Sunday, October 21, 2007

Canadian Zoo and Aquarium National Conference

Well it's been very busy here in Vancouver, BC. for us. We have been in session and workshops and most importantly renewing our contacts with zoos from across Canada. We are excited that our work with the Callimico Goeldi (tiny monkeys from South America) is finally showing success. We began working to bring in a group to Canada for the first time seven years ago, it took five years for this to finally happen. The total group consisted of 17 primates of which the Cherry Brook Zoo took five, two breeding and three holding. We had originally opted for the two breeding pair but due to lack of space we took the holding group to ensure that this Canadian Species Survival Program would not fall through at the last minute. We met with the Callimico Management Group while in Vancouver and have made some ground breaking advances. Our two breeders have produced two offspring in October 2006 and July 2007 and all is going as it should. After the meeting with our Goeldi Management Group we are finally able to move out the holding group to three other zoos across Canada. We will be setting up breeding pairs in the Granby Zoo, Quebec, in the Valley Zoo in Edmonton, Alberta and at the Calgary Zoo in Alberta. This is a great advancement for this small group of 17 founders and allows us to establish a viable breeding population within Canada and future breeders will be produced for this highly endangered primate. It is through such cooperative species breeding programs that we at the Cherry Brook Zoo can be a part of a global species survival program, not only as a partner but as one of the founder zoos that worked for five years to establish bringing these animals into Canadian zoos for the first time. We are extremely proud of our part in the international program and the fact that it is a successful program. The future survival of these tiny primates rests on the zoos that work on the front lines and may very well be their last line of defense against extinction.

Being a part of our national association gives us the opportunity to meet and take part in this type of important conservation work that is the true mandate of our Zoos. To be a major player in the international arena shows that smaller zoos can and do work as a catalyst in species survival.

Without the support of people and corporations we would not be able to do such important work.

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