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see - Central Zoo Authority
A
ex-situ
updates
CZA
A Quarterly Newsletter of the Central Zoo Authority
Central Zoo Authority
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July 2012 (Volume 1, Issue 2)
CZA
1
Editorial Board
Chief Patron
Jayanthi Natarajan
Minister of State (I/C)
Ministry of Environment &
Forests
& Chairperson, CZA
Government of India
Chief Advisor
Jagdish Kishwan
Additional Director General
of Forests (Wildlife), Ministry
of Environment and Forests
Government of India
Editor in Chief
B.S Bonal
Member Secretary, CZA
Editorial Technical
Dr. Brij Kishor Gupta Evaluation & Monitoring
Officer, CZA
Editorial Coordinator
Dr. Naim Akhtar
Scientific Officer, CZA
Editorial Consultants
Himanshu Malhotra
& Sabina Kidwai
Contents
Rescue and Rehabilitation of
Wild Animals
Veterinary Care of Animals in
Zoos
Standardisation of Record Keeping
in Zoos
Ex-situ & In-situ linkages:
Conservation of the Red Panda
Zoo News
Global News
CZA News
Partner Institutions
Cover photograph
Photo credit: Dr Vibhu Prakash
The Long Billed Vulture or the Indian Vulture (Gyps indicus) is
listed as critically endangered by IUCN Red list and also listed
Protected in Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972.
It is a typical vulture, with a bald head, very broad wings and
short tail feathers. The species breeds mainly on cliffs, but is
known to use trees to nest. Like other vultures it is a scavenger,
feeding mostly from carcasses of dead animals. The Central
Zoo Authority supports the Vulture Conservation Breeding
programme to breed these vultures at the Vulture Conservation
Breeding Centre at Pinjore in Haryana
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the articles are the personal
views of the authors
2
School of Planning and Architecture
Policy, Rules and Guidelines
of Central Zoo Authority
FROM THE DESK OF
MEMBER SECRETARY
The 26th meeting of the Central Zoo Authority was held on 20th March 2012. The
maiden issue of ex-situ updates was released by the Hon’ble Minister of State
(IC), Environment & Forests, Government of India, Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, the
Chairperson of the CZA, along with another publication of the CZA “Protocols on
Transportation of Wild Animals”. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) to
be signed between the CZA and Leipzig Zoo, Germany for cooperation between
zoos was also approved in principle at the aforesaid 26th meeting.
This, second issue of the quarterly ex-situ updates seeks to focus on the
importance of rescue and rehabilitation, conservation breeding of wild animals
and veterinary care in zoos. India’s wildlife is today facing increasing pressures
due to developmental activities as well as natural calamities, and this often leads
to animals being displaced, injured or stranded. Rescue and rehabilitation centres
are the need of the hour to ensure that wild animals which are rescued are nursed
and if possible eventually released back in the wild. The National Zoo Policy, 1998
emphasized on the point that zoos must act as rescue centres for displaced or
orphan animals. Each state should have a rescue centre to deal with rescued
wild animal species as well as facilities to deal with animals not fit for display in
a zoo.
Veterinary care of animals in zoos should not be confined to treatment of sick
animals by veterinarians. It should be an indispensable, regular and specialized
function which supports the sustained health of zoo animals at several levels.
A proper diet and veterinary care are essential for the conservation breeding
of any species. The achievements of the Red Panda project at Padmaja Naidu
Himalayan Zoological Park, Darjeeling are a clear indication of what scientific
management and veterinary care can contribute to animals in captivity under the
Conservation Breeding Programme.
The CZA endeavours to bring a scientific approach into zoo management and
has organized workshops that emphasize outreach for zoo educators and zoo
designing and landscaping with immersion enrichment of enclosures for architects.
Playing its important role in conservation of endangered species, the CZA
sponsored a symposium, “Developing a Regional Response to the Conservation
of South Asia’s Critically Endangered Vulture Species”, in collaboration with
the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun and the IUCN at Delhi on 3 and 4 May
2012. The Regional Declaration on the Conservation of South Asia’s Critically
Endangered Vulture Species was adopted at the symposium after deliberation.
As follow up action, the first meeting of the Regional Steering Committee was
held on 5 May 2012, and a consensus was reached on the terms of reference and
composition of the Regional Steering Committee.
Standardized data collection in zoos for better management can be
through the use of software such as ARKS and now ZIMS 2012. The
Secretary, being a member of the Board of Trustees of International
Information System (ISIS), emphasized the need for proper Record
through the use of ISIS software.
ensured
Member
Species
Keeping
1. Guidelines for prioritizing grant
of financial assistance to zoos
2. Guidelines/ norms for
maintenance of rescue centre
housing rescued animals of
circuses
3. Guidelines for utilization of
volunteers in zoo management
in India
4. Guidelines for grant of approval
by the Central Zoo Authority for
establishment of new zoo under
section 38H (1A) of the Wild Life
(Protection) Act, 1972
5. Guidelines of the Central Zoo
Authority for facilitating effective
and Scientific Management of Zoos in India
6. Guidelines on animal housing,
upkeep, hygiene and healthcare
7. Guidelines on tranquilization of
animals in zoos
8. Guidelines on post-mortem and
disposal off carcasses
9. Guidelines on euthanasia of a
zoo animal
10. Guidelines on recordkeeping
11. Guidelines on safeguards
against animals escaping from
the animal enclosures/zoo
12. Guidelines on release of zoo
animals into the wild
13. Guidelines on Research
activities in zoos
14. Guidelines on use of innovative
exhibit design and barriers for
holding and display of animals
and birds
(B.S Bonal)
1
Himalayan Black Bear at a Rescue Centre
ascertain the setting up of rescue
facilities in off-the-display areas of
the zoo, subject to the availability of
land”. According to the Recognition
of Zoo Rules, 2009, the term “Rescue
Centre” means an establishment for
the long-term care of the animals
specified in the schedules of the act.
The Central Zoo Authority, in its
guidelines for scientific management
of zoos has also clearly stated that
the State Government should have
a rescue centre to deal with rescued
wild animal species and orphaned,
infirm captive animals not fit for
display in the area/locality/ecosystem
where the rescue centre is located:
Rescue and Rehabilitation
of Wild Animals
Photo credit: Brij Kishor Gupta
-B.S. Bonal and Brij Kishor Gupta
India’s wildlife is facing increasing
pressures due to developmental
activities such as agriculture, grazing
and expansion of human habitations.
Natural calamities such as forest fires, floods and cyclones have compounded
the problems, hindering movement to
safer habitats. Animals succumb to
such changes and pressures or get
displaced, injured or stranded. Many
such animals eventually end up either
in over-crowded zoos or in the hands
of untrained personnel. Though some
species are able to adapt to these
changes, a vast majority succumb to
the pressures. Often animals tend to
stray out of their diminishing habitats in
search of food or shelter, into villages
adjoining forests or sometimes into
urban areas away from the forests.
The general practice has been to place
rescued animals in over-crowded zoos
or ill-equipped animal care centres.
There is increasing public opinion to
see the return of these rescued wild
2
animals to their natural habitat instead
of their being deposited in zoos. The
reputation of zoos gets tarnished when
rescued animals, for want of space, are
housed in substandard enclosures.
With many of India’s endangered
species being found in discrete,
fragmented populations, every loss
means a further reduction of the
effective population size. Rehabilitation
is a wildlife management tool which, if
strategically used, can significantly
contribute to the conservation of
endangered species.
The National Zoo Policy, 1998, while
laying the objectives to be achieved by
zoos, has clearly stated that “the zoos
shall continue to function as rescue
centres for orphaned wild animals,
subject to the availability of appropriate
housing and upkeep infrastructure.
Where appropriate housing and upkeep
is not available, the State Government
and the Central Government would
1. All rescued sick or injured wild
animals should be rehabilitated back
in the wild or in a regular lifetime care
facility/zoo/rescue centre within 30
days of treatment/healing depending
upon the condition/suitability of the
individuals.
2. All seized wild animals should also
be rehabilitated back in the wild or in a
regular lifetime care facility/zoo/rescue
centre, depending upon the condition/
suitability of the individuals, within 30
days of the seizure after getting the
permission of the court dealing with
the case.
