C.A.R.E.S. and CRC catalogue integrated

Discussion about cichlid conservation and captive bred programs

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Juan Artigas
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C.A.R.E.S. and CRC catalogue integrated

Post by Juan Artigas » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:32 pm

The C.A.R.E.S. program, founded and led by the influential aquarist and conservationist Claudia Dickinson, is aimed to establish and maintain a reliable source of base stock conservation priority at-risk species within the aquarium hobby while forming an information network between aquarists, scientists, and conservationists. The CARES Conservation Priority Species at Risk List currently includes classifications of 156 cichlid species as evaluated. Those species are now listed in the Cichlid Room Companion catalog together with links to their Cichlid Room Companion species profile and a C.A.R.E.S. status page.

You can find them in a dedicated C.A.R.E.S. page in:

http://www.cichlidae.com/gallery/cares.php

All cichlid species in the C.A.R.E.S. list also show a link at their profile in the CRC catalog in the conservation section.

Any ideas on how to improve the collaboration or goals of C.A.R.E.S. are welcomed
Juan Miguel Artigas
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Re: C.A.R.E.S. and CRC catalogue integrated

Post by michi tobler » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:21 pm

Hi Juan,
what a great feature! One question: I wonder how the status has been assessed for some of the species, since the list is not congruent with the IUCN status?
Cheers, Michi
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Re: C.A.R.E.S. and CRC catalogue integrated

Post by Dean Hougen » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:46 pm

Michi,

This post by Claudia over at the ACA forum gives a rough outline of how it is done: http://acaforum.com/index.php?showtopic ... st&p=19703

Dean
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President, Oklahoma Aquarium Association (OKAA)

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Re: C.A.R.E.S. and CRC catalogue integrated

Post by michi tobler » Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:33 am

Thanks Dean, I see. I'm inclined to suggest that you use the IUCN categories only for species listed in the IUCN list and designate any further species listed in the CARES program with a special category (or categories). That way you avoid misunderstandings for people interested in this information. The IUCN categories are outlined by clear assessment criteria (http://www.iucnredlist.org/static/categ ... iteria_3_1) and I think it is important to distinguish between CARES species and IUCN Red List species. Also, I think it is important that you state on what basis you classify CARES species. I'm somewhat surprised by some of the listings and omissions (the same is true for the IUCN list btw;o).
Cheers, Michi
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Re: C.A.R.E.S. and CRC catalogue integrated

Post by Juan Artigas » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:49 am

Michi,

I totally agree with you, I think C.A.R.E.S. classification should normally agree with IUCN (If there should be a C.A.R.E.S. classification at all), as C.A.R.E.S. is not a classifier organization and IUCN has a very clear set of rules to establish the conservation status for an organism. Although I believe IUCN has some mistakes, at least when concerns to Central American fish. We also have of course the case where IUCN does not evaluate an organism that CARES wants to consider and so there must be some rules (There are on cares page) to evaluate it.

I also set an additional field in the database for notes, this is for cares "authorities" to establish the reason why to include a certain species in the C.A.R.E.S. program. You can see this filled up in my two species proposed, for example:

http://www.cichlidae.com/gallery/cares.php?id=206

There is also place for references in the listing

Beyond all this I consider why C.A.R.E.S. if there is IUCN, well I believe that C.A.R.E.S. should take a more active and practical role in the conservation of species, and list the people and institutions keeping captive populations of certain species (some people may want to be excluded from this and that is fine) but I believe a link has to be established and the fish made available to prevent genetic bottlenecks in isolated captive populations. At least this could be a starting point of action.

Now, not all cichlid species in danger have to be part of C.A.R.E.S. list, so no need to list them all, unless there is of course the possibility top obtain breeding stock and work with them.

Please understand these are my opinions and have noting to do with C.A.R.E.S. official position or goals, I am just trying to establish the link and make proposals for their consideration to work out a better C.A.R.E.S..
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Re: C.A.R.E.S. and CRC catalogue integrated

Post by illustrator » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:20 am

Is there any contact between C.A.R.E.S. and other organisations that try to do similar things with different animal groups - or plants for that matter - ? I hope I remember it correctly, but I think that te World Pheasant Association and several waterfowl/wildfowl clubs have species maintainance programms. I personally grow some wildform African Violets (yes, plants in the windowsill), and they seem quite well registered in the American club. I expect that some problems are different, but some also not (inbreeding risks and especially the short atention span that is so characteristic of human beings - after some years everyone tends to keep something else again ... ). I think that some kind of contact between organisations could be most interesting.

P.s. After studying the C.A.R.E.S. page I still have no clue if I can submit that I keep something, as individual hobyist, not as member of a club ...

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Re: C.A.R.E.S. and CRC catalogue integrated

Post by Juan Artigas » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:31 am

illustrator wrote:After studying the C.A.R.E.S. page I still have no clue if I can submit that I keep something, as individual hobyist, not as member of a club ...
This is something I have been suggesting for, so CARES could have more of a practical function. For classification purposes, we have the IUCN already (Although it is more of a problem for IUCN to consider potentially undescribed species as classified for protection). Apparently, some people are not at easy if their names are listed as keeping an endangered species because of the potential legal problems this may bring to them, but those could be left put the listing of course.
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Re: C.A.R.E.S. and CRC catalogue integrated

Post by illustrator » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:10 pm

I could imagine that you take the IUCN-list for classification and then make a shorter list of species which you more strongly recommend for captive-breeding programs. The original IUCN-classification can stay intact. I mean: first recommend species that are extinct in the wild, but represented in the hobby and are not difficult to keep. Maybe don't include very large species, which are hardly present in the hobby and for which it will be very difficult to set up any program because practically no-one is able(or willing) to keep them in the long term.

Now it's 156 species of cichlids (and a bunch of other fish ...). With increased knowledge it might become 1560 species. Who is going to pay for all the administration that comes with maintaining viable (if inbred) populations of so many species? In zoo's we (I am animal keeper in a zoo) think that a minimum captive population of any species consists of about 200 individuals, if exchanged through a carefully coordinated sceme. If exchanged "at random" and if bred as groups-without-known-parentage you need many more. Maybe 2000 individual fish of any species would do the trick. But zoo-programms are traying to maintain maximum genetic variation while minimising inbreeding and domestication. Maybe that's something that is too high fetched for hobbyist keepers (or maybe a good chalenge)?

OK, what if we go for inbred-domesticated lineages as a second best? In any case, I know of no zoo-program that works really 100% ideally according to the rules, all have to improvise "with the animals and possibilities they got". Maybe 156 species is realistic, if enough people join. At least it sets an aim for the number of people you want to join: say 10 aquariums per fish species x 2 species per hobbyist = 780 people need to join the program and also decide to not keep something that is already overrepresented ... Or many more people if some species are more popular than others (which is very likely) ...

So setting some priorities and maybe adding a shorter list of priority-species would't hurt in my opinion...

Or am I just adding nonsense thoughts?

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Re: C.A.R.E.S. and CRC catalogue integrated

Post by dogofwar » Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:04 pm

I think the issue is even more fundamental:

What are the goals of the CARES program and how should they be measured?

Is there a governance structure to support coordination, prioritization and resource allocation (if there were resources)?

What is the linkage (if any) to broader (resourced) conservation and preservation efforts?

Matt

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