International Zoo News Vol. 45/2 (No. 283) March 1998
|Rehabilitation and Captive Management of Endangered Species in a Wildlife Rescue Center in Taiwan
|Nest Building and Care of the Young by Hammerkops
|A Common-sense Fence
Richard J. Wood
|Dakar Zoo, Senegal a Visitor's Report
|Surplus and Wanted Stock||Page 90|
|Book Reviews||Page 91|
|International Zoo News||Page 104|
|News in Brief||Page|
|Recent Articles||Page 124|
Cover Illustration: Hammerkop chicks at Ueno Zoo, Tokyo, aged 19 days (foreground) and 21 days respectively.
I recently learned that some people in zoological circles are recommending the use of the term `greater one-horned Asian rhinoceros' as the standard English name for Rhinoceros unicornis. My source did not disclose what reason was given for advocating the use of this clumsy and long-winded phrase; but anyone familiar with the current fashion for `political correctness' will have no difficulty in working out the explanation. R. unicornis is found in two countries, India and Nepal; so calling it the `Indian rhinoceros' might be thought to risk offending the Nepalese by suggesting that the animal is only found in India. I don't know whether anyone in Nepal does in fact feel offended by the use of the term `Indian rhino'; but even if so, I very much doubt whether that feeling is really justified. The use of `Indian' to mean `of the present-day state of India' only goes back to 1947, when that state came into being. The parallel use meaning `of the Indian subcontinent' is not merely much longer-established but also far too useful to be abandoned. Nations and their names come and go; geographical expressions endure.
Of course, there is a sense in which vernacular names don't matter very much. No one expects them to be standardised and invariable that's why we have scientific names. But a zoological publication may and perhaps should have an editorial policy on the subject. On the whole, I.Z.N.'s policy is a laissez-faire one. I'm quite happy for contributors to write `common seal' or `harbour/harbor seal', `black-footed penguin' or `African penguin', `Asian bonytongue' or `Asian arowana'; adding the scientific name will always remove any possible doubt about the species being referred to. But my tolerance has its limits any contributor sending in a piece about the `greater one-horned Asian rhinoceros' is hereby warned that this will be changed to `Indian rhinoceros'! Likewise with `takhi', which I've recently seen advocated as a replacement for `Przewalski's horse'. And the same goes for `painted hunting dog', which I understand is being recommended in some quarters as a replacement for `African wild dog' in order to `make the species more charismatic'.
Where two names are current, one of which is obviously a more accurate description than the other, I do sometimes though not with complete consistency impose my own preferences. Elephas maximus is the `Asian', rather than `Indian', elephant, for its range extends far beyond the subcontinent. And I have been making a conscious effort recently to use `Eurasian' rather than `European' when referring to any species found right across the Palaearctic region rather than solely in Europe. To refer to Anas penelope, for example, a species which breeds from Iceland to Kamchatka and winters from Ireland to Japan, as the `European' wigeon suggests a degree of parochialism which zoologists have no right to express. And I.Z.N., which at the last count had readers in 53 countries, has a special responsibility to avoid this sort of short-sighted regional bias.
REHABILITATION AND CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT OF ENDANGERED SPECIES IN A WILDLIFE RESCUE CENTER IN TAIWAN
BY GOVINDASAMY AGORAMOORTHY
Pingtung Rescue Center for Endangered Wild Animals is a project initiated during 1993 and has been financed by the Republic of China through Taiwan's Council of Agriculture. Its objectives are (i) to provide a decent temporary home to confiscated and abandoned wild animals, (ii) to resocialize singly-housed primates in groups, (iii) to rehabilitate wild animals for eventual release into the wild, (iv) to relocate wild animals to zoological institutions both within Taiwan and overseas which could provide humane care, and (v) to provide long-term care for animals which are handicapped, sick and not suitable for release or zoo breeding programs. Currently the center is housing a total of 186 animals including carnivores, primates, birds and reptiles (Tables 1 and 2). This paper describes the procedures of rehabilitation and captive management of wild animals held at the rescue center in Taiwan, ROC.
History of the wildlife rescue operation
In June 1990, the government of the Republic of China on Taiwan passed the Wildlife Conservation Law (1989) prohibiting trade in rare, threatened and endangered species of wildlife, and initiated major wildlife conservation projects (Hsu and Agoramoorthy, 1997). The government has been attempting to enforce the law to control the exotic pet animal trade in Taiwan. When the new law was passed, the owners of wild animal pets (exotic and endemic) were given a period of six months in which to register their animals with the authorities in order to exempt them from any penalty. The owners then had the option of retaining their pets, or turning them over to the government. Any wild animals not registered, or obtained after this grace period, are considered illegal and are subject to confiscation by government officials. Occasionally, people abandon their unwanted wild animal pets on the street or close to a zoological park. The abandoned, confiscated and/or rescued wild animals are sent to the center for temporary care. Pingtung is the largest rescue center in Taiwan, and is capable of housing several species of wild animals. There are three smaller centers based at Taipei (Taipei Zoo), Kaohsiung (Kaohsiung Zoo) and I-Lan (I-Lan Institute of Agriculture). These centers are capable of housing several macaques, bears and raptors. All these rescue centers co-ordinate their efforts in the conservation of wild animals and provide humane care for captive wild animals in Taiwan.
Arrival of rescued animals
Law enforcement officials from each city and county government offices are entitled to confiscate unauthorized wild animal pets. They also provide preliminary care for the confiscated individuals. After an animal is confiscated, the officials inform the rescue center and wait for a response regarding space availability. Usually the waiting period lasts from a few days to a maximum of two weeks. Each month, the Pingtung center receives about 1020 individuals, and the predominant animals are the endemic Formosan macaques. The center has a full-time director, deputy director, veterinarian, office manager and seven animal keepers who are responsible for the management of the center. Veterinary students, consulting veterinarians and student volunteers periodically assist the staff in carrying out routine tests, treatment and record keeping. All staff who work at the center use latex hand gloves, rubber boots and masks covering mouth and nose to avoid contact with animals and to reduce contamination while preparing food and handling animals. Before entering animal cages, staff and visitors are asked to disinfect their boots. Staff are not allowed to touch any animal until and unless this is essential for treatment purposes.
Quarantine, examination and housing of rescued animals
Once an animal arrives at the center, it is kept separate in a quarantine building where screening tests for diseases are done. Blood samples are collected for hematological and serological tests. Feces samples are analyzed for intestinal parasites. Individuals are also marked, weighed and morphometric measurements taken while they are in quarantine for a period of five weeks.
Primates and carnivores are tested for tuberculosis using mammalian old tuberculin (TuberculinÔ Kot, Tuberculin mammalian, human isolates, Coopers Animal Health Inc., Kansas City, KS 66103, U.S.A., or Tuberculin®, Kaketsuken, The Chemo-sero-therapeutic Research Institute, Kumamoto 860, Japan), and individuals tested positive are isolated for treatment and kept at the primate isolation building. Animals tested for Hepatitis A and B are isolated and kept in a separate building. The routine health tests are repeated twice a year. In addition to Hepatitis A and B, all orang-utans are tested for Hepatitis C and E. The most common parasitic infection among orang-utans was Balantidium coli, and ten out of 15 orang-utans had the infection on arrival. They were treated with Metronidazole (Frotin E.S.C.®) 25 mg/kg, twice a day for two weeks and were then free of B. coli. Tigers are tested for FIV and vaccinations are given against feline distemper and rabies (Feline Rhinotracheitis-Calici-Panleukopenia Vaccine® and Rabies Vaccine®, Fort Dodge Laboratories Inc., Iowa, U.S.A.). Sun bears are given vaccinations against canine distemper (Adenovirus Type 2 Parainfluenza-Parvovirus Vaccine®) and rabies (both manufactured by Fort Dodge Laboratories Inc., Iowa).
Animals which are free of communicable diseases are moved into either small (3.5 m ´ 4 m), medium (6 m ´ 6 m) or large (12 m ´ 9 m) enclosures. Each enclosure has both indoor and outdoor facilities with a maximum height of 4 m. The center has 20 small, 16 medium and four large enclosures capable of housing several social groups of primates. In addition, the center has a well-equipped veterinary hospital and an aquarium for fish.
Resocialization of macaques
Prior to 1989, Formosan macaques were captured for the pet trade. The conservation law has certainly played a role in reviving the species' status in the wild, and it is now common to see monkeys in the forest, close to agricultural farms and human settlements (Hsu and Agoramoorthy, 1997). Farmers consider these macaques as pests since they often raid agricultural crops and orchards. Occasionally, they trap crop-raiding monkeys using snares, and animals captured this way often lose part of an arm or leg. Out of the total of 81 Formosan macaques currently housed at the rescue center, five are missing an arm and eight a leg.
On arrival, after passing quarantine, healthy macaques are kept in single cage (1 m ´ 1 m ´ 1 m). Then, the singly-housed macaques are resocialized in a large enclosure. The center presently has two social groups of 21 and 24 Formosan macaques respectively. During the process of resocialization, fights do occur and lightly wounded animals are removed for treatment. After a few days, they are released back in the group. However, seriously wounded and rejected individuals are removed and not released again in the same group. All adult males are vasectomized to avoid breeding. Similar to other macaques, the Formosan macaques are social animals and their group size in the wild ranges from 12 to 80 individuals. Therefore it is essential to keep the macaques in social groups under captive conditions. The center also has a group of 22 long-tailed macaques resocialized during May 1997. Furthermore, a resocialized group of 15 Formosan macaques will be released for the first time on an uninhabited islet in the Penghu (Pescadores) Archipelago, Penghu County, Taiwan, during mid-1998, where they will be fed daily. The island release will enable the macaques to enjoy freedom in a semi-wild setting, as well as encouraging local tourism and promoting wildlife conservation education.
Rehabilitation of orang-utans
In Taiwan, a total of 79 (47.32) orang-utans have been kept in 16 institutions including both government-sponsored zoos and private wild animal parks. In addition, there are 86 orang-utans legally registered and owned by people as pets (Agoramoorthy, in press). Since 1990, three groups of orang-utans from Taiwan have been repatriated to Indonesia. Our rescue center is working with several institutions to improve the welfare and management conditions for captive orang-utans in Taiwan. Currently, the center houses 15 orang-utans (Table 1). The center is working with the Wanariset Orangutan Rehabilitation Project in East Kalimantan to repatriate orang-utans for eventual release. During a workshop organized in 1996, the center reached an agreement with the government of the Republic of Indonesia (Ministry of Forestry) to repatriate young and healthy orang-utans to Indonesia (Agoramoorthy, 1997a, b). According to the agreement, individuals under seven years of age will be selected for the future repatriation program since older apes are difficult to rehabilitate for release into the wild. Orang-utans older than seven years of age will be relocated to zoological parks in Asia for conservation breeding programs.
Management of gibbons, tigers and bears
A total of 13 gibbons belonging to four species are kept at the center (Table 1). The center plans to relocate five lar gibbons to the Thailand Wildlife Rescue Foundation, who have an on-going rehabilitation and reintroduction project (Morin, 1994). Rare species such as the silvery gibbon and golden-cheeked gibbon will be sent to conservation breeding programs in Europe and Australia respectively.
Currently the center houses 3.3 tigers. These animals originated from a single local breeding facility where they were bred before the wildlife conservation law was passed in 1989. The breeder bred tigers to supply the domestic pet trade and not for use in traditional Chinese medicine. The wildlife conservation law prohibits private breeders from breeding endangered species. Therefore the facility was closed down and all the tigers were moved to the rescue center. These tigers are subspecific hybrids and therefore not suitable for conservation breeding purposes. However, they can be used for displays in zoos to promote conservation awareness, public education and wild animal welfare. The center also houses 2.4 sun bears; these animals are former pets and were either abandoned or confiscated. These bears can be used in conservation breeding programs. Tigers are singly kept while sun bears are housed in small groups of 23 individuals in medium-sized enclosures.
Mongoose, civet, raptor and snake
Two crab-eating mongooses and two Chinese lesser civets were rescued during early 1997 and are kept at our center. These two species are rare and endemic to Taiwan, so they will be used in our conservation breeding program. The center currently houses raptors such as crested serpent eagle, crested goshawk, honey buzzard and Brahminy kite (Table 2). All are endemic species with the exception of Brahminy kite. The aviary has three small rooms (2 m ´ 4 m ´ 4 m) and two large rooms (4.5 m ´ 4.5 m ´ 4 m) to quarantine raptors. It also has three large outdoor enclosures (5 m ´ 15 m) with a height of 6 m. Healthy raptors are left free in outdoor enclosures for a few weeks to a few months prior to release in the wild. Only disease-free raptors that are not imprinted are selected for release into the wild. Last year, two ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) and a single Hodgson's hawk eagle (Spizaetus nipalensis) and crested serpent eagle were rescued and released after a month. Snakes are also being rescued at the center, and species such as the Chinese cobra, Taiwanese beauty snake and turtle-designed snake which are endemic to Taiwan are maintained in captivity for public education (Table 2).
Relocation of animals to zoological parks
Any institutions which request animals from the rescue center are asked to provide letters of recommendation from local wildlife experts, government agencies and non-government agencies in their countries to support their request. After receiving the letters, the rescue center's directors discuss the requests with national and international committees of experts. Finally, two members of the rescue center's staff visit the institutions for evaluation and to discuss the relocation agreement. Four major points are highlighted in the agreement; (i) the relocated animal belongs to the rescue center and is placed with the receiving party on temporary loan, (ii) the receiving party must provide humane care, a proper enclosure (with indoor and outdoor facilities) with enrichment, a nutritious diet, necessary veterinary care and hygiene to maintain the animal in good health, (iii) the receiving party must send an annual report on the status and condition of the animal to the rescue center, and (iv) the rescue center has the right to relocate the animal at any time in the future if it is not satisfied with the welfare and captive condition of the relocated individual. So far, the rescue center has sent 1.3 orang-utans and 1.1 tigers to foreign zoos. One female orang-utan was sent to the Sra Kaew Zoo in Thailand during 1996. Similarly, 1.2 orang-utans were relocated to Taiping Zoo, Malaysia, in September 1997 to join an on-going conservation breeding program. A pair of tigers were sent to the Jungle Kingdom, a privately-owned zoological park located in Pakistan. The Jungle Kingdom is also collaborating with the Pingtung Rescue Center and WWF-Pakistan in continuing wildlife conservation education work in Pakistan.
The rescue center is continuing its efforts to provide humane care for confiscated endangered wild animals, and is also playing a major role in developing public educational programs to discourage the pet trade and promote captive wild animal welfare in Taiwan. The center has ambitious plans to work with various institutions overseas in the conservation breeding of endangered species such as golden-cheeked gibbons in Europe, silvery gibbons in Australia, orang-utans in South-east Asia and sun bears in the Indian subcontinent. Rescue and rehabilitation centers in Thailand and Indonesia are collaborating with our center to rehabilitate confiscated gibbons and orang-utans. Recently, the center established a network of wildlife rescue centers in South and South-east Asia known as WARN (Wild Animal Rescue Network), and guidelines are currently being developed for the captive management of orang-utans in the region. The center also promotes wildlife conservation for the local population through public education programs including specialized tours for high school and university students. The center's staff are also involved in wildlife conservation and habitat preservation projects, both in Taiwan and overseas.
I thank Dr K. Pei for his encouragement and friendly support of my work on the rehabilitation and captive management of wild animals in Taiwan. I also thank my office and curatorial staffs, J.R. Lin, M.J. Fang, L.M. Chou, Y.J. Chen, R.J. Yau, K.M. Chen, I.H. Sun, J.S. Guo, R.Y. Cheng, Y.L. Huang and R.Y. Jeng for their assistance in the excellent management of the rescue center. This project has been funded by the ROC's Council of Agriculture, and I especially thank Mr M.L. Jan, Mr C.R. Chen, and Mr J.F. Lue for their keen interest in the conservation and management of captive wild animals.
Agoramoorthy, G. (1996): Conservation and captive care of orangutans in Taiwan. Proceedings of the 5th Conference of Southeast Asian Zoological Parks' Association, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC, pp. 184188.
Agoramoorthy, G. (1997a): Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers in South-east Asia. International Zoo News 44 (7): 397400.
Agoramoorthy, G. (1997b): Reports: workshops on the relocation of confiscated orangutans and other species in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. Zoos' Print 12 (9): 2930.
Agoramoorthy, G. (in press): Status of captive orangutans in Taiwan. International Zoo Yearbook.
Hsu, M.J., and Agoramoorthy, G. (1997): Wildlife conservation in Taiwan. Conservation Biology 11 (4), 834836.
Morin, T.D. (1994): Gibbon rehabilitation procedures in Thailand. Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation 17 (3): 36, 11.
Wildlife Conservation Law (1989): The Republic of China's Wildlife Conservation Law 13266, The Government of the Republic of China, Taipei, Taiwan.
Dr. G. Agoramoorthy, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Pingtung Rescue Center for Endangered Wild Animals, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 3732, Pingtung 91207, Taiwan ROC. (Address for correspondence: Dr. G. Agoramoorthy, P.O. Box 59157, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan.)
Table 1. List of mammals housed at Pingtung Rescue Center for Endangered Wild Animals, Taiwan ROC.
