The Crocodile Specialist Group's
Chinese Alligator Fund


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EXIT THE DRAGON | HOW YOU CAN HELP | CIBACHROME PRINTS
DRAGON DONORS | PROGRESS REPORT

There has already been very positive progress with Chinese alligator conservation in 2000, which has set the foundations for real progress in 2001. Here is a summary of the principal developments to date, latest news at top.

Chinese Alligator Merchandise (Dec 2001) *NEW*
A selection of t-shirts, caps, bags and other items of merchandise are now available for purchase online. The store is run by Cafepress, and all profits after cost go directly to the Chinese Alligator Fund. Please visit the store and consider purchasing valuable fashion items to help support Chinese alligator conservation!

New Limited Edition Ilfochrome Print (Dec 2001) *NEW*
A new limited edition Ilfochrome print is now available for purchase. This brings the number of limited edition prints to 6. Purchasing each print sends a significant donation to the Chinese Alligator Fund, and puts one of the acclaimed CAF prints on your wall.

Official Logo Unveiled (Dec 2001) *NEW*
Dr David Kirshner has designed a beautiful logo for the Chinese Alligator Fund, which now graces the top of each page. The logo was originally unveiled during the China workshop in September, and the response was outstanding. I hope you agree that it really emphasises the role that the Chinese alligator has to play.

Workshop on the Conservation and Management of Chinese Alligators, Guangzhou 2001 (Oct 2001)
The meeting in China was extremely successful and highly encouraging. In brief, the Chinese alligator is now viewed by the People's Republic of China as a conservation issue of equal importance with the giant panda and Pere David's deer. Several million dollars have been pledged to develop regional management programs, captive breeding programs, and most importantly habitat restoration and alligator reintroduction. The Chinese Premier himself visited one potential reintroduction site - a 40km stretch of canal that will be turned into alligator habitat and witness to reintroduced alligators. The workshop was an extremely encouraging indication of the commitment by the Chinese people to saving the Chinese alligator and involving regional communities in their conservation. The international community expressed its considerable support for these events and those that will take place in the near future. A full update to these pages will take place shortly, detailing the changes that have occurred, and providing more information on the proposed management actions.

Chinese Alligator Fund T-shirts (Oct 2001)
Dr David Kirshner has designed a fantastic logo for the Chinese Alligator Fund, soon to be revealed on these pages. Shortly thereafter, t-shirts and other items bearing the logo will be available for purchase. Profits from every piece of merchandise sold will go directly to the Chinese Alligator Fund - we may have been successful in China, but more than ever donations are needed to ensure the management and education programs can take place.

Captive Breeding Workshop and
Regional CSG Meeting in China
(Jun 2001)
The IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group has now received official clearance to hold a regional meeting in Guanzhou City, China between 30 August and 3 September 2001. The meeting is entitled "International Workshop on the Captive Breeding of and Control of Trade in Crocodylia in China, & Regional Meeting of the Crocodile Specialist Group, Guangzhou, China, Aug. 30-Sept. 3, 2001." The meeting will focus on regional issues and current conservation status of the priority crocodilian species in the region, including the Chinese alligator. The meeting is open to all interested participants. The official announcement, program outline and registration form can be downloaded in Rich Text Format.

Chinese Alligator Workshop in August (Jun 2001)
A special workshop is being held in Anhui Province, China, between 25 and 28 August 2001. This meeting will bring together key participants from China and overseas to coordinate an action plan for the Chinese Alligator, and will be a key step towards securing wild populations of Chinese Alligators and establishing realistic management with local people. More details will be posted here as they become available.

Chinese Alligator Fund Update (Apr 2001)
We've done it - we've reached the first target of US $10,000. I am extremely pleased to see the level of genuine support which has been shown over the last year, and I would like to personally thank everyone who has donated money and purchased Cibachrome prints. I've already mentioned the Anhui workshop scheduled for September 2001, and this will be an important step forward for Chinese Alligator conservation which the Chinese Alligator Fund will be supporting. We've set a new Stage 2 target of US $20,000 for the Chinese Alligator Fund - something which I hope we can achieve quickly now that the fund has demonstrated the level of commitment that exists to find conservation solutions for Chinese Alligators.

Chinese Alligator Fund Update (Feb 2001)
As the Year of the Dragon draws to a close, the Chinese Alligator Fund has raised almost US$8,000. This is extremely encouraging, with the first target of US$10,000 anticipated to be reached very shortly. The first goal of the Chinese Alligator Fund will be providing financial assistance to set up a workshop in Anhui in 2001, to discuss the conservation of the Chinese alligator, establish links between international interests, relevant Chinese authorities and local people, and formulate a plan for conservation efforts. This will be an exceptionally important meeting for the future of the Chinese alligator, and the local people of Anhui.

