The program of this studbook keepers day was divers; a mixture of presentations by both the somewhat more experienced studbook keepers as well as by newcomers. This alone proves that the European Studbook Foundation is not a one day flyÂ but a constantly expending and growing organiation.
The level of the presentations was high and the ambience among the large number of attendees was very good. Next to 5 presentations on the progress of the studbooks by the studbook keepers it was also good to have presentations about nutrition by Rotterdam Zoo nutritionist Joeke Nijboer and about autopsies by former Rotterdam Zoo vet Marian Mensink.The presentation about the Ctenosaura melanosternum project gave a good impression on how an ex situ captive program can be linked to an in situ conservation program. This is also proved already for many years by the Homopus Research Foundation.
The ESF will become more and more active in ex situ conservation of species on an international level, but through cooperation with in situ programs. The ESF studbooks will also aid the conservation and survival of species in the wild.
The ESF thanks the Rotterdam Zoo for her hospitality and hosting. This way costs for ESF can be kept to a minimum. Finally a big hand for the organiation by Rob Verhoeks and Siebren Kuperus and all the speakers.
Henk Zwartepoorte, ESF president.
Speakers and their subjects:
Joeke Nijboer, nutritionist for the Rotterdam Zoo gave an interesting lecture about reptile diets. After explaining basic nutrition he discussed nutrition related illnesses and means to overcome and prevent such problems. A very different subject for ESF, but valuable nonetheless. The entire PowerPoint presentation (in Dutch) can be seen here: LINK
Tariq Stark followed to explain about one of the newest ESF studbooks; that for Lygodactylus williamsi or, as he calls it smurf like geckos. He explained about the booming pet trade of this endemic species and the success this studbook is already seeing in its short history with 20 keepers already participating. To watch this interesting PowerPoint presentation (in Dutch) click on this LINK
Victor Loehr followed with a project that has already proven successful over many years; the studbooks for Homopus species. The interesting thing about these studbooks is its level of professionalism. Apart from the studbooks, which evolve around specimens on loan from the republic of South Africa Victor also spends a lot of time and effort in the field, studying several species of Homopus. His presentation (in English) can be found here: LINK
Jordi Jansen introduced another young studbook, that of Tribolonotus gracilis. He explained about the ecology of this odd looking skink species and gave an overview of the current studbook population. To finish he discussed the newest approved studbook of Tribolonotus novaeguineae, which is now looking for participants. For the complete presentation (Dutch) look here: LINK
Peter van Putten and Ferry Grnewald gave an overview of the Pelusios genus for which they manage the studbooks. Even though some of the public joked about these turtles as being dull and grey, they managed to give an interesting short talk about these African species. The pictures used that day have been placed in a PowerPoint presentation for easy viewing. This presentation can be seen here: LINK
Marian Mensink is another speaker that usually does not deal with studbooks. Being a veterinarian, formerly working for Rotterdam Zoo, she explained about the need to examine deceased animals. Post mortem examination can help us learn more about the care that our animals require and help us understand the diseases they are affected by.
This presentation can bee seen here: LINK
Siebren Kuperus explained about his studbook for Corucia ebrata, the prehensile tailed skink. He explained the difficulty for this studbook as there are several distinct types in captivity which probably represent certain localities within their distribution. The PowerPoint presentation showed some of the known differences, as well as the suspected differences Siebren and Tariq found examining more than 30 animals in captive collections.. The presentation can be viewed here: LINK
To finish the day Rene Gaal explained about the Ctenosaura melanosterna studbook and the activities he and Evert Henningheim are involved in, both ex situ and in situ. Another great example of the professionalism found in some of the ESF studbooks already.The presentation can be found here: LINK
The program took longer than anticipated, which is not strange if you let so many enthusiastic studbook keepers talk about the species they love so much. At the end of the day a very useful discussion was planned about the further development to a more professional ESF. This has proven very useful and the input of several attendees will be used in further policy development by the ESF board.