3. All rescued/abandoned young
wild animals should only be
reared in nurseries attached to
the veterinary facilities/hospitals of
recognized
zoos/rescue
centres.
4. Animals of wild origin shall be
treated as precious commodities.
Such animals shall not be permitted to
stagnate at rescue centres/mini zoos.
The Central Zoo Authority has granted
recognition to the 17 rescue and
rehabilitation centres listed below
for housing wild animals received
orphaned, blind, sick or injured or
rescued from natural calamities such
as floods and cyclones for a certain
period, subject to the condition that
each rescue centre shall comply with the
standards and norms laid down under
the Recognition of Zoo Rules, 2009.
List of recognised Rescue Centres
S. No.
Name of Rescue Centre and location
Species Housed
Year of
Establishment
1.
Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, Tutikandi, Himachal
Pradesh
Birds & Mammals
1958
2.
Amtes Animal Ark, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra
Birds, mammlas & reptiles
1974
3.
Nehru Pheasantry, Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Phesants & Mammals
1984
4.
Nature Park at Taratola Road, Kolkata, West Bengal
Mammals
1984
5.
PUGMARKS – People for Animals Santiniketan Rescue
Centre, Santiniketan, West Benga
Birds & Mammals
1995
6.
Visakha Society for Protection and Care of Animals,
Vishakhapatnam. Andhra Pradesh
Birds & Mammals
1996
7.
Hanuman Vatika, Sultanpur, Gurgaon, Haryana
Rhesus macaques, Common
langur and Bonnet macaques
1998
8.
Wildlife Rescue Centre, Gurgaon, Haryana
Birds & Mammals
1998
9.
Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilittaion Home, Bangalore,
Karnataka
Birds & Mammals
1999
10.
People for Animals Rescue Centre, Bangalore, Karnataka
Birds & Mammals
1999
11.
Agra Bear Rescue Facility, Keetham, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Sloth bear
1999
12.
Karuna Society for Animals and Nature,
Puttparthy, Andhra Pradesh
Mostly herbivores, Sloth bear
and birds
2000
13.
Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre, Pinjore, Haryana
Vultures (White backed, Slender
billed & Long-billed)
2001
14.
Centre for Bear Rehabilitation and Conservation, Seijosa,
Arunachal Pradesh
Asiatic black bear
2002
15.
Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation,
Golaghat, Assam
One-horned rhinoceros, Indian
elephant & other wildlife
2002
16.
Leopard Rescue Centre, Manikdoh, Maharashtra
Common leopard
2004
17.
People for Animals Shelter House, Wardha, Maharashtra
Birds & Mammals
2008
Rescue centres which were found
to be not functioning according to
the provisions of the Recognition of
Zoo Rules, 2009 were de-recognized
and closed. The rescue centre at
Meham, Haryana was one such
facility, and it was closed in 2011.
Rescued Star Tortoises from Indonesia
Photo credit: Wildlife Trust of India
Today, such rescue and rehabilitation
centres are distributed all over the
country and are maintained by
non-governmental
organizations,
individuals,
societies,
trusts,
forest departments and municipal
corporations.
However
prior
permission must be obtained from
the Central Zoo Authority and the
Hon’ble Supreme Court to establish
and manage new rescue centres
for providing life time care for wild
animals. Rescue centres provide
animals all care under the supervision
of the expert veterinarians and wildlife
biologists working with them. These
3
experts are responsible for ensuring
that the natural diet of the animals is
provided, that they are screened for
diseases and that they are medicated
for any illnesses. These animals are
quarantined and maintained under
supervision for the first 30 days in
isolation areas located away from the
existing animal enclosures. Newly
arrived animals are kept in isolation
to avoid transmitting any infection that
they may be carrying to other inmates.
Once a veterinarian is sure that an
animal has recovered from shock or
injury and has found it to be medically
and physically fit, the animal must be
released back in its natural habitat,
following the procedure prescribed
by the Government and the IUCN
(International Union for Conservation
of Nature) for rehabilitation of wild
animals. Animals may be found to
physically unfit for release into the wild
because they are blind or have lost a
limb or, in the case of birds, have lost
a wing and thus may not survive in the
wild if released. Thus such animals
are housed in large, naturalistic offexhibit enclosures for life time care.
Photo credit: Brij Kishor Gupta
time care facilities at seven places
established
by the CZA, Ministry
of Environment & Forests in the
off-exhibit areas of Indira Gandhi
Zoological Park, Vishakhapatnam,
Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park,
Tirupati, Arignar Anna Zoological Park,
Vandalur,
Chennai,
Bannerghatta
Biological Park, Bangalore, Nahargarh
Biological Park at Jaipur, Van Vihar
National Park, Zoo, Bhopal and South
Khairabari Rescue and Rehabilitation
Centre, Cooch Behar District, West
Bengal during the year 2000-2001.
The animals are housed in large,
naturalistic enclosures. All veterinary
care has been provided to all the
animals. Today 202 lions and 42 tigers
are surviving in various rescue centres
The Central Zoo Authority
has
facilitated the rescue and rehabilitation
of animals seized from Indian and
international
traders
by
CITES
There are rescue centres established
for animals received from circuses
too. The exhibition of five species,
namely the lion, tiger, bear, panther
and monkey, by circuses was banned
in 1998 by the Ministry of Social
Justice and Empowerment. More than
400 lions and tigers held by circuses
were rescued and rehabilitated in life
Details of the animals rescued from the circuses
S.No
Particulars
Lion
Tiger
Leopard
Bear
Monkey
Total
No.of
circuses/zoos
from which
animals were
received
1.
Animals rescued
from circuses
334
87
4
12
20
457
39
2.
Animals recieved
through zoos
43
9
7
25
0
84
11
3.
Animals that died
in rescue centres
175
50
2
4
1
232
-
4.
Animals shifted to
bear rescue centres/
lion tiger safaris
-
4
8
24
16
-
-
5.
Animals presently
at rescue centres
202
42
1
9
3
257
Total=50
4
authorities, the Wildlife Crime Control
Bureau and enforcement agencies. In
one episode, around 1830 star tortoises
were seized by CITES authorities in
Singapore during 2002-2003. Upon
seizure, the consignment was flown
back to India. Thereafter the tortoises
were quarantined at Nehru Zoological
Park, Hyderabad and released back
in the wild on 15 November 2003 after
their range (origin) was determined
through DNA mapping, conducted
at the Laboratory for Conservation of
Endangered Species (LaCONES) of
the Centre for Cellular and Molecular
Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad. In an
another episode, more than 600 star
tortoises seized by the Government of
Malaysia were brought back to India by
the wildlife enforcement agencies and
maintained at Arignar Anna Zoological
Park, Vandalur, Chennai. Later the
animals were released back in the wild.
In 2011, the Deputy Director, Wildlife
Crime Control Bureau,
Southern
Region,
Chennai
received
a
consignment of 599 star tortoises from
Indonesia. More than 150 of these
died due to retained yolk sacks. The
remaining animals are housed now at
Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur
in the off–exhibit area. The animals are
undergoing treatment. Details of their
rehabilitation in the wild are being
worked out in collaboration with the
Wildlife Trust of India, Noida. Genetic
testing of these animals is under way
at LaCONES, Hyderabad. The site for
their release is being identified by the
officials of the Forest Department of
Tamil Nadu, officials of Arignar Anna
Zoological Park, Vandalur and the
Wildlife Trust of India.
These rescue centres and rehabilitation
centres not only achieve the objective
of animal welfare and well-being
but also provide opportunities for
studying their behaviour and biology.
They also convey the message
among the general public of how to
rescue wild animals, whom to inform
and how to take care of the animals.
∼
The authors are Member Secretary, CZA, and
Evaluation & Monitoring Officer, CZA
animals, primarily because they are
completely dependent upon man and
secondarily due to the introduction of
exotic species into compounds having
indigenous species. Further, the stress
of captivity predisposes animals to
different kinds of disease. Veterinary
care of animals in zoos should not
be confined to the treatment of sick
animals by veterinarians from the
state animal husbandry department
or a private practitioner. It is an
indispensable, regular and specialized
function which supports the sustained
health of zoo animals at several levels:
Photo credit: IVRI
Health check up of a Elephant by IVRI team
- M C Sharma,
A K Sharma,
M Saini & Asit Das
Veterinary Care of Animals
in Zoos
The
prime objectives of
keeping wild animals in
captivity are education and
supporting conservation by
breeding species threatened
in the wild. A zoo is a place
where animals mostly spend
their entire lives in manmade surroundings and
environments. It is a great
challenge to zoo authorities
to keep the animals happy
and healthy. A zoo is a
confined habitat for many
species of animals that
require large areas for their
physiological requirements.