Common name Species name Sex
Pygmy loris Nycticebus pygmaeus 1.0
Formosan macaque Macaca cyclopis 48.33
Long-tailed macaque Macaca fascicularis 19.10
Pig-tailed macaque Macaca nemestrina 1.0
White-handed gibbon Hylobates lar 2.3
Silvery (Javan) gibbon Hylobates moloch 0.1
Müller's (Bornean) gibbon Hylobates muelleri 2.2
Golden-cheeked gibbon Hylobates gabriellae 1.2
Bornean orang-utan Pongo pygmaeus 12.3
Tiger Panthera tigris 3.3
Malayan sun bear Helarctos malayanus 2.4
Chinese lesser civet Viverricula indica pallida 1.1
Crab-eating mongoose Herpestes urva 1.1
Table 2. List of raptors and snakes housed at Pingtung Rescue Center for Endangered Wild Animals, Taiwan ROC.
Common Name Species name Total
Crested serpent eagle Spilornis cheela 9
Crested goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus 2
Honey buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus 1
Brahminy kite Haliastur indus 1
Taiwan spectacled cobra Naja naja atra 13
Taiwan beauty snake Elaphe taeniura friesei 2
Turtle-designed snake Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus 2
NEST BUILDING AND CARE OF THE YOUNG BY HAMMERKOPS
BY KYOKO TORIKAI
Until recently, we knew little about the nesting and parental behavior of hammerkops (Scopus umbretta). Chicks are raised deep inside the huge nest, and never emerge until they attain adult size. At Ueno Zoo, Tokyo, Japan, we began keeping this species in 1985. They bred successfully several times, and progeny were sent to other institutions. The original breeding female died in 1993, leaving a lone male. Early in August 1995, a female arrived from Saitama Children's Zoo, and successful breeding followed. We have observed and documented the parental behavior of these birds for the last two years.
First nesting by the new pair
After the new female was introduced to the male they became intimate and stayed together, and the male mounted her, assuring a pair bond. Immediately following this behavior they were seen carrying twigs to the nest platform, and nest building began in mid-August. We provided nest material including hay, and twigs from various trees (Ligustrum japonicum, Acer sp., and Prunus sp.) collected in the zoo grounds.
To study the birds' nest building, we divided the twigs into four categories, based on length and presence of leaves. The number of twigs and their weights were measured before putting them in the cage (hay was also weighed); the amount discarded by the pair was then subtracted to determine the amount used. Material was provided on 19 occasions until the completion of nest building in October, during which period a total of 2,327 twigs, weighing 60.3 kg, was given to the birds. Of these, we estimate that the material actually used consisted of 2,037 twigs weighing 48.9 kg. The nest was oval-shaped, measuring 140 cm ´ 110 cm and 105 cm high. Amazingly, over a period of only six weeks a hammerkop can carry nearly ten times its own weight in twigs up to the top of a tree and incorporate them into its huge nest.
Possibly because of the fast pace of construction, they do not seem to pay much attention to the appearance of the nest. Twigs are untidily piled up into a dome-shaped heap, which may give the impression of a huge pile of trash stuck in the fork of a tree limb. In spite of this appearance, however, intricate details may be noted which contribute to the comfort of the occupants. Thicker and sturdier twigs are utilized at the base for supporting the huge nest. Twigs with leaves are used in the upper part of the nest, resembling a slated roof, which seems to be leak-proof even during a violent squall. In the center of the nest lies a chamber, enclosed by a 20 cm thick wall which is plastered with mud and feces; a shallow depression for eggs is situated here, bedded with hay and dead leaves.
A hole in the side of the nest makes the entrance, about 15 cm in diameter, a size that allows a parent to barely squeeze through. The entrance is not only hard to find, but also presumably keeps out predators such as the savanna monkey, which search for eggs and chicks. As for the division of labor, it appeared that the role of the male was to carry the material, while the female finished the details. Thanks to the sturdy roof, it is pitch-dark inside the nest. Raising of the chicks takes place in this darkness.
Family togetherness: 1996
Egg-laying took place twice in this nest (early January and mid-February), and the second clutch led to the hatching and fledging of four chicks. Probably due to the abundance of food supply, Ueno's hammerkops are able to breed all the year round. Since egg-laying occurs even in midwinter, we assume that the environment inside the nest is comfortable, being hardly affected by the ambient temperatures. A miniature TV camera was used to check the eggs by inserting it when the parent left the nest. However, such observations were kept at a minimal level, since this was the pair's first experience as parents.
We found out that a clutch consists of three to five eggs, and that the sexes take turns brooding the eggs. Chicks fledge at about two months of age, at which time they have become complete replicas of their parents. Even though they were in a roofed, free-standing `house', it must have been crowded inside the chamber when the chicks were approaching the fledgling stage. During the night, the parents also roosted in the nest, creating a crowded but cheerful family atmosphere.
Moving to the new nest: summer 1996
Hammerkops use their nests not only for raising chicks, but also for roosting and resting. In the wild, a pair build several nests within their territory and use them for different purposes. In captivity, however, a nest becomes all-purpose housing. For this reason the environment inside the nest seems to have deteriorated during the year, until it became uncomfortable for the birds.
In July 1996, our hammerkops occupied a nest platform originally made for cattle egrets, and began building a new nest. This crude platform, which was only half the size of the other one, was tied to the cage with baling wire. We were concerned whether it could support a nest weighing nearly 50 kg. However, hammerkops are master architects. They wove twigs through the wire mesh for security, and made a nest, albeit smaller than the first one. They finished nest building in August and began to roost in it, and thus the relocation was completed. The third clutch of the year was laid in this nest, resulting in five chicks fledging at the end of the year.
Eggs and chicks: 1997
In 1997, I decided to collect data more actively. Luckily, this did not seem to disturb the parents all that much, as they went about their business.
Egg measurement. Egg-laying began in early February. The average for all five eggs was 25.4 g in weight and 42.8 mm ´ 32.4 mm in size. The egg-shell is thin and white when it is laid. As incubation progresses it becomes dirty, coated with mud. When eggs are lined up, it is easy to tell the order in which they were laid. The second clutch, consisting of six eggs, began in late February. Eggs are laid every other day. During the incubation period of about a month, eggs were weighed 15 times, and progressive reduction of weight was noted, with an average reduction rate of 15.4%.
Growth of chicks. In the second clutch, due to breakages and a dead embryo, only three eggs hatched out of the six. Body measurements and weighing were carried out 14 times, until the chicks were two months old and fledged. One of the chicks fell out of the nest the day after hatching and died, at which time it weighed 11 g.
Being raised in a protected environment, hammerkop chicks are altricial, naked with eyes closed when they hatch. They have a helpless appearance, compared to crane or pheasant chicks that can follow their parents immediately after hatching. However they grow rapidly, and become covered with down at two days of age. Their eyes are sharp, but with their short beaks and down, they look cuter than the parents. After ten days the characteristic crown feathers appear, and the brown plumage begins to show under the down. By the 19th day they have lost all their down, and are beginning to resemble the adults. During measuring they threaten the staff with erected crown feathers.
By the 24th day they have taken on the same appearance as the adults, though the tail feathers and primaries are still too short for flying. The body is smallish and has a rounded appearance. Their legs are too weak, and when they attempt to stand upright, they fall back and squat on the tarsi. By the 40th day they are fully fledged. The body is now well-built, and the legs have become stronger, allowing them to run. They jump up and try to take off when they are measured, but cannot fly well. After this period both chicks emerged from the nest, almost simultaneously. But they still spent a long time in the nest, only coming out early in the morning or when feeding.
About two weeks after first emerging from the nest, they were seen outside throughout the daytime. They had acquired flying skills, no longer crashing into the wire mesh and falling, as they used to. They are now independent, and can catch the feed fish, dojo (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus), on their own. The only difference between the chicks and the adults is the color of the iris; the yellow eye color, in contrast with the black of the adults, gives the chicks a dauntless appearance. By watching zoo visitors, we noted that many of them mistook the chicks for adults.
After two years of observation I have collected some data on nest building and parental behavior. However, the sample size is small, and I am not yet in a position to compile a general survey about the species. In the future, I hope to collect more data for a statistical review.
[Translated from the original Japanese article in Animals and Zoos Vol.49, No. 10 (October 1997), pp. 47, by Ken Kawata, Belle Isle Zoo, Box 39, Royal Oak, Michigan 48068, U.S.A.]
Kyoko Torikai, Ueno Zoo, Tokyo 110, Japan.
A COMMON-SENSE FENCE
BY RICHARD J. WOOD
Arabian gazelles (Gazella gazella arabica) are held at the Omani Mammal Breeding Centre in large paddocks, created by the erection of two-inch (5 cm) medium-gauge, plastic-coated chainlink fencing, wired to two-inch galvanized piping, spaced at 10 feet (3 m) intervals.
Left to their own devices the gazelles do well and breed regularly by following a natural life style, on land where they once occurred naturally. However, as this is now a confined and managed herd, there inevitably come times when the animals have to be handled or moved. Doing this with a minimum of injury to the gazelles then becomes the prime concern. The nervous and flighty nature of the species, coupled with their spectacular speed and delicate bones, can result in injuries and deaths, when they run and hit objects.
Due to the size of the enclosures it is necessary to net the animals. Hopefully the gazelles can be quickly induced to run into a net and be restrained before they have time to sustain injury. Often, though, they evade the nets and become so desperate to escape that they become reckless and collide with the fences at high speed. They will do this even in paddocks they have occupied for years, and know well.
The combination of their speed and their stick-thin bones makes injuries almost certain when they do hit something. Head-on collisions with the mesh may result in little more than a bloody nose, but impact with the uprights can result in far more serious injuries. These include broken facial and leg bones, broken horns and even broken necks (which are almost invariably fatal). Other injuries include loss of teeth and eye damage.
Apart from the misery of such injuries for any animal unlucky enough to sustain them, the knowledge that they may be sustained has a negative effect on the management of the herd, by inhibiting any more manipulations of the animals than are strictly necessary. Captures of young for early sexing and marking, or the treatment of smaller wounds, from fighting for example, tend to be deferred, as to carry them out may cause more problems than they solve.
With all the above in mind, when it came to designing a paddock for a small group of goitred gazelle (G. subgutturosa), an even more flighty species than the Arabian gazelle, I sought a way to negate the effect of the deadly poles. As some form of support for the mesh is unavoidable, but as the poles are the main problem, I decided to stand them off the mesh. The mesh was then suspended from the top of the pole. This is achieved by cranking a section at the top of the pole inwards (or bending it over), then welding loops or hooks to the end of the cranked section, through which a heavy duty wire or cable is run. The mesh is then suspended from this cable with tie wires. The result is somewhat like a shower curtain. The base of the mesh is run into a ditch or trench dug in front of the base of the poles, and the ditch refilled and compacted. A second crank is welded further down the pole, projecting in the same direction as the one above and to the same distance. (I used one foot (30 cm) as the distance from mesh to pole.) The end of this second crank must be furnished with a loop or be drilled through to take a straining wire. Care must be taken to ensure that the height of this second crank is above the head height of the species the paddock is intended for.
Safe fencing for goitred gazelles at the Omani Mammal Breeding Centre. (Photo: R.J. Wood)
The basic idea of this design is to remove the points of possible impact, in the same way that a modern boxing ring stands the posts off the ropes. There are a number of modifications to the basic idea. The lower crank may possibly be discarded and the straining wire secured to the post with wire ties for example. (There is another paddock under construction now, on which this idea will be tested.) Gates also offer a challenge. Logically, they should be as lightly constructed as possible. They should be stood in line with the crank or bend to form a continuous line with the mesh, the mesh itself finishing against the gatepost, by being wired to it. An alternative method at the gate might be, to stand it back and continue the high support wire in front of the gates on the inside, running a mesh curtain down from it. But this may be rather `over-egging the pudding'. If there were a strong possibility of the animals hitting the gate at capture time, the lower half of it could be covered with hay bales or some other type of padding.
Drawbacks to this type of fencing are relatively few but worth mentioning. The first in my case, anyway was getting the architect and the builder to understand just what was required. Despite my best efforts, there are some errors in the final product, because they had never constructed a fence like this before, and didn't really ever understand the idea. So long, patient chats are a good investment. Secondly, as the fencing is less firmly attached to the posts than usual and the lower crank height is set for one particular species, only that species or one like it can be kept in that enclosure at least, without some modification. Thirdly, the sight of the cranked uprights, standing free of the mesh, takes a little getting used to and may be considered unaesthetic by some people. But some creepers or other plants grown against them should disguise them satisfactorily in most cases.
Figure 1. Sketch showing the design of the fence described in the article.
I am pleased to say that the extra effort of putting up this fencing quickly paid off. Shortly after the release of the goitred gazelles into the new paddock, the male took off at top speed and encountered the fence head-on. Had he met a post, it is most likely he would have broken his neck; but as it was, he literally bounced off as if he had hit a trampoline.
The author wishes to thank the Diwan of Royal Court for permission to offer this article for publication, and Mrs B. Boekhoudt for editing and typing.
Richard J. Wood, Manager, Omani Mammal Breeding Centre, Bait al Barakah, Sultanate of Oman. (Correspondence to: R.J. Wood, P.O. Box 64, Seeb International Airport, Post Code 111, Sultanate of Oman.)
New animal welfare journal
The Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS) publishes articles and commentaries on methods of experimentation, husbandry, and care that demonstrably enhance the welfare of nonhuman animals. The scope is inclusive of all animals. For administrative purposes, manuscripts are categorized into the following four content areas: welfare issues arising in laboratory, farm, companion animal, and wildlife/zoo settings. Manuscripts of up to 8,000 words are accepted that present new empirical data or a reevaluation of available data, conceptual or theoretical analysis, or demonstrations relating to some issue of animal welfare science. In addition, the editors will publish free-standing commentaries, letters, announcements of meetings, news, and book reviews. Unsolicited submission of these is welcome.
Send manuscripts to either of the coeditors: Kenneth J. Shapiro, Ph.D., P.O. Box 1297, Washington Grove, Maryland 20880; or Stephen Zawistowski, Ph.D., 424 East 92nd Street, New York, NY 10128. In a cover letter, authors should state that the findings reported in the manuscript have not been published previously and that the manuscript is not simultaneously under consideration.
JAAWS is published four times a year and is available on a calendar-year basis only. In the United States and Canada, per-volume rates are US$35 for individuals and US$125 for institutions; in other countries, per-volume rates are US$60 for individuals and US$150 for institutions. Send subscription orders, information requests, and address changes to the Journal Subscription Department, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 10 Industrial Avenue, Mahwah, New Jersey 074302262.
Passerine and Pigeon & Dove Symposium
a joint initiative by the EEP TAGs and ABWAK
19 & 20 May 1998 at Bristol Zoo
There are many species of pigeons and passerines in captivity throughout Europe, many of which are listed on the IUCN Red Lists. Captive breeding programmes exist for a number of species such as the bleeding heart pigeons and the Bali starling of which there are only 14 birds reportedly left in the wild. Attention to these species has produced viable captive breeding programmes, but sustainable captive breeding for other species such as yellow-throated laughing thrush or crowned pigeons is yet to be achieved.
This two-day symposium will cover a wide range of issues, including husbandry developments, captive breeding programmes, veterinary aspects and fieldwork.
Proposed speakers include:
David Jeggo Joint Chair, Passerine TAG
Nigel Hewston The Omei Shan Liocichla
Richard Meyer Operation Chough
Nigel Collar Conservation Priorities for Passerines
Stuart Evans Australian Finch Society RADS Scheme
Dave Coles Breeding the Genus Garrulax
Roger Wilkinson Breeding African Starlings in Captivity
Duncan Bolton Chair, European TAG for Pigeons
Mark Damon Researcher, Crowned Pigeons
Joeke Nijboer Nutritionist, Rotterdam Zoo
Dave Wetzel Co-Chair, North American Pigeon TAG
Simon Tonge Zoological Society of London
The symposium is open to anyone interested in passerines and/or pigeons, but particularly those working on a daily basis with the practical aspects of their husbandry.
Further information and registration forms available from:
Duncan Bolton, General Curator
Bristol Zoo, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3HA
Fax: +44 117 9736814 E-mail: email@example.com
DAKAR ZOO, SENEGAL A VISITOR'S REPORT
BY MARK SCHULMAN
As a kid growing up in New York I would often visit the Bronx Zoo. I distinctly remember taking the simulated safari ride through `Africa' to see the big-game animals the lion, the elephant, the giraffe, and even the hippopotamus. For a kid who thought the squirrels in Central Park were wild animals, this was big stuff. As the ride began I would shut my eyes and listen to the guide's soothing voice over the loudspeaker: `Imagine yourself on a boat floating down the Zambezi River. . .' That was sort of hard to do, considering that the rush-hour traffic from the Bronx River Parkway, only yards away, detracted from any real nature-like experience. But just the same, I did my best to imagine what it would be like to really be in Africa.
I never actually thought of coming all the way to Africa to visit a zoo, but recently I found myself at Senegal's Parc Zoologique, in the outskirts of the capital, Dakar. Being in Africa, I for some reason expected to find a large variety of my favorite species from the continent. Unfortunately, that was not the case. West Africa is not as blessed as its East African counterpart when it comes to wildlife. I don't think one could even begin to compare Senegal's environment with the biodiversity-rich flora and fauna of such countries as Kenya, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. In fact, the sorry display of animals found in this zoo may be a sad reflection of what is really left of Senegal's wildlife.
In the past twenty years, Senegal's wildlife populations and habitats have dwindled as a result of severe drought, deforestation, desertification and poaching. Although Senegal is one of the more biologically diverse countries in the Sahel, with well over 500 animal species, many of the existing populations are under constant threat, and in some cases facing extinction. Already, the giraffe and the korrigum antelope (Damaliscus lunatus korrigum) have disappeared altogether. Even in Niokola Koba National Park, the country's largest nature reserve, elephant populations have been reduced to no more than fifty. If the country's wildlife is not even safe in protected areas, are they any more safe locked up in a zoo?
