In the survey of September 2012 the Board asked all 61 (co) studbook keepers two questions.
In total 38 reactions were received with very clear opinions and constructive proposals.
The first question was : Do you think that the ESF now and in the future has a reason to exist?
All respondents have answered this question with YES. Different motivations were given like:
- more and more species are threatened whereby the ESF only gets more right to exist,
- the great value for conservation of reptiles and amphibians in captivity,
- the contribution to species specific knowledge and experience,
- provides a link between individuals, zoos, other organizations and governments,
- therefore it can be shown that animals keepers certainly are not just animal consumers,
- monitoring and support of captive populations,
- zoos focus on large species, the ESF focus on smaller species,
- it will stimulate the interest in species,
- authority may reach as much,
- it also gives an insight into the status of species in captivity.
The unanimous opinion of the (co) studbook keepers was that keeping up with the administration with the current software program was a bottle-neck in keeping everything up to date. A user-friendly online registration program is very desirable, whereby the studbook participants receive a NAW (location) link access code and are then able to enter the mutations in the animal records themselves.
Almost everyone was of the opinion that there is a lack of communication and that many studbooks became to big and cumbersome and therefore have too little value anymore.
Specific points are mentioned like:
- only continue with cat. A studbooks and give the other categories a different function,
- better small than big and unmanageable,
- better screening of suitable studbook keepers and studbook participants,
- better counseling of new (co) studbook keepers,
- further development and professionalization of the ESF,
- develop and clarify the added value of every studbook,
- publish function- and job-descriptions with obligations and responsibilities,
- finally and not the least, clear communications between board and studbook keepers and between studbook keepers and studbook participants.
The second question was : Would you still continue as (co)studbook keeper?
With few exceptions, everyone would like to continue as (co) studbook keeper. Stopping some non-viable studbooks is advocated.
Based on the outcome of this survey, the Board has decided on October 7, 2012 to renew the ESF and to professionalize it and to discuss this with the (co) studbook keepers at a date later to be determined. For this, the Board will further develop all points mentioned and all propositions and a more central meeting place will be chosen.