Newslet­ter Archive


68 of august 2019 in Chester, UK – located at Chester Zoo and held with the sup­port of the Aquar­ium Team, Chester Zoo.

The first 2 Inter­na­tional Meet­ings has been held in Ham­burg Ger­many, but it was decided that this time we would try to move to another place, in another coun­try.
As we are in the begin­ning of estab­lish­ing con­nec­tions with The Aquar­ium Depart­ment in Chester Zoo, and also fre­quently have peo­ple con­tact­ing us from the UK, we felt it would make sense to try to make the meet­ing hap­pen in the UK.

We were a lit­tle ner­vously wait­ing to see how many would then actu­ally meet us in UK, and the event has been pub­lished on face­book, in our face­book­group many times, — and it was also on the home­page. We felt we had rea­sons to come, and to strengthen our rela­tions with the team in Chester, but of course we very much hoped that there would be mem­bers in the UK, who would see it as a chance to meet together and get to know each other as well.

The meet­ing took place on August 7, 2019, and we were kindly sup­ported by Chester Zoo, who offered to host the meet­ing by pro­vid­ing room as well as all serv­ing lunch, tea and cof­fee.
For at rather small project as the Parosphromenus Project this kind of sup­port is very valu­able, as it is very dif­fi­cult to organ­ise such an event from abroad, and with very lit­tle finan­cial capac­ity, — so a big thank you has to to be expressed to Chester Zoo, and in par­tic­u­lar Andrea Swat­man, the leader of the Aquar­ium team who did a great job organ­is­ing these things for us.

The group which met for the meet­ing, was a small but ded­i­cated group, — the pres­ence of peo­ple attend­ing from UK was not so big as we might have wished for, — but it was very nice to meet peo­ple who we had met before, and new peo­ple com­ing all the way from Switzer­land.

From left front Mar­tin Zuber (Switzer­land), Allan Brown, (UK) Helene Schoubye (DK) Marl­yse Zuber (SW), Andrea Swat­man (UK), Klaus Här­tel (SW),Kevin Mar­shall (UK), Michael Balzer from Shoal (UK). Back from left Ben­jamin Wilden (GE), David Armitage (UK), and Jack Irish, Harry Shields and John Smith from UK.

The day was quite full, first with a pre­sen­ta­tion by Ben­jamin Wilden, who explained about the Parosphromenus project.

Andrea Swat­man, team leader of the Aquar­ium Depart­ment, spoke about the con­ser­va­tion work of the Zoo, pre­sent­ing a project which they have been involved with pre­vi­ously, relat­ing to how could it be pos­si­ble to become involved with the PP, not in a sim­i­lar way, but per­haps with inspi­ra­tions from other projects.

Chester Zoo is very pos­i­tive towards engag­ing with the PP in some form of coop­er­a­tion, — this could be in field work, if and when some­thing opens up as an oppor­tu­nity. It is dif­fi­cult to pre­cisely say in what way, — many fac­tors needs to meet together for this to take shape, — but it remains very clear that we are being met with very pos­i­tive atti­tude from Chester Zoo, — and is being offered sup­port in terms of per­sonel and finan­cial sup­port of some sort – when even­tu­ally reach­ing the point where it is pos­si­ble to deter­mine how a project could be under­taken in the field.

Another engage­ment which is more likely to move ahead more quickly is the mak­ing of ’hus­bandry guide­line’ for EAZA – (Euro­pean Asso­ci­a­tion of Zoos and Aquaria)
The inten­tion is first of all to make a more gen­eral, not species depen­dent, guide­line to the keep­ing of paros in cap­ture, but in the long run this will be suple­mented by a much more detailed spread sheet in which obser­va­tions for all species can be col­lected, and in the future hope­fully many details of any species can be found here.
It is work which is impor­tant and needs to be done, — but we are very much aware that it is not some­thing which will hap­pen overnight, — this will take time and will only hap­pen in coop­er­a­tion with both breed­ers, keep­ers and locals.

Very early on in our plan­ning, we got into con­tact with Allan Brown, — who is one of the real pio­neers in the field of parosphromenus as well as bet­tas, — and he gen­er­ously offered to do a pre­sen­ta­tion for us of his ear­lier trips to Sarawak and Pen­nin­su­lar Malaysia.
Allan Brown took us in his pre­sen­ta­tion, through his and his wife Bar­baras trav­els in Sarawak and Pen­nin­su­lar Malaysia.
It was incred­i­ble fasi­nat­ing to see how he and his wife trav­elled and col­lected on their trips, — and expe­ri­ence the com­plete ded­i­ca­tion of going to far away places, remote areas, stay­ing in hotels with bags of fish all over, and bring­ing at the time unknown and rare, new fish back to UK.
We saw pho­tos of the at the time unknown Parosphromenus species which he found, and which is now known as P. allani, — and pho­tos of biotopes which was beau­ti­ful and untouched, yet also how – years ago the destruc­tion of some habi­tats was clearly also hap­pen­ing.
It was a priv­iledge to meet Allan in per­son, and lis­ten to his pre­sen­ta­tion.

Went­ian Shi, — joined us for an online pre­sen­ta­tion, — a tec­ni­cal per­for­mance which we had not tried before, — but worked incred­i­ble well, — and can be used another time too.
Went­ian also led us through some of his recent trav­els, in par­tic­u­lar in the area on Bor­neo, in which you find the species of fil­a­men­to­sus. As always, Went­ian, is doing some incred­i­bly inter­est­ing obser­va­tions and find­ings, — and we hope to be able to shorten this pre­sen­ta­tion a lit­tle and make it avail­able on our youtube chan­nel – as soon as possible.

The day was fin­ished by a joint din­ner at a local pub, and on sun­day most of us met again to join Andrea in a very inter­est­ing tour behind — and also a lit­tle at front — in the Aquar­ium Depart­ment. We saw the parosphromenus tanks which has already been estab­lished for some time, and it inspired to many dis­cus­sions about water, ph, how to do many things, — the food, of course there were many inter­est­ing ‘live food’ vari­aties to be found behind the scenes, and this is of course some­thing which will engage a paro-​interested group of poe­ple.

We wish to thank every­one who has taken part in this meet­ing, — by sup­port­ing our work, by being inter­ested and engaged, shar­ing their enthu­si­asm. I will fin­ish by show­ing a few pho­tos from the city of Chester, which for me per­son­ally made the stay a very good experience.

Helene Schoubye, Copen­hagen, sep­tem­ber 2019,



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