International Zoo News Vol. 46/3 (No. 292) April/May 1999

The Redevelopment of Wellington Zoo's Bear Exhibits

John Pickard

Zoo Education's Higher Purpose –Education for Sustainability

Stephen P. Woollard

The WORMS! Exhibit at Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Warren W. Pryor and Cheryl Piropato

New Zealand Dotterel and how to Rear them in a Tent

Bryan Welch

Book Reviews
Annual Reports
International Zoo News
Recent Articles


Super-Model, Super-Zoo – Putting Conservation up on the Catwalk

The stated aim of the World Zoo Conservation Strategy is `to help conserve the earth's fast-disappearing wildlife and biodiversity in general.' So how can zoos achieve this?

Whilst zoos might claim to be Centres of Conservation, one cannot dispute the fact that the prime motivation for visiting a zoo is generally recreational, to have a `great day out'. So how does entertainment equate to conservation?

With the turn of the century fast approaching, many industries are considering the direction that they should take in order to ensure survival in the next millennium. Zoos are endeavouring to position themselves so as to be certain of continued patronage without compromising their conservation and education endeavours. Unfortunately, if a funding shortage necessitated rationalisation of expenditure, the first activities likely to be abandoned would be `extra-mural' operations such as involvement with in situ conservation programs – after all, maintaining the animal collection is the primary function.

Zoos therefore find themselves facing a dilemma, trying to juggle their twin roles as centres for entertainment and centres for conservation. To be a super-zoo, it is essential to clearly define and develop an image, just as a super-model does. This image is not merely photogenic, it must be used to market the concept of conservation. Zoos can be the shop-fronts for conservation, allowing visitors to window-shop and gain an appreciation of the dilemmas facing this planet. And like a successful model, zoos must portray these images in a tantalising and evocative form, so that the visitor wants more.

The zoos of the 1990s are significantly different from zoos of the 1890s, or indeed zoos of the 1960s. Historically, many zoos displayed species from far-off lands, symbolizing conquests and victories of the Empire. The `stamp collecting' mentality was often apparent, zoo rivalry prompting increases to the number of species displayed. Generally, animals were grouped taxonomically – snakes housed next to snakes, parrots next to parrots and cats next to cats. Animals were not displayed in any context, other than perhaps linked with architectural elements of their country of origin, hence the Taj Mahal-like structures of elephant houses. Today, most zoo animals are no longer kept behind bars in cages devoid of any natural objects, with little regard for a species' normal behavioural repertoire. Today's zoo animals are the `faces' of their habitats, identities that readily define a particular conservation issue. Just as a lipstick or perfume might sell better if linked with a super-model, so visitors may more readily avoid using rainforest timbers if the product is connected with an appealing species.

Using Melbourne Zoo as an example, a possible future direction for zoos is considered. Developments at Melbourne are guided by a long-range Master Plan, the underlying theme of which is Interdependency – that is, the relationship between species and their associated habitats. A series of bioclimatic zones is being developed including Tropical Rainforest, Montane, Marine/Coastal and Tropical Savanna. Within each zone are geographic subdivisions: thus the Tropical Rainforest will include sections such as Asia and Africa. Species have been selected for each area in order to represent a range of fauna types – ground dwellers, tree dwellers, predators, prey, seed dispersers, pollinators, scavengers, aquatic, nocturnal, diurnal, to name some of the categories considered. Interpretive themes have been developed for each bioclimatic zone and geographic subdivision. These themes form the basis for story-lines that will be developed for each exhibit.

Displaying species within the context of habitats helps visitors to make a quantum leap and connect animals with their habitats. No longer is the ape remembered for begging for peanuts (or other behaviours less socially acceptable to humans), nor is the elephant remembered for the elephant ride. The zoo visitor associates the gorilla with the rainforest, and is then able to make an association between the gorilla, the plants it consumes, and other species that occupy the same habitat. Consider the department store analogy. There are separate footwear, hosiery, hat and dress departments, but it is only when an outfit with all the appropriate accessories is seen modelled on the catwalk that one gains an understanding of how each piece complements the others and how they work together as an ensemble. Zoos are changing from department store to catwalk.

The composition of animal collections is also changing. Melbourne Zoo used to display several mega-vertebrates: rhinoceros, common hippopotamus and Asian elephant. Now, only the elephant remains at the zoo. Similarly a proposed collection plan for the zoo prepared in the 1970s included giant panda, bottle-nosed dolphin and dugong. The current collection plan no longer represents a `stamp collection' of the world's fauna, but has been developed with a thematic approach. Generally, city zoos are reducing both the number of species that they display, and the number of larger species maintained. An example is the Central Park Zoo in New York. This tiny (5½ acre or 2.2 hectare) zoo was totally rebuilt in 1988. The only large species held is the polar bear, all other species being much smaller. The various pavilions that feature different habitat assemblages include displays of invertebrates. Technology is used to bring these exhibits to life, including fibre-optic cameras to observe the activities of leaf-cutter ants. There are various zoos around the world that either do not display large species, or display only one or two key large species. One might expect this trend to continue amongst the smaller metropolitan zoo, leaving the larger properties such as Victoria's Open Range Zoo (Werribee) to exhibit large species in herds in appropriately spacious enclosures.

There is no denying that there is still an imbalance in the ratio of vertebrate to invertebrate species displayed in zoos compared with the ratio of these species in the natural world. The imbalance also continues with respect to `charismatic' compared with less-appealing species. At Melbourne Zoo two notable exceptions come to mind, firstly the enchanting Butterfly House and secondly the World of Frogs. The Butterfly House is the zoo's only purpose-built invertebrate display. The World of Frogs exhibits various amphibians and strives to make visitors more aware of frogs indigenous to Melbourne and environs. The zoo is slowly incorporating displays of smaller species into exhibits. The long-term collection plan includes fish, amphibians and various invertebrates. There is also an acknowledgement of the need to represent botanical and geological elements – if animals are to be displayed in context, then other elements of habitat must be portrayed. This again reflects the catwalk analogy. If visitors are to grasp the complexity and diversity of the processes that shape this planet, zoos must illustrate these processes to visitors.

