Zooming in on
to Europe's Zoos
2016, 466 pages, 15,5 x 23 cm, hardcover, Schüling Verlag, 29,80 Euro, ISBN 9783865230874
Again Anthony Sheridan gives us an extensive overview over the leading European Zoos, which
he is rating in updated versions of his ranking lists concerning visitor factors, education and
conservation, management and organisation.
In 2016 his survey contains around 120 Zoos in 28 countries.Add a comment
By Peter Fundi and Chantal Mariotte
Friends of the Karura Forest that nestles some of the more opulent northern suburbs of Nairobi have gone the extra mile in their efforts to conserve the woodland, whose proximity to the city was once seen by some as a prime piece of real estate for the expansion of the leafy neighbourhoods.
Restoration of degraded tropical forests generally focuses on replanting indigenous trees. It rarely includes the reintroduction of lost faunal diversity.
The Friends of Karura Forest (FKF) undertook to reintroduce the arboreal Mount Kenya guereza (Colobus guereza kikuyuensis), which presumably roamed the rich ecosystem in the years gone by.
Guerezas were chosen for the translocation due to their ability to thrive in regenerating secondary forests and subsist partly on eucalyptus young leaves and flowers. Being an arboreal primate, their translocation was a delicate exercise, requiring careful planning, long-term financial consideration and relevant expertise to ensure compliance with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) primate translocation guidelines.
Peter Fundi, an ecologist at the Biology of Conservation Department of the Institute of Primate Research provided the necessary expertise as lead scientist and trained a team of local assistants in capture and handling of guerezas.Add a comment
By Harvey Croze
Half past four in the morning. Normally the quietest time of day in suburban Nairobi. And there it is again: the unmistakable guttural waking call of a male colobus monkey. Rawr-rawr-rawr… But we are not in Kakamega Forest or the Aberdare Range -- we’re six kilometres from the capital’s central business district.
The black-and-white proclaiming his territory in the pre-dawn could also be celebrating the restitution of his new home (see companion article), the 1,000-hectare Karura Forest Reserve, one of the few forests in the world fully within a major city limits and a shining example of successful community-based participatory forest management.
In seven years, since the formation of the Friends of Karura (FKF), the forest has become one of Nairobi’s most popular places to escape the mayhem of city life. It currently ranks number four of over 100 TripAdvisor attractions in Kenya; 70 per cent of its visitors are Kenyan citizens.Add a comment
By Femke Broekhuis
The cheetah is well known for being the fastest land mammal on earth, but few people realise that it is also racing to extinction. This is often overshadowed by the plight of other threatened species such as elephants, rhinos, gorillas and lions.
In the early 1900s it was believed that around 100,000 cheetahs roamed the Earth, but in the past century the population has declined by more than 90 per cent. The most recent estimate by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) puts the figure at 6,600, which is considerably less than the current estimate of 360,000 African elephants and 35,000 African lions.
Rightfully so, both elephants and lions have received a lot of attention as populations have declined drastically because of poaching and conflict with people. Sadly it is a modern-day threat that many species face.
Cheetahs, for example, are prized as pets in the Middle-East. In order to meet this demand, cubs are often taken out of the wild as they are difficult to breed in captivity. When cheetah mothers hunt, they temporarily leave their young cubs unattended, leaving them vulnerable to human capture. Sadly the majority of cheetah cubs never reach their intended destination and die due to starvation and malnutrition.
While some people aspire to own a cheetah as a pet, others consider them pests as they kill sheep, goats and calves. But these are the obvious threats that are easy to capture in a photograph, a lion killed for killing someone’s cow, an elephant, dead, with half its face removed for its valuable tusks, starving cheetah cubs huddled together in a cage on its way to a new ‘owner’. These are the images that pull on people’s heartstrings.Add a comment