Hence, at times, they may
suffer from a lack of exercise
and an inability to display
normal preying behavior.
In zoos, veterinarians, by
virtue of their formal training
in comparative medicine
and population medicine,
are well positioned to look
after the animals’ health.
Factors such as improper housing
(lack of natural light, lack of ventilation,
dampness and insufficient space),
sanitation (cleanliness, and removal
and disposal of excretion and left over
food), a lack of food or overfeeding,
the rodent menace, mixing of rescued
animals with the parent stock without
providing a sufficient quarantine
period or a health check-up and of
course a close approach of visitors
to the animals may be responsible for
many type of diseases, both infectious
and non-infectious, including zoonotic
ones. In zoos, veterinarians, by virtue
of their formal training in comparative
medicine and population medicine, are
well positioned to look after the animals’
health. Zoo keepers often develop
an understanding of their animals
and relate any behavioral change to
their physical state. In the natural wild
condition, diseases act as a density
dependent population regulation factor
and as such cause no threat. However,
the ever-increasing human population
and the consequent increased contact
between man and animal has caused
the emergence of newer diseases
and has caused endemic/epidemic
problems to both man and animals.
The situation is even worse in zoo
Prophylactic: Prophylaxis is minimising
the factors which make an animal
sick and spread a disease to healthy
animals. The practice of prophylaxis
requires a deep understanding of
disease causing organisms, their
mode of transmission to susceptible
hosts and carrier or vector animals and
how animals could be made strong
enough to fight the disease causing
organisms. It includes proper hygiene
and sanitation within and around the
animal enclosures, developing dietary
schedules for different species of wild
animal to provide them balanced and
economic food, monitoring regularly
the health (recording blood parameters,
examining
faeces
for
parasitic
infestations and physical examination
for general health) of a few animals
randomly selected for each species and
regular de-worming and vaccination
against commonly occurring bacterial
and viral diseases. A chart has to be
prepared for the schedule of these
activities and has to be followed strictly.
Therapeutic: In the event of an animal
falling sick, it should be examined
physically and clinically. If some disease
of a infectious nature is suspected, the
sick animal(s) should be segregated in
an isolated enclosure. Clinical materials
such as blood, urine, faeces and nasal
swabs or any discharges from natural
orifices should be collected in suitable
containers with proper fixatives and
transported to a specialised laboratory
for diagnosis. In the meantime, the sick
animal should be provided appropriate
symptomatic treatment including life
saving interventions based on a clinical
diagnosis. When handling the ailing
5
animal, appropriate human safety
measures (use of gloves, masks, gum
boots and aprons) must be taken.
Suitable disinfectants should be used
for washing hands before and after
a sick animal is handled. Attendants
working in enclosures of sick animals
should not be allowed to work with
healthy animals. Minimise the physical
stress caused to sick animals. If
tranquilization is needed to restrain
an animal, the dose of the chosen
drug should be selected considering
the physical status of the animal.
Post-mortem: A dead animal should
be removed from its enclosure
after all the natural orifices are
plugged to avoid contamination of
the surroundings. Soil or bedding
contaminated with discharges should
be incinerated. The animal should be
subjected to a necropsy by a panel
of veterinarians as early as possible.
Systematic and thorough postmortem examination is very crucial
for arriving at a correct diagnosis.
If needed, suitable morbid materials
for
bacteriological,
virological,
parasitological,
toxicological
and
histopathological examinations, as the
case may be, should be collected in
suitable fixatives/transport media and
sent to a laboratory for investigation.
Representative tissue pieces no more
than 0.5 cm thick should be collected
from the organs exhibiting gross
pathological alterations or from the
organs/systems exhibiting clinical
manifestations prior to death in wide
mouth screw cap containers in 10%
buffered formalin (10-15 times the
volume of tissue to be fixed). Faulty
collection of morbid samples with an
improper fixative will make the material
unfit for laboratory investigations.
Action has to be taken very quickly
if, on post-mortem examination,
the disease is suspected to be of a
contagious nature. Gross lesions
found on necropsy should always
be photographed for seeking expert
opinion later. The carcase should
be disposed of by incineration in the
presence of the panel of veterinarians
who conducted the post-mortem.
Tranquilization of the animals: Zoo
6
Treatment of a Vulture
Photo credit: IVRI
animals are frequently transported
across various parts of the country
under the close supervision of
veterinarians. Such operations may
warrant even tranquilization of animals.
Sometime, certain rescue operations
involving carnivore species such as the
leopard or tiger are to be carried out
wherein an animal must be tranquilized.
Even for minor procedures, herbivores
such as deer have to be tranquilized.
The choice of sedative drug and its
antagonists, as well as the dosage,
has to be decided by veterinarians.
The CZA has developed protocols
for the transport of wild animals.
Human safety: Veterinarians and
zoo Keepers work in close contact
with wild animals. The incidence of
tuberculosis, leptospirosis and rabies
is quite common in wild animals.
These diseases are of a zoonotic
nature and can be transmitted from
animals to humans working with
them. From the point of view of human
safety, veterinarians and zoo keepers/
attendants need to be regularly
vaccinated against these diseases,
and their health should be monitored
at regular intervals.
The Indian Veterinary Research
Institute, the premier institute of
Veterinary science, has contributed
immensely to different aspects
of
wildlife
management.The
National Referral Centre on Wildlife
Conservation, Management
and
Disease Surveillance, established
by the CZA at the IVRI, has been
providing diagnostic, therapeutic and
consultancy services to zoos as and
when requested and organizing short
term training programmes for zoo
personnel. and the National Referral
Centre has also been conducting
the National Diploma Course on Zoo
and Wild Animals. It has world class
laboratories and expertise, including
in molecular biology, for rapid DNA
based diagnosis of infectious diseases.
The team of scientists at the IVRI
has already developed “Standards,
Guidelines and Protocol on Disease
Diagnosis and Cure of Wild Animals
in Indian Zoos”, which are available
in zoos for reference and have been
uploaded to the CZA website, i.e. www.
cza.nic.in. Providing veterinary care to
zoo animals is challenging, and once
veterinarians gain experience in wildlife
medicine, they become important
national human resources for the care
and management of animal health in
Indian zoos.
∼
The authors are scientists at IVRI, Izatnagar,
Bareilly
Standardization of
Record Keeping in Zoos
-Moin Ahmed and Naim Akhtar
More than 39 years ago, when zoos
and aquariums were not organized
and electronic data recording was not
prevalent even in governments, two
individuals (Drs. Ulysses Seal and
Dale Makey) thought of and proposed
the International Species Information
System (ISIS) as an international
database to help zoos and aquariums
accomplish long-term conservation
management goals. Their aim was
to help conservation management
and benefit the cause beyond
political boundaries. The tangible
form of this dream is an international
association of zoos and aquariums,
now known as ISIS, a non-profit
organization that provides standard
zoological data collection and sharing
software to more than 800 zoos,
aquariums and related conservation
organizations
in
83
countries.
India shows its solidarity with ISIS by
joining its cause with a strength of
61 institutions, which is far beyond
the average. There are more than
800 member institutions among 83
countries in all. The CZA signed an MoU
with ISIS to sponsor 57 major zoos and
4 institutions for providing its software
for a period of 5 years initially. The then
Member Secretary Dr. Brij Raj Sharma
was instrumental in signing the MoU
with ISIS for using its software in India,
and its promotion is being continued by
his successor, Mr. B.S. Bonal, and his
colleagues Dr. Naim Akhtar and Dr. Brij
Kishor Gupta. Being a member of the
Board of the Trustee of ISIS, Mr. B.S.
Bonal attended its meetings, held at
Glands (Switzerland), Koln (Germany)
and
Buenos
Aires
(Argentina).
