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Studbook and population management training workshop: Small population management skills enhanced to help manage 16 species in Indonesia (24–27 October 2011)

For those species at risk of extension in the wild, a back-up population in an ex situ or zoo location can form an important part of effective conservation. This is becoming the case for a number of species that are native to Indonesia.

Over 40 Indonesian conservation professionals participated in the 4-day Studbook and Population Management Training Workshop at Royal Safari Garden Hotel. Professionals from the Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, Ministry of Forestry, the Republic of Indonesia and Indonesian zoos attended in order to enhance their knowledge of how to more effectively manage zoo populations, as part of a collaborative conservation effort. Eighteen studbook keepers participated in two days of intensive training in studbook keeping software and processes for ensuring accurate data for population management.

The workshop was led by the IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group’s Dr. Kristin Leus and Dr. Kathy Traylor-Holzer with co-instructor Dr. Ligaya Tumbelaka (National Studbook Keeper for Sumatran Tiger) and Sharmy Prastiti (International Studbook Keeper for Malayan Tapir). The studbook keepers who received the training came from 11 institutions and have responsibility for a wide arrange of species, including:  Anoa, Babirusa, Banteng, Javan Gibbon, Komodo Monitor, Bali Mynah, Proboscis Monkey, Orangutan, Sumatran Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Malayan Tapir and Sumatran Tiger. In addition, a number of Ministry of Forestry staff attended to learn some of the risks to small populations and implications for small wild population management.

The main achievement of the course was that studbook keepers are able to develop and maintain Indonesian national studbooks for these species and to contribute the studbook data to the ISIS studbook library, as an integral part of management of the world ex-situ populations for these species. Additional successes of the workshop were that several new studbook keepers were appointed by decree of Director General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, Ministry of Forestry; and mentors were identified to help coach the newly appointed studbook keepers after the course.

This workshop is one of the first outcomes of a prioritization process where this activity was identified as one of the top priorities for conservation of Indonesian wildlife. This process of prioritization began with a workshop for Regional Strategic Planning for wild cattle and buffaloes of South-east Asia, and continued with National species planning workshops for Anoa, Babirusa and Banteng, held in Indonesia in 2009. The development of effective studbook keeping and ex-situ population management expertise in Indonesia is also supported by the WAZA Javan Gibbon Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) and the Sumatran Tiger GSMP.

The workshop was hosted by the Directorate of Biodiversity Conservation, Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, Ministry of Forestry the Republic of Indonesia, the Indonesian Zoological Parks Association (PKBSI), Taman Safari Indonesia, the IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, the IUCN/SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group and Earthwatch Institute. The workshop was generously supported by: Taman Safari Indonesia, World Zoo and Aquarium Association (WAZA), Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo, Chester Zoo, Natural Science Center and Animal Discovery of Greensboro, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, Africa Alive /Banham Zoo, Opel Zoo, Apenheul Zoo, Seneca Park Zoo, and Copenhagen Zoo.

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