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Cologne Zoo - nature conservation projects, especially in Vietnam. Theo Pagel, CEO Cologne Zoo. Achim Steiner, the former Director General of the IUCN – The World Conservation Union -, said concerning the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy (WZACS):

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Cologne Zoo - nature conservation projects, especially in Vietnam


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    1. Cologne Zoo - nature conservation projects, especially in Vietnam Theo Pagel, CEO Cologne Zoo

    2. Achim Steiner, the former Director General of the IUCN – The World Conservation Union -, said concerning the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy (WZACS): “It is a timely document that refines the previous thinking of the 1993 World Zoo Conservation Strategy and brings ex situ institutions into the mainstream of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. This Strategy provides a common philosophy for zoos and aquariums across the globe and defines the standards and policies with which you hope to achieve your conservation goals.“

    3. We all know the four main goals of the WZACS: • Recreation • Education • Science • Nature conservation (in situ & ex situ)

    4. Education is an essential tool to fullfill our goals: „Zoos and aquaria should make a significant conservation contribution by acting as leaders and mentors in socially - and culturally - relevant formal and informal education, thereby influencing people's attitudes and behaviour toward wildlife and environments, local and global!“ That is absolutely right!!

    5. In our own EAZA education standards we say: • „Educational components might include such topics as: • animal behaviour, • zoo animal management, • variety of life, • a variety of animal-based topics, • global or local conservation in situ and ex situ issues, • threats to species, • the role of zoos in conservation, • sustainability and a respect for and appreciation of wildlife.“

    6. So the goals of the committee are: • „The EAZA Education Committee will focus on educational programmes, activities and interpretive communication in EAZA member institutions. • The objective of the Committee is to stimulate and assist EAZA members in meeting the demands of the World Zoo & Aquarium Conservation Strategy (2005) as well as the EAZA Education Standards (2001). • In general, this means that zoo visitors should be informed and educated in such a way that their interest in, their appreciation of and their love for living nature and their awareness of the necessity of nature conservation and of sustainable solutions to the global environmental changes, increases during their visit.“ • But, what do we do???

    7. On the way towards a centre of nature conservation and to live the goals of modern zoos and the education and exhibit design committee, Cologne Zoo does not only keep and breed endangered species such as Bali starlings, Douc langurs, Okapis or elephants. No, we are also active in in situ projects….

    8. nature conservation projects Cologne Zoo supports actually

    9. Our main nature conservation project is going on in Vietnam • How did it start? • All activities are related to our tropical house at Cologne Zoo “DER REGENWALD”, which we were able to open in April 2000. • Our idea was that building a house for about 12 Mio. DM should have a strong link to nature conservation work. And because the theme of the house is the Asian rainforest we needed a project in this area. • Prof. Dr. Niekisch, who is now the director of Frankfurt Zoo, suggested to go to Vietnam – a hot spot of diversity. • And in 1998 we went to Vietnam for the very first time, looking for an area (Herrmann, Niekisch, Nogge, Pagel) • 1999 first Memorandum of Agreement was signed, till that time the area was just a nature reserve (Herrmann, Pagel). • First partner: Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES).

    10. 2001 Phong Nha – Kẻ Bàng National Park was established (85.754 ha, District Bố Trạch, Province Quảng Bình, Central- Vietnam) 2003 world heritage site (geology) 2003 New Memorandum of Agreement 2008 New Memorandum of Agreeement, now with PPC and NP as partners They try to get the accreditation as a world heritage site for their biodiversity Enlargement of the park is planned

    11. National Park - Zones Admin. -and Service- Zone Planned enlargement X.Tân Trạch Strong protected Zone

    12. 400 Mio. years • - a limestone area • - also on the other side of the border in Lao • - up to 1128 m • 70 km cave systems • still primary forests Different ecosystems, caves, rivers, forests, grasslands….

    13. flora plants = 2.651 species

    14. fauna vertebrates = 735 species

    15. Hatinh langur (Trachypithecus laotum hatinhensis), Douc langur (Pygatharix nemaeus)

    16. In 5 years over 20 new species have been described: fishes: 9 species amphibians: 1 species reptiles: 11 species and others will follow…..

    17. 2003 Phong Nha - Ke Bang Gecko(Cyrtodactylus phongnhakebangensis) Nine years ago, we published a first, preliminary list of the area's herpetodiversity, based on own fieldwork and first Vietnamese reports, thus comprising 96 amphibian and reptile species. Some years later, we could bring the total number of amphibian and reptile species known for this unique karst forest ecosystem as a result of further field work to 128, of which approximately 20 % were listed in the Red Data Book of Vietnam. photo: Th. Ziegler

    18. Abenteuer-Wissen Gecko (Gekko scientiadventura) In 2005, mediated by BIOPAT,the German scientific programme “Abenteuer Wissen” (“adventure ofknowledge”) of the second German television (ZDF), took over the sponsorship for the latter gecko species, which was named then as Gekko scientiadventura, from Latin "scientia" = knowledge and "adventura" = adventure. Thus, it was the objective of a diploma thesis, that was conducted in 2006, to learn more about the ecology of this and further barely known lizard species in Phong Nha – Ke Bang. photo: Th. Ziegler

