The Wright Stuff

cercopanorg : October 5, 2013 5:30 am : CERCONEWS, Uncategorized

Purchasing beautiful art that captures the spirit of wildlife, and which at the same time raises money for conservation can be a winning proposition for lovers of nature. And CERCOPAN is now in the envious position of being in good favour with supporters who love the works of up-and-coming wildlife artist Chris Wright from the UK, who has chosen to contribute his outstanding talent to making this formula work for our monkeys. Two recent sales of his prints have raised £1,200 for our cause. The donations are being put to immediate use to make urgent repairs to our primate enclosures in Calabar, ravaged by the long wet season that is now coming to a close.

In recent auctions Chris had contributed a print of the gorilla ‘Titus’ that had been the subject of strong bidding. Chris gained the agreement of conservationist Ian Redmond, renowned for his work with gorillas, to sign a further pair of prints in order to add to their value. Two fans of Chris’s art who had lost out in the previous auctions, generously set their own price to gain these pieces, and in agreement with Chris they both chose CERCOPAN as the beneficiary of their donations.

Chris Wright has been involved with CERCOPAN since doing his Masters’ research in Nigeria in 2005 at our Rhoko field site, and he has also served as a trustee. He is a self-taught artist whose talent has been recognised in a series of high-profile commendations and citations in wildlife art competitions, as well as through hugely successful exhibitions across the UK, and in sales to collectors worldwide. We are immensely grateful to Chris, Ian Redmond, and most of all to our two most generous donors Jane Sibley and Jennifer Seale. A selection of Chris’ work can be viewed online at www.cwright.co.uk

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CRUTECH Students Complete Industrial Attachment at Rhoko

Colin Pringle : October 5, 2013 3:17 am : CERCONEWS

Abakum  rainforest signCERCOPAN is always keen to host students and build an understanding of primates and how to conserve them. In August our Education Officer, Abakum, designed and hosted a one month placement for 20 students from the Forestry & Wildlife Department of Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH).

Prof. Ijoma brought his students firstly to our sanctuary in Calabar, where they learnt about sanctuary management, the daily schedule of our keepers, and our veterinary & welfare procedures.CRUTEC at Rhoko

The students then spent the next two weeks at our field site in Rhoko. They went on patrol to prevent illegal hunting & logging; recorded species in our long term study; and learnt to make behavioural observations of our monkeys there.

We got some work out of them – clearing enclosures & paths. But they also had plenty of rest time, swimming in the river and watching the monkeys from our tree platform.

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Director Colin Pringle Attends Annual PASA Manager’s Workshop

Colin Pringle : September 29, 2013 3:47 am : CERCONEWS

Colin speaking at Managers workshopAs my first official engagement as the new Director of CERCOPAN, I attended the annual PASA Manager’s Workshop, this year at ChesterUK, courtesy of Chester Zoo. It was a baptism of fire in many ways!

PASA – the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance was co-founded by CERCOPAN, and is responsible for maintaining the highest standards of care and rehabilitation for the huge number of primates saved  by the members of the Alliance from the pet trade or bushmeat hunting. So the Managers represent their Sanctuaries from across Africa, and come together to share experiences and to ensure policies and practices are doing the job of helping the Monkeys & Apes in the 22 organisations.

From Nigeria in the West to Kenya in the East, and all places in between, the managers took time out of their packed schedules to gather together. Firstly the three day meeting was simply hard work. We met promptly at 8am, and never finished before 11pm due to urgent discussion groups that dealt with issues that came up. Breaks were only to get a cup of coffee to bring back to the table, and discussion continued throughout lunch and dinner.

My first impression on meeting everyone was how friendly they were – and I was welcomed into the PASA family with enthusiasm. My second impression was how noisy they were! Everyone was talking, contributing, and with ideas and opinions to share with the group. Very quickly it becomes obvious that these are dedicated people, with the strong personalities necessary to build and shape a primate sanctuary in sometimes difficult circumstances. I felt very privileged to join them, and learnt a huge amount.

The business of the workshop focussed on how PASA can be organised to support the member sanctuaries in their work, with updates on improving veterinary work and on the educational outreach essential to our mission. A massive amount was covered, for example our concerns about people posting pictures on Facebook and ensuring that these are not misunderstood relative to handling primates, in recognition that they are wild animals and not pets. We explored how to improve law enforcement to stop mokeys and apes being taken from the wild in the first place. A whole range of policies were agreed on, and a new structure to ensure that PASA provides maximum support to us all in our essential work.

So, tired but very fulfilled, I am proud to have represented CERCOPAN in this impressive gathering, particularly in promoting the welfare and care of monkeys, who sometimes get overlooked within the overall process. I look forward to working with the Managers and PASA organisation in the future, and building CERCOPAN within it’s mission


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PASA Reintroduction Workshop 2013

Colin Pringle : September 29, 2013 3:36 am : CERCONEWS

Colin at the PASA workshopI might have been looking for a rest after the hard work of the PASA Managers Workshop (see article in this issue), but no chance! Sensibly saving travel costs & time, the African Sanctuary Managers went straight into a four-day workshop looking at how to reintroduce primates back into their natural habitat. Despite considerable effort, we still know so little about how to do this effectively, and have very little experience – or at least very little experience where we have learnt how successful or not we have been. Returning animals to the wild is the ultimate aim of us all, for those primates that are able to benefit from this.

