for Dambari Duiker & Black Rhino Conservation
The Gladys Porter Zoo has been a long-term financial
supporter of the Dambari Field Station in Bulawayo,
Zimbabwe. The Zoo's former Director, Don D. Farst, D.V.M.
is a board member for the Marwell Zimbabwe Trust,
which runs the station. In-situ conservation and rescue
work for rhinos are coordinated through this field
station, that also serves as a breeding and research
institute for duikers and other small antelope.
Duikers are secretive animals, and most
are forest dwellers. Studying them in the wild is
difficult, and very little is known about them. As
forest dwellers, most duikers are under some degree
of threat from habitat destruction. But perhaps a
more imminent threat for many species is the bushmeat
trade - duikers account for over 60% of animals taken
to be eaten by local people.
As human populations throughout
Africa continue to grow, conservation breeding will
have an increasingly important role in the survival
of these animals. Currently, duikers tend not to do
well in captivity, so more information is needed to
improve husbandry practices. Research done at this
facility, as well as at the Gladys Porter Zoo contributes
significantly to the conservation of these animals.