10. Jun, 2016

Shinisaurus crocodilurus meeting

June 10, 2016 ReHerp people Arthur Kalkhoven and Henk Zwartepoorte had a meeting in the Cologne Zoo with herpetology curator Thomas Ziegler and his staff member Anna Rauhaus, student Mona von Schingen, Truong Quang Nguyen of the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources and Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology and ESF Shinisaurus studbook keeper Michael Zollweg.

Subjects were the status of the species in the wild in Vietnam and China as well as of the captive global population. This in relation to the ReHerp aim of the establishment of a captive assurance colony in the ReHerp breeding center. Discussed also were possibilities for in situ and ex situ breeding projects, studbook/breeding programs, co operation between ReHerp, EAZA zoos and the European Studbook Foundation. Also taxonomy and DNA and isotope research and protection and recovery in situ were discussed.

The global captive population in zoos counts 289 animals of which 21.23.83 (127) in European EAZA zoos, 60.33.30 (123) in American AZA zoos and 0.0.39 in Asia. In Europe de final 12 months 37 animals have been bred by 6 EAZA zoos. Numbers kept and bred by private keepers are unknown. Some private breeders are quite successful.

It is estimated that in Vietnam only 100 animals are left in the wild. The wild population in China is estimated to be 900.

In both Vietnam and China breeding centers are built. In China very soon captive born animals will be reintroduced in the wild in protected areas. In the Chinese breeding centre in 70 enclosures 200 animals have been bred. In Vietnam the Cologne Zoo is coordinating the breeding center in the Me Linh biodiversity center.

DNA and isotope research is planned to be executed on both wild populations in Vietnam and China. Based on the difference in morphology of animals it may be possible that there are different subspecies of even species. The results are also very important for the captive breeding program and also on the captive animals DNA and isotope research will be done. By the Cologne Zoo the initiative will be taken to initiate an EAZA studbook/breeding program. Ziegler will get in touch about this with EAZA RTAG vice chair lizards Thomas Wilms of the Munster Zoo.

With this constructive June 10 meeting the basis is created for future co operation.