrop Zoological Gardens). A few months later, information was received that the same big cats had been supplied to Amazing Animals by West Midland Safari Park and were due to be shipped to Japan to join the Kinoshita Circus later in that year. Further research carried out more recently by Lion Aid has shown import and export records match with the information provided, and monitoring of captive lion populations appears to confirm that West Midland is the only UK zoo with sufficient white lions to be the source. The link between the zoo and Amazing Animals was confirmed beyond any doubt when a 2007 episode of the zoo’s own television show, Safari Park, was unearthed by investigators. The episode shows
Fury as safari park lions end up in Japanese circus
A SAFARI park has been slammed for selling four rare white lion cubs — that are now forced to perform in a Japanese CIRCUS.
They were among eight cubs born at West Midlands Safari Park in Bewdley, Worcs, in 2010 and sent to entertainment firm Amazing Animals of Chipping Norton, Oxon, aged six months.
Undercover footage appears to show Amazing Animals owner Jim Clubb training the lions — now in Japan’s Circus Kinoshita. The circus website says its lions were born in a UK
White Tiger Escapes From Enclosure in Czech Zoo
A rare white tiger attacked three employees in a Czech zoo Thursday after escaping from its enclosure, officials said.
Lenka Markovicova, spokeswoman for the rescuers in the northern city of Liberec, says one man has been hospitalized with head injuries. She says he is not in life-threatening condition. Two women suffered minor injuries and were also taken to the local hospital for treatment.
Zoo spokesman Ivan Langr said the tiger named Paris has been tranquilized and poses no further danger. He said the zoo's employees were shocked and that it was not
Zoo Monkey Death Update: Man killed zoo monkey during theft try, prosecutors say
A 22-year-old man clubbed a monkey to death with a tree branch, after he was bitten by the animal while trying to steal it from a Boise zoo, prosecutors allege.
Michael J. Watkins entered Zoo Boise on Saturday morning, manipulated a lock to get into the primate enclosure and removed the patas monkey by wrapping it in his jacket, Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Fafa Alidjani told reporters after Watkins was arraigned in Boise's 4th District Court.
"He told police he was going to throw the monkey outside the fence," Alidjani said Wednesday. When he failed, the monkey bit him, prompting Watkins to use a tree branch to bash the monkey in the head and neck, she said.
A security guard spotted the intruder, who ran, and the animal died a short time after it was found by zoo officials.
Watkins isn't scheduled to enter a plea on his felony burglary and grand theft charges until a preliminary hearing Dec. 5.
If he's convicted, Watkins faces up to 10 years in prison for
California sanctuary ‘not suitable’ for Toronto’s elephants, zoo’s CEO says
The California sanctuary slated as the next home for the Toronto Zoo’s three remaining elephants “isn’t suitable” because it has a problem with tuberculosis, says the zoo’s CEO in a report set to go before city council next week.
The report from John Tracogna says that a due diligence review of PAWS by the zoo resulted in the sanctuary not providing all the medical records the zoo has asked for. The zoo also has concerns about steps PAWS has taken to contain tuberculosis there.
The zoo also claims PAWS has “no workable transportation plan” in place to safely move the elephants.
Tracogna says the National Elephant Center in Florida, a sanctuary-like facility set to be completed next spring, has offered to take Toronto’s elephants, and zoo staff will undertake a full review of the facility.
Last year, city council voted to send the animals to PAWS. However, a contract between PAWS and the zoo has a clause that says the zoo’s CEO can kill the contract at no cost to either side if he is not satisfied after a due diligence review of the sanctuary.
Tracogna wants the elephant transfer issue to go back to the Toronto Zoo’s board of management.
PAWS has acknowledged that there are cases of TB “exposure” among its Asian elephants. However, it says they are kept separate
Education for Nature - Vietnam (ENV) ID Online
Các loài động vật hoang dã thường bị buôn bán
Education for Nature - Vietnam (ENV) has launched a new version of an online species identification resource with a friendlier interface and additional species. The improvements are designed to encourage greater public participation in protecting Vietnam’s wildlife.
