Dear Members, Dear Friends,
The third edition of TENDUA’s Newsletter announces the Spring we’ve all been waiting for, after a rather long and cold winter. As the days get longer and birds begin to sing at dawn, we can be convinced of the return to the sweetness of summer …
2010 is placed double under the sign of Biodiversity and for the Chinese zodiac, under that of the Tiger. However, reality reminds us that this symbolic animal is seriously threatened in its natural environment - whichever its country of origin.
Things being what they are, our planets’ biodiversity always surprises us: A new feline species has just been photographed in Borneo. Will it be enough to stop man from believing that nature is only there to serve him and that he is in the centre of the world?
A point will also be made on the position of France with regard to the fishing of blue-fin Tuna, who’s future should be decided in Doha during the conference of the CITES mid-March 2010.
We suggest you consider going to Thoiry on April 3rd for a conference on Cheetahs and to Drancy for the second edition of “animal latitudes” between 8th and 13th April, when animal photographers will testify about the state of nature in the wild, then, in Somme Bay for the 20th festival of birdlife and nature from 10th until 18th April of this year.
Enjoy your Reading!
2010: The year of the TIGER, strength, courage, determination... but highly threatened of extinction
The optimistic estimations of the Bengal Tiger living in its natural environment equated to 2600 individuals in 2007 but were returned to 1200 animals in 2008, which is less than the number of tigers that had been counted in 1973 - which had started the Indian program for protection of the tiger, launched by Indira Gandhi.
Estimations of the Amur Tiger is currently around 300 individuals in the Russian Far East.
Concerning the Tiger of the Mekong (Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam), the population count is less than 350 specimens (there were 1200 in 1998).
Less than 50 (30?) wild tigers remain in China.
The “States of the Tiger” are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.
In all these countries, one of the main causes of the decline in the population is connected to poaching either for the needs of the Chinese pharmacopoeia, or for trophies.
The other big issue which threatens the Tiger is the destruction of its natural living environment (deforestation, agricultural activity, urbanisation) and the fragmentation of this living environment, due to the development of modern infrastructures.
If the international estimations of 3200 tigers living in their natural world today – compared with 6000 ten years ago - on barely 7 % of their natural environment, it is very likely that in reality the total population does not exceed 2500 animals.
Will there still be wild tigers in 2022, the next year of the Tiger?
TENDUA is preparing a more complete report, which you will find on our website in the coming weeks. Do not hesitate to send us any recent information which you are aware of on this big feline family. Thank you.
A new species of big cat discovered in Borneo
- Neofelis diardi
- In 2010, the first photos in the wild made by In. Wilting and Mohamed Azlan during the fortuitous meeting with a non elusive wild specimen - © A. Wilting & M. Azlan
In Malaysia, in Borneo’s Sabah state, scientists discovered at
night, in the Dermakot Forest Reserve, a 500 square kilometre (190 square mile) area which had been commercially logged but where replanting is now under way, a leopard quite recently identified and filmed for the first time. The length of the feline, including its tail, reaches approximately 3 meters and it weighs about 40 kilos. It is called the Sundaland clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) and classified as a new species, as well as endangered, by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
This Leopard seems to be the biggest predator in Borneo. Previously all clouded Leopards living across the Southeast Asian mainland were thought to be the same species. As a fact, the animal is not without reminding the nebulose Panther (Neofelis nebulosa, called also in French “the longibande panther”) who lives in Southeast Asia. These two species were not differentiated until 2007 but DNA tests allowed genetic differences to be established, classifying the clouded Leopard of Borneo a different species.
This big cat can be found in lowland rainforest in Borneo and in small numbers in areas of logged forest.
But environmentalists say that the clouded Leopard faces the threat of poaching while rapid deforestation and the creation of rubber and oil-palm plantations in Borneo is destroying its natural habitat. Sixty camera traps placed in Dermakot also captured images of the marbled cat, flat-headed cat, leopard cat and Borneo bay cat, all smaller in size than the Sundaland clouded leopard.
The number of zoological and botanical new species described every year varies considerably. Between 1978 and 1987 twenty six mammals were discovered as well as 231 fish species. At the same time, one species per thousand disappears every year.
France in front of the disappearance of the Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)
At the end of January 2010, the Environment committee of the European Parliament pronounced in favour of the ban on the international trade in bluefin tuna. This vote has only a consultative value but the ban allows considering the inscription of the bluefin tuna to appendix 1 of the CITES which is going to hold its 15th session Conference of the Parties in Doha (Qatar) from March, 13th until 25th 2010.
As for France, the country pronounced after Italy at the beginning of last February. However, by looking at it closer, its support remains conditional on 3 terms:
- The re-examination of the scientific opinions of THE ICCAT  and of CITES, in October, 2010, and February, 2011 for the second;
- An 18-month extension to the implementation of the decision, which would be added to the usual 3-months deadline of application of the CITES decisions which equates to at least 2 additional seasons of fishing (in 2010 and 2011);
- For the member states, the possibility of trading bluefin tuna by exempting intra-community borders, that is a shape of international trade limited to the European Union.
