banneresupdate.jpg (18636 bytes)


Buttonshorizontal.jpg (10825 bytes)

News from the Zoos

Conservation Grant Aids Snow Leopard
Woodland Park Zoo held a press conference on 24 August to announce a conservation grant that its Zoological Society is awarding to the International Snow Leopard Trust (ISLT). The $65,000 grant will bolster conservation efforts throughout 12 countries in Asia, where wild populations may be as low as 4,000 due to black market demands and human encroachment. The grant will not only help stabilize the ISLT, but also generate community-based projects and snow leopard field research. In addition, the zoo has created a conservation station at their snow leopard exhibit, highlighting the history and fieldwork for the ISLT, and their collaboration with the zoo on conservation programs and initiatives. The station will also provide visitors an opportunity to contribute to the snow leopard’s preservation.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Allies with Whole Foods, Bon Appetit to Promote Sustainable Seafood
The Monterey Bay Aquarium has allied with two major commercial partners in time for October's National Seafood Month, aiming to raise consumer awareness about a critical conservation issue: the seafood buying decisions we make as individuals have a profound effect on the health of ocean wildlife. Beginning October 20, all 16 Whole Foods markets in Northern California and Washington will distribute the aquarium's "Seafood Watch” consumer buying guides at their seafood departments. The stores will also highlight "Seafood Watch Best Choices" with signs inside seafood display cases to alert consumers that selected species are rated by the aquarium as coming from well-managed sources. In a second partnership, Bon Appetit Management Co., which operates corporate and educational food services at 150 locations nationwide, has adopted "Seafood Watch" guidelines for all of its menus. In addition to the aquarium, Bon Appetit’s blue-chip client list includes Cisco Sytems, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Netscape, Exxon USA headquar-ters, Dayton Hudson corporate headquarters, The Getty Center in Los Angeles, Stanford University, Georgetown University Law School, Loyola University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania. The aquarium launched "Seafood Watch" in October 1999 in response to its growing concern that rising consumer demand for seafood was seriously damaging the health of ocean ecosystems and ocean wildlife populations. "Fisheries conservation is among the most important marine conservation issues today," said aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard. "It's an environmental problem whose solution is in people's hands every time they buy seafood. Through 'Seafood Watch,' we want to give people the information they need to make wise choices when they shop." Increased consumer demand for seafood and the growth of destructive fishing practices have had a disastrous effect on the health of the oceans. Today, 11 of the world's 15 most important fishing areas - and nearly 70% of the world’s fisheries - are either fully fished or overfished. Perhaps 30 million tons of fish, sharks and seabirds die each year as "wasted catch" - animals caught accidentally and discarded, dead or dying. Fish-farming, or aquaculture, has its own set of problems, including pollution, spread of disease to wild populations and the destructive conversion of coastal wetlands into commercial fish farms. "At Bon Appetit, we believe it's possible to have healthy oceans and to keep seafood in our diet," said company co-founder and CEO Fedele Bauccio. "That’s why we're proud to partner with the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program."

Brevard Zoo Works to Conserve Rare Parrot
The Brevard Zoo and the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation (RSCF) joined forces to help renovate the only psittacine avairy on the Caribbean island of Dominica, home to one of the Imperial Amazon (Amazona imperialis). The Imperial Amazon (known locally as the Sisserou) is Dominica's national bird, and the aviary houses the only captive pair in the world. The bird is the focus of an intense conservation program managed by Dominica's Forestry and Wildlife Division and that works in partnership with the U.S.-based Rare Species Conservatory Foundation. Brevard Zoo's Curator of Exhibits David Mannes, and his son Eric, accompanied RSCF staff to the island, spending 10 days stripping, painting, re-wiring and landscaping the aviary, located in the capital city of Roseau. The aviary is part of Dominica's Parrot Conservation and Research Centre (PCRC). Brevard Zoo has also supplied interpretive signs for the PCRC, which is available by limited access to the public. It is estimated that less than 250 Imperial Amazons remain in the forest of Dominica and only two active nest sites have been discovered in the past 10 years. The Morne Diablotin mountain range is the only known nesting area and site monitoring and population assessment are extremely difficult due to the rugged terrain. Imperials prefer to nest in cavities formed in old-growth rainforest trees, some of which reach over 250 feet in height.

Do you want to know more about the status of endangered species? buttonsubscription.jpg (2070 bytes)