This update posted October 12, 2013.
In January-2013, CAC will travel to the front
lines of conservation in Sumatra for the purpose of observing wildlife
in the context of a broader study of zoo-mediated wildlife
reintroductions. The dates of travel will be from December 30,
2012 to January
In Sumatra, the plan (subject to change) is to explore
Gunung Leuser National Park, a UNESCO
World Heritage that encompasses pristine rainforests and the
last vestiges of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino and
Way Kambas National Park, a location
where unique species are preserved in isolated pockets of
Bukit Lawang/Bohorok, a place to see orangutans, pig-tail macaques, leaf monkeys, langurs, and
Tangkahan, a location that offers jungles, clean rivers,
elephants and a good example on how
community based eco-tourism can stop illegal logging.
Although, access to wildlife can never be
guaranteed, our goal will be to make direct observations of as many
species as possible.
While in Sumatra, we will meet with local groups that
are struggling to preserve critical habitats, and we will examine
the impact stemming from international NGOs. We will pay
particular attention to the attitudes and practices of local people,
the impact of ecotourism, and to the roles that the worldwide zoo community is
playing in effecting real wildlife conservation in Sumatra.
Following our field studies,
participants will enroll for three credits in ABEC490 (in the Spring
semester). The goal of this course will be to relate the lessons learned
in Sumatra to conditions elsewhere in the world, and to the Buffalo Zoo's efforts to
reintroduce hellbender salamanders in our own region. Over the
course of the semester, the students will produce multimedia
educational modules targeted toward middle-school-aged children.
Undergraduate students will enroll in ABEC
490 for three-credits, and will be obliged to produce
three separate modules. Graduate students will enroll in ANZ
290 for one-credit, and will be obliged to produce one module.
The modules will be made available online to
children logging in from anywhere around the world. They will
be established as branches on the larger www.conservenature.org
The content of the modules will include, but
not be limited to, videotaped lectures, wildlife video footage,
still images, informational text, editorial opinion pages,
action plans, interactive games, interactive quizzes, and
The modules can focus on any topic jointly
agreed upon by the student and instructor. They might, for
example, focus upon:
specific species lessons pertaining to
Sumatran wildlife (e.g., on orangutan, gibbons, rhinos,
conservation challenges unique to
third World conservation challenges
conservation success stories
efforts to bridge the
First-World/Third-World gap as it pertains to wildlife
reintroductions of zoo-bred animals
(orangutans, rhinos, black-footed ferrets, hellbenders,
As an alternative, involvement in the
Buffalo Zoo hellbender release program for forty hours can take
the place of one module.
The student's cost will be $3900 (plus the cost
of food and any immunizations).
Space in this project will be allocated
competitively and limited to six students.
Applications can be
downloaded by clicking
Written applications are due on October
The CAC-Sumatra team will
be announced October 31, 2012.