The mission of the IUCN SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group (AWCSG) is “to promote the long-term conservation of the Asian wild cattle species and their habitats by means of information-sharing, identification of conservation priorities and facilitation/delivery of these priority actions through collaborative conservation work”
Chester Zoo supports the AWCSG as it strives towards four key objectives:
– To compile and synthesize information on the conservation status of all Asian wild cattle species across their range, with particular emphasis on species which are threatened
– To develop or update conservation strategies (including education and research priorities) working with range state government agencies, NGOs, IUCN, and CITES
– To act as the IUCN Red List Authority for the wild cattle species
– To build capacity through the exchange of information and technical expertise both within and outside the group
Zoos and field conservationists – Chester Zoo included – are working together to deliver a Global Species Management Plan for the three key species. All taxa within the group are threatened with extinction with their decline due to hunting for consumption and from habitat loss. Going forward, we are working to assist the establishment of a major collaboration in Indonesia, ‘Action Indonesia: Conservation Anoa, Banteng and Babirusa’ which will strengthen zoo and field links and establish projects to further the conservation of these species.
Alongside this work, Chester Zoo support the AWCSG in enacting conservation initiates for the tamaraw, through the Tamaraw Project on Mindoro island, Philippines, and for the saola in Vietnam.
Our Field Programme Coordinator for South East Asia spends a portion of her time working on GSMP and AWCSG activities, and Chester Zoo funds a full-time AWCSG Programme Officer.