The 2013 International Elephant & Rhino Conservation and Research Symposium was presented by the International Elephant Foundation (IEF) and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) and was hosted by the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
Typically these foundations have separate symposiums, but elephants and rhinos share similar habitats and face similar conservation issues, so a joint meeting is only logical. This was the third time these organizations have come together to share information and research project results on conservation issues such as human conflict mitigation, management, health, nutrition, and reproduction. Participants were from around the world including the US, Canada, Germany, France, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Uganda, and South Africa.
There were over 65 presentations ranging from the latest research on the elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHV), to the translocation of black rhinos, to how captive elephants can benefit wild populations. AES president, Linda Reifschneider, gave a presentation on AES’ activities for the last year and the importance of collaboration.
While the presentations were very enlightening, many valuable conversations also occurred during the social events. some of the best ideas are written on a cocktail napkin!
While elephants and rhino populations are disappearing at an alarming rate, the information that is shared at these symposiums will provide a framework for preserving both of these magnificent species. Thank you to the International Elephant Foundation, the International Rhino Foundation, and the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium for providing this great educational and networking opportunity.