ISIS members form a powerful
global network stretching across six
continents, committed to the exchange
of mutually beneficial information that
helps members learn and achieve
best practices of recordkeeping and
realize their business and conservation
goals. Every zoo, aquarium
and
wildlife-holding
organization
that
is part of the global conservation
movement could derive benefits as
an ISIS member. Therefore, ISIS
and CZA are serious about using
standardized record keeping software
such as ARKS, SPARKS and ZIMS.
Association (WAZA) in the World Zoo
and Aquarium Conservation Strategy.
There
are
several
stories
of
conservation programs. Some have
succeeded; others have failed. To
succeed, we must monitor results in
order to manage species in captivity;
maintain readily available, current
information on the animals and their
populations; and collect data every day.
The benefits of using ISIS software or
keeping records electronically are the
following:
• Information is entered once and
used many times.
• Electronic files are easier to find,
saving time and effort.
• In addition, charts and printouts of
a collection’s inventories can be
generated in minutes.
1. ARKS, or “Animal Records
Keeping
System”,
lets
members
contribute
information
and
generate
reports from the database.
More than 800 zoos and aquariums use
ISIS software and a pooled database
for the following purposes:
• Managing their animal inventories.
• Controlling
the
genetic
and
demographic makeup of their animal
collections.
• Identifying
institutions
seeking
animals.
• Finding appropriate unrelated new
animals for breeding purposes.
• Discovering facilities with experience
in breeding and raising certain
offspring.
• Creating reports for personal and
official use.
ISIS: Software
ISIS software has been recognized
as the world-standard practice in
zoological record keeping. ISIS
records are accepted and preferred by
international regulatory bodies such as
CITES. The use of ISIS recordkeeping
systems is strongly recommended
by the World Zoo and Aquarium
Several regional zoo and aquarium
associations seek ISIS membership
for their members. ISIS membership
is required to seek membership in
the European Association of Zoos &
Aquaria (EAZA). In North America,
98% of the institutions belonging
to the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (AZA) are ISIS members.
ISIS accomplishes this mainly using
the following software.
2. MedARKS, or “Medical Animal
Records Keeping System”, is
distributed upon request to
ISIS members, and it supports
the keeping and collection of
veterinary medical records.
3. SPARKS, or “Single Population
Analysis & Records Keeping
System”, supports studbook
management and species
analysis and is meant for
use by studbook keepers.
4. ZIMS,
or
“Zoological
Information
Management
System”, is the next generation
ISIS software, being delivered
in stages since March 2010.
The ZIMS application is the
world’s first real-time, unified
global database of animals
in zoos and aquariums. The
ZIMS system will have the core
animal inventory functionality
needed by zoos and aquariums
initially. Future releases will
include information needed by
veterinarians, studbook keepers
and advanced functionality.
∼
The authors are Regional Coordinator, ISIS
and Scientific Officer, CZA
7
estimated according to guidelines
issued by the CZA. The estimate of
the population will be the basis of the
PHVA of the species later on this year.
The population estimation depends
greatly on, apart from direct sightings,
scats, which are being collected in a
two phase operation and are being
sent to CCMB, Hyderabad, for analysis
up to the individual level. The data from
the scats will also be used to determine
the sex ratio.
Ex-situ & In-situ Linkages:
Conservation of Red Panda
Red Panda at PNHZP
Photo credit: PNHZP, Darjeeling
- Alankar K. Jha
West Bengal (WB) is unique in that it
has a range of ecosystems from alpine
to marine systems. The percentage
of West Bengal fauna vis-à-vis the
Indian fauna varies from 10% to 48%
in various phyla. The most impressive
statistic about WB is that this state,
occupying only 2.7% of the total area of
India, has more than 47% (176 species
out of 372) of the mammalian faunal
species. The region with the highest
faunal diversity in the state appears to
be the Darjeeling Himalayan region.
The most important of the mammalian
species is the Red Panda. The Red
Panda (Ailurus fulgens) is a small
mammal of the Himalaya, almost the
size of a Jungle Cat (head and body
length 51-64 cm; tail 28-48 cm), with
a bright chestnut coat and ringed tail.
It is distributed in the Himalaya from
Central Nepal through northern Burma
and in the mountains of southwestern
China (Sichuan, Yunnan, and Xizang
provinces) in the altitudinal range
between 4,900 and 13,000 feet.
Not much information was available
on the exact population of the Red
Panda in the wild in India till recently.
Rated as very rare, the Red Panda
8
The Red Panda lives at altitudes
between 2,200 and 4,800m
(7,200 and 15,700 ft), inhabiting
areas of moderate temperatures
(between 10°C and 25°C/50°F
and 77°F) with little annual
change. It prefers mountainous
mixed deciduous and conifer
forests, especially those with old
trees and dense understories of
bamboo. The IUCN estimates
that fewer than 2500 mature
individuals survive in the world.
has been found in Singalila National
Park and Neora Valley National Park
in Darjeeling, West Bengal, in the
Singhik, Chunthang, Menshithang,
Lachen, Yaksum and Lachung areas
of Sikkim, and in Mehao Wildlife
Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh. A
small population of 78 animals exists
ine Singalila National Park, Darjeeling
(Govt. of West Bengal 2000 census).
The neighboring countries of Nepal and
Bhutan are supposed to have sizable
populations of the Red Panda in their
forests. The population of Red Pandas,
along with other parameters, is being
The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan
Zoological Park (PNHZP), Darjeeling,
a member of WAZA, is situated at a
location called Birch Hill in a virgin
patch of forest. It is the only zoo
having a stock of Red Pandas drawn
from all parts of the animal’s natural
range. At present about 85 zoos in
the world hold more than 300 Red
Pandas, and in the last two decades
more than 300 Red Pandas have been
born in zoos. Virtually all zoos with Red
Pandas participate in a management
program designed to ensure that a
viable zoo population survives for the
foreseeable future. Under this program,
a studbook of all Red Pandas in zoos is
maintained, genetic and demographic
management analyses are used to
determine which animals should be
mated, and long-term management
and research strategies for the species
are developed. PNHZP was started
with the primary objective of studying
and conserving Himalayan fauna.
A planned breeding Red Panda
program was initiated in the early
1990s as a part of the Global Red
Panda Management Program. Under
this program, the zoo received five Red
Pandas from various foreign zoos to
augment its existing collection of four
wild Red Pandas. The Zoological Park
is ideally situated within the natural
range of the Red Panda. No other
captive breeding facility is available
in the vicinity of the habitat of the Red
Panda (Ailurus fulgens). The zoological
park had suitable housing facilities,
expertise and success in breeding
Red Pandas in captivity even before
the animals from the foreign zoos were
received. A Snow Leopard breeding
and conservation program, started in
1986, the first ex-situ project in India,
was being conducted at the park.
The park had the following objectives:
• To carry out a conservation effort
aimed at planned conservation
breeding and multiplication to
ensure the survival of Red Pandas
to make efforts to restock the
dwindling population of Red
Pandas in Singalila National Park
and Neora Valley National Park.
• To make efforts to establish
subsidiary conservation breeding
centers in suitable locations in the
Eastern Himalaya and strengthen
the existing one.
• To provide opportunities to
scientists and naturalists to study
various hitherto unknown aspects
of the biology/behavior of the rare
species.
• To arouse consciousness among
the public about this endangered
species and to
disseminate
popular and scientific information
related to this species among the
people.
• The first successful (planned)
breeding of Red Panda was
achieved on 20 June 1994, when
two cubs, ‘Ekta’ and ‘Friend’, were
born to ‘Basant’ and ‘Amita’.
Reintroduction
In 2003, two females (coded as F001
and F002, house names Sweetie and
The Zoo started with the following founder stock of Red Pandas:
S.
No
Name
Studbook
No.
Sex
Sire
Dam
Date of
Acquisition
Birth
Death
-
1 June
1982
2 July
1997
1.
Basant
8649
M
Wild
Wild
2
Amita
8221
F
Wild
Wild
1 June
1982
4 July
1997
3.
Chanda
8222
F
Wild
Wild
1 June
1982
10 Oct
1995
4.
Divya
8648
F
Wild
Wild
1 June
1982
10 July
1985
5.
Oscar
6.
Hari
7.
M
1April 1993
from
Rotterdam
29 June
1992
9302
M
10 Nov 1994
from
Rotterdam
30 June
1993
27 Nov
1997
Gora
9305
M
10 Nov 1994
from Koln
25 June
1993
24 Mar
2009
8.
