Regional Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria
South-East Asian Conservation Action Specialist Advisory Group
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Chris Banks, Melbourne Zoo
1992/3 it was agreed that the primary region for offshore
conservation involvement for ARAZPA zoos should
be South-East Asia. South-East
Asia was chosen for its close proximity to the Australasian
region, and abundant range of species and environments crying
out for support
The South-East Asian Specialist Advisory
Group's main aims are:
- To provide a central co-ordination and communication for
all projects between Australasian zoos and organisations
in South-East Asia.
- Maximise the effectiveness of Australasian zoo
participation in South-East Asia through communication
Such entities need supportive people and
structures, and we have an enormous regional capacity to work
with our zoo-based colleagues in South-East Asia, particularly
within SEAZA, to assist their development of their own programs.
Indeed, this is an important tenet of the World
Zoo Conservation Strategy.
Another critical ingredient to this issue is that South-East
Asia is neither one homogenous culture, nor, of course, one
country. Even within each country, there is a rich diversity of
beliefs, lifestyles, and bureaucracies, an understanding of and
sensitivity towards which is essential to the successful outcome
of any conservation program. This develops over time, and hence,
one of the SEACAG's major roles is to ensure that all ARAZPA
members are informed of projects past and present, and can offer
advice on those being planned.
The aims of the SEACAG are:
- Communicate with all Institutional
Members of ARAZPA to outline the purpose and aims of
- Communicate with all Institutional Members of ARAZPA to
ascertain their interest in involvement with South-East
Asian conservation programs - both flora and fauna.
- Identify and recommend projects which ARAZPA member
institutions might undertake jointly.
- Ensure that ARAZPA institutions undertaking projects in
South-East Asia are aware of any relevant cultural or
political issues in that country.
- Ensure that ARAZPA institutions embarking on projects in
South-East Asia are made aware of all other ARAZPA zoo
projects being undertaken.
- Involve relevant wildlife authorities (EA/Department of
Conservation) where appropriate.
- Publish an update of all projects between ARAZPA and
South-East Asia regularly in the ARAZPA newsletter.
- Establish the SEACAG Specialist Contact as the primary
point of contact in the region for information relating
to ARAZPA conservation projects in South-East Asia.
- Ensure regular communication with the ARAZPA Executive
and that all relevant decisions are ratified by the
ARAZPA Board before being implemented.
- Liaise with ARAZPA's other Specialist Groups
Some of the Projects being conducted in South East Asia by ARAZPA
Protection of Asian Turtles, supported by ARAZPA
|Many species of Asian turtles are
facing extinction. The greatest threat
to these turtles is the illegal trade in wildlife,
primarily for food. The primary in situ focus is the
Turtle Conservation & Ecology
Project in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam. Funds raised at Melbourne Zoo have funded
publication of a manual to assist wildlife enforcement
in China. Matt Vincent, Senior Keeper at Melbourne
Zoo, represents ARAZPA on the Turtle Survival Alliance.
More recently funds raised by Perth Zoo will assist in
the building of fences for breeding enclosures.
The Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Centre is endorsed
and supported by the
ARAZPA Wildlife Conservation Fund.
Crocodile Recovery Plan, in association with Melbourne Zoo
World Conservation Union recognises the Philippine
Crocodile as the most threatened species of crocodile in
the world. It was previously distributed
throughout many parts of the Philippines, but
only viable breeding population left is in north-east
Luzon. Melbourne Zoo is working with PLAN
International and local communities to support
conservation of the species in that area. The Philippine Crocodile
Recovery Plan was published in December 2000 and its implementation is
overseen by the
Philippine Crocodile National Recovery Team. Chris Banks, Curator of
Herpetofauna at Melbourne Zoo, is the International
Co-ordinator on the Recovery Team. For more information on this
project visit the Melbourne Zoo web site's conservation pages.
