International Zoo News Vol. 45/5 (No. 286) July/August 1998


Marvin Jones

Page 258
Past and Future Breeding of the Indian Rhinoceros in Captivity

Samuel Zschokke, Peter Studer and Bruno Baur

Page 261
A Critical Evaluation of the Present Situation of Primates in Italian Zoos

Spartaco Gippoliti

Page 278
Olfactory Enrichment for Asian Elephants: is it as Effective as it Smells?

Matt Leach, Rob Young and Natalie Waran

Page 285
The New Masterplan at Zürich Zoo, and Two Modern Enclosures for Spectacled Bears and Waterfowl

René E. Honegger

Page 291
Surplus and Wanted Stock Page 295
Letters to the Editor Page 296
Book Reviews Page 299
Conservation Page 303
Annual Reports Page 308
International Zoo News Page 315
Recent Articles Page 325

Cover Illustration: Part of the Indian rhinoceros group at Basel Zoo. (Photo: Jörg Hess)


Marvin Jones of San Diego has been a sympathetic and informed observer of the zoo scene for more than half a century. In this extract from one of the circular letters he sends out to his friends around the world, he shares some of his thoughts about the changes that have taken place in zoos during his lifetime.

Back when I was a youngster visiting the zoo in my home town, Philadelphia, or the one in nearby suburban Norristown, animals were kept primarily in cages. For small mammals, carnivores, or even antelopes, they usually had bars. Elephants were behind widely-spaced bars, other large pachyderms behind a moat in the then quite modern house in Philadelphia. Deer and the like were kept in fair-sized outdoor paddocks. Birds were in cages unless they were waterfowl, in which case they were pinioned and kept on ponds and lakes; few were provided with any kind of material to make nests, so few bred. Reptiles and amphibians were in the main behind glass, and were all very visible, most of the time. Marine mammals had a large pool, birds of prey maybe a good-sized flight cage. Only for reptiles were there any plants in the exhibit. And all this was the norm in most zoos, although some had more bars or wire than others.

I recall my first visit in the 1950s to the Bronx Zoo, where unknown to me Jean Delacour had created the first of the new planted bird exhibits, much as he had been doing for years at home in France, before World War Two and his temporary move to America. And the Jewel Room, a series of tiny cages for tanagers and hummingbirds. Later, on a visit to St Louis, I saw the large central exhibit in the bird house, with lots of planting and a completely open front, no wire or glass, and of course the large moated units for antelopes, as I also did at Brookfield Zoo. It indeed made Philadelphia look very outdated.

In due course of time the bird house was re-done in Philadelphia; glass cages replaced the small wire-fronted ones, and there was more than one bird per cage; much as at St Louis, one was open-fronted and planted. Zoo after zoo adopted these new styles, and replaced more and more plain outdoor exhibits with barless exhibits.

In 1951 I was drafted into the American army and moved in the fall with my unit to Germany. Now was a chance to see those many zoos I had been reading about in the Academy of Natural Sciences museum library in Philadelphia. As much as possible I was out travelling; it was very cheap in those days. The zoos were much as at home – only a few had some innovative new method of exhibition. In the main they all had cages, many very tiny cages (and many still do). But of course there were many species I had never seen in the United States. Later, a tour in Korea allowed a peek at Japan, but here too it was much as back home, though many of the species were not often seen in America.

But back home things were changing, very slowly, but changing they were. Actually the Vietnam War period brought about the start of major changes – not because of the war, things just happened to take place at that period of time. Many people of my generation saw it as a time of turbulence, and it was. But it brought to a number of zoos young keepers, including a fair number of women, all wanting to help animals, money was a secondary consideration, and all of them had some college training. Attitudes at college had changed, professors were now questioned about the `facts' they taught, and the students wanted and received answers; authority was often challenged, and this carried over to the zoo world. New products were coming onto the market, and more and more zoos were hiring full-time veterinarians, no longer just one who came on call, and this meant better animal care. Diets were changing, more and more prepared products of consistent quality were being fed. This also meant a better or even a totally new animal hospital and quarantine area. Longevity was increasing. As more and more zoos added planting to exhibits, breeding increased, especially in birds, and the young survived. Mammals were now allowed to live in family groups or herds, there was no longer the desire to sell off in the fall that year's young, as all too often took place before. Even reptile and amphibian exhibits improved, as did breeding.

By the time that I retired from the army in 1972, new regulations were on the books controlling imports of wild specimens, which brought about the demise of the animal dealer – that is, the large dealer who imported hundreds or thousands of mammals, birds and `herps' (a term which was now becoming commonly used when referring to amphibians and reptiles). Fibreglass was being used as a new exhibit medium. And zoos had to have education programs; the rise of the volunteer, known as a `docent', had made that necessary – someone had to teach the docents and schedule their time. Curators were now a common zoo staff position, no longer just one person to do it all, and very few of these came from the families of farmers, as earlier. And zoo keepers had now organized their own support group and even had a journal.

In the 1980s and now in the 1990s, staffing took another turn, when senior staff often consisted of people who came from the business world, as zoos began to rely more and more on ways of making money that had no relation, or little relation, to the animals directly. Parties and raising of money had become a major time function. Public relations became much more important as television overtook the newspaper as the primary method of disseminating news. And the video camera of the average visitor was able to tape a major accident or event as it took place, for sale to the TV news. The animal-rights groups had a major impact on how zoos disposed of surplus animals, for now almost every zoo was having success in breeding: more and more zoos kept off-exhibit breeding areas not only for birds but also mammals, just as they had for years for herps. While the dealers declined, there was even more surplus about than ever before, and much of this was moved about `on loan'. One could stock a new zoo overnight with a complete collection, and the only cost would be transport. Ownership, both private and public, was declining, more and more animals were part of national breeding plans, called Species Survival Plans. And that in turn was to some degree regulated by so-called advisory groups who were laying down the lists of what species zoos should keep and breed, or import. This by the year 2000 will have made a major change to zoos; diversity will decline to just a handful of species, almost every zoo will have almost the same animals, and as more andmore exhibits begin to look the same, each zoo will be a clone of another. How this will affect attendance is anyone's guess; but for now it is having no effect in North America – attendance is rising every year.

In Europe zoos as a rule open much earlier than in America – some as early as 08.00, while here the norm is 10.00. Often they close at dusk, which in the summer may be as late as 20.00. More and more zoos here are now remaining open one or two days a week in the summer later in the evening; this year San Diego will open at 07.30 and close at 22.00, which will let the regulars come before the tourist rush, and allow the tourists to stay later. This will improve attendance and add more money to zoo coffers. Inasmuch as almost all zoos now charge admission, and the operation of gift shops and the selling of food is a major factor in the increase of revenue, the longer the visitor stays, the more money will be spent. More and more American zoos are becoming very much commercial operations, even if run by so-called `non-profit' bodies. Few zoos are run in 1998 by city governments, either directly by city hall or via parks and recreation departments; more and more are turning the day-to-day operation over to zoological support groups, and not all of them are finding the task as easy as they may have expected. Earning money is not the same as spending money, and keeping good public relations is an art not everyone is blessed with. Many are now faced with answering to a board of directors who will in general be more interested in the `bottom line' than was the park and recreation board. So much for the `nuts and bolts' of zoos, which in the main reflect the attitudes of senior staff, of the boards of directors, and of local desires.

Marvin Jones

Correction – animal husbandry web site

We have been informed that, the husbandry web site announced in I.Z.N. 45:1, p. 61, no longer exists. This site was not authorised by the Zoological Society of San Diego, and was ordered to stop operating. The Society is hoping to open a similar area within its own site in the near future. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to readers by our incorrect announcement.




We analyzed the demography and breeding history of captive greater one-horned, or Indian, rhinoceroses (Rhinoceros unicornis), and evaluated its genetic consequence on the zoo population, using the studbook data up to 31 December 1996. R. unicornis – one of the most endangered large mammals – is kept in captivity in zoological gardens and animal parks worldwide. Nowadays, 85 of the 129 captive individuals are zoo-born. Until recently, however, little attention was paid to the genetic health of the zoo population.

In captivity, males and females have reached a maximum age of 42 years, but only males have reproduced beyond the age of 32 years. We found high juvenile mortality in both sexes (23% for males and 30% for females). Offspring of primiparous dams suffered higher juvenile mortality (40%) than those of multiparous dams (17%). In the data available, we could not find any inbreeding effects. The sex ratio of zoo-born R. unicornis was male-biased (60% males v 40% females). Despite the male-biased sex ratio, more females than males reproduced in captivity.

At present, 48.4% of the genes of all zoo-born R. unicornis stem from three founder individuals, whereas another 30 founders contributed to the remaining 51.6% of the genes. This unequal distribution leads to a low founder equivalent of 10.52. For a viable zoo population, a founder equivalent of at least 20 is considered to be necessary. Furthermore, 97% of all genes stem from founder individuals from a single, possibly highly inbred population in Assam, India.

We evaluated future breedings and show that as few as two offspring in a single zoo can influence the genetic health of the worldwide captive population. The difference in founder equivalents between the two hypothetical worst-case breedings and the two best-case breedings amounts to almost 10%.


The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has recognized the potential contribution by zoos and other institutions keeping endangered animals in captivity, and recommends that vertebrate taxa numbering fewer than 1,000 individuals in the wild should be considered for captive breeding (IUCN, 1987). Today, the Indian rhinoceros is one of the most endangered large mammals, with about 2,000 individuals in the wild (Martin and Vigne, 1996).

At present, 129 Indian rhinoceroses are kept in captivity and are distributed in 51 zoological gardens and animal parks in Asia, America and Europe (Wirz-Hlavacek et al., 1997). With regard to the entire zoo population recorded in the studbook, 96 rhinos have been imported from the wild, and some 143 have been born in captivity since 1956, when the first rhino was born and brought up in Basel Zoo. In recognition of the species' precarious conservation status, cooperative breeding programmes have been set up in North America and Europe to provide a sound basis for long-term captive breeding (Khan, 1989; de Boer, 1991; Dee et al., 1994).

The aims of the present study were (1) to present the history of the captive Indian rhinoceros population, (2) to evaluate life-history data, (3) to examine the demographic and genetic structure of the living zoo population, (4) to analyze the historical development of the genetic status of the zoo population, and (5) to evaluate the effects of five hypothetical breeding programmes of a single zoo onto the genetic health of the whole captive population.


Data were taken from the latest (31 December 1996) edition of the international studbook (Wirz-Hlavacek et al., 1997). For the compilation of the population history, additional data were taken from Reynolds (1961) and Rookmaaker and Reynolds (1985). Data were analyzed by means of a studbook analysis program written by S. Zschokke (unpublished). Demographic and genetic models are based on Krebs (1978), Ballou (1983), Crow (1986), Lacy (1989), Stearns (1992) and Ballou and Lacy (1995).

Inbreeding coefficients and mean kinship coefficients based on pedigrees were calculated using the additive relationship method (Ballou 1983). The mean kinship coefficient method allows to identify potential breeders that would maximize gene diversity in a given population. The kinship coefficient is defined as the probability that alleles drawn randomly from each of two individuals are identical by descent (Falconer, 1989). The mean kinship of an individual is then defined as the average of the kinship coefficients between that individual and all living individuals, including itself (Ballou and Lacy, 1995). Individuals with few living relatives probably carry alleles that are less common. Hence, a low mean kinship coefficient may indicate an important individual.

All founders were assumed to be unrelated, as were individuals introduced to captive herds at a later date. This may well not have been justified in all cases, and therefore the inbreeding coefficients represent minimum estimates. Founder equivalents were calculated following Lacy (1989).

The data on the origin of the founders were compiled from Reynolds (1961), Buechner et al. (1975), Tobler (1993), Wirz-Hlavacek et al. (1997), and from personal communications with the mammal curators of Dierenpark Planckendael and Antwerp Zoo.

Statistical analyses were performed with the StatView v4.51 program package.


History of the zoo population

Indian rhinoceroses were taken into captivity for the first time in the first century B.C. by the Romans (Reynolds, 1961). Several specimens were brought to Europe from the 16th century onwards. In the 19th century, single individuals of R. unicornis attracted numerous visitors to early zoos, travelling circuses and menageries in Europe and the United States (Reynolds, 1967). The first birth in captivity occurred in a menagerie in Kathmandu in 1824 (Rookmaaker, 1979). The modern breeding tradition was started at Basel Zoo in 1956 (Lang, 1961).

The size of the captive population increased steadily between 1950 and 1991, but has remained fairly stable in the nineties (Figure 1). The increase in population size was due partly to the continued introduction of wild-caught animals and partly to successful breeding in many zoos around the world. Of the 129 R. unicornis currently living in captivity, 85 (66%) were born in a zoo or animal park. However, 18 wild-caught animals were introduced into zoo populations over the last ten years, indicating that captures from the wild are still of importance. The last introduction of a wild-caught R. unicornis into a zoo population occurred in 1993 at Stuttgart Zoo.

Figure 1. Increase of the captive population of the Indian rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis. Note the large proportion of wild-born individuals without reproduction. Age at sexual maturity was defined as 4y 4m in females and 7y 9m in males.

Sex ratio and demographic structure of the living zoo population

In zoo-born R. unicornis, the sex ratio is male-biased from birth to the age of five years (Table 1). At sexual maturity (which occurs at different ages in the two sexes, see below), there is still a tendency towards a male-biased sex ratio, whereas in 20-year-old individuals, males and females occur in more similar proportions. In contrast, a female-biased sex ratio was found in the wild population of Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal (Table 1; Laurie, 1982; Dinerstein and Price, 1991). A slight (but non-significant) tendency towards a female-biased sex ratio can also be observed in wild-born animals currently alive in zoos (Table 1). This partly counterbalances the male-biased sex ratio observed in zoo-born animals.

Table 1. Sex ratios in the captive population of R. unicornis. The sex ratios given for the Kaziranga populations are not very reliable because a large proportion (53% and 23% respectively) of the individuals could not be sexed in these censuses.

Data for the wild populations were taken from Laurie (1982), Dinerstein and Price (1991), Spillett (1967) and Lahan and Snowal (1973).

Male Female n pa


live births 59.5 % 40.5 % 126 0.040

6 months 60.4 % 39.6 % 106 0.030

5 years 63.2 % 36.8 % 87 0.018

maturityb 58.2 % 41.8 % 79 0.177

20 years 54.5 % 45.5 % 22 0.832

currently alive in zoos

wild-born 47.7 % 52.3 % 44 0.880

zoo-born 57.6 % 42.4 % 85 0.193

overall 54.3 % 45.7 % 129 0.379

mature 51.0 % 49.0 % 98 0.920

wild populations (adult animals)

Chitwan (1975) 38.1 % 61.9 % 118 0.013

Chitwan (1988) 43.4 % 56.6 % 205 0.069

Kaziranga (1966) 44.7 % 55.3 % 150 0.221

Kaziranga (1972) 51.9 % 48.1 % 391 0.479

a binomial test

b age at sexual maturity was defined as 4y 4m in females and 7y 9m in males

Figure 2. Age distribution of male and female R. unicornis kept in captivity on 31 December 1996. = wild-born individuals, = zoo-born individuals. Arrows indicate sex-specific age at sexual maturity.

Figure 2 shows the age distribution of male and female R. unicornis kept in captivity. Of the 70 males, 50 (71%) have attained sexual maturity. However, only 15 (30%) of these mature males have successfully reproduced. In contrast, 48 (81%) of the 59 females have reached sexual maturity, and 25 (52%) of them have given birth to at least one offspring. This indicates a significant (c2 = 4.94, df = 1, p = 0.026) difference between males and females in the proportion of mature individuals that have reproduced.

Life history of Rhinoceros unicornis in captivity

The survivorship of live-born R. unicornis in captivity is shown in Figure 3. Infant survivorship (live-birth to six months) was 87.7% for males and 85.7% for females. If stillbirths are included, infant survivorship (birth to six months) was 66.9% for males and 70.4% for females. Seventy-five per cent of all juvenile deaths (n = 16, excluding stillbirths) occurred on the day of birth or on the following day. Juvenile and young adult survivorship (age 6 months to 12 years) was high (on average > 99% p.a.). Males and females did not differ in survivorship (Mantel-Cox, c2 = 0.465, p = 0.495). According to the studbook, the maximum age that animals reached in captivity was approximately 42 years for both sexes. However, according to Reynolds (1961), a female lived for 47 years, first in a private menagerie and then in a zoo, in India in the 19th century.

Figure 3. Survivorship of live-born R. unicornis kept in captivity. Stillborn individuals have been omitted from this graphic. If they were included, the mortality of age class 0 (0-to-2 years od) would be 23.1% in males and 29.6% in females.

Figure 4. Age-specific fertility. Fertility was defined as the number of offspring per female or male per year. Data for ages > 30 are very unreliable due to small sample sizes. * This data point (0.76) results from the low sample size.

We found no correlation between juvenile mortality (including stillbirths) and the inbreeding coefficient of the offspring or that of either of its parents. Furthermore, there was no association between juvenile mortality and the season of birth. However, we found a difference in juvenile mortality between the offspring of primiparous (juvenile mortality = 40%, n = 43) and multiparous (juvenile mortality = 17%, n = 96) mothers (c2 = 8.578, df = 1, p = 0.034).

The age-specific fertility of captive R. unicornis females showed a concave shape (Figure 4). In contrast, no age-specific decline in male fertility could be detected in the data so far available.

Figure 5. Distribution of founder contributions to the living zoo-born population. The three best represented founders (Stud ## 5, 7 and 18) contributed almost half (48.4%) of all the genes found in the living zoo-born population. The other 30 founders contributed the other half of the genes. = captured in Assam, = probably captured in Assam, = captured in eastern India (Bihar State), = captured in Nepal. * indicates females.

First reproduction occurred earlier in females (median: 9y 2m, n = 39) than in males (median: 10y 5m, n = 31; U = 378.0, p = 0.007). The youngest dam giving birth was Studbook #99 at an age of 4y 4m. Studbook #86 was the youngest sire of exactly known age (8y 4m) whose offspring was live-born (#152 was 7y 7m old when his offspring was stillborn two months prematurely). The oldest dam to give birth was #29 at the age of 31y 5m. The oldest sire to become a father was the approximately 42-year-old #10 (Wirz-Hlavacek et al., 1997).

Current genetic structure

One way of looking at the genetic health of a population is to analyze the distribution of origins of all genes (derived from founder animals) present in zoo-born living animals. In an ideal situation, there would be many founders who had made equal contributions to this gene pool. In the case of R. unicornis kept in captivity, there are 33 founders and the distribution of founder contributions is highly skewed (Figure 5). The three best represented founders account for almost half (48.4%) of the genes and the other 30 founders account for the other half. Considering the distribution of founder genes among the living animals, we found that 25 (29.4%) of the 85 zoo-born living individuals carry exclusively genes from the three best represented founders, and another 35 individuals (41.2%) carry some genes from these founders. In contrast, only 25 individuals (29.4%) are not related to the three best represented founders.

Origin of founders

In the wild, there are two major populations of R. unicornis (Laurie, 1978). One population lives in Assam (north-east India), in and around the Kaziranga National Park, and the other lives in the Royal Chitwan National Park in Nepal. Of the 33 founders of the current captive population, 24 (including the three best represented ones) were caught in Assam. All in all they have contributed 84.7% of the genes in the captive population (Figure 5). The origin of another five founders (with a combined founder contribution of 13.9%) is uncertain, but probably also in Assam (following capture, four of the five were held at Assam State Zoo, Guwahati, and one was given to Antwerp Zoo as a present from the Assam government). One founder (#157, with a founder contribution of 1.2%) was caught in eastern India (Bihar State, just south of Nepal), and three founders (who have contributed 1.8% of the genes) were caught in Nepal.

Development of the geneic status of the captive population

Lacy (1989) defined the founder equivalent as a concept to quantify the genetic status of a population. The founder equivalent (FE) of a population is the number of equally contributing founders that would be needed to produce the observed genetic diversity. The founder equivalent is usually lower than the actual number of founders, because unequal genetic contributions of founders lower the genetic diversity.

The founder equivalent is mainly influenced by the actual number of founders and the evenness of their contribution to the living offspring. In the case of the captive R. unicornis population, the founder equivalent is negatively correlated with the sum of the founder representations of the three best represented founders (z = –2.91, n = 37, p = 0.0036; cf. Figure 6).