As stated previously, zoos generally rely on gate-takings and sponsorships to support routine operations and capital initiatives. Any changes in direction need to have the support of the community. Thus there is a need for promotion of zoos to strike a balance between what visitors think they want, and what zoos want visitors to have. Zoos cannot successfully deliver conservation objectives if they continue to have elephant rides and seals balancing balls on their noses. Thirty years ago, who would have thought of a zoo without elephant rides or a chimps' tea party? The accepted practice of zoos is in close parallel with contemporary culture. The popularity of remarkable natural history documentaries on television results in zoo visitors generally knowing something of the animals that they come to visit. So it is no longer acceptable to maintain a pair of gorillas in a concrete cage. It is up to zoos to cleverly promote themselves so that visitors no longer expect to see the charismatic mega-vertebrates, but will seek out lesser-known, and hopefully non-vertebrate, species. `I want to see the jumping rat and the aye-aye' was the comment made by an eight-year-old girl arriving at Jersey Zoo – perhaps this is testament to a successful marketing campaign. Zoo marketing departments have an important and often understated role to play in the delivery of conservation objectives, especially considering that zoo promotions reach many people who do not actually visit the zoo. Every super-model has an agent to maintain and promote the desired image. Conservation must be the underlying if subliminal message of any zoo promotion.

Once visitors arrive at the zoo, marketing of desired story-lines must be strategic. The ramifications of all zoo operations on visitor experience, and the messages that visitors might gain, need to be carefully considered. The impact of a graphic encouraging wise use of energy is somewhat `watered-down' if the visitor then sees a split hose running with water pouring down the gutter, or a sprinkler watering a lawn during a heavy shower. Products (and their packaging) offered by catering and retail outlets also need to be consistent with the desired story-lines. Firstly, they should support environment-friendly operations, and secondly they can be used to reinforce themes. For example, a catering outfit sited within a tropical rainforest zone might offer tropical fruit-juices and fresh fruits, or other appropriately themed foods. As super-models need to maintain their image to ensure their continued success, so zoos need to maintain a consistent image. Perhaps an analogy should be made here with sporting heroes – the `icon' found guilty of taking banned drugs may quickly lose credibility and endorsements. Similarly the zoo as a conservation centre loses credibility if there is no active effort to achieve appropriate standards in its environmental management systems. Just as the super-model brings an ensemble to life, zoos must use elements of technology and theatre so that conservation is eye-catching and alluring, and a `must-have' element in our lives.

The contribution that most zoos make to conservation is largely through education. The Zoological Parks and Gardens Board (encompassing Melbourne Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary and Victoria's Open Range Zoo) has been involved in several successful conservation programs both for local species such as the eastern barred bandicoot, and exotic species such as Romer's tree frog. It is fanciful to think that more than a few select species will ever be returned to the wild. And even though reintroduction programs are implemented for particular species, many of the captive specimens are unsuitable for inclusion in the program. If zoos are centres of conservation, they must also be centres for education in conservation.

Sometimes the amount of money spent in conservation through education as opposed to in situ conservation can be difficult to justify. A park ranger who worked in Nigeria was staggered at the cost of Melbourne Zoo's gorilla exhibit. He elaborated as to what he could have purchased with that amount, and thus directly contributed to gorilla conservation. The concept of making people aware of the plight of gorilla habitat and thereby contributing to gorilla conservation seemed somewhat convoluted to him. Perhaps it would have been appropriate to direct a percentage of the money spent on the exhibit towards conservation of gorillas in the wild? Athletes advertising and endorsing particular brands of sports-shoes wear and use the product at every opportunity. If zoos want visitors to contribute to conservation, then surely they must behave similarly?

It is acknowledged that a zoo's ability to contribute to conservation programs is limited by available funds; the resources of zoos are limited. But it does seem appropriate to adopt the position of shop-front or catwalk, and to display, tantalise and stimulate. Zoos are more than just fun parks, and have the ability to be catalysts in people's lives. Zoos must be innovative, and use imagination and drama in selling the conservation message. And zoos must be able to sell a `tangible conservation action'. We can't all be super-models but we can wear the brand-name of our favourite athlete or celebrity. Similarly, we can't all breed endangered species, but we can use energy wisely, and recycle, and purchase environment-friendly products. If zoos are unable to get visitors to follow an environmentally responsible lifestyle, then it is not a matter of dropping out of fashion, but rather dropping out of existence. The super-zoo therefore needs to be a super-model, a model of energy-efficient and environment-friendly operations.

Amanda Embury,

Zoological Parks and Gardens Board,



(Fax: +61–3–9285–9370;





By the beginning of the 1990s, the number of bears held at Wellington Zoo, New Zealand, had dwindled from several pairs in the mid-1980s to only one elderly male American black bear in a complex of three bear enclosures built in the European, perhaps somewhat Hagenbeckian, style between 1929 and 1933. Over the years the zoo had held polar bears, Himalayan bears, sun bears and black bears in these exhibits. They were old-style pit enclosures, two being set into the side of a hill with water moats at the front and the third being a rectangular pit with a small pond. Each of them had a small concrete double den furnished only with hardwood benches set into the side walls. The pits were primarily built of reinforced concrete, with some cosmetic use of rocks to alter the internal layout (see photos, opposite).

Sequence of events


In early 1991 it became evident that our old black bear was not going to last much longer. The Wellington Zoo curator at the time, Dr Sherri Huntress, was given the task of finding a pair of Malayan sun bears (Helarctos m. malayanus), as this species fitted in with the Australasian Species Management Plan. After contacting the international studbook keeper, she managed to find a surplus pair at San Diego Zoo that we were able to purchase for US$1,500 each. Once we had secured a source of new bears, the next job was to design modifications to the existing enclosures that would both suit the new species and be within the limited budget of NZ$90,000. This job went to Dr Huntress's husband, Tom Tishler, a draughtsman, designer and sculptor who had already worked on several enclosure upgrades within the zoo.

For the design of the renovated enclosure Tom developed plans encompassing three stages:

1. The Enclosure – remove the dividing wall between the hillside cages, build up all flat surfaces into terraces, construct a waterfall in the central area and fit out the enclosure (including providing areas for digging and climbing, planting a protected green belt across the back of the enclosure, and improving the public viewing area at the front using shrub beds and new signs);

2. Dens – screen the entrances from public view, alter the door controls to improve keeper safety and control, construct a keeper trap between the pit and hillside enclosures, build an animal raceway between the den and the pit enclosure through the trap (containing a crush cage), and cut a new keeper entrance into the pit cage from the trap area;

3. Cubbing Facility – using the pit enclosure, construct a cubbing facility containing private heated dens with monitoring facilities for keepers, and a small outdoor enclosure with enough furniture to keep a separated bear busy and stimulated.

