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  • Written by Tamás Veress
  • Category: Conservation
  • Hits: 5028

Cooperated Efforts to Save the Cotton-Top Tamarin

Cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) (photo: Damson)The cotton-top tamarin is one of the most endangered primates in the world. This Callithricid species lives in the northwestern part of Colombia in small and separated populations. An estimated 6.000 specimen lives in their native habitat, therefore the cotton-top tamarin is listed as a Critically Endangered species by the IUCN Red List. It is especially important to make great efforts to save this species – with the help of ex situ conservation, but especially in their natural habitats.

  • Written by Tamás Veress
  • Category: Conservation
  • Hits: 8285

European Zoos for Saving West-African Wildlife - A short overview of the work of WAPCA

Roloway monkey (Cercopithecus diana roloway) (source: Wikipedia)The Upper Guinean Rainforest, lying in the coastal region of West Africa, is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world. 1800 endemic plants, 49 endemic threatened amphibians, 31 endemic threatened birds and 35 endemic threatened mammal species live in the area. As only 15% of the Upper Guinean Rainforest remains, it is critical to protect this unique wildlife. This is the aim of the West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA), which was established by several European zoos, conservation organizations and individuals. WAPCA started work in Ghana in 2001 and in Ivory Coast in 2004. The main aim of the NGO is to preserve the native natural habitats of endangered primates.

The Upper Guinean Rainforest is a 350 km wide forested strip on the coastal region of West Africa in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Ghana. The western part of this ecosystem is the home of some endemic threatened mammals such as the zebra duiker (Cephalophus zebra), the Liberian mongoose (Liberiictis kuhni), the western black-and-white colobus (Colobus polykomos) and the Diana monkey (Cercopithecus diana). The Miss Waldron’s colobus (Procolobus badius waldroni), the white-naped mangabey (Cercocebus atys lunulatus) and the Roloway monkey (Cercopithecus diana roloway) lives in the eastern part of the Upper Guinean Rainforest.

  • Written by Tamás Veress
  • Category: Conservation
  • Hits: 11481

Saving the Rarest Cat – the Iberian Lynx

Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) (source: Wikipedia)Two endemic carnivorous species live in Europe: one is the European mink (Mustela lutreola) and the other is the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus). The Iberian lynx is the most endangered carnivorous species in Europe and the rarest feline species in the world. Thus this species is listed as critically endangered by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). The Iberian lynx were distributed throughout the whole Iberian Peninsula in the middle of the 19th century, but today only a small population survives in Central and Southwest Spain in the Sierra Morena, Montes de Toledo and Doñana National Park. There is no confirmed information regarding their occurrence in Portugal.

  • Written by Tamás Veress
  • Category: Conservation
  • Hits: 10800

Pere David’s Deer Free Again in China

Male Pere David's deer (photo: Damson)Modern zoos are often seen as present-day Noah’s Arks, due to the fact that their resources are mainly dedicated to saving endangered species from extinction. Several classic examples are known from the past where species owe their existence to zoos and wildlife parks. One of the most famous of such animals is the Pere David’s deer (Elaphurus davidianus), also known as milu. The species has been extinct for more than a hundred years in its original habitat, but thanks to captive breeding, Pere David’s deer can now be found in China again.

  • Written by Lajos Endrédi
  • Category: Conservation
  • Hits: 13644

A Real Success Story – How the Hungarian Meadow Viper Was Saved from Extinction

Hungarian meadow viper in Szeged Zoo (photo: elajos)While some conservationists oppose or at least debate the raison d'être of ex situ conservation, there are positive examples which show the effectiveness of cooperation with in situ methods. The great success of the Hungarian Meadow Viper LIFE-project is a good example for this. In addition, this conservation project works well with zoos, which makes it a good example of this kind of cooperation.

When the project started in 2004, there were only about 500 Hungarian meadow vipers (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis) in the wild, and the species was considered almost extinct. Their number - including the captive population - has quadrupled since then, thanks to the ex situ breeding, habitat reconstruction and repatriation. The European Union supported this program as a LIFE+ project. Many zoos in the region also support it with educational and awareness campaigns (Hungarian Meadow Viper Day), Budapest Zoo provides veterinarian help and visitors can meet these vipers in some zoos (actually in Budapest, in Vienna and in Szeged).

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