In the captive R. unicornis population, the founder equivalent rose in parallel with the breeding success of additional wild-born animals (Figure 6). After 1974, the founder equivalent dropped because of the death of the only two descendants of the founders #8 and #13, and an increasing over-representation of the three best represented founders (## 5, 7 and 18). After 1980, the founder equivalent slowly recovered, but did not attain its former level until 1995. At present, the founder equivalent (FE = 10.52) is probably still too small to maintain a viable captive population over a longer period. Specialists agree that the genetic contribution of at least 20 individuals is required to maintain a viable population (Foose et al., 1986; Soulé et al., 1986).

Effects of future breeding

To assess the impact of the breeding management of a single zoo on the genetic status of the entire captive population, we evaluated, as a case study, hypothetical births of two additional offspring with different parentages at Basel Zoo. Basel Zoo currently (31 December 1996) houses one adult female (Ellora, #110), one adolescent female (Quetta, #210), one adolescent male (Jaffna, #220) and one juvenile male (Tarrh, #240). The former male (Chitawan, #100), who was closely related to both females and to Tarrh, had to be euthanased because of foot problems in autumn 1995. The adolescent male Jaffna was purchased in spring 1996 from San Diego Wild Animal Park.

We analyzed the effects of five possible breeding programmes on the inbreeding coefficients and the mean kinship of the resulting offspring (Table 2). In the first breeding programme (programme A), the two females currently housed at Basel Zoo were `mated' with the recently-born Tarrh (#240). This kind of breeding with close relatives would be a continuation of the former breeding system, using animals that are easily available, i.e. animals that were born in Basel Zoo. The resulting offspring would have high inbreeding coefficients and high mean kinships (Table 2).

Programme B, the currently planned breeding programme, tests the outcome of matings between Jaffna and the two females. One of the reasons for purchasing Jaffna was to decrease the inbreeding coefficient in future offspring (cf. Baur and Studer, 1995). In fact, the offspring of the planned matings will have relatively low inbreeding coefficients, which means that they have good chances of being genetically healthy. However, these offspring will still have a high proportion (62.5%) of their genes deriving from the three best represented founders (see above). Therefore, they will have a relatively high mean kinship (between 0.090 and 0.091). As a consequence, it will be hard to find suitable mating partners for the offspring from a genetic point of view. At the same time, the genetic health (measured in terms of founder equivalents) of the entire captive population will deteriorate if Jaffna reproduces successfully with Ellora and Quetta, because the overall share of the three best represented founders will further increase (Figure 6).

From a genetic point of view, a better solution for Basel Zoo would be to introduce a wild-born female into the Basel group. In programme C, Jaffnais mated with Ellora (#110) and with a wild-born female. In programme D, he is mated twice with the same wild-born female. The offspring of matings between Jaffna and a wild-born female would have an inbreeding coefficient of 0 and a relatively low mean kinship (Table 2). The programmes C and D would – in contrast to the programmes A and B – increase the founder equivalent of the entire zoo population (Table 2, Figure 6).

Table 2. List of analyzed (hypothetical) breeding programmes A–E for Basel Zoo with the inbreeding coefficient (F) and mean kinship coefficient (MK) of the resulting offspring and the founder equivalent (FE) of the worldwide captive population when these two offspring are added. The current FE is 10.522. Note that the MK of each individual depends on the whole population. Therefore, the MK of the first offspring of programme B differs slightly from the first offspring of programme C, even though they have the same parents, because the second offspring is different in the two programmes.

Sire(s) Dam(s) MK FE Comment

(Stud#) (Stud#)

240 110 0.500 0.121 continuation of old

A 10.085

240 210 0.500 0.122 breeding system


220 110 0.016 0.090 these matings are

B 10.373

220 210 0.016 0.091 planned


220 110 0.016 0.088 requires introduction

C 10.599

220 new f 0.000 0.036 of a wild-born female


220 new f 0.000 0.036 requires introduction

D 10.831

220 new f 0.000 0.036 of a wild-born female


new m new f 0.000 0.007 requires introduction



new m new f 0.000 0.007 of a wild-born male


& a wild-born female

An even better solution (and more difficult, since wild-born animals are difficult to acquire) would be to breed with a wild-born male and a wild-born female (programme E). This would produce offspring with no inbreeding and very low mean kinships. This solution would also mean a substantial improvement of the genetic health of the population. The resulting founder equivalent (11.00) would be almost 10% higher than the worst case, that is programme A (FE = 10.08), and much better than today's situation (FE = 10.52) or the currently planned programme B (FE = 10.37).

Figure 6. Development of founder equivalents, the founder dominance of the three founders Stud ## 5, 7 and 18 (Sp) and the number of founder animals between 1961 and 1996 (on the left-hand side. On the right-hand side, the influence of the different hypothetical breeding programmes (A–E) at Basel Zoo on the entire captive R. unicornis population is shown.


Sex ratio

The reason for the male-biased sex ratio of zoo-born R. unicornis is not known. It is possible that this ratio is fixed and coupled with a lower survival rate of male offspring in the wild. Alternatively, it could be a functional adaptation to favourable conditions in the zoos. Since male R. unicornis fight for access to females (Ullrich, 1964; Dutta, 1991), females in good condition are expected to produce male offspring, whereas females in worse conditions should produce female offspring (Clutton-Brock and Harvey, 1991).

The female-biased sex ratio observed in the wild population of Nepal is probably the result of intraspecific fights among males or of sex-specific poaching (Lahan and Sonowal, 1973; Laurie, 1982; Dinerstein and Price, 1991).

Life history

All studies carried out in the wild (Lahan and Sonowal, 1973; Laurie, 1982; Dinerstein and Price, 1991) state that the mortality of calves is approximately 10% and that a large proportion of this mortality is caused by tiger predation. In captivity, juvenile mortality is higher, even though there is no tiger predation. We suspect that a proportion of neonatal deaths escaped observation in the wild (Dinerstein and Jnawali, 1993).

In the present paper, we measured the observed fertility, which is based on all animals recorded in the studbook, including those animals that have never been given the chance to reproduce. If all animals had been allowed to reproduce, the measured fertility would probably be higher.

Laurie (1982) reported that in Royal Chitwan National Park the mean age of females at first parturition is about 7.1 years. Thus, on average, females reproduce earlier in the wild than in captivity. In contrast, Dinerstein and Price (1991) reported that `all but one' of the breeding males observed in Chitwan were older than 15 years, which is much older than the captive breeding males.

Genetic variability

The important question about the extent of the natural genetic variability in R. unicornis is so far unanswered. Both major populations in the wild (Nepal and Assam) went through bottlenecks; the population in Assam was reduced to 10–30 individuals before hunting was banned in 1908 (Ryhiner, 1961; Laurie, 1978; Molur et al., 1995). The population in Nepal was reduced to 60–80 individuals in the early 1960s (Dinerstein and McCracken, 1990). So far, only two studies have been undertaken to analyze the genetic diversity of R. unicornis. Merenlender et al. (1989) found no differentiation between three zoo-born individuals (## 85, 111, 116), all of them descended from founders caught in Assam. Dinerstein and McCracken (1990) reported on high levels of genetic variation among individuals sampled in Royal Chitwan National Park.

The severe bottleneck reported in the Assam population could have caused a high degree of homozygosity with the consequent loss of deleterious alleles, similar to that found in the northern elephant seal (Bonnell and Selander, 1974; Hoelzel et al., 1993) and the cheetah (O'Brien et al., 1983; O'Brien et al., 1985). Since almost all zoo-born R. unicornis descend from the Assam population, we could then expect that there are no, or only very few, deleterious alleles left in the captive population. This might explain the absence of observed inbreeding depression within the captive population.

It would be interesting to analyze the genetic variability of the captive R. unicornis population and to compare it with those of wild populations in Kaziranga National Park and Royal Chitwan National Park. The results of such a study would be very important for future captive-breeding strategies.


If we want to secure a viable captive population, future breeding programmes must consider not only the genetic health of individuals (as expressed by their inbreeding coefficient), but also their genetic status within the population (as expressed by their mean kinship) and the genetic status of the entire population (as expressed by founder equivalents).

Ideally, all individuals should reproduce equally. This basic rule was rarely considered in the past. In the future, care must also be taken to reduce the representation of the over-represented founder individuals by reducing reproduction of their offspring.

It is obvious that zoos cannot contribute in isolation from in situ conservation efforts, and that captive breeding is not sufficient in itself to save endangered taxa (Ebenhard, 1995). Captive breeding specialists and field conservationists need to cooperate and complement each other's efforts, with the ultimate goal of creating self-sustaining zoo populations.


We thank Robert C. Lacy for providing us with additional information on the calculation of mean kinship for captive populations. We also thank Gabriele and Kurt Wirz-Hlavacek from Basel Zoo for providing us with the latest studbook data, and Marleen Huyghe from Dierenpark Planckendael and Bruno Van Puijenbroeck from Antwerp Zoo for giving us information on the origin of one rhino. Beatrice Steck and Christina Zschokke-Rohringer commented on the manuscript.


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Samuel Zschokke1, Department of Integrative Biology, Section of Conservation Biology (NLU), University of Basel, St. Johanns-Vorstadt 10, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland (Tel.: +41–61–267–0854; Fax: +41–61–267–0832; E-mail:; Peter Studer, Zoological Gardens Basel, Binningerstrasse 40, P.O. Box 174, CH-4011 Basel, Switzerland; Bruno Baur, Department of Integrative Biology, Section of Conservation Biology (NLU), University of Basel, St. Johanns-Vorstadt 10, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.

1 Corresponding author.



Since 1987, the author has visited, in some cases more than once, all the major public zoological collections in Italy. Observations were made on (1) number of individuals and species of primates exhibited; (2) housing conditions; and (3) husbandry and environmental enrichment techniques used.


Comparison with the last and most complete available census of primates in Italian zoos (Gandini and Rocca, 1988) shows that, at least at the family level, a greater diversity is now (end of 1997) present – seven families as against five, with Lemuridae now well represented and timid attempts now being made in the maintenance of Callitrichidae. At least 16 genera are represented (there were 14 in 1988). Increased diversity has been aided by the final enforcement of CITES regulations, with several specimens belonging to rarer taxa confiscated by the National Forestry Corps (e.g. gorilla, agile gibbon, red howler monkey (Alouatta cf. seniculus), black-eared marmoset (Callithrix penicillata), black lemur (Eulemur macaco), pygmy slow loris etc.). This enforcement has also led to the confiscation of 26 chimpanzees, giving rise to problems in accommodating many of these individuals.


No previous survey of primate accommodation in Italian zoos has been attempted, apart from a brief report on chimpanzees (Waters, 1994). D'Alessandro and Gippoliti (1996) have described and discussed great ape accommodation at Rome Zoo.

A wide variety of primate accommodation is present in Italian zoos. The prevailing type is the traditional bare, concrete `hard' cage, with bars or mesh depending on species size, and emphasis on easy cleaning (see photo, opposite). Space allocated to primates varies from adequate to very tiny; in one case a chimpanzee and an orang-utan are still held in their original circus wagon. Generally, tree logs and ropes are scarce and used in an unimaginative way. A recent evolution of this kind of housing is the glass-fronted cage.

The moated, free-viewing enclosure for primates was first created in Italy, the `Villaggio delle Scimmie' (Monkey Village) in Rome Zoo being completed in 1912, a year before the `Baboon Rock' in Cologne Zoo (Knottnerus-Meyer, 1925; Gippoliti, 1993). However, this type of exhibit is usually more appropriate for semi-terrestrial species, as the provision

A bare concrete cage for chimpanzees in a Italian zoo. (Photo: Spartaco Gippoliti)

of adequate climbing structures is generally dangerous and unfeasible. In some cases, moated enclosures are developed for easy public viewing, but the animals lack privacy, climbing apparatus and shade (a serious problem in the Italian summer). Therefore, to accommodate some of the confiscated chimpanzees, the building of a large, steel cage (on the model of the `gorillariums' at Howletts Wild Animal Park in England), at least six meters high and with natural soil and vegetation, has been proposed. An attempt at a walk-through exhibit (in a zoological park not covered by this survey) has recently failed, possibly because of public feeding and increased threats to visitors by monkeys. There is an encouraging, albeit slow, trend toward more naturalistic `soft' exhibits (natural soil, living vegetation where possible), sometimes coupled with glass-fronting to reduce public disturbance and offer a better view of the exhibit.

At the moment, no attempt to create a naturalistic exhibit and landscape immersion for the public is being undertaken. According to this exhibit philosophy, visitors walk along narrow pathways, immersed in a simulation f the animals' natural habitat, and see them without any visible barriers (Coe, 1996). No nocturnal primate exhibits exist in Italy. To the author's knowledge, primates are not held in any multi-species exhibit with other mammals.

Social environment

Most Italian zoos developed as `stamp collections' – the greater the number of species, the better. No clear policy governed the acquisition of new specimens, and pets were readily accepted. Lacking a tradition of inter-zoo cooperation, it is still easy to find singly-housed individuals or multi-species groups, sometimes with resulting hybrids. Only in the last few years have some zoos built up some breeding groups and sent single individuals belonging to endangered species (e.g. Macaca maura, Cercopithecus diana roloway, Hylobates pileatus) to other collections abroad. Moreover, other problems are now posed by confiscated primates. `Take a female' to make a pair may be not sufficient to convince a confiscated former pet to breed and show species-typical social behaviour, while introduction of juveniles (especially males of species with a polygynous one-male mating system, such as the patas monkey) into existing social groups is not an easy task. In such cases, it is absolutely necessary that a solution should be formulated by experts in the species concerned. In a rare case of collaboration between the Italian CITES authority and European zoo professionals, the Bornean orang-utan Christina was sent to the Zoo Parc de Beauval (France), satisfying both welfare and conservation concerns. Considering the mild Italian climate, exceptionally poor records are registered by confiscated marmosets, possibly due to inadequate diet and housing.

Two male gorillas in a moated enclosure at the Fasano Safari Park. (Photo: Spartaco Gippoliti)

Abnormal and stereotyped behaviours are sometimes undetected by staff. Regurgitation and reingestion has been observed in gorillas previously kept in circuses; however, no particular initiatives seem to have been taken to address this problem, although it is known that the provision of a more fibre-rich diet, browse and bedding with straw and hay is able to reduce this behaviour (Gould and Bres, 1986). Similarly, no research has been undertaken to understand the aetiology of alopecia in a macaque colony, a phenomenon possibly of behavioural origin. In an isolated case, the self-injured tail of a male mangabey (a former pet, probably stressed by the presence of another male in an adjoining cage) was amputated because the wounds were attributed to frostbite!

Husbandry and environmental enrichment

Even when optimal housing is not available, good management techniques and environmental enrichment can reduce stress `by allowing animals greater opportunities to cope with environmental and social stressor' (Carlstead and Shepherdson, 1994). This survey shows that environmental enrichment is presently almost non-existent in Italian zoos. What is worse, husbandry regimes seem rigid and mostly favour staff and public needs. It is not rare for primates to be fed once a day, indoors and in the late afternoon. This precludes visitors observing a prominent primate natural behaviour – feeding – and leaves animals with nothing to do all day. In a severe case of poor husbandry, a female pigtail macaque developed hair-pulling and hair-eating behaviours (cf. Reinhardt et al., 1986) which persisted until her death when transferred to another research facility (Rigamonti, pers. comm.). Provisioning of deep litter (wood-chip, straw and/or hay, wood-wool etc.) as a substrate in a concrete cage has not been observed in any zoo, although straw is offered in one zoo to some monkeys in the winter months. Also browse is precluded in most collections, and nesting material is not generally provided for apes, except to the chimp colony at the Garda Safari Park. Generally, animals are forced to stay in the utdoor cage during the daytime and are shut indoors in the afternoon.

The fundamental question – why primates in zoos ?

It is generally stated that zoos play an important role in educating the public about zoology, in the conservation of endangered species, and as a source of scientific knowledge (e.g. Savage, 1988). Objective assessments of the contribution of Italian zoos within these fields are lacking. However, preliminary data concerning conservation status show that among the IUCN-listed primate species held in Italy, many are abundant in captivity and listed for birth control at the international level (Stevenson et al., 1991). Meanwhile, many major zoos in the world are shifting their focus from ex situ conservation to a more holistic environmental action, including bringing conservation awareness to city dwellers and providing long-term support to in situ conservation (Conway, 1995; Gippoliti, 1994).

The order Primates has great potential to explain the evolutionary process, the interrelationship between environmental variables and social organization, plant-animal interactions, etc. Too often information provided on zoo primates is obvious and scanty, limited to facts such as body measurements, gestation length, distribution etc., while enclosure designs do not provide any useful information on the species' habitat requirements. The few educational programmes existing (e.g. Falchetti and Tranchida, 1997) should try to correlate primate diversity with habitat diversity and emphasize ecosystem conservation as the only way to preserve current biodiversity. Presently, primates in Italian zoos represent valuable but under-utilised teaching opportunities for university students following courses in anthropology, comparative anatomy, psychology, ethology and nature conservation. `Common' primate species, such as rhesus and Japanese macaques – at risk of being discarded because they are of no conservation value – have a long and instructive history of human exploitation and conservation attempts that should be

Part of the chimpanzee group at the Garda Safari Park. (Photo: Spartaco Gippoliti)

public even in the smaller zoos. Some easily-recognizable individual primates could `tell' their own story, using it as a case history through which to draw attention to general conservation issues such as habitat destruction, trade in endangered species, etc. Moreover, the involvement of Italian zoos in in situ conservation should be encouraged. It is necessary that there should be a change of attitude in the way zoos are managed and present themselves if they really want to become considered as serious conservation institutions and act as fund-raising facilities.

Although studies are lacking, empirical evidence suggests that poor housing and husbandry have deleterious effects on the supposed `educational' properties of zoo primates, reinforcing feelings of superiority and unalterable `difference' in the public. This is particularly true in Italy, possibly as the result of hundreds of years of predominantly anthropocentric culture and because of the high incidence of monkey/man interactions which are allowed (and encouraged) by traditional cage conditions and poor husbandry. Public feeding of the animals is still allowed (although formally prohibited) in some collections, with negative consequences on the health of the primates and on the public's perceptions of them (D'Alessandro and Gippoliti, 1996).

The high social needs and intelligence of primates demand caretakers with knowledge and particular sensitivity. These are often unavailable in Italy. Training abroad and more communication (through the establishment of a technical bulletin in Italian) would certainly contribute to increased awareness of the psychophysical needs of our cousins in captivity. But while `pure' research on captive primates seems to be increasing, studies on houing conditions, husbandry and environmental enrichment techniques which might greatly benefit primates are still in their infancy.


Carlstead, K., and Shepherdson, D. (1994): Effects of environmental enrichment on reproduction. Zoo Biology 13: 447–458.

Coe, J.C. (1996) What's the message? Education through exhibit design. In Wild Mammals in Captivity (eds. D. Kleiman, M. Allen, K. Thompson and S. Lumpkin), pp. 167–174. Chicago University Press.

Conway, W. (1995): Wild and zoo animal interactive management and habitat conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation 4: 573–594.

D'Alessandro, A., and Gippoliti, S. (1996): Le scimmie antropomorfe del Giardino Zoologico di Roma: storia e prospettive. Museologia Scientifica 13: 23–37.

Falchetti, E., and Tranchida, F. (1997): I Primati in un percorso didattico sull' evoluzione. Abstract, XII Convegno API, Turin.

Gandini, G., and Rocca, F. (1988): Censimento dei primati nei giardini zoologici italiani: considerazioni sulla gestione demografica e genetica delle popolazioni. Unpublished manuscript, 11 pp.

Gippoliti, S. (1993). Rome Zoo – its history, its decline and some proposals for its future. Int. Zoo News 40 (7): 35–39.

Gippoliti, S. (1994): Giardini Zoologici e Strategia Mondiale per la Conservazione. Museologia Scientifica 10: 301–312.

Gould, E., and Bres, M. (1986): Regurgitation and reingestion in captive gorillas: description and intervention. Zoo Biology 5: 241–250.