To help zoo management and City Council Committee personnel to envisage what the project involved, Tom built a scale model of his view of the renovated enclosures. Due to the previously mentioned budgetary constraints, he had to concentrate on what could realistically be achieved. He soon realised that the budget would not stretch to completing stages 2 and 3.

In the late winter of 1991, with the old black bear rehoused in the off-exhibit pit enclosure next door, renovation work started. Tom Tishler took the role of overseer for the construction phase of the project. The work was done by Mr Naibuka Tuitaru using volunteer labourers (provided by the N.Z. Government Department of Courts). Outside contractors were brought in where necessary (e.g. to remove the dividing concrete wall). Work on stage 1 was completed by early 1992. This gave us a main enclosure of the following dimensions; 33 m long, 13 m wide (i.e. 429 m2 total area), concrete walls 4.5 m high on three sides, and at the front a water-filled moat 3.5 m wide and 3.5 m deep. Each end of the enclosure had two dens measuring 2.4 m2. The exhibit surface was either concrete, rock, artificial rock or soil stabilised with large weld-mesh and plants. Additionally the enclosure featured a central multi-tiered waterfall with two pools and connecting streams that flowed down into the moat and were recycled by a submerged pump.


Upon stage 1's completion, a small amount of money was found to remain in the budget. This was spent on the first parts of stage 2, i.e. hiding the den entrances and installing proper locking devices on the den doors. Even though these dens were not keeper-friendly, they were functional and were the part of the enclosures that least required upgrading. This is the point at which the work stopped in early 1992, with renovating the dens, building the traps and raceway, and all of stage 3 left until a later date in the hope that more money would become available. After this the enclosure was tidied and readied for the arrival of the bears from San Diego (see photo, opposite).

On 28 April 1992 Stanley and Spot arrived. We renamed them using the Malaysian names Bakti (meaning `honour') and Chomel (`cute'). After a quarantine period they were released into their new home where, following an initial period of adjustment, they settled down well and made full use of their enclosure.

We encouraged them to stay active by continually placing the food in different areas (i.e. forcing them to forage for their food on a daily basis), altering the enclosure furniture, and giving them `toys' or objects which we found to hide food in, such as perforated hard plastic tubes, cylinders and balls. We also gave them rotten logs to rip apart to hunt for insects (whenever we were able to find a source of suitable logs).


By mid-1995 the bears had been in their enclosure for three years, yet no successful breeding had occurred. The keepers began to question this lack of reproduction, as breeding them was important to the zoo. It came as no surprise, however, as sun bears have proved difficult to breed in captivity, in particular when the total zoo population of the species is compared with the number breeding successfully. Periods when our female showed signs of being in season had occurred and coincided with the male being very attentive. Even though copulation had rarely been witnessed, we assumed that like a lot of zoo animals they were simply being secretive and normal copulation was occurring.

The female had only once shown signs of pregnancy. We had confined her to her den for several days, but her behaviour changed again without anything being produced (at least, anything that the keepers found). After these developments the section keeping staff and the zoo curator, Mike Burton, held several meetings to discuss what was wrong and to formulate possible solutions. Two major changes were put forward as necessary:

1. Completion of stages 2 and 3 of the redevelopment – i.e. to provide a proper cubbing facility that the female felt secure in; and

2. A fully researched behavioural and biochemical study to be undertaken into the bears to increase our understanding of what was occurring. (This was necessary because within the normal daily routines keepers do not have sufficient free time to fully monitor the bears.)

These proposals were then taken to the zoo management and the rest of the keeping staff. The section staff were able to convince them of the necessity for further changes, and the following action resulted from this.


Early in 1996 the zoo management was able to find another $20,000 from the Wellington City Council Capital Expenditure budget to finance the next stages. An outside wire contractor was contracted to build a wire mesh and pipe trap area between the pit and the dens in the northern enclosure. Within it they were to construct an elevated weld-mesh raceway, which featured lockable sliding doors and a crush cage, between the eastern den and the pit enclosure, and a keeper access door into the pit enclosure. This was completed by mid-1996. Work then paused again for several months.

I was appointed as section head in September 1996, and at the time was told that stage 3 would be completed using zoo staff, with outside contractors only brought in for specific jobs.


Work started on the cubbing dens when an outside blocklayer laid the walls in early 1997. After this the work progressed in fits and starts whenever the zoo carpenter was able to make time from his existing schedule of jobs. The keeping staff from the section provided back-up work for the carpenter (if staffing permitted when they had finished their normal daily routines). Keeping staff did all the painting of the dens, the enclosure, and the keeper observation and support area. They also undertook the outfitting of the enclosure, filling in the old pool, installing a climbing tree, building a climbing frame, bringing in a pile of logs, installing a water trough and spreading bark chip over the enclosure floor (see photo, below).

Once the basic structures were in place, the detailed work was addressed. The dens had to be outfitted with cubbing benches, white lights, infra-red lights, heating, surveillance camera, and a drinking fountain. All of these items had to be bear-proof, so they were either built tough enough to withstand attention or else recessed and put behind heavy steel mesh so that the bears could not reach them. The zoo's electrical contractor came in and fitted the lights, and the plumbing contractors installed the drinking fountain. While this was happening we were lucky enough to have a surveillance camera system donated to the zoo, including camera, VHS recorder and monitor. (This was donated by Arataki Honey Limited, our major sponsor of the sun bears.) We were able to install this system immediately. By September 1997 stage 3 was nearly completed, with everything installed in the cubbing dens, the keepers' observation area, and a fully fitted out enclosure. Stages 2 and 3 ended up costing in the vicinity of $40,000.

Behaviour and reproduction

After the decision to complete stages 2 and 3 was made, our bears began to breed. First, in 1996, there was what appeared to be a phantom pregnancy. Then in May 1997 we found the remains of twins in the enclosure – the female had cannibalised them soon after birth. It is doubtful whether these were live births. In these instances very little in the way of behavioural cues to indicate late-stage pregnancy had been observed by the keepers – none of the usual aggressiveness towards the male with a desire to be away from him, and very little nest-building. It seemed likely that, because of the inadequate facilities, the female did not feel physically or mentally secure enough to give birth and rear young anywhere in the enclosure or the old dens, and as a consequence was cannibalising her young.

