October 21, 2015

Meeting with Director of the Wildlife Conservation Unit David McDonald

Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, founder and head of IDEA Public Union Leyla Aliyeva met, October 21, director of the Wildlife Conservation Unit (WildCru) - operating under the Oxford University’s Zoology Department, world-renowned specialist on protection of biodiversity, professor David McDonald, and research worker of the organization Don Burnham.

At the meeting, Leyla Aliyeva provided extensive information about the activities of IDEA Public Union, especially concerning its initiatives towards protecting and restoring Azerbaijan’s endemic fauna species. It was noted that, within the project “Reintroduction of gazelles into their historical habitats” being implemented by IDEA Public Union, 150 gazelles were released to their natural habitats in the territories of Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Moreover, IDEA Public Union has been, in cooperation with international and local partners, working on restoration of leopards in Azerbaijan. Leyla Aliyeva said she was saddened by news of a leopard being killed on the territory of Astara district. That incident justifies the necessity of strengthening the protection of this fauna species.

Along with protection of endangered animals, IDEA Public Union also has a plan for reintroduction of died out species with a view to enriching biodiversity.

Professor D. McDonald said he followed IDEA activities, and appraised it. He said WildCru has been implementing a project on studying and protecting of endangered animal species in 6 continents of the world. During the 30 years of its activity, WildCru has become a leading research centre of the world in the field of wildlife.

At the meeting, perspectives of cooperation between IDEA and Oxford University was a subject of discussion. An agreement was reached on sending one student to study at the Oxford University next year, on the specialty of biodiversity.