The IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG) has the pleasure to announce the upcoming Seventh International Tapir Symposium to be held in Houston, Texas, United States, from 14 to 18 November, 2017. Our local host will be our long-term tapir conservation partner, the Houston Zoo, and we could not be more grateful for their support!!! Additional partners on the organization of the conference are the Copenhagen Zoo, Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG), and European Association of Zoos & Aquaria (EAZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG).
Previous International Tapir Symposiums were held in San José, COSTA RICA, in 2001, where we brought together for the very first time 85 tapir experts and conservationists from 21 different countries worldwide, Panama City, REPUBLIC OF PANAMA, in 2004; Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA, in 2006; Cancun, MEXICO, in 2008; Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA, in 2011; and, Campo Grande, BRAZIL, in 2014. We are now very excited to bring our conference to the United States for the very first time!!!
Throughout its history, the International Tapir Symposium has demonstrated to be a critical moment for tapir conservation worldwide, and has been attracting more and more tapir conservationists each time. The Seventh International Tapir Symposium will once again bring together a multi-faceted group of tapir experts and conservationists, including field researchers, environmental educators, academics, veterinarians, marketing and communication experts, captivity specialists, governmental authorities, politicians and other interested parties and stakeholders.
The first part of the conference usually features paper and poster presentations as well as keynote speeches, and the second part is devoted to workshops and round-tables addressing specific topics relevant to tapir conservation worldwide. Specific topics discussed during the conference include tapir research and conservation, population management, veterinary and genetic issues, population modeling and action planning, husbandry and captive management, environmental education and outreach, training and capacity-building, involvement of local communities, re-introductions and translocations, marketing, fundraising, governmental regulations and permits, and human-tapir conflicts among many other topics. Any suggestions for topics you would like to see included in our program this year, as well as potential keynote speakers, will be MORE THAN WELCOME.
The main objectives of the conference include:
1 - Exchange and discussion of current data on field and captive studies through the presentation of papers, posters and keynote speeches by current tapir conservationists;
2 - Opportunity to foster our global network of tapir researchers and supporters;
3 - Revision of TSG Strategic Planning 2015-2017 developed and prioritized during the Sixth Symposium in Brazil, and evaluation of what has been accomplished in the past three years;
4 - Development of the TSG Strategic Planning for 2018-2020, which will allow for the conference recommendations to be carried out, helping to direct the activities and initiatives of the TSG in the following three years until the next symposium;
5 - Evaluation of the work of the TSG Action Plan Implementation Taskforce established in Mexico in 2008 with the main objective of overseeing and promoting the implementation of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Action Plan finalized in 2007;
6 - Creation of committees made up of representative tapir conservationists who will develop and prioritize key research, conservation, management and financial issues affecting the plight of endangered tapir species worldwide.
Members of the symposium's planning committee have been working together with staff from the Houston Zoo on putting together the local logistics for the conference.
Symposium sessions will be carried out and most participants will be staying at the Crowne Plaza Houston River Oaks Hotel. Participants will be requested to arrive throughout the day on the 13th of November, Monday. Sessions will start the following morning, on the 14th, Tuesday, and end in the afternoon of the 18th, Saturday. We will host an icebreaker on either the 13th or the 14th (date TBC), Zoo Day on the 16th, and Final Dinner on the 18th. Participants will departure on the 19th, Sunday.
Between now and November 2017, we will be spending quite a bit of time and energy on putting this conference together! We are currently working to raise the necessary funds for the conference, as well as organizing the local logistics, registration system, conference program, invitations to participants and many other aspects. We will soon be ready to OPEN FOR REGISTRATION and to send out a CALL FOR ABSTRACTS for oral presentations and posters.
We will make sure to keep you all posted about the conference, but in the meantime, PLEASE make sure to put the Seventh International Tapir Symposium on your schedule for 2017!
We would love to have you all with us in Houston!
Chair, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)