Notes from the Midyear Meeting

I am writing from the midyear meeting of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in Chattanooga, where we’re focusing on research and species sustainability. We’re also discussing our ongoing assistance to zoos and aquariums in Japan.

These meetings are critical to keeping up to date on developments with other zoos and reaffirming bonds between AZA members, which, as you probably know, collectively manage our species and transfer individual animals among institutions to create pairings that will enable zoo collections to thrive well into the future.
In terms of research, I am proud to announce a new study published in the International Journal of Primatology by Lincoln Park Zoo Research Biologist Lisa Faust, Ph.D. The study examines 11 Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) facilities, predicting their carrying capacity for chimpanzees and providing a roadmap for long-term resource, infrastructure and financial planning.
This is a pressing issue—due to deforestation and poaching of adults in Africa, there is growing population of orphan chimpanzees. Each year more than 50 such orphans are dropped off at PASA sanctuaries. In order for these facilities  to provide lifetime care, they need a strategic plan, as chimps can live 60 years.
Lincoln Park Zoo is committed to helping. Lisa’s work—and that performed by her colleagues here at the zoo—illuminates how we use sound science to ensure healthy, sustainable zoo populations while offering expertise around the globe, in this case, ensuring that sanctuaries are prepared for the rigors of chimpanzee rescue.
As always, I'll keep you posted.
Kevin Bell