Just as we were nearing completion of stage 3 (in August 1997), our female again began to show the signs of early pregnancy. She was initially locked away in the south-side dens, but this was not a suitable environment for her, so she was returned to the main enclosure. On 5 September 1997 the cubbing area was completed. We gave her access to it for a couple of hours per day, which was gradually increased until after a fortnight she was in this area all the time. She settled in very well and appeared to be relaxed and secure in the new cubbing area. This time we were able to witness a live birth (on 11 December 1997), but unfortunately the cub did not survive due to a lack of maternal care. Although we did not get a successful outcome, at least we now know that we are on the right track, and that the facilities we have provided are not the limiting factor that prevents us from breeding this species. After this episode, involving three successive pregnancies, we have given our female a seven-month break from breeding, and at the date of writing we have just reintroduced them.

Since work recommenced on stages 2 and 3, the zoo has had a master's degree student, Heather Hesterman, from Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand, carrying out behavioural observations on our bears, and researching the literature on the species for us. Her observations and data have shown us more of what is happening with our bears. This has allowed us to improve our ability to interpret the behavioural changes we observe. Throughout the period I have described we have received valuable advice from Mr Theo Pagel (Curator of Carnivores and Birds, Cologne Zoo), Dr Lydia Kolter (the EEP coordinator for sun bears), and we are now in touch with Cheryl Fredericks of Woodland Park Zoo (the international studbook keeper for sun bears).

In summary, I would say that these redevelopments have shown that most outdated, unsuitable enclosures can with care and attention be converted to more suitable purpose-designed exhibits, and this can be done without requiring the sort of enormous budget needed these days for constructing new ones.


I would like to acknowledge the assistance, information and photographs I have received during the preparation of this article from Tom Tishler and the staff at Wellington Zoo. Also the editorial assistance from Diana Pickard and Helen Topham.

John G. Pickard, M.Sc., Section Leader: Bears and Ungulates, Wellington Zoo, Newtown Park, Wellington 2, New Zealand.



`If you are thinking a year ahead, sow seed;

If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree;

If you are thinking a hundred years ahead, educate the people.'

Kuan Tzu, Chinese poet, 500 BC

Zoos are essentially educational. The zoo provides unique and real experiences engaging the senses and challenging the brain. However, critics such as Mullan and Marvin (1987) suggest that zoos pay lip-service to education, and others suggest that zoos are `morally objectionable' and therefore educationally `invalidated' (Dickson and Travers, 1994, p. 3).

Zoo educators such as Hatley (1984) acknowledge the importance of animal welfare issues in their work, and suggest that in fact zoos are a `very good place to start ethical examination of Man's relationship with the world's wildlife' (p. 4).

Education is perceived in many forms, ranging from, for example, curriculum-based learning to sensory experiences. Whilst it is generally acknowledged by all `Western' societies that formal education is very important, there is considerable evidence that much of what we learn occurs outside schools. For example, Cullingford (1992) asserts that `children acquire most of the information about the world they live in from informal sources, from their parents and peers and the media' (p. 17).

The significance of non-formal education was acknowledged in the follow-up to the World Conservation Strategy (IUCN, 1980), titled Caring for the Earth (IUCN, 1991), which stated (p. 52) that:

`The power of non-formal education and communication must be harnessed through parental influence, newspapers and magazines, television and radio, advertising and entertainment, and places such as zoos and botanic gardens.'

The potential for `education', in its broadest terms, through zoos is quite staggering: conservative estimates suggest that the world zoo community of approximately 1,200 zoos – although there are many more zoological collections which are not members of national or regional federations or associations – is visited by ten per cent of the world's population annually (IUDZG, 1993). This audience may have little relevant experience of, or direct concern about, conservation and environmental issues often espoused by other non-governmental organisations and conservation groups.

Zoos also have `egalitarian appeal' (Whitehead, 1995, p. 60), attracting a wide cross-section of society, and therefore their potential educational influence is immense. However, this potential has yet to be realised, and as Kellert (1987) indicates, zoos are to a large extent the `sleeping giants of the wildlife education and conservation field' (p. 11).

The development of zoo education as a profession is a relatively recent one, with many zoos not appointing education staff until the 1980s or later. Even then the primary focus has often been upon schools provision rather than the broader context. However, many developments in zoo education have mirrored those in the formal sector, and in other NGOs, such that forward-thinking collections soon incorporated the philosophy of environmental education.

Environmental education and sustainability

In 1970, IUCN defined environmental education as:

`. . . the process of recognising values and clarifying concepts in order to develop skills and attitudes necessary to understand and appreciate the inter-relatedness among man, his culture and his biophysical surroundings' (in Sterling, 1992, p. 3).

However, there has been an increasing recognition amongst practitioners in this field that there is a need to take this concept further, beyond awareness and understanding, and as Martin (1996) suggests, to recognise that `sustainable environmental management without social justice and human care and concern would be fatally flawed' (p. 47).

In the 1990s the `concept of sustainability' and the need to achieve a sustainable society have become enshrined into the environmental debate with events such as UNCED (the Rio Summit), and the concerns of development educators, e.g. `education for social and human development' (Carino, 1992, p. 9) have also become part of the issue of environmental protection, management, degradation etc.

In order to tackle environmental problems we need to look at and address their causes, and for some people this will mean challenging the very foundations of their way of life and attitudes, in effect to create a new way of doing things or, as Fien (1993) calls it, a `New Environmental Paradigm' which requires a rethinking of the dominant ideology of consumerism and development. The challenge that this suggests was succinctly put by Gandhi, when he said:

`There is enough in the world for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed.'

M.K. Gandhi (quoted in Shiva, 1989, p. 6)

The adoption of the true ideals of sustainability does require a reconceptualisation of the way people live and how they interact with their environment. After all, as Orr (1993) states, the present `environmental crisis' is largely a result of the work of the educated, and by implication, therefore, the education process has to be rethought to incorporate ways in which people can rediscover their connections to the environment, critically evaluate factors affecting their everyday lives, and develop effective solutions which are sustainable.

From the previous discussion, I contend that zoos are in a unique position to play a very important part in this process. However, in order to do so they, like other organisations, need to re-evaluate their ways of working, their ethos and the concept of a sustainable future, and reflect this to their visitors through the variety of `educational' opportunities available to them. That, at least, is the ideal.

Sustainability as a concept has to some extent been hijacked by the developed nations, and their ideas do not necessarily match with the overall principles of the concept. My definition of sustainability, which is based upon the work of many environmentalists, development educators and others, is:

`Sustainability is the ability of human society to co-exist in balance with the environment such that there is a reliance upon renewable resources, utilisation of waste, and emphasis placed upon meeting local community needs which are not to the detriment of other communities and the environment. Within local needs I would include aspects such as nutrition, shelter, education and environmental aesthetics.'