Knottnerus-Meyer, T. (1925) Nel Giardino Zoologico. Osservazioni e Studi. Maglione e Strini, Rome.

Reinhardt, V., Reinhardt, A., and Houser, D. (1986): Hair pulling and eating in captive rhesus monkey troops. Folia Primatologica 47: 158–164.

Savage, A. (1988): Collaboration between research institutions and zoos for primate conservation. Int. Zoo Yearbook 27: 140–148.

Stevenson, M., Foose, T., and Baker, A. (1991): Global Captive Action Plan for Primates. (Discussion edition.) IUCN/CBSG.

Waters, S. (1994): The Chimpanzee Situation in Italy. Report to Jane Goodall Institute, 5 pp.


Italian zoos covered in this survey (UIZA = member, Unione Italiana Zoo e Acquari)

Parco Faunistico `La Torbiera', Via Roma 46, 28010 Agrate Conturbia (NO), Piemonte. (UIZA)

Parco Zoo di Sicilia, Superstrada Catania-Paternò, C.P. 77, 95032 Belpasso (CT), Sicilia. (UIZA)

Parco Natura Viva e Safari del Garda, loc. La Figara, 37012 Bussolengo-Pastrengo (VR), Veneto. (UIZA).

Parco Zoo `Paese dei Bimbi', Via Castello di Barcaglione 10, 60015 Falconara Marittima (AN), Marche. (UIZA)

Zoosafari di Fasano, Contrada S. Elia, 72015 Fasano (BR), Puglia.

Parco Zoo `Punta Verde', Via Casabianca, 33054 Lignano Sabbiadoro (UD), Friuli-Venezia Giulia. (UIZA)

Giardino Zoologico di Napoli, Viale Kennedy 70, 80125 Napoli, Campania. (UIZA)

Giardino Zoologico di Oria, Via San Cosimo alla Macchia, 72024 Oria (BR), Puglia.

Spagnolia `Città della Domenica', loc. Montepulito, 06100 Perugia, Umbria. (UIZA).

Giardino Zoologico `Città di Pistoia', Via di Pieve a Celle 160, 51030 Pistoia, Toscana. (UIZA)

Giardino Zoologico di Roma, Viale del Giardino Zoologico 20, 00197 Roma, Lazio. (UIZA)

Parco Faunistico `Le Cornelle', Via Cornelle 16, 24030 Valbrembo (BG), Lombardia.

Spartaco Gippoliti, Viale Liegi 48A I-00198 Roma, Italy.

Table 1. Primate Families by Zoo.

(key: Ag = Agrate Conturbia, Be = Belpasso, Bu = Bussolengo-Pastrengo, Fal = Falconara Marittima, Fas = Fasano, Li = Lignano Sabbiadoro, Na = Napoli, Or = Oria, Pe = Perugia, Pi = Pistoia, Ro = Roma, Va = Valbrembo.)

Loridae – Ro

Lemuridae – Bu, Pi, Ro

Callitrichidae – Bu, Li, Ro

Cebidae – Li, Na, Ro, Va

Cercopithecidae – Be, Bu, Fal, Fas, Li, Na, Or, Pe, Pi, Ro, Va

Gibbons – Ag, Na, Va

Great Apes – Bu, Fa, Na, Or, Pi, Ro

Table 2. Primate taxa held in Italian zoos which are included in the 1996 IUCN Red List. (VU = Vulnerable, EN = Endangered)

Nycticebus pygmaeus VU

Eulemur macaco VU

Lemur catta VU

Varecia variegata variegata EN

Varecia variegata rubra EN

Saguinus oedipus EN

Macaca arctoides VU

Macaca assamensis VU

Macaca fuscata EN

Macaca nemestrina VU

Macaca sylvanus VU

Hylobates gabriellae EN

Hylobates cf. concolor EN

Pongo pygmaeus VU

Pan troglodytes EN

Gorilla gorilla EN




This paper is based upon a study of the scientific and practical effectiveness of olfactory enrichment for captive female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), which took place during the summer of 1996 at three U.K. zoological parks: London Zoo, Cricket St Thomas Wildlife Park and Chester Zoo. The study formed part of a thesis for the Master's degree in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare at the University of Edinburgh in 1996.


Although there have been great advances in the development and implementation of environmental enrichment to address the barren and sterile nature of some captive environments, limitations still remain for many zoo animal species in the variety of enrichment that is available and implemented. For example, enrichment is often criticised as being predominantly food-based, and therefore only targeting a limited number of behavioural patterns. In addition, some enrichment can be considered to be very costly and time-consuming, though this is not necessarily true in every case. A somewhat common and surprising example of the limitations of enrichment is seen in the housing of captive elephants. Despite their capabilities of high intelligence, immense physical strength, balance, dexterity and memory, the enrichment that has been developed and used for elephant enclosures is often limited in its variety.

However, the lack of diverse and novel enrichment is not the only problem that is faced by many zoo species. Often, they are provided with enrichment, but it is not evaluated in terms of either is effectiveness or its practicality. Effectiveness is important, as there is a need to identify the type and level of response (Hare and Worley, 1995), so that only enrichment that is beneficial to the animals is used (Shepherdson, 1989). Practicality is equally important, as in most cases there are limited amounts of money and time available to develop and implement enrichment in a zoo situation. This dichotomy between effectiveness and practicality may have resulted from enrichment being implemented by two different groups. Animal keepers often design enrichment that is very practical and inexpensive, due to the limited resources that are available to implement ideas beyond basic husbandry. However, as a result of these limits, some forms of enrichment may be implemented without being scientifically evaluated (Newberry, 1995). The other group are researchers, who tend to objectively evaluate the effectiveness of the enrichment that they develop. But they are often not constrained by the limits imposed by zoos, so the resulting enrichment can be impractical to implement in a zoo situation, being often too time-consuming and costly to create and maintain (Markowitz, 1982).

With these limits in mind, an investigation was designed and carried out to test the effectiveness and practicality of olfactory enrichment. This form of enrichment was chosen because it seemed to be potentially very effective for elephants, due to their well-developed olfactory abilities (Rasmussen, 1995; Perrin and Rasmussen, 1994; Buss, 1990). Olfactory stimuli are also considered to provide one of the most important sources of environmental information for an elephant, and it has been suggested that depriving an animal of stimuli through which it normally perceives the world may be denying a behavioural or psychological requirement of life (Poole, in press). Olfactory enrichment also remains a relatively novel and unevaluated form of enrichment. There have been few recorded cases of it being used with elephants, although Hare and Gilbert (1994) presented a variety of scents to elephants at San Diego Wild Animal Park (Table 1); they did not quantify whether the scents had any enriching properties. However, olfactory enrichment has been used with varying degrees of success with other species, which have included primates (Forthman, 1994), carnivores (Jones, 1996; Ziegler, 1994) and ungulates (Parker, 1996). In most cases the enrichment has not been objectively evaluated for its effectiveness or practicality.

Table 1. List of scents and their effects on elephants, from the work of Hare and Gilbert (1994).


level High Low to Moderate Ignored

Whole allspice Peppermint extract Dried bay leaves

Cinnamon sticks Liquorice root Perfume

and powder

Ground nutmeg Powdered ginger Light corn oil

Cloves, whole Tamarind fruit Dried oregano

and powdered and powder

Chilli powder Vixen urine Olive oil

Aniseed extract Dried basil Doe urine

Vanilla extract Dried parsley

Ground coriander Dried savory

Garlic powder

Female bear urine


The investigation was carried out on ten female Asian elephants, who ranged in age from 12 to 40 years at the time of study. The study used three different types of scent and two different types of control for comparison (Table 2). The scents were chosen based upon the earlier studies and suggestions, with the artificial scent being suggested to be the least effective, followed by the herbivore scent (Hare and Gilbert, 1994), and the unknown elephant scent being suggested to be the most effective (anonymous, 1996). Debarked logs were chosen as controls as they were the best method of presenting the scents in the enclosures. Therefore the log with no scent controls for the presence of the log in the environment, and the log with water on it controls for the discoloration caused by the scents.

Table 2. Scent sources used in this study, their origins and controls.

Scent/Control Source Origin

Unknown female Elephant urine Anonymous (1996)


Herbivore Anoa urine, giraffe urine Hare and Gilbert (1994)

Artificial Eucalyptus oil, perfume Hare and Gilbert (1994)

Control 1 De-barked log N/A

Control 2 De-barked log + water N/A

A small amount of the chosen scent or water was evenly sprayed onto a log, before placing it into the enclosure in a permanently set area, which was frequently visited by the elephants but did not contain resources such as food, water or play objects, etc. The data was recorded for three days prior to the enrichment being added (Pre-enrichment period), then for the following six days with the scent logs present (Enrichment period), and finally for three days with the enrichment removed again (Post-enrichment period). The following was observed and recorded according to an ethogram; individuals' general behaviour, the specific levels of social interactions and exploratory behaviour, proximity to each other, proximity to the scent, and finally area usage. The data was statistically analysed, using a range of non-parametric tests. In addition to the systematic investigation of the effect of the enrichment on the elephants' behaviour, its practicality was investigated, by considering the availability of scents, ease and time taken in preparation and administration, and the cost of the enrichment.

A full description of materials, methods and analysis used is available on request.


There was a significant increase in the level of olfactory behaviour seen with all three types of scent, suggesting that the animals were at least aware of the scents. This was, however, not accompanied by a significant increase in the overall level of exploratory behaviour, or any significant change in the level of other behaviour patterns, suggesting that the scents seem to have only redirected the elephants' exploration. This corresponded to some degree with the findings of Hare and Gilbert (1994), who found there was only an overall increase in the general exploratory behaviour associated with the scents that were classified as having a high response level, and that the provision of olfactory enrichment had very little effect on other behaviour patterns. Therefore the lack of reaction to the herbivore and artificial scents corresponded with what was expected, as they were categorised as of low to moderate interest and no interest respectively. However, the lack of response produced by the unknown female elephant scent was in contrast to what was expected (anon., 1996), as although the elephant scent had the greatest effect of the three scent types, as it was associated with a higher proximity to the scent and a lower proximity between elepants than the other scents, it still had no significant effect on the elephants' behaviour patterns. The slightly higher reaction to elephant scent is not surprising, as the major component of an elephant's olfactory ability is related to individual recognition (Rasmussen, 1995).

The investigation into the practicality of the scents found that they were freely available, cost very little or nothing and were easy to prepare and to administer. Although the scents used in this study were not very effective, it does highlight the practicality of scents in general, as they effectively fulfil the criteria of practical enrichment. They are readily available or easy to collect, as there are a huge number of commercially available scents from perfumes through hunting lures to food extracts. In addition the urine from other zoo animals can offer a good source of scent, with little health risk. Scents also often require little or no preparation, as many are ready-prepared – e.g. commercial scents, urine and food extracts. They can be very acceptable in terms of cost, as they may be bought cheaply (e.g. food essence) or donated by people (e.g. unwanted perfume), or in the case of animal sources are free. Finally scents are easy to administer, as they can be applied by simply spraying or spreading aromatic substances onto environmental surfaces, for example logs, rocks, browse, walls and toys. This suggests that the appropriate olfactory stimulus could offer a very practical form of enrichment.

The limited effect of the three types used, and others, may have many possible explanations. Firstly, captive elephants are subject to a wide variety of scents on a daily basis, due to the presence of visitors, keepers, veterinarians, and a wide variety of other animals and food objects. Therefore the zoo environment could be acting as a valuable source of olfactory enrichment in itself. Secondly, it was noted that the reaction to the scents depended on the individual, as each elephant responded to them in a different way. This may have been due to individual differences in curiosity and fear of novelty, which in turn are related to personality, husbandry and previous experience. Finally it was observed that those individuals who were predominantly interested in the scents, also tended to monopolise them, restricting access to them by other elephants.


This study has highlighted the need for systematic investigation into the effects of environmental enrichment techniques, such as olfactory enrichment. Although the scents used in this investigation produced an increase in exploration towards the scent, this could be misinterpreted if considered in isolation, as the scents were not associated with an overall change in the level of exploratory or other behaviour patterns: the scent was merely redirecting exploration, rather than stimulating it. Without objective assessment, therefore, enrichment can appear to be effective when it is not, and so be implemented without question. This research also suggests that thought and research must be put into developing olfactory enrichment, due to the possible difficulties in providing novel scents to elephants in captivity. However, were this form of enrichment to be carefully researched, it might offer a potentially very effective form of stimulation, as can be seen with the high-response scents suggested by Hare and Gilbert (1994). Therefore we would encourage the investigation of other scents, particularly those that the animals are less likely to have encountered previously (e.g. allspice, nutmeg, vanilla, etc. – Hare and Gilbert, 1994). Alternatively, scents that are more biologically relevant, for example, urine or temporal gland secretions from a bull elephant in musth. Such an effect could also be recreated using the chemical cyclohexanone, which is an important component of such secretions (Perrin and Rasmussen, 1994). Finally, there are a wide variety of sources of scents available, from animal-based scents (lures, urine), through plant extracts to artificial scents, which makes olfactory enrichment a very practical form of enrichment, in terms of cost, ease and speed of preparation and aministration.


Buss, I.O. (1990): Elephant Life. Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa.

Forthman, D. (1994): Enrichment challenges. The Shape of Enrichment 3 (4): 13.

Hare, V.J., and Worley, K.E. (1995): The shape of enrichment: the first generation. American Zoo and Aquarium Association conference, Seattle, 1995.

Hare, V.J., and Gilbert, J. (1994): Enrichment challenges. The Shape of Enrichment 3 (4): 14.

Jones, L.V. (1996): Micke Grove Zoo's enrichment volunteers. The Shape of Enrichment 5 (1): 5–7.

Markowitz, H. (1982): Behavioural Enrichment in the Zoo. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.

Newberry, R.C. (1995): Environmental enrichment: increasing the biological relevance of captive environments. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 44: 229–243.

Parker, R. (1996): Hogs at play in L.A. The Shape of Enrichment 5 (1): 1–2.

Perrin, T.E., and Rasmussen, L.E.L. (1994): Chemosensory responses of female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to cyclohexanone. Journal of Chemical Ecology 20 (10): 2857–2866.

Poole, T.B. (in press): Meeting a mammal's psychological needs: basic principles.

Rasmussen, L.E.L. (1995): Evidence for long-term chemical memory in elephants. Chemical Senses 20: 244 (abstract).

Shepherdson, D. (1989): Review of environmental enrichment in zoos: 1. Ratel 16 (2): 35–40.

Ziegler, G. (1994): Enrichment challenges. The Shape of Enrichment 3 (4): 14.

Matt Leach1, 4 Finbeck Way, Lower Earley, Reading, Berkshire RG6 4AH, U.K.; Dr Rob Young, School of Agriculture and Horticulture, De Montfort University, Caythorpe Court, Caythorpe, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG32 3EP, U.K.; Dr Natalie Waran, University of Edinburgh, IERM, School of Agriculture, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG, U.K.

1 Contact for correspondence.

Zoo nutrition conference

The First European Zoo Nutrition Conference will be held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, from 8–11 January 1999. It is being organised by Rotterdam Zoo in close cooperation with the EAZA Research Working Group and the Veterinary Faculty of Utrecht University.

The goals of the conference are to establish European objectives for research, to draw attention to the relationship between ecology and nutrition, to emphasise the role of hygiene and to establish guidelines for establishing a nutrition department in a zoo.

During the conference there is scope for presentations on:

the current status of nutrition in Europe (methods, research topics etc.);

European nutrition research targets in the future;

feeding ecology;

specific nutrition research on various species;

various other nutrition topics.

Both spoken and poster presentations will be welcomed. Presentations will be included in the conference proceedings.

For more information please contact:

J. Nijboer, B.Sc., Rotterdam Zoo, Postbus 532, 3000 AM Rotterdam, The Netherlands (Tel.: +31–10–443–1441; Fax: +31–10–443–1414;

E-mail: J.Nijboer& Or refer to the special Internet conference-site:

Those interested in participating are advised to book as soon as possible, as there is only limited space.



Zürich Zoo is to be expanded from 12 to 27 hectares in accordance with the new masterplan 1992–2020. This masterplan (by Walter Vetsch & Partner, landscape architects, Zürich) subdivides the zoo into zoogeographic zones. The animals' environments will approximate their natural ones, but under Swiss conditions. The masterplan focuses on South America, Eurasia and the Himalayan region of South Asia, as well as Madagascar and East Africa. Highlighted will be the Asian elephants, the South American rainforest with an anteater, tapir and capybara colony, the African kopje-rock formation with Cape hunting dogs, and the mountain cloud forest for spectacled bears and coatis. The vegetation-concept plans to use domestic plants that simulate the equivalent exotics. The animals are to be exhibited in environments suited to their biological requirements.

Mountain cloud forest

The new exhibit for spectacled bears, South American coatis and rosy-billed pochards (opened in 1995) is situated within the zoogeographic zone of South America in the masterplan. It is a simulation of the natural habitat, reduced to basic elements. The entire area comprises 2,500 m2, and is divided by moats into three areas of 1,300, 650 and 550 m2. Artificial alpine rock-formations form natural security barriers to contain the exhibit animals. The habitat in which the public is immersed is much like that of the animals that they are viewing. This habitat immersion is most welcome to the visitors. At no point do they view the animals from above; bars are gone and the security moats are not visible to visitors.

The exhibit landscape represents a successful compromise between mountain cloud forest and the reality of the harsh Zürich climate. The exhibit is furnished with natural material, such as rocks, sand, gravel, chipped wood and plenty of live plants and grasses. Huge dead trees, some of them with sleeping platforms six metres above the ground, are frequently used by the bears and coatis. Escape dens for the coatis are scattered around the enclosures. The water in the two large pools (150 and 40 m3) and the connecting waterfall is recycled at 30 l/min. It is filtered with a sand-reed filter, and evaporated water loss is replaced almost entirely by rainfall.

The new waterfowl exhibit at Zürich Zoo. (Photo © Zürich Zoo)

A view of Zürich Zoo's spectacled bear exhibit. (Photo © Zürich Zoo)

Waterfowl exhibit

The new waterfowl exhibit is part of the Eurasia zoogeographic zone. Bioclimatically it is an open marsh and grasslands exhibit. Two relatively large pools, and the inclusion of a visitors' walk-through pathway, are the main attractions of this 3,050 m2 exhibit. The visitors leave the main zoo path and enter the exhibit over a trail covered with chipped wood. Habitat immersion plays an important role here in conveying our special message about this wetland habitat. From a boardwalk they may watch the birds swimming, diving or foraging on large meadows.

The water system of the pools (100 and 300 m3) is closed and filtered by a sand-reed filter. Rainfall replaces lost water. Plants were specially selected to meet aesthetic and biological needs as well as being suited to the Zürich climate. As with the spectacled bers' exhibit, the new waterfowl exhibit represents a simulation of a natural landscape.

The overall costs for the `Cloud Forest' were 5.5 million Swiss francs, and for the waterfowl exhibit 1.8 million Swiss francs. Both exhibits were financed entirely by private donations, some of them for notable amounts, but not least by numerous small gifts.

These state-of-the-art exhibits provide for the physical and psychological requirements of the display animals, while offering a special experience for the zoo's visitors. They set the stage for other masterplan developments. As with the waterfowl and mountain cloud forest displays, we shall continue to strive for equilibrium between animal management and visitor needs.

As the next step, we are at present engaged in realizing the `Himalaya' project. This ambitious project will cover approximately 7,000 m2 and will include large barless enclosures for lesser pandas (approx. 265 m2), snow leopards (approx. 770 m2), Mongolian wolves (approx. 950 m2) and Siberian tigers (approx. 1,350 m2), together with large visitor areas. The terrain will be divided by invisible moats, running water, waterfalls and artificial alpine-rock formations forming natural barriers. As a novelty, the tigers' pool (approx. 80 m3) will offer underwater viewing of the carnivores. The opening of the Himalaya complex is foreseen for early summer 2001.

René E. Honegger, Curator Exotarium, Zoo Zürich, Zürichbergstrasse 221, CH-8044 Zürich, Switzerland.

