Embassy for Nature

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Visit from Students of Veterinary Medicine of ULPGC

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This Saturday, 21st of May, Loro Parque opened its door for 25 students who are in their first year of studying veterinary medicine at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canary and came to Tenerife to get to know the daily work of our professional veterinaries that guarantee the health of all animals in Loro Parque.

The visit was guided by Javier Almunia, the director of environmental affairs at Loro Parque Fundación. The students of veterinary medicine could visit the facilities of the best zoo in Europe and the 2nd best in world, according to TripAdvisor. At the same time they had the opportunity to talk to several authorities and caregivers that showed the students an insight of their work and answered their questions.

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The students also learned about the health care of cetaceans, thanks to an interesting presentation of the trainers themselves who taught the students about techniques of positive reinforcement and how they accomplish a voluntary attendance of the dolphins and orcas in their daily medical check-ups.

Likewise the group visited the innovative technical rooms of the park where our filtrations plants warrant the best water quality for the animals, as well as the premises for feed preparation of individual feed quantity which is specific adjusted to the characteristics and needs of our animals. An accurate training and specific feeding reduces diseases and improves the well-being of animals.

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Planet Penguin, as one of the biggest penguin sanctuary worldwide, was also part of the visit of the prospective veterinaries. It’s an impressing facility that the students surprised with the various and curious kind of these smart animals which live in the exhibition of Loro Parque.

During the whole day the students showed interest and enthusiasm, especially at Animal Embassy, one of the most emotional zones at Loro Parque and Loro Parque Fundación. In this special embassy they saw the baby-station for the hand-rearing of birds and the more than 130 projects of the foundation for the protection of biodiversity and natural habitations, spread over the whole world. Since the founding of the non-governmental organization in 1994 already more than 16 million US$ are invested in its conservation actions.

Loro Parque is delighted by the visit of the students and wishes all the best for their further studies of veterinary medicine.

Red Panda & Aviaries of South America

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From Loro Parque, we want to share the emotional inauguration of the amazing Aviaries of South America, as well as the new home of our adorable Red Panda couple. We have prepared a short video of this very special day.

Job Announcement: Director of Loro Parque Fundación

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The organization

The Loro Parque Fundación (LPF) is a private foundation, created in 1994 and legally registered in Spain as a charitable-status entity. It is a conservation NGO, and member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature – IUCN. Its HQ is located at Loro Parque in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Although it has no national or regional branches, it operates at international level and is represented in many countries through its project partnerships with organisations in those countries.

Its recent average annual spend directly on projects, of which there are 36 active in 2016, is US$1 million. It is the owner of, and manages the world’s largest, most diverse collection of Psittaciformes. The collection is a genetic reserve and resource for research and exhibition for education, as well as generating part of the income of the LPF. The private company Loro Parque is its principal sponsor, covering all operating costs so that 100% of all other donations go directly to the projects.

The larger proportion of projects is for the conservation of threatened species of parrots, each project including to a lesser or greater extent the direct protection of the target species, the protection and restoration of habitat, and the cooperation with and integration of the local community into the conservation effort. The LPF has increasing involvement in projects related to the conservation of the marine environment, in particular with whales and dolphins. More recently, the LPF is involved in the conservation of large terrestrial mammals in central southern Africa.

The LPF has a Board of Trustees (President, Secretary and Vocals) which has ultimate responsibility for its governance. An international advisory board meets annually with the trustees and principal staff to review progress and make recommendations about project support. There are also honorary vice-presidents.

Major duties and responsibilities of the Director

The Director is responsible for the institutional development of the organisation, and the promotion of a clear identity and profile of the LPF, with the objectives to highlight its scientific and conservation strengths, and to obtain external support for its activities. Duties include managing the LPF project portfolio, with particular emphasis on the terrestrial projects, and to provide suitable content for external communication of projects and activities. The Director will represent the LPF in the wider conservation arena, and is expected to maintain productive relations with other entities involved in conservation. The Director reports directly to the LPF President.

Requirements

Applicants will have a higher degree in a relevant subject, and will already have several years of experience in conservation management, including experience in the field as well as in an administrative capacity. Experience of project management from proposal to outcome will be essential, in particular the ability to discern valid goals and appropriate costs, and evaluate budgets correspondingly. Existing knowledge of bird conservation, especially of parrots, is important. Applicants will need a clear understanding of the positive interface between ex situ and in situ conservation. Good communication and interpersonal skills are indispensable especially to acquire resources for the LPF, and therefore applicants will demonstrate a track-record in fund-raising. Leadership skills, the ability to plan and prioritize, as well as to work independently and meet deadlines, will be necessary. The Director will need to communicate in Spanish and English, and German will also be advantageous.

