Posted by : sanne

Saturday, January 26, 2013 the ESF had organized a Studbook keepers day in the Environmental Education Centre (MEC) in Nieuwegein, Netherlands. 31 people participated in this successful day. The program of this day consisted of much discussion on the new ESF approach and policy based on a number of discussion points. In addition, there were four presentations.

Online studbook registration system

The development of the online system was approved with a few marginal notes. Registration must be made as simple as possible. We will be working with codes for the names of the participants to protect the privacy of these people. The online system must be compatible with the EAZA Zims program to stay in touch with the EAZA studbook registrations. The responsibility for registration lays full at the (co) studbook keeper. Studbook keeper and co-studbook keeper decide in cooperation who manages the registration. Board members can only make changes to the registration after permission of the (co) studbook keeper. Several people have volunteered to contribute ideas for the development.


Communication has to come from two sides. The Board has a pioneering role. The communication by the Board fails, not least because of the lack of Board en PR members and sufficient management power. More profiling is necessary in several ways. A new General coordinator (co) studbook keepers and PR members are very needed. The feasibility of attracting professional support will be examined. The proposal was excepted to coach new studbook keepers by the Board and the present experienced studbook keepers during the start of their management work. The Board will periodically send newsletters to all (co)studbook keepers. New to be appointed PR members will take care up this job. The communication between (co)studbook keepers and their studbook participants deserves also more attention. An inventory of the problems with participants will take place, so that the results can be discussed with all (co) studbook keepers to solve these problems.

Activities in the different countries

n the different countries more activities will be undertaken with the national ESF people there. More manpower for contact groups in different countries are very welcome.

Long-term vision

There is too much attention given to the timely submission of annual reports and there is too much attention given to submitting annual reports and for example, too little attention to achieving good breeding results. More emphasis should be put on building populations for the survival of species in captivity in the future; the so called assurance colonies. There should also be a multi-year conservation plan be prepared by the studbook keepers and communicated with all ESF participants. That conservation plan must be obviously much more important beyond just controlling the registration.

Contact days

ore contact days, like this pleasant and constructive day, are recommended. For the meaningful discussions are needed inventories and concrete proposals are needed. Several people have volunteered to help.

Genetics and positive lists in the Netherlands

Ed Gubbels, secretary of the Dutch Platform Sustainable Keeping of Pets (PVH) spoke about the necessity of genetically healthy breeding programs. As PVH secretary Ed has expressed his great concern and critics on the governmental plans of the introduction of positive lists for the keeping of reptiles and amphibians by privates. There is a Dutch scientific report called WUR 345 published without any consulting the organizations concerning keeping with keeping and breeding reptiles and amphibians. The sector reptiles and amphibians is considered this to say yes to the conclusions and the recommendations of this report. Only scientific knowledge is the basis. The welfare aspect get from nature is incorrect. Without captive experiences on the keeping of animals, you cannot comment on the welfare of those animals. measurements of the keeping of animals, you cannot comment on the welfare of those animals. The issue is colored by animal activists and some lobbying organizations. It's not interesting what people think about animals, but to do justice to the animals. There are 3 reasons for keeping species prohibited: 1. the welfare of the animals cannot be assured. 2. there is danger to life and health of humans and / or animals. 3. there is a risk to native flora and fauna. A problem is that: a no equally effective alternative is available b. it objectively and without discrimination should be (standards by species) c. the domestication level (man-directed evolution) do not count d. the practical knowledge is of little importance (animals keepers have the knowledge, not the universities). It is therefore important to make visible what you do in your hobby and why. Read more on the website.

Iguanas from the Caribbean area

Evert Henningheim and Rene Gaal, IUCN Iguana Specialist Group members, spoke about Iguanas of the Ctenosaura and Cyclura genera from the Caribbean area. These iguanas are under severe pressure in the wild. Some species are critically endangered. The studbooks Ctenosaura melanosterna and Ctenosaura oerdirhina are very small. Therefore, everyone is asked to find new animals and new participants. But smuggled animals are not accepted. Read more on the website. Conservation projects having in situ and ex situ links Henk Zwartepoorte emphasized that for some tortoise and freshwaterturtle species in situ conservation / protection projects exist. Some of them can be linked to ex situ studbook/ breeding programs by both ESF and EAZA. Henk presented the projects Astrochelys yniphora (Ploughshare tortoise), Mauremys annamensis (Vietnam freshwater turtle) and Testudo kleinmanni (Egyptian tortoise). Read more on the website.

Cuora genus

Richard Struijk spoke about the Cuora genus counting 13 species. The majority is critically endangered and some are extinct in the wild. The numbers within the ESF studbooks vary however all are low to very low. Breeding is poor regarding some and for some breeding is encouraging. The majority of the species presumably will be raised to CITES 2 and 1 in the course of 2013. The in situ and ex situ status will be discussed and the need for increased attention by the ESF Cuora studbook keepers will be addressed. Read more on the website.

Lezing positief lijstESF studbook keeper day introductionCuora lecture