The CIC Caprinae Atlas of the World was officially launched during the 61st CIC General Assembly in Milan/Italy earlier this year.
On September 18th, His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain received Nicolás Franco and Gerhard Damm in audience at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid. The two authors presented His Majesty with the Number 1 set of the leather-bound sponsors’ edition of the Atlas and conveyed the compliments of CIC President Bernard Lozé, who could not attend the audience due to a recent operation.
A passionate hunter himself, and a Patron of the CIC, His Majesty, who wrote the Prologue to the CIC Caprinae Atlas of the World, was extremely pleased with what he called a magnificent book, and recognized the tremendous amount of work the authors put in the decade-long preparation of this publication. His Majesty commended the CIC for having supported this important publication.
His Majesty and the authors also discussed the threats facing the conservation of many mountain ungulates, and what concerned conservationists around the world could contribute towards mitigating such threats. Science-based conservation and sustainable use through hunting offer practical answers, which, as His Majesty concluded, are exhaustively discussed in the Caprinae Atlas.
After more than one hour of animated talks, His Majesty once again congratulated the authors of the Atlas and the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation for the splendid work.
A day earlier, on September 18th, the prestigious Club Financiero Genova in Madrid was the venue of the launch of the Caprinae Atlas in Spain. Gerhard Damm and Nicolás Franco greeted more than 120 guests. Juan Delibes, well-known TV moderator, biologist and hunter, presented the Caprinae Atlas to the audience. An extraordinary work, as he manifested repeatedly: two volumes, each with more than five hundred pages and with a total of more than one thousand photos from the wild and hundred thirty distribution maps are, as Delibes said, a complete and exhaustive description of the Mountain Monarchs of the World. Delibes, who is also the director of the most important Spanish Hunting & Fishing Television channel with more than 100,000 subscribers, highlighted the importance of science in connection with sustainable hunting, and praised the authors for having achieved the all-important connection of field research, sustainable management and hunting through a painstaking review of thousands of literature sources, combined with the practical experience of the two authors as members of the IUCN Caprinae Specialist Group and as hunters and conservationists.
From left to right: Nicolás Franco, Juan Delibes, Gerhard Damm at the
Club Financiero Genova in Madrid
Damm addressed the audience in fluent Spanish and highlighted the exemplary role of the alliance of Spanish conservationists, communities, landowners and hunters in the spectacular recovery of the Spanish ibex – an example which could serve as blue print in other regions of the world for other mountain ungulates. Franco concluded the presentation by saying that the Caprinae Atlas addresses a wide spectrum of the public: Hunters, conservationist, researchers, university faculties and those who simply want to learn more about mountain ungulates, their conservation and sustainable use. “This Atlas shows Gerhard Damm’s and my passion for these magnificent animals and the landscapes they inhabit,” Franco said, and concluded with “… this Atlas is not for one club or association, but for all hunters around the world.”
When he heard about the audience and the launch, CIC President Bernard Lozé, who is presently recovering from a serious operation, expressed his great satisfaction in an open letter to Gerhard Damm and Nicolás Franco. Here is what President Lozé wants to share with all CIC members: “It is with great pleasure that I have received the photographs from your audience with HM The King Juan Carlos. This visit of an extraordinary one hour length coupled with the appreciation of his HM is undoubtedly the crown of your work with the Atlas. May all members of the CIC congratulate you and be proud of you ”.
HM King Juan Carlos I (center) together with the authors and their wives.
Only a few days earlier, on October 6th, the Fish & Wildlife Service finally announced the downlisting of the Straight-Horned Markhor (Kabul Markhor – Capra falconeri megaceros and Suleiman Markhor – Capra falconeri jerdoni combined as Straight-Horned Markhor C. f. megaceros) from endangered to threatened. In 1984, a critical straight-horned markhor population in the Torghar Hills of the Balochistan Province of Pakistan stood at just 200 individuals. Today, this population exceeds 3,500 individuals as a direct result of the Torghar Conservation Project, a community-controlled conservation program that uses limited trophy hunting as a means to raise critically needed funds for markhor conservation. FSW cited the work of Damm and Franco repeatedly in substantiating the downlisting.
