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16 zoos team up to preserve Formosan black bear

2012/06/26 21:44:23

Taipei, June 26 (CNA) The Taiwan Aquarium and Zoological Park Association and 16 domestic zoos, including the Taipei Zoo, signed a cooperation deal Tuesday on Formosan black bear conservation in an effort to protect and preserve the endangered species.

The association said that under the terms of the cooperation deal it will help match and breed the Formosan black bears -- an endangered species indigenous to Taiwan -- that are in captivity at the various zoos involved in the program.

The cooperation mechanism will allow the sharing of medical resources, breeding techniques and animal management among the 16 facilities in order to better preserve the animal and share resources more efficiently, the association said.

The successful recovery of the endangered species requires all wildlife protection institutes in the country to work together, the Taipei Zoo said in a statement.

At present there are 32 black bears in captivity at the Taipei Zoo, the Endemic Species Research Institute, Kaohsiung City's Shou Shan Zoo and the Pingtung Rescue Center for Endangered Wild Animals. Fewer than 500 Formosan black bears are believed to be left in the wild, the Taipei Zoo estimated.

The bear, identifiable by a distinctive white V-shaped mark on its chest, was listed as endangered under Taiwan's Cultural Heritage and Preservation Law in 1989.

(By Johnson Sun and Hanna Liu)