Forthcoming meetings

The 14th International Zoo Educators' Conference will be held at Taipei Zoo, Taiwan, from 1st to 6th October 1998. For further information, contact: Jessie Chi, Taipei Zoo, No. 30, Sec. 2, Hsin-Kuang Road, Taipei 116, Taiwan, Republic of China (Tel.: 011–886–2–2938–2318; Fax: 011–886–2–2938–2316; E-mail:

The Seventh World Conference on Breeding Endangered Species: `Linking Zoo and Field Research to Advance Conservation' will be held at Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Ohio, U.S.A., from 22nd to 26th May 1999. Contact Grace Rettig, Cincinnati Zoo, 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220, U.S.A. (Fax: 1–513–559–7791).

Birds '99 – International Avicultural Convention will be held at Brisbane Convention Centre, Queensland, Australia, from 18th to 21st June 1999. Contact: Indra Kingston by fax on 61–7–5498–9914.

Following the Birds '99 conference, on 22nd–23rd June, Currumbin Sanctuary will be hosting a workshop on Fig-Parrots with the aim of producing a husbandry manual. A post-conference tour is planned which will be led by noted parrot expert Joe Forshaw. Enquiries should be directed to Liz Romer, Currumbin Sanctuary (Tel.: 61–7–5525–0197; E-mail:

The Fourth World Conference on Environmental Enrichment will be hosted by Edinburgh Zoo, in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, from 29th August to 3rd September 1999. Further details will be published at a later date.

An International Conference on Owl Biology, Ecology and Conservation will be held at Australian National University, Canberra, from 19th to 23rd January 2000, hosted by the Australasian Raptor Association (ARA). Register your interest on the ARA web site ( or by contacting Mark Holdsworth at Flora's Cottage, Fairy Glen Road, Collinsvale, TAS 7012 (Fax: 61–3–6233–3477; E-mail:


Dear Sir,

After reading the interesting article by Ray Cimino in I.Z.N. 45:3, I would like to ask what is so bad about placing surplus stock in private collections? As I recently pointed out in a Guest Editorial (I.Z.N. 45:1, pp. 2–3), in many branches of animal-keeping, private collections have proven to be more successful than zoos. Especially in birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates, private successes outnumber those of public collections. The reason for this is that the private keeper is – in general – a specialist who puts all his efforts into one species or group of species. I know private keepers who annually breed lrge numbers of hummingbirds, chameleons, newts, Lake Victoria cichlids or praying mantises. Only a few public collections can report equal successes. It is also worth mentioning that many world-first breedings are achieved in private collections.

Of course I agree with Mr Cimino that zoos ought to check the suitability of places where they want to deposit their surplus animals; but I would like to suggest that this does not apply only when they send them to dealers or private persons. It would be wise to take similar precautions in zoo-to-zoo transactions. Here I can give an example from my own experience. Some time ago, a Belgian bird park where I worked for two years obtained a group of ten captive-bred ostriches from Emmen Zoo. Emmen did not ask what kind of accommodation was available for these young birds. This was lucky for the bird park, but unlucky for the ostriches, because there wasn't any! They were placed during the winter in a small barn with just two small heating lamps. Within four months eight of the ten birds had died. . .

In my view it should be possible to place surplus animals in both private and public collections, as long as they can prove that they have the accommodation, and the experience, to take care of these animals.

Yours faithfully,

Maarten de Ruiter,

Reigerstraat 25,

4793 HD Fijnaart,

The Netherlands.

Dear Sir,

I was disappointed and somewhat surprised to deduce, from his article in I.Z.N. 45:3, that Ray Cimino – whose views I have always respected – is apparently unsympathetic to serious private animal keepers. `If and when things go wrong. . .', he writes. But why should they, any more than in a public collection? Here, in fact, is a very clear suggestion or implication that private keepers are a priori incompetent/amateurish/inept/inexperienced – which is light years from the facts, as not only are some of the best-kept non-domestic animals in the country in private possession, but some zoological garden directors freely admit that in many spheres – such as breeding reptiles, birds, small rodents and so on – they have had less success than many private owners. Witness – to quote just a single instance out of many – the giant tortoises at Mr Raymond Sawyer's superb place at Cobham, Surrey, which recently successfully bred there, after perversely refusing to do so during their many years at Regent's Park.

I note, too, that the onus would be on the private owner to pay the fee of a veterinary surgeon (query: why are such people always regarded by the majority as such omniscient authorities on animals per se?) who was to ensure that the animals in question were being properly cared for. I'd like to remind Mr Cimino that there'd be a fair chance that this `expert' would be seeing the species concerned for the first time in his life – which would render the situation farcical to say the least. I can just see, say, Dr Martin Bourne of Lancashire – successful breeder of such animals as tapirs and chevrotains – or Mr Chris Marler – who has the country's only gayals and seven of the eight species of pelican on his Buckinghamshire estate – acquiescing in this sort of unwarranted affront!

In any case, I feel it is pertinent to ask `When is a private collection not a private collection?', as offhand I can think of ten very good collections in this country which are currently open to the public, yet are completely under the ownership and control of private individuals. I feel this seldom-produced point is well worth pondering.

I would also like to draw attention to the continuing existence of Père David's deer, which is generally accepted as having been saved from extinction by one man, the 11th Duke of Bedford, who was – horror of horrors – very much a private animal keeper!

Obviously, I am not implying that all private collections are good, any more than all public ones are, and I feel it isn't completely out of place here to reiterate a ruling that, for decades now, I have dreamed of being applied before anyone obtained any non-domestic animal – bullfinch or rockhopper penguin, bank vole or zebra duiker, matamata or pike: they would simply have, without any `looking-up', to write a paper or give a talk about whatever it was (a) as a species and (b) with reference to its requirements in confinement. Otherwise they wouldn't get it. Once, when enlarging on this to a colleague, I added `This would stop the "Oh, aren't they wonderful – I simply must have some – what are they?" nonsense.' To which he replied, `Yes, and wouldn't it limit the future activities of a lot of zoological garden directors?'

Yours faithfully,

Clinton Keeling,

13 Pound Place,

Shalford, Guildford,

Surrey GU4 8HH, U.K.

Dear Sir,

In I.Z.N. 45:3 the somewhat difficult subject of surplus stock from zoos was highlighted, firstly in your Editorial and secondly in an interesting article by Ray Cimino. The whole subject is a very complex one, and it seems that under discussion more questions are raised than are satisfactorily answered. Zoological collections are victims of their own success, and the end result of this continued success is the inevitable problem of surplus animals. The degree to which this arises can obviously be greatly reduced by various control methods being employed by the zoos involved. However, it does appear that as time goes by it becomes harder to control the increasing surplus problem, and/or to find suitable outlets for `unwanted' animals. Any available space in zoos is rapidly taken up, which leads to a search for other options, such as finding recipients elsewhere; and this is where the private collections come into play.

In recent years more and more public zoos have turned to private individuals for cooperation. It is now regarded as common practice, and is much more widespread than one might expect. This brings in the potential for mistakes to occur. Unsuitable private collections do of course exist, but it is not always easy to tell the good from the bad, as by their very nature private keepers are often quite secretive about their collections. So on some occasions mistakes are made.

As Ray Cimino mentions in his article, the programme The Big Story tried to investigate this situation. I saw the programme, and thought there was something unfair in the way that a bogus company was set up purporting to buy or trade in surplus animals. They approached several federation collections to purchase stock. Many did not respond, but a few did, and those that did obviously knew nothing of the set-up. The point of this exercise was to highlight the way in which surplus stock from zoos can fall into the wrong hands. Certainly zoos should make every effort to check out fully the people involved in such transactions, and in the case of private collections perhaps visit to be sure of the standards of husbandry before passing animals on. However, this procedure has its limits, and it can be very difficult to do it thoroughly on every occasion. So many movements of animals take place that it would be extremely hard to monitor every transaction that occurs. It has been suggested that the Zoo Federation are in some way slack in this area, and criticism has been made of Federation collections, but in fairness the Federation cannot be held responsible for any mistakes made. They do have a list of guidelines on the disposal of surplus animals, which member collections are expected to adhere to; but though irresponsible disposal could probably be greatly reduced, it is not realistic to hope it can be completely eradicated. The only real answer is better control of reproduction at source – at present, over-reproduction goes on unchecked in some places, and until this is controlled not much will change.

As both a professional zoo keeper and a private animal keeper, I must also object to Mr Cimino's suggestion that private collections should not be dealt with by public zoos because they are all either unsuitable or untrustworthy. It is completely wrong to condemn all private collections just because of the ctions of a small number of unscrupulous owners. I know of several superb private collections in this country which are well able to provide surplus animals with excellent homes – better, in some cases, than can be found in many zoos. The zoo community needs to find a way of cooperating with such collections, for without their help it would have a far greater problem with surplus stock than it does already. Interestingly, in the last seven years or so this country has seen the rapid development of some private collections into what they term `sanctuaries'. This has been a direct result of the growing number of surplus animals in circulation. One such collection I know of actively advertises the fact that it takes on any surplus zoo animals! It is unfair to criticise these places when the problem they are coping with is not of their own making. They have a role to perform and cater for a desperate need; but they are providing only a short-term answer to a long-term problem.

Yours faithfully,

Paul. M. Irven,

3 Hurst Common Cottages,

Thompsons Lane,

Colden Common, Winchester,

Hampshire SO21 1JH, U.K.

[Ray Cimino replies that nowhere in his article did he imply, as Paul Irven claims, that all private collections are `either unsuitable or untrustworthy'. He does, however, believe that some form of control is required over private keepers – a point on which Clinton Keeling ends up by agreeing with him. – Ed.]


WILDLIFE OF THE TIBETAN STEPPE by George B. Schaller. University of Chicago Press, 1998. ix + 374 pp., illus., hardback. ISBN 0–226–73652–0. £43.95 or $55.00.

It is nearly 35 years since I first heard the name of George Schaller. At that time he was becoming well-known as the first zoologist to conduct a long-term field study of gorillas – indeed, the present worldwide fame of the mountain gorilla stems directly from Schaller's observations in 1959–1960, and the books he subsequently wrote about them. It would have been easy for him to settle down to being a lifelong gorilla specialist, but he is temperamentally opposed to such type-casting. `I must admit,' he once wrote, `that my enthusiasm for a study wanes once basic insights have been gained. My mind becomes directed toward new and to me more urgent goals.' So he turned to other species and other habitats, in India, South America, East Africa, China and Central Asia. Since 1984 his main area of interest has been that described in the present book.

The region known as the Tibetan Steppe or Plateau covers a vast area, extending well beyond the borders of the Tibet Autonomous Region into neighbouring parts of Xinjiang, Mongolia and western China. But Schaller's studies have centred on the Chang Tang reserve in the north of Tibet proper. Established in 1993 (partly as a result of the research project conducted by Schaller and his Chinese and Tibetan colleagues), this reserve covers an area of more than 330,000 km2, making it almost as large as Germany – indeed, it is the second largest nature reserve in the world, after the Greenland National Park.

Though by no means as inhospitable as the Greenland ice-cap, the Chang Tang has always been something of a terra incognita as far as Westerners are concerned. Partly, of course, this has been for political reasons – neither the Tibetans nor the Chinese communists have customarily welcomed strangers. But nature has done its bit too. The area is mostly higher than 4,600 metres above sea level, with lowrainfall and a mean annual temperature somewhat below freezing. Most of it is grassland, grading into desert in places; surface water tends to be salty. Yet astonishingly the Chang Tang has some claim to be considered `the Serengeti of Central Asia', for it is home to an impressive variety of large ungulates – Tibetan antelope, argali, blue sheep, Tibetan gazelle, wild yak and kiang – as well as four large carnivores, brown bear, wolf, snow leopard and lynx.

After introductory chapters on the project and the area, the bulk of Wildlife of the Tibetan Steppe consists of studies of the separate species – a chapter on each of the ungulates (including wild Bactrian camel and white-lipped deer, found in the wider region though not in the Chang Tang), and one on the carnivores. Three further chapters consider the feeding ecology and phylogeny of the ungulates, and a final chapter brings man into the picture with a discussion of how far the needs of the local nomads – relative newcomers to the area – and their livestock can be met without too much damage to conservation priorities.

Of the species accounts, the longest is of the Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsoni). Schaller prefers to refer to it by its local name, chiru, since morphological and molecular comparisons (summarised in the book) suggest that, despite looking like an antelope, it is actually a somewhat aberrant member of the Caprinae. (The saiga, with which the chiru has traditionally been linked, seems in fact to be closely related to the gazelles.) Earlier travellers, such as Sven Hedin in the 1890s and 1900s, saw single herds of these animals numbering tens of thousands. Reliable counts are made difficult by the species' habits – most chiru migrate seasonally, but different subpopulations, and the males and females within each, have different migratory patterns. Schaller estimates, however, that the total population for the entire plateau is probably fewer than 75,000. The chief current threat to the species is hunting for their wool, known as shahtoosh, one of the finest animal fibres known. Although the species is theoretically protected and international trade prohibited, tens of thousands have been killed in the 1980s and 1990s, largely to supply a luxury Western market – with public misinformation about its origins to disguise it as an `ecologically correct' product.

Schaller decisively refutes the views of those people who regard taxonomy as a subject of purely academic interest. The taxonomy of the chiru, mentioned above, is directly relevant to its conservation. It turns out to be genetically – and morphologically and behaviourally – `so distinctive that its loss would be far greater than that of a species with a number of close and similar relatives.' The general point is one that conservationists have yet to face up to. In the future hard choices may have to be made, and in terms of their biodiversity value some animals are definitely `more equal than others'. Taxonomic questions come up again in the case of the argali (Ovis ammon); here, correct identification of subspecies is an essential prerequisite of effective conservation. `If the taxonomy is at fault, much money and effort may be expended on saving a trivial variety at the expense of a highly distinctive organism.' (On the available evidence, incidentally, Schaller decides that only one subspecies, O. a. hodgsoni, occurs on the Tibetan Plateau.)

Of the other ungulates discussed in the book, three – the bharal or blue sheep, the Tibetan gazelle and the white-lipped, or Thorold's, deer – are still relatively numerous. The other three, which also happen to be the largest and most spectacular, are rare and threatened. Wild yaks, superbly adapted to their harsh environment, once roamed the Chang Tang in vast herds: hunting in this century has caused a decline so rapid that Schaller compares it with that of the bison in the 19th century American West. Today the reserve may hold 8,000 at most, and this is more than half the total number of surviving wild yaks.

Wild Bactrian camels, on the other hand, have been rare for centuries. Westernrs who have seen them, such as Przewalski in the 1870s, have often suspected that they were not wild but feral. It is now agreed, however, that genuinely wild ones do survive. There are today three discrete populations – two very small and probably non-viable groups in Xinjiang, and a larger one in Mongolia's Great Gobi National Park, whose estimated number has been revised upwards as a result of a recent survey (see I.Z.N. 44:7, pp. 422–423). Even in the Gobi, however, the camel population is not currently at replacement level, mainly due to high calf mortality, the reasons for which are not entirely clear. Schaller suggests that this is one species that badly needs a well-managed captive-breeding programme – a description which does not so far apply to the limited efforts in Mongolia itself.

The kiang or Tibetan wild ass is currently under less threat than any other wild ass species – indeed, its numbers are actually increasing in some areas. Nevertheless, it has declined in some parts of its range, and is now rare in southern Tibet. Schaller regards it as a full species; he estimates that there are from 22,000 to 28,000 in the Chang Tang, which may be around one-third of the total population.

Of the large carnivores, wolves are still widespread on the Plateau, despite human persecution. (In the Chang Tang they are the only species without legal protection.) Brown bears are rare on the steppes, persisting mainly in the surrounding mountains. Snow leopards are notoriously difficult to observe in the wild, but Schaller and his team made some attempt to estimate their distribution. The very scattered population in western China (including Tibet) may number 2,000+, with another 1,000 in Mongolia, 1,000–2,000 in the former U.S.S.R. (mostly in Kyrgystan), and 500 in India, as well as a few in other countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal.

As always, George Schaller is an impassioned advocate of the need to conserve his area of study. In this case, for most of us, he is breaking new ground – certainly I had never before appreciated the biological wealth of this little-known area. He emphasises its uniqueness by comparing it with Pleistocene Alaska. `The Chang Tang offers a last opportunity to study a high, cold steppe with its fauna still intact.' This inspiring book should help to ensure that that opportunity is not lost.

Nicholas Gould

PARROTS: A GUIDE TO THE PARROTS OF THE WORLD by Tony Juniper and Mike Parr. Pica Press, Sussex, 1998. 584 pp., 88 colour plates, hardback. ISBN 1–873403–40–2. £35.00.

As a fattish book devoted exclusively to the Psittaciformes, the work under review will inevitably be compared with Joseph Forshaw's Parrots of the World, first published in 1973 and now in its third (1989) edition. Parrots: a Guide to the Parrots of the World is unlikely to challenge that book's long-held position as the parrot enthusiast's `bible'; but it is an extremely attractive and valuable work in its own right, and its price should put it within reach of many parrot-lovers for whom the purchase of Forshaw's book – currently costing £90 – remains an impossible dream.

The authors' primary intention in producing this book was to provide a detailed guide to parrot identification. When the idea first came to them, Tony Juniper and Mike Parr were working for ICBP (now BirdLife International), and they saw that a comprehensive, reliable aid to identification could make a real contribution to parrot conservation, both for field workers and for those combating illicit trade.

Good colour illustrations are the core of any bird identification guide. Parrots: a Guide to the Parrots of the World has 88 plates, containing more than 1,000 colour illustrations. The authors claim that this is `the most comprehensive set of images of parrots compiled in one volume.' No doubt they are right: in any case, the only possible rivals – Forshaw and Vol. 4 of the Handbook of the Birds of the World – have rather different objectives, besies being inconveniently large for use by a busy customs officer or a field biologist in the tropics. The number of illustrations means that subspecies, immature birds and gender-related differences can all be given fairly full treatment. The main illustrations on each plate are all drawn to the same scale, and a caption page opposite includes a drawing of a budgerigar, also to scale. This simple idea is very useful for giving the reader at a glance a rough idea of the birds' actual size – I had never realised, for example, just how small the pygmy parrots are, until I saw them here dwarfed by a budgerigar!

Each of the 352 species is given a number to simplify cross-reference from the plates to the main text. Here a detailed account is given of each species, covering alternative names, identification, voice, distribution and status, ecology, description, sex and age differences, measurements, geographical variation, notes on taxonomy where this is the subject of debate, and references to the literature. The distribution notes are supplemented by admirably large and clear maps.

In a work of reference, topicality is inevitably a dwindling asset. Nevertheless, I was impressed that a book published in February 1998 should contain a reference to the kakapo's 1997 breeding season. Yes, I know that the southern hemisphere's breeding season is six months earlier than ours, but even so. . . (For the record, the 1997 season, with four chicks, was the best since 1981.)

On the question of captive breeding and its place in parrot conservation, the authors are not over-enthusiastic. The recovery programme for the kakapo, extinct in its natural range but surviving – just – under human supervision in semi-wild conditions, is singled out for their approval, along with those for the Puerto Rican amazon and the echo parakeet. The crucial factor in all three is that captive breeding `has been carried out under careful control in the range state of the species in question, undertaken as part of a wider recovery programme that includes the management of wild birds.' Few readers are likely to dispute that this is the ideal way of doing things; but in a crisis, less than ideal measures are better than nothing, and the status of the parrots, with about 90 species currently listed as Vulnerable, Endangered or Critical, certainly seems to constitute a crisis.

But this discussion takes us away from the main purpose of the book. As an identification handbook and work of reference, Parrots: a Guide to the Parrots of the World deserves to be widely welcomed. For clarity and ease of use it stands comparison with any bird guide I know. Ever since I started to edit I.Z.N., hardly a week has gone by when I have not at some point felt the need of a handy, yet comprehensive, reference source on parrots. After nine years, I finally have one!

Nicholas Gould

Information wanted

In this private facility I have a very large three-and-a-half-year-old female Bennett's wallaby. She gave birth to one joey on 20 November 1997, but on 10 April 1998 it was discovered that she had two joeys in her pouch that appeared to be about 6–8 weeks apart in age. This enclosure only houses one pair, so the second joey cannot belong to anyone else. I would welcome any feedback on how it may have happened, or any information on multiple births in any macropods. Please contact: Dusty Ann Gualco, The Jumping Pouch, Route 2, Box 84, Tyron, Oklahoma 74875, U.S.A. (Tel./Fax: 918–374–2781).