Indira
9930
F
10 Nov 1994
from Madrid
26 June
1993
15 Sept
2008
9.
Omni
9404
M
25 Dec 1996
from
Belgium
17 July
1994
25 Oct
2007
10
Prity
9430
F
25 Dec
1996 from
Rotterdam
26 June
1994
shifted
to
Gangtok
14 Mar
1997
8865
Mini, International Studbook numbers
97117 and 9880) were selected from the
population of 22 Red Pandas in Indian
zoos for release in their native habitat
at Singalila National Park, (Singalila
National Park 87° 59´ –88° 53´ E and
Red Panda at PNHZP
Photo credit: PNHZP, Darjeeling
8824
The record of Red Panda births over
the years, compiled from the National
and International Studbooks
Year
No. of
Births
Year
No. of
Births
1994
2
2003
3
1995
2
2004
0
1996
3
2005
0
1997
3
2006
1
1998
6
2007
1
1999
7
2008
2
2000
2
2009
0
2001
5
2010
2
2002
0
2011
1
26° 31´– 27° 31´ N is located on the
northwestern border of Darjeeling,
India) towards the ultimate goal of
any conservation breeding program.
A soft release facility was constructed
at Gairibas (2626 m), in Singalila
National Park, with help from the CZA
and Forest Department, Government
of West Bengal (GOWB). F001 and
9
F002 were maintained, observed, and
acclimatized there before their final
release on 14 November 2003. The
health of the two females was checked,
and they were radio collared before the
final release. The necessary clearances
were obtained from the Government
of India and CZA. The Wildlife Wing
of the Forest Department, GOWB,
and PNHZP, Darjeeling, conducted a
pre-monitoring and feasibility study.
Assessment of the taxonomic status and
genetic variability of the animals to be
released was performed with LaCONES
at the Center for Cellular and Molecular
Biology, Hyderabad, India. Complete
health check-ups of the animals
were conducted as per schedule.
The release site at Gairibas was
selected on the basis of a pre-release
survey. The density of Red Pandas
in the area was higher than in other
parts of Gairibas. A high density was
one of the criteria because the two
females needed to find respective
mates. Sufficient care was taken to
watch and protect the center against
predators. The area, over 5 ha in
extent, was surrounded by straight
iron sheets, and the shrubs and trees
near it were removed to check against
the escape of captive animals. The
animals were shifted there in mid-April
for acclimatization. Their food was
modified at the zoo so as to make them
more dependent on a natural diet.
There was a small enclosure within the
soft release center, which housed the
animals in initial one month, and slowly
they were allowed to go out. By the
time of the release, the animals were
completely dependent on the natural
food available in the enclosure, which
included bamboos and wild fruits and
berries. The actual release operation
was carried out on 14 August 2003,
which is the foundation day of the park.
movements, and, to some extent, the
behavior of the captive female Red
Pandas were recorded. It was found
that F002 was more mobile than F001.
F001 stayed in the release area and
settled in an area referred to as the
Middle Area in this text (average altitude
2800 m). Although she did explore
the adjoining areas in November and
December to some extent, she spent
80% of her released time in the Middle
Area. It has also been recorded that
F001 started interacting with wild
pandas much earlier than did F002.
The first wild Red Panda sighting in
F002’s area was on 18 November 2003.
She was sighted with wild Red Pandas
in the Middle Area on 4 December
2003. There were further sightings on
December 13, 21 and 13. She was
sighted with a wild Red Panda on 1, 16
and 23 January. The dates of sightings
in February were 9, 11, 13, 20, 23, and
25. Despite all the positive signs of the
adjustment and survival of F001 in the
wild, the project lost her when she was
predated upon and her remains (skull,
a portion of her tail, and paw), along
with the attached collar, were found
on 15 March 2004. F002, on the other
hand, as previously mentioned, was
very mobile. She remained below the
release site for 6 days in November
and traveled about 2 km away from the
release site. Her movement over such
a long distance from the released site
to a quite unknown area made tracking
and monitoring her difficult initially. In
December, she settled in an area 1–1.5
km from Gairibas in an area locally
known as MR Road. The first wild Red
Panda was seen in the MR Road area
on 4 December 2003. However, F002
was first seen together with a wild Red
Panda on 17 February 2004 and then
on 26 February, 11 March, 1 April,
and 3 April 2004. She gave birth to a
cub in a tree hollow on 7 July 2004.
The supposition that the selected
release site was good is supported by
the fact that F002 got her mate almost
as soon as she came to the area. She
also did not venture much from it,
indicating that she was satisfied with
the habitat. Therefore the identification
by the pre-release survey of the
release site as a good habitat with
a high density of Red Pandas was
correct. However, the upper reaches
of the area were disturbed owing to its
proximity to a trekking road. This was
a matter of concern for the safety of
the animal. This could be a lesson to
be cautious in future ventures. It was
feared that the captive bred animals
would have lost their basic instincts and
that their behavior would not be tuned
for survival. The behavioral activities,
movements, and, ultimately, the birth
of a cub, however, showed that the
female pandas could survive in the wild.
Constraints and Future Strategies
The use of captive breeding in species
recovery has grown enormously in
recent years but without a concurrent
growth in the appreciation of its
limitations. There are problems
with (1) establishing self-sufficient
captive
populations,
(2)
poor
success in reintroductions, (3) high
The Red Panda were monitored
using the non-triangulation location
technique known as the Homingin on the Animal Method. F001 and
F002 were monitored on alternate
days by the Wildlife Wing of the Forest
Department of GOWB.
Observations
Through
radio-collaring
monitoring,
the
births,
10
and
deaths,
Red Panda being released
Photo credit: Brij Kishor Gupta
costs, (4) domestication in captivity,
(5) preemption of other recovery
techniques, (6) disease outbreaks,
(7)
maintaining
administrative
continuity, and (8) a lack of coordination
as well as data in Indian zoos have
all been significant deterrents in
reintroduction programs. Efforts are
still directed at ‘prize’ animals such as
the Tiger and Elephant. Very little effort
is aimed at the Red Panda or similar
small animals. While the park does
not have a dearth of Red Pandas and
budgetary support is not a cause of
concern, long term planning and its
ultimate implementation may delay
the program. Over the past few years,
a very good working relation has
been established with Gangtok Zoo,
with both animals and data being
exchanged. Internationally also, of late,
exchange program have increased in
number, with one exchange of animals
having taken place with Auckland
Zoo and one with Adelaide Zoo in
the pipeline. These exchanges will
enhance the gene pool. The female
from Auckland has already been
paired with a male from the Indian
wild gene pool. Another four females
will be paired similarly, and this year
is expected to yield very good results.
The program is on the right track, and
with a PHV analysis slated for later this
year with the CZA acting as a guiding
beacon, more scientific efforts are
The status of the Red Panda in Indian
zoos as of now is as below:
Name of the
M
F
Unknown
Total
PNHZ Park
Darjeeling
10
5
0
15
HZ Park
Bulbuley
Gangtok
6
5
3
14
Zoo
Worldwide, the species is kept in 185 various
zoos, with a population of 466 animals (225
males and 241 females).
on the anvil to save the population.
The reintroduction program suffered
for a few years for want of funds for
conducting census operations. The
GOWB wanted to know the impact of
a reintroduction program. The current
analysis of scats will help us in not only
understanding the population dynamics
but also the impact of the four animals
released in the park in 2003 and 2004.
The park has also been given a short
term research project in which data will
be documented and various studies
conducted on Red Pandas. This year’s
births will be recorded with the help
of infrared CCTV cameras, which will
give us insights into the behaviors of
the mother and cub, hitherto unstudied
in India.
Zoo News
∼
Photo credit: Brij Kishor Gupta
The author is the Director, Padmaja Naidu
Himalayan Zoological Park, Darjeeling
GLOBAL NEWS
San Diego Zoo, California USA
has a new addition to their family
and has made it possible for the
world to meet him through a web
cam. Saticoy, a condor, hatched
on March 10, 2012 and the birth
was witnessed by over twenty
thousand web viewers. Condors
have been on the California
endangered species list since
1967 and declined to only 22
birds in 1982. The California
Condor
Recovery
Program
began in the mid 1980’s. Today
there are approximately 386
condors.