Woollard, 1998, p. 15

In reality the dominance of the present economic system is likely to water down the aspirations of any organisation operating in the modern world. After all, zoos are part of the leisure industry (and that, to some extent, is one of their great advantages over other conservation/education organisations), but to operate within the principles of real sustainability would require a rethink and action on all aspects of retail and catering (including what ice cream, souvenirs etc. to sell); introduction of sustainable resource use, energy consumption etc.; encouraging public transport use and discouraging cars; while at the same time earning sufficient funds in the competing leisure market to remain in operation. And then there are the issues of staff wages and conditions, equality, decision-making. . . Even if this is not 100% achievable, `the optimism of the action is better than the pessimism of the thought' (Greenpeace, 1995).

One of the greatest ways that zoos can contribute to this whole process is through adopting the principles of sustainability and implementing sustainable practices in their operation. This for example, may mean auditing the zoo's resource use and investigating acceptable ways to reduce consumption and especially wastage. Some organisations, including zoos such as Drusillas in the U.K. and Planckendael in Belgium, already have some `environmentally friendly' technology to recycle `waste' water; and the use of natural technology, such as the reed-bed filter system used at Bristol Zoo for its flamingos, is a most appropriate inclusion in zoos.

What is clear is that we must do more to practise what we preach, and therefore any new development which does not incorporate ways of reducing the negative environmental impact, and maximising the positive energy/resource saving, is a missed opportunity and at the very least strikes a false note in our message of environmental concern.

The new Conservation Education Centre at Bristol Zoo Gardens (opening in April 1999) is an example of compromise between environmental ideals and the practicalities of constructing a new building within a limited budget and other constraints. The building does incorporate innovative ventilation and heating systems, careful thought regarding materials and lighting etc., and consideration of the least environmentally-damaging technology. The building itself will provide a facility for extending and maximising the educational potential of the zoo for schools and visitors alike. The education work will continue to focus on the zoo's unique resource, live animals, but will attempt to tackle human-environment issues and adopt the ethos of Education for Sustainability.

Education for Sustainability (EfS)

EfS draws upon the strengths of environmental and development education, but is not the simple combination of the two (Downs, 1994). The role of EfS is to provide society with citizens able to critically evaluate the world around them and suggest viable sustainable solutions.

One of the essential features of this type of education is that it goes beyond information, skill development and understanding. It has as its goal and `product' action on the personal, social and political level. In many ways this type of education is seen as controversial – after all, its ethos challenges the dominance of the `world economy' and consumerism, questions the imbalances of wealth between people and nations, and outlines ways that individuals can act to alleviate their negative environmental impact.

EfS is therefore not particularly attractive to some policy-makers developing formal education curricula for schools. It seems that the huge benefits to the environment and people of having a population which is not only environmentally aware but also capable of critically examining the issues, suggesting solutions and acting sustainably, will rely heavily upon informal education initiatives such as the experiences offered by zoos. There is therefore a heavy weight of responsibility placed upon zoos to provide EfS and to act upon its core philosophy themselves. This is the higher purpose of zoo education.

Aims and objectives for zoo education's higher purpose

In the light of this discussion and the excellent foundation for EfS already in place in many zoos, I suggest that the aims and objectives of zoo education (see below) should incorporate sustainability and reflect the importance of encouraging `responsible, environmentally-friendly citizenship', whilst also building upon the foundation of zoos' unique educational resource, live animals.


Zoos provide a stimulating environment which has the potential for developing a critical examination of human–environment relationships with a wide cross-section of society, and they can become agents of social change, developing a sustainable future by adopting the philosophy of Education for Sustainability.

As the Australian Commission for the Future (1995) says:

`The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating.

The pathways to it are not found, but made.

The making of those pathways changes both the maker and the destination.'

Zoo Education: Aims and Objectives


To promote an understanding of, and concern and respect for animals and the natural world, and to encourage action which supports a sustainable future which meets local needs without detriment to other communities, the environment and biodiversity.


1. To provide a diversity of educational opportunities and activities within or operating from the zoo, for all sectors of the community.

2. To maximise the educational potential of zoos' unique resource, animals, to support enquiry, discovery, and dispersal of knowledge and understanding about all aspects of their lives, including welfare, conservation, environment and interconnection with human needs and activities.

3. To interpret the role of zoos in wildlife conservation, illustrate the cooperative approaches used, and provide opportunity for visitors and the community to act upon this information and participate in the conservation of biodiversity and creating a sustainable future.

4. To integrate EfS into all aspects of the zoo's operation, and to develop sustainable operation of the zoo itself.

5. To work closely and in partnership with others involved in education and conservation, to pursue EfS and a sustainable future.

6. To work with others to lobby governments, companies and individuals to adopt a sustainable ethic; including stating sustainable objectives to all the zoo's suppliers.

7. To encourage the equal participation of all staff in decision making relating to developing and maintaining sustainability.

Woollard (1998) – adapted from Federation of Zoos, 1992


Australian Commission for the Future (1995): in Ali Khan, S., `Approaches to curriculum development', Chapter 3 of The Environmental Agenda: Taking Responsibility, an Overview. Pluto Press/WWF, pp. 5–14.

Carino, J. (1992): DE and the North: does it mean justice for the South? NADEC Conference Report, pp. 8–9.

Cullingford, C. (1992): `As seen on television: the source of children's information', Chapter 3 of Children and Society. Cassell, pp. 15–38.

Dickson, A., and Travers, W. (1994): The Zoo Inquiry. World Society for the Protection of Animals and Born Free Foundation.

Downs, E. (1994): `Education for Sustainability: is the whole more or less than the sum of the parts?' Development Education Journal No. 2 (December), Development Education Association, pp. 5–8.

Federation of Zoos (1992): Zoo Education Aims and Objectives.

Fien, J. (1993): Ideology critique and environmental education. In Education for the Environment – Critical Curriculum Theorising and Environmental Action, Deakin University, pp. 14–49.

Greenpeace (1995): Campaign slogan.

Hatley, J. (1984): The role of the zoo in environment education today. Review of Environmental Education Development 12 (1): 3–6.

IUCN (1970): in Sterling, S. (1992), Coming of Age – a Short History of Environmental Education. National Association for Environmental Education, p. 3.

IUCN (1980): The World Conservation Strategy. IUCN/UNEP/WWF.

IUCN (1991): Caring for the Earth. IUCN/UNEP/WWF.

