The official website of the EAZA Antelope and Giraffe Taxon Advisory Group (TAG)

 

TAG REPORT 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chair: Jens-Ove Heckel, Zoo Landau, Germany; Vice-chair (till August) Angela Glatston, Rotterdam Zoo, The Netherlands; Co-Vice-chairs (since September 2013) Sander Hofman, Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, Belgium & Tania Gilbert, Marwell Wildlife, United Kingdom 

Vision: Healthy, viable, free ranging populations of antelopes, giraffes and okapis, ranging through intact ecosystems, valued and cherished both locally and globally

Mission: To maintain healthy, genetically viable, self-sustaining, captive populations of okapis and a representative cross-section of antelope and giraffe taxa. These populations will be: ambassadors, drawing attention to the plight

of these taxa in the wild; a focus for fund-raising for conservation; a source of individuals for re-stocking and reintroduction purposes and a research resource to improve husbandry, welfare and in situ conservation.

 

The Antelope and Giraffe TAG continues as one of the largest and most complex TAGs representing the approximately 50 species (and approximately 90 taxa) held in European zoos. We have always taken it as our remit to retain as many species in European collections as possible. The stringent veterinary regulations imposed by the EU mean that it continues to be difficult to obtain animals from outside of the EU, whether it is a desirable taxon or to bolster our antelope and giraffid populations. Currently the TAG holds 11 EEPs and 8 ESBs; the remaining species are actively monitored.

 

In 2013 we had to say farewell to Angela Glatston (Rotterdam), who has been serving the TAG as the vice-chair over many years. She has done a wonderful job and we owe Angela our greatest thanks! 

 

The midyear meeting took place 22. to 24.05.2013 at Zoo Landau, Germany. General sessions were followed by main subject sessions such as about husbandry techniques and taxonomy. We exchanged opinions on whether and how ongoing new insights in the field of taxonomy could/should/will not influence the management of species in our care, also with regard to their potential future value for in situ conservation. Finally we spent some time on in situ conservation. A topic the TAG wishes to be strongly involved the coming years. The EEP for blue duiker was downgraded to a MoP still monitored by Kim Van der Put (Arnhem). Christiana Hensel (Erfurt) was confirmed as the new studbook keeper for the blesbok ESB.

 

During the EAZA annual conference our TAG meetings took place on the 27. and 28.09.2013. The programme started off with the intermediate report of the TAG chair and reports of the various TAG’s subgroups on day one. On the second day we were happy to share a series of interesting presentations covering husbandry, conservation and taxonomy. We were particularly honored by the fact that Prof. Colin Groves (Australian National University) joint us to give a presentation on themes in the taxonomy of antelopes and giraffes.

 

In November the Giraffe EEP Species Committee worked for two days on a Management Plan in Gelsenkirchen to make sure we have a long-term viable, well-managed Giraffe population within our community.

 

Among a long list of various activities of different TAG members there should be mentioned that the TAG was represented i.e. at the annual meeting of the Sahara Conservation Fund/Sahelo-Sahara Interest Group in Agadir, Marocco, or a workshop on the conservation future of dama gazelles in Edinburgh. In March 2013 the IUCN SSC Giraffe and Okapi Specialist Group was officially established. There always has been a strong bond between in situ and ex situ okapi conservation. We are happy that the Okapi EEP Coordinators are part of this Specialist Group since its establishment.

 

Tasks and subjects to be address by the TAG in the future are to develop a program for the red duiker and Thomson‘s gazelle, the formation of a species committee for Nile lechwe and decide on the future of the mini antelope subgroup, to investigate transport related deaths and on castration as a management tool, resolve the question of minimum and best practice standards for the husbandry of species in our TAG, revise of our regional collection plan, EEP evaluations (Okapi currently running) and Quick Population Assessments (QPAs), develop guidelines for subgroup chairs and program managers, update the list of needed and wanted imports and creation of an open to the public EAZA Antelope & Giraffe TAG webpage, as an awareness tool.