The web-based species identification resource allows members of the public to identify wildlife species that are commonly observed in trade using key characteristics that distinguish the animal from other similar species. The resource also includes references to the current legal status of each species, and links to ENV’s online wildlife crime reporting system. This enables users to easily report crimes that they have observed, either directly via the webpage or through ENV’s national toll-free Wildlife Crime Hotline.
Anna Ryder Richardson's wildlife park and her husband are fined £70,000; Pictures
A wildlife park run by TV star Anna Ryder Richardson and her husband has been fined £70,000 for health and safety breaches.
Colin MacDougall, the celebrity interior designer’s husband, received a further fine of £4,000 after he admitted to two identical
Toutoune the elephant dies at Granby Zoo
Animal rights activists are raising questions about the health of elephants kept in Canadian zoos following the death of Toutoune, a resident of the Granby Zoo.
Toutoune, a 35-year-old elephant, died of complications related to pneumonia on Sunday in the zoo located about 90 kilometres east of Montreal.
"The pneumonia had been there for one or two weeks" said veterinarian Marie-Josée Limoges. "We know that she had been in less good shape for a few months prior to that and that probably led her to being in a state where she was more fragile."
Zoocheck Canada, an animal protection charity group, said elephants are not meant to live in Canada.
The group has been trying to remove the large animals from the Toronto Zoo.
"Climate is a concern and it forces… many elephants to be kept indoors for long periods of time. That can lead to not only psychological problems, but foot problems, obesity and
Edinburgh Zoo Announces Design of Penguin Enclosure
Edinburgh Zoo today announced detailed design plans for Penguins Rock, the 21st century colony currently being developed for the Zoo’s iconic penguins.
The Zoo is also delighted to announce that over £130,000 has been raised via their Penguins Rock Appeal which launched in July – the most successful fundraising appeal ever by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and testament to how well-loved the celebrated penguins are.
Due for completion early next year, the centenary year of Edinburgh Zoo, the Zoo’s king, gentoo and rockhopper penguins – including the honoury Sir Nils Olav - will return in time to settle into their revamped pad before the spring breeding season commences.
Excitingly, a number of new female king penguins are also expected to make Edinburgh their home. With very few in breeding programmes, the females would return with the Zoo’s all male colony and hopefully the waddle of king penguin chicks will be seen in the not too distant future.
The November 2012 issue of ZOO’s PRINT Magazine (Vol. XXVII, No. 11) is online at <www.zoosprint.org> in a format that permits you to turn pages like a regular magazine.
If you wish to download the full magazine or certain articles click on <www.zoosprint.org/showMagazine.asp>
November 2012 | Vol. XXVII | No. 11 | Date of Publication 21 November 2012
Conservation Breeding Specialist Group IUCN SSC 2012 Annual Meeting in Melbourne, Australia
World Association of Zoos and Aquariums WAZA - 77th WAZA Birthday and 67th WAZA Annual Conference
Zoos FIGHTING extinction & Zoos FACILITATING extinction
-- Sally R. Walker, P. 5
International Conference on Bio-diversity Conservation and Education for Sustainable Development
-- Meena Nareshwar, Pp. 6-7
Environmental Education (Public awareness) and impact of some Traditional Knowledge Systems on Environment
-- Saurabh Vashisth and Natasha Sethi, Pp. 8-9
Nilgiri Biosphere Nature Park, NBNP, Anaikati, T.N., 2012
Sighting of an albino nightjar at Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka
-- B. Vijitha P. Perera and Nilmini Jayasena, Pp. 14-15
Announcements: Second Indian Biodiversity Congress, 9-11 December 2012, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
New record of Siagona species (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Siagoninae: Siagonini) from Uttar Pradesh
-- V.D. Hegde and R.K. Kushwaha, Pp. 16-17
Pathology of pasteurellosis in Sambar Deer (Cervus unicolor) -- A case report
-- P. Rameshkumar, P.M.Priya, P. Senthamil Selvan, K. Shanmugasundaram, Asha vijayan, Shilpa nanda, and Jizana pareed, Pp. 18-19
Nature and Animal Park Goldau: Bear and Wolf
-- Sarah Isler, Pp. 20-23
Indian Wildlife Week Reports
Indian Zoos celebrate the 58th Indian Wildlife Week with Zoo Outreach Organisation education kits
Announcement: The Zoological Park, a new ally for biodiversity
Announcement: World Crocodile Conference, Sri Lanka, 20-23 May 2013
Anne the elephant circus abuse: Bobby Roberts guilty
A circus owner has been found guilty of three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a performing elephant.
Bobby Roberts, 69, was found guilty of mistreating 58-year-old elephant Anne and was given a three-year conditional discharge.
Roberts was also convicted of failing to prevent an employee from repeatedly beating the animal.
His wife Moira, 75, was found not guilty of the same charges at Northampton Crown Court.
The court had been shown secretly-filmed footage of the animal being struck with a pitchfork by a groom.
The video was recorded by welfare group Animal Defenders International (ADI) between 21 January and 15 February 2011.
It showed the Asian elephant being kicked and struck with a pitchfork several times by the groom, Nicolai Nitu, at the Bobby Roberts' Super Circus' winter quarters
Trial by Media.. and what the papers didn't tell you
As news stations and newspapers fall over themselves to report on the verdict of the Bobby Roberts case, the judge presiding over the case expressed a different type of excitement. Animal Defenders International (ADI) will, no doubt, mark this case down as a victory and the result would seem to indicate that they are justified. Jan Creamer, President and founder of Animal Defenders International, will decry the sentence given by the judge, as she did with the Mary Chipperfield case. Bobby Roberts received no fine, no costs and the judge dismissed any suggestion of Bobby Roberts not being able to keep animals, in the future.
ADI will undoubtedly use this as yet another example of how the law is unfair on animals and how organisations such as theirs need to be 'out there', continuing to fight the cause. "Please send your money to..." and you know all the rest. However, what Creamer and ADI won't be publicising is the way the judge viewed them.
For example, what hasn't made the news is the revelation of the sort of people ADI pay to carry out their operations. Robert Cogswell was the man ADI admitted to employing to plant the camera that recorded the condemning evidence of Anne the elephant. Cogswell, who was giving evidence for the prosecution, revealed under cross-examination that he had connections to major extremist animal rights groups. He is an ex-PETA member and has been heavily connected to the Animal Liberation Front, a terrorist organization claiming responsibility for a huge number of crimes. Cogswell has publicly defended ALF on several occasions. He also has a previous conviction for possession of a firearm with intent to kill or cause serious harm.
In spite of his verdict, District Judge David Chinery, who presided over the case, said he was not convinced by Jan Creamer's testimony; the only part in which he believed was her denial that the Romanian groom who carried out the beatings and disappeared before the videos were made public, Nicolae Nitu, was planted by ADI. Rouster doesn't believe this either. However, we think it is highly plausible that Nitu was paid to hit Anne the elephant. Around 60% of the beatings administered by the groom were committed within the last three days of filming.
Throughout the trial the question was asked "Why was the elephant beaten?" It is a question Rouster has asked since the news first broke. There is no visible or explainable reason why the groom hit the elephant. The animal was not being moved over, not being made to perform and the groom was not showing signs of losing his temper. No one could come up with a plausible answer.
Another serious question was raised
European Union seeks to stop shark finning with 'milestone' vote
The European Union on Thursday sought to block fishermen from slashing off shark fins and dumping the fish back into the water, closing a loophole in its existing rules.
Environmentalists warn shark populations are in jeopardy as ships scoop them up solely for their fins, prized in Asia for the expensive delicacy of shark fin soup. Some fishermen hack off the fins because the shark body is much less valued, a practice shunned by conservation groups as wasteful and inhumane.
The European bloc has banned shark finning for nearly a decade but had allowed some vessels to remove fins at sea if they showed they could use all parts of the shark. Spain and Portugal used the loophole most often, according to the EU. Activists complained that because ships could take carcasses and fins to different ports, it was difficult to detect if they were dumping the bodies.
Now sharks must land at ports with their fins still attached, the European Parliament decided Thursday. Lawmakers overwhelmingly backed the resolution, with 566 out of 629 voting in favor.
The decision marks “a major milestone in ending the wasteful practice of shark finning,” said Uta Bellion of the nonprofit Pew Environment Group, praising the EU for joining Central America, the United States and Taiwan in adopting a “fins-attached” policy.
The rule must now be endorsed by EU fisheries
Addressing zoo animal welfare concerns in M'sia
The new Wildlife Conservation (Operation of Zoo) Regulations 2012 is a big step in the right direction, providing hope for hundreds of animals in Malaysia's zoos and placing Malaysia at the forefront of tackling zoo animal welfare concerns.
Representatives from Malaysian and International organisations, Perlihitan and university lecturers met yesterday for a roundtable discussion on addressing Zoo Animal Welfare in Malaysia, hosted by myZOO.
While the new regulations are widely acknowledged to be the best in Southeast Asia in terms of ensuring high welfare standards, participants of the roundtable discussions called for more effective enforcement of the regulations.
The task ahead is challenging. With over 30 zoos in Peninsular Malaysia, many of which still fail to meet the new regulations, it will take concerted effort and co-operation between the zoos, zoo associations, NGOs, local universities and the government to improve the welfare of zoo animals.
"We are urging the state and/or federal governments to provide assistance to help committed zoos improve the welfare of animals in their care. We also hope that corporations will sponsor or donate generously towards zoo animal welfare programmes.
"MyZOO will be establishing partnerships with local zoos to improve animal welfare, and for greater transparency we will take up the offer from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to be part of the zoo audit team which will include members from myZOO and the Malaysian Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria (MAZPA)" said Dr Sharmini Paramasivam, myZOO spokesperson.
To empower members of the public, myZOO will be establishing a new Facebook page to provide advice about zoo animal welfare issues and act as a channel for complaints on these issues.
MyZOO is also calling for the implementation of continuous education programmes for animal caregivers in zoos, to improve expertise in animal husbandry and enrichment and encourage the sharing of research findings on zoo animal welfare.
We believe it will take a while to get there, but with the new regulations in place and with zoos, NGOs and government agencies working together to ensure Malaysia's zoos meet them, Malaysia could soon be leading the way in zoo animal welfare standards in the region and beyond.
The roundtable discussion was attended by representatives from Malaysian organisations: APE Malaysia, Malaysian Nature Society, Noah's Ark Ipoh, Sahabat Alam Malaysia, SPCA Penang, SPCA Selangor; PERHILITAN; Dr Reuben Sharma and Dr Sumita Sugnaseelan from Universiti Putra Malaysia together with International organisatio
Zoo's £30m Islands project roars ahead
Chester Zoo will begin work in 2013 on its tropical islands recreation and the UK's biggest indoor attraction - an Indonesian jungle house - after winning consent from Cheshire West & Chester Council.
The Islands project will occupy a previously unused 500,000 sq ft area of the zoo's estate.
The new attraction will feature a boat tour of habitats designed to imitate the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Bali, Sumatra, Sumba and Sulawesi. There will be educational exhibits, play areas, restaurants and village-style food stands.
The zoo will use Islands to show off its conservation activities as visitors navigate their way through mangroves, swamps, bamboo and tropical forests. Islands will include an Indonesian jungle house, which will be the largest indoor zoo exhibit in the UK and home to the orangutans, and retail and catering outlets.
The development will be home to animals and plants from south east Asian islands including banteng cattle and the Sunda-Gavial crocodile. Other animal species will include Sumatran tigers, orangutans, Indonesian rhinoceros hornbills, Sulawesi macaques and exotic birds such as the lorikeet.
It is expected that it will take visitors 90 minutes to make their journey.
Dr Mark Pilgrim, director general of Chester Zoo, said: "Islands will see the dawning of a new age for zoos and it will be an unparalleled experience. We will be transporting our visitors thousands of miles away to experience the splendour of the animals, plants and cultural aspects of far-flung places. It will be the first time a UK zoo has attempted anything on this scale and will confirm Chester Zoo's position as a world leader."
Planning consultancy Barton Willmore advises the zoo. Dan Mitchell, partner in Barton Willmore's Manchester office, said: "The Cheshire business community and local authorities support this scheme because they recognise its great significance and the boost it could give the local economy.
"It is fundamental to the region's tourism strategy and will attract millions of extra visitors to the region for years to come."
The project was designed by
Crushed Taronga Zoo elephant keeper Lucy Melo reveals her ordeal
THE pressure of being crushed against a bollard by a 1000kg Asian elephant drained Taronga Zoo keeper Lucy Melo's lungs of air so she couldn't order the animal away.
Ms Melo has spoken for the first time about the moment she was almost killed by Pathi Harn on October 19.
In a vivid account of the incident, the 40-year-old revealed the 2 1/2-year-old male's behaviour changed just a few days before she was crushed in the zoo's elephant enclosure.
Amazingly, despite her heart stopping for five minutes, she has apparently suffered no serious lasting injuries and only has to "wait for some fractured ribs to heal".
Ms Melo wrote in a blog posted on the zoo's website yesterday that Pathi Harn had been timid since his "miracle" birth - he was born two days after being pronounced dead in Porntip's womb and nicknamed Mr Shuffles for the way he walked - and was at the bottom of the herd hierarchy.
"He was much more cautious than our other calves and required a lot of reassurance and encouragement. He would even become anxious if a new toy was introduced to him," she wrote.
"Because of this he had low status in the herd and remained at the bottom of the hierarchy."
But keepers watched fascinated as Pathi Harn had recently become more confident and physical, trying to keep one of the zoo's mature females - Tang Mo, which was in heat - from leaving the elephants' water pool just a few days before Ms Melo was crushed.
"Pathi did not want her to leave, so he challenged her by blocking her exit from the pool, and actually managed to push her back in!" Ms Melo wrote.
"A couple of days later, after Pathi's daily bath, I was engaging Pathi in a training session in the barn.
"He was enjoying it as usual. As the session was coming to an end, I asked for one simple final behaviour. He offered me a slightly different behaviour than the one I had asked. I asked him again for the correct version.
"When he did not respond, I sensed a behavioural change in him and realised he was thinking of challenging me.
"I immediately tried to redirect his thoughts by asking him for a different behaviour and at the same time I was making my way out of the stall.
"Unfortunately, just as I was almost out, he raised his trunk and pinned me against one of the metal bollards. His trunk on
World's most expensive coffee tainted by 'horrific' civet abuse
Asian palm civets are force-fed a debilitating diet of coffee berries to create Kopi Luwak, say animal welfare groups
It's the world's most expensive coffee and is made from faeces, but connoisseur drinkers should feel most squeamish about the "horrific" abuse that mars its production process, animal welfare groups have claimed.
Kopi Luwak, or civet coffee, is created mainly in Indonesia from beans of coffee berries that are fed to Asian palm civets – small, cat-like creatures found in south-east Asia.
The brand has experienced a recent surge in popularity, fuelled in part by a memorable appearance in the 2007 film The Bucket List, pushing its export price up to $230 (£145) a pound.
Kopi Luwak has spread from Indonesia to the US and Europe, with a London outlet last year announcing that it will charge patrons £70 for a cup.
But its high-end pricing and idiosyncratic origin mask the grim reality of the coffee's production, which has morphed from a casual cottage industry for rural Indonesians to intensive farming.
The Guardian visited a coffee shop in Medan, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, where a female civet was kept in a cramped cage at the back of the premises. Her two young offspring were separated from her in a similarly small cage, with a further 20 cages hidden away from view on the shop's roof.
Animal welfare groups contend that growing numbers of such civet "farms" are emerging across south-east Asia, confining tens of thousands of animals to live in tiny cages and force-fed a debilitating diet. The Asian palm civet is common, but conservationists claim that related species are sometimes used which are under threat of extinction. The binturong, another cat-like species that is sometimes used to produce Kopi Luwak, is classed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's red list as "vulnerable".
The animals are almost exclusively fed coffee berries, which they then excrete. The enzymes in their stomach acid help produce a bean that is washed and roasted to create a coffee that has been lauded for its smooth, caramel-like taste.
"The conditions are awful, much like battery chickens," said Chris Shepherd, deputy regional director of the conservation NGO Traffic south-east Asia. "The civets are taken from the wild and have to endure horrific conditions. They fight to stay together but
Here We Talk About Tools and Crafts From The Amazon Rainforest
Training is key for wild animals, just like the family dog
Boo’s world turned upside down when Athena moved in last spring to share the large barn owl enclosure at the Akron Zoo. After getting a new roommate, the raptor, who had seemed happy splitting her digs with the male owl that died of old age, inexplicably became aggressive when zoo staff entered her habitat, said owl trainer Shannon Benedict of Stow.
“Whenever anyone goes in the cage, she starts shrieking and screaming so loudly you can hear her all over the zoo,” she explained. She asked nationally recognized animal behaviorist Dr. Grey Stafford for help to curb the owl’s obvious stress.
Stafford, author of the book Zoomility: Keeper Tales of Training with Positive Reinforcement, visited the zoo recently to conduct a behavior training seminar for the public and help staff members find solutions for stubborn behavior issues, said mammal curator Eric Albers of Twinsburg.
“It’s an opportunity for our staff members to talk to someone who’s been at it for 22 years,” Albers said.
When the group arrived at the barn owl habitat, they saw Boo quietly resting in a nest box while her nemesis, Athena, had claimed Boo’s favorite perch. Benedict acknowledged she hit a roadblock while trying to help the bird learn to cope with the newcomer.
“Are there any fights between the two?” Stafford asked.
Boo never confronts Athena, “just me,” Benedict said.
“Well, she’s taking it out on you,” Stafford told her.
Stafford suggested Benedict try feeding the bird frequently during the day so she would associate the food Benedict was giving her with positive feelings.
Eventually, the nocturnal hunter’s daytime world would begin to revolve around seeing Benedict, who represents food, and she would obsess less about her perceived territorial rights being violated, he said.
“When you leave, they should know the food leaves, too,” he said.
Stafford, who grew up in Cleveland, began his zoological career as a trainer at Sea World in Aurora. He said his methods work with all animals, including domestic cats.
“They are just like the big cats here — the lions and jaguars — when it comes to training.”
They are still felines, Albers reminded a visitor. “These guys
Laguna Phuket hails elephant probe result
Laguna Phuket this morning issued a statement welcoming the final resolution of the legality of the baby elephant Joey after a nine-month wait for DNA test results.
Ziya Birkan, Deputy Managing Director and Laguna Resorts & Hotels, said in the statement, “We’re very pleased the authorities have resolved the question of Joey’s parentage through DNA testing.
“Obviously [we are] disappointed he won’t be able to return here to his former role as a popular and much-loved member of our Laguna Phuket family.
“Joey was acquired by us in good faith after we carried out exhaustive due diligence, receiving written confirmations [that] he was legally registered and obtained through necessary regulations.
“Now that has been proven not to be the case, we hope the authorities will continue to use DNA testing to thoroughly investigate the legality of elephants.
“The wellbeing and welfare of our elephants at Laguna Phuket’s Elephant Camp is paramount to us. The Camp has been inspected
Bornean Elephant: Genomics Helps With Conservation
Studying the genetic variability of endangered species is becoming increasingly necessary for species conservation and monitoring. But, endangered species are difficult to observe and sample, and typically harbour very limited genetic diversity. Until now, the process of finding genetic markers was time consuming and quite expensive. These obstacles make the collection of genetic data from endangered animals a difficult task to fulfill. A research team led by Lounès Chikhi, group leader at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) and CNRS researcher (in Toulouse, France), has now contributed to change the
Pressure mounts on Manila Zoo to relieve ailing elephant’s suffering
More than 40 animal protection organizations from around the globe have added their names to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia’s call to transfer Mali — a 35-year-old solitary elephant suffering at the Manila Zoo — to a spacious sanctuary where she can enjoy the company of other elephants. The list includes such iconic names as the Earth Island Institute, Animals Asia, the Humane Society International, World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), the International Veterinary Society, and the European Elephant Group.
The following comments to various government officials come from just three of the 40-plus organizations:
•“Elephants are social animals, and female elephants stay in their herds for their entire lives. … The suffering that Mali endures on a daily basis is incomprehensible,” writes the Asia for Animals Coalition on behalf of 10 different organizations.
•Keeping a single female elephant in limited space in inadequate captive conditions is also severely damaging to the animal’s mental health,” the
Orangutan populations affected by demographic events – study
Bornean orangutans experienced a major demographic decline and local extirpation during the Pleistocene (2,558,000 to 12,000 years ago) and Holocene (from 12,000 years to the present) due to climate change, the arrival of modern humans, of farmers and recent commercially-driven habitat loss and fragmentation.
This is the main conclusion of a recent paper published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE by a team of scientists from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC, Portugal), the Anthropological Institute and Museum of the University of Zürich (Switzerland), the CNRS (France), Cardiff University (UK) and the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC, Sabah).
“The recent loss of habitat and its dramatic fragmentation has affected the patterns of genetic variability and differentiation among the remaining population of orangutans and increased the extinction risk of the most isolated ones,” said Dr Reeta Sharma from IGC, the lead author of the paper.
“We used orangutan samples collected in six different study sites in Sabah (Kinabatangan and Danum Valley) and Kalimantan and genetic markers to identify signals of population decline,” added Sharma.
Dr Benoit Goossens, director of DGFC and a co-author on the paper, said that the dating of the population decline varied across sites but was always within the 200-2,000 years period.
He said this suggests that in some sites at least, orangutan populations were affected by demographic events that started before the recent anthropogenic effects that occurred in Borneo.
“However, these results do not mean that the recent forest exploitation did not leave its genetic mark on orangutans but suggests that the genetic pool of orangutans is also impacted by more ancient events,” suggested Goossens.
According to him, the orangutan population in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is an example of a recent collapse due to anthropogenic pressure which culminated 50 years ago.
“The recent findings complement those published in 2006 by our team on the Kinabatangan population and underscore the need to expand the conservation measures that
Twin threats to orang utan
A RECENT scientific study has suggested that the dwindling numbers of orang utan in Borneo and the way the animal behaves have been affected by deforestation activities as well as pre-historic events like climate change.
In learning from the past, it highlighted the need to expand conservation measures to ensure no further drop in population.
The study was done by a team of scientists from various institutes in Portugal, Switzerland, France, Britain and Sabah's Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) between the years 2000 and 2012.
The paper, which used samples collected in six different study sites in Sabah and Kalimantan, was published in the journal PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science) last week.
The study found the Bornean orang utan experienced major changes and faced extinction since 2.5 million years ago due to climate change as well as the arrival of farmers. The recent threat comes from commercially-driven habitat loss and fragmentation.
DGFC director Dr Benoit Goossens, co-author of the paper, said these results did not mean that recent fores
Aquarium’s beluga hunt
In seven short years, Georgia Aquarium has become a global advocate for animals, and Atlantans are justifiably proud. A key aspect of Georgia Aquarium’s mission is to welcome the public to learn about animals they would never otherwise see, like beluga whales. An independent 2011 Harris interactive poll revealed that more than 90 percent of Americans support the work done by zoos and aquariums, particularly with regard to education and learning. Our commitment goes further: To ensure a future for belugas through conservation and research.
Beluga whales face climate change and other potentially devastating environmental issues. At Georgia Aquarium, we know it is vitally important that we act now on their behalf. To counteract these forces, our scientific knowledge of them must increase. Much of the research we need to do cannot be conducted in the wild.
We’re working to ensure a sustainable population of belugas in accredited North American facilities. Our success is measurable; of the current population, more than half were born in our care. However, our community now lacks the genetic diversity and age and sex distribution needed to sustain this population. If it is extinguished, we lose all opportunity to continue to care and learn about these incredible, graceful animals.
To overcome this dire situation, as part of the federal process mandated by Congress under the
Sea ice found critical for emperor penguins' foraging
Scientists worry about effects of climate change because birds travel a long ways
Motion detectors mounted on emperor penguins have revealed that sea ice plays a critical role in the birds' long food odyssey.
Emperor penguins rely on sea ice for breeding and feeding. Shifting patterns of sea ice due to changing climate in the Antarctic could alter the penguin's behavior and ecology, said study author Shinichi Watanabe, an animal ecologist and professor at Fukuyama University in Hiroshima, Japan.
The Antarctic sea ice hit a record maximum this year, but the sea ice distribution around the continent is changing, while the penguins nest in the same place every year.
"If penguins don't stay on the ice during foraging trips, they may not be able to sustain such long trips," Watanabe told OurAmazingPlanet.
March to the sea
The image of thousands of penguins shuffling across the frigid Antarctic ice was immortalized in the film "March of the Penguins." Female emperor penguins trek 30 to 75 miles (50 to 120 kilometers) each way during chick-rearing season to bring back food for their young.
Emperor penguins spend more time foraging than any other penguin species, Watanabe said. "Emperor penguins are a unique ecology, because they are the largest species of penguins and they have the biggest and largest chicks, so they have to bring (a lot of) food," he said. "Also, the distance between the breeding colony and the foraging site is very long, so they need more food."
The ice helps the penguins gorge on food by providing short, safe rest breaks between long dives, Watanabe and his colleagues found. The results, based on 10 penguins from a colony at Cape Washington in the Ross Sea, were published online Wednesday in the journal PLoS Biology.
The relationship between sea ice conditions and emperor penguins' foraging has been
Why Releasing Morgan would have Killed Her
Summary of conclusions:Auditory evoked potentials (AEP) were measured in four killer whales (Keto, Skyla, Tekoa, Mor-gan) at Loro Parque in order to test their hearing. The AEP is a voltage produced by the brain when an animal hears a sound. The same sound (a “click”) was played to all of the killer whales using a sound projector that was attached to the lower jaw with a suction cup. The procedure was conducted with the whales resting out of water. Under this condition, a stereotypical AEP was measured from all of the whales except for Morgan. The AEP was not observed in Morgan at the highest levels that could be transmitted by the sound projector. A similar procedure was performed with Morgan and three other whales (Keto, Skyla, and Victoria) in water. The sound was projected to the whales from an underwater projector while they floated at the surface. Again, the AEP was observed in Keto, Skyla, and Victoria. The AEP was not observed in Morgan, even at the highest levels that could be transmitted by the sound equipment. The absolute hearing loss in Morgan cannot be determined with these methods, but it is at least 30 dB worse than the other whales and may be as severe as complete deafness.Figure 2.- Results of AEP in airFigure 1.- Results of AEP in water