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"Zoological Association of America"

 
 
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  #1
"Zoological Association of America"
Old 31-12-2008

In a recent article regarding Lex Salisbury and the Lowry Park Zoo (Pressured, Salisbury Quits Zoological Association Post), it was mentioned that Salisbury and Larry Killmar also resigned from the Zoological Association of America, a "nonprofit zoo organization ... which supports exotic-animal breeders, animal parks and a few zoos".

This is the first time I have heard of this organization, although I suspect that it is under its auspices that some major zoos have transferred (many) animals to private holders.

They do have a website: http://www.zaa.org/
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  #2
Old 31-12-2008

ZAA is a real "rogue's gallery" of individuals who chafe at the "centralized control" of AZA. Look at the Board of Directors.....
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  #3
Old 01-01-2009

I've been following this organization over the last year. Earlier this year they changed their acryomn from ZAOA to ZAA.

These people seem to want to bring back the "good ol' boy" traditions of the AZA of the old. Especially in the terms of its membership. Requiring that professional members must undergo a lot of professional development and seek sponsorship before becoming a "professional" - this is something the AZA used to require.

Its also important to note that for a facility to achieve accreditation by the ZAA it must undergo an inspection...however a facility can have this inspection waived if already accredited by the AZA or CAZA.

From what I have gathered, the ZAA is trying to bring back an active, personal community of zoo people rather than the commercial network that the AZA has created.
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  #4
Old 01-01-2009

Maybe....

I see a lot of resistance to the "strictures" of SSPs and PMPs as the genesis of this group
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  #5
Old 01-01-2009

Yes, there is. Private facilities can offer quite a bit to breeding programs, and the AZA has always been hesitant to allow this. Although they have made a few exceptions over the years. But after what Peace River did, this movement has taken a step back.
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  #6
Old 01-01-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by okapikpr View Post
Yes, there is. Private facilities can offer quite a bit to breeding programs, and the AZA has always been hesitant to allow this. Although they have made a few exceptions over the years. But after what Peace River did, this movement has taken a step back.
What did Peace River do?
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  #7
Old 01-01-2009

With their AZA accreditation, Peace River acquired several rare species....then decided not to be apart of AZA and SSP/PMP programs. Of course, a lot of this had to do with the politics that can come involved with SSPs...a big reason why private holders often choose not to become involved with or leave the AZA and SSPs.
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  #8
Old 01-01-2009

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Originally Posted by okapikpr View Post
With their AZA accreditation, Peace River acquired several rare species....then decided not to be apart of AZA and SSP/PMP programs. Of course, a lot of this had to do with the politics that can come involved with SSPs...a big reason why private holders often choose not to become involved with or leave the AZA and SSPs.

Private facilities can indeed offer good husbandry and management protocols as well as large tracts of available land for rare and endangered species acquired ex AZA accredited institutions often not available in a conventional zoo environment. However, I do have serious reservations - as AZA probably does - regarding the policy when conversely the loaned out/acquired individuals are no longer included within the SSP/PMP network and hence lost to any effective genetic and general population management for these species within the US. It also opens the sluice gates on any commercial dealings ... I have just to mention the examples of Peace River - as you did - and the Bill Gruenerwald's Colorado Rare Equid Sanctuary ... to get my gist.

I hope you may be able to clarify a little what is meant with the politics of SSP/PMP programs. Are you inferring there is more involved than just proper review of accredition procedures for a new institution entering into an existing SSP/PMP program?

You mentioned earlier that ZAA officials need to undergo continuous professional development before actually being allowed to become a member of ZAA - apart from a separate accredition proces -. You suggested it is to attempting to bring back some form of ol' boys network. You were not dismissive of the organisation and wonder whether you regard this concurrent network of zoo professionals a good thing or not?
(certainly all current zoo organisations like AZA and EAZA do have flaws) ...
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  #9
Old 02-01-2009

Quote:
However, I do have serious reservations - as AZA probably does - regarding the policy when conversely the loaned out/acquired individuals are no longer included within the SSP/PMP network and hence lost to any effective genetic and general population management for these species within the US.
This is very true. The AZA has little oversight with its accredited facilites. The only regulation they own is the accreditation itself. While a zoo loosing its accreditation is huge, mainly due to a poor public image. Private holders do not have this issue if they loose accreditation. But when it comes to loosing animals in the SSP/PMP network, I would think that it might be the fault of the others zoo that loaned animals to that facility and allowed the facility to gain ownership through breeding loans for loosing animals to the captive breeding programs. It is possible for the AZA and its members to work with private holders and not risk loosing genetically important animals to the breeding program...this is why Peace River does not have Okapi in its collection anymore. Those animals were owned by other zoos and not Peace River. Of course it all comes down to who you can trust....

