December 2009 Meeting and Holiday Party: Peter Taylor; Zoo Keeper and Herp Enthusiast Black Caiman in Guyana & An Overview of Guyana's Herptefauna
|Date:||December 2, 2009|
|Time:||6:00pm - 9:00pm|
|Location:||Eastgate Golden Corral|
Join us for our Annual Holiday Party and Meeting!
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6:00pm - 7:00pm Dinner
6:30pm Brief Business Meeting
7:00pm Speaker, Peter Taylor
Pay individually as you enter
Adult Buffet - $9.95
Children under 12 Buffet - $4.99
Children under 7 Buffet - $3.99
Children under 3 Buffet - FREE
**Drinks, Tax, & Tip NOT included
I'm another among a legion of herp enthusiasts with a life long interest although as you gleaned my wide appreciation, fascination and concern with nature is hardly confined to the cold-blooded fraternity.
A range of animal-related jobs led me to obtaining a Reptile Keeper position at the Bronx Zoo where I worked for nine years, before moving on to a Zoological Manager position at the St. Louis Zoo. While there, I completed a Masters degree in Tropical ecology at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Beyond US travels, I have fieldwork experiences in Venezuela, Guyana, St. Lucia, further visits to South Africa and Australia inspired the formation of the Black Caiman Project and study of herpetofauna in Guyana, the subjects of the meeting's talk(s).
If there is one thing that can keep me out of the field it's working in zoos or visiting them, so far I've enjoyed about 170 such collections and private collections in 15 countries.
Talk # 1
"Black Caiman in Guyana; How a Saurian Study Educates an Amerindian Community in Managing Their Natural Resources"
This talk will focus not only on the what has been learned about the ecology of the largest vertebrate animal on the continent, the black caiman, (Melanosuchus niger) but about how native Macushi have learned to live with such a intimidating predator in their midst. In the Rupununi region of Guyana an Amerindian community is now participating in a major field study of the animal while using ecotourism to support it. Three other species of caiman live here too, along with an astounding range of bizarre creatures in this as yet, scarcely disturbed land.
Talk # 2
"An Overview of Guyana's Herptefauna"
As an adjunct to the Black Caiman Project their has been great opportunity to inventory and study an impressive range of local wildlife. This includes many reptiles and amphibians occurring in the area. The range of local habitats has so far yielded over 110 species and counting, with several discovered already that are new to science. This visual treat will display an impressive cross section of herps to be found in the local savannahs, swamps, rivers, and rain forest. Many of the species that will be shown rarely reach collections and very little is known about them.