From my understanding, today's zoos not only play an important role in making the public aware of the beauty, diversity and value of the animal kingdom, but also make an increasingly significant contribution in wildlife conservation, research and education. Considering the incredible rate of species loss in Senegal, it would seem that having a modern zoo would be of the greatest importance for promoting the idea that wild animals and their habitats must be protected for future generations to enjoy and understand. Unfortunately, the Dakar Zoo can barely function on a daily basis and take care of its own animals, let alone be responsible for the conservation and preservation of species that are in danger of extinction in the wild.
Dakar Zoo's main entrance gives little clue to the miserable conditions in which its animals are kept. (Photo: Mark Schulman)
A solitary gorilla in a bare cage typical of Dakar Zoo's totally inadequate animal accommodation. (Photo: Mark Schulman)
The living conditions of the animals in the zoo are appalling by any standards, if not downright cruel. The smattering of baboons, macaques, red colobus and green monkeys, as well as one lonely gorilla, are kept in antiquated, cinder-block cages with little room to move around. The chimpanzees are no better off and look like they are in a psychiatric ward right out of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest one chimp was banging his head against the wall, another was pacing frantically back and forth, and one even looked as if he was muttering to himself in French.
The lions' conditions are not so much better. Confined to small, prison-like cages, the King of Beasts is certainly not the master of his domain. The saddest of all, though, seemed to be the hyena, whose dilapidated cage is hidden in a corner of the zoo, almost totally forgotten. I've never been one for scavengers, but the sadness that filled this hyena's big, brown eyes was enough to gain sympathy from even the biggest animal-hater. I think the only animal that looked relatively happy was the bush pig. But then again, give this animal some mud to play in and it will be happy just about anywhere!
The zoo, however, was not always like this. Created in 1935 by the French, it was once a showcase for exotic species and a tourist attraction for the entire West African region. Since Senegal's independence in 1960, the zoo has become a public institution managed by different government agencies. Today, it is under the Ministry of the Environment's Department of Water, Forests, Hunting and Soil Conservation. Perhaps being government-run has been part of the problem. With a weak economy and restricted budget, the Senegalese government can only allocate about 13 million CFA francs (US$30,000) a year. That's not a lot of money to run a zoo, or anything else for that matter. Severe budget constraints have affected the general upkeep and day-to-day maintenance of the zoo. There is no money for new animals or for simple animal exchanges with other zoos. As Omar Diaw, Director of the Zoological Park, explained, there is not even enough money to buy a fax machine or have an outside telephone line just to contact other institutions for sharing information or getting support. Privatizing the zoo has been discussed, but the chances of this happening in a country still dominated by government and inefficient ministries are slim. Even if privatization was possible, the lack of public interest, reflected in the low numbers of visitors (about 30,000 a year), would barely generate enough income to keep the zoo running or the animals fed.
The future of the zoo, and its inhabitants, is rather dismal. Perhaps these animals are a little better off than some of their unfortunate cousins in other African zoos who have often been the first casualties in countries plagued by civil war (hungry soldiers and refugees need to eat, too!), but a life in bare, cramped cages is no way to live under any circumstances. In order to ensure its survival, the Dakar Zoo needs to improve its facilities and its overall objectives, just as most American zoos have done in recent years. Unfortunately, this zoo does not have the experience, nor the means, to make such changes. A desperate need of help, especially from the international zoo community and other institutions dedicated to wildlife conservation and education, could begin to solve some of the problems. Otherwise, there may not be much hope for the zoo, or the animals.
Mark Schulman, B.P. 2096, Dakar, Senegal, West Africa.
JOHN GOULD IN AUSTRALIA: LETTERS AND DRAWINGS by Ann Datta. Melbourne University Press, 1997. xiv + 503 pp., hardback. ISBN 0522847803. Available for A$80.00 from the publishers (Melbourne University Press, P.O. Box 278, Carlton South, Victoria 3053, Australia. Tel.: 61393473455; Fax: 61393492527; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
It was the accident of a shared surname that first aroused my interest in John Gould. As a child, I was intrigued by the possibility that I might be related to such a major figure in 19th century zoology. Unfortunately, my subsequent researches failed to establish any connection, at least as far back as the 1780s, when his father and my great-great-grandfather were born in adjacent counties in south-west England. But my interest in him survived this disappointment, and has been enormously stimulated by the arrival of this magnificent book.
Ann Datta is the Zoology Librarian at the Natural History Museum in London, and John Gould in Australia is a by-product of her years spent researching and cataloguing the Museum's collection of `Gouldiana'. As well as a full-length biography of Gould, it includes a catalogue of the collection of letters sent to him (with lengthy extracts, and biographical notes on the principal correspondents), drawings and manuscripts; for the most part, material not relevant to Australia is excluded. As well as its obvious appeal to Australian readers, the book will be of value to lovers of the art of natural history illustration, and to those with an interest in the history of zoology. Zoo historians, too, will find it a useful source, for Gould had many links with the Zoological Society of London and with the 13th Earl of Derby, whose private menagerie at Knowsley was the largest animal collection in England in the 1840s.
John Gould's only serious rival in the field of 19th century natural history publishing is John James Audubon. Of the two, Audubon was the better artist, but Gould was incomparably the better businessman. Audubon's fame rests on one book, The Birds of America; Gould, by contrast, was at the centre of a publishing business which produced in all 49 folio (406 ´ 559 mm) volumes with 2,999 hand-coloured plates. Many accounts of Gould imply that he was not an artist at all. Certainly he managed to enlist the services of several of the greatest figures in zoological illustration, of whom his wife Elizabeth, Edward Lear, Joseph Wolf and H.C. Richter are perhaps the most outstanding. But Ann Datta makes it plain that Gould was much more than just a gifted entrepreneur with a flair for cashing in on the enthusiasm of wealthy bibliophiles. Hundreds of his drawings in pencil, crayon, chalk and watercolour survive (several are reproduced in this book), and in many cases these can be directly linked to the final published illustrations. It is possible that past depreciation of Gould's artistic talents arose in part from ignorance of what the production of a lithographic plate entails: it is by its nature a cooperative effort, and it is clear that Gould pulled his weight in the team and, indeed, masterminded the production of all the plates in the volumes published under his name.
The book also re-establishes Gould's reputation as a field zoologist. His abilities in this direction found expression principally in his visit to Australia in 183840. Ann Datta lists 191 species of bird and 45 of mammal which were first scientifically described by him. (Some of the birds were described from specimens sent to him before he went to Australia.) But whereas many naturalists at that time did little more than record the taxonomic details of (normally dead) `specimens', Gould valued the opportunity to observe the behaviour of birds and mammals in the wild. He was, for example, the first to describe (to the Zoological Society of London on 25 August 1840) the extraordinary courtship structures of the satin bowerbird. And he must have been one of the first to study the journeys of a bird species (the black-browed albatross) by the use of leg-rings.
I must not end this brief review without mentioning that John Gould in Australia is itself, appropriately, an exceptional example of high-quality book production. It is big (approx. 215 ´ 290 mm), printed in large, generously-spaced type on thick glossy paper, and beautifully illustrated in black-and-white and colour, reproducing many plates from the books as well as a number of previously unpublished paintings and drawings by Gould, his wife and his assistants. As a connoisseur of fine books, John Gould himself would, I think, have been well pleased with this tribute to his life and work.
ORANG UTANS by Konrad Wothe and Carsten Clemens. Tecklenborg, Steinfurt, 1996. 152 pp., illus., clothbound. ISBN 3924044198. DM 88.00.
It's a sign of the times that the publishers of a new book of wildlife photography find it necessary to announce up front that they `guarantee that the photographs in this book are original shots that have not been digitally manipulated.' Konrad Wothe is a well-established 46-year-old Bavarian biologist and wildlife photographer whose latest work took him and the 37-year-old journalist and biology major Carsten Clemens to Sumatra and Borneo on the trail of the red ape. Wothe and his Bavarian publishers, Tecklenborg, have produced a fine volume of fascinating close-ups of orang-utans in their native habitat and of the habitat itself and the animals with which Pongo pygmaeus shares it. Wothe captured the Sumatran rhinoceros, proboscis monkey, gibbons and macaques and tropical birds on film, but orang-utans enjoy centre-stage, giving a photogenic performance. Considering that Tecklenborg publishes Germany's best-established wildlife and nature photography magazine, the interested amateur may only be disappointed that Wothe is divulging nothing on how he took his shots.
Biruté Galdikas has contributed a two-page introduction kept, for whatever reasons, in English, but Clemens's German text accompanying Wothe's photographs is nothing anyone who doesn't read the language will miss. Clemens summarises well enough what has been published on orang-utan behaviour, but gets carried away with his concern for the species' welfare. Zoos, to him, are largely places where orang-utans are forced to masturbate all day long for want of anything else to do. Still true, unfortunately, for many zoos around the world. But what is one to make of the emotionally charged statement that `even today orang-utans must serve scientists in perverse pain research' (p. 97), going on to insinuate that orang-utans are also used in AIDS research. I wasn't aware that orang-utans are still used in vivisection or other painful experiments, and would have been grateful for a bibliographical reference to alleviate my ignorance. Unfortunately the author dispenses with footnotes and a bibliography of any kind, apparently expecting the reader to take his word for everything he has to say. Yet should we take his word for it that Linnaeus was a Frenchman? First time I've read that. And Linnaeus did not include gorillas in the genus Homo if only for the simple reason that he was unaware, as were all his contemporaries, of the existence of the species.
Anyone fond of, or interested in, the red ape will still find Orang Utans a nice addition, because of the photographs, to his or her library. Zoos that do not care for another picture book in their library will nevertheless find it an attractive item for their gift shop.
The 5th International Zoo Design Conference will be held at Paignton Zoo on 1821 May 1998. For further information please contact Peter Stevens, Paignton Zoo, Totnes Road, Paignton, Devon TQ4 7EU, U.K. (Tel.: +44 1803 697500; Fax: +44 1803 523547; E-mail: email@example.com)
The 17th Congress of the International Primatological Society (IPS) will be held in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on 914 August 1998. For further information please contact Soava Rakotoarisoa, Building P, Door 207, Faculty of Sciences, University of Antananarivo, P.O. Box 906, Antananarivo (101), Madagascar. (Tel.: +261 2 269 91; Fax: +261 2 313 98; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
The 4th International Parrot Convention will be hosted by Loro Parque on 1720 September 1998. For further information please contact The Secretary, 4th International Parrot Convention, Loro Parque S.A., 38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain. (Fax: +34 22 375021; E-mail: email@example.com)
The 1998 Annual Meeting of the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group will be co-hosted by the City of Yokohama, Nogeyama Zoo, Kanazawa Zoo and Yokohama New Zoo, Japan, on 811 October 1998. For more information please contact Ms Kazue Satoh in Tokyo, Japan (Tel.: +81 335 931070; Fax: +81 335 931088) or Dr Onnie Byers in Apple Valley, U.S.A. (Tel.: +1 612 431 9325; Fax: +1 612 432 2757; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
IUDZG The World Zoo Organization 53rd Annual Conference will be hosted by the Port of Nagoya Aquarium, Japan, on 1219 October 1998. Icebreaker on Monday evening, the 12th. Registrations must be made early because of travel arrangements between the cities of Yokohama (CBSG meeting) and Nagoya. For more information please contact Dr Itaru Uchida, Director, Port of Nagoya Aquarium, Minato-machi 13, Minato-ku, Nagoya, 455 Japan.
Planning African wild dog conservation
Following the publication of the IUCN/SSC Action Plan for the African Wild Dog, a recent meeting in Pretoria sought to carry forward the recovery process for this endangered species in southern Africa. The meeting, organized by IUCN/SSC's Canid Specialist Group and Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, brought together conservationists and wildlife managers from several African countries, as well as conservation biologists from Europe and North America.
Southern Africa holds the best hope for wild dogs' long-term survival. With a population numbering over 100 in contiguous areas of north-eastern Namibia, northern Botswana and western Zimbabwe, and further populations each numbering several hundred in the Kruger, Kafue and Luangwa National Parks, southern Africa contains more than half of Africa's remaining wild dogs. In contrast, wild dogs are extinct across most of West Africa, and depleted in much of East Africa. The only substantial population outside southern Africa is in and around the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park in Tanzania.
Wild dogs' sharp decline over the past 30 years can be traced to habitat fragmentation and persecution. They live at very low densities and range widely, so the majority of national parks in Africa are too small to hold viable populations. Even in very large reserves such as Kruger and Hwange National Parks, more than half of adult mortality is caused by road accidents, persecution and accidental snaring on the park borders. In response to these threats, the highest priority for wild dog conservation is to maintain (and, ideally, expand) large areas of contiguous land managed for wildlife.
Delegates to the Pretoria meeting discussed several ways in which wild dog population recovery might be achieved in southern Africa. Of these, perhaps the most important was how wild dogs might be conserved outside national parks. Wild dogs are extremely unpopular with both livestock farmers and game farmers, most of whom shoot them on sight. In fact, the real economic impact of wild dogs is poorly known, but returning to traditional husbandry practices may well minimize losses of domestic stock, as well as creating local employment. There is a very real need for conservationists to work with farmers to minimize conflict between wild dogs and people. This will probably involve establishing predator conservation zones (and, likewise, areas where farmers are not expected to tolerate large predators on their land). Encouraging progress has already been made: when the Save Conservancy was established in south-east Zimbabwe recently, it was re-colonized by wild dogs almost immediately.
The South African organizers of the meeting were keen to promote wild dog conservation locally. At present, South Africa contains one viable wild dog population in Kruger National Park but local conservationists hope to establish a second. This plan faces one major problem: the South African landscape is highly fragmented and contains no reserves with suitable habitat that even approach the 10,000 km2 or so needed to sustain a viable wild dog population. Much of the meeting was, therefore, devoted to discussion of how reintroduction might be used to establish a managed metapopulation in a network of small fenced reserves, each containing one or a few packs. Computer simulations carried out at the meeting established that this would, in theory, be possible: the Kruger population could be `harvested' for animals to be translocated without threatening its survival, and the genetic viability of the metapopulation could be maintained by moving animals between the reserves every five years or so.
Despite these encouraging findings, the practical problems involved in such a plan were highlighted at the workshop. One pack had already been established in the fenced Madikwe Game Reserve, and this was to provide a model for further reintroductions. However, in the month before the meeting a rabies outbreak occurred in the pack: the only survivors were those captured and held in captivity to protect them from infection. This draws attention to the need for intensive (and expensive) management of such tiny populations. In practice, this may not be a problem. Private reserves are willing to fund such management, because wild dogs attract tourists and represent a good financial investment.
Establishing a managed metapopulation is valuable as long as it is funded by the reserves themselves, but it must be borne in mind that programmes of this kind have a rather low priority for wild dog conservation in Africa as a whole. A metapopulation established inside fenced reserves can never be self-sustaining and must not compete for funds with programmes for the conservation of larger populations that are viable without intensive management. The South Africans' long-term hope is to encourage game farming on land between the fenced reserves and, ultimately, to remove the fences. If feasible, such plans offer truly exciting possibilities for the recovery of wild dog numbers in southern Africa.
Rosie Woodroffe in Oryx Vol. 32, No. 1 (January 1998)
[The African Wild Dog Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan by Rosie Woodroffe, Joshua R. Ginsberg and David W. Macdonald, is available through the IUCN Publications Service Unit, 219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, U.K. (Fax: +44 (0)1223 277175; E-mail: iucn-psu@ wcmc.org.uk.]
Edwards's pheasant studbook launched
Between 1988 and 1992, BirdLife International organised several expeditions to locate Edwards's pheasant (Lophura edwardsi) within its native range, but with no success. Thus in October 1992, at the International Pheasant Symposium in Lahore, the species was assumed by some to be extinct in the wild. The only surviving birds appeared to be those in captivity, and clearly needed careful management. However, during the autumn and winter of 199697, the bird was rediscovered in the wild, which again gives us hope that a viable wild population still exists, 70 years after the last sightings of birds in Vietnam.
Birds were collected from several sites in the central lowlands of Vietnam during 192430 by Jean Delacour and his associates. These specimens were used to establish a captive population at Clères in France, as well as in Japan and England, and it soon grew to number several hundred individuals. There is no good evidence that any further wild birds were added into the captive population thereafter. The original captive stock was therefore derived from a small number of original specimens, apparently with females greatly in the minority. Not surprisingly, symptoms of inbreeding eventually came to light, with reduced fertility in France and especially England, and morphological modifications in the United States (e.g. reduction of the white crest in the male). As a result, and with the captive population shrinking, the World Pheasant Association (WPA) decided at the end of the 1960s to establish a studbook with a view to starting a coordinated breeding programme. In the early 1970s three females from the U.S.A. and three males from England were paired at Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, and the numerous descendants of these pairings are without doubt the founders of most of the captive population today.
The first studbook was abandoned at the end of the 1970s, because of a lack of resources to maintain it in the face of a tremendous increase in the captive population. However, following the depressing conclusion from Lahore, two regional registers were set up, one for the U.K. and one for France and French-speaking Belgium. Then, in 1994, WPA gave Han Assink and myself renewed responsibility for the international studbook, and also asked me to propose an EEP for the species, a proposal which was accepted in July 1994.
In May 1997 the EEP has 51 members, of which 40 are zoos spread across 18 different countries in North America, South-east Asia and Europe. It manages close to 300 birds within a strict breeding programme. The studbook contains data on almost 1,200 individuals, both past and present. One of the aims of the EEP is to establish a target population size to maintain 90% of the original genetic variability for a period of at least 90 years. This target population size depends on the combined effects of a large number of factors, such as the original number of founders, current population size, breeding histories and transfers.