Salary and starting date

The remuneration package will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. The expected commencement date will be 1st September 2016

A CV and covering letter (addressed to:

The President,
Loro Parque Fundación,
Av. Loro Parque s/n,
38400 Puerto de la Cruz,
Tenerife,
Spain)

should be emailed to: lpf@loroparque-fundacion.org by 23:00h UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)+ 1, Monday 6th of June, 2016.

Download LPF Director Job Announcement

Statement of AIZA about the announcement of SeaWorld

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The Iberian Association of Zoos and Aquariums defends the principle of reproduction of wild animals under human care.

AIZA respects the corporate decisions of all members of our zoological and aquarium community. We are fully aware of the pressure that some lobby groups have been exerting on many companies and zoological institutions.

The positive role that the zoos and aquariums have been playing in the conservation of biological diversity during more than one century has been only possible because of the collaboration of the whole community. Due to this generous cooperation among them, many animal species have been saved from the brink of extinction.

The decisions on the breeding plans of species under human care are regularly based on common and consensual decisions taken by the community of experts in zoo biology, research and conservation. Hence, the unilateral decisions are not always the most appropiate for the species and the conservatin of biodiversity.

Having said that, AIZA does not support the way in which this decision has been taken without a previous debate with the zoological community. Indeed AIZA considers that breeding of cetacean species under human care is essential to continue developing knowledge through professionally driven scientific research projects. The more we know about aquatic mammals, the more we will be prepared to preserve their existence in a changing World. Moreover, a non-breeding policy of zoo and wild animals may have negative impact of this population´s well being long term and we think this has not been deeply considered when assuming this drastic decision.

Policeman from international exchange programme

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This Wednesday, 11th of May 2016, Loro Parque participated in project which is unique in Spain – the international exchange programme STAR where a group of policemen from the United States and Germany met on Tenerife to share experiences with their colleagues of the local police station and give important information to the society. At the same time the officers made use of their stay on the island to explore the Loro Parque, the best zoo in Europe and second best in the world, according to TripAdvisor, and its scientifically labours and commitments related to environmentalism.

The policemen had the possibility to visit the newest exhibition inclusive the recently opened aviaries of South America and received information about the international research and conservation projects which Loro Parque creates as an international example of a modern zoo. Additionally the American and German officers enjoyed the educational presentation and visited the innovative and emotional facility Animal Embassy with its babystation for the hand rearing of birds, the clinic and their work.

Our guests also visited Loro Parque Fundación to demonstrate them our 120 international projects of this non-governmental organization which are maintained since the founding in 1994. A worldwide work for the conservation of animal species and their natural habitat in which the foundation already spent more than 16 million US-dollar. Next to many successes the most important ones are the conservation of two parrot species which were critically endangered and a significantly growing of their populations.

STAR is an international exchange programme for policemen where officers from the United States, Germany and Switzerland can participate to train their abilities related to coordination and colaboration of police authorities. Thanks of the participating of Spain in this pioneer projects it takes place for the first time on the Canary Islands and includes numerous lectures, workshops and joint actions.

Educational visit by students from Netherlands

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On May 9th 34 students of Animal Management from the Groenhorst College in the Netherlands, accompanied by their professors, visited Loro Parque. During their visit, they were able to get directly informed about the important role of the modern zoo as an embassy for wild animals.

The group of students was particularly interested in the work carried out by Loro Parque with the orcas at OrcaOcean, where they received a backstage tour accompanied by the zoological director of Loro Parque, Wolfgang Rades, and by the former student of Groenhorst College, Renée van Reeuwiik, currently working as an orca trainer at Loro Parque. Renée van Reeuwiik offered the students an informative presentation about training methods, orca welfare and the function of a modern zoo as an important bridge between us, human beings, who live nowadays more and more disconnected from nature, and the biodiversity of the animals. The emphasis is made on the many species that are threatened with extinction, in major degree due to human activities that have direct effect on their natural habitats, deteriorating them more and more every day.

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In a special session, the trainer team at OrcaOcean showed their guests from the Netherlands some behaviors performed by the orcas. As the students were particularly interested in the in 2010 in the Wadden Sea by the team of Dolphinarium Harderwijk rescued whale Morgan from Holland, the Orca Ocean team could show how the trainers work with her as well. Morgan is completely integrated in the pod of orcas at Loro Parque, while being practically completely deaf with no chance to survive in nature, as confirmed by authoritative scientific reports. In the end of the presentation, the students of Animal Management were impressed from the opportunity to visit the underwater viewing area of Orca Ocean, where they could watch the orca pod interacting naturally with each other.