The workshop was to develop a vision and practical steps for Primate Reintroduction encompassing conservation, welfare and ecosystem impacts. For example, can we be sure we are not endangering wild populations when releasing animals – by competition for food, or disease? How can we be sure that animals we release have the skills & knowledge to look after themselves? Can we be sure that released animals are healthy and happy after release?

We did have several monkey sanctuaries represented at the meeting, but the focus was on Great Apes, so we were joined by many experts from Asia working on Orang Utans. We had researchers and scientists who told us about the latest knowledge on habitat and behaviour. We learnt about state of the art technology to help us track animals and keep an eye on their condition when released. We shared learning and experience across African & Asian sanctuaries. This unique gathering will result in a framework to guide great ape reintroduction efforts to help those dedicated few who are working to give our primate charges the option of a natural life. We urgently need to pool our collective understanding in this area, and this workshop was a remarkable coming together of virtually everyone working in this challenging subject.

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Colin Pringle appointed as new CERCOPAN Director

cercopanorg : July 5, 2013 7:54 pm : CERCONEWS

We are delighted to announce that we have appointed Colin Pringle as the new Director of CERCOPAN. He will take over the top position from current Director Nicolien Schoneveld, who will leave at the end of next month. As the new Director of CERCOPAN, Colin will be responsible for the overall strategic and operational management of the organisation in Nigeria, including programmes in environmental educationcommunity-based conservationecotourismforest conservationresearch and primate rehabilitation. “I have proven ability in a diverse role such as this, and am looking for a long-term commitment with an organisation whose objectives match with my own”, says Colin.

Whilst there was considerable interest in the Director position, Colin’s incredibly diverse conservation career, spanning three decades, made him the perfect candidate for this varied and challenging role. Colin, aged 53, has a degree in Zoology from Southampton University and a masters degrees is Zoology from Oxford. He first worked in Nigeria in the mid 1980’s, and has since worked extensively across Sub Saharan Africa & South Asia in various roles in international development; and in field research, expeditions, and technical advisory positions. As an international development consultant, Colin advised on numerous programmes ranging from Wildlife conflict and refugees in Sub Saharan Africa with UNICEF to Sustainable low-input agriculture for HIV-impacted communities in Zimbabwe through DFID. “My wide experience means I was particularly in demand to address cross-sectoral and complex issues with a common theme of community engagement and management of natural resources & Human health” says Colin.

Colin has also worked as a Senior Project manager for WWF, Senior CITES Wildlife Trade Investigator and is a qualified science teacher. Based at Cornwall College, Newquay and Plymouth University, he lectured on a wide range of Degree level courses including Conservation Science, Animal Welfare, Wildlife and Media degree courses. At Newquay, Colin developed practical links with the zoo, particularly on primate management. He also recently designed and delivered the degree level module in Captive Breeding & Rehabilitation of Wild Animals for Plymouth University. This reflects Colin’s extensive practical and academic background in this area. As Curator of Nepal National Zoo, where primates were central, he collaborated with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to improve the welfare standards of the 3,500 animals, implementing best practice in captive breeding.

One of Colin’s first roles with CERCOPAN will be to represent the organisation at the annual Pan African Sanctuaries Alliance (PASA) manager’s workshop in September. ‘We are absolutely thrilled that Colin will be joining our team” says Claire Coulson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and former Director of CERCOPAN. “He brings a wealth of expertise and experience that will undoubtedly prove of immense benefit in our mission to protect Nigeria’s rainforests for primates and people. We look forward to what the future will bring”.

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Agoi CBO takes impressive steps towards sustainability

Nicolien Schoneveld : July 5, 2013 9:35 am : CERCONEWS

Several representatives of our organisation attended the opening ceremony of a new public toilet system in Agoi Ibami this week. The project, funded by CERCOPAN under a grant from IUCN France, was planned and implemented by Agoi’s Community‐Based Organisation (CBO), the Air Green Foundation, with only minimal assistance from Community Liaison Officer, Mike Ekpe.

The opening ceremony started in the house of the Clan Head, and was attended by several Chiefs and CBO members. The head of the Air Green Foundation, Honourable Etim, gave a speech outlining the positive contribution that CERCOPAN has made to the community, typed and printed on the equipment donated to the CBO by CERCOPAN. Our Director, Nicky also gave a speech, commending Agoi Ibami on the steps forward that had been made. Then, the delegation set off to the toilet unit, where  Honourable Etim invited Nicky to cut the ribbon, and the three toilets with separate soak away pits were officially declared open for public use!

The completion of this project marks an important milestone in our partnership with Agoi Ibami community. It provides clear evidence of the progress that has been made as a result of the capacity building training programme we have undertaken in Agoi over the last two years. Not only did the CBO construct an excellent toilet unit, they also submitted an impressive final report, including sound and transparent financial accounting. The CBO is already actively seeking other funding opportunities and visited Nicky in Calabar this week to seek assistance with a grant proposal they intend to submit to the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.