Unfortunately, the great majority of captive Edwards's pheasants are held by private breeders, who raise 7080% of the worldwide stock each year, almost entirely outside the studbook and EEP schemes. Language barriers, legislative constraints in some countries, and the often self-imposed isolation of a large proportion of European breeders, have not favoured the participation of the private sector in this studbook programme. There are some individuals fully involved in France, Belgium and England, but huge gaps in our knowledge remain, particularly in Germany, the U.S.A. and Australia.
The publication of a studbook is often only seen as important for active participants and other specialists on the species concerned. The monotony of the columns displaying the records of animals hardly recommends it as bedtime reading! With this in mind, I wanted the first edition of this studbook to be a comprehensive work, detailing the state of current knowledge in all relevant fields. Thus the book's principal themes include the preservation of the species in situ and ex situ, the phylogenetic relations of the three endemic Lophura taxa in central Vietnam, the rediscovery of the Edwards's pheasant, the problems of attempting reintroductions, and the history, demography and genetic structure of the captive population. Each section has therefore been written by a specialist in these subjects. Ultimately, the preservation of pheasants in Vietnam is dependent on the conservation of forest biodiversity an aspect which has not been neglected.
Current efforts to conserve the pheasant in situ and ex situ should be linked, and the species will not be safe until a coordinated approach is established between all parties involved. That is why the first issue of the International Studbook for the Edwards's Pheasant was launched on 19 September in Hanoi Zoo during an official meeting. This volume (written in French and English) is a symbol of the cooperation required to save one pheasant species from extinction by all the means at our disposal.
Alain Hennache (International Studbook Keeper and EEP Co-ordinator for Edwards's Pheasant, Parc Zoologique de Clères, 76690 Clères, France) in WPA News No. 55 (February 1998)
Giant ibis found in Laos
Dong Khathung, a wetland in south-western Laos between the Mekong River and the borders with Thailand and Cambodia, has been designated a National Biodiversity Conservation Area (NBCA). Its proximity to Khmer Rouge-held areas of north-western Cambodia had previously prevented ground surveys, but in 1996 improved political stability led to three surveys by scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, IUCN, the International Crane Foundation and the Lao Department of Forestry. Among their discoveries were two giant ibises (Thaumatibis gigantea), one of the world's rarest birds, which raised hopes that they might breed in the area. Greater adjutant storks (Leptoptilos dubius) were confirmed for the first time in Laos in 60 years, and several other globally or regionally threatened species were seen. The area also contains Asian elephant, banteng, pileated gibbon and tiger.
Wildlife Conservation (October 1997)
Conserving Amur leopards in situ
The Siberian Tiger Support Coalition (STSC) is to start the first ever in situ conservation project for the Amur leopard. The STSC was originally formed to finance the Amba anti-poaching project to save the Siberian tiger. Amba was a success and the situation of the Siberian (or Amur) tiger has stabilised. However, it is not the only endangered species in the region, so STSC is expanding its activities. Existing projects and new activities will be integrated into a biodiversity conservation programme named `Phoenix', one of whose aims is to save the highly-endangered Amur leopard. The following activities are planned in support of this aim:
1. an Amba anti-poaching team for the Amur leopard;
2. education and promotion to create support for Amur leopard conservation;
3. research into the genetic status of the Amur leopard zoo population;
4. support for a census in adjacent regions of China by the Hornocker Wildlife Institute in cooperation with Russian and Chinese scientists;
5. development of a reintroduction plan, starting with an assessment of potential release sites; and
6. a comprehensive habitat protection plan for the current range and potential reintroduction sites.
These activities are all based on the recovery plan for the Amur leopard that was developed during the 1996 Amur leopard conference in Vladivostok. Until now none of the projects in this plan have been implemented, and the STSC thinks it is high time to change this situation.
The most immediate threat to the last viable population of 2530 Amur leopards in Russia is poaching of both the leopards and their prey (e.g. sika deer, roe deer, hares and badgers). The first priority is therefore to finance an Amur leopard anti-poaching team. Due to the shortage of prey, leopards regularly visit deer farms at the edge of the forest. These farms raise sika deer for their antlers, which are sold to China for use in traditional medicine. Snares are often placed around holes in the fences of these farms to kill any leopards that try to enter. The team will not only patrol the forests, but will also check the farms for signs of poaching. Compensation will be paid when deer are killed by leopards, but only to those farms where there is no evidence of poaching.
We expect the leopard population to recover to 55 individuals in the present range, where the anti-poaching team will be active. Experts participating in the leopard conference considered this to be the approximate population level that can be sustained when prey populations have recovered. Our expectations are based on the success of anti-poaching measures for the Siberian tiger.
The anti-poaching team will be operational in January 1998. It will comprise four rangers and will use a four-wheel drive army truck and a jeep. The costs of the team and compensation payments are estimated at $52,000 for the first year and around $30,000 in subsequent years. To date $26,000 has been raised with the help of two members of the Amur leopard EEP, Rotterdam Zoo, The Netherlands, and La Torbiera Zoo, Italy. Ouwehands Zoo, Rhenen, The Netherlands, will also support the project.
The Tigris Foundation and STSC, in cooperation with the EEP, want to establish a group of interested zoos to support these in situ conservation efforts. Tigris and STSC will:
1. supply information about current and planned projects and fund-raising results. Based on this information zoos can choose projects they would like to support. If sufficient zoos agree to participate it will be possible to provide a small newsletter about Amur leopard conservation;
2. supply promotional material, such as slides of Amur leopards in the wild, that can be used for fund raising; and
3. supervise and manage field projects in Russia.
If all members of the Amur leopard EEP support our initiative, we can expect to save the Amur leopard.
For more information please contact: Tigris Foundation, Laagtekadijk 135, 1018 ZD Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Tel./Fax: +31206206274; E-mail: email@example.com; Internet: http://www.inter.nl.net/users/tiger).
Michiel Hötte, Tigris Foundation, The Netherlands, in EAZA News No. 21 (JanuaryMarch 1998)
Proposed breeding facility for the Ethiopian wolf
The Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis), also known as the Simien fox, Simien jackal or Abyssinian wolf, is a distinctive, long-legged red canid endemic to the Ethiopian highlands. (DNA analysis suggests that it shares a recent common ancestry with the wolf, C. lupus.) High up in their mountain enclaves, the wolves prey upon abundant rodent populations (molerats and grass rats), and live in large family packs with an intricate social organization.
It is now the rarest canid in the world. Loss or fragmentation of habitat and persecution by pastoralists were the main causes for the decline of the wolf population to fewer than 400 individuals, divided between half-a-dozen widely scattered mountain pockets. The small size of the remaining populations has resulted in new threats, such as inbreeding, loss of genetic diversity, and those arising from sympatric populations of domestic dog, i.e. competition, disease and risk of hybridization. Thus, each of the remaining populations could become extinct soon. Ethiopia and the world stand in extreme likelihood of losing the species if action is not taken soon.
The Ethiopian Wolf Action Plan recently published by the IUCN Canid Specialist Group (CSG) addresses the species' current status and distribution, genetics, disease epidemiology and control, population viability analysis, Afro-alpine habitat conservation, captive breeding and metapopulation management; it summarizes conservation actions needed and lists proposals for a suite of different projects. With support from the Born Free Foundation and several other donors, CSG is coordinating the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme, which is already implementing a domestic dog vaccination campaign, a community education campaign, and monitoring of the remaining wolf populations.
In view of the persisting human impact and species vulnerability to extinction, the establishment of an in-country captive breeding facility is proposed. The facility's goal will be to create an additional, genetically pure, wolf population, safe from the threats faced by wild populations. It will be an insurance program for the continuity of this endangered species regardless of crises in its natural habitat, and will produce founders for eventual reintroduction into the wild. Advantages of in-country programs include the establishment of semi-natural enclosures, availability of natural food, reduction of exposure to unfamiliar disease, development of local wildlife management expertise, and the establishment of the Ethiopian wolf as a flagship species for Afro-alpine habitat conservation.
A detailed plan has been developed for the construction of a captive propagation facility in Ethiopia, and the capture, holding, transport and housing of Ethiopian wolves in order to establish a Nucleus I captive population. While the species has not been held in captivity for any length of time, experience with other canid species in captivity shows them to be very tolerant to captivity and genetic manipulation. The implementation of these proposals will be dependent upon development of funding, choice of location, and government approval. Imperative to the whole program is the continued maintenance of the species' natural habitat. Captive propagation will enhance the role of the Ethiopian wolf as a flagship for the Afro-alpine ecosystem through an education center at the site.
Claudio Sillero Zubiri in CBSG News Vol. 8, No. 2 (December 1997), with some additional details from The Wolf Sanctuary Review (Wild Canid Survival and Research Center, Eureka, Missouri, U.S.A.), Summer/Fall 1997.
Conserving Baird's tapir in Costa Rica
Costa Rica's Corcovado National Park encompasses about 47,000 ha of primary and secondary forest and is the largest remaining tract of lowland tropical rainforest in Central America. It is home to an incredible diversity of species including jaguar, howler monkeys, and scarlet macaws. For the past three years the park has also been the site of the National University of Costa Rica's wildlife biologist Charles Foerster's ground-breaking research on Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii), Central America's largest indigenous land mammal.
Baird's tapir ranges from the Mexican state of Chiapas down to Panama and along the western side of the Andes from northern Colombia to the Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador. Although larger in size than either of its South American relatives, the Brazilian tapir (T. terrestris) and the woolly or mountain tapir (T. pinchaque), Baird's tapir shares many of the same physical characteristics, including a stout rounded body, short powerful legs, a tough greyish-brown hide, and a short, fleshy proboscis used for manipulating food and other objects. The animals are exclusively herbivorous, feeding on leaves, buds, and twigs of low-growing terrestrial plants, and on fallen fruits and aquatic vegetation. Although very little is known about their behavioral ecology, most tapirs tend to be both nocturnal and crepuscular in habit, sheltering in dense thickets and watery mudholes during the day and emerging to feed in shrubby forest understories after sunset and before dawn.
Once common throughout Costa Rica, Baird's tapir populations have been significantly reduced by hunting and habitat disturbance. Today, they are found only in the country's national parks and reserves, where hunting is restricted. The largest concentrations of animals are currently found in Corcovado National Park. Foerster's work with Corcovado's tapir population has gradually mushroomed from a Master's thesis into the most comprehensive in situ tapir research currently being conducted anywhere in the world. Between December 1994 and February 1997, Charles, his wife Dr Sonia Foerster, and several field assistants successfully captured and radio-collared six animals. During this period Foerster closely monitored the animals' movements and gathered important data regarding activity patterns, habitat use, and home-range size using radio telemetry and visual observations. He also gathered important data on dietary habits and feeding behavior ultimately identifying and documenting over 100 different local plant species eaten by the tapirs.
In June 1997, Foerster began the second phase of his research. Ambitious goals were set to capture, radio-collar, and gather medical data from as many new animals as possible during a two-month period. To accomplish this task Charles requested volunteer assistance from the Zoo Conservation Outreach Group (ZCOG) [see I.Z.N. 43:5, pp. 382385 Ed.]. In response, ZCOG coordinated a field assistant effort which involved the participation of Dr Roberto Aguilar (senior veterinarian at Audubon Zoo, New Orleans), Lewis Green (director of Prospect Park Wildlife Center, New York, and chairperson of the AZA Tapir TAG), Daniel Hilliard (ZCOG's executive director), a biology researcher and two veterinary students. During their stay, the field team participated in the successful capture and radio-collaring of five new animals. Dr Aguilar's experience in chemical restraint and immobilization protocols proved extremely valuable during the captures. `Using different drug combinations to safely immobilize the animals afforded us a unique opportunity to collect a wide range of medical information, including blood serum samples, skin biopsies, and external parasites,' commented Dr Sonia Foerster. Medical data collected during the captures will contribute to Dr Foerster's continuing study of wild tapir anesthetic protocols.
The ultimate goal of the field research is to radio-collar and monitor 25 tapirs over a period of ten years. This will help provide data needed to define home-range size, habitat selection and use, seasonal variability of movement patterns, and reproduction and survival rates. By utilizing research sites over a large geographic range (over 100 km2), Foerster also hopes that his research will aid in the future establishment of management plans for tapir populations in Costa Rica, Mexico, and the rest of Central America. `As Mesoamerican rainforest habitat continues to diminish, more active management of tapir populations may become necessary to ensure the species' survival,' he says. `Hopefully, our research will help contribute to these efforts.'
Financial, material and technical support from institutions like the National University of Costa Rica, Wildlife Preservation Trust International, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Lincoln Park Zoological Society, Idea Wild and ZCOG have allowed Foerster the opportunity to involve veterinarians, zoo professionals and wildlife biologists from throughout the Americas. This has created a multi-national consortium of zoo-based researchers committed to tapir conservation. Individuals or institutions interested in learning more about Foerster's efforts or in conducting research related to Baird's tapir ecology can contact Charles Foerster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zoo Conservation Outreach Group News Vol. 3, No. 2 (1997)
Conserving reptiles in Croatia
In spring 1997, Schönbrunn Zoo, Vienna, Austria, released eight four-lined snakes (Elaphe quatuorlineata) in selected, remote sites on Krk island, Croatia. This first release involved six zoo-bred juveniles as well as two adults. Krk is a popular tourist island in Kvarner Bay, and lies at the geographic boundary between the Western and Eastern faunal districts of the Mediterranean region. This makes it of particular ecological interest. The author has been conducting fieldwork on the island for over 20 years, and the results have been published in numerous scientific papers. In addition to monitoring two colonies of yellow-legged gulls (Larus cachinnans michahellis) and two of griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), the research has focused on the herpetofauna and on the general human impact on the island's herpetofauna and ecology. In addition, an ecology course for biology students is held annually on the island in cooperation with Dr Michael Grünweis from the Department of Vegetation Ecology of the University of Vienna.
Among other results, a continuous decline in the number of reptiles and amphibians is evident. This has been aggravated by very intensive illegal `herpeto-tourism' activity, even after Germany's ban on trade in Mediterranean animals. Based on this development, a species conservation programme was developed, initially for four-lined snakes and nose-horned vipers (Vipera ammodytes). The breeding pairs were formed exclusively with animals from Schönbrunn Zoo, along with snakes that originated from the island itself and had been kept for years by terrarium enthusiasts. Efforts are underway to expand the Species Conservation Project and intensify cooperation with local authorities.
The author would like to stress that one of the essential tasks of a modern zoo is not only to preserve species in the framework of the large international breeding programmes with flagship species, but also to promote practical species conservation in numerous, less expensive, smaller projects. A prerequisite for this is serious, scientifically founded project management: thoughtless releases can do more harm than good. Strict adherence to national and international agreements is also essential.
Public awareness campaigns are conducted parallel to the scientific project in order to help combat the widely held misconceptions that all snakes must be killed because they are dangerous, drink milk directly from the udders of sheep, and devour chicken eggs.
Harald Schwammer in EAZA News No. 20 (OctoberNovember 1997)
Captive censuses turacos and hornbills
In 1996, I was asked by the AZA Turaco TAG to census captive turacos in the private sector. That first year's extensive survey turned up over 2,000 turacos in private hands, more than twice the number in zoo collections a very desirable find, but one which puts the weight of responsibility for this family's captive survival squarely in the private sector's court. The Hornbill TAG chair recently asked me to add hornbills to my census for 1998.
Perhaps the greatest message from the turaco census is that we must both improve the rate of captive propagation in order to make our population self-sufficient and undertake captive management programs that will insure the preservation of the greatest possible genetic diversity in the existing populations. With the relatively small numbers of most of the species available, we must treat the world populations of captive-breeding birds as single interbreeding populations. And certainly the starting point for any animal management plan is knowing the breeding stock, its numbers and genetic diversity. These census results, and the communication that has now been established between many of us through the development of the census, obviously provide a very good starting point for developing cooperative breeding plans and studbooks. Chelle Plasse, now of the Disney Zoo, recently completed the updates on the two existing North American studbooks for Ross's and violaceous plantain eaters, and a European studbook has been organized for the red-crested turaco excellent beginnings, but much more is needed.
For the 1998 census, I would like to hear from, or about, any persons or institutions keeping and/or breeding turacos or hornbills who do not already submit records to ISIS or the major regional record systems. Please contact me at: Hancock Wildlife Research Center, 1431 Harrison Avenue, Blaine, Washington 98230, U.S.A. (Tel.: 6045381114 or 8009381114; Fax: 6045382262 or 8009832262; E-mail: David@hancockwildlife.org)
New association to help European circus elephants
Many elephants living in circuses in Europe are kept under very bad conditions; they are often sick and underweight, with no foot or skin care, no heated winter quarters and no company of other elephants, providing reasons for animal welfare groups to protest against such conditions. A juvenile male African elephant in a small circus in Germany collapsed some months ago and died of starvation! Government veterinarians sometimes want to confiscate the animals, but the problem is where to place them. For this reason a new association, `Elefanten-Hilfe Europa e.V.', was founded at Münster Zoo in September 1997; the aim is to build a rescue centre for such badly housed, mistreated, injured or sick elephants.
People from different professions and institutions were elected to the board of the new association: ethologists, veterinarians, elephant keepers, so-called `elephant-freaks', as well as representatives from Münster Zoo (Dr Karl Schaller) and Schönbrunn Zoo (Dr Harald Schwammer). The Chairwoman is Mrs Angelika Hinke (consultant veterinarian of Erfurt Zoo). After the formalities (official registration, etc.) were taken care of, it was necessary to develop a strategy on how to inform the public and to raise funds. First steps were taken to find a suitable area for the rescue centre, and as the situation of many circus elephants gets increasingly worse it is important to act quickly.
