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EAZA and TRAF­FIC sign Mem­o­ran­dum of Understanding

pub­lished 25 Feb­ru­ary 2018 | mod­i­fied 25 Feb­ru­ary 2018

silent forestThe Euro­pean Asso­ci­a­tion of Zoos and Aquar­i­ums (EAZA) and TRAF­FIC on 19 Feb­ru­ary signed a mem­o­ran­dum of under­stand­ing (MoU) to inten­sify col­lab­o­ra­tion on areas of mutual inter­est, in par­tic­u­lar on fur­ther­ing the aims of EAZA’s Silent For­est campaign.

The Silent For­est cam­paign is focused on song­birds of South­east Asia, which are being trapped and traded in unsus­tain­able num­bers to sup­ply the domes­tic trade, par­tic­u­larly in Indonesia.

The birds are kept both as pets and for par­tic­i­pat­ing in bird singing com­pe­ti­tions, but a num­ber of species, includ­ing sev­eral that were for­merly com­mon, have dis­ap­peared from large parts of their South­east Asia ranges because of exces­sive trap­ping. They include the Ori­en­tal Magpie-​robin (Copsy­chus saularis), Straw-​headed Bul­bul (Pyc­nono­tus zey­lan­i­cus) and White-​rumped Shama (Kittac­in­cla mal­abar­ica).

EAZA’s cam­paign aims to address and mit­i­gate the ongo­ing song­bird cri­sis through pro­vid­ing the resources needed, sci­en­tific know-​how and fund­ing to save a grow­ing num­ber of Asian song­bird species from immi­nent extinction.

Along­side BirdLife and the IUCN Asian Song­bird Trade Spe­cial­ist Group, TRAF­FIC is sup­port­ing these efforts through pro­vid­ing tech­ni­cal sup­port, in par­tic­u­lar, help­ing with ongo­ing bird mar­ket sur­veys across the region.

TRAF­FIC and EAZA look for­ward to util­is­ing our respec­tive strengths to achieve the max­i­mum pos­i­tive con­ser­va­tion impact.

Steven Broad, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of TRAFFIC

The MoU com­mits TRAF­FIC and EAZA to share knowl­edge and exper­tise relat­ing to the lev­els of trade of species from the wild, with an empha­sis on newly threat­ened species, and will cover infor­ma­tion about captive-​breeding, ille­gal sourc­ing of spec­i­mens and sus­pect ani­mal and plant deal­ers — for not only song­birds but other species as well, such as pan­golins and reptiles.

As part of the col­lab­o­ra­tion, zoos and aquar­i­ums will pro­vide their vis­i­tors with edu­ca­tional infor­ma­tion on how to avoid pur­chas­ing ille­gally sourced ani­mal prod­ucts and report sus­pi­cions of ille­gally traded ani­mals. Efforts will also be directed to help stem the ille­gal wildlife trade in Europe, where some 12,000 ille­gal wildlife prod­ucts were seized between 2005 and 2009, accord­ing to TRAF­FIC. Many of the species ille­gally traded are threat­ened and in dan­ger of extinc­tion, often trans­ported in appalling con­di­tions by unscrupu­lous traders.

TRAFFIC’s trade exper­tise, along­side EAZA’s exten­sive pub­lic out­reach and exper­tise in car­ing for threat­ened species makes a strong com­bi­na­tion in our joint efforts to pre­vent forests from falling silent,” said Thomas Kauf­fels, Direc­tor of Opel-​Zoo and cur­rent Chair of EAZA.

Along­side experts from IUCN and BirdLife we have assem­bled a great team to help pre­vent an avoid­able con­ser­va­tion cri­sis for Asia’s song­birds,” added Steven Broad from TRAFFIC.

(Source: EAZA press release, 19.02.2018)

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