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June 2010 
Inside this issue ...
Holiday courses!
Culture comes to the vultures
Urban biodiversity?
Dr Emily Lane wins award
Director's comment
New arrival at Emerald Animal World
Stringent measures protect King penguins
NZG staff master penguin conservation skills
Maintaining an inland marine aquarium can be challenging!
First genetic assessment of pangolins in SA
Outbreak of deadly primate disease controlled
NZG hosts wildlife medicine courses for vets
ZooClub members investigate SA's biomes
Conservation Grapevine
World governments fail to halt biodiversity loss
Lions targeted for Chinese 'medicines'

 
During her visit to the National Zoo, Minister Pandor left NZG staff with an inspiring message reminding them of the importance of their activities and the role they are to play in not only conserving Africa's biodiversity but also in the lives of people that are to be enriched through education and development.
 
The NZG was awarded the top honours in the Serviced Attractions category and received special recognition for its outstanding contribution to Tshwane Tourism.
 
Dr Clifford Nxomani, Managing Director of the National Zoo (centre) at the PAAZAB Conference in April 2010, flanked by NZG staff members. From left: Tracy Shaw, Thobeka Ndlanzi, Tracy Rehse, Prof Antoinette Kotze, Dr Abeda Dawood and
Dr Emily Lane. Dr Nxomani was elected PAAZAB Chair at the Conference.
View larger version of photo
National Zoo scoops top honours at Business and Tourism Awards

Dr Clifford Nxomani, Managing Director, National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

Species continue to decline at alarming rates

Recent press articles have indicated that countries are not able to meet their deadlines set during a meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2002 during the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The targets set attempted to halt the reduction in biodiversity loss by 2010. Unfortunately, a recently published paper indicated that the targets set are not being met.

Jean-Christophe Viť, Deputy Head of the IUCN's (World Conservation Organisation) Species Programme and co-author of the cited paper has said that "biodiversity was still declining at an alarming rate" and that the rate of decline was so significant that "everyone, from individuals to businesses, must act now to save all life on earth". Governments have heeded the call and during a recent conference held in Nairobi, Kenya positive moves were made through the development of a comprehensive plan that will address the rate of biodiversity loss.

We all have a role to play

However, as Viť emphasised we all have a role to play in reducing the rate of biodiversity loss. Some of us are called to lobbying politicians and assisting government with technical knowledge, while others are to make a difference through changing their lifestyle and reducing their own impact on the environment. We all have our part to play in this global effort, but what is needed now is our continued support and whole-hearted commitment to making a change, thereby securing the future of countless species.

Minister Pandor's inspiring message

During April 2010 the NZG was honoured by a visit from Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor. The visit afforded us an opportunity to showcase the zoo and all its activities. Minister Pandor left us with an inspiring message reminding us of the importance of our activities and the role that we are to play in not only conserving Africa's biodiversity but also the lives of people that are to be enriched through education and development.

Awards

The National Zoo is proud to announce that its Wildlife Pathologist, Dr Emily Lane received the 2010 Bernard Harrison and Friends Award for Best Professional Development at the PAAZAB (African Association of Zoos and Aquaria) Conference in April 2010.

The NZG itself was honoured by the City of Tshwane during its recent Business and Tourism Awards. The awards form part of the Tshwane International Trade and Tourism Infrastructure Conference (TITTIC), now in its third year. The NZG was awarded the top honours in the Serviced Attractions category and received special recognition for its outstanding contribution to Tshwane Tourism.

This is indeed wonderful recognition of the efforts of all the NZG's staff members. We are further inspired through these recognitions to ensure that we offer our guests an experience that allows them to stand in awe of the splendour of nature and moves them to do their part in saving the environment.