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CERCOPAN 2012 Annual Report out now!

cercopanorg : July 4, 2013 10:37 pm : CERCONEWS

CERCOPAN has completed its 2012 Annual Report, which is now available for download on our website. The report is intended to provide our  partners and supporters with an update on our activities, achievements and advances over the past year. Key highlights include:

– Establishing an office base in Owai community

– Iko Esai declare a full ban on any new forest clearing for farms

– Draft land use management plans completed for Agoi and Owai

– Surveillance teams established in Owai and Agoi

– Alternative livelihoods programme expanded in Esai and Agoi and undertaken for the first time in Owai

– Free education tours given to 25,026 visitors

– New primate conservation curriculum developed

– 6 orphan primates rescued

As a non-profit charitable organisation reliant on donations, we consider transparency of the utmost importance. We want to make sure that the generous private donors and organisations who have supported our work know exactly how their vital conservation funds are being spent.  Consequently, the Annual report also contains a detailed statement of financial activities in both Naira and pounds.

Download 2012 Annual Report here

View previous annual reports here

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Thank you and good luck Austin

Nicolien Schoneveld : July 4, 2013 8:44 pm : CERCONEWS

Austin Igbebor Vet NurseThis month we said goodbye to a long-term member of CERCOPAN staff, Austin Igbebor. Austin started work at CERCOPAN exactly 15 years ago, in June 1998. After many years as a primate caretaker, and having been trained by numerous visiting vets, his potential and enthusiasm for the medical aspect of our work was undeniable and in 2009,  he was officially promoted to veterinary nurse  Thanks to Austin’s excellent performance in this position, he was further promoted to Senior Staff by the end of that same year and began managing junior staff.

During his 15 years at CERCOPAN, Austin has worked tirelessly for the monkeys’ health and general well being. He was a mentor to the primate caretakers, a great student and assistant for visiting vets, and an ambassador for CERCOPAN at the yearly international PASA workshops. At the leaving party, we presented Austin with a framed collection of pictures showcasing his work and the many staff,visitors and volunteers who he worked alongside over the years. We will would like to take this opportunity to thank Austin on behalf of all all of the people and monkeys he has helped. We will all miss him greatly and wish him the very best in his future career.

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Exciting new range of primate adoption packs available now!

Amy Baxter : July 4, 2013 8:29 pm : CERCONEWS

Adoption toy setTo help us raise vital funds for primate care and rehabilitation at our busy Nigeria sanctuary, CERCOPAN has just launched a new and exclusive range of adoption packages. All profits from the sale of these packs will be used to provide food, housing and medicine for the over 170 primates currently in our care.

There are currently three packages available to potential adopters. Our E-adoption at £30 is the ideal choice for those seeking a last minute gift for friends or family given that all of its components can be delivered electronically within 24 hours of purchase! This option comes complete with an exclusive adoption screensaver not available elsewhere.

The next step up is the Gift adoption, which at £50 includes an exclusive handmade soft toy of your chosen species. These  toys were designed especially for CERCOPAN based on photographs of the actual animals in our care.  This pack is prefect for animal loving children and adults alike; a collectable toy to treasure at home, whilst a real monkey far away in Africa is being given a second chance thanks to their gift.

Finally, for those seeking to help primates on behalf of their company or organisation, we offer the  Corporate adoption package. For a £1000 donation we will place your logo on our website with a link to your site and a thank you message. We will also publicise your donation in our international newsletters, annual report and via social media.

All options include an electronically delivered certificate of adoption and biannual update newsletters so that you can follow the progress of your chosen group.  There are multiple species to choose from so visit our adoption page and  select your favourite today!

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Looking to kick-start a career in Primatology?

cercopanorg : June 5, 2013 12:47 am : CERCONEWS

Primatology is a highly specialised field and as such there is considerable competition for the limited number of paid positions and PhD’s available. If you are hoping for an exciting and rewarding career in Primatology and need more experience to realize your dream, we have the ideal position for you!

CERCOPAN is currently seeking a voluntary Primate Co-ordinator based at Rhoko Forest.  The Primate Co-ordinator supervises captive primate care and wild primate research at the site, and manages all local staff associated with these programmes. Specific duties include dietary monitoring, environmental enrichment, collection and analysis of behavioural, phenological and rainfall data, environmental education and teaching on our annual primate and rainforest conservation field course . The Primate Coordinator also produces proposals and reports for all of our Rhoko primate related work.

Our ideal candidate has a masters degree in a relevant subject and is ready and able to commit to at least one year with the organisation. Previous experience in the tropics is desirable, as is research experience. For a one year commitment we are able to provide food, lodgings and in-country visa provisions. Flights, insurance and initial visa are the responsibility of  the volunteer. A stipend will be provided for those signing up for a 2 year position.

For more information about this role and to apply visit http://cercopan.org/vacancies-2/primate-coordinator/

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