The
Conservation
Breeding
Center at Sepahijala Zoo has
been succesful for the second
time in birth of endangered
Clouded leopard. The female
Clouded Leopard gave
birth
on 2-6-2012 to three cubs out
of which
two survived. Now
the total population of Clouded
leopard at Sepahijala Zoo is 6:9:3.
Giraffe Khushi, aged 7 years, gave
birth to a second calf on 14/04/2012.
Khushi arrived at Sri Chamarajendra
Zoological Garden on 07/10/2007
from Lucknow Zoological Garden at
the age of 2½ years. It was paired
with Mysore zoo born hand-reared
Giraffe Krishnaraja, aged 15 years.
The Brookfield Zoo family has gone bigger with the birth of a female
bison calf. This is the first calf born in Brookfield Zoo, USA since the
early 1970
The International Training Centre of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation
Trust (Jersey, British Channel Islands) will run a series of training courses
designed for zoo and field conservation professionals. In September
they will run a five-day Conservation Education and Evaluation course,
designed for conservation educators working in zoos. In the same
month they will also run a course on Managing Infectious Disease in
Conservation Programmes, designed for zoo and field-based vets to
equip them with the skills to manage disease outbreaks in captivity and
in the wild.
For further information contact www.durrell.org/training
11
Photo credit: Himanshu Malhotra
NANDANKANAN THE
FIRST ZOO TO BREED
RATEL
Zoo News
Photo credit: Mysore Zoo
Striped hyena was successfully
bred for the third time at Mysore
zoo
12
Photo credit: Himanshu Malhotra
The Leopard Rescue Center
at Manikdoh, Junnar, Pune in
collaboration with Society for
Wildlife Conservation, Education
and
Research
(WildCER),
Maharashtra
State
Forest
Department and Wildlife SOS
organised the Leopard Rescue
Management
and Training
Program from 29 December
2011 to 31 December 2011.
The objective of the training
program was to educate and
train the veterinarians in rescue
and management of leopards
in captivity and rehabilitation. In
all, 20 participants from all over
Maharashtra were selected for this
training program.
The Tata Steel Zoological Park,
Jamshedpur is today the proud
owner of 5 (2 males and 3 females)
pure bred South African lions
commonly called Kruger lions. This
was part of a collaboration with
National Zoological Gardens of
South Africa. The animals are doing
well in the Zoo.
Leopard cub rescued from Uttar
Pradesh finds a home in National
Zoological Park Delhi.
Photo credit: Himanshu Malhotra
LEOPARD RESCUE
TRAINING PROGRAMME
National Zoological Park Delhi has
a new addition - a baby Hippo born
on 30th May 2012.
The ratel or honey badger (Mellivora
capensis) is an endangered mammal
included in the Schedule-I of Wild
Life (Protection) Act 1972. The ratel
is the largest mustelid found in
India. It lives in the dry and moist
deciduous forests of our Country.
It weighs about 8-10 kilogram and
usually breeds during the summer
months. The animal is noctournal
and lives in burrows during the
day time. The population of ratels
has declined in the country due to
habitat destruction and poaching.
There are 8 ratels in six Indian zoos
including one pair in Nandankanan.
Nandankanan Zoo has achieved
the distinction of being the first Zoo
in the Country to have successfully
bred ratel in captivity. A special
enclosure in Nandankanan Zoo
was constructed in October 2011
to house the ratel pair. The mating
was observed on 19th & 20th of
December, 2011 and the ratel baby
was born on 4th February, 2012
after a gestation period of 45 days.
Photo credit: Nandankanan Zoo
A TRAIN IN THE NAME OF
NANDANKANAN ZOO
Nandankanan is the first Zoological
Park in the country after which
a train namely ‘12815/12816 Puri - New Delhi - Puri Superfast
Express’ has been renamed as
‘Nandankanan Express’ to mark
the Golden Jubilee Celebration of
Nandankanan. Zoological Park.
Photo credit: Nandankanan Zoo
Photo credit: Himanshu Malhotra
S. K. Patnaik addressing the participants
CZA News
Workshop on “Zoo Designing
and Landscape Architecture”
The Central Zoo Authority organized
a workshop on “Zoo Designing
and Landscape Architecture” for
engineers and architects of zoos and
consultants/entrepreneurs
working
with zoos at India Habitat Centre,
New Delhi from 24 to 26 February
2012 in collaboration with the School
of Planning and Architecture (SPA),
New Delhi. The workshop was
coordinated by Prof. S. Suneja of
SPA. The workshop was inaugurated
by the Additional Director General of
Forests (Wildlife), MoEF, New Delhi
and Chairman, Technical Commitee of
the CZA, Shri Jagdish Kishwan. During
the workshop, Prof. A.K.Sharma,
Director of SPA, Prof. Neelima Risbud,
Dean of Studies, Prof. A.K. Sharma,
HoD, Landscape Architecture, SPA,
New Delhi and Shri S.C. Sharma,
Founder Member Secretary, CZA
delivered the inaugural addresses.
The workshop was structured into
lecture sessions and a field visit, to
the National Zoological Park, Delhi.
Mr. B.S. Bonal, Member Secretary,
CZA emphasized in his speech the
importance of organizing a workshop
on zoo designing and landscape
architecture. He stated the zoo
engineers and architects should have
at least a minimum understanding of
zoo priorities, the existing guidelines,
costs and work ethics when designing
enclosures and planning landscapes
to ensure that animals get the best
naturalistic, environmentally enriched
enclosures.
Landscape
planning
of zoos should be done in such a
manner that all the animal enclosures
are immersed in nature. Dr. Brij Kishor
Gupta, Evaluation & Monitoring Officer,
CZA explained the rules, norms and
guidelines of the CZA in his talk on
“Zoo Designing and Master Planning”
and how zoo directors frequently
ignored
them
when
preparing
their
respective
master
plans.
Mr. Jon Coe, invited speaker from
Australia and eminent landscape
architect, has vast experience with
working with zoos across the globe. In
his first talk, on “Zoo Environment for
People, Plants and Animals”, Mr. Coe
emphasized how the zoo environment
is important for people, plants and
animals and can be protected and
restored for sustainable use and
conservation. He highlighted how
landscape immersion and design of
views and sight lines are critical for zoo
visitors. Jon Coe’s second talk covered
“Animal’s and Keeper Perspective
with Facility Design” issues. The
speaker dealt with environment
enrichment of animal exhibits and with
execution in the field to encourage
animal
movement
and
activity.
Ms. Monika Fiby, invited speaker
from Austria and Project Manager,
Zoolex, spoke on “Peculiarities of
Planning Zoos”. She explained the
tasks of zoos, and various zoo user
groups and their needs, zoo planning
as collaborative work, the purpose
of exhibits, the planning process,
prerequisites for physical zoo planning,
the master plan as a part of planning,
the use of master plans and the scope
of master plans. In her second talk,
“Design for Education”, Ms. Monika
dealt with the present practices of
imparting conservation education
in zoos informally, time allocation of
visitors, group composition, gender
composition, interest in topics,
observation time, visitor circulation,
space distribution, animal viewing,
exhibit immersion, mixed species
exhibits and exhibit style. In another
talk, on “Planning for Enrichment”,
she spoke on how to plan the
enrichment of enclosures in zoos. For
planning and construction purposes,
the distinction between built-in and
changeable enrichment is helpful.
Some of the other speakers were
Shri. S.C. Sharma, Founder, Member
Secretary, CZA who shared about
his experiences on “Master Planning
for Development of Zoos: Indian
Perspective”,
Shri S.K. Patnaik,
member, CZA who shed light on
“Principles of Master Planning for Indian
Zoos”, Prof. Dr Rommel Mehta of the
SPA who spoke on “Broad Guidelines
on Planning and Architecture” and
Dr. Meenakshi Dhote of the SPA who
spoke on “Biodiversity and Landscape
Architectures: Role Played in Zoo
Designing”. An overview of the National
Zoological Park, New Delhi was
presented by Mr. Amitabh Agnihotri,
its Director. On the second day of the
orientation workshop, the delegates
were divided into groups to study the
areas at the National Zoological Park,
Delhi, with the objective of analyzing
the present conditions and developing
recommendations for the respective
enclosures. The orientation workshop
was concluded on the third day with
discussions and presentations of
recommendations for the respective
enclosures by all the groups. These
were reviewed by the facilitators.