The team of Orca Ocean was very pleased to receive this group of students from the Groenhorst College who proved to be very enthusiastic and passionate for nature and animal wildlife. The orca trainers were particularly happy to share the details on their daily work with orcas and to get all the positive feedback and appreciation of the practical application of the gathered scientific data in helping to conserve the animal populations in the wild, as was the case with the efforts exerted by Loro Parque Fundación in the study of the pod of orcas in the Strait of Gibraltar and other relevant projects.

Partido Popular Eurodeputies

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Once again, Loro Parque opens its doors to those interested in learning about the scientific and environmental labour realized by the park and its foundation. On this occasion, the Spanish delegation of the Partido Popular (People’s Party) in the European Parliament, which is in the Canary Islands for a series of meetings with local institutions and organisations, visited the #1 Zoo in Europe and #2 in the World according to TripAdvisor.

During their visit to the facilities of Loro Parque on the morning of Friday, May 6, the MEPs discovered the pioneering exhibitions of this modern zoo, as well as the innovative projects on research, conservation and environmental protection led by Loro Parque Fundación worldwide.

Furthermore, the eleven MEPs enjoyed the educational presentations of the sea lions, the intelligent dolphins, and the noble and majestic family of Loro Parque’s orcas in OrcaOcean. An opportunity where they also discovered Animal Embassy, one of the most emotional and outstanding exhibitions of the park, with which they learnt more about the Baby Station for nestlings, the clinic and the laboratory.

In addition, the delegation visited Loro Parque Fundación, the non-profit organisation that has led, since its creation in 1994, more than 120 international projects for the conservation of threatened species and habitats with an investment greater than USD 16.000.000.

Among the most important successes, Loro Parque Fundación has achieved to save two parrot species from extinction and to significantly improve the populations of many other other. MEPs’ attention was especially drawn to the diverse research work carried out with orcas in Loro Parque that is directly applied to important projects aimed at enhancing conservation efforts for the wildlife, like for instance a project with the endangered population of orcas in the Strait of Gibraltar.

The delegation is pleased with the commitment at the highest level of animal welfare, as could be demonstrated in case of Morgan, a hearing-impaired orca that was rescued in the Netherlands and has completely recovered in Loro Parque. The MEPs’ were also pleased by the commitment to the environment and research, education and responsible breeding programmes demonstrated by the park, which focus on excellence and quality by adopting the most innovative and sustainable practices.

EU-Workshop at Nuremberg Zoo

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Original source: Tiergarten Nürnberg | EU-Workshop im Tiergarten (4 May 2016)

On Wednesday, 4th of May, the first expert conference was hosted by Nuremberg Zoo about Animal Welfare Indicators under the aegis of the European Parliament Intergroup “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development” which was represented by intergroup chairman, Czech deputy of the European Parliament, Pavel Poc. The European Office of Nuremberg has offered the highlights of the accomplishments of this event.

The following members of the international association of zoos and dolphinariums participated in the development of the idea, policy, organization and funding of the event:

  • European Association for Aquatic Mammals (EAAM)
  • European Association for Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA)
  • Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (Alliance)
  • Association of zoological Gardens (VdZ)
  • World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)

The target of this expert conference was to face the opponents in the social debate about the keeping of animals in zoos with the basic research and frame a consensus, based on academic knowledge, which describes a research concept to answer the most urgent questions about animal welfare in zoos.

For this reason, the programme was divided into the morning session where recognized experts got a chance to speak, while during the afternoon session a platform was created so that 80 association members and scientists were able to discuss concrete questions enabling a consensus beyond the socio-political differences.

The participants representing zoos, administrative bodies, universities and non-governmental organizations came from New Zealand, Canada, USA, Greece, Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Turkey, Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

In his welcome address and introduction highlighted the patron of the expert conference that the well-being of the animals is on top on the agenda:

“Animal welfare is high on European agenda. For years, EU has been working on an animal welfare agenda. Implementation of the legislative aspects of animal welfare have to be carried out based on the principle of subsidiarity. Member states have to enforce it. Animal welfare indicators are important for deciding on the standards.”

The first part of the expert conference was to outline “Welfare Science” and the research about Animal Welfare Indicators.

