Sometimes things appear to be rather routine when writing about quarterly happenings – looking back, however, with the exception of season changes, schools opening, holidays, etc., each year is actually quite different. As mentioned in Making Connections for Sawfish, the DWA frequently provides opportunities for participation in numerous meetings related to the animals in our collection. DWA’s Director of Animal Husbandry, Paula Carlson, participated in the American Elasmobranch Association Conference in New Orleans (July) and at the International Aquarium Congress meeting in Vancouver, Canada (September). Both meetings explored ways to help the endangered sawfish and their ecosystems.
Representing the DWA at the 9th International Penguin Congress in September at Cape Town, South Africa, was Bird Supervisor, Carolina Arruda. Held every three years, the group discussed global efforts for the conservation of endangered African penguins. African penguins have been part of the DWA since their arrival in 1992.
Although not a scheduled, pre-planned event, Dr. Barratclough, DWA’s veterinarian, was part of an elite group searching for the wayward Cape Cod Manatee. After a thousand pound manatee made her way up north, it was imperative that she be captured and returned to warmer water. Considered to be quite experienced in manatee cold stress syndrome, we were proud to have been asked for Dr. Barratclough’s help.
One of our mammal keepers, Courtney Dunn, attended the First International Xenarthra Conference at Zoological Society of London in early September. Curators, keepers and scientists from around the world attended to learn about the conservation and husbandry of this unique group of animals, which includes Two-toed and Three-toed sloths, Giant anteaters, as well as armadillos and tamanduas.
Conservation Biologist, Luis Sigler, once again found himself driving around with crated crocodiles. Orinoco Crocodile Conservation Program helps explain our continued involvement with crocs hatched at the DWA , even after they have moved to other facilities.
Books of the Month are part of AZA’s Unite for Literacy, which includes the ten SAFE Signature species. Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) is a very important initiative introduced by AZA. Ten books have been published to date, two of which relate to our endangered species – the Sawfish and the African Penguin. The DWA has more than 22 endangered species and participates in many of AZA’s Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs), Species Survival Plan (SSP) Programs and Studbook Programs.
Although not in England, South Africa or Canada, we are looking forward to hosting a Dallas fund-raiser for a local conservation project on November 29th. Soar into Seventeen gives specifics for the event being planned with proceeds going to the Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (RWFC). The RWFC is a non-profit wildlife organization providing care and rehabilitation to injured, sick and orphaned birds with the goal of returning them to their natural environment. Located on 20 acres of restored wetland habitat just south of Dallas, it is the largest all-species avian rehabilitation center in North Texas.
Thanks for your continued support of the DWA and hopefully we will see many of you at the fund-raiser on Tuesday, November 29.