Primate Rescue Centre, Vietnam
|The illegal wildlife trade is
also prevalent in primates. The Endangered
Primate Rescue Centre in Vietnam looks after those
primates confiscated by the
authorities. Funding provided by a range of
organisations, particularly Melbourne
Zoo, supports a range of initiatives at the Centre. It
also helps to support Vietnamese
enforcement initiatives and promotes public education
and awareness. The Centre is
a model for protection and rehabilitation of
confiscated primates and is endorsed by ARAZPA's
Gibbon Project, Perth Zoo
|The Silvery Gibbon Project was formed in 1991 by staff and
volunteers at Perth Zoo. These people were concerned with the plight of the
Silvery Gibbon and its diminishing habitat in Java. The Silvery Gibbon Project
has an on-going commitment to the Gunung Halimun National Park, where about 100
Silvery Gibbons still survive. The construction of an entrance gate and a 10km
hiking trail in the Park have already been completed. The Project is also
involved in the funding of a Javan Gibbon Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre. This
Centre aims to rehabilitate pet gibbons and serve as a resource for educational
programs and possible reintroduction efforts, should the latter be considered
necessary to ensure the survival of this species.
The Silvery Gibbon
project has been endorsed and received support from the
ARAZPA Wildlife Conservation Fund under the Great Ape
Sumatran Elephant Conservation supported by Adelaide Zoo
|The Sumatran Elephant is
classified as endangered by the IUCN Red Data List. One
of the greatest concerns for elephant conservationists is
elephant/human conflict. Elephants periodically raid
farming areas to feed on high protein crops such as corn
and as a result, much resentment is created amongst
farming communities. Adelaide Zoo together with Taronga
Zoo participated in a workshop hosted by Taman Safari
Indonesia in 2000 to discuss issues associated with the
conservation of the Sumatran Elephant and the proposal
to set up a Sumatran Elephant Conservation Fund, in
conjunction with all interested stakeholders a . Financial support for the
workshop was also made available by Melbourne Zoo and
Auckland Zoo. Progress towards setting up such a
conservation fund continues with a more regional
approach. Adelaide Zoo maintains links with workshop
participants and supports the continued progress towards
in-situ conservation programs associated with the
At the request of Fauna and Flora
International, Melbourne Zoo has agreed to support a
range of small projects for Sumatran Elephants. These
projects mainly involve elephants in, or displaced from,
the troubled province of Aceh. About AU$18,000 will be
made available for workshops, for equipment, facilities
and supplies for elephant managers. This money has been
raised through the sale paintings by Melbourne Zoo's two
elephants, Bong Su and Mek Kapah. The first installment
has been paid to part fund the Workshop on Captive
Sumatran Elephant Management held in Palembang, South
Sumatra, on June 3 and 4, 2002.
of Philippine Frogs
The conservation status of Philippine frogs remains poorly
known and Melbourne Zoo co-ordinated the first nationwide
assessment in 1999, which led to 30 additional species being
listed in the latest IUCN Red Data Book, as well as by
Philippine agencies. In 2000, a pilot project to increase
community awareness of frogs, funded by Melbourne Zoo and the
Durrell Conservation Trust, was delivered in southern Luzon. A
field survey for the Critically Endangered Negros Cave Frog,
was supported by Melbourne and Chester Zoos in 2001.
of the Philippine Spotted Deer
The Philippine Spotted Deer is the
most threatened species of deer in the world and is now
confined to three forest patches on two islands in the
southern Philippines. Melbourne Zoo has been supporting local
conservation breeding centres on Negros and Panay Islands
since 1996, and is a signatory to a Memorandum of Agreement
covering the Panay Island population. Plans are in place to
import captive-bred deer from the USA, but transfer of deer to
the US has been delayed. This program is endorsed by ARAZPA's
Artiodactyl TAG, with six zoos committing to provide spaces.
The Philippine Spotted Deer
Program has been endorsed by the ARAZPA Wildlife
support for Saigon Zoo
Melbourne Zoo was represented on the CBSG Masterplan Team for
Saigon Zoo, Vietnam, from 1993-97 and is continuing to assist
managers at Saigon Zoo to implement the Masterplan. This has
focussed on development of an Education Service at the Zoo, as
well as teacher exchanges, but also advice on exhibit designs
and provision of literature.
Associated web sites:
Asian Turtle Crisis based at Cuc Phuong National Park
Endangered Primate Rescue Centre, also at Cuc Phuong
Membership to the South East Asian Conservation
Specialist Advisory Group is open to Full Individual
members of ARAZPA and staff of Full Institutional
members of ARAZPA.
site is maintained by the ARAZPA office.
© Copyright ARAZPA Inc.2002