IUDZG (1993): The World Zoo Conservation Strategy. IUDZG/CBSG.

Kellert, S.R. (1987): The educational potential of the zoo and its visitor. Philadelphia Zoo Review 3 (1): 7–13.

Martin, P. (1996): `A WWF view of education and the role of NGOs.' Chapter 3 of Education for Sustainability (eds. J. Huckle and S. Sterling). Earthscan.

Mullan, B., and Marvin, G. (1987): Zoo Culture. Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

Orr, D. (1993): Schools for the twenty-first century. Resurgence 160 (September/October): 16–21.

Shiva, V. (1989): Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development. Zed Books.

Whitehead, M. (1995): Considering education. Ratel 22 (2): 59–63.

Woollard, S.P. (1998): The educational role of zoological gardens and their potential in developing education for sustainability. Unpublished thesis, M.Sc. in EE & DE, South Bank University.

Stephen P. Woollard, Assistant Head of Education, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3HA, U.K.



When the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, Indiana, U.S.A., planned to build a new exhibit devoted entirely to earthworms, we wondered: Would visitors come to the zoo to see these common yet fascinating creatures? Could we develop enough worm-related exhibits to fill a room? We found the answer to both questions was a resounding `Yes!'

Originally opened in 1965, Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is the region's premier family attraction, drawing more than 500,000 visitors every year. Covering 42 acres (17 ha), the zoo houses more than 3,000 animals of 256 species in naturalistic habitats. Major exhibits include the 22-acre (9 ha) African Veldt, the Australian Adventure, and the Indonesian Rain Forest, which was honored for Significant Achievement in Exhibit Design by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association in 1991. The zoo is completely self-supporting, with all operations funded by earned revenue. Capital projects are funded entirely by donations.

The zoo is open seasonally from late April through mid-October each year. For the past several years, a new exhibit has opened each spring. Orang-utans, Sumatran tigers and wart hogs were recent zoo additions. The 1998 feature was entitled `WORMS!'

Why Worms?

Why choose worms as the theme for a new zoo exhibit? A basic operating philosophy of Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is to make all exhibits `kid-friendly' – from low barriers and playful interactive devices to topics of interest to children. The familiarity of worms is part of their appeal.

The idea for WORMS! was born when zoo director Jim Anderson, working in his home garden, witnessed his own young daughter's enthusiasm for earthworms. Challenges to the staff included not only how to present the topic so it would pique the public's interest, but also how to develop techniques for exhibiting earthworms, which, to our knowledge, had never before been successfully exhibited in a zoo setting.

Once the decision was made to create WORMS!, seven months were available to design and build the exhibit before the April 1998 opening. Zoo staff developed the entire exhibit with the assistance of local craftspeople. The exhibit would be housed in our existing Discovery Center, a 1,360 square foot (127 m2) room that previously contained interactive exhibits, a chick hatching area and a working beehive.

A walk through the WORMS! exhibit

WORMS! contains three major interpretive areas. The first is devoted entirely to earthworms; the second focuses on worm `look-alikes' (animals that have body shapes similar to worms, but which are not worms); and a hands-on Worm Lab. Colorful wall graphics and video monitors enhance the exhibit, providing visual and auditory excitement.

Discovering earthworms

Upon entering the exhibit, children are invited to `Wiggle Like a Worm' by crawling through a ten-foot long (3 m) play tunnel. Nearby graphics discuss the number of earthworms in the average Fort Wayne backyard (about 350,000) and the amount of fertilizer they produce annually (about eight tons). A mural depicts the earthworm at work by day and by night; flip door panels reveal the earthworm's underground activities.

Across from the mural stands the Worm Wall, a ten-foot (3 m) long wall containing six 18 in. by 24 in. (45 ΄ 61 cm) panels. Each panel consists of a `sandwich' of glass sheets surrounding a thin layer of dirt, into which about twelve `night crawlers' (Lumbricus terrestris) have been introduced. Visitors enjoy an intimate view into the underground world of the earthworm. Tunnels are clearly visible, as are the piles of discarded petioles from leaves eaten by the worms. A video of worms venturing out of their burrows complements the live worm displays.

The basic needs of night crawlers are cool temperatures, adequate food, and suitable, moist soil. A service area behind the Worm Wall is insulated with two inches (5 cm) of foam and maintained at 55° F (13° C) with a thermostatically-controlled, forced-air Freon coil. A small workbench is provided for worm panel construction, and storage space allows the dirt, water and food for the worms to be kept at the proper temperature. Fluorescent light fixtures illuminate the worm panels from behind. For details on worm panel construction and worm husbandry, see the Appendix.

Worms in water

To provide a look at common yet seldom-seen worms, Planaria are fixed on slides and viewed under microscopes. Museum-quality microscopes were chosen for their durability and ease of use. On the wall above the microscopes, a videotape shows live Planaria swimming.

Worm look-alikes

Realizing the need to display a wide variety of animals, the scope of the exhibit was expanded to include worm `look-alikes'. This area features aquarium exhibits of a boa constrictor, snowflake eel (Echidna nebulosa), freshwater eel (Anguilla rostrata), greater siren (Siren lacertina), and giant mealworms (Tenebrio molitor).

An interactive wall display invites visitors to sort oversize animal cutouts into two categories: `Worm' and `Not a Worm'. Most of the animals seen in the WORMS! exhibit are represented as cutouts. These are attached to the carpet-covered wall with hook-and-loop tape.

Worm Lab

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo includes interactive, hands-on opportunities for visitors whenever possible. The Worm Lab is a highlight of the WORMS! exhibit for most visitors because they are able to touch live animals and interact with a zoo staff member.

The Worm Lab is a circular countertop, behind which an education staff member is stationed at all hours that the zoo is open to the public. Here again, worms and worm-like animals are presented. Visitors are invited to take a closer look at redworms (Lumbricus rubellus), medicinal leeches (Hirudo medicinalis), mealworms, and African millipedes (Archis pirostreptus). Our staff member answers visitor questions and provides factual information, while listening to `worm tales' from visitors. Games, puzzles, and hand-held magnifiers are available for self-directed investigation by children. A model of an earthworm, showing its internal organs, is mounted on a nearby countertop.

The most exciting moments in the Worm Lab come when visitors, especially children, allow a young African millipede to crawl across their hands. Smiles and giggles are the norm as the three-to-four-inch-long (7 to 10 cm) millipedes glide about in a flurry of tiny legs. Children often return again and again to enjoy their special moment with the millipede.