    19. Trimeresurus truongsonensis 2004 • In a recently published, third list the total number of the herpetofauna known from Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park was brought to 140, representing more than 30 percent of the 458 amphibian and reptile species listed in the current checklist for Vietnam. Up to now, six new lizard and five new snake species including a new genus have been described by us from Phong Nha - Ke Bang and adjacent areas. photo: Th. Ziegler

    20. Tropidophorus noggei photo: Th. Ziegler

    21. Calamaria thanhi 2005 photo: Th. Ziegler

    22. Amphiesma leucomystax 2007 photo: Th. Ziegler

    23. 2007 Lygosoma boehmei However, we are still far away from having the National Park's herpetodiversity completely inventoried. And of course is the same for a lot of other taxa, such as small mammals. Additionally, we develop identification keys as basis not only for the ranger’s work but also for the authorities engaged with the implementation of nature and species conservation. photo: Th. Ziegler

    24. From the German side, the project was coordinated from the beginning by the curators of the Cologne Zoo's tropical house "The Rainforest" and Aquarium. Subsequently it was supported in addition by two further collaborators, Dr. Martina Vogt and Bernhard Forster. Both are being permanently on site.

    25. problems like everywhere • erosion • tourists

    26. forest protection! new ranger station training

    27. Rescue and release center Golden cat

    28. new activities • since 2005 ZGF-Cologne Zoo primate project • since 2006 cooperation with IEBR (Institute of Ecology & Biological. Resources) • since 2006 surveys in other areas, e.g. on Cat Ba

    29. ZGF – Kölner Zoo – primate project • Since 2005 the Cologne Zoo in cooperation with the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) furthermore engages in a reintroduction programme for endangered primate species. Ha Tinh langurs (Trachypithecus laotum hatinhensis) and Red-shanked Douc langurs (Pygathrix nemaeus) from the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre (EPRC) in Cuc Phuong, northern Vietnam, shall be released. A single forested hill of 18 ha in size was chosen as adequate place for the semi-wild enclosure.

    30. ZGF – Cologne Zoo – primate project A group of 8 Hatinh-langurs has been transferred from the PPRC at Cuc Phuong National Park to a semi-wild enclosure in Phong Nha-Ke Bang in 2007. Additionally, in cooperation with the University of Bonn, a first diploma thesis focusing on the occurrence and group structure of Ha Tinh langurs in their natural environment in Phong Nha has been done. Semi-wild enclosure for langurs

    31. Rangers help to secure the area It was a lot of work to fence the area

    32. In cooperation with the amphibian breeding station of the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (IEBR), Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology, in Hanoi, and together with our new amphibian breeding section in the Cologne Zoo's aquarium we are also prepared for combinations of in situ with ex situ breeding and preservation efforts. Theloderma corticale Rhacophorus dennysi

    33. Cat Ba island

    34. We need to get awareness to promote such activities: • We try to succeed awareness by: • Cologne Zoo’s publications, • our homepage, • the Vietnam project panels in the zoo, • TV documentations in the Aquarium and in "The Rainforest„ to inform the visitors of the Cologne Zoo about the progress in our nature conservation efforts and diversity research in Phong Nha – Ke Bang. • In the Cologne Zoo's Aquarium, the visitors are furthermore able to “hear” species diversity due to a self-made interactive computer containing mating calls of Vietnamese frogs. • Press conferences and press articles, even TV-films

    35. Newly discovered species bring awarness to the Vietnam project, such as a new gecko species that was recently discovered in Phong Nha - Ke Bang. • In 2005, mediated by BIOPAT, the German scientific programme “Abenteuer Wissen” (“adventure ofknowledge”) of the second German television (ZDF), took over the sponsorship for the latter gecko species, which was named then as Gekko scientiadventura, from Latin "scientia" = knowledge and "adventura" = adventure. • Furthermore, we try to improve public awareness not only in the Cologne Zoo but also in Vietnam.

    36. In 2007 the Cologne Zoo received the Conservation Award of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) for its engagement with biodiversity conservation and research in Phong Nha – Ke Bang. • That makes us very proud and shows us that we are on the right way.

    37. The role of zoos in biodiversity conservation • The contribution of zoos for nature and biodiversity protection is often neglected in the political debate about these issues. • Nevertheless, zoos play an important role by raising people's awareness for the need to protect species and their habitats. This importance was recognised by the 1992 UN Convention on Biological Diversity, which led to the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy, as well as in European legislation. Even though zoos only can give cover to only few individual animals, their educational value is considerable. • "Zoo animals are ambassadors for their conspecifics in the wild and can motivate people to support the protection of their habitats“ – so let us work for and with them.

    38. and of course thank you for your attention !!! • Thanks to all our supporters/sponsors, such as: the Kölner Kulturstiftung der Kreissparkasse Köln, BIOPAT,GEO schützt den Regenwald for financial support, the Universities of Bonn, Braunschweig, Cologne, and Hanoi, the European Union of Aquarium Curators (EUAC), the Alexander-Koenig-Gesellschaft (AKG), the Alexander Koenig Stiftung (AKS), and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Herpetologie und Terrarienkunde (DGHT), Bushnell Performance Optics Germany, Köln, and others…