Assam's field staff struggle to protect rhinos

Assam's protected wildlife areas are suffering from the worst financial cuts for over 20 years. For example, the budget for Kaziranga National Park, home to over 1,200 rhinos, has dropped from $831,000 in 1996/7 to $581,000 in 1997/8. `We are completely dry of funds now – we have no money even to pay salaries,' stated P. Lahan, the man in charge of all wildlife and forest areas in Assam, earlier this year. The state government simply has not got the money. Assam, a poor state anyway, suffers from serious insurgency problems, so its government has to spend a lot of money on the army and police, and this is not reimbursed by the central government in Delhi. According to the experienced and much respected Lahan, `Funding for the wildlife sector is going to get worse; we are living from hand to mouth.' In early 1998, Lahan and others had not had a salary increase for eight years.

The national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, several of which are home to the endangered rhino and tiger, are in need of much maintenance. Each year after the monsoon flooding, damage occurs to roads, bridges and camps, and with very little money to repair them, conditions are becoming desperate. Of the main rhino areas, Kaziranga National Park had to stop the entry of buses, as the bridges were too fragile to carry their weight. Largely as a result of this, the number of visitors to Kaziranga fell from 49,282 in 1994/5 to 15,692 in 1996/7. Orang Wildlife Sanctuary did not re-open after the last monsoon in 1997 as the roads and bridges were too badly damaged. Out of desperation, the field staff at Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary have recently built 2.5 km of road themselves, although 30 km are needed for patrolling by vehicle.

The field staff are suffering too. Salaries are sometimes delayed by months. This is a considerable hardship, as forest guards living in the wildlife areas have to buy all their own supplies and those for their families who live elsewhere. Furthermore, when a guard is injured, there is no provision in the budget for his hospital bills. NGOs have improved their morale to some extent by providing many of them with boots, uniforms and some equipment, but more gear is still needed. The guards need more mosquito nets, water filters and other basics. Many of the camps need new roofs, as the rain presently pours in. The welfare of the field staff is vital; these men are the backbone of the Forest Department, and the survival of the rhinos and other wildlife depends on them.

Patrol work has been seriously hampered by the budget cuts. Field staff need more guns and rifles, walkie-talkies, torches, batteries and battery re-chargers. Some camps have none of these items and are virtually defenceless, and thus the staff are also unable to patrol. This is especially so in Orang, where eight camps out of 23 have no arms; as a result, rhino poaching in Orang has increased – rhino numbers have halved to only 50 in the last four years. In some areas, the camps themselves have been washed out and need to be replaced entirely. In Pabitora (which has 76 rhinos) two destroyed camps on the eastern boundary made possible two poaching incidents in 1997.

Many camps are in disrepair, as seen here in Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary, causing the forest guards to become disillusioned. (Photo: Esmond Martin)

It is a miracle that despite these deplorable conditions, most of the field staff remain dedicated. This has been due to the good leadership of several outstanding Range Officers. Consequently, rhino poaching has been generally contained in 1996 and 1997, but for how much longer can this continue with severe financial shortages for rhino protection and the maintenance and development of parks and sanctuaries?

P. Lahan, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Wildlife in Assam, would welcome donations to the Wildlife Areas Development and Welfare Trust in Assam, which was founded in 1996 to preserve wildlife. The Trust's brochure states: `The forest staff is fighting a bare-handed, losing battle with the armed smgglers and poachers, and the enemies of the forests. . . Both the protectors and the protected are heavily suffering as the Department continues to reel under acute financial crisis.' Funds can be sent to the Trust at Rehabari, Guwahati, 781008, Assam, India.

Lucy Vigne and Esmond Martin

Species planning for captive-breeding programmes – the genus Columba

The captive history of the pigeons of the genus Columba is already several thousands of years old, and descendants of the rock dove (C. livia) are now found in many breeds worldwide. Several others of the 51 species have become widespread in aviculture, but most are rarely or even never kept. With the right management techniques, however, they could well be kept and bred, as is proved by the breeding programme for the pink pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri), which is closely related to the Columba species.

By checking the International Zoo Yearbook, many avicultural magazines and related literature, I was able to compile a list of species which are currently kept and bred in captivity (Table 2). From this list, it becomes clear that the species commonly kept in captivity are also common in the wild. Only a few of the Endangered and Vulnerable species (Table 1) are represented in collections. As one of the aims of the modern zoo is to be some kind of Noah's ark, I would recommend every serious zoo or bird park to try to replace the common species with more threatened taxa, and in this way to build up captive populations.

Two species of Columba have already become extinct in historical times – the Bonin wood pigeon (C. versicolor) in 1889 and the Ryukyu wood pigeon (C. jouyi) in 1936. With the help of modern techniques and knowledge, it should not be necessary for even more species to go the same way.

Maarten de Ruiter, Reigerstraat 25, 4793 HD Fijnaart, The Netherlands

Table 1. Near-threatened (NT), Vulnerable (V), Threatened (T) and Endangered (E) species of Columba.

Species Status

Pale-backed Pigeon

(C. eversmanni) V

Somali Pigeon (C. oliviae) V

Dark-tailed Laurel Pigeon

(C. bolli) V

White-tailed Laurel Pigeon

(C. junoniae) V

São Tomé Olive Pigeon

(C. thomensis) V

Comoro Olive Pigeon

(C. pollenii) NT

White-naped Pigeon

(C. albinucha) NT

Nilgiri Wood Pigeon

(C. elphinstonii) NT

Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon

(C. torringtoni) V

Pale-capped Pigeon (C. punicea) V

Silvery Pigeon (C. argentina) V

Andaman Wood Pigeon

(C. palumboides) NT

Japanese Wood Pigeon

(C. janthina) NT

Yellow-legged Pigeon

(C. pallidiceps) (critically) E

Chilean Pigeon (C. araucana) NT

Ring-tailed Pigeon

(C. caribaea) (critically) E

Peruvian Pigeon (C. oenops) V

Plain Pigeon (C. inornata) E

Table 2. Columba species currently bred in captivity. NiD = Not in Danger; other abbreviations as in Table 1.

Rock Pigeon (C. livia) NiD

Hill Pigeon (C. rupestris) NiD

Speckled Pigeon (C. guinea) NiD

Stock Dove (C. oenas) NiD

Common Wood Pigeon

(C. palumbus) NiD

African Olive Pigeon

(C. arquatrix) NiD

Ashy Wood Pigeon

(C. pulchricollis) NiD

Nilgiri Wood Pigeon

(C. elphinstonii) NT

Metallic Pigeon (C. vitiensis) NiD

White-headed Pigeon

(C. leucomela) NiD

White-crowned Pigeon

(C. leucocephala) NiD

Scaly-naped Pigeon

(C. squamosa) NiD

Scaled Pigeon (C. speciosa) NiD

Picazuro Pigeon (C. picazuro) NiD

Bare-eyed Pigeon (C. corensis) NiD

Band-tailed Pigeon (C. fasciata) NiD

Pale-vented Pigeon

(C. cayennensis) NiD

Peruvian Pigeon (C. oenops) V

Plain Pigeon (C. inornata) E*

Plumbeous Pigeon (C. plumbea) NiD

Ruddy Pigeon (C. subvinacea) NiD

African Lemon Dove (C. larvata) NiD

* = breeding programme set up

Sorting out sail-finned lizards

The sail-finned lizards (Hydrosaurus spp.) are distributed through the Philippines, Indonesia and New Guinea. The status of these animals in the wild is confused, as their taxonomy is poorly understood. This also has an impact on captive breeding of these animals in zoos. Owners are not certain of the provenance of their animals and this, combined with inaccurate taxonomy, means that they are often not sure if they are housing members of the same (sub)species together as breeding pairs.

As the various (sub)species of Hydrosaurus are impossible to determine morphologically or through chromosome analysis, other techniques are required to assist in the systematics of the group. Rotterdam Zoo is currently coordinating a project looking at the possibility of using DNA to determine (sub)specific affiliation of individuals. Should this prove possible, a project will be initiated in the Philippines to investigate the taxonomy of the different island forms of sail-finned lizard. It is important to initiate the study in the Philippines, as this is where the most endangered forms are expected to occur. The project may develop into one with high conservation impact in the Philippines, as reports indicate that these reptiles are at high risk there.

Cathy King in Rotterdam Zoo's Conservation Report (April 1998)

The mhorr gazelle in Senegal

Senegal is one of West Africa's more biologically diverse countries, hosting more than 500 vertebrate species. Unfortunately, due to years of drought, habitat loss and poaching, the country's dwindling wildlife populations are under constant threat, and in some cases facing extinction. The giraffe and the korrigum antelope (Damaliscus lunatus korrigum) have disappeared altogether, and if environmental degradation remains unchecked other animals may soon experience a similar fate. Although the future may not look promising, all is not lost. Senegal is still home to several unique species of fauna, including one of the world's rarest gazelle – the mhorr gazelle.

The mhorr gazelle (Gazella dama mhorr) once inhabited the desert from Western Sahara to Sudan, and was commonly found in Morocco, Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. It is the largest of the dama gazelle subspecies, standing three feet (90 cm) or more at shoulder height and weighing up to 150 pounds (70 kg). The lifespan of these gazelles is on average 12–15 years. Both sexes have small (14 inch, 350 mm) ringed, S-shaped horns. The horns of the male are thicker and are used in territorial disputes. The female's horns may be used to defend food resources.

The mhorr is distinguished from other gazelles by its unique two-tone coloration (white and brown). This form of counter-shading, which easily obscures the outline of the animal against the desert's backdrop, often makes it more difficult for predators to detect. Like most gazelles, the mhorr can bounce stiff-legged and land on all four legs at once. This characteristic, known as `pronking', is believed to communicate alam, confuse, intimidate, or give the animals a better look at a predator.

Listed as an endangered species in the IUCN Red List, the mhorr gazelle is thought to be totally extinct in the wild. There have been no sightings since 1972, when a wild herd was captured in Western Sahara. Today, only small numbers of this rare animal can be found in captivity in various zoos and nature reserves throughout the world. Senegal is one of a handful of countries, along with Spain, Germany, Morocco, Tunisia and the United States, that has a reintroduction project specifically for the mhorr. Of the estimated 250 gazelles believed to be in captivity, 25 can be found in Senegal. The majority live in the country's Gueumbeul Reserve and the remainder in the Bandia Nature Reserve.

The Special Fauna Reserve of Gueumbeul, located near the city of Saint-Louis, is a classified forest covering 720 ha. Although the reserve was originally established by the Senegalese government as a site for migrating winter birds, and is designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, it is also an important breeding center for Sahelian mammals, including the mhorr gazelle. The reserve started with seven gazelles donated by King Carlos of Spain in 1984 as a gift to the Republic of Senegal. As their numbers have grown, so has the need to find better accommodation for them. The enclosed pen that they are kept in has become too small. To make more room, three (1.2) gazelles were recently given to the privately-owned Bandia Reserve, south of Dakar.

Opened in 1994, the Bandia is home to many different animal species, including several formerly native to Senegal. Although the reserve was created as a tourist attraction, it is equally important as a site for the breeding and protection of wildlife. In fact, this is one of the few places left in the world where one can see the mhorr browse peacefully on various desert shrubs and acacia trees in an environment that closely resembles its natural habitat.

Mark Schulman

Announcing a major new journal – Animal Conservation

Cambridge University Press is pleased to announce the publication in 1998 of a new journal, to be published for the Zoological Society of London: Animal Conservation – a journal of ecology, evolution and genetics.

The aim of the journal is to provide a forum for rapid and timely publication of novel scientific studies of past, present and future factors influencing the conservation of animal species and their habitats. Our focus is on rigorous studies of an empirical or theoretical nature, relating to species and population biology. A central theme will be to publish important new ideas and findings from evolutionary biology and ecology that contribute towards the scientific basis of conservation biology.

Animal Conservation will be published quarterly in February, May, August and November. Subscriptions for Volume 1 are £78 or $124 for institutions, £39 or $62 for individuals; special arrangements exist for members and fellows of the Z.S.L., and for institutional subscribers to the Journal of Zoology. Prices include delivery by air. Send orders or enquiries to: Journals Marketing Dept., Cambridge University Press, The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 1BR, U.K. (Tel.: +44–1223–325969; Fax: +44–1223–315052), or in the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico to: Cambridge University Press, 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011–4211, U.S.A. (Tel.: 914–937–9600; Fax: 914–937–4712).



Extracts from the English summary of the 1997 Annual Report, Bongo Vol. 28

In the marsupial section there were born and raised 5.2 sugar gliders, 2.0 brush-tailed rat kangaroos, 1.0 agile wallaby, 1.0.1 western euros and 0.1.1 red kangaroos. Also raised were 3 lesser hedgehog tenrecs, 2.10 Egyptian fruit bats and 1.0 Prévost's squirrel. Carnivore births included 1.0 coati, 1.0 Himalayan black bear, 1.0 spectacled bear and 1.1 small spotted genets.

An exciting new addition to our stock were 1.1 Malagasy narrow-striped mongooses (Galidictis decemlineata), a welcome gift from our partner zoo in Antananarivo; this species has never before been on exhibit in our zoo. Other newcomers were 0.1 sand cat, 0.1 jaguarundi and 0.1 Cape hunting dog. As a gift from Bremerhaven Zoo we obtained 0.2 South African fur seals and 0.1 common seal; the latter replaced a female who lived at the zoo for 48 years! From Houston Zoo, Texas, we got as a gift Kiba, a beautiful 11-year-old Asian elephant bull. We are grateful not only for this wonderful gift but also for the hospitality which our staff members experienced when they visited Houston. Kiba is the first elephant in Europe who has been trained by the `protected contact' method.

The following ungulates were raised: 0.1 Grant's zebra, 1.0 Grevy's zebra, 1.2 Przewalski horses, 0.1 black rhino (our 12th), 0.1 Borneo bearded pig, 1.0 babirusa, 6.7 white-lipped peccaries, 0,1 dromedary, 0.1 guanaco, 3 lesser mouse deer, 4.2 Reeves' muntjacs, 0.1 Philippine spotted deer, 0.1 Burmese Eld's deer, 0.1 southern pudu, 0.1 West African sitatunga, 1.0 greater kudu, 1.0 eland, 1.1 roan antelopes, 1.0 gemsbok, 2.1 scimitar-horned oryx, 0.1 addax, 1.3 Defassa waterbuck, 0.3 Kafue red lechwe, 1.1 Persian goitred gazelles, 1.0 dama gazelle and 0.2 springbok. On loan we received 1.1 klipspringers from Frankfurt Zoo, 1.1 Natal duikers from Dresden Zoo, and 3.2 Kirk's dik-diks from Hanover Zoo and Schmiding Bird Park. For the first time we succeeded in raising a Japanese serow; we are pleased that it is a female. Other offspring were 1.1 red forest buffalo, 2.2 Indian gaurs, 2.2 Javan bantengs and 1.0 European bison.

From the primate section we want to mention the following offspring: 2.1 lesser mouse lemurs, 1.0 ring-tailed lemur, 5 white-fronted lemurs, 1.0 slender loris, 0.2 Ceylonese toque macaques, 1.0 entellus langur and 1 silvered leaf monkey. New in our collection are 2.3 red titis and 1.1 black howler monkeys, both species being extremely rare in captivity.

In the bird section we raised 6 red-legged seriemas, 2 Manchurian cranes, 1 crowned crane, 1 Inca tern, 1 king penguin, 4 black-footed penguins, 28 cormorants, 3 boat-billed herons, 2 waldrapp ibises, 2 buff-necked ibises, 4 spoonbills, 1 African spoonbill, 3 magpie geese, 15 red-billed whistling ducks, 14 white-faced whistling ducks, 2 black swans, 6 common shelducks, 9 ruddy shelducks, 2 Orinoco geese, 7 white-winged wood ducks, 9 mergansers, 1 Egyptian vulture, 1 spectacled owl, 1 grey peacock

A pair of Malagasy narrow-striped mongooses, recent arrivals at Berlin Zoo. (Photo: Perschke)

pheasant, 1 crowned pigeon, 1 Illiger's macaw, 6 kookaburras, 2 hoopoes, 1 tree hoopoe, 2 Malabar hornbills, 3 black-winged starlings, 13 Celebes starlings, 8 Philippine starlings, 10 superb starlings and 3 ravens. Major losses caused by foxes were 2 gannets, 10 Chilean and 4 roseate flamingos, and a great number of ducks and geese.

For the aquarium, as it is no longer forbidden to import butterflyfish and angelfish, we obtained a Red Sea butterflyfish, a gold-spangled angelfish, some red-lined butterflyfish, Arabian angelfish and yellow-tailed tang. Three wobbegongs were unexpectedly eaten one night by our black-tipped reef sharks. Welcome additions to the collection were some cowfish (Aracana ornata), a gift from Shima Marineland, and Californian seahorses (Hippocampus ingens), a gift from the Stphen Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. These seahorses from the cold waters of the Californian coast are the largest of all seahorse species.

As in previous years, we were successful in breeding Japanese dogfish, several species of anemone fish, and cardinal fish. For the first time in our aquarium some greater spotted dogfish hatched from eggs which we had received from Aquazoo Düsseldorf. We again had good results in breeding several species of jellyfish. From private aquarists we got some interesting new cichlid species from the East African lakes. We also acquired one African and two South American lungfish. A pleasing event was the reproduction of ocellated freshwater stingrays (Potamotrygon motoro), which are viviparous; the three newborn youngsters had a diameter of 10 cm.

Our enlarged group of rat snakes produced eggs from which seven juveniles hatched. Other snakes bred were six Cuban boas and 13 Paraguay anacondas. Newcomers to our collection are blood pythons, Children's pythons, Argentinian boas and water pythons. From Basel Zoo we got a group of zoo-bred bearded dragons. We raised 44 frilled lizards, and 178 other lizards of various species.

Two major exhibits were opened in 1997. One of them is the Siamese cattle house, successor of a historic building constructed in 1907 and destroyed in World War II. This beautiful new house was designed by two architects from Thailand and has been entirely financed by private donations. The second exhibit is our new house for common and pygmy hippos and wart hogs. It is the largest of its kind in the world, and very attractive because of its underwater viewing facilities. The complicated – and very expensive – filter system works well, so that visitors have a clear view of the hippos when they are in the water. The indoor pools are surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, hiding all technical equipment and giving the impression of looking into a tropical landscape.


Extracts from the English translation of the Annual Report 1997, and from the Conservation Report (April 1998)

Rotterdam Zoo's conservation fund (the `Bernhardine Fund') continued to develop its activities during 1997, supporting conservation projects in Asia, Europe and Africa. The projects we support continue to be linked with activities and events within the zoo, such as new exhibits, notable births, exhibitions etc. This policy means that the number of projects we would like to support increases each year, and consequently that the limited finance available to the Bernhardine Fund has become stretched; so we have decided to take a more active approach to fund-raising within the zoo. For example, a sum of almost Dfl. 10,000 to support an Asian elephant survey and conservation project in Laos was collected through two `elephant evenings'; the enthusiasm of the public surpassed all expectations, and more such evenings will follow in 1998.

Other projects supported included the following: an investigation of the Asian ivory trade; a master plan and keeper training programme to promote captive breeding of red pandas in Indian zoos, together with in situ research into the species in the Darjeeling district in West Bengal; conservation work for cloud rats and Visayan warty pigs in the Philippines, coordinated by William Oliver; financial help for Zoo Outreach Organisation in India; a pileated gibbon rehabilitation and reintroduction project in the Khao Kheow Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand, coordinated by Tim Redford; field research by Marc Damen into the ecology of crowned pigeons in Papua New Guinea; the establishment of an Amur leopard anti-poaching team in the Russian far east, to protect the last viable population of these cats, their prey base and their habitat; a rescue, captive-breeding and reintroduction project in Senegal for the seriously threatened African spurred tortoise (Geochelone sulcata); a conservation initiative for coral in the Caribbean; the European Mink Conservation and Breeding Committee [see further p. 319–320 of thisissue]; a project to investigate and clarify the taxonomy of the sail-finned lizards (Hydrosaurus spp.), as a necessary precursor of effective in situ and ex situ conservation work [see further p. 306 of this issue]; and continued funding for Small Carnivore Conservation, the newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Mustelid, Viverrid and Procyonid Specialist Group.

