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From Jan. 19-21, 2023, 35 high-level professionals met at Citizen Conservation's invitation to debate the expansion of our conservation breeding program. New to the meeting: reptiles.

Together for species conservation: CC meeting in Berlin

The pilot phase of Citizen Conservation has now finally come to an end, the newly established Citizen Conservation Foundation has already started its work as a non-profit limited liability company (gGmbH) – CC is striving towards new shores.

To discuss our future strategy, a total of 35 experts from private animal husbandry, zoos, science, species conservation and business met at our premises in Berlin-Kreuzberg on the weekend of January 19-21, 2023. Both in plenary sessions and separately in the various expert advisory councils, we held committed discussions about which species we want to save from extinction with CC in the near future if possible – and how we can best go about it.


In the terrarium for amphibians and reptiles

How fitting that we always jokingly call our offices, separated by floor-to-ceiling glass partitions, “terrariums” … In one of them Thomas Ziegler from the Cologne Zoo, DGHT managing director Axel Kwet and the private keepers Karl-Heinz Jungfer and Joachim Nerz from our well-tried advisory board #Amphibians gathered to discuss the management of our by now 1,115 amphibians from 13 taxa in 141 husbandries.

With our advisory boards, the future holds high hopes. | Tillmann Konrad, Citizen Conservation
In the terrarium next door, the new advisory board #Reptiles was founded: Philipp Wagner and Christian Langner from the Allwetterzoo Münster, Anna Rauhaus from the Cologne Zoo and the private keepers Markus Auer, Felix Hulbert and Thomas Lindner as well as veterinarian Gregor Geisler discussed the first highly endangered reptile species that will soon be allowed to crawl under the protective umbrella of CC. Nothing is revealed here yet, except of course: Candidates who are in dire need of it are unfortunately more than enough.

Competence from all areas

Although CC has already built up a basic stock of four Malagasy freshwater fish species quasi-extraordinarily in the pilot phase, a separate #Fish advisory board was now also created at the meeting: Anton Weissenbacher from Vienna’s Schönbrunn Zoo, Ariel Jacken from Leipzig Zoo, David-Suryanto Kasih from Project 1000 Species, Holger Kraus from NaturaGart-Park Ibbenbüren, and private keepers Stefan Inselmann, active in the German Cichlid Society, and Benjamin Wilden from the Parosphromenus Project will provide expert support for our aquaristic efforts in the future.

To include further expertise also from cross-sectional areas, Mark-Oliver Rödel from the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and chairman of Frogs & Friends, the Schwerin zoo director Tim Schikora and the managing director Volker Homes from the Verband der Zoologischen Gärten (VdZ), Volker Ennenbach from the zoo wholesaler “Das Tropenparadies” and from the Zentralverband Zoologischer Fachbetriebe (ZZF) were also present, Arne Schulze from the Zoological Society for Species and Population Conservation (ZGAP), Gert Emmrich from the German Zoo Society (DTG), Matt Goetz from the Durrel Wildlife Conservation Trust and Tobias Kohl from the Species Conservation Foundation on site to provide further input and discuss current issues such as the controversial positive list for pets.

Moving into the next phase

Directly afterwards, on 21 January, there was not only a small workshop with the aim of saving the highly endangered and unique Nimba Toad in the medium term, but also the constituent meeting of the Supervisory Board of the Citizen Conservation Foundation gGmbH, which was also attended by the DGHT Presidents Markus Monzel and Marco Schulz. Tim Schikora was elected chairman of the supervisory board, and Saskia Kress, vice-chairman of Frogs & Friends, was elected as his deputy.

We are happy and proud that we were able to discuss our project for coordinated conservation breeding of endangered species so intensively with such a competent, committed and friendly group for a whole weekend and we are looking forward to the coming time together. For there is truly enough to do.