At the end of the workshop it was
recommended that such workshops
be organized frequently by the CZA.
13
Photo credit: Himanshu Malhotra
Regional Declaration on the
Conservation of South Asia’s
Critically Endangered
Vulture Species
VULTURE SYMPOSIUM
In a ground breaking step towards
vulture conservation in South Asia,
the governments of Bangladesh,
India, Nepal and Pakistan adopted
a Regional Declaration on the
Conservation of
South
Asia’s
Critically
Endangered Vulture
Species in Delhi on 4 May 2012.
The four governments agreed
to take stringent measures to
remove toxic, “vulture killing” drugs
from the environment, including
diclofenac, identified as the single
most important cause for the
catastrophic decline of vulture
populations across South Asia.
Recognising the need to scaleup conservation breeding and
reintroduction programmes, the
governments also agreed to create
transboundary Vulture Safe Zones to
conserve vulture populations in the
wild. A South Asia Regional Steering
Committee for Vulture Conservation
has been established to coordinate
and
guide
these
measures.
The symposium focussed on three
vulture species that are now facing
extinction in the wild: the Whiterumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis),
the Indian Vulture (Gyps indicus)
and the Slender-billed Vulture
(Gyps tenuirostris). All three species
have been included on the IUCN
Red List as Critically Endangered.
The symposium was organised by
the Ministry of Environment and
Forests (MoEF), Government of
India, and the Central Zoo Authority
14
of India (CZA). Coorganised by
the Wildlife Institute of India (WIIDehradun), Bombay Natural History
Society (BNHS-Mumbai) and IUCN,
International Union for Conservation of
Nature, the event saw the participation
of some of the world’s leading
vulture experts, senior government
representatives from the four countires
and national and international NGOs
and members of the civil society.
Welcoming the development, Mr P R
Sinha, Director, WII said, “The range
countries in South Asia have been
working on vulture conservation
ever since the alarming drop of the
populations was noticed. However,
the realisation that one country alone
would not be able to tackle such a
serious and transbounday issue was
a start to this process of collective
action to save the various species of
vultures under the threat of extinction.”
Dr Jagdish
Kishwan, Additional
Director
General
of
Forests
(Wildlife), MoEF, stressed on the
institutionalisation of a regional
network where government officials,
scientists and NGOs can come
together to save the vulture
populations in South Asia. “There
are issues and bottlenecks in the
conservation of the vulture,” he said.
“All the countries in the region have
to work together with clearly defined
role for each. International agencies
can make this collaboration efective.”
Reiterating the importance to work
across sectors and regionally, Ms Aban
Marker Kabraji, IUCN Asia Regional
RECALLING that vultures are
specialized scavengers that provide
a critically important ecosystem
service by removing carcasses of
livestock and wild animals, and
carrion from the environment;
FURTHER RECALLING that vultures
are an integral part of the cultures of
South Asian countries, and play a
central role in several of the region’s
ancient religious traditions;
RECOGNIZING that South Asia’s
populations of long-billed vulture
(Gyps indicus), slender-billed vulture
(Gyps tenuirostris) and whiterumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis)
have declined by more than 99 per
cent since the early 1990s;
NOTING that IUCN (International
Union for Conservation of Nature)
has listed all three species as
Critically Endangered on the IUCN
Red List;
FURTHER NOTING that IUCN
called for urgent measures to be
taken to conserve these species, in
Resolution 3.079 on the Conservation
of Gyps Species of Vultures in South
and Southeast Asia, adopted at the
IUCN World Conservation Congress
in Bangkok in 2004;
RECALLING
Aichi
Biodiversity
Target 12, which calls for all countries
and stakeholders to prevent the
extinction of known threatened
species by 2020 and to improve the
conservation status of those species
most in decline;
FURTHER NOTING that these
rapid declines have been caused by
human activities, in particular, the use
of diclofenac (a non-steroidal antiinflammatory drug) in the livestock
sector;
Director said, “We need to work
with a wide range of stakeholders,
including the private sector, and at
regional scale to achieve long term
recovery of the declining vulture
population. IUCN can create the
platform
for
multi-stakeholder
engagement at the regional scale.
We hope that this symposium
will lead to the endorsement of
a regional declaration on vulture
conservation and that it will catalyze
more collaboration among the
range states. We hope that we will
be able to access international
funding to support the critical
conservation actions required in
the four vulture range countries.”
Support for such a collective
regional effort for a comprehensive
programme on conserving vultures
was pledged by Mr B S Bonal,
Member Secretary, CZA. “CZA
has encouraged 5 zoos across
the country to develop breeding
programmes
through
financial
support for the establishment of
ex-situ facilities. CZA has also
provided technical support to the
vulture programme by organizing
workshops for all stakeholders in
Pinjore between 2006 and 2011.
Accomplishments must be replicated
at a regional scale, bringing together
governments, relevant organizations
and local communities. As borders
do not exist in the wildlife world,
so must they not divide our efforts
to restore populations across
boundaries, particularly between the
4 range countries of Bangladesh,
India, Nepal and Pakistan,” he said.
The decline in vulture populations
throughout the region has been
directly attributed to the veterinary
Participants of Vulture Symposium
use of the non-steroidal antiinflammatory drug diclofenac,
ingested by vultures consuming
carcasses of cattle that had
recently been treated with the drug.
Diclofenac causes renal failure and
death for vultures and due to the
strength of the drug and the tendency
of vultures to feed in large groups.
Research has shown that just
one in 760 livestock carcasses
needs to contain diclofenac to
cause the population decline that
has been observed. Despite a
manufacturing ban in Bangladesh,
India, Nepal and Pakistan and
a ban of its sale and veterinary
use in India, research shows that
this drug is still affecting vulture
populations in Asia. Researchers
at the symposium pointed out that
while the veterinary use of the drug
has been banned, it is still legal
for use on humans and is sold in
large multi-dose vials. As a result it
continues to be purchased by vets
and livestock owners and used
illegally for veterinary purposes.
One
of the most important
outcomes of the symposium was
an agreement to take measures
to prevent the sale of these multidose vials of human diclofenac.
The governments also agreed
to restrict the use of other
veterinary drugs that are known
to be toxic to vultures including
ketoprofen
and
aceclofenac.
Experts also stressed the need
for
large
scale
awareness
campaigns with the civil society
and the private sector, particularly
the
pharmaceutical
industry.
According to the organisers, the
steering committee is the beginning
of a larger process of formulating
proposals
for
large
funds to work on vulture
conservation in South Asia.
They also aim to highlight
the issue at the Eleventh
Conference of the Parties
to the Convention on
Biodiversity (CBD COP 11)
to be held in Hyderabad,
India, in October 2012.
COMMENDING the important
steps that have already been taken
by Governments, scientific bodies,
non-governmental organisations,
international organisations and the
private sector, including:
• The
ban
on
veterinary
diclofenac in Bangladesh,
India, Nepal and Pakistan;
• The
establishment
of
conservation breeding centres
in India, Nepal and Pakistan;
• The initiation of “vulture safe
zones” together with safe
vulture feeding sites in several
countries;
• Promoting
research
and
monitoring of the vulture
population;
FURTHER
COMMENDING
the activities of SAVE (Saving
Asia’s Vultures from Extinction)
and its members for their
notable contributions to vulture
conservation in the region;
RECOGNIZING the need to
intensify and significantly expand
the aforesaid efforts in order to
ensure the recovery of South Asia’s
wild vulture populations;
ALSO
RECOGNIZING
that
there is an important need for
enhanced regional collaboration,
information sharing, exchange of
experiences and lessons learned
on conservation of vultures in
South Asia;
We, the participants
at the
Symposium
on
Developing
a Regional Response to the
Conservation of South Asia’s
Critically Endangered Vulture
Species, held in Delhi from 3-4
May 2012, hereby agree to:
1. STRENGTHEN
regional
cooperation, by:
• Establishing a South Asia
Regional Steering Committee
for Vulture Conservation;
• Taking
active
steps
to
enhance information sharing
and exchange of experience
Photo credit CZA
15
2.