Main Papers

  • Dr. Anastasia Komnenou, Assoc. Prof. of Surgery-Exotic and Wildlife Medicine from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki; Greece. For a veterinarian participating in an expert conference, I have to underline that the principal objective is improvement of the welfare of animals in human care. “As a veterinarian I support the collaboration with other specialists like biologists or behaviourists”, said Komnenou. “It’s really important to find indicators which provide for the needs of the animals in all European zoos.”
  • Heather J. Bacon, BSc (Hons) BVSc CertZooMed MRCVS from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) referred to the necessity to understand the general physiology, ecology and behaviour to develop Animal Welfare Indictors. “Developing a system of indicators of animal welfare requires a good understanding of general animal physiology, ecology and behaviour. Animal welfare should focus on the experience, and not be based on human opinion. Progress relies on collaboration and further investment of time and resources in this area.”
  • Prof. Dr. Norbert Sachser, Institute for neurobiology and ethology of the Westphalia Wilhelm’s University Munster.
  • Isabella Clegg, Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), France.

Keynote speech about cognition research

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Onur Güntürkün from Ruhr University Bochum (Institute for cognitive neuroscience) and awardee of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (2013). His lecture topic was “Biopsychology – Cognitive capacities indicate welfare needs”. Prof. Güntürkün pronounced the necessity of science. Thus, he stated that:

“My main concern are the non-charismatic animals. Those that we consider as boring, those that are not receiving the necessary attention from the media and the zoo visitors. How rich might their inner lives possibly be? We need science, a lot of science to also place these species into the spotlight of attention.”

In a forum at the specialist conference representatives from zoos, administrative bodies, universities and non-governmental organizations answered the questions of the audience.

  • Dr. Javier Almunia, Loro Parque Fundación, Spain
  • Dr. Katrin Baumgartner, DVM, Nuremberg Zoo
  • Dr. Johanna Moritz, Bavarian State Agency for Health and Food Safety
  • Dr. Xavier Manteca, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Dr. Niels van Elk, EEP coordinator of Tursiops truncatus, Dolphinarium Harderwijk, Netherlands
  • Dr. Ingrid N. Visser, founder and scientist of Orca Research Trust, New Zealand

Current zoo researches in relation to in-situ conservation actions were covered in the speeches by:

  • Prof. Guido Dehnhard, Institute for biosciences at the University of Rostock and M. Sc. Tim Hüttner, University of Bayreuth, told about electroreception of dolphins.
  • Dr. Lorenzo von Fersen, Nuremberg Zoo, and Dr. Kurt Hammerschmidt, Department of cognitive ethology at German Primate Center Göttingen, presented bioacustic studies about dolphins and manatees.
  • Dr. Niels van Elk, EEP coordinator for bottlenose dolphins, stressed out the importance of an interdisciplinary approach. “It was good to hold this workshop. The multidisciplinary approach must arrive in time to a pragmatic assessment approach based on science and consensus.”

In autumn, the outcomes of the expert conference shall be presented to EU parliamentarians and members of the European Commission in Brussels.

Consul-Cremer-Preis 2016 Award

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Mr. Wolfgang Kiessling, president and founder of Loro Parque & Loro Parque Fundación, has been awarded the Consul-Cremer-Prize 2016 in recognition of his strong background and extensive experience in conservation and breeding of birds. The ceremony took place on April 16 at the annual meeting of the association of aviculture VereinigungfürArtenschutz, Vogelhaltung und Vogelzucht (AZ) in the German town of Harsewinkel.

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This prestigious organization, founded in 1920, focuses its work on research, preservation and reproduction of birds, and has become the main point of reference in this field both in Germany and on the international arena, thanks to its 17,000 members from around the world. The Consul-Cremer-Preis, its highest recognition, is given to professionals, recognizing their great achievements in this field.

The award was presented to Mr. Kiessling by Mr. Karl-Friedrich Scharrelmann, AZ-President, for his dedication and in appreciation of his work with the AZ association of which Mr. Kiessling is a member since more than 40 years. Since its creation Loro Parque Fundación, a non-profit organisation, has led more than 120 projects to preserve the rich biodiversity and natural habitats of threatened species worldwide with a total investment of more than 16,000,000 US dollars.

Loro Parque Fundación has the largest and most diverse collection of parrots in the world, and follows a clear philosophy: responsible breeding, promoting sustainable development and conservation of wildlife thus having achieved impressive results as saving the bird species such as the yellow-eared parrot (Ognorhynchusicterotis) and Lear´s macaw (Anodorhynchusleari) from extinction in the wild.