Serious efforts are being made at the zoo to help reduce marine animal trade through development of reproductive techniques for various fishes and marine invertebrates; sustainable reproduction of many of the marine species to be exhibited in the Oceanium now under construction will be aimed for.

The long-term greater flamingo reproductive research project initiated in 1992 was continued in 1997. Young of the previous year were left in the enclosure during the breeding season for the second year in succession. The parents of all the young produced eggs in both years, suggesting that the presence of the young does not greatly impede reproduction. Other bird-oriented research included a study of behaviour and enclosure requirements of crowned pigeons (Goura spp.). A study on communication of Congo peafowl resulted in a comprehensive description of vocalisations of this species, and playback experiments indicated which vocalisations would be most useful for locating and luring these elusive birds in field studies.

The veterinary department was kept extremely busy with the Egyptian fruit bat colony after two bats sent to a zoo in Denmark tested positive for rabies. Numerous further tests on our colony failed to conclusively determine whether any of the bats actually carried rabies, but after lengthy and intensive discussions with the relevant governmental bodies it was decided that euthanasia of the entire colony – numbering more than 2,700 animals – was unavoidable. Plans to exhibit a new group are in progress. A new combination of two drugs, medetomidine and ketamine, was used quite successfully to anaesthetize a Malayan tapir and a pygmy hippopotamus. The success with the latter animal was especially welcome, as this species has a tendency to die when under narcosis. Ultrasonography was performed eight times on a group of seven Chinese giant salamanders (Andrias davidianus) to monitor reproductive condition throughout the year; it was found that the group consisted of 5.2 individuals, and increased testicular and follicular activity was clearly visible during the breeding season.

The two largest construction projects in 1997 were the Malayan Forest Edge biotope and the Oceanium. The Malayan Forest Edge gibbon island, housing a pair of white-handed gibbons and three offspring, opened in June, and new or renovated enclosures for a number of other occupants of the Malayan Forest Edge and the Amur region were also completed in 1997, including those for babirusa, Burmese brow-antlered (Eld's) deer, blackbuck, white-naped crane, eastern white pelican and common cormorant.

Notable mammal births during the year included a François langur (a European first), a Bornean orang-utan, a Javan langur (Trachypithecus a. auratus), a white-handed gibbon, a Kirk's dik-dik (which unfortunately had a fatal accident at two months of age), a maned wolf, five (2.3) European mink, two male babirusa, six red river hogs (DNS), and five (3.2) jaguarundis (to two females).

There were 49 species of bird reared in 1997, of which four were first breedings for the zoo. The Andean guans (Penelope m. montagnii) were received only shortly before laying their first eggs. The Von der Decken's hornbills (Tockus deckeni) managed to produce four chicks in their first breeding attempt, an awe-inspiring achievement given the relatively small size of the nest box that they selected. Blue-faced honeyeaters (Entomyzon cyanotis) hatched three young and reared two. The breeding of a white-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus latirostris) is not only a first for Rotterdam but may be a European first breeding as well. The four-year-old male and five-year-old female broke their first egg, and were initially quite restless with the second, which was removed and replaced with a hen egg. The female finally sat well on this egg, and their own fertile egg was switched for the hen egg when the latter was due to hatch. A male chick hatched and was successfully reared by the mother, who in turn was sometimes fed by her mate. Other important bird species reared in 1997 included hyacinth macaw, jackass penguin, white-naped crane, Mauritius pink pigeon, Scheepmaker's crowned pigeon, Bali mynah, Rothschild's peacock pheasant, Caribbean and greater flamingos, nocturnal curassow, Leadbeater's cockatoo, long-billed corella, crimson-bellied conure and blue-winged kookaburra.

Ninety reptiles and amphibians of ten different species hatched at the zoo in 1997. Although none of these were first breedings, repeated success with some species, including the whiptail Cnemidophorus murinus and the lace monitor (Varanus varius), was particularly satisfying. Five young Bismarck ringed pythons (Liasis boa) produced by individuals out on breeding loan were brought to the zoo. A pair of rare Indo-Chinese box turtles (Cuora galbinifrons) was acquired and will be included in a national breeding programme. Ten Galapagos tortoises hatched in 1995 at Zürich Zoo were received in 1997. The former meerkat enclosure was renovated for these tortoises and tailored to their requirements, for example through establishment of desirable plants chosen in close cooperation with the botanical department. All the effort appears to have paid off, as the enclosure seems to agree with these lively animals. Room for Chinese alligators became available in the tropical Riviera Hall complex with the death of our last American alligator. The enclosure was completely refurbished for its four rare new occupants. Off-exhibit enclosures were made for a breeding project for the highly endangered Chinese three-striped box turtle (Cuora trifasciata).

Arowana eggs transferred to the mouth of the male for brooding on 12 March resulted in five young born in May. The young swam independently after 53 days and grew quickly. Many young were produced by the grey bamboo and brown-spotted cat sharks (Chiloscyllium arabicum and C. punctatum). Close cooperation between the fish department and the zoo's marine laboratory resulted in the zoo's first successful breeding of the dusky anemone fish (Amphiprion melanopus), peppermint shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) and mangrove jellyfish (Cassiopeia andromeda). Research directed toward development of culture techniques for food marine organisms such as unicellular algae, rotifers and small crustaceans were the basis for these successes. It is expected that the availability of the food culture techniques will result in successful breeding of other species of shrimp in the near future. Development of sponges in aquaria was studied in cooperation with the Agricultural University of Wageningen, and some sponges from the zoo were taken to Wageningen for culture experiments. One sponge (Pseudosuberites sp.) seems to be particularly suited to research conditions and will be the focus of future research.

Important new arrivals in the fish department were four young sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus). They were caught by experienced personnel from the National Aquarium in Baltimore, U.S.A., during their annual shark research expedition, this year assisted by a keeper from Rotterdam. Other new acquisitions include eight Banggai (jewel) cardinal fish (Pterapogon kauderni) and three Asian arowanas (Scleropages formosus).

The botanical department is closely involved in the furnishing of new enclosures. Carefully selected plants are gradually acquired as they become available, sometimes from sources in other countries such as Belgium, France and Italy. Acquisition of plants for the Malayan Forest Edge took much time, but their actual planting was accomplished in a couple of weeks of very hard work – completed just in time for the opening. The zoo's index seminum, a list of seeds offered to other botanical institutions, contained 304 listings in 1997 and was sent to some 600 institutions worldwide. A total of 2,646 requests for seeds was received, of which 2,171 could be filld. Rotterdam Zoo received similar lists from 236 other institutions, and requested 845 packets of seed in 1997, of which 760 were received. These seeds are cultured at various sites throughout the zoo.



Extracts from the English summary of the Annual Report 1997

On 28 June 1997 we opened the Africanum II, a one-hectare area for African desert antelopes, and a two-hectare area for domestic animals. A new house with an outdoor enclosure was completed for our shoebill storks, as well as enclosures for Canadian and Tule elks (Cervus elaphus canadensis and C. e. nannodes).

Breeding successes with red and black-and-white ruffed lemurs have already become a tradition at the Tierpark; nine babies were born last year. A noteworthy event in the carnivore section was the death of the female Malayan sun bear Evi aged almost 36 years; she was the oldest individual of this species in captivity. The manatees had their first offspring here, but the young female was stillborn. Newcomers include 1.1 Siberian weasels from St Petersburg Zoo. Two 16-year-old female African elephants came on loan from Magdeburg Zoo.

Important breeding successes with endangered equids are 0.2 Somali wild asses, 1.1 Grevy's zebras and 1.1 Hartmann's mountain zebras. Artiodactyl births included 1 vicugna, 2 Persian fallow deer, 2 Tule elks, 2 Bactrian deer, 4 Vietnamese sika deer, 2 Timor deer, 2 Burmese thamin deer, 4 scimitar-horned oryx, 2 Arabian oryx and 3 mhorr gazelles. Calves nos. 33 to 36 were born to our takins.

Valuable offspring in the bird collection are 1 Dalmatian pelican, 2 white pelicans, 2 waldrapp ibises, 3 goliath herons, 1 bearded vulture, 1 hooded vulture, 3 peregrine falcons, 1 red-crowned crane, 1 southern African crowned crane (the first at the park), 1 golden conure and 2 hyacinth macaws.

From Schönbrunn we got a pair of Morelet's crocodiles, animals we have never kept before.

The Tierpark supplied two scimitar-horned oryx and a mhorr gazelle for reintroduction projects in Morocco, and a bearded vulture for the WWF-sponsored project in Austria.


Extracts from the English summary of the Annual Report 1997

On 2 March 1997, the population of the city of Zürich, with a three-quarters majority vote, approved a subsidy of 20.3 million Swiss francs for the zoo. The original grant application included the acquisition of 16 ha of land to be used for expansion as well as investment contributions towards the construction of various buildings. By passing this bill, Zürich's citizens have laid the foundations for a future concept which foresees the housing of animals in naturalistic habitats which are attractive and stimulating as well as educational to visitors. Planning work for the implementation of `the same number of animals in twice the amount of space' is already in progress. Unfortunately, the highlight of the zoo's expansion, the creation of an ecological-system hall containing animals and plants from Madagascar, is at present still blocked by the opposition of a neighbouring landowner.

Certain new-born animals achieved instant celebrity status – among them the spectacled bear Waika and Xian the Asian elephant. The birth of Xian in the late summer made his brother Upali's departure to Chester Zoo somewhat easier for both visitors and zoo staff. Thanks to the elephant keepers' careful monitoring of mother Ceyla-Himali's hormone levels, everyone was well prepared for Xian's birth. Thermography, a technique developed by a veterinary doctor from Berlin, was utilized for the first time for examinations during Ceyla-Himali's pregnancy.

New species represented in the zoo population are white-headed buffalo weaver (Dinemellia dinemelli), house wren (Troglodytes aedon), Baoruca anole, blue spring lizard and red white-lipped frog.Other species are no longer represented at the zoo: red-headed barbet, spangled cotinga, rainbow bunting, leopard gecko and European glass lizard.

For the first time since 1985 an oystercatcher hatched and was successfully reared. We found a place at Amersfoort Zoo for 2.0 Siberian tigers, father Nikki and son Tientsin, and received a new breeding male, from Helsinki. In September the Sumatran orang-utan female Timor gave birth to her third baby, a female. Three births took place amongst the geladas, while the pileated gibbons and the white-headed sakis each produced one offspring. As in 1996, two lesser pandas were born. Finally, two king penguins hatched.

Three animals of noteworthy age died in 1997: a male boat-billed heron who was more than 30 years old, a 25-year-old emu born at the zoo, and Clyde, the 25-year-old male common seal, who was euthanised due to serious health problems.

In June 1997 the zoo inaugurated a new, exciting aquatic bird exhibit. The decision was also made to move ahead with plans for a Himalayan exhibit to include a new outdoor area for tigers, snow leopards, wolves and lesser pandas. Details of both these projects may be found elsewhere in this issue of I.Z.N. [see pp. 291–294].

On 21 August 1997 visitors to Zürich Zoo were able to watch the hatching of the zoo's 19th king penguin chick. (Photo: Hofer)


Auckland Zoo, New Zealand

Staff at the zoo are busy with eight robust skink (Cyclodina alani) babies, the first robusts born here and the first born in captivity since 1994. The robust skink is one of New Zealand's largest skinks, and the largest in its genus. It is endemic to New Zealand, but is now confined to a fraction of its original range, present only on small offshore islands. As with many of New Zealand's native fauna, introduced predators (rodents, cats and mustelids) have had a large impact on the habitat and distribution of the species. Robust skinks are the subject of a Department of Conservation Recovery Plan, which covers all Cyclodina species, and the captive coordinator, Kelly Cosgrave, is based at Auckland Zoo. Research indicates that the wild population is less than 20,000 individuals, made up of fragmented populations on seven islands. One part of the Recovery Plan focuses on inter-island translocations within the wild population.

The captive population currently includes representatives from two island populations, Motoroa and Castle Islands. Auckland's group originate from the Motoroa founders. Both the sire and the dam of the eight juveniles were captive-born and have been at the zoo for a number of years. The juveniles were born in early May and are growing well. They are being raised on a substrate of 4–6 inches (100–150 mm) of deep litter, and are supplementary-fed three times a week. The staff are employing a hands-off approach and the young lizards are only weighed once a month. The Recovery Group are meeting shortly and we are waiting for further direction on what part the juveniles will play in the Program.

Lisa Hankey in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 38 (June 1998)

Bristol Zoo, U.K.

A new walk-through aviary was opened at the zoo on 20 May 1998. The Wallace Aviary is a huge open-air structure designed so that visitors can stroll amongst exotic plants to viw free-flying birds from Indonesia and the Philippines. The aviary is part of the zoo's multi-million-pound redevelopment scheme, which so far has included Bug World, Twilight World and a main entrance in 1996, a children's play area and an enclosure for Wendy the elephant in 1997, and a gorilla island and flamingo pool this year to date.

The Aviary is named after the British zoologist, Alfred Russel Wallace, who explored Indonesia and the Philippines in the mid-1800s. His studies led him to formulate a theory of evolution, presented jointly with Charles Darwin in 1859. He is perhaps best remembered today for `Wallace's Line', the boundary he described which runs through the region and separates the Asian and Australasian biogeographic zones.

Bristol Zoo is also involved in in situ conservation in the region. It funds habitat protection of two of the world's most endangered birds, the Cebu Island hanging parrot (Loriculus philippensis chrysonotus) and the Cebu Island flowerpecker (Dicaeum quadricolor). The zoo also gives funds for the building and staffing of aviaries for the bleeding-heart doves (Gallicolumba spp.) in the Philippines and provides expertise for their protection, for example in providing husbandry guidelines.

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Ohio, U.S.A.

At the time of writing (11 June 1998) Emi, the zoo's eight-year-old female Sumatran rhino, is 80 days into her second pregnancy. Even though the first embryo did not continue to develop properly and ultrasound examinations detected embryo mortality after 42 days, that pregnancy was considered a most significant accomplishment. It was the first confirmed pregnancy of a captive-mated Sumatran rhino in 108 years. The pregnancy provided a wealth of new information. It confirmed that the zoo's male, Ipuh, is fertile, that Emi produces oocytes that are capable of being fertilized and developing into embryos, and that the pair are compatible.

After the first pregnancy was lost, the animals were introduced and mated five times between November and March; Emi became pregnant after the fifth mating. At this time, implantation appears to have been successful (implantation failure was thought to be the cause of the first pregnancy loss), and the fetal heartbeat is strong. Gestation is estimated to be at least 16 months or longer, but is not precisely known. Hopefully, this pregnancy will provide accurate information on gestation length.

Danmarks Akvarium, Charlottenlund, Denmark

In 1997, the aquarium took a historic decision to move to new facilities at Kastrup Harbour. The site has been chosen for a series of objective criteria, one of the most important of which is its position, close to northern Europe's most comprehensive traffic junctions. With the international airport's many transit passengers, a motorway to Sweden, underground station and bus connections to the city and a planned light rail system into Copenhagen, it will provide enormous visitor potential. The 30,000 m2 site has been generously donated by the local council, which is enthusiastically supporting the project. The name of the new facility, `The Blue Planet', will hopefully illustrate the fact that the project is more than `just' a public aquarium. The Blue Planet, when fully built, will be housed in a 21,000 m2 building with an 8,000 m2 outdoor area, and will cost Dkk 500 million.

In 1997 Danmarks Akvarium received a number of new and interesting species, including poisonous sea snakes (Laticauda colubrina) from Sulawesi, a European pond tortoise (Emys orbicularis), a species thought to have been extinct in Denmark since 700 B.C., and three octopuses for exhibition and behaviour studies. A large variety of eastern Atlantic species, including several kinds of moray eels, were gratefully received from Museu Municipal do Funchal on Madeira. Ninety captive-bred seahorses arrived as a gift from Amsterdam Zoo. Two yellow-spotted freshwater stingrays (Potamotrygon leopoldi) wee imported from Amazonas. A world record was established after we received a freshwater crayfish (Astacus astacus) with more than 1,000 eggs. Work on improving the quality of our warm seawater is now showing positive results, and we have been able to establish an aquarium of living coral.

Extracts from the English summary of the 1997 Annual Report

Heritage Park Zoo, Prescott, Arizona, U.S.A.

It's 28 feet (8.5 m) tall, 42 feet (12.8 m) long, and weighs over 1,700 pounds (770 kg). The bright red, linear-steel praying mantis, created by sculptor Ruben Bogunia, was installed in the zoo as part of our 10th anniversary celebration. `Mantis' was built at the sculptor's home, then disassembled and reconstructed on-site. Components of the free-standing, self-supporting piece are made of 1/8-inch and 3/16-inch (3.2 mm and 4.8 mm) angle iron, welded together to form modules which are then bolted together to form the sculpture. Another modular, linear-steel piece, to be called `Tarantula', has been commissioned by the zoo. Bogunia, who specializes in large-scale metal sculptures for outdoor settings, has begun plans for this 18-foot (5.5 m) steel spider that will be positioned in mid-climb over the entrance to the new tarantula grotto, scheduled for completion in November 1998.

Heritage Park Zoo's `Mantis' sculpture.

Monkey World, Wareham, Dorset, U.K.

On 11 June, Jim and Alison Cronin flew to Istanbul to follow up on reports of chimpanzees who had been smuggled from Nigeria. The story started a couple of weeks earlier when Monkey World received a report about a young chimp in a pet store from a concerned Turkish citizen. She was upset as the local media had done stories about how nice a baby chimp was at home. This type of interest has started a trade in the babies into Turkey.

We first called on Koen Brouwer of the Dutch Federation of Zoos. Koen was eager to help and able to set up contacts for us with their only Turkish representative, who has been enormously helpful. Mr Faruk Yalçin of Bird Paradise and Botanic Park offered to put his staff on the hunt for captive chimpanzees in Istanbul, and in a matter of days they had located several babies in markets and pet shops. We were escorted to the various locations, and under the guise of being potential buyers were able to see and film five young chimps. All were inadequately fed and housed, and some showed signs of serious physical abuse.

All these chimps are being offered for sale at prices from US$8,000 to $10,000. Sadly, we must secure the support of the Turkish authorities before the chimps can be confiscated. If we simply bought the babies, the whole cruel process would begin again and more wild chimpanzees would be slaughtered in order to bring more babies into Turkey. At the time of writing, we have made contact with the Turkish government, and Mr Bobby Kennedy Jr., from New York, will personally be handing a letter to the Minister of the Environment seeking her support.

Abridged from Ape Rescue Chronicle No. 9 (Summer 1998)

Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabarceno, Spain

Two births recently took place – but with very mixed success – in the park's African elephant herd (the only breeding group in Europe that comes anywhere near rivalling that of Howletts in the U.K.). A strong female calf (120 kg) was born to Laura (15 years old, her first pregnancy) on 22 April, but unfortunately it was born in the huge (23 ha) outside area and drowned in the 2,500-m2 pool, as nobody was watching the delivery. Some weeks earlier, on 25 March, a male calf (called Pepe) was born to Celia (also 15 years old and also her first pregnancy), which she refused to nurse and which is now being hand-reared. The father of both calves is again Chisco (aged 24), and the group now stands at4.9 animals.

Jürgen Schilfarth

Perth Zoo, Western Australia

Last year the zoo raised 19 young dibblers (Antechinus apicalis) from females which had been brought in from Boullanger and Whitlock Islands in Jurien Bay, Western Australia. It was thought at the time that one of the subsequent litters produced was probably conceived in captivity, but with the uncertainty about their gestation period, we were not sure. This year those young formed the majority of our breeding animals, and we now have six female dibblers carrying a total of approximately 38 young, with two more females due later this month. The gestation period appears to be about 44 days. The proposed release site for these young, Escape Island in Jurien Bay, has been surveyed and found to be suitable as an interim release site, pending official approval to use the island for a dibbler release.