Jürgen Schilfarth in EAZA News No. 21 (JanuaryMarch 1998)
Hirola genetic study
Hunter's hartebeest, or the hirola (Damaliscus hunteri), is one of the most endangered of all antelope species. Its population tumbled from 14,000 in 1976 to only 350 individuals in 1996. Poaching and competition with livestock are the major causes of its population decline in its native eastern Kenya. In 1996, in an effort to save this endangered species, some 35 animals were translocated to the protected habitat of Tsavo National Park. Little is known about the genetics of the hirola; and, in fact, its taxonomic placement has been in dispute among scientists. A chromosomal study was therefore done, using cell cultures derived from captive hirola in San Diego Wild Animal Park collection during the 1970s and stored in the Frozen Zoo. The chromosomal complement of hirola was compared with the karyotypes of the two other species of the genus Damaliscus, the topi and blesbok. Chromosomal banding analysis yielded these karyotype results: hirola (2n = 44), topi (2n = 36), and blesbok (2n = 38). Differences between the karyotypes of hirola and the other two species were significant, involving many chromosomal centric fusion rearrangements. We are continuing this study with chromosomal comparisons to related alcelaphine antelopes, such as wildebeest and hartebeest, which may answer taxonomic questions that surround this species.
CRES Report (Fall 1997)
British zoo people honoured
Two distinguished figures in the British zoo community Jeremy Mallinson, Director of Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, and Dr Georgina Mace of the Zoological Society of London were made Officers of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in the New Year Honours list. Jeremy Mallinson, who began work at Jersey Zoo `on a temporary basis' in 1959, has written six books and more than 180 articles in 48 publications. He is currently chairman of the International Zoo Yearbook editorial board, and serves or has served on numerous national and international bodies in the fields of conservation and captive breeding. Dr Georgina Mace has been with the Z.S.L. since 1984. Her original design of a captive-breeding programme for great apes was extended to the breeding of other endangered species during the late 1980s, and provided the basis of captive-breeding programmes now used by zoos world-wide. In 1991 she published the first paper proposing a new system for an IUCN listing of threatened species, which was then used to compile the 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals.
Abridged from an announcement in Zoo Federation News No. 77
INTERNATIONAL ZOO NEWS
Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
It seems unusual to talk about the walrus as a species in trouble, when its current population may be close to an all-time high. Two subspecies of walrus, Atlantic and Pacific, are recognized, together numbering about 270,000 animals worldwide, perhaps 230,000 of whom belong to the Pacific population. (However, some zoologists believe the margin of error for these estimates may be as great as 50%.)
The pressures on walrus populations are many. Although their only known predators are polar bears, killer whales and man, other dangers abound. Walrus have a lengthy gestation (nearly 15 months) and are slow to reproduce, making them vulnerable to overhunting. Subsistence hunters cull about 8,000 animals each year, using only the skins of females for boat coverings (the skin of males is too rough). Walrus meat is fed to arctic foxes, which are ranch-raised for fur. It is also fed to sled dogs (though motorized sleds, which have replaced many dog teams, may have reduced hunting pressure). The cumulative effect of human environmental pollution also threatens the walrus. Their summer migration takes them into the Beaufort Sea, an area of oil exploitation, and into the East Siberian Sea, where coastal pollution may include nuclear waste. Walrus tusk ivory has always been prized as an artistic medium by native cultures, but the recent attention paid to Inuit art has greatly increased the demand for carved ivory. It also increased when collectors lost ready access to elephant tusk ivory. Perhaps 90% of all walrus hunts are for tusks, which in 1990 brought $2,000 per pair. On the black market, walrus ivory has even been bartered for illegal drugs.
One of Brookfield's most unlikely stars was Olga, a female Atlantic walrus who arrived at the zoo as a one-year-old pup in 1962. This amazing walrus gave a generation of Midwesterners an appreciation for marine mammals. Olga died in 1988; in addition to being one of the most beloved zoo animals of all time, she was, at the time of her death, the oldest walrus in any zoo or aquarium. One commitment the zoo has made to walrus husbandry is to keep them in groups. Walrus are very gregarious animals on some Arctic beaches, tens of thousands may congregate at one time. Group living helps the walrus maintain a social identity, stimulates natural behaviors and keeps them active. Olga's companion was a harbor seal named Amy. The zoo prefers to offer same-species companionship but, at the time, could not accommodate another walrus. However, a new generation of walrus was on its way to the zoo.
Female Basilla, born in 1982, arrived on loan from Moscow Zoo in 1991. Then, in 1996 and 1997, renovations were undertaken to the exhibit to accommodate Bruiser, a male on breeding loan from Sea World, who arrived in December 1996. Bruiser is an agreeable, well-trained animal, but, at 3,000 lb (1,360 kg), one weak wall or railing could spell trouble. With the renovations complete, the zoo could house more walrus, and in 1997, it acquired three (2.1) two-year-old animals. Like Basilla and Bruiser, they were born off the coast of Siberia; they came to Brookfield after spending time in Moscow and a zoo in Sweden. The smaller male, Sam, arrived blind due to cataracts; he will undergo surgery in the coming months to restore vision. Bruiser will return to Sea World after successfully mating with Basilla, who will then be introduced to the three juveniles, and hopefully will give birth to a 100-pound calf some fifteen months later.
Bruce Brewer, Ph.D., Curator of Mammals, and Nancy Saunders-Menier, Editor, in Bison Vol. 11, No. 1
Centre d'Études et de Recherches Zoologiques Augeron (CERZA), Lisieux, France
The new exhibit for spectacled bears occupies a wooded area of 6,000 m2. The fence is similar to the one CERZA has already successfully been using for brown bears. It is composed of treated wooden poles 20 cm in diameter and a 2.2 m high wire mesh fence (mesh spacing 5 ´ 10 cm). Electric wires have been placed every 10 cm up to a height of 2.4 m on the visitors' side. The electric wires are sufficient to prevent escapes and the wire mesh can be removed to provide visitors with a better view. The exhibit can be divided into two parts which both give access to the inside enclosures. The indoor facilities consist of four separation quarters and a `playroom'. For breeding purposes a den is available in the outdoor area which gives the female the opportunity to raise her cubs without being disturbed by other bears or keepers. This den can be monitored by a video camera. The four young spectacled bears built their first nest on only the second day after being released into the new enclosure. They have now perfected their skills and more than 30 nests have been built, ten of which are regularly used during daily afternoon naps. All these activities of the bears have had little detrimental effect on the vegetation. The only trees which were being destroyed were chestnut trees, but this problem was resolved by applying rhino dung at the base of these trees.
Arnaud Desbiez and Thierry Jardin in EAZA News No. 21 (JanuaryMarch 1998)
Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam
The world's first successful multiple births of captive Owston's palm civet (Chrotogale owstoni) occurred at the park in April. Highly restricted in its range and threatened by hunting and habitat destruction, the species is cited by IUCN as one of the highest priority civet species in need of conservation and research. For the last two years Shelagh Rosenthal has been conducting a field study of civets in Vietnam, supported in part by Fauna and Flora International under its Cuc Phuong Conservation Project. This includes a captive study, which has also been under way since April 1995, when five (1.4) civets were confiscated from hunters and subsequently hand-reared at the park. An additional adult male was also confiscated from the wildlife trade in November 1996. Release to the wild was not possible due to hunting pressure at the park, but the captive animals have provided an opportunity to learn more about the species' behaviour.
Given the lack of knowledge about this species, the decision was made last year to breed the animals in captivity. After mating in late January, all four females gave birth to litters of one to three young in late April. The five male and two female offspring have thrived, and the births and rearing process are yielding further interesting behavioural information. The success of this effort has demonstrated that captive breeding of this species can be accomplished if conditions are right, and offers some reassurance for the long-term survival of Owston's palm civet.
Fauna and Flora News No. 8 (October 1997)
Denver Zoo, Colorado, U.S.A.
On 8 July 1997 the zoo received three five-year-old Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis) on loan from the New York Wildlife Conservation Park/The Bronx Zoo. On arrival the animals were weighed, measured, checked for overall health, and tagged with a transponder chip located in the neck. They were then placed into the former water monitor exhibit in Tropical Discovery. The pool water temperature was increased to approximately 82° F (28° C). Foliage cut from plants within the building was added to provide adequate hiding areas for acclimating to their new surroundings.
The alligators were offered mice twice weekly by leaving the food in their pool overnight. They finally began to eat on 17 July and have been eating very well ever since. They are fed mice or small rats on Tuesdays and 1215 pieces of trout on Fridays. On July 24 they began to venture out of the pool to bask on land and have slowly become active throughout the exhibit. At the time of writing they remain shy and unintimidating, as they are supposed to be naturally.
The species' current range is in the provinces of Anhui, Zhejang and Jiangsu in the lower portion of the Yangtze River valley. The areas that they now inhabit are not suited for human development due to recurrent flooding. Luckily, the Chinese government decided against damming the river, which would have destroyed this species. The alligators' range has become very small due to habitat destruction for agricultural purposes. Local fish farmers and duck-rearing operations slaughtered the alligators and destroyed their nests. The encroachment of agriculture also meant toxic chemicals began to leach into their water source causing egg deaths and destroying food-chain animals. (This particular species of crocodilian is not poached for its hide due to the presence of osteoderms or bony ridges on its abdominal scutes.) The Chinese government has set up breeding programs for conserving the alligator, and Shanghai Zoo also actively propagates wild-caught specimens.
In the wild, Chinese alligators occupy marshlands, turbid river waters of grassy flood plains, ponds and lakes. Their natural diet consists of snails, rats, insects, turtles and fish. Chinese and American alligators are the only two crocodilian species that can tolerate temperate climates. The Chinese alligators dig extensive burrows in the river banks that can be up to ten feet (3 m) deep with several surface openings. These burrows maintain a steady temperature of 50° F (10° C) where the alligators remain in a dormant state. In this state, the animals exhibit reduced blood-glucose levels and rarely eat, but their metabolic rate does not slow, so they must be able to breathe normally. Burrows are used from October through to March when they emerge to begin feeding. During June the alligators breed, with both sexes partidpating in bellowing which sounds like a deep roar, the females tending to have a slightly higher pitch. In mid-July, ten to 40 eggs are laid in leaf and grass nest mounds to incubate for about 70 days. The eight-and-a-half inch (215 mm) hatchlings are black with yellow bands to aid in camouflage. These youngsters will reach maturity in four to five years and may live to be 50 years old or more. The adults are greenish-black on the back with yellow specks or streaks on their sides and a yellow underbelly.
Chinese alligators are believed to be descendants of earlier American alligators that may have crossed to Asia via a land bridge. DNA testing shows a close relationship between the two living species. The main differences between Chinese and American alligators are: Chinese alligators are smaller with a shorter tail; they have bony plates to their eyelids and have a more robust, tapered, upturned snout; their ventral scales have osteoderms (occasionally adult American alligators also have these); hatchlings have fewer bands on the body and tail; their nest mounds are smaller; and Chinese alligators produce 1040 eggs per clutch, while American ones produce 2050. Both species, like other crocodilians, produce eggs which exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination.
Abridged from Linelle Smith in The Zoo Review (Fall 1997)
Emmen Zoo, The Netherlands
Two (2.0) Asian elephants were born at the zoo on 9 November and 23 December 1997. Both births took place in the company of the whole group of 0.7 adults and 1.1 juveniles (born in 1992 and 1994); only the breeding bull, Naing Thein, was kept separately. Zoo staff observed the two births, and although during the November one the situation was very critical for the new-born calf, there was no human intervention. Yu Zin (born 1979 in Burma) had had a male calf before, in 1992, which she immediately attacked; the calf was hand-reared, but died 13 months later after being pushed into the moat by the adult bull. Yu Zin also attacked her second baby, but this time Htoo Kin Aye, mother of the two juvenile elephants born in 1992/1994, protected the calf against his mother and the rest of the group, and cared for him for some hours. When the situation calmed down and Yu Zin showed interest in her son, Htoo Kin Aye allowed contact between mother and child, and now Yu Zin cares perfectly for Aung Naing Lay, which means `born winner' in Burmese.
The second birth happened at 11.24 a.m., watched by the public, and was similar to the previous one; Thi Ha Phyu (born 1980 in Burma) gave birth for the first time and again Htoo Kin Aye protected the baby against the other elephants. After some hours Thi Ha Phyu started maternal behaviour and now she cares for her little son Tsje Pyan (`rising star' in Burmese), a strong calf estimated at 150 kg. (Aung Naing Lay's weight at birth was estimated at 85 kg.)
It was the first time in Europe that Asian elephants have been born in the company of such a big group and without human intervention. Both calves are doing well and two more births are expected in March/April 1998 (also by primiparous mothers). Two other cows are pregnant, too, with expected birth dates in 1999.
[A third baby, also male, was born on 8 February 1998 to Swe San Thay. The calf, named Maung Htoo (`unpredictable boy'), weighed about 115 kg and was strong and healthy Emmen Zoo press release.]
Maung Htoo, Emmen Zoo's third elephant calf in three months, just after his birth.
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Glen Rose, Texas, U.S.A.
Two (1.1) ocelot kittens were born at the center on 8 August. The parents, both captive-born and of unknown subspecies origin, were transferred to Fossil Rim in June 1994 to participate in research initiated by the Texas Ocelot Research and Conservation Consortium, a multi-institutional alliance formed by Dallas Zoo in 1993. Fossil Rim has been involved in several facets of their research program nutrition, energetics (fecal analysis, thermoregulation), and behavior. With these births, the ontogeny or individual growth and development aspect of the behavioral research has been initiated.
B. Williams in AZA Communiqué (December 1997)
Heritage Park Zoo, Prescott, Arizona, U.S.A.
The zoo has three (1.2) pronghorns, or pronghorn antelopes (Antilocapra americana). This beautiful, gentle animal is blessed with excellent eyesight (and a 360° field of vision), and has been clocked at speeds of 45 miles (72 km) per hour, which it can maintain for about four miles.
There are about 85 species of antelope in the world, but none is native to North America. The first European settlers to sight the swift, graceful creature we now know as `pronghorn' called it an antelope for want of a better classification. What these settlers did not know, of course, was that the pronghorn does not possess the hollow, permanent horns of true antelopes. The American pronghorn is the only animal in the Antilocapridae family. Its horns are made up of keratin, not bone. Like antlers, they branch (though not as elaborately) into a main stem and one forward-pointing prong. Both sexes grow horns, although the females' rarely grow long enough to develop prongs or hooks. The sheath of the horn is shed annually pronghorns are in fact the only animal in the world to shed a horn.
In the early days of the western migration of scttlers, the perhaps exaggerated population estimates ranged from one million to 100 million animals. But the teeming herds of pronghorn quickly started to decline as the settlers discovered that the meat was tasty, free and abundant. Since bison and pronghorn coexisted peacefully bison stripping the tall grasses to allow the broadleaf plants (a pronghorn favorite) to prosper in the sunlight the decline of bison herds also hurt pronghorns.
Late in the 19th century a concerted effort was started to rescue the pronghorn from possible extinction. Although hunting continued and there were certainly some setbacks, pronghorns became a familiar sight again on the prairies. Between 1924 and 1957, for example, Arizona's pronghorn population increased from 650 to about 9,000. Today there are about 15,000 in Arizona. We are fortunate in this area to still see these graceful animals, even though development is certain to adversely affect the numbers.
Pronghorn find it safer and mutually beneficial to group together, since a lone animal on the open prairie would be easy prey. There is a definite hierarchy, but it is much more complex than it seems. Herds are often made up of several subgroups with their own social order, and these groups may change according to the season. In the autumn, the social structure changes dramatically as dominant males vie for females and lesser males attempt to breed. This lasts only a few weeks before the herd returns to a peaceful existence. A successful buck may control from two to 15 females, will fiercely defend his territory and will also try to kidnap does from another buck. The first pregnancy usually produces one young, with twins being the norm in subsequent years. The fawns' grayish-brown color helps to camouflage them from predators; the doe returns every five hours or so to feed them and allow them to stretch their legs. She will also stimulate them to empty their bladder and bowel and will consume the waste. This keeps the young relatively odor-free. Within four days, a fawn can outrun a human! At about three weeks, the fawns will be introduced to the herd, and by about four months they are weaned.
We obtained Apache, our male, in 1990; he and his brother Yavapai had been orphaned. Upon maturity, Yavapai was sent to Phoenix Zoo. In 1996 we acquired Vega, a young orphaned female who had been hand-raised and refused to be reintroduced to the wild. Then in 1997 we acquired Cheyenne, another young female who was picked up by some well-meaning children shortly after birth. The Game and Fish Service tried to find her herd, and when that failed they took care of her until placing her with us. We are very fortunate to have this trio. (Apache was neutered but still acts as the patriarch of his little herd).
Wild Impressions Vol. 11, No. 1 (January 1998)
Honolulu Zoo, Hawaii, U.S.A.
Mari is the older of our two female Asian elephants, at 22 years of age. She came to us in 1982 at the age of seven from Hyderabad Zoo in India. She is nine feet (2.75 m) at the shoulder and weighs 11,600 lb (5,270 kg). Mari has in the past gone into a `musth' period that lasts three to four weeks. She secretes from both glands. Her behavior is more aggressive during these periods, but she takes it out only on the giant log in the exhibit. She has demonstrated these characteristics on two occasions within the past six years. We would be interested in any information from other zoos that have experienced similar characteristics in their female elephants.
