Letter From The Director

Dear Members,

Our third quarter newsletter routinely reports that another successful and pleasant summer is over. For those of you that have been members for a few years, you know that an ideal time to visit the DWA is during the next few weeks – before the holidays and prior to the many school groups. Last year we also mentioned that Leno, one of our Three-toed sloths (Bradypus variegatus), would become a teenager on October 1, 2014, when he celebrates his 13th birthday. Leno had some special guests this summer when Judy Aroyyo and Rebecca Cliffe from the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica came to visit. He is one of our sloths participating in a research project being conducted by the Sanctuary. You can read more about the research in Sloth Sanctuary. In August, we were also visited by two Costa Rican government officials, Jorge Hernandez Benavides, Coordinator Wildlife Conservation Area Central Volcanic Range (ACCVC), National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) and Ronald Mora, Officer of the Conservation Area Heredia (MINAE). The National Parks and Wildlife Refuges of Costa Rica are managed by MINAE, the Ministerio de Ambiental y Energia. Eleven conservation areas are known as the Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion, or SINAC. These offices oversee and manage the public lands of Costa Rica and sponsored the trip for the purpose of getting ideas for construction of a national “rescue-type” center for the country, with animals to then be distributed to various, appropriate centers. Having worked with the Costa Rican government since 2003, we were proud to have them visit and see the home we provide for the sloths from their country.
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the scientific agency within the US Department of Commerce responsible for investigating and reporting environmental changes that affects our country, such as the world’s oceans, coastal areas, and atmosphere. NOAA recently added 20 species of coral under the Endangered Species Act, as explained in New Regulations Aim to Protect Coral Reefs. Conditions such as light, water quality, temperature, salinity and food source for many marine creatures are discussed in How Does Your Coral Garden Grow? Notice the Palau exhibit to appreciate new LED lighting for the glowing, neon-like corals.
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We will be hosting the second CroctoberFest 2014 on Saturday, October 25th. Guest lecturers will be Dr. Brady Barr (National Geographic) and Lonnie McCaskill (Disney’s Animal Kingdom). Do not conjure up visions of “lectures” that seem endless and boring, as these two are perhaps the most entertaining, yet sincere, speakers that you may ever have the privilege to meet. We hope to see more members this year at the one-day conference. We promise to provide interactive opportunities for all ages while learning about the plight of crocodilians. Coming Soon – 2014 CroctoberFest will spark your interest, describe activities and registration process and fees.
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It seems like our “nursery news” has become a large part of each newsletter. This growth would seem to imply that our animals are healthy, happy and enjoy their habitat in downtown Dallas. The alien-looking Axolotl is really as bizarre as suggested in Axolotl: A Bizarre Name for an Equally Bizarre Animal. The DWA has four species of turacos in our collection. They are some of the most beautiful, medium-sized birds that we have. Like the above mentioned corals, iridescent bright colors of the turacos, with their beautiful crests, are spectacular. We are excited that the first species has reproduced as described in Baby Turacos.

Not to be outdone by the birds and amphibians, the primates have also been busy! Baby sakis, both Red-backed bearded and White-faced are on display, as are the young Pygmy marmosets. Learn their locations, as well as some of their names in More Babies.

The Book of the Month, of course is about babies! Written by extremely qualified authors, many of the babies it presents are part of the DWA collection and are also producing babies.

Thanks for your continued support and we hope to see you soon at the DWA and seriously consider joining us on October 25th for Croctoberfest.

Daryl Richardson

To find out how you can bring your group to The Dallas World Aquarium, contact us at: education@dwazoo.com or call 214 720 2224