When appropriate, jars with preserved parasitic worm specimens (Ascaris, Balyascaris, Taenia, and Macracanthorhynchus) are brought out for display.

Bluegill exhibit

Several large specimens of the bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), a native game fish, are displayed in a 250-gallon (945 l) aquarium to answer the interpretive question, `Why are worms used as fish bait?' Visitors learn that earthworms resemble the insect larvae which are naturally eaten by bluegill.

Field guide to urban worms

To extend the zoo experience, visitors may take home a leaflet explaining where worms live and how to encourage worms in one's own backyard. This Field Guide to Urban Worms also gives instructions for maintaining worms at home in a jar. One section, entitled `How Worms Make the World a Better Place,' explains how worms help improve soils and drainage.

Educational materials

To supplement the WORMS! exhibit, the zoo's education department produced a teacher's resource guide containing background information and ideas for hands-on classroom activities. In addition, a program for visiting school groups is offered daily. In the program, students investigate live earthworms using magnifiers, and then participate in an original story created by education department staff.

Visitor reaction

WORMS! has been well received by zoo visitors and the local media. Numerous television spots have featured the exhibit. School teachers, many of whom already use worms in the classroom, enjoy the exhibit and plan field trips to incorporate a visit to the WORMS! exhibit. Repeat visits among the general public are common.


WORMS! has succeeded as an innovative and educational addition to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo The zoo staff has developed display techniques never before utilized in a zoo setting. Zoo visitors are acquainted with a common animal in an unconventional way.


Mary Appelhof, Flowerfield Enterprises, Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A.

Dr Ed Berry, National Soils Laboratory, Ames, Iowa, U.S.A.

Leslie Saul, former Curator of Invertebrates, San Francisco Zoo, California, U.S.A.

Suggested Reading

Christensen, D.A. (1997): Earthworms: slimy alternatives in programming. AZA Regional Conference Proceedings.

Edwards, C.A., and Lofty, J.R. (1972): Biology of Earthworms. Wiley and Sons, New York.

Ernst, D. (1995): The Farmer's Earthworm Handbook: Managing Your Underground Money-makers. Lessiter Publications, Brookfield, Wisconsin, U.S.A.


Worm panel details

To make a worm panel the following materials are needed:

– plate window glass, 1/8 in. (3 mm) thick, 20 ΄ 26 in. (51 ΄ 66 cm), two pieces;

– opaque white acrylic, 1/8 in. (3 mm) thick, 20 ΄ 26 in. (51 ΄ 66 cm), one piece;

– wooden dowel rod, 1/4 in. (6 mm) diameter, 18 in. (47.5 cm) long, one piece;

– wooden dowel rod, 1/4 in. (6 mm) diameter, 26 in. (66 cm) long, one piece;

– adhesive packing tape, 2 in. (5 cm) wide, one roll;

– caulk, GE SilPruf 2000 Series Sealant, one tube;

– reverse osmosis (RO) water, one liter;

– worm bedding mix (see below);

– bottom layer mix (see below);

– pear leaves, 24 leaves;

– sheet PVC (or acrylic or masonite) 1/8 ΄ 3 ΄ 20 in. (3 mm ΄ 7.6 cm ΄ 51 cm)

– night crawlers (Lumbricus terrestris), 12 worms;

– glycerine thermometer;

– wooden frame made to allow worm panel to stand vertically on the workbench;

– 60 cc syringe;

– rigid airline tubing, 1/8 in. (3 mm) diameter.

Worm bedding mix

Blend the following in a five-gallon (19 l) plastic bucket:

– filter sand, 0.8 l;

– sifted dry top soil, 0.8 l;

– 1/16 in. (1.5 mm) crushed limestone (`stone-sand'), 0.8 l;

– pea gravel, 0.8 l;

– `Magic Worm Bedding' (Carolina Biological Supply #K3-L399E), 0.8 l;

– local topsoil with natural humus, 0.8 l;

– 24 crumbled dry pear leaves.

Bottom layer mix

Blend in a coffee can:

– 1/16 in. (1.5 mm) crushed limestone (`stone-sand'), 0.8 l;

– pea gravel, 0.8 l.

Worm panel construction

Lay a piece of plate glass on a clean workbench. Clean both sides of the glass with dilute fabric softener and a soft cotton cloth. Lay a long dowel rod down each 26 in. (66 cm) edge of the glass, about 1/4 in. (6 cm) from the edge, and a short rod down the 20 in. (51 cm) edge. Use about 2 in. (5 cm) of packing tape at the end of each rod to keep it in place.

Clean both sides of the second piece of glass, and lay it on top of the dowel rods. Line up the edges of both pieces of glass. Run a bead of caulk between the sheets of glass, using the dowels as backer rods. Leave a gap at each end of the short dowel to serve as a drain hole. Reinforce the edges with packing tape, again leaving space for drainage. The panel should rest flat overnight to allow the caulk to cure.

Stand the panel in a wooden frame with the open end up. Tape the sheet PVC to the back edge of the panel. Use this as a `funnel' to sift enough bottom layer mix into the panel, creating a two- to three-inch (50–75 mm) layer. Sift two to three inches (50–75 mm) of worm bedding mix into the panel. Add about 60 ml of RO water. Continue to layer worm bedding and RO water in the panel until it reaches about two inches (50 mm) from the top.

Poke 12 holes in the bedding mix with the rigid airline tubing. Insert the bulb of the thermometer into the panel. Add night crawlers, one at a time, into the panel by guiding the animal's posterior to a hole in the bedding mix. Once it gets a grip on the soil, the worm will pull the rest of its body into the panel. Note: use only those night crawlers which appear healthy and are active. Questionable individuals should not be used.

Add another 60 ml RO water. Add whole pear leaves by slipping them between the glass panes. Insert the tip first, so that the petiole points up. Mount the panel against its non-glare acrylic window. Mount the white acrylic behind it. Hang a fluorescent light about 3 in. (7.5 cm) from the white acrylic so that one end shines on the panel.

Add pear leaves as needed. One dozen worms will eat about 12 leaves in two to three days. Add 30 ml RO water every time leaves are added.

The 1/4 in. (6 mm) gap between the glass panes is of great importance. With a larger gap the public cannot see the worms. If the gap is too small, they appear `squashed.' After a few days the worms will create their own burrows, both sides of which will be formed by the glass. In many places, the burrows will be backlit, and if not for the white acrylic, visitors would be able to see into the work area.

