Although it appears that the world went into a holding pattern with the main focus of the global population for 2020 being on the nCOV2 panademic, the work of Wildlife sector still continued unabated. This was particularly releveant for the ‘In a Controlled Environment’ Wildlife sub-sector which resulted in possibly the bussiest year for PAAZA.
It seems a long time ago, but the submissions by PAAZA to get permission under the State of Disaster for Z&A’s to open under Level 2 were intensive to say the least. This entailed engaging with the entire Wildlife sub-sector and the development of protocols, guidelines and proposals for NCCC (South Africa) and equivalent for the region, as well as surveys to obtain relevant sub-sector data. What was significant during the stringent lockdown period, was that although preparation was Monday through Thursday weekly, most Committees met Friday through Sunday, which meant that PAAZA Executive had to be continuously available to supply input and data. What was rewarding was when the regulations were amended to allow firstly animal movement both within country and then globally, the opening of 'Self-drive' facilities and finally the permission to open 'Walk through' facilities.
Even though there was enormous focus on requirements relating to the pandemic, it offered PAAZA an opportunity to develop a number of useful tools as well as educational and informative material. These can be summarised as follows:
Keeper & Curator corner’s were launched on FaceBook
These are closed groups for PAAZA members only at this stage. Admission is by application and verification with the relevant facilities management. The content of the groups is from group members and NOT the PAAZA Executive office. These are forums for Keepers and Curators to share experiences and ideas and have been created as requested by You the members.
Help us to Help You (request sent via email 22 September 2020)
If there is one thing that stood out VERY clearly during lockdown with the intense interaction PAAZA had with Government (multiple submissions), but what was a massive challenge was the lack of data pertaining to our ‘In a Controlled Environment’ Wildlife sub-sector.
In an effort to start addressing this, PAAZA has created an interactive survey for visitors to your facilities. What this will do is give us solid data on the number of visitors to the ‘In a Controlled Environment’ Wildlife sub-sector facilities.
All we are asking of you is for your facility to create a sign board using the attached artwork (hi-res sent via email communication 22 September 2020) and to place the sign / signs at the exit to your facility. The data will be securely held by PAAZA who will also do the analysis. We are hoping to build on this so as to obtain solid data for the ‘In a Controlled Environment’ Wildlife sub-sector facilities so that we can all showcase our wonderful profession and importance in the Biodiversity sector. Sadly, to date, the lack of incoming data seems to indicate the lack of engagement with this initiative. Data for our sub-sector is imperative for us (PAAZA) being effective for the ‘In a Controlled Environment’ Wildlife sub-sector's future Mission and contribution to Conservation of Wildlife through ALL the offerings at YOUR amazing facilities. PLEASE, Help us (PAAZA) to Help You.
We trust that you will ‘test drive’ the QR code. You will note that we have used language that relates to the visitor since it is the visitors opinion we are seeking.
We sincerely hope that you will embark on this journey with PAAZA in creating a databank that is driven by OUR profession and not external entities.
In addition to the above, PAAZA has already embarked on a data collection / analysis of SM platforms relating to the reach of certain sectors pertaining to wildlife.
The PAAZA Mobile App
There were an enormous amount of updates and additions to the PAAZA mobile App. The following are the new items:
This has been continually updated with current / relevant information, particularly in relation to the pandemic regulations and more particularly, the latest studbooks..
These can be found at:
http://www.zoosafrica.com/2013-01-29-13-03-35/population-sustainability.html (only available to registered and verified members)