Croc Fest 2013
A Jamaican Festival for Crocodilian Conservation
Benefiting the Jamaican Crocodile
Summer Croc Fest 2013 is scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 29, 2013 from 4 pm until 10 pm, at Reptile World Serpentarium in St. Cloud, Florida (George Van Horn's place).* Christmas Croc Fest December 7, 2013 at Crocodile Manor(Shawn Heflick's facility)
All of the proceeds raised at this year's event will benefit the Jamaican crocodile, Crocodylus acutus. This crocodile population is in real need of conservation intervention, as it is being extirpated due to habitat loss, killing out of fear, and subsistence hunting. While some field surveys are already underway, additional surveys, population monitoring, public awareness building, habitat protection / enhancement, and education programs are desperately needed if this population is to remain on Jamaica.
Event organizers are: Shawn Heflick, Host - Python Hunters Nat Geo WILD; Curt Harbsmeier, Executive Board Member – Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo; Flavio Morrissiey, Director - Gator Adventure Productions; and Colette Adams, General Curator - Gladys Porter Zoo. Joe Wasilewski, noted field biologist and frequent Nat Geo contributor, will be on-site as auctioneer and champion for this cause. All are members of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group.
Enjoy authentic Jamaican food, beverages, live music, good friends and good times. Live animal encounters. Meet- and-greet world-famous venomous snake expert ,George Van Horn, and other special guests. And all the while, support international crocodile conservation!
The cost is only $25 for adults (ages 18 and up) and $10 for kids (ages 6 to 17, ages 5 and under free), which includes admission to Reptile World Serpentarium!
There will be a live auction, a silent auction, and t-shirt sales. Donations (both cash and auction items) are being solicited / collected now.
For more information about attending, sponsoring, or donating, please contact the sponsors: Shawn Heflick <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Curt Harbsmeier <email@example.com>; Flavio Morrissiey <firstname.lastname@example.org>; or Colette Adams <email@example.com>.
* Reptile World Serpentarium is located at 5705 Bronson Memorial Highway, St. Cloud, FL. Telephone: 407 892-6905. Reptile World Serpentarium was founded in 1972 as a research facility for the production and distribution of snake venoms. It became a tourist attraction in 1976 after tourists continually came to the door. It offers the greater Orlando area’s most exciting snake and reptile exhibits and one of the World’s leading working venom farms. Feel your heart pound as expert snake handlers milk deadly snakes live before your eyes with only glass separating you from cobras, rattlesnakes, copperheads, water moccasins, and many more. Nothing compares to this live experience followed by a relaxing stroll through the indoor and outdoor reptile exhibits. Reptile World Serpentarium is a family-friendly, educational attraction. Go to http://www.reptileworldserpentarium.com/ for more information.
About the Project
Working in cooperation with Jamaica’s National Environmental and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM), The Caribbean Wildlife Alliance (CWA), and the University of the West Indies (UWI), funds raised will support the following: field work, including surveys and nest area enhancement; public awareness, including a crocodile festival in Jamaica to engage local support; and, the production and distribution of educational materials for children.
The prospectus for a Crocodile Conservation Action Plan for Jamaica was recently drafted by Perran Ross (IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group / University of Florida) after a meeting held February 16, 2013 in Homestead, Florida. Some 80 individuals attended the meeting, including representatives from governmental agencies, universities, zoos, and members of the private sector. Also in attendance were representatives of NEPA, UDC, and UWI. They discussed the dire situation of Crocodylus acutus in Jamaica (described recently in CSG Newsletter 31 (3):6-7.), as well as six broad areas of activity required for the conservation of the species. These are: Research; Public relations; Institutional coordination and capacity building; Fundraising; Legislation; and Priority areas.
Mike Fouraker, Executive Director of Ft. Worth Zoo and President of CWA, a non-profit NGO based in Ft. Worth, Texas, has agreed to manage the funds raised at Summer Croc Fest 2013 though CWA. CWA’s management will include banking, accounting, and leveraging these funds as matching monies to increase the projects’ coffers. Currently, CWA manages eight conservation accounts, including accounts for Jamaican amphibians, the Jamaican iguana, the Puerto Rican Crested Toad Recovery Project, the Cryptobranchid Interest Group, and a Jamaican botanical study for the Botanic Research Institute of Texas.