Because night crawlers will move away from areas that are more brightly lit than others, it is important for the work area to be brighter than the side from which the worms are viewed. Spotlights used to illuminate the panels on the display side cause the light intensity at the surface of the non-glare acrylic windows to be about 200 foot-candles. The use of white acrylic between the worm panel and the fluorescent light results in a light intensity of 300 foot-candles on the rear of the worm panels.

Non-glare acrylic windows are essential to make the worms visible to visitors. Initial attempts using double-glazed tempered glass created a mirror effect. Because worms are less than 1/4 in. (6 mm) from the non-glare windows, they can be viewed clearly – one of the few zoo applications where non-glare windows work well.

Leech husbandry and display

Each leech is kept in its own pint-sized (approximately 0.5 l) museum jar. The plastic lid of each jar was modified by drilling out the flat center with a hole saw, leaving just the threaded ring, reminiscent of the lid to a glass canning jar. Fiberglass fly screen is stretched across the mouth of the glass jar and the modified lid is screwed on.

Upon arrival, new leeches are anesthetized using MS-222 and transferred to their individual jar with screen top. The jars are then submerged in a small, well-seasoned aquarium with a standard, air-lifted undergravel filter.

About once a month, the leeches are fed. Each jar is removed from the aquarium and the water in the jar is poured out. The lid is replaced with a sheet of fresh, rinsed sausage casing, and the jar is inverted in a pan of fresh, warmed cow's blood. The sausage casings are obtained from a local butcher, and the blood from a slaughterhouse. The leeches attach to the inside of the sausage casing and feed for several minutes, gorging on the blood. It is important to use `real' blood, not just the fluid which is left in the bottom of a pan when frozen meat is thawed.

Warren W. Pryor, Animal Curator, and Cheryl Piropato, Education Curator, Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, 3411 Sherman Boulevard, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46808, U.S.A.

International Conference on Owl Biology, Ecology and Conservation

Australian National University, Canberra

19–23 January 2000.

Contact: Mark Holdsworth, Flora‘s Cottage, Fairy Glen Road, Collinsvale, Tasmania 7012 (Fax: 61–3–6233–3477; E-mail:




The New Zealand dotterel (Charadrius obscurus) is an endemic shorebird with a total population of 1,400 birds. It is categorised as two separate subspecies, a northern population (C. o. aquilonius) found on the coasts of the North Island and a southern population (C. o. obscurus) which now only breeds on Stewart Island. The northern subspecies is threatened in the wild and the southern subspecies is considered critically endangered, with a population of little more than 60 birds.

In 1994, Auckland Zoo became involved in an experimental captive project to test whether eggs could be taken from the wild, incubated, hatched and the chicks reared and released successfully. This was mainly to develop techniques which could prove useful in the recovery of the southern population should its decline have become more serious (Bell, 1998). Birds were successfully released in 1995 as a result of this project. However, in the 1995–96 season a new problem became apparent (Bell, 1997). Birds that had been reared that season were found to be infected with avian pox and a form of avian malaria, and were therefore not suitable for release. It also became apparent that mosquitoes were the vector for transmitting the diseases to the birds (Jakob-Hoff, 1997). Due to the previous success of the captive project, the Recovery Group decided that a new objective for a one-year project was to raise dotterels in captivity and maintain them disease-free for release into the wild (Roberts, 1997).

Beating the mosquito problem

In order for the zoo to undertake the insect proofing, NZ$4,000 was required. The Department of Conservation provided $3,500 of this, allowing the following actions:

1. Construction of two portable mosquito-proof tents (hung inside existing aviaries);

2. Residual insecticide spray on brooder room surfaces; and

3. Installation of two electric `fly zappers'.

The tent: who, what and where

The original idea was to cover already existing aviaries with a mosquito-proof mesh, of fibreglass or similar construct. (The mesh to be used was decided on after consultation with an entomologist at Auckland University.) However, after much discussion it was decided that this was not feasible, due mainly to the damage from the fabric flapping in the wind.

Steve Visick, Auckland Zoo's resident engineer, then designed a tent which was to be constructed from fibreglass mosquito-proof mesh, webbing and tarpaulin-type PVC groundsheet. The tent was designed to be tied inside existing aviaries using a system of webbing and ropes. It had 150-mm strips of PVC on the sides to prevent rubbing on the wire-mesh aviaries, and the bottom section could be filled with sand, logs, rocks and be planted to resemble dotterel habitat. The door had a flap on the outside, also constructed of fibreglass mesh, to act as a `fly-stop door' for mosquitoes.

Two of these tents were constructed by Andrew Johnston of Johnston Upholstery Ltd., Auckland, at a cost of approximately $1700 each.


Three dotterel chicks were hatched, reared in one of the tents and released disease-free after three months. The tents have therefore been a major success and may be useful to other conservation programmes where disease is a problem. They also have several secondary benefits. They provide some shade, act as wind-breaks and prevent injury to wings and heads when the birds fly up (predator evasion tactics) or into the sides of the tent. Another benefit is that food consumption can be almost precisely monitored because other animals are excluded from the tent. Finally, the tents have practical applications in the field and could be set up using poles, trees or similar in remote areas.

There are some problems, however these are small and could be overcome quite easily. One is that the tents can be ripped relatively easily, especially when the weight of the sand stretches the fabric. By ensuring that the ropes are not too tight, this risk can be minimised; also, reducing the amount of sand in the tents would alleviate this problem.

Another problem is that the tents become quite waterlogged after rain, but this could be improved with larger drainage holes in the floor.

Finally, care needs to be taken when first putting up the tents, so that no debris such as stones or small sticks is left under them, as the weight of the sand will cause these to pop through the PVC. A heavier PVC would reduce this problem.


Both tents were used in the 1998/99 breeding season, with six dotterel chicks being reared disease-free and subsequently released to the wild. In addition, the tents were used for rearing two New Zealand fairy terns (Sterna nereis davisae), considered to be one of our highest priority threatened species for conservation action: they are ranked Category A by Molloy and Davis (1992), with a total estimated population of 30 birds or less. Two white-fronted terns (Sterna striata) were reared as an analogue species for fairy tern, also in the tents. All six dotterels were kept in one tent, and the four terns were kept in the second tent. Also, an injured dotterel was brought in from the wild and, after a quarantine period, was rehabilitated in the tent with the juvenile dotterels.

The tents were also used by the New Zealand Department of Conservation on an offshore island as a pre-release holding facility (or `soft release') for New Zealand shore plover (Thinornis novaeseelandiae), another threