Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species

The Audubon Institute opened the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species (ACRES), located in New Orleans, LA, in June 1996. ACRES is a state-of-the-art science research facility focusing on the protecting and propagation of endangered wildlife. The Center provides research labs for reproduction study, molecular genetics and cryobiology as well as a computer-linked research information bank and resource library, a veterinary clinic, and an animal health and research center. ACRES will be headed by Dr. Betsy Dresser. Partial funding was provided by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and one of the center's leading laboratories is named after the late Mollie Beatty, former director of the FWS.

North American Faunal Interest Group Formed

A petition to form a North American Faunal Interest Group (NAFIG) has been approved by AZA's Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee. Based on the Faunal Interest Group (FIG) concept, which focus the AZA's conservation programs on biologically diverse areas of the world, NAFIG would emphasize conservation activities "in our own backyard." Specific NAFIG responsibilities would include promoting stewardship native North American ecosystems and fauna, providing a strategic planning forum for joint development of conservation programs, promoting alliances and facilitating cooperation among AZA institutions and state and federal agencies, and serving as an information clearing house.

Conservation Award Recipients Named

Recipients of AZA's conservation awards were announced at the AZA's 72nd Annual Conference held 16-21 September 1996 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The top Conservation Award went to Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois, for their "Lincoln Park Zoo Scott Neotropic Fund," which provides direct support to wildlife conservation in Latin America and, to date, has received a Significant Achievement Award in Conservation for their "Old World Fruit Bat" conservation program. The Foundation supports research in many areas including reproduction, ecology, conservation and clinical veterinary medicine as well as field research on endangered species in the Philippines, New Guinea and Malaysia. A National Conservation Award was presented to the Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society for their reintroduction of black howler monkeys establishing a viable population in this region. The National Aquarium in Baltimore also received a National Conservation Award for their "Project ReefAction" conservation program, a multifaceted, holistic conservation program designed to raise public awareness about the importance and plight of coral reefs.

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