Malia Davis in Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol 8, No. 3 (Winter 1997)
Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, Channel Islands
The world's first zoo-bred Lesser Antilles iguana (Iguana delicatissima) hatched at Jersey Zoo in July 1997 after 73 days of incubation at 2931° C. It was incubated in vermiculite mixed with water at a 1:1 ratio by weight. Although eight of the 11 eggs in the clutch were fertile, only one was incubated to full term. The hatchling was weighed (20 g) and measured (snout to vent = 75 mm, tail = 208 mm) on the day it was moved from its incubation container to its vivarium, and on a weekly basis for the first month, during which it did not feed and was given a weekly tube feeding of fruit purée and vitamins. After this first month it finally began feeding voluntarily when a flowering hibiscus plant was placed inside its vivarium. Initially only the stamen from each flower was eaten, possibly targeting the protein-rich pollen at the end. Following this breakthrough, other food items have been gradually added to the diet, the next item accepted being freshly sprouted sweet potato leaves. He or she is now dining daily on a variety of greens and some fruits. All fruits are offered finely chopped and sprinkled with a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. Oral D3 dosing takes place once per month and is followed by the provision of large quantities of ground cuttlefish at the next feed. Water is permanently available in a bowl, but the iguana only drinks during daily spraying with warm water.
Its vivarium is furnished with various plants for cover and humidity, climbing branches and a bark chipping substrate. A 60W incandescent bulb provides a basking spot in excess of 32° C, while the ambient temperature varies from 2530° C during the day and about 2225° C at night. The vivarium is lit with a Trulite fluorescent tube and a Philips Blacklite for additional UV, mostly UVA. Under this regime the young iguana, now six months old, has grown by more than 25% in both weight, body and tail length. Its parents are wild-caught from the island of Dominica and, with three pairs in Memphis and San Diego, are the only specimens in zoos and the only legal animals in captivity. They have proved to be problematic animals in captivity, especially with respect to their diet.
Richard C. Gibson in EAZA News No. 21 (JanuaryMarch 1998)
Knoxville Zoo, Tennessee, U.S.A.
A simple restraint has been installed for our 19-year-old African elephant bull, Tonka. Within two days he would enter head or rear first and allow us to shut him inside. Tonka daily eats his morning grain and afternoon produce in the restraint chute. We have been able to remove large amounts of dead skin from his back and also take blood from his rear leg. Soon training will begin for semen collections. Tonka's target training continues to progress. He will now lie on his left or right side on command.
Six months' worth of blood were sent in for progesterone analysis and the results are not promising. For various reasons none of our three cows seem to be likely candidates for breeding. We are actively in search of young African cows to replace ours, which are in their mid-twenties and mid-thirties.
Training with the cows is going very well. Our 36-year-old, Mamie, received national media attention focusing on her painting and how it has helped her to `come out of her shell'. Of course, the painting itself was not the `therapy', but rather the attention and interaction she has received from her trainers as she learned this behavior. Mamie is the subordinate cow in the group and is socially isolated. In the past she had received minimal attention from her handlers. She has now become a wonderful elephant for public relations events and her confidence has increased tremendously.
Knoxville Zoo staff in Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol 8, No. 3 (Winter 1997)
Linton Zoo, U.K.
1997 has been an exciting year at Linton for births and hatchings. The southern ground hornbills (Bucorvus leadbeateri) laid a clutch of two eggs in March. One of them disappeared after two weeks, so the remaining one was removed and placed in an incubator. The chick hatched on 21 April. Our first southern ground hornbill was hatched in August 1996. The Blyth's hornbills (Aceros plicatus) hatched a single chick on 12 July. This progressed nicely until it died at about five weeks of age; the female refused to leave the nest until she was forced out after a couple of weeks. Three tarictic hornbills (Penelopides sp.) fledged in the autumn. The adult pair arrived in 1993 and have now produced a total of 13 offspring. The only year they were unsuccessful was 1996, when they lost their single male chick in the nest at four weeks of age.
Two East African crowned crane (Balearica regulorum gibbericeps) chicks were hatched and reared completely naturally by their parents, both of whom are hand-reared and pinioned.
In August 12 African spurred tortoises (Geochelone sulcata) hatched in an incubator at a temperature of 32° C. The newly-hatched tortoises weighed an average of 32 g. Clutch sizes have varied from eight to 40 eggs depending on the size of the female. Mating occurs all summer and eggs are laid in March or April. The eggs are laid in the outside exhibit in a large burrow with a south-facing entrance; this is where the animals usually sleep at night in the late spring to early autumn months. The group started to breed in 1996, when seven babies were hatched in September.
Kim Simmons in EAZA News No. 21 (JanuaryMarch 1998)
Marwell Zoological Park, U.K.
On 1 April 1998, John Knowles, the founder and Director of both Marwell Zoological Park and of Marwell Preservation Trust (the charity which owns the park), will retire from the directorship of the Park and become Honorary Director of the Trust. In this capacity he will be active with Marwell's conservation programmes both at Marwell and internationally. He will be succeeded as Director of the Park by Dr Miranda Stevenson, who comes to Marwell from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (Edinburgh Zoo), where she has been Curator of Animals since 1978 and Deputy Director since 1996. She will take up her new post at Marwell on 1 April, and will be one of the very few female zoo directors in the world.
Dr Stevenson has been at Edinburgh Zoo for 19 years. She has a degree in Natural Science from Trinity College, Dublin, and several years' experience of working with animals, including two years as a keeper at Chester Zoo and four months researching small primates in South America, as part of her work for the Ph.D. which she completed in 1980.
Monkey World, Dorset, U.K.
In August 1997 a group of five woolly monkeys arrived at the park; they were sent to Monkey World because we have been so successful at rescuing and rehabilitating baby woolly monkeys who were smuggled from the wild. The group came to us from Apenheul Zoo in the Netherlands, who are recognised as the world's leading experts in the care and breeding of woolly monkeys. We are happy to be able to work in partnership with Apenheul.
In July we opened our new Malagasy habitat. All our ring-tailed lemurs and one group of ruffed lemurs have moved into the large forested area, the first of its kind in Britain; the public are allowed to walk through the enclosure as long as there is no feeding or touching the animals.
At the request of the Catalan Government in Spain, we rescued another chimpanzee. He was being kept in appalling conditions at a private house in Barcelona when the Generalitat contacted Monkey World. Once again, we have been able to assist a foreign government in stopping the illegal trade and abuse of primates in captivity. This rescue operation would not have been possible without the assistance of Barcelona Zoo, the Generalitat, and British Airways. While Jim Cronin and I were in Spain we also went to Malaga to follow up on sightings of what we believe to be the last beach chimp. Thanks to many reports from our supporters, we know who the photographers are, we have photos of them working the chimp, and wc know their car registration number. We are collecting more evidence and will hopefully be able to rescue the chimp this summer.
Alison Cronin in Ape Rescue Chronicle No. 7 (Winter 1997)
Moscow Zoo, Russia
Moscow Zoo opened to the public in January 1864. It was founded by several professors of the Moscow University and the board of the All-Russian Imperial Society for Acclimatization of Plants and Animals. After the October Revolution of 1917, the zoo was nationalized and in 1922 it became a municipal zoo; since then it has been supported by Moscow's City Council. The grounds were considerably enlarged in the 1920s and the new section, with moated enclosures, was opened to the public in 1926. In the 1950s and 1960s attendance figures rose to 56 million visitors per year, making Moscow Europe's most popular zoo. One of the most important achievements, however, is the zoo's contribution to scientific research. Few other zoos can equal the number of scientific articles published by Moscow Zoo. The same is true for its successes in breeding endangered species such as Asian elephant, cheetah, goral, musk ox, dhole, Pallas' cat, spectacled bear, Amur leopard, trumpeter swan, white-naped crane, Steller's sea eagle and crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus), to mention only some of the most spectacular ones.
In recent years, the whole zoo has been completely rebuilt and modernized, thanks to market economics and a helping hand from Moscow's powerful Mayor, Yuri Luzhkov. The international conference `City and Zoo', held in Moscow from 15 to 19 September 1997, heralded a new era in the history of the zoo. More than a hundred guests from 25 countries attended the meeting, which was perfectly organised by director Vladimir Spitsin and the staff of the zoo. The lectures were simultaneously translated from/to English, German and Russian. The speakers included Jeremy Mallinson (Jersey), Bernhard Blaszkiewitz (Berlin), Miklós Persányi (Budapest), Klaus Jacob (Cottbus), Henning Julin (Aalborg), Prof. Vladimir Flint (All-Russian Institute of Nature Preservation, Moscow), Helmut Pechlaner (Vienna), Natalia Istratova (Moscow), Peter Mühling (Nuremberg), Bohumil Král (Prague), Mick Kurtz (EAZA), Marylin Hoyt (New York), and Mati Kaal (Tallinn).
Besides the lectures, many other activities were organised for participants, including a guided bus tour to Moscow's most important sights, a guided tour of the Kremlin, a trip to the monastery of Zagorsk and even tickets for a ballet in the famous Bolshoi Theatre. A very special visit was, of course, to the zoo itself. Apart from some historical houses, which have been carefully renovated, nearly everything is new on the 21-ha site: a house for tropical cats, two very large bird houses (one for aquatic birds), a children's zoo, a primate house, a giraffe/antelope house, the `World of Darkness', and a huge complex for walruses, sea lions and manatees, to mention only the most significant ones.
On the last day, Moscow Zoo organised a trip to its new breeding centre, which was established on a 300-ha site in the Volokolamsk district only a year ago. This area will be gradually developed. We saw the first breeding facilities for felids (Amur leopards and Pallas' cats), cranes (Siberian and hooded), birds of prey and hoofstock. I think that everybody was impressed by the new achievements, the extent of support by the Mayor and, last but not least, by the hospitality of Moscow Zoo.
Abridged from Mick Kurtz (EAZA Office, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) in EAZA News No. 21 (JanuaryMarch 1998)
National Zoo, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
In 1986, when the zoo's master plan was last revised, what we call Beaver Valley was scheduled to be developed as an aquatic trail. The plan, which now seems prescient, recognized that there were many facets of a water exhibit already in place along the valley, but that they needed expansion and enhancement. The emphasis on water is seen in the seal and sea lion pools, the otter and beaver exhibits, and the waterfalls and small artificial stream that passes beneath the trail. Since the Master Plan was prepared we have built Amazonia, itself a splendid water exhibit, with its superb aquarium, and its dripping wet world of lush rainforest.
In the 11 years that have passed since our last master plan there has been an increasing interest in, and extensive discussion about, the role of zoos. Education has been recognized by the World Zoo Association as a primary function of zoos. If the world of the next millennium is to be hospitable to the present diversity of life on earth, the world population of humans needs to be bioliterate and scientifically enlightened. Zoos can no longer be just collections of large and charismatic animals or their existence will be increasingly challenged by critics. They have to become a significant part of the culture of conservation. This means continued emphasis on research, breeding endangered species, and an increased concentration on promoting concern for the natural world. Breeding endangered species is not enough even if all the world's zoos pooled their resources we could only save a fraction of these species. So we must become the source and inspiration of a new enlightenment, a promoter of concern, and a stimulus to action. To do this we need to highlight organic beauty and focus on areas of crisis. Water is an ideal core subject around which we can integrate many important environmental issues, and from which we can explore biology.
Our new trail, `Waterworld, cradle of life and precious resource', will be designed as a chain of units, highlighting themes such as the history of water and land, and the role of water in shaping the earth's surface. It will explore the physics and chemistry of water in its forms of steam, ice, and liquid. The details of life in water and water in life are essential, as well as the many ways that animals and plants are adapted to life in water, and how they use it when they live on land. The stories of water in human history and our present uses and abuses of it, including the history of our explorations of water both through the microscope and in voyages of discovery, can be made exciting in a variety of media. All this should constantly emphasize how we can conserve and preserve our priceless water heritage.
These themes will be amplified and embroidered as the trail extends. The first themes will be on the path to Amazonia, where a new pond will be built; we hope to have a periscope looking into the pond to see an array of fishes. Amazonia, with its spectacular tropical fish exhibits and the great Earth globe, further complements the trail. The globe, and the interactive satellite videos, show the great rivers and lakes of the world, the yearly patterns of global rainfall, and where the ocean deeps and mountains are. From there the path winds up the valley.
Onwards there will be a medley of existing and new exhibits. We expect to plan modules comparing water mammals and submarines, and to produce an Earth globe with its south pole uppermost to show the water hemisphere. We plan exhibits on the uses of water in the human body, and a review of diseases that are transmitted through water. We expect to involve industries and organizations that use water to help produce exhibits on purification, conservation, and the recreational uses of water. They will contribute to explaining how to preserve America's unique water wonders. In the process, we expect to upgrade the exhibits along Beaver Valley, making them better, more exciting, and at the same time fixing maintenance problems.
What about new species, more animals? Of course we need exciting animals doing interesting things to further our educational programs. Aquatic animals are particularly good for stimulation. They are usually very attractive because they have a high level of activity, most of them swim for long periods of the day. Capturing attention, and stimulating curiosity, is the important first step in expanding biological knowledge. Unfortunately, adding to our animal collection is impossible if we can't expand our animal care staff. At this stage we will need to make existing exhibits more stimulating and, wherever possible, easier to run. Then, at every stage, we must make provision for the future expansion of the range of living exhibits. We expect to be able to accomplish this when our present downsized animal care staff can finally be expanded. Among the new animals we would eventually hope to add are penguins, sea otters, lake fishes, and perhaps snakebirds (Anhinga spp.). Then there are all kinds of animals that reflect research at the Smithsonian. These include sea snakes, the subject of extensive studies in Panama, at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. And of course we will not forget aquatic plants, some of which, such as rice, are crucial to the economy of the world and have played a significant part in the history of this country.
Abridged from Michael H. Robinson, Director, in a report issued on the Friends of the National Zoo website
North Carolina Aquarium, Fort Fisher, North Carolina, U.S.A.
The aquarium has successfully propagated three spawns of northern pipefish (Syngnathus fuscus). The juvenile pipefish were started on a diet of rotifers, graduating to brine shrimp, followed by mysid shrimp as their size increased. The juveniles are now five months old and approximately five inches (127 mm) long.
We can also report the assisted births on 29 July of six yellow stingrays (Urolophus jamaicensis) from two females. The females have been on display with one adult male for three years. Copulation was not observed, and actual gestation time is not known. The births were induced and assisted by Drs Andy Stamper and Greg Lewbart from N.C. State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The young rays are fed a diet of chopped clam, shrimp, and squid.
A. Wood in AZA Communiqué (December 1997)
Ohrada Zoo, Hluboka nad Vltavou, Czech Republic
The curl-crested aracari (Pteroglossus beauharnaesii) is very rarely kept in zoos at present, to our knowledge, only at Los Angeles Zoo, Parc Paradisio (Belgium) and Ohrada Zoo. We acquired a total of six (3.3) wild-caught individuals. Two pairs laid no eggs. A third pair, an adult male and a young female, received in April 1996, were housed in the basement room of a house in a cage measuring 2.0 ´ 3.3 ´ 2.15 m (height). The equipment of the aviary, which is covered with wire netting on two sides, is simple an oak-tree trunk with branches, a nest-box fixed to the wall, a bowl for bathing, and sand on the cement floor. The nest-box, made from a hollow lime-tree trunk and placed at a height of 1.75 m, measures 30 cm (diameter) by 55 cm (height). There was no artificial heating or lighting: the temperature of the room and the light and dark periods depended on natural seasonal conditions.
The birds were fed with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables including chopped lettuce or leaves of wild plants (e.g. dandelion). We complemented this diet with boiled beef or mealworms every day. As dietary supplements we used Vitamix for Poultry, Vitamix EX-A and Supervit D all the time.
Sexual activity had been observed since the last half of June, but copulation was not observed. On 19 July a keeper heard the squeaking sounds of young for the first time. Owing to the adult birds' shy temperament, nestling development was not monitored on a regular basis. The birds' normal diet was supplemented by day-old mice, crickets and locusts. We did not offer dog meal, only a granulated mynah food. The female took food to the nest hole, but we rarely observed the same behaviour in the male. The parents did not behave aggressively.
The first observation of chicks was on 12 August; we found two chicks in a healthy condition. The parents took out all the nesting material that had been placed in the hole, so we had to add to it frequently. On 6 September the smaller chick was found on the floor with signs of respiratory troubles, and he died the next day. The reason for his death is not exactly known, but the post-mortem report describes an infestation of unknown protozoa in the trachea.
The surviving chick left the nesting hole on 9 September. At first, both parents fed him, showing a preference for mice and insects, but from the second half of September the young aracari took food for himself. On 9 October the 12-week-old bird was separated from his parents. No further activity from the adult pair was observed.
Our first successful rearing of the curl-crested aracari is a significant international breeding result for Ohrada Zoo. The value of this success is heightened even further by the fact that the parents reared the young by themselves. Since we have found no published records of any other successful breeding of this species, we would very much appreciate any information from other breeders.
Adapted from the English summary of an article in Czech by Renata Kavková and Jitka Králi_ková, published in Gazella No. 24 (1997)
Paignton Zoo (Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust), Devon, U.K.
The zoo has three (2.1) white rhinos, Dale, Mickey and Gracie, but there has been a long wait for a calf. After an unsuccessful pairing of Gracie and Dale, Mickey was introduced in the hope that competition between the two males would stimulate mating behaviour. But the problem remains Gracie, the female, is not going through her reproductive cycles. A research project was started at the beginning of August to investigate the problem. To date, the strongest explanation comes from looking at the natural behaviour of wild rhinos.
White rhinos have poor eyesight, but good hearing and, most importantly, an amazing sense of smell. This is what they use to tell them about the world in which they live. White rhinos are the most sociable of all five rhino species. The females live in herds of up to six, while the males are mostly solitary. Amongst the females, communication is both visual and auditory, but most importantly via the sense of smell. In other mammals, it is known that the scent of one female can affect the physical characteristics of another. So we began to wonder if Gracie is not cycling because she has no stimulating scents from other female rhinos. The research project is following this line and investigating the effects of female rhino scents on Gracie. If her reproductive cycles restart, maybe we will one day have the long awaited rhino calf.
Matt Taylor in Paignton Zoo News No. 34 (Winter 1997)
Parco Natura Viva, Bussolengo, Italy
A Pondicherry, or Indian, king vulture (Sarcogyps calvus) hatched during the 1997 breeding season at this zoo near Verona, where 2.3 birds of this species are kept. Our first Pondicherry vulture egg was produced in February 1990. Both parents incubated the egg, but spent too much time off the nest to be successful. In the six subsequent years a second pair was formed who turned out to be perfect incubators, but their eggs were all infertile. In January 1997, an egg laid by the first pair was put into the nest of the second pair. After 15 days of natural incubation, this egg was transferred to an incubator at a temperature of 37° C and a humidity of 60%. The chick hatched after 56 days and weighed 65 g. For one week, it was hand-reared by Alberto Fagan, the head keeper of the birds of prey section. After that, it was introduced to the zoo's third female Pondicherry vulture, who has no partner. She turned out to be a perfect mother.
This is only the second breeding success in Europe; the first was hatched in the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes, Paris.
Cesare Avesani Zaborra in EAZA News No. 21 (JanuaryMarch 1998)
Paris Zoo (Vincennes), France
Siam, the zoo's legendary Asian bull elephant (about 52 years old) was euthanized on 23 September 1997. This huge tusker about 10 feet 4 inches (3.15 m) high and weighing about 66.5 tons had had foot problems for some years. Several months ago the zoo asked two experts (Dr Brandt, the veterinarian from Hannover Zoo, and Roy Smith from Interzoo) for their help, and they both sedated Siam successfully and did the medical procedure. But after several weeks the foot infection got worse and finally he was no longer able to stand. His dignified presence is greatly missed, and many people will remember him as a really charismatic animal.
Jürgen Schilfarth in Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol 8, No. 3 (Winter 1997)
[One of Siam's claims to a place in elephant history is that in February 1988, at the age of 43, he successfully mated with a female, Kaveri, who was only about four-and-a-half years old. She bore a bull calf in March 1990 and successfully reared him. Both this calf and another son of Siam are still alive; a third, Ben, eight-and-a-half years old, died at Rotterdam Zoo during sedation for treatment of a broken tusk by a sad coincidence, just one day after his father, Siam. Ed.]
Pistoia Zoological Garden, Italy
(A visitor's report by Spartaco Gippoliti)
Opened in April 1970, Pistoia Zoo is already suffering from the old-fashioned concepts of its ambience, its moderate size (seven ha) and the lack of a general master-plan (see I.Z.N. 39:4, 1992, pp. 5455). From the start, the zoo aimed to exhibit a wide number of species, including many of those most popular with the public. As a result, the animal collection is one of the largest in Italy, although living conditions are not always adequate. In the last few years, new additions include a grassed cage for ring-tailed lemurs, an enclosure for domestic animals and a sandy enclosure, planted with exotic plants, for fennec foxes, provided with heated dens and with glass windows in one side. At present the zoo holds ten fennec foxes in two groups; the last two cubs were born in December 1996.
Another noteworthy breeding success has been achieved with Abyssinian ground hornbills; two chicks have been hand-reared in recent years. I also noticed a considerable number of young black-crowned night herons and little egrets, and a young giraffe. The reptile house hosts some fine specimens of reticulated python, Indian cobra, South American rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus breeding), common iguana, and four flying foxes (Pteropus sp.). On the negative side, many areas are too cramped and unattractive for both animals and visitors, and great improvements especially for the monkeys, and above all for the five chimpanzees are absolutely necessary. The labels are well-designed and informative, but their value is greatly reduced by poor exhibition standards.
Poznan Zoo, Poland
The zoo has kept three male Leadbeater's possums (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) since the opening of its new nocturnal house a few years ago. It took almost three years of complicated paperwork to get the approval to receive a female, but finally, on 17 April 1997, a six-year-old female arrived from Healesville Sanctuary, Australia. Matings were observed just three days after her arrival. A couple of weeks later it became clear that she had a baby in her pouch. A few days after that the pouch was back to normal size and keepers heard noises from an infant in the nest box. After having spent about a month in the box, the young possum was seen for the first time in the middle of October. Since then it has become more and more active, exploring its enclosure on its own. In Europe, this species is only kept at London and Poznan Zoos.
Radoslaw Ratajszczak in EAZA News No. 21 (JanuaryMarch 1998)
Prague Zoo, Czech Republic
The zoo keeps four species of rare arboreal monitors mangrove (Varanus indicus), green tree (V. prasinus), rough-necked (V. rudicollis) and crocodile (V. salvadorii). We have bred the first two of these, and in this report we summarise our experiences with the green tree monitor.
The individuals imported from the wild had to be treated for serious health problems: bacterial infections (four varieties of Salmonella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa), protozoans (Isospora varani and Cryptosporidium varani sp. n.), and nematodes (Abbreviata sp.). The breeding pair live in an exhibition terrarium measuring 3.75 ´ 1.45 ´ 2.6 m with a 1 m2 pool and a lot of branches and tropical plants. The lighting is artificial, but includes UV-Osram Ultra Vitalux lamps. Thermal gradients are from 22° C (water in pool) and 25° C near the bottom to over 40° C near the lamps; in the night the temperature decreases to 22° C. High humidity is maintained in the enclosure.
Our V. prasinus individuals are diurnal with two peaks (morning and afternoon) of their locomotor activity. They are fed six days a week (individually by forceps) on crickets, locusts and cockroaches powdered with minerals and vitamins.
The female's reproductive cycle is polyoestrous. In the non-reproductive periods, male and female tolerate each other completely. Before the courtship and mating period, the male is highly aggressive towards the female. During this period, which lasts about ten days, the partners spend all the time together. Copulation lasts about two minutes and is usually repeated three or four times on the same day. The male's copulatory biting is an element of mating behaviour. We observed three mating periods which included the following observed copulations; (a) 26.9., 27.9. and 2.10.1995; (b) 10.1., 16.1. and 23.1.1996; (c) 20.7., 22.7., 29.7. and 31.7.1996.
The gravid female feeds very intensively until about seven days prior to oviposition, when she almost stops her intake of food. She deposits her clutches in the humid soil at a depth of 1520 cm, always choosing a place with a temperature of about 29° C. She does not build a real nest chamber, but digs a U-shaped trench and lays her eggs on the side of it, immediately covering them with soil. Egg-laying takes place about one month after mating. On 4.11.1995 the female laid four eggs, and on both 26.2.1995 and 23.8.1995 she laid three eggs. After laying, she spends most of her time near the nest and defends the site aggressively. She starts to eat a great deal at that time.
Incubation was carried out artificially at a constant temperature of 28.8° C. Weights of individual eggs ranged from 9.5 to 10.5 g, and dimensions from 40.3 to 45.6 mm long and from 19.0 to 20.6 mm wide. In the first clutch the completely well-developed, healthy and viable hatchlings emerged after an incubation lasting 155 (two hatchlings) and 157 (remaining two) days. In the second clutch, only one well-developed juvenile hatched after 145 days' incubation; the remaining eggs died, the first about half-way through the incubation period, the second about seven days before the date of hatching. (The third clutch was still in the incubator at the time of writing.)
The two (1.1) first hatchlings appeared on 8.4.1996. Both had the same weight (7.5 g) and almost the same measurements (snout to vent = 81 and 82 mm, tail = 115 and 118 mm). The juvenile coloration is even more bright and vivid than that of the parents, with well-formed dark dorsal bands. (The coloration of our juveniles is very different from that in a photo of a hatchling at Dallas Zoo, published in The Vivarium 6:1, 1994: perhaps the difference between the two colour phases mottled and banded is already very well formed at hatching time.) All the juveniles bred in Prague Zoo have been reared successfully. They started to feed on small crickets when aged seven days. They grew very rapidly, and their total length increased 2.6 times during their first eight months of life.
When the first juveniles were nine months old, we observed very interesting behaviour in the two males sharing one enclosure: they moved in a circle for up to two minutes with the forelimbs pushing the pelvic area of the rival and with the snout kept in his sacral area. Although these frequently repeated encounters had no visible traumatic consequences, their result was the dominance of one male and stress and lethargic behaviour in the subordinate male. For this reason we decided to divide these two males and keep them separately. When we experimentally placed them both in one enclosure, the above test of dominance was repeated again, with even greater intensity. We did not observe any ritualised bipedal combats of the type recorded for many species of monitor.
Adapted and abridged from the English summary of an article in Czech by Ivan Rehák and Petr Velenský, published in Gazella No. 24 (1997)
Riverbanks Zoological Park, Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.A.
The following births and hatchings took place during the period November to December 1997: 2 fairy bluebird, 8 Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko, 1 giant leaf-tailed gecko, 5 leaf-tailed gecko (2 DNS). The following were acquired: 0.2 duski titi, 4 oriental white eye, 0.1 keel-billed toucan, 1.0 Boelen's python, 0.1 fairy bluebird, 0.1 Victoria crowned pigeon, 1 orange-tipped rainbow fish, 1 fox-faced rabbitfish, 1 checkered puffer, 1 lionfish Pterois volitans, 1 clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris, 2 cleaner wrasse, 1 painted greenling, 2 flounder, 1 blackeye goby, 1 leopard moray eel, 1 mosshead warbonnet, 24 plum anemone, 3 crimson anemone, 4 nudibranchs, 4 coon-stripe shrimp, 4 horseshoe crab.
Alan H. Shoemaker
San Antonio Zoo, Texas, U.S.A.
The zoo recently announced the hatching of several bird species for the first time in its collection. All are studbook species.
Three buff-crested bustards (Lophotis ruficrista) were hand-raised in July and August 1997. All were artificially incubated for 21 days. The sire hatched in 1991 at San Diego Zoo and the dam is a two-year-old from a private facility. With this achievement, San Antonio becomes the fourth North American institution to raise this species.
While the zoo is noted for being the first zoo to reproduce Caribbean flamingos, it was not until 1997 that its Chilean flamingos produced young. Eight chicks were hand-raised on the 1979 San Antonio Zoo hand-raising flamingo diet. The parent birds are among a group of nine Chilean flamingos exhibited with 29 lesser flamingos.
Four northern helmeted curassows (Crax p. pauxi) were also hand-raised over the summer. The dam is on loan from Houston Zoo and the sire from Albuquerque Biological Park. For further information, contact Jeff Rouse, Curator of Birds.
J. Langwell in AZA Communiqué (December 1997)
Tama Zoo, Tokyo, Japan
The zoo has three golden takins (Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi), two females who arrived in 1992 and a male who arrived in 1993. In 1995, the two females were put out one at a time into the outdoor enclosure with the male. The female Oi was about four years old at the time, and the female Hora was five; the male was about eight. Around the beginning of July, the male began taking interest in Oi, following her around, showing flehmen, and mounting her. On July 30 and 31 he lost all appetite for food, and mated with Oi several times. After a gestation period of 240 days, a female baby was born on 27 March 1996 (weight 4.14 kg), but several days later she contracted a severe case of neonatal pneumonia. From the resulting cataracts, she lost almost all sight in both eyes, but otherwise is doing well.
In 1996 both females became pregnant. Oi came into heat twice at the end of July, and mated both times. After that Hora was put with the male, but she continually rejected his mounting attempts, and mating was not observed. However, in December, both females were visibly pregnant. Hora produced her first baby on 1 April 1997, but it was stillborn. It was a male weighing 4.56 kg, and the gestation period was 245 days. The next day, 2 April, Oi also gave birth. Her gestation period was 249 days, and the baby was a large male weighing 6.9 kg. He was born in a place where there was no straw, so that he slipped on the ground which was wet with the birth fluids, and ended up with his hind legs spread-eagled. The keepers hurriedly administered a tranquilizer to the mother, removed the baby, and massaged his immobile hind legs. Soon he was able to stand, and was returned to his mother. His growth has been uneventful, and on 27 May he was put on display with his mother.
English summary of article in Japanese by Takashi Fukaya, published in Animals and Zoos Vol. 49, No. 12 (December 1997)
Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, Germany
On 17 January 1998 the first calf was born to the zoo's 14-year-old Asian elephant, Kewa. The male calf, which was unfortunately stillborn, was carried to term and weighed 117 kg. The cause of death was a virus infection. The sire, Ankhor, is also 14 years old and, like Kewa, came to us from Burma.This was the fifth birth of an elephant in Berlin, but the first for 60 years. Berlin Zoo had the first four, all of whom were also Asian Editha, who lived only a few days, in 1906, Kalifa in 1928, Orje in 1936, and Indra in 1938. Only the 1928 calf and the 1998 stillborn one were conceived in Berlin; the other three cows had been imported during their pregnancy.
Dr Bernhard Blaszkiewitz
Tiger Haven, Kingston, Tennessee, U.S.A.Joe and Mary Lynn Parker have spent more than six years providing homes for `stray' big cats, but some of their neighbors are mounting a protest that threatens the sanctuary. Many of the animals now at Tiger Haven suffered from cruel owners who beat and starved them. The abused cats were brought to the Parkers as refugees from a troubling trend: people acquiring big and dangerous cats as pets. `The words `tiger' and `pet' should not be in the same sentence,' says Mary Lynn Parker. `People get these animals when they are cute little cubs. But they don't know what to do with them when they become big, hungry animals.'
Some of the Parkers' neighbors worry that one of the cats might escape and attack them or their children. They are concerned about fecal contamination of streams as well as ground water, and they claim property values are depressed because of Tiger Haven. However, the Parkers' efforts have earned praise from Tennessee wildlife authorities and other animal advocates. The big-cat pet market, they say, has left a growing number of abandoned lions, tigers and other wild cats without prospects for a home.
In many U.S. states it remains legal to breed big cats for the private pet market. Unlike many other endangered animals, the felines breed easily in captivity. The cubs sell for as little as $250, the Parkers say. Zoos have no interest in these privately bred animals, because the bloodlines are usually not pure; for instance, private breeders typically mix Indian and Siberian tigers.
The Parkers have loved big cats since they helped care for a tiger cub as volunteers at Knoxville Zoo in 1988. Starting in 1991 as a home for one female tiger, Tiger Haven has grown to a compound for 60 big cats on a seven-acre (2.8 ha) site. While most of the animals are former pets, some were rescued from roadside attractions. Last year, 12 cats were recovered from a private South Carolina zoo where the animals were starving and confined to tiny, filth-filled cages. The local Humane Society reported the zoo after a desperate cougar cannibalized its mate.
Opponents wanting to shut down the facility have some powerful allies, including the local county authority, which contends that Tiger Haven violates zoning regulations in an area of small farms and private houses. The county last year turned down the Parkers' request to rezone about 30 acres so that Tiger Haven could expand to include a natural habitat area for public viewing and education. But many neighbors support the Parkers. Tiger Haven has never had an escape; it is encircled with an eight-foot (2.45 m) perimeter fence, while the cat pens are enclosed with 16-foot (4.9 m) chain-link fence. There are two full-time employees, plus several people from the area who have volunteered to help. `They either meet or exceed standards for holding Class 1 wildlife,' reports Walter Cook, captive wildlife coordinator for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. `And our regulations are some of the most stringent in the country.'
Abridged from a report by John Harmon in Atlanta Journal-Constitution (3 Feb. 1998), sent to I.Z.N. by Richard J. Reynolds
Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, U.K.
Early in November, Asian elephant bull Tundi (Emmett), aged six-and-a-half, arrived from Syracuse Zoo, New York, U.S.A., to join Whipsnade's three young females. The zoo has built new elephant facilities and wants to start a breeding herd. Three more young Asian females at London Zoo could also be sent to Whipsnade for breeding. Tundi settled in very well, and there is a hope that he could be the first breeding bull elephant in the 170-year-history of the Zoological Society of London.
News in Brief
Pittsburgh Zoo reports the birth of a female gorilla, the third birth at the zoo in five years. Born on 13 September, the infant is being raised by her mother in a nine-member family group, which includes five other juveniles. The birth and care of the infant are significant, as the mother was hand-raised for three years due to maternal neglect. She was transferred to Pittsburgh and socialized into a family group. The father is owned by Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the mother by Cincinnati Zoo.
B. Baker in AZA Communiqué (December 1997)
* * * * *
Many ostrich farms in Western countries have enlisted the help of rabbits in rearing chicks. The rabbits not only act as surrogate parents, but also improve the chicks' physical wellbeing by providing essential supplies of vitamins B and K in their nocturnal faeces, which are eaten by the chicks.
* * * * *
Scientists in the United Arab Emirates are reported to have successfully crossbred a llama and a camel. It is hoped that the hybrid will produce more wool than a llama but be less temperamental than a camel.
* * * * *
In September, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia, successfully hatched a North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx australis mantelli). This was the culmination of numerous husbandry changes, including the relocation of the birds to their own enclosure, provision of new nest/roost boxes and a new dietary regime. Kiwis last bred at Taronga 26 years ago, and the arrival of the 290-g chick is hoped to be the start of more regular breeding of this species in Australia.
