In-situ Conservation

The preliminary date for the 2012 IAC In-situ conservation session is Thursday, 13 September.

Click here for the preliminary programme.

Abstracts of presentations

Keynote – A five-year Sandtiger (Carcharias taurus) release and satellite tagging programme

By: Michael Farquhar (1), Malcolm Smale (2), Anthony Booth (3), Michael Meyer (4) & Lesley Rochat (5)
Institutions: 1) Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town, South Africa; 2) Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa; 3) Dept Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa; 4) Oceans and Coasts, Dept of Environmental Affairs, Cape Town, South Africa; 5) AfriOceans Conservation Alliance (AOCA), Cape Town, South Africa

Given the poor captive breeding success of Sandtiger Sharks, and the lack of breeding activity in the Two Oceans Aquarium, we decided in 2004 to start releasing our larger Sandtigers to allow them to complete their lifecycles naturally. We used this opportunity to launch, with AOCA, the Maxine Science Education and Awareness (M-SEA) programme, which created unprecedented good press around large sharks.

A five-year Sandtiger (Carcharias taurus) release and satellite tagging programme (307.00 KB) Download the full abstract

Lake Victoria SSP: A renewed approach to saving Darwin’s dreampond

By: Steve Bailey (1) and Greg Whittaker (2)
Institutions: 1) New England Aquarium, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; 2) Moody Gardens, Galveston, Texas, USA

Lake Victoria is the largest tropical lake in the world with almost 2 900 miles of shoreline in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. It supports over 30 million people through Africa’s largest inland fishery. Since the introduction of non-native Nile perch (Lates niloticus) in the 1950s, approximately 50% of the lake’s 500 species of haplochromine fishes have gone extinct. The lake system is in severe ecological decline due to a complex array of anthropogenic pressures and natural transformations.

Lake Victoria SSP: A renewed approach to saving Darwin’s dreampond (343.67 KB) Download the full abstract

Life on the EDGE: Putting forgotten species on the map

By: Heather Koldewey and Carly Waterman
Institution: Zoological Society of London, London, UK

The EDGE of Existence programme of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) aims to conserve the world’s most remarkable species. EDGE priority lists have been developed for mammals, amphibians and reef-building coral species. The launch of EDGE sharks and birds is planned for 2012. EDGE species are scored on their Evolutionary Distinctiveness and Global Endangerment. Alarmingly, existing conservation initiatives overlook most priority EDGE species.

Life on the EDGE: Putting forgotten species on the map (1.50 MB) Download the full abstract

Public aquaria help restore the endangered Elkhorn Coral (Acropora palmata)

By: Dirk Petersen (1), Mike Brittsan (2), Mitch Carl (3), Mark Schick (4) & Bob Snowden (5)
Institutions: 1) SECORE Foundation, Bremen, Germany; 2) Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Powell, Ohio, USA; 3) Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE, USA; 4) John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, IL, USA; 5) Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Elkhorn Coral (Acropora palmata) is one of the first reef-building corals to be listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. It used to dominate shallow and highly wave exposed shorelines all over the Caribbean. However, in the past two decades, more than 90% of the population has been destroyed due to disease, pollution, global warming and other factors. Although coral spawning still occurs, no significant recruitment has been observed. Effective restoration techniques including sexual reproduction are needed.

Public aquaria help restore the endangered Elkhorn Coral (Acropora palmata) (350.72 KB) Download the full abstract

Reintroduction techniques and short-term post-release survivorship of captive reared Freshwater Sawfish Pristis microdon: The sustainability and ethics of keeping sawfish in small public aquaria

By: Kathryn Buckley, Dion Wedd, Grant Johnson & Stephen Cutter 
Institution: Territory Wildlife Park, Northern Territory, Australia

Freshwater Sawfish (Pristis microdon) are listed by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as Critically Endangered; yet in the Northern Territory of Australia they are classified as Vulnerable and are harvested for the aquarium industry. Since 1992 the Territory Wildlife Park (TWP) public aquarium has displayed juvenile Freshwater Sawfish to raise awareness of sawfish conservation and biology. TWP cannot house adult sawfish, which grow to six meters, and release sawfish into their natal river system as they approach three meters. TWP wished to determine that removal of sawfish from the aquarium and reintroduction into the wild were sustainable and ethical. 

Reintroduction techniques and short-term post-release survivorship of captive reared Freshwater Sawfish Pristis microdon: The su (352.03 KB) Download the full abstract

The bay of Porto Paone as efficient tool for the sustainability of aquarium projects on sea turtles

By: Flegra Bentivegna
Institution: Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Napoli, Italy

Conservation and research at the Aquarium of Naples focuses mainly on the rehabilitation of marine turtles. Rescued turtles are treated, transferred to tanks for rehabilitation, and released once they have fully recovered. The shallow tanks did not permit evaluation of the swimming and diving ability of severely injured individuals after rehabilitation. Thus a 900 m² bay on the island of Porto Paone was closed in and used to rehabilitate turtles requiring long treatment periods. Their behaviour was studied to inform the design of re-introduction programmes.

The bay of Porto Paone as efficient tool for the sustainability of aquarium projects on sea turtles (318.51 KB) Download the full abstract
 

The conservation benefit of decades of collaboration between a non-profit and aquariums

By: Vanessa Strauss (1), Gayle Sirpenski (2) & Tonya M Clauss (3)
Institutions: 1) SANCCOB, Cape Town, South Africa; 2) Mystic Aquarium, USA; 3) Georgia Aquarium, USA

The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), is a leading marine-conservation non-profit organization that rescues, rehabilitates and releases seabirds, especially during major oil spills. We conduct research to improve management of wild populations; educate and train South Africans to care for the marine environment; and raise awareness about the plight of endangered seabirds and the marine environment. Our work has been supported for more than a decade by the international zoo and aquarium community.

The conservation benefit of decades of collaboration between a non-profit and aquariums (340.56 KB) Download the full abstract

Vancouver Aquarium’s effort to save amphibians

By: Dennis A Thoney, PhD
Institution: Vancouver Aquarium, Canada

Nearly half of the 6 000 species of amphibians are threatened with extinction due to habitat changes, climate change, pollution and invasive species. The ‘Frogs Forever’ exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium introduces the issues facing amphibians to the public. More than 20 amphibian species have been bred at the aquarium, which is involved in direct conservation by maintaining assurance populations of the two most endangered amphibians in Canada, the Oregon Spotted Frog (OSF) (Rana pretiosa) and the Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens), as well as a Neotropical frog that is extinct in the wild.

Vancouver Aquarium’s effort to save amphibians (339.30 KB) Download the full abstract

Downloads

A five-year Sandtiger (Carcharias taurus) release and satellite tagging programme
Lake Victoria SSP: A renewed approach to saving Darwin’s dreampond
Life on the EDGE: Putting forgotten species on the map
Public aquaria help restore the endangered Elkhorn Coral (Acropora palmata)
Reintroduction techniques and short-term post-release survivorship of captive reared Freshwater Sawfish Pristis microdon: The su
The conservation benefit of decades of collaboration between a non-profit and aquariums
Vancouver Aquarium’s effort to save amphibians
The bay of Porto Paone as efficient tool for the sustainability of aquarium projects on sea turtles

9 to 14 September 2012
Cape Town International Convention Centre
Cape Town, South Africa

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Did You Know

There are 11 official languages in SA. English is the language of administration and is widely spoken. Other languages are: Afrikaans, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.