Jelle, I know that you have various issues with private holders owning rare and endangered species. However I do respect your opinion, I must say I dont have such a problem with this. Many endangered species have a chance at survival because of private holders...okapi, sumatran rhino, pere davids deer, arabian oryx, bongo, etc. And its probably safe to assume that there are just as many of these animals living in poor condiditons with zoos and private owners.

Quote:
I hope you may be able to clarify a little what is meant with the politics of SSP/PMP programs. Are you inferring there is more involved than just proper review of accredition procedures for a new institution entering into an existing SSP/PMP program?
It is probably not my place to discuss the politics involved with captive breeding programs. But what I can say, is that the politics do hinder the breeding programs very much.

Quote:
You suggested it is to attempting to bring back some form of ol' boys network. You were not dismissive of the organisation and wonder whether you regard this concurrent network of zoo professionals a good thing or not?
I am not discrediting this organization at all. This organization is rather young and many of its members have long histories in the zoo field. I may also question some of its accredited zoos, but there are also some AZA accredited facilites that I too question! I am rather open-minded and I will not dismiss nor approve of the ZAA. But I am rather interested in what this organization may do in the future and how it could possibly affect the AZA.

Last edited by okapikpr; 02-01-2009 at 03:26 AM..
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  #10
Old 02-01-2009

Okapikpr,

I must clarify my position somewhat to you I guess. I am not wont against private institutions involved in captive-breeding programmes for endangered or any other species. I just have quite a few reservations regarding following breeding arrangements, active and cooperative participation in the breeding programmes and (cooperative) ownership of individual animals and no commercial dealings in species involved in coop captive-breeding programmes compromising those programmes.

With regard to the ZAA: I would also keep out an open mind regarding this new cooperative association. It certainly makes for interesting reading their mission and objectives. Professional standards seem to be well cared for and thankfully a recognition that zoos, private breeders, wildlife-cattle ranchers and conservation organisations are all stakeholders in a common goal. Their board includes several members with a conventional zoo background including Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, Fossil Rim and the Bramble Park Zoo and other well-known figures within the ranching community like Jim Fouts and Joe Maynard. Membership and policies towards new members seems diverse and certainly put way more emphasis on personal staff development then is the norm within AZA.

What I applaud is the fact that membership from non zoo staff is actually encouraged and an awareness that captive-breeding for survival and genetic management of all wildlife species involves many many stakesholders and the notion that this is best solved in a multi-partnership of various stakeholders.

So, to make myself clear ... I am certainly not dismissive of ZAA and view them as being a more all-inclusive management association to benefit species conservation in situ and ex situ.

Anyhow, Happy 2009 * New Year *

Jelle

P.S. I will probably have to pm you ...
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  #11
Old 03-01-2009

The other side of the coin, from a Population Manager's perspective, is that many private breeders/dealers refuse to share any information about the genetics of their animals. They keep sometimes keep their records in a very haphazard manner, if at all. Once animals fall into that black hole they are often lost to the population. The other issue is that they are often in the business to make money and have no qualms about selling/trading to an individual whose concerns about genetices are secondary to the profit to be made.
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  #12
Old 03-01-2009

How many of these ZAA "insititutions" display, breed and sell "endangered white tigers?" Quite a few. I rest my case......
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  #13
Old 04-01-2009

How many AZA zoos display, breed and sell "rare white lions?" Quite a few also...
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  #14
Old 05-01-2009

While I am a big supporter (and member) of the AZA, I can't dismiss this group at all. If you look at its members, they include Dr. Lee Simmons (Omaha HD Zoo Director) and Jack Hanna. Those two are good enough for me! They are both zoo men whom I immensely respect.

I think sometimes we are too quick to look for "problems" in zoos. While I don't disagree that zoos have minor flaws and imperfections, I've very rarely seen any true "problems" in any of the USA's major zoos.
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  #15
Old 05-01-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by okapikpr View Post
How many AZA zoos display, breed and sell "rare white lions?" Quite a few also...
Sad but true. Profit before conservation--the way of the world
 


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