Chris Hibbard in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 35 (December 1997)
* * * * *
Forty-three staff at Bristol Zoo, U.K., have been presented with long-service awards by the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society. Staff received badges and certificates for every five years worked at the zoo. These awards included five for 39, 42, 47, 49 and 50 years respectively. In addition, 17 people received five-year awards, six ten-year awards, five 15-year awards, four 20-year awards, one 25-year award, and five 30-year awards.
* * * * *
A female mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) was born at Los Angeles Zoo, California, on 11 August 1997. Her parents are an 8-year-old female and a 14-year old male. There are now only six mountain tapirs in zoos worldwide: three at Los Angeles and three at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado. Los Angeles Zoo has exhibited this species since 1967 and produced 15 offspring.
L. LaMarca in AZA Communiqué (December 1997)
* * * * *
London Zoo's Mappin Terraces, a Hagenbeck-style structure built in 191314 but closed since 1984, have been modified to create a mixed-species exhibit for sloth bears, entellus langurs, muntjac, peafowl and various waterfowl.
* * * * *
A male giraffe was born at Gladys Porter Zoo, Brownsville, Texas, U.S.A., on 6 December 1997. Since 1989, 13 consecutive male giraffe calves have been born at the zoo to two sires and six different dams.
L. Hettler in AZA Communiqué (February 1998)
* * * * *
Sadly, Hannibal, a male Asian elephant calf at Copenhagen Zoo, died from a salmonellosis infection in June 1997 at four months old. His 11-year-old primiparous mother, Coco, refused to feed him, so he was hand-reared from his first day. Hand-rearing baby elephants is still a big problem, and very few such animals grow to adulthood.
* * * * *
In November, ten Mexican wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) were transferred from the United States to various facilities in Mexico. The purpose of this move is to increase the genetic diversity of the captive population in Mexico.
* * * * *
Captive reptile collections in southern California are having serious problems with an introduced South American ant species, Linepithema humile. The ants appear to be attracted by water, as only tropical enclosures or ones sprayed with water are attacked. Numerous lizard species are reported to have been killed, even up to the size of young Bosc's monitors.
J. Lemm in Bulletin of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians Vol. 7, No. 3 (1997)
* * * * *
Anyone with experience of keeping Himalayan blue whistling thrush (Myiophoneus caeruleus) is asked to contact John Ellis (Chessington Zoo, Surrey KT9 2NE, U.K.), who is compiling husbandry guidelines for the species.
Adloff, A.: Die werbeblätter des Tierparks Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. (Leaflets published by Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 3 (1997), pp. 320337. [German, no English summary.]
Anderson, D.: Protected contact issues. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 8, No. 3 (1997), pp. 5557, 76.
Armstrong, L.: Keeping water voles (Arvicola terrestris) with grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) at Witton Country Park Small Mammal Centre. Ratel Vol. 25, No. 1 (1998), pp. 3133. [Concludes that these two species do not make a good mixed exhibit. The voles became totally nocturnal, and as squirrels are totally diurnal, the two species were never seen together. It was thought that the voles had become nocturnal because of the presence of people, not because of the squirrels. In fact, water voles do not make a very good display, even when on their own, because they are such a shy species; Derek Gow of New Forest Nature Quest has experimented with displaying them and found that the only way to do so successfully is by viewing the animals on hidden monitors and by showing pre-filmed footage.]
Baker, W.K.: What type of safety precautions should staff members take into consideration when renovating an animal exhibit or bringing a new exhibit on line? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 1 (1998), pp. 1516.
Bayless, M.K.: The rough-neck monitor lizard (Varanus rudicollis). Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society Vol. 32, No. 12 (1997), pp. 250252. [Brief notes on the biology of the species, and on a successful breeding group at Nashville Zoo, Tennessee, U.S.A.]
Blaszkiewitz, B.: Matschies Rückkehr? Anmerkungen zu Artenmachern und Gattungsschiebern in der Tiergartenbiologie. (Matschie's return? Notes on taxonomy in zoo biology.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 3 (1997), pp. 315319. [German, no English summary.]
Brent, L., and Stone, A.: Destructible toys as enrichment for captive chimpanzees. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science Vol. 1, No. 1 (1998), pp. 514.
Carden, M., and Glazier, J.: Stillborn Asian elephant calf at Dickerson Park Zoo. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 8, No. 3 (1997), pp. 4950.
Cooper, J.E.: Minimally invasive health monitoring of wildlife. Animal Welfare Vol. 7, No. 1 (1998), pp. 3544.
Costall, A.: Lloyd Morgan, and the rise and fall of `animal psychology'. Society and Animals Vol. 6, No. 1 (1998), pp. 1329. [Whereas Darwin insisted upon the continuity of human and non-human animals, more recent students of animal behaviour have largely assumed discontinuity. Lloyd Morgan was a pivotal figure in this transformation. His `canon', although intended to underpin a psychological approach to animals, has been persistently misunderstood to be a stark prohibition of anthropomorphic description. His extension to animals of the terms `behaviour' and `trial-and-error', previously restricted to human psychology, again largely unwittingly devalued their original meaning and widened the gulf between animals and humans. His insistence that knowledge of animal psychology could be trusted solely to `qualified' observers initiated the exclusion from science of the informal and intimate knowledge of animals gained by pet owners, animal trainers, and other scientific outsiders. The presumption, however, that animals, in contrast to people, are to be understood solely as `strangers', begs, rather than addresses, the question of animal-human continuity.]
de Ruiter, M.: Colony breeding the Indian scops owl. Tyto Vol. 2, No. 6 (1998), pp. 125126.
Deeming, D.C.: Factors affecting the hatchability of ostrich eggs during artificial incubation. Ratel Vol. 25, No. 1 (1998), pp. 2628.
Dick, A.C.K., and Deeming, D.C.: Veterinary problems encountered on ostrich farms in Great Britain. Ratel Vol. 25, No. 1 (1998), pp. 2426.
Fouts, R.S.: On the psychological well-being of chimpanzees. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science Vol. 1, No. 1 (1998), pp. 6573.
Gebauer, A., and Kaiser, M.: Auf den Spuren des Dsong-dsong. (On the trail of the black-necked crane.) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 40, No. 3 (1997), pp. 117123. [German, with English summary. The authors made four visits to the north-eastern part of the Tibetan plateau; they describe the wildlife of the region and point to the need for an effective conservation policy.]
Gisi, B.: Response the foundation for all behavior. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 8, No. 3 (1997), pp. 5860.
Guerrero, D.: Common training errors: moving forward before a behavior is stabilized. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 1 (1998), pp. 1214.
Hennache, A.: Launch of the international studbook for Edwards's pheasant Lophura edwardsi: Hanoi, 19 September 1997. WPA News No. 55 (February 1998), pp. 3133. [See pp. 9597 of this issue of I.Z.N.]
Hildebrandt, T.B., Göritz, F., Pratt, N.C., Schmitt, D.L., Lehnhardt, J., Hermes, R., Quandt, S., Raath, J., West, G., and Montali, R.J.: Assessment of health and reproductive status in African and Asian elephants by transrectal ultrasonography. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 8, No. 3 (1997), pp. 4448.
Hudson, J.O.: Positively common ground. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 8, No. 3 (1997), pp. 1823. [Argues that elephants and marine mammals require similar training strategies.]
Jacob, K.-J., and Wolff, M.: Bilanz der Wasservogelzucht im Tierpark Cottbus. (Review of waterfowl breeding at Kottbus Zoo.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 3 (1997), pp. 282285. [German, no English summary. Between 1972 and 1997, the zoo kept 93 (60%) of the world's 154 waterfowl species, and bred 72 (47%).]
Joyce, J.: Elephant shows what's your point? Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 8, No. 3 (1997), pp. 6467.
Kaiser, M.: Zur Haltung und Zucht von Kranichen in den beiden Berliner Tiergärten. (Management and breeding of cranes in the two zoos of Berlin.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 3 (1997), pp. 256274. [German, no English summary.]
Keeling, C.: On hybrids and mutations. Tyto Vol. 2, No. 6 (1998), pp. 122124.
Law, G., and Tatner, P.: Behaviour of a captive pair of clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa): introduction without injury. Animal Welfare Vol. 7, No. 1 (1998), pp. 5776. [The behaviour of the pair (at Glasgow Zoo) was studied during a series of manipulations in order to devise a safe method of introduction for mating purposes. Manipulations consisted of allowing each individual unrestricted access to the other's outdoor enclosure, initially in the absence of the other individual, but culminating in joint access. Dominant activities involved sitting, lying, grooming, and adopting a low profile amongst the vegetation. The female tended to be more arboreal than the male, although both cats spent most of their time on the ground. The male marked various sites by foot-scrubbing, which involved shuffling urine into the ground using his hind feet. This was less common in the female. Male foot-scrubbing was most frequent on introduction nights, and in the female's enclosure. Both sexes exhibited cheek-marking behaviour, although it was more common in the male. The frequency of male cheek-marking increased in response to urine production by the female. Observations during introductions suggested that the male may assess the female's reproductive condition by stimulating her to urinate. The most marked changes in behaviour occurred between control and introduction nights. The larger male took the initiative, and the female appeared extremely wary of his presence, striking out with her claws if he approached too closely. Although the individuals did not mate during the introductions, the method of gradual acquaintance through an experimentally induced overlap of `home ranges' was effective, as the female was not injured even though the male had a history of aggression.]
Loving, M.B.: External parasites of elephants. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 8, No. 3 (1997), pp. 6971.
Mehrdadfar, F.: Detecting estrus in captive black rhino (Diceros bicornis): an example. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 1 (1998), pp. 1725. [Metro Washington Park Zoo; a slightly revised version of this article was printed in I.Z.N. 44:5, pp. 272280.]
Menning, K.: The pygmy owl (Glaucidium passerinum). Tyto Vol. 2, No. 6 (1998), pp. 103115.
Merkel, J.: Carrier training klipspringer antelope (Oreotragus oreotragus). Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 1 (1998), pp. 3133. [Dallas Zoo; a way of making the handling and moving of small antelopes easier, safer and less stressful, by training them to walk voluntarily into a pet carrier.]
Moiser, C.M.: Zoo profile: Zambezi Nature Sanctuary, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Ratel Vol. 25, No. 1 (1998), pp. 68.
Phillips, M., Grandin, T., Graffam, W., Irlbeck N.A., and Cambre, R.C.: Crate conditioning of bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus) for veterinary and husbandry procedures at the Denver Zoological Gardens. Zoo Biology Vol. 17, No. 1 (1998), pp. 2532.
Pohle, C.: 40 Jahre Haltung von Przewalskipferden (Equus przewalskii) im Tierpark. (40 years of keeping Przewalski horses at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 3 (1997), pp. 286292. [German, no English summary.]
Pollard, J.C., and Littlejohn, R.P.: Effects of winter housing, exercise, and dietary treatments on the behaviour and welfare of red deer (Cervus elaphus) hinds. Animal Welfare Vol. 7, No. 1 (1998), pp. 4556.
Reinhard, R., and Wozniak, C.: 150 Jahre Andenkondor-Haltung im Zoologischen Garten Berlin. (150 years of keeping Andean condors at Berlin Zoo.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 3 (1997), pp. 275281. [Vultur gryphus; German, no English summary.]
Rudloff, K.: Hausschafe im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. (Domestic sheep at the Tierpark.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 3 (1997), pp. 293314. [German, no English summary.]
Ruiz-Miranda, C.R., Wells, S.A., Golden, R., and Seidensticker, J.: Vocalizations and other behavioral responses of male cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) during experimental separation and reunion trials. Zoo Biology Vol. 17, No. 1 (1998), pp. 116. [Concludes that `male cheetahs, both sibling and nonsibling, develop strong psychological attachments to each other. The separation pf existing coalitions can create stressful conditions for coalition members. We suggest that raising and maintaining male cheetahs in coalitions in zoos is a viable husbandry technique.']
Schilfarth, J.: The Hannover Zoo's Indian Jungle Palace. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 8, No. 3 (1997), pp. 6263. [The exhibit simulates an ancient palace abandoned to the jungle, and houses elephants, tigers, leopards, barasingha, hanuman langurs and pythons.]
Skelton, T.: The green poison arrow frog (Dendrobates auratus): a comparison of tadpole rearing techniques. Ratel Vol. 25, No. 1 (1998), pp. 1117. [Edinburgh Zoo; four groups of tadpoles were experimentally reared in different ways: (1) individually in plastic beakers, fed daily and with their water changed daily; (2) similarly, but fed only twice weekly; (3) communally in a larger container with living vegetation and invertebrates, fed only once a week, water never changed but topped up occasionally; (4) singly in miniature versions of no. 3. All groups were given ten minutes of UV light exposure every two weeks. From the results, it was apparent that Group 1 produced the largest frogs (17.3 mm) in the shortest time (47 to 50 days). These frogs were also much stronger and more able to feed on the standard diet of fruit-flies and hatchling crickets. The tadpoles in Group 2 took longer to metamorphose (61 to 66 days), but were much smaller (12 mm) and weaker than the previous group. However, after a month of intensive feeding on very small invertebrates such as springtails (Collembola), they did eventually catch up. In Group 3, some tadpoles took almost twice as long to metamorphose as others (85 to 161 days), perhaps as a result of competition for food or the production of some inhibitory compound by a dominant tadpole. The lengths of the froglets were intermediate between those of 1 and 2 (14.5 mm). This group had completely unnatural conditions, since in the wild they would each normally occupy their own pool or bromeliad. Group 4 tadpoles took almost as long to metamorphose (64 to 123 days) and were a little smaller (13 mm); this tends to suggest that competition for food was the main factor, as the larger tank set-up of 3 supported a larger community of plants and animals which the tadpoles could graze on. Also, the volume of water per tadpole was much greater in 3 (especially after two of the tadpoles died). Given the limited numbers of tadpoles reared, it will be necessary to repeat these experiments several times in order to obtain conclusive results. However, it seems reasonable to conclude that rearing tadpoles singly in small beakers is the easiest and quickest way to obtain strong, healthy, large frogs. An unpublished survey by D. Callaway of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo (July 1995) found that rearing tadpoles singly is the method favoured by the great majority of zoos and private breeders.]
Stancel, C.F., Dierenfeld, E.S., and Schoknecht, P.A.: Calcium and phosphorus supplementation decreases growth, but does not induce pyramiding, in young red-eared sliders, Trachemys scripta elegans. Zoo Biology Vol. 17, No. 1 (1998), pp. 1724. [`Pyramiding' is a condition in which the scutes of the carapace become deformed and elevated, taking on a pyramid shape. It is common in many captive turtles and tortoises and some wild populations. Although it is believed to be a nutritional problem, its exact cause is unknown. The authors tested, but failed to substantiate, the theory that the cause is an excess of dietary calcium and/or phosphorus. They did, however, find that supplementation with calcium alone was detrimental to normal growth and development.]
Suedmeyer, W.K.: Tuberculosis in elephants. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 8, No. 3 (1997), pp. 6869.
Tonge, S., and Wilkinson, R.: Captive breeding, conservation and science a report on the Workshop held at the WPA Galliforme Symposium, Kuala Tahan, Malaysia, on 12 September 1997. WPA News No. 55 (February 1998), pp. 1317.
Tung, D.G., and Thuc, L.S.: The breeding of Annamese silver pheasants at Hanoi Zoo. WPA News No. 55 (February 1998), pp. 3437. [Lophura nycthemera annamensis.]
van Hoek, C.S., and ten Cate, C.: Abnormal behavior in caged birds kept as pets. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science Vol. 1, No. 1 (1998), pp. 5164.
Wellstead, G.: Marking time. Tyto Vol. 2, No. 6 (1998), pp. 116120. [Ringing and microchipping birds.]
Wheeler, F.: Behavioural enrichment for marsupials at London Zoo. Ratel Vol. 25, No. 1 (1998), pp. 1921. [Discusses carnivorous marsupials (kowari and Tasmanian devil), macropods (bettong and long-nosed potoroo), and possums (sugar glider and Leadbeater's and striped possums). Koalas `just need eucalyptus to eat, a forked branch to sleep in and a keeper to love them'!]
Zimmermann, W., Kolter, L., and Schnitzer, U.: Okapihaltung im Kölner Zoo. (Okapi management at Cologne Zoo.) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 40, No. 3 (1997), pp. 83109. [German, with English summary. In addition to details of Cologne's okapi housing and management system, the article gives up-to-date information on the species' biology and feeding ecology, a brief history of in situ and ex situ conservation efforts, and an overview of the current status of the captive population.]
Publishers of the periodicals listed:
Animal Keepers' Forum, American Association of Zoo Keepers, 635 Gage Boulevard, Topeka, Kansas 66606, U.S.A.
Animal Welfare, Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead, Herts. AL4 8AN, U.K.
Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society, 2060 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60614, U.S.A.
Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, Subscription Department, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 10 Industrial Avenue, Mahwah, New Jersey 074302262, U.S.A.
Journal of the Elephant Managers Association, Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46222, U.S.A.
Milu, Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, Am Tierpark 125, D-1136 Berlin, Germany.
Ratel, Association of British Wild Animal Keepers, 12 Tackley Road, Eastville, Bristol BS5 6UQ, U.K.
Society and Animals, White Horse Press, 1 Strond, Isle of Harris, Scotland HS5 3UD, U.K.
Tyto, International Owl Society, 202 Noak Hill Road, Billericay, Essex CN12 9UX, U.K.
WPA News, World Pheasant Association, P.O. Box 5, Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire RG8 9PF, U.K.
Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo, Zoologischer Garten, Riehler Strasse 173, D-50735 Köln, Germany.
Zoo Biology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158, U.S.A.