During April, ZAA ASMP Support Officer, Matt Clifton spent some time in India to attend the second Red Panda Global Species Management Plan Workshop, which was hosted by the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoo and the West Bengal Zoo Authority in Darjeeling.
This was the first occasion where representatives from the global in situ (in wild) and ex situ (in zoo) community were present in the species’ natural range state to promote the conservation of the red panda. The reintroduction of captive red pandas was announced and the Red Panda Network was acknowledged as the official Global Species Management Program (GSMP) field conservation partner.
Joining Matt to represent ZAA, was Dr. Guillaume Douay from Wildlife Reserves Singapore. The workshop was a great forum to identify opportunities for ZAA members to contribute to GSMP-endorsed and range state conservation activities. ZAA was acknowledged for historically low infant mortality and genetically under-represented animals in the global context our members were commended for their effective husbandry practices and support of recommendations to retain the genetic & demographic integrity of the regional population.
Actions from the workshop will be circulated once they become available. Please contact the ZAA Office if you have any questions.
While in India, Matt took the opportunity to visit the Wildlife SOS Bear Sanctuary and Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Uttar Pradesh. Wildlife SOS is an organisation responsible for taking action against animal cruelty, rescuing wildlife, working to resolve human-animal conflict and educating the public about the need for habitat protection.
The Director of Conservation Projects Baiju Raj M.V was extremely generous with his time and demonstrated the amazing conservation work Wildlife SOS are doing to protect Indian wildlife.There was a large focus on providing alternate livelihoods for locals who depend on wildlife for sustenance and a focus on the value of ex situ research and support. Currently, many ZAA members provide financial and in-kind support for Wildlife SOS.
Get in touch with the ZAA Office for more information about supporting the conservation efforts of either the Red Panda Network or Wildlife SOS.