We can wonder if the bluefin tuna will not have disappeared when these measures will finally be applied, and regret the way France presents its choices as being “a political will to treat carefully the Mediterranean states”. If, during the Conference in Doha, two thirds of the 175 member states of CITES vote for, then the bluefin tuna will be registered in the Appendix 1, but the lobbying of the bluefin tuna consumer countries have made good progress with smaller states who are influenced by ‘economic partnerships’.
The consumption of bluefin tuna widely exceeds Japanese borders. If Japan absorbs 80% of the world production today, sushis, sashimis and the other tuna steaks have entered our everyday life, in France, in all Europe, in Russia - and not only in the capitals.
Think about it the next time that someone suggests bluefin tuna for your menu …
TENDUA has renewed its support to SVAA and to Noé Conservation for 2010, and gets ready to renew its support to the program for the Amur panther.
End of January, 2010
In Paris, TENDUA received Doctor Serguey Naidenko, in charge of the Russian research program, and involved in the projects of the Russian Academy of Sciences on the Amur tiger.
We met with the people in charge of the Park of Big cats and those of the Jardin des plantes. The first stages of an ongoing co-operation were explored. We hope we can develop this cooperation, in particular on a program concerning Pallas’s cat or Manul, a small feline which lives in Mongolia and in the South of Siberia. We had recently shown you a photo, taken in the Park of Big cats.
We hope that Serguey Naidenko will visit us again this year.
February 24th 2010
- Aquarev’, our sponsor, passed Tendua a cheque
- In the foreground, Mr Brun and R. Sahuquet, founders of Aquarev ’ and their team, C. Michailesco and M. Dupuis of Tendua, and Didier Tran whom we thank for his photo of Dugong taken in Egypt and the information he collected. - © D. Tran
Aquarev’, our sponsor, passed Tendua a cheque, within the framework of our partnership: an euro passed to Tendua by each traveller hosted by Aquarev’, “to travel otherwise”.
Our first common project concerns Dugong dugong, an herbivorous marine mammal. TENDUA is interested in the Dugong that the divers meet in Marsa off the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea (El-Qoseir).
On Saturday, April 3rd: meeting in the Park of Thoiry for a conference on Cheetahs
Laurie Marker, co-founder and executive director of the Cheetah Preservation Fund (www.cheetah.org ) returns soon to France for an exceptional visit to the Zoo of Thoiry (http: // www.thoiry.net) and will give a conference there on Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 at 4:30 pm.
She will outline the threats which threaten the survival of cheetahs and the actions undertaken by the Cheetah Conservation Fund for the protection of this species. Thoiry also plans to dedicate a special space to cheetahs during the weekend of Easter. This space will be situated on the preservation stand in the middle of the park.
Note this date in your diaries. TENDUA will be there and will meet the association Feline Friends which passed on to us this information.
“Latitudes Animales II” in Drancy from April 8 till 13, 2010
Photographic Exhibition and testimonies of Nature with this 2nd edition
Tony Crocetta, Eric Dragesco, Frank Renard, Jean-Christophe Vincent, Laurent Geslin, Louis Marie Preau, Michel Loup, Christine and Frank Dziubak are among the best specialists of French and international animal photography. They expose all in Drancy within the framework of the second edition of “Latitudes Animales”, together with numerous partners of the Biosphoto agency.
49 big size editions, realised by the laboratory Rainbow Color (a member of TENDUA), will be presented in an original scenography organised by the services of the cultural area of Drancy: the opportunity to think about the fragility of the worlds biodiversity and about the new environmental stakes.
For the program of the exhibition, the conferences, the slide shows, the stands, etc. …:
- Cultural space of the Park
120, rue Sadi Carnot
Free entrance - free Parking lot From 8 till 13 April, from 10 am till 8 pm every day
- To go to the cultural space of the park
- Route access Porte de Pantin, direction Drancy ; place Normandie Niémen, direction Drancy centre.
- Subway Bobigny-Pablo Picasso (line 5), then bus 148 (Stop City hall) and bus 143 (stop Aristide Briand)
- RER B (Regional Express Network B) Direction Aulnay-sous-Bois (stop Bourget) then bus 143 (stop Aristide Briand)
The 20th Festival of Birdlife and Nature in the Bay of Somme from April 10th until 18th, 2010
The Bay of Somme is recognised on the international stage for its ecological wealth; it is considered in particular as the ornithological Mecca. Its big variety of landscapes and its low urbanisation offer favourable conditions to welcome migratory and non-migratory birds.
About 340 species of birds were listed in the bay during the last two centuries.
The bay is the first large natural French site on the migration path for birds on the way toward their wintering territories in the warm countries.
Rainbow Color will also be there.
So as not to fail in our presentations of ‘animal babies’, here are two photos taken last February by Tony Crocetta, directly from Masaï Mara in Kenya: a baby cheetah and his mum, just so that we can dream about what wildlife should be...
According to the last information, both are going well. But it is necessary to remind ourselves of the fragility of this beautiful animal: with sometimes numerous litters, few young survive and the cheetah is in a great danger of extinction… Thanks to Tony for these very beautiful images.
We hope that you appreciated this edition of our Newsletter.
We wish you a wonderful spring!