In another shining conservation example, the Bukharan Markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri) populations in southwestern Tajikistan (extending from the Kushvariston Range along the eastern slope of the Hazratishoh Range and the eastern slope of the southwestern edge of the Darvaz Range towards Zighar village) have steadily increased over the past decade. In 2014 the Tajik government issued six markhor hunting permits for the Tajikistan Mountain Ungulate Project, a joint initiative of 6 community based conservancies. With the help of Caprinae Atlas author Gerhard Damm and Stefan Michel, a German researcher based in Chorog, Tajikistan, two South African hunters secured permits and successfully harvested outstanding trophy markhor in February 2014 in the M-Sayud concession.
Both markhor conservation projects are laureates of the CIC Markhor Award, which recognizes and celebrates outstanding conservation performance by people, private and government institutions, enterprises, or conservation projects that link the conservation of biodiversity and human livelihoods through the application of the principles of sustainable use, in particular hunting, as part of wildlife and ecosystem management. The award is presented every two years at the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Torghar Conservation Program (TCP) of the Society for Torghar Environmental Protection (STEP) received the award in 2010 in Nagoya Japan, and the Tajik communities (Darshaydara Conservancy, Muhofiz Conservancy and Concession M-Sayud) were honored in October 2014 in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea. These two exceptional conservation success stories from Pakistan and Tajikistan are described in detail in the CIC Caprinae Atlas, complete with maps and magnificent photos of the markhors from the two areas.
This is what some prominent reviewers of the CIC Caprinae Atlas of the World have to say:
Prof. Marco Festa-Bianchet (Canada) University of Sherbrooke, Chair, IUCN Caprinae Specialist Group: “This book shows where unclear taxonomy hinders the classification, conservation and management of Caprinae. Its maps and photographs will be a cornerstone of much future work on the ecology, taxonomy and conservation of these species.”
- Prof. Raul Valdez (USA) New Mexico State University: “…the seminal reference work for the general public, specialists and hunters.”
- Prof. Sandro Lovari (Italy) University of Siena, Past Chair, IUCN Caprinae Specialist Group: “… anyone who is interested in Caprinae conservation, anyone who wants to conserve and/or hunt them, anyone who is in love with the evocative, unique landscapes where they dwell should own this book.”
- John J. Jackson, III (USA) Chairman of Conservation Force: „This is the atlas many of us have been waiting for. “The coverage of the book includes range, management, genetics – whatever you desire; it is the ultimate information source. Never has there been such a resource book.“
- Luis Sánchez Hernández (Spain) author of “Tras las Monteses de Sierra Madrona”: “Un sincero reconocimiento por el trabajo realizado en la redacción y maquetado del CIC Caprinae Atlas. La obra es, por su propia concepción, una extraordinaria recopilación del conocimiento actual de los taxones Caprinae.”
- Peter Flack (South Africa) businessman, conservationist, hunter and well-known author: “The animals covered by the Atlas have been divided into three tribes (Caprini, Ovibovini and Pantholopini), 14 genera, 39 species, 87 subspecies and 96 geographically and morphologically identifiable phenotypes, each of which is described in detail. The distribution of the individual phenotypes is explained in print and via 130 detailed, full color maps, followed by the life history and, most importantly, conservation, management and hunting status. And do not be put off by scientific terms, all are explained and their importance and relevance is discussed. … I have followed Gerhard Damm’s progress in researching and writing this truly ground-breaking work. I hope he will not mind me saying that he is a perfectionist by nature, an extremely hard worker and, in the many years I have known him, I can attest to the fact that, once he sets his mind to complete a task, he does it with a degree of thoroughness and professionalism it is hard for others to emulate. This work is an example of his dedication and I anticipate that it will not only be around for many decades to come but its equal will not be seen in my children’s lifetime if at all.”
The CIC Caprinae Atlas of the World, 520 pages (Volume I) and 584 pages (Volume II), 130 color distribution maps, over 1000 truly spectacular, full color photographs of wild Caprinae taken in their natural wild habitats, and for each phenotype close-up photos of horns and skulls from the collections of some of the most prestigious museums in the world. Dimensions 210 X 275mm (portrait), lithographed to the highest standards on 115gsm matt art paper.
Standard edition (ISBN 978-0-9921870-5-7), hardcover, linen with gold foiling on front and spine, dust jackets showing renditions of Bodo Meier’s specially commissioned watercolor paintings of Pamir argali and Kashmir markhor. Price: € 250.00
Collectors’ Edition (ISBN 978-0-9921870-6-4) limited to 185 slip-cased sets individually numbered and signed by the authors. Artisanal hand binding in green leather and beige linen, gold foiling on spine; with exclusive frontispieces of Bodo Meier’s argali and markhor watercolor paintings. Price: € 950.00
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