Dear colleagues and friends,

 

At long last the plans for the CSG-TTF Tomistoma Workshop have come together, and the workshop is confirmed to be held in Pattaya, Thailand from March 23-27, 2008.

 

Tomistoma schlegelii is considered to be a flagship-species within its habitat, i.e., peat swamp forests, (also rapidly disappearing in Southeast Asia), so that the conservation of this crocodilian species is highly significant for the larger picture of biodiversity conservation in Tomistomaís range states.

 

The Tomistoma Task Force (TTF) is an international working group within the IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group dedicated to quantifying the status of Tomistoma schlegelii (the False Gharial) in the wild, as this species is currently viewed by the IUCN and the international conservation community as endangered. The main tasks of the TTF are identifying the threats to which Tomistoma as a species is exposed, and to promote as well as implement appropriate conservation actions.

 

Of course, all CSG-TTF members are invited and strongly encouraged to attend this workshop.We also would like to invite those Friends of Tomistoma and others who are interested in working with us towards the conservation of this wonderful crocodilian species.

 

Our friend and fellow CSG-TTF member, Khun Uthen Youngprapakorn has gone to great effort to create this opportunity for us to discuss and plan for new directions in Tomistoma conservation, from field research in the Range States to husbandry and captive breeding efforts, in which Uthenís Utairatch Farm has had dramatic success.

 

The workshop will include papers from the Range States on the status of Tomistoma in the wild, the potential for establishing a re-introduction program in Thailand, ongoingfield projects on ecology and genetics, and captive breeding programs.

 

The TTF expects to achieve the development of a formal Action Plan for Tomistoma Conservation, whose implementation we hope can become a reality beginning by mid-2008.A manual on Tomistoma husbandry, as well as plans for an Asian captive population studbook will also be finalised at the meeting.

 

Participants will also enjoy a tour of the Utairatch Crocodile Farm, to witness firsthand the farmís facilities for successful captive breeding of Tomistoma on an annual basis.

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In addition, original prints of an outstanding natural potrait of Tomistoma in the wild, by professional widlife artist John Agnew (http://www.angelfire.com/id/wildscenes/) will be available for purchase, with 20% of the proceeds donated to TTF.

 

On behalf of the TTF, I would like to extend our invitation for you to attend this important conference.

 

Additional information on itinerary, accomidations, costs, etc., as well as the official Registration Form (and electronic payment facility) , will be available at our website, www.tomistoma.org by 31 December 2007.Please register as soon as possible.

 

In order to avoid using existing TTF funds for workshop related expenses so that they may be used to fund field projects, we are currently seeking workshop sponsorsIn addition to covering workshop expenses, we are hoping to provide partial funding support for approximately 3-4 persons from the Range States. For for information about workshop sponsorship and for those who wish to apply for partial funding support, please contact Bruce Shwedick (bshwedick@aol.com ), or Rob Stuebing (robstuebing@gmail.com )

 

We hope that any who are able, will consider participating in this workshop.

With best wishes,

 

Rob Stuebing

Acting Chair

CSG-Tomistoma Task Force

IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group