•
•
•
3.
•
•
among
all
vulture
range
countries, in all aspects of in-situ
and ex-situ vulture conservation
in South Asia;
STRENGTHEN
vulture
conservation breeding and
reintroduction programmes, by:
Ensuring rapid dissemination
of information relating to
successful techniques and
approaches amongst all centres
in the region;
Seeking to maintain and
increase the level of financial
and technical support for
conservation breeding received
from Governments, international
organizations and donors, so as
to deliver the objectives for the
annual production of captivebred young;
Planning and implementing the
necessary measures required at
release sites;
CREATE AND MAINTAIN a nontoxic environment for vultures,
by:
Removing diclofenac and other
toxic NSAIDs completely from
the vulture food chain, through
measures including enhanced
enforcement of the ban on
veterinary use of diclofenac and
eliminating its “leakage” from
human use by urgent measures
and legislation, as appropriate,
against multi-dose vials of
human diclofenac;
Identifying and preventing the
•
•
•
4.
•
•
•
veterinary use of other nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory
drugs with similar toxicity to
vultures as diclofenac, such as
ketoprofen and aceclofenac (a
pro-drug of diclofenac);
Continuing efforts to identify,
promote and adopt safe
alternatives to diclofenac, such
as meloxicam;
Monitoring and assessing the
impacts and effects of other
livestock drugs on vultures,
leading to active steps for
preventing use of the drugs
that have negative impact on
vultures;
Fully enforcing the legal ban on
the manufacture of veterinary
formulations, retail sale and
use for veterinary purposes of
diclofenac;
STRENGTHEN
conservation
measures, by:
Increasing the number, size and
effectiveness of national “vulture
safe zones”, within which special
efforts are made to remove all
toxic veterinary drugs from the
food chain of vultures;
Cooperating to create transboundary vulture safe zones,
knowing that political borders
do not stop vultures from
crossing international borders
while searching for food;
Enhancing the protection and
management of vulture habitats
and vulture roosting and nesting
Agreed Arrangements
for Regional Steering
Committee
Participants from India, IUCN, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh in
first meeting of the Steering Committee
Photo credit: CZA
16
sites;
5. CONTINUE AND EXPAND strategically-designed awareness and
advocacy campaigns, aimed at
building support for vulture conservation amongst all stakeholders at local, national, regional
and international levels;
6. STRENGTHEN monitoring and
research, by:
• Continuing and
expanding
efforts to monitor vulture
populations
and
breeding
success on a regular and
repeatable basis using road
transect surveys and nest
monitoring;
• Continuing
and
expanding
efforts to monitor and quantify
diclofenac and other toxic drugs
in cattle carcasses;
• Determining the safety and
toxicity of veterinary NSAIDs, if
necessary by experiments on
captive vultures;
• Promoting studies on all possible
causes of decline of wild vulture
populations;
• Promoting studies on vulture
behaviour and ecology;
7. CONTINUE to develop and
foster
active
partnerships
amongst Governments, research
institutions,
civil
society,
private sector and international
organisations
to
further
accelerate vulture conservation
in the region.
1. Composition:
• Chair of the National Committee
from Bangladesh, India, Nepal
and Pakistan. (India to serve as
first chair,on a 2 year rotational
basis)
• One representative from a leading
NGO or Non governmental
research institution in each
country (preferably a member of
SAVE)
• One senior representative from
IUCN (Co-Chair)
• Chair of the SSC Vulture
Specialist Group
• One representative from an
international organization (to be
nominated by Birdlife)
• One representative from the
Central Zoo Authority, India
• One representative from the
Wildlife Institute of India
• One representative from the
UN agency facilitating the
development of the GEF proposal
(UNEP or UNDP)
2. Chair and Permanent
Secretariat:
• The position of Chair will be
rotated among the four countries
on a two-yearly basis, beginning
with the representative from
India.
• IUCN will serve as Co-chair of
the Committee. This follows the
successful models established
by the Mangroves for the
Future programme (co-chaired
by IUCN and UNDP) and the
Ecosystems for Life programme
(co-chaired by the IUCN and the
representatives from India and
Bangladesh).
• A Permanent Secretariat will
be created within the IUCNIndia office, to provide ongoing
administrative and technical
support to the Regional Steering
Committee.
3. Meeting Frequency:
• The
Regional
Steering
Committee will initially meet
twice a year.
4. Terms of Reference:
The Regional Steering Committee will
serve as the umbrella body to guide
and oversee vulture conservation and
recovery efforts in all four countries.
In this regard, it will perform (inter
alia) the following roles:
1) Oversee the implementation
of all recommendations from
the Symposium on Developing
a Regional Response to the
Conservation of South Asia’s
Critically Endangered Vulture
Species (as set out in the record
of the proceedings), and direct
the development of all outputs
from the symposium, including
the proposed GEF programme.
2) Revise, update and monitor the
South Asia Vulture Recovery Plan
in light of the Delhi Declaration,
as the umbrella framework
for vulture conservation and
recovery efforts in the region.
3) Monitor
implementation
of
WCC Resolution 3.079 on the
Conservation of Gyps Species of
Vultures in South and Southeast
Asia, and report to the IUCN
World Conservation Congress
in
2012
and
subsequent
Congresses.
4) Present an update on the
region’s progress with vulture
conservation to CBD CoP-11
in Hyderabad and subsequent
CoPs, under Aichi Target 12.
5) Collaborate with SAVE on the
collation of validated information,
research results and vulture
conservation and recovery efforts
in each of the range countries.
6) Identify
opportunities
to
enhance regional coordination
and cooperation, including, for
example: the harmonization of
relevant policies and legislation
(e.g., related to the importation,
manufacturing, sale and use
of drugs such as diclofenac);
the creation of trans-boundary
vulture safe zones; and the
sharing of equipment, resources
and technical expertise.
7) Help promote and document
the cultural values and social
impacts associated with vultures
in South Asia.
8) Help identify priority research,
conservation, recovery, and
monitoring projects and assist in
seeking financial and technical
support for their implementation.
9) Indentify and monitor new and
emerging threats to vulture
populations in the region, and
help bring these to the attention
of the appropriate decisionmakers.
10)Promote the active exchange
of information, experience and
best practices among the vulture
range countries.
11)Promote
education,
communication
and
public
awareness raising activities,
highlighting the importance and
urgency of vulture conservation
and recovery efforts.
5. National Vulture Recovery
Committees :
National
Vulture
Recovery
Committees will be established
in each country and chaired by
Government.
The
composition
of these committees will broadly
mirror that of the Regional Steering
Committee, with representatives
from
Government,
NGOs,
research organizations and other
stakeholders. The chairs of the
National Committees will also sit on
the Regional Steering Committee.
UPCOMING WORKSHOPS/TRAINING
PROGRAMMES OF CZA
1. Five days training programme for
the veterinarians working in zoos on
“Restraint of zoo animals and their
transport” at Guwahati from 24-28th
September, 2012. The Veterinary officers
from the zoos of SAARC countries will
also be participating.
2. Six days training programme for
the senior level zoo personnel
on
“Endangered Species Recovery Course”
by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
Jersey, UK at Darjeeling, from 12-16th
November 2012.The senior level officers
from the zoos of SAARC countries will
also be participating.
3. Two weeks zoo keeper level training
programme on regional basis in the
zoos at Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Mysore,
Kanpur, Nanital, Bhubaneswar.
A year has passed since Dr. Nawami, my daughter, left us for her eternal abode and peace, on the 30th June 2011. Through
this message, I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to one and all for extending moral support during her treatment after she
was diagnosed with blood cancer and after her demise. She will remain in our memories and hearts. (B. S. Bonal)
17
Central Zoo Authority
dsUnzh; fpfM+;k?kj izkf/kdj.k
(Statutory Body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests)
Bikaner House, Annexe VI, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi-110011, India
Phone: 011-23381585, 23073072, 23070375, Fax: 91-11-23386012
email: [email protected], website: www.cza.nic.in
Designed, and Printed by SKM Wildlife Conservation Foundation for Central Zoo Authority
C-50 Defence Colony, New Delhi-110024, Tel: 2433000, 9811184099, email: [email protected]
Working team: Punkaj Malhotra, Abdul Gaffar
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