Perissodactyla or odd-toed ungulates are a fascinating order of mammals that includes all species of horses (zebras, wild asses and domestic), rhinos and tapirs. Once widely distributed throughout the world, many of these species are now threatened with extinction. The goal of the PCS is to heighten awareness and promote conservation action by bringing together species champions from all three major extant wild groups of these incredible animals (and their domestic relatives).
Why Perissodactyla conservation?
- Of the 16 wild Perissodactyla species, 13 are threatened with extinction. This includes 6 of 7 equid species, 4 of 5 rhino species and 3 of 4 tapir species.
- They are large, charismatic ambassadors for their species and for their natural habitats.
- As some of the largest megavertebrates in their respective ecosystems, they play crucial roles as keystone species through seed and nutrient (manure and urine) dispersal, affecting a wide variety of other species.
- Most Perissodactyla species occur in some of the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth.
- By conserving them in the wild, their whole ecosystems may also be conserved, by bringing public attention and increased protection to both.
Two of the most biodiverse, yet critically threatened regions on Earth include Indonesian rainforests and Andean cloud forests. They are true treasure troves of life!
Ultimately, Perissodactyla Conservation Symposium and Fundraiser is a strategy to help conserve the greatest number of species, for the least investment. By targeting conservation of a handful of species in the wild, many, many more may benefit from a “Conservation Umbrella”, through increased surveillance and protection.
- Sumatran Rhinos
- Javan Rhinos
- Asian (Malayan) Tapirs
- Mountain Tapirs
in their native countries.
Be a Conservation Champion!
All proceeds from this symposium and fundraiser will be donated to specific conservation programs for of some of the most endangered species of rhinos and tapirs.
The primary mission of Perissodactyla Conservation Symposium & Fundraiser is to impact global biodiversity positively by promoting the conservation of the closest wild relatives of the horse and the ecosystems that sustain them. The taxonomic Order: Perissodactyla, includes equids (horse family), rhinos and tapirs.
Who are we?
Going back to my vet school days (the 1980s), I became aware of the plight of the wild animal species most closely related to our beloved horses. Since then, the situation has only gotten worse.
As founder and director of Perissodactyla Conservation Symposium and Fundraiser, I am honored to be supported by a “dream team “ of concerned volunteers, who are working together to make a positive impact on life on our planet. None of us are being paid for this. Here is a list of our planning committee team members:
- Roderick (Rick) Barongi
- Mary Ann Simonds
- Stacey Small
- Brian Dowling
- Tina Cloutier Barbour
- Kelly Russo
- Elizabeth Hammond, DVM
- Tracey Freeman
- Myself: Carlos Jimenez, DVM
Besides this group, we have numerous other volunteers, many of whom are zoo keepers at Lion Country Safari. We are also very fortunate to have Aaron Long, our web designer, who is also donating much of his time and talent.
We look forward to all our participants, speakers and volunteers, making our inaugural Symposium and Fundraiser a huge success.
Carlos Jimenez DVM