London Zoo Assists Chinese Alligators (Feb 2001)
London Zoo is one of the few UK zoos with Chinese alligators on public display. Part of a European captive-breeding programme, the alligators can be seen in the Reptile House. A recent article for the "Friends of the Zoo" Lifewatch magazine children's section, authored by Ron Toft, features the Chinese alligator and includes an appeal to support the CSG Chinese Alligator Fund and also offers adopt an alligator program. London Zoo has over 600 animal species, all of which can be adopted for one year at a time, including the Chinese alligator. "Whole animal" adoption fees range from 25 to 6,000, a Chinese alligator costing 750! Usually only businesses adopt the more expensive creatures. What many children do is adopt part of an animal under a special pocket money scheme. Adoption raises much-needed cash for conservation work. Friends of London Zoo has over 20,000 members. Benefits include free admission to London Zoo for a year, a free subscription to Lifewatch magazine and special invitations to see animals in areas not normally open to members of the public. Source: Crocodile Specialist Group newsletter - Jan-Mar 2001

Chinese Alligator Fund Logo (Feb 2001)
We are currently working on a logo for the Chinese Alligator Fund, which will eventually be available on t-shirts and other merchandise. It is important that the logo reflects the needs of the alligators and the needs of the people, and as such it is currently undergoing review. The current draft has received some very positive comments.

Chinese Alligator Fund (Nov 2000)
Endorsed by the IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, the Chinese Alligator Fund was launched in mid-2000 after surveys the year before indicated that the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) numbered less than 150 and was in serious decline in the wild. A steady stream of donations has been received, which will go towards Chinese alligator conservation in Anhui Province in China (habitat restoration, alligator reintroductions, local education), and a number of limited edition Cibachrome prints have been purchased. Stage 1 of the fund-raising effort has set a target of US$10,000. As of 4th November 2000, the CAF has raised US$4,670 - an excellent start.

Formation of China interest group (Nov 2000)
International concern over the status of the Chinese alligator has prompted a considerable degree of co-operation with China to assist in species recovery. The Crocodile Specialist Group is co-ordinating the bringing together of interested parties and professionals to help China prevent the extinction of its alligator in the wild. The interest group includes members of the Crocodile Specialist Group, members of the Internet discussion group CROCLIST, members of TRAFFIC Hong Kong, and members of the Chinese Amphibian and Reptile Specialist Group.

Trip to China by Wildlife Conservation Society (Nov 2000)
In August 2000, John Thorbjarnarson of the Wildlife Conservation Society travelled to China to evaluate the extent of suitable alligator habitat for reintroduction, and to discuss recent survey results and future management. Four main areas were examined, and two of these contain potential alligator habitat (Yancheng Reserve in Jiangsu Province, and Chongming Reserve in Shanghai Municipality) due to sedimentation which is creating new habitat. Both of these areas have limitations: Yancheng is close to the northern limit of the species, and the climate may prove unsuitable for long-term population growth; Chongming has limited area available, and conflicts with the nearby expanding human population may quickly become a problem. This land-use conflict could be offset by offering economic incentives to local people, such as ecotourism (which already exists based around birdwatching).

Alligator Surveys 2000 (Nov 2000)
Surveys this year by Prof. Wang Xiaoming revealed even fewer wild alligators in Anhui province than were found in 1999 (10 this year, 23 in 1999). This reduction is due in part to a summer drought, and suggests that the decline of wild alligators may be occurring faster than was first feared. One wild nest was found this year. These hatchlings are being studied to determine whether any are capable of surviving in the remaining wild habitat. There was also evidence that small numbers of alligators may still be found in the neighbouring Zhejiang Province.

New Resolution to Conserve Chinese Alligators (Nov 2000)
When John Thorbjarnarson presented the results of 1999 surveys at the Crocodile Specialist Group meeting in Varadero, Cuba, in January 2000, a letter to the Director General of the IUCN was drafted. This letter invited China (through the State Forestry Agency) to co-operate with international organisations to formulate a conservation strategy for wild alligators. This eventually led to a resolution being presented at the IUCN Global Conservation Congress in Amman, Jordan in October. This resolution essentially encouraged a firm commitment by China to conserve its wild alligator populations, with international assistance provided as required. The resolution was accepted, paving the way for better management of wild alligator populations.

China Thanks Fund-raising Efforts (Nov 2000)
In a letter to the Crocodile Specialist Group in August, China's State Forestry Agency - which will play an important role in conservation of wild alligator populations - expressed thanks for the support provided by the CSG, detailed its long-term commitment to alligator and habitat conservation, and informed the CSG of a resolution on alligator conservation to be submitted to the IUCN Global Conservation Congress. Finally, the Deputy Director General expressed his thanks for the fund-raising efforts to date, which he said has laid down foundations for co-operation and a good beginning to the work which has just started.

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