WSCS Workshop "Best practice in ex situ and in situ measures as tools for conservation management"

Between May 14th and 16th, the Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management of the University of Natural Resources and Life sciences, Vienna hosted the board meeting and the general assembly of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society (WSCS). In this context a workshop on "Best practice in ex situ and in situ measures as tools for conservation management" was organized on May 15th. 27 participants from 13 countries (Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, France, Romania, USA, Russia, China and Iran) participated in 11 presentations and the following discussion. The first session, dedicated to Ex- Situ conservation covered topics from the decision process when ex situ measures are needed, to the development of suitable facilities, handling of different management units, training of juveniles in regard to “fitness for survival” and genetic management of broodstock. The second session on In- Situ measures was concentrated on the Danube and dealt with current threats, status of sturgeon stocks, the In-situ measures of the Sturgeon 2020 programme of the Danube Sturgeon Task Force (DSTF), political support and a comparison to the successful management of lake sturgeons in Wisconsin, USA. A lively discussion showed the ultimate need for standardization and guidelines for best practice of stock- and habitat assessment and Ex-Situ facilities, a task which will be further developed in the near future.

All participants agreed that urgent measures are needed for the conservation in the Danube River Basin.