The 20 Perth-bred chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroii) that were released on 4 March into Cape Arid National Park are all alive and doing very well – extraordinarily well, in fact. Brent Johnson, one of the Department of Conservation and Land Management scientific officers monitoring the released animals, said that a scat from one of the larger males contained the fur and claws of a cat, probably a kitten – feral cats are one of the main threats to chuditch in the wild. Another, a female, was observed fighting with and killing a goshawk. These amazing observations, and the fact that these animals are all still alive and well, are strong arguments that zoo-bred chuditch are very able to fend for themselves in the wild.

The second release of chuditch in April also went well, and 11 of the 20 animals released in March were trapped and examined. They were in good health and at their pre-release weights. Pairing of the breeding chuditch for the 1998 breeding season began on 25 April, and there have been many confirmed matings. We now have two females with young.

Helen Robertson in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 38 (June 1998)

Ridgeway Trust for Endangered Cats, Hastings, U.K.

We now have two breeding pairs of margays (Leopardus wiedi) with thriving kittens. Coco and Quetzal's kitten was born in October 1997, and Tikal and Chiqui's on 18 February this year. After losing her first kitten in summer 1997, Chiqui mated again with Tikal early in October; this was unsuccessful, but at the end of November they mated again, and by mid-January we were sure she was pregnant. She and Tikal had already been separated at night, and from 15 January they were apart all the time. We installed a miniature surveillance camera in the roof of her outside nestbox, so that we could monitor the birth of her kitten and intervene if necessary. In the event, however, she had the kitten in the house, in her bed, totally in the wrong place and out of view of the camera.

After a few days it was obvious she intended to rear this one and there would be no recurrence of the problems we faced last time. The kitten was sucking, Chiqui had plenty of milk, and all her attention was devoted to the youngster. She moved out to the proper box when the kitten was four weeks old, and has been there ever since, so we have some lovely video footage of maternal behaviour. She and the youngster roll and romp in the box and it chases her tail and jumps on her. The kitten is now (May) eating meat and playing outside and is very energetic. Chiqui is an extremely protective mother and growls threateningly whenever you enter the enclosure if the kitten is outside. She has had to wait eleven years for the pleasures of motherhood, but she is certainly happy now.

The Ridgeway Trust is the only collection in Europe with two breeding pairs of this difficult species, and we may be the only such collection in the world at the moment, so we can be justifiably proud of Tikal, Chiqui, Coco and Quetzal.

We are busy making tape recordings of the cats' vocalisations as part of a joint research project between theTrust and Museum König, Bonn, Germany. Dr Gustav Peters has spent many years researching the calls and vocal patterns of cats, but to date has not been able to gather much material on margays. Having read about our cats in the International Zoo Yearbook, he asked if we could supply tape recordings, which will then be analysed at the museum.

Pat Mansard

Riverbanks Zoological Park, Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.A.

The following births and hatchings took place during the period April to June 1998: 1 dusky titi, 3 golden lion tamarin (1 DNS), 2 galah cockatoo, 2 white-crested turaco, 4 roulroul, 3 toco toucan, 2 green aracari, 2 green tree monitor, 12 Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko, 1 crocodile skink, 2 pancake tortoise, 18 northern pine snake. Of particular interest to us was the continuation of our breeding program involving leaf-tailed geckos, and the large number of toucans that were bred this year. Additional breedings are anticipated this summer.

The following animals were acquired: 3.0 bongo, 1.0 Bali mynah, 1.0 spotted turtle, 1.0 Florida pine snake, 0.3 thick-billed parrot, 0.1 Javan rhinoceros hornbill, 2.0 crested oropendola.

Alan H. Shoemaker,

Collection Manager

Tallinn Zoo, Estonia

The European Mink Conservation and Breeding Committee (EMCC) has been established to promote the conservation of this species, one of the most endangered animals in Europe. The actions of the EMCC since 1996 have been met with considerable success. [For a survey of the conservation programme up to 1996, see I.Z.N. 43:5, pp. 399–407 – Ed.] An extra 18 enclosures have been constructed in Tallinn Zoo, increasing the total space available for mink to 45 enclosures. The new founders received from Russia have provided a good basis for establishing a viable captive population. Twenty-two young were born in 1997.

In 1997 the EMCC undertook behavioural research into the interactions between European and American mink. Another line of research examined the possible behavioural impoverishment of the European mink. The results obtained indicate the importance of a pool in the enclosure, as without this captive-born animals tend to lose their swimming capabilities, and would need training before their possible use for reintroduction. The capacity to catch prey does not seem to be influenced by captivity.

The EMCC, together with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Oxford University, has also conducted a feasibility study into the possibility of releasing minks on one of the Estonian islands, Hiiumaa. This study will form the basis of an action plan, now under preparation, to establish a reserve for the European mink.

Tiit Maran in Rotterdam Zoo's Conservation Report (April 1998)

Tama Zoo, Tokyo, Japan

The zoo received two male great white cranes (Grus leucogeranus), named Midori and Ao, from the International Crane Foundation in 1986, and two females, Shiro and Aka, from Harbin City Zoo, China, in 1992. In 1994 a new Great White Crane House was opened, and serious efforts were made to breed the birds. A programme of artificial insemination was begun in 1995. In 1996 one chick was hatched in an incubator, and in 1997 two chicks were hatched, one in an incubator and the other by the parents; they are all doing well.

The female Shiro laid her first egg on 15 May 1995, at the age of five. She took turns brooding it with the male Midori, so the egg was left in the nest for two weeks, and then put in an incubator. It turned out to be infertile. Since mating was not observed between these two birds, artificial insemination was done every three days starting the day after removing the egg, but the next egg laid was also infertile.

During the breeding season of 1996, the male Ao had very viable sperm, so his sperm was used for insemination. Shiro laid ferile eggs on 5, 8 and 26 May. Two were put in the incubator, but egg No. 1 stopped developing. Egg No. 2 hatched, and this was a first for Japan. Egg No. 3 was given to a red-crowned crane for brooding, but the chick died five days after hatching, even though it was taken care of by the foster parents.

In 1997, Shiro started laying a month earlier, on 11 April. Artificial insemination was started immediately. The first egg and another laid on 14 April were put into the incubator. The first egg proved to be infertile, but the second was fertile. A third egg was laid on 23 April. With the intention of having the parents raise a chick naturally, egg No. 2 was put into the nest on 9 May, and egg No. 3 placed in the incubator. Egg No. 2 hatched in the nest on 13 May, and egg No. 3 hatched in the incubator on 21 May. Egg No. 2 was fertilized with sperm from Midori, and egg No. 3 with sperm from Ao.

English summary of article in Japanese by Y. Kojima and H. Sugita, published in Animals and Zoos Vol. 50, No. 5 (May 1998)

Wassenaar Wildlife Breeding Centre, The Netherlands

One of the specialities of the Centre is the regular breeding of cheetahs, a species often considered difficult to reproduce in captivity. Breeding cheetahs successfully started at Wassenaar in 1980, and up till June 1998 135 cheetahs have been born here. Another 35 cheetahs have been born in other facilities whose mothers had come to Wassenaar to be mated.

During May 1998 three cheetah females at Wassenaar gave birth to a total of ten cubs; one of the two Wassenaar's cheetah Questa with her own three cubs and the three she is fostering, photographed at the age of eight weeks.

fathers and two of the three mothers had never bred before. During the first weeks it is our rule that we weigh all young cheetahs regularly to check their health conditions. All seemed well until, after two weeks, the cubs of the first litter stopped showing any weight increases. Although their mother, Arusha, did not seem to be ill, she appeared to have a light fever. This probably caused a reduction of her milk production, resulting in the cubs' weight loss. On the third day, after the first signs of weight loss, it became clear that the cubs had to be removed, as otherwise they would not survive. This meant that they would have to be hand-raised, something we always try to avoid if possible.

This time we thought of a good alternative. We decided to try to introduce the three young cubs to a mother, Questa, who also had three cubs of her own and nearly of the same age. It was a unique opportunity to make this experiment. While the two mothers were kept busy with a meal in their outside enclosures, the three hungry young ones were removed from their maternity den and placed in the new one. Here their coats were first rubbed with the sawdust and straw on the floor, which contained the new den's scent. At first all the cubs seemed somewhat upset and made hissing sounds to each other. It took about half an hour before they had all accepted one another, but after a while they all fell asleep!

One hour later the risky part of the introduction started. The mother, Questa, was allowed to go back in her maternity den to her offspring and foster babies. To our amazement she did not seem surprised by the increased number of youngsters. Her attention was obviously focused on the unfamiliar scent. She kept smelling all parts of the den for about two to three minutes. Then her interest gradually faded away. It was probably an advantage that, in the meantime, all the cubs had adopted the same combination of the different scents of each litter, making all six of them smell more or less the same to the mother.

After the introduction all the cubs continued to increase their weight very well, and the mother clearly had no trouble nursing all six. Questa turned out to be a very good foster-mother and her fostered cubs fortunately had no difficulty adapting to their new mother. The cubs will stay with her until they are about one year old, a is usual in our breeding centre.

My special thanks go to my wife Hanneke and our keepers Daniël and Lorike van Helsdingen for their support and their innovating ideas.

J.W.W. Louwman, Wassenaar Wildlife Breeding Centre, Raaphorstlaan 28, 2245 BJ Wassenaar, The Netherlands (Tel.: +31–70–517–8028; Fax: +31–70–511–9268)

Wildlife World Zoo, Litchfield Park, Arizona, U.S.A.

(A visitor's report from Marvin Jones)

Wildlife World Zoo is a conventional zoo, more like a European than a 1998 American collection. It has a guide-book, something which is almost impossible to find in other zoos in America today, and almost every species is noted with an easy-to-read label, which in the case of birds – especially if living in a mixed exhibit – may include a color drawing, as well as basic data plus the English and scientific names. The collection is quite large; most species have been given generous room, but visitors must not expect to find any of the fancy new-style exhibits so common in zoos these days. Old telephone poles are widely used, and help to create a less high-tech look. There is a good-sized waterfowl collection; many other zoos have reduced these – after all, few species are endangered, few are in `managed programs'. It was nice to see the full range of the genus Chloephaga except for the kelp goose.

The owner-manager-director is Mickey Ollson, a fellow who has been in the animal business most of his life, for many years as a premier bird breeder – especially of curassows and related birds, as well as cranes – and supplied many zoos with stock. In 1984 he decided to build his own zoo, and it has continually improved each and every year; you might say that in some ways it is the American Howletts, less elephants. Mickey likes antelopes and has a large variety, all in very good-sized enclosures and all breeding, such as Angolan roan, South African sable, beisa and fringe-eared oryx, Arabian oryx, scimitar-horned oryx, sitatunga, waterbuck (both defassa and ellipsiprymnus), addax, nyala, springbok (probably Angolan), blackbuck, Thomson's gazelle, addra gazelle and a big male reticulated giraffe. Many of these came from San Diego and Denver Zoos. There are some deer, but I did not get close enough to tell what species. White tigers, normal-colored tigers (mostly Bengal), lions, many maned wolves which are breeding, New Guinea wild dogs, African hunting dogs, dromedary, a very nice breeding pair of black jaguar, southern white rhinoceros, Grant's zebra, agile wallaby, Chinese water deer, a number of primates including siamang and lar gibbon, de Brazza guenon, and many others. There is a very nice small mammal house, with some very good-sized units for golden lion tamarin, common marmoset, and two other tamarin species; also black-and-white ruffed lemur, a very interesting little rodent, the dassie rat (Petromus typicus – a new one for me), some New World fruit bats, springhaas, hedgehog tenrec and many more. All in all, a very good-sized mammal collection in spacious surroundings, but without the fancy artificial rockwork grottoes found in many zoos today.

Everything looked healthy. There were some Galapagos tortoises, including one many years old and younger ones hatched some years ago at Oklahoma City Zoo. There is a reptile house, with again some good-sized units for larger boas and pythons and a fine Salvadori's monitor. There are no venomous snakes, but a good variety of others, plus lizards and amphibians. And a small marine and fresh-water aquarium. Inasmuch as this area from mid-May to the end of September averages 100° F in the daytime, there is great benefit in having these buildings as a place for the summer visitor to escape the heat, as the public space can be air-cooled. This is something many hot-climate U.S. zoos forget about.

Birds are of course the mainstay of the collection, several hundred species strong, and many breeding on a regular basis. A pair of Stanley cranes that were acquired about 30 years ago are still alive, and hav reared over 80 young, many of which in the early years went to animal dealers who may have sold them to unsuspecting zoos as `wild-hatched'. (No doubt many of the so-called `founder' birds in America are young of this pair; zoos assumed that if the birds came from dealers, they were wild-hatched. It is a mistake many new studbook keepers make.) The collection is strong in psittacines, and also – as would be expected – curassows, guans and chachalacas. The lesser razor-billed curassow (Crax tomentosa), a species rarely seen in zoos these days, is still bred here. There are a number of small ponds for waterfowl, with an island in the middle, perhaps for Moluccan cockatoos or a primate such as squirrel monkeys (too `common' for most zoos in 1998). A very large walk-through aviary, and good-sized pens for turacos and gallinaceous birds. There is public feeding every day of a number of lorikeets of various species and also turacos, all hatched here. There is a good education program, and a small arena that can be used for introduction of some hand-held animals in this program. Naturally there's a small gift shop and a snack bar, plus many places about the grounds where cold drinks can be purchased. Few walkways are paved, it's all natural sand. The large cat enclosures were all planted, with numerous windows to view them through, giving one the impression of seeing multiple exhibits as they never faced one another. I was pleased to see two pairs of magpie geese, and pairs of Andean condor and king vulture, in large new cages that will allow flight. It was good to be able to walk about with a director who knew what animals we were seeing, and the history of almost all of them. I was very happy I came.

News in Brief

Staff at Orana Park Wildlife Trust, Christchurch, New Zealand, were surprised when three Rothschild's giraffes were found to be in the latter stages of pregnancy last year. Harold, a male imported from Chicago, was coming up to four years of age and had only recently reached a size where it was thought feasible for him to mount the females, but obviously he had accomplished the task 15 months earlier. The result was one healthy female born in December and a male in January; unfortunately, the third calf was stillborn. The male calf will be transferred to Auckland Zoo, where he will eventually become their breeding male, while the female will be kept with Orana Park's herd of 1.4 animals.

Shirley Diver in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 38 (June 1998)

* * * * *

A silvery gibbon (Hylobates moloch) was born at Perth Zoo, Australia, on 20 April 1998, a welcome event for staff working with this critically endangered primate. Acting Curator of Primates, Leif Cocks, said `Considering that there are only about 30 silvery gibbons in world zoos outside Indonesia, plus the continuing pressure on wild populations, our breeding pair is especially important. Perth's pair, Hecla and Jury, are, in fact, one of only four zoo breeding pairs in the world.'

Pamela Smith in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 38 (June 1998)

* * * * *

Rode Bird Gardens, Bath, Somerset, U.K., has completed a new cassowary enclosure in the woods at the top end of the gardens. The paddock, well over an acre (0.4 ha) in size, is heavily wooded and under-planted with shrubs. The male was acquired from Edinburgh Zoo at the beginning of the year, and the female came from Lotherton Hall Bird Gardens at the end of June. Both animals have settled in well, and are paying each other a great deal of attention (in the nicest possible way for cassowaries).

Mike Curzon, Manager

* * * * *

When Siam, the famous Asian bull elephant at Paris (Vincennes) Zoo, died last year at the age of 52 [see I.Z.N. 45:2, p. 117], there was a hope thatone of his females, Khavérie, was pregnant again by him. This was confirmed when the 14-year-old cow gave birth to her third calf (a male) on 4 May 1998. The baby will grow up in the company of his mother, his five-year-old sister and another 16-year-old daughter of Siam. This little bull brings the number of Siam's progeny to 14 (7.7), though sadly only 4.2 of them are still alive.

Jürgen Schilfarth

* * * * *

Friedrich Riesfeldt, a zookeeper in Paderborn, Germany, died by a freak accident in April when he stayed late on his own to treat a constipated bull African elephant. After feeding the animal 22 doses of laxative and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes, the keeper was trying to give him an olive-oil enema when the treatment was suddenly, and overwhelmingly, successful. Investigators believe the force of the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Riesfeldt to the ground, where he struck his head on a rock and lay unconscious as the elephant continued to evacuate his bowels of top of him. He lay under a pile of dung for at least an hour before a nightwatchman found him, and during that time he suffocated.

* * * * *

A baby two-toed sloth, Mortitia, is being hand-reared behind the scenes in Bristol Zoo's Twilight World. She was born in January, weighing only just over one pound (454 g), and was unfortunately rejected by her mother. The hand-rearing kept her keepers busy, as she had to be fed every three hours day and night. At first she was fed on evaporated milk mixed with water, but she now eats three meals a day consisting of fruit, milk and baby food. The last records which could be located of baby sloths being successfully hand-reared were from 1966 in the U.S.A. and last year in Germany.


Anderson, D.: Protected contact issues: Part 2. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 9, No. 1 (1998), pp. 60–64.

Bagnall, A.: The new bat exhibit at Drusillas Zoo Park. Ratel Vol. 25, No. 3 (1998), pp. 82–85. [A walk-through exhibit for a bachelor group of Pteropus rodricensis.]

Bahuguna, N.C.: A harrowing tale of how markhor and Himalayan tahr survived and arrived at Darjeeling's Himalayan Zoo. Zoos' Print Vol. 13, No. 3 (1998), pp. 10–12. [Capra falconeri and Hemitragus jemlahicus.]

Baker, W.K.: Should a zoo be concerned about public relations after a crisis? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 5 (1998), pp. 207–209.

Barker, D., Fitzpatrick, M.P., and Dierenfeld, E.S.: Nutrient composition of selected whole invertebrates. Zoo Biology Vol. 17, No. 2 (1998), pp. 123–134. [Although nutrient requirements of insectivores have not been specifically determined, detailed chemical analysis of invertebrates used in zoo feeding programmes is essential for evaluating nutritional adequacy based on domestic animal models. The authors analysed the nutrient content of mealworms, crickets, waxworms, fruit flies and earthworms. Larval stages contained significantly more fat than adults; crickets, which do not have a larval form, had higher fat as adults than as nymphs. Invertebrates in general contain high levels of protein, although a portion may be chemically bound within the exoskeleton. Most invertebrates sampled met the dietary vitamin E recommendations for domesticcarnivores, but insects are a poor dietary source of preformed vitamin A. Insects (with the possible exception of pinhead crickets) are also a poor source of calcium and possess inverse calcium:phosphorus ratios, whereas earthworms contain higher, and apparently balanced, concentrations of calcium and phosphorus. All invertebrates sampled contained adequate levels of Cu, Fe, Mg, P and Zn to meet dietary requirements, based on domestic animal recommendations; only Mn levels may have been deficient in some cases.]

Blaszkiewitz, B.: Zum Lebensalter Berliner Panzernashörner. (Longevities of Indian rhinos in Berlin.) Bongo Vol. 28 (1998), pp. 99–100. [German, no English summary. Two rhinos died in 1993, both aged 29; a third had to be put to sleep in 1996 aged 28.]

Brown, C.S., and Loskutoff, N.M.: A training program for noninvasive semen collection in captive western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). Zoo Biology Vol. 17, No. 2 (1998), pp. 135–142. [Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo.]

Chacón, G.S., and Janik, D.: Recommendations and guidelines for the use of soft release techniques: releasing native avifauna in La Garita, Costa Rica. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 5 (1998), pp. 190–195. [Previously published in Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K.]

Chakraborty, G., Saifi, N.A., and Salam, M.A.: Captive breeding and management of Himalayan black bear (Selenarctos thibetanus) at Jawaharlal Nehru Biological Park. Zoos' Print Vol. 13, No. 3 (1998), p. 20.

de Groot, S., and Kerkman, M.: Flamingokoppels blijven lang samen. (Flamingo pairs stay together long-term.) De Harpij Vol. 17, No. 2 (1998), pp. 2–4. [Dutch, with English summary. A group of 132 Caribbean and Chilean flamingos and hybrids at Amersfoort Zoo were captured, examined and ringed in February 1995. Presumed hybrids and young of the year were placed in a separate enclosure, leaving a group of 89 (37.52) `pure' Chilean flamingos. These birds did not breed in 1995, presumably because of stress. In September/October 1995 it was found that 62 of the flamingos had maintained `permanent' relationships during this period. Five two-female pairs and six two-male pairs, as well as two triads (1.2) and one quadrad (1.3), were observed in addition to the more common male-female pairs. A further research project in 1997 found that 70% of the pairs with eggs had maintained the relationships recorded in 1995.]

Delacour, J.: Breeding the hooded pitta Pitta cucullata. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 103, No. 3 (1997), pp. 120–123. [A reprint of an article first published in 1934. Jean Delacour was probably the first to breed members of this notoriously `difficult' genus in captivity. (P. cucullata is now regarded as a subspecies of P. sordida.)]

Dorn, D.M.: Zoologische Gärten und Notgeld (1920–1922). (Zoos and emergency money.) Bongo Vol. 28 (1998), pp. 9–22. [German, with very brief English summary. Illustrates many attractive notes issued by some German zoos as locally and temporally limited currency.]

Duckler, G.L.: An unusual osteological formation in the posterior skulls of captive tigers (Panthera tigris). Zoo Biology Vol. 17, No. 2 (1998), pp. 135–142. [Examination of felid skulls from a museum collection spanning the past century revealed distinctive malformations in zoo tigers which were not present in the skulls of wild-caught individuals. The condition most likely arose from heightened rotation of the head and neck in the lateral plane, combined with reduced jaw activity, possibly consequences of the non-natural diet and increased grooming behaviour fostered in captive environments.]

Galama, W.: `Voor betere informatieverstrekking is meer overleg nodig.' (More discussion is necessary for better information transfer.) De Harpij Vol. 17, No. 2 (1998), pp. 13–15. [Dutch, with English summary. Interview with Marein van der Hage, a member of the University of Utrecht's Department of Vetrinary Pathology for Exotic Animals. The department performs standard necropsy procedures on animals submitted by Dutch zoos. Causes of death are not clear in half of the cases, but some trends are apparent. Parasites were the most common cause of death when the department was established 30 years ago, and thereafter bacterial infections. There are now methods to treat these problems, and they are seen less frequently. Despite the efforts of zoos to provide suitable diets, nutritionally-related deaths still occur. Viruses are becoming more of a problem as more animals are held in larger groups. Daily observation of the animals by keepers and provision of background information about an animal when it is submitted for pathological research is particularly important in cases in which a retrospective study is made to determine whether a particular problem previously occurred within an animal group.]

Gerencser, J.: Evaluation of pair-bond strength in cranes at the International Crane Foundation. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 103, No. 3 (1997), pp. 107–110. [`To have a successful captive crane breeding programme requires that pairs exhibit a strong pair bond. . . By using several different indicators one can be more confident in gauging pair-bond status, when to split up pairs, and when to leave them alone.']

Gibson, K.: International shipment of Asian bull elephant using protected contact management. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 9, No. 1 (1998), pp. 64–67. [Successful transfer of a ten-year-old bull from Houston to Berlin.]

Gordon, A.: Collared peccaries. Ratel Vol. 25, No. 3 (1998), pp. 92–98.

Guerrero, D.: Coati (Nasua narica) quandary, zoo. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 5 (1998), pp. 181–184. [Suggestions for dealing with intraspecific aggression.]

Heymann, E.W., Knogge, C., Tirado, E.R., and Smith, A.C.: Unter Affengnomen im Amazonasregenwald – Freilandforschung an Tamarinen in Peru. (Among `monkey gnomes' in the Amazon rainforest – field research on tamarins in Peru.) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 41, No. 2 (1998), pp. 63–84. [Ecology and behaviour of moustached and saddle-back tamarins (Saguinus mystax and S. fuscicollis).]

Hilsberg, S.: Infrarot-Thermographie bei Zootieren: erste Erfahrungen im Einsatz zur Trächtigkeits- und Entzündungsdiagnostik. (Infrared thermography with zoo animals: first experiences in its use to diagnose pregnancy and inflammation.) Bongo Vol. 28 (1998), pp. 1–8. [German, with very brief English summary (but excellent colour illustrations). Data presented are from rhinos and elephants.]

Houts, L.: Using volunteers to promote behavioral enrichment at zoos. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 5 (1998), pp. 198–199. [Folsom City Zoo, California.]

Johann, A.: Haltung, Zucht und künstliche Aufzucht von Kampfläufern (Philomachus pugnax) im Tierpark Rheine. (Management, breeding and hand-rearing of ruffs at Rheine Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 68, No. 3 (1998), pp. 156–166. [German, with brief English summary. The general maintenance of adult ruffs poses no special problems, but considerable difficulties have been experienced in breeding and artificial rearing of this species. There is obviously a high predisposition to stress in the chicks. Modified rearing methods at Rheine work towards minimizing disturbances during incubation and rearing. Better rearing success is promising, but the results have to be seen as preliminary. Future husbandry research will further concentrate on rearing methods and also on revising vitamin and mineral supplements.]

Keele, M., Olson, D., and Wiese, B.: Studbooks: living documents, helpful tools. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 9, No. 1 (1998), pp. 41–44.

King, J.: Shigella flexneri: a practical review for zoo personnel. Zoo Biology Vol. 17, No. 2 (1998), pp. 59–76. [S. flexneri is a highly contagious bacterium capable of producing a variety of disease syndromes ranging from diarrhoea to death, in all primates, including humans. Despite its importance to zoos, relevant information about this pathogen is not readily available. The article discusses epidemiology, species affected, diagnosis, symptoms, treatment, and public health concerns. Recommendations are given on how to prevent the introduction of Shigella into a facility or to eradicate it once established.]

Klös, H., and Perschke, M.: Naturschutzinitiativen des Zoo Berlin in anderen Staaten. Teil 1: Der Botanisch-Zoologische Garten Tsimbazaza – der Partnerzoo in Madagaskar. (Berlin Zoo's conservation initiatives in other countries. Part 1: Tsimbazaza Botanical-Zoological Garden, Madagascar.) Bongo Vol. 28 (1998), pp. 43–54. [German, with very brief English summary.]

Klös, H.-G.: Zusammenstellung der Tierkunstwerke im Zoo Berlin. (A catalogue of the animal works of art at Berlin Zoo.) Bongo Vol. 28 (1998), pp. 55–62. [German, no English summary.]

Krishnamurthy, V.: Captive elephant management in India under different systems: present trends. Zoos' Print Vol. 13, No. 3 (1998), pp. 1–4.

Langenhorst, T.: Das Verhaltensrepertoire einer Braunbärengruppe (Ursus arctos) mit Behavioural-Enrichment im Tiergarten Hellbrunn/Salzburg. (Behavioural repertoire of a group of brown bears under an enrichment programme at Salzburg Zoo, Austria.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 68, No. 3 (1998), pp. 167–186. [German, with English summary. The behaviour of five bears (three adults, two cubs) living in a new enclosure was observed for one year. Data obtained were compared to those of free-living brown bears and examined for `natural' behaviour. The animals were active for 70–80% of observation time (8.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.), and the main resting time occurred between 11.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. Feeding enrichment changed the quality of active time, but not its quantity or rhythm. Significant seasonal differences in activity did not occur. Feeding enrichment increased the time spent foraging and feeding from 14% to 27%. Stereotypic behaviour, which was found only in the adults, was decreased from 17% to 7% on days with feeding enrichment. The cubs showed more play behaviour (20%) than the adults (2–3%). Aggression was observed very rarely. The female with cubs showed more care for her weaker son than for the more independent one. All the bears used the space of the enclosure relatively evenly, and feeding enrichment had little influence on this, suggesting that the structure of the enclosure itself encouraged this utilisation. The enclosure in conjunction with the feeding enrichment programme made possible and promoted a wide repertoire of natural behaviour (including exploration, swimming, bathing, climbing and digging).]

Laubscher, C.: White-fronted amazons: a guide to the three subspecies. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 32, No. 7 (1998), pp. 228–235. [Includes colour photos of Amazona albifrons albifrons, A. a. nana and A. a. saltuensis.]

Lindburg, D.G.: Coming in out of the cold: animal keeping in temperate zone zoos. Zoo Biology Vol. 17, No. 2 (1998), pp. 51–53. [Draws attention to the fact that `we are designing outdoor areas that are occupied for not more than 20 or 30% of each year of animal life.']

Loving, M.B.: Internal parasites of elephants. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 9, No. 1 (1998), pp. 51–52.

Mallinson, J.J.C.: A history and commentary on the World Conference series of Breeding Endangered Species in Captivity. Zoos' Print Vol. 13, No. 1 (1998), pp. 11–14. [Text of a paper presented at the annual meeting of CBSG, Berlin, 1997.]

Masuda, R., Noro, M., Kurose, N., Nishida-Umehara, C., Takechi, H., Yamazaki, T., Kosuge, M., and Yoshida, M.C.: Genetic characteristics of endangered Japanese golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos japonica) based on mitochondrial DNA D-loop sequences and karyotypes. Zoo Biology Vol.17, No. 2 (1998), pp. 111–121. [Mitochondrial DNA and karyotype data suggest that golden eagles in Japan and the Korean Peninsula probably formed one metapopulation prior to recent destruction and fragmentation of their habitat. These results provide an important framework for future conservation actions, such as breeding programmes in zoos and reintroduction/translocation programmes in the wild.]

Murray, A.J., Waran, N.K., and Young, R.J.: Environmentally enriched enclosures – their visual impact and educational message? Ratel Vol. 25, No. 3 (1998), pp. 101–103.

Oppermann, J.: Die Entwicklung des ersten Berliner Davidshirsch-Bestandes zwischen 1876 und 1901. (The development of Berlin's first Père David's deer group.) Bongo Vol. 28 (1998), pp. 37–42. [German, with brief English summary. In 1876 Berlin Zoo imported 1.2 animals, who produced 18 calves. Though there are some gaps in the documentation, these are probably the sole ancestors of the later Woburn Abbey herd (and hence of all today's world captive population).]

Ostrowski, S., Bedin, E., Lenain, D.M., and Abuzinada, A.H.: Ten years of Arabian oryx conservation breeding in Saudi Arabia – achievements and regional perspectives. Oryx Vol. 32, No. 3 (1998), pp. 209–222. [The National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development was established in 1986 to oversee all wildlife conservation programmes in Saudi Arabia. The Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) is one of the flagship species of the Saudi Arabian reintroduction policy. It has been captive-bred since 1986 at the National Wildlife Research Center near Taif. With the creation of a network of protected areas in the former distribution range of the species, attention has shifted to the release of captive-bred oryx into Mahazat as-Sayd and `Uruq Bani Ma'arid reserves. Similar programmes carried out in other countries of the Arabian Peninsula underline the need for regional cooperation and pan-Arabic public awareness programmes, in addition to captive-breeding and reintroduction projects.]

Paterson, L.: Parent reared toco toucans at Leeds Castle. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 103, No. 3 (1997), pp. 97–100. [Ramphastos toco.]

Peachey, H.: White gold. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 9, No. 1 (1998), pp. 9–25. [The ivory trade.]

Pfleiderer, M.: Zur Bedeutung der Fellmuster um Felidenaugen. (The significance of fur markings around the eyes of cats.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 68, No. 3 (1998), pp. 187–197. [German, with English summary. As a compromise between staring eye-to-eye and total `cut-off' of eye contact, felids close or half-close their eyes: they `blink' as a communicative signal. All felids show black-and-white (or dark-and-light) fur markings surrounding their eyes, and particularly underlining them, which enhance the power of the blinking gesture as a signal; the apparent change made to these markings by blinking is distinctly different from changes due to other modes of eye-closing. The markings probably also increase the effective distance at which blinking contact may be established. There is an astonishing similarity between the fur markings and their changes in different cat species.]

Poeder, H.F.: Broedmachinekuiken met succes bij zwarte zwanen teruggezet. (Successful introduction of an artificially incubated black swan to its parents.) De Harpij Vol. 17, No. 2 (1998), pp. 18–19. [Dutch, with English summary. Four abandoned eggs at Wissel Zoo were removed for incubation after the parents had left the nest with four offspring. One egg hatched two days later, and the young bird was introduced to its family two days after that, by mixing it with its four older siblings and then returning all five to the parents at the same time. The parents accepted the noticeably smaller cygnet, and it followed them with no hesitation, indicating that species recognition in black swans is not only learning-dependent (by imprinting), but also has an innate component.]

Rademacher, U., Streich, J., and Hendrichs, H.: Einfluss verschiedener Hltungsbedingungen auf das Verhalten von Grevyzebras (Equus grevyi) am Beispiel von zwei Zoologischen Gärten. (Influence of different management conditions on the behaviour of Grevy's zebras in two zoos.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 68, No. 3 (1998), pp. 137–155. [German, with English summary. The groups studied were a herd of 2.6 (the males being one adult and one foal) at Wilhelma, Stuttgart, and a herd of 1.13 (the male being a foal) at Dvur Králové, Czech Republic. In both groups both friendly and intolerant relationships between the females were found, though friendly contacts were much commoner than agonistic ones, especially between animals of similar age. The stallion was the top-ranking animal in the Stuttgart herd; tolerant contacts between him and the females were not recorded, and most of the time stallion and females were found at distances of more than ten metres. There was no connection between enclosure size and agonistic behaviour, but the adult females exhibited definitely more agonistic behaviour when food was clumped. When food was widely dispersed, all the animals exhibited more feeding behaviour and less resting and standing, while some of the young animals exhibited more locomotion and play behaviour.]

Raethel, H.-S.: Die Hirschsammlung des Zoologischen Gartens Berlin in der Zeit von 1845 bis 1945 sowie Bemerkungen zur Haltung, Systematik und Verbreitung der Cerviden. (Berlin Zoo's deer collection, with some notes on the management, systematics and breeding of the Cervidae.) Bongo Vol. 28 (1998), pp. 75–98. [German, with very brief English summary.]

Reichenbach, H.: Der David vom Davidshirsch: Armand David (1826–1900) und die europäische Entdeckung chinesischer Tiere. (The David of Père David's deer: Armand David and the European discovery of Chinese fauna.) Bongo Vol. 28 (1998), pp. 23–35. [German, with brief English summary.]

Reid-Henry, D.M.: The hooded pitta Pitta sordida cucullata. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 103, No. 3 (1997), pp. 124–125. [A reprint of an article first published in 1959. See also under J. Delacour.]

Riley, J.: Conservation on the Sangihe and Talaud Islands. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 103, No. 3 (1997), pp. 111–119. [Action Sampiri is a joint Anglo-Indonesian conservation project for these islands, whose endemic bird species include the endangered red-and-blue lory (Eos histrio).]

Roberts, J.: Environmental enrichment for parrots. Ratel Vol. 25, No. 3 (1998), pp. 80–82. [Colchester Zoo.]

Schreiber, A., Wang, M., and Kaumanns, W.: Captive breeding of squirrel monkeys, Saimiri sciureus and Saimiri boliviensis: the problem of hybrid groups. Zoo Biology Vol. 17, No. 2 (1998), pp. 95–109. [Following a genetic analysis of 108 squirrel monkeys at Landau Zoo and the German Primate Centre, Göttingen, the authors conclude that the captive population contains many (sub)species hybrids, and suggest that this may explain the unsatisfactory breeding record of most zoo colonies. `Studbooks for the captive breeding of Saimiri spp. might best employ founder individuals from defined geographic origins only, until a comprehensive taxonomic revision is available. A cautious strategy would separate S. sciureus sciureus phenotypes from the two major supplying countries, Peru and Guyana, unless a detailed genetic analysis has proven the (sub)specific status of the founders. . . Pelage and facial markings alone are inadequate criteria for (sub)specific determination; they should be supplemented by allozymic (or cytogenetic) evidence.']

Singh, L.A.K., and Rout, S.D.: Environment enrichment conditions and their preference by hatchling mugger (Crocodylus palustris). Zoos' Print Vol. 13, No. 1 (1998), pp. 6–8.

Sweeney, R.G. : First steps forward with breeding of the plum-crowned pionus (Pionus tumultuosus) at Loro Parque S.A. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 32, No. 7 (1998), pp. 237–239.

Sweeney, R.G.: The red-spectaced amazon (Amazona pretrei) at Loro Parque. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 103, No. 3 (1997), pp. 101–106.

Templeton, A.R., and Read, B.: Elimination of inbreeding depression from a captive population of Speke's gazelle: validity of the original statistical analysis and confirmation by permutation testing. Zoo Biology Vol. 17, No. 2 (1998), pp. 77–94.

Thompson, S.D., and Bell, K.J.: Institutional collection planning. Zoo Biology Vol. 17, No. 2 (1998), pp. 55–57. [Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago.]

van Herk, R., and Westerveld, B.: Vallen en opstaan – zeeotteropvang in Diergaarde Blijdorp: Deel 1. (Falling and standing up – orphaned sea otters at Rotterdam Zoo: Part 1.) De Harpij Vol. 17, No. 2 (1998), pp. 6–12. [Dutch, with English summary. The zoo received two orphaned male northern sea otters from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. At the time there were no facilities for this species or experience with it, but as sea otters were to be exhibited in the planned Oceanium, it seemed a good opportunity to gain some management experience. Much has been learned about the species' husbandry requirements. Difficulties in meeting the inflexible water quality and temperature needs of the otters have resulted in numerous, often expensive, adaptations to the filter and air-conditioning systems. Some problems in the enclosure construction and furnishings, e.g. a substrate coating that almost immediately began to come off (with help from the elder of the two animals), have indicated some definite dos and don'ts for when the final exhibit is constructed. Various environmental enrichment techniques have been evaluated, and knowledge gained in introducing conspecifics.]

Walker, S., and Molur, S.: Responsibility of zoos in fulfilling country commitments to the Convention on Biodiversity in high biodiversity countries as well as rationalising their own collection plans using the CAMP process: India as a case study. Zoos' Print Vol. 13, No. 3 (1998), pp. 31–36. [Text of a paper presented at the 7th SEAZA Conference, 1997.]

Williams, R., and Bayless, M.: Tick removal behavior by a white-throat monitor lizard (Varanus albigularis). Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society Vol. 33, No. 5 (1998), pp. 101–102.

Woods, P.: Media kids – how can they learn best at zoos about conservation? Ratel Vol. 25, No. 3 (1998), pp. 104–109. [Wildlife Park Kirkcudbright, Scotland.]

Woolham, F.: Aviculture's golden age. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 103, No. 3 (1997), pp. 126–129. [The period between the two world wars.]

Zimmermann, W., Kolter, L., Sándor, I., and Dukát, Z.: Przewalskipferde in der Hortobágy-Puszta – ein Natur- und Artenschutzprojekt. (Przewalski horses in a Hungarian reserve – a nature and species conservation project.) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 41, No. 1 (1998), pp. 37–55. [A project in a steppe area within the Hortobágy National Park in eastern Hungary. The area is characterised by high species diversity, especially in its bird life. The project focuses on an area in the centre of the Park, where the great bustard still occurs. To preserve the steppe in the long term, a population of Przewalski's horses will be established there. A first group arrived in October 1997. Two more groups will follow in 1998. As a second large herbivore, Heck cattle (`aurochs') will be introduced.]

Publishers of the periodicals listed:

Animal Keepers' Forum, American Association of Zoo Keepers, 635 S.W. Gage Boulevard, Topeka, Kansas 66606–2066, U.S.A.

Avicultural Magazine, Avicultural Society, c/o Bristol Zoo, Bristol BS8 3HA, U.K.

Bongo, Zoo Berlin, Hardenbergplatz 8, 10787 Berlin, Germany.

Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society, 2060 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60614, U.S.A.

De Harpij, Sichting De Harpij, Van Aerssenlaan 49, 3039 KE Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Journal of the Elephant Managers Association, Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46222, U.S.A.

Oryx, Blackwell Scientific Publications Ltd (for Fauna and Flora Preservation Society), Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0EL, U.K.

Parrot Society Magazine, Parrot Society, 108b Fenlake Road, Bedford MK42 0EU, U.K.

Ratel, Association of British Wild Animal Keepers, 12 Tackley Road, Eastville, Bristol BS5 6UQ, 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.

Der Zoologische Garten, Gustav Fischer Verlag Jena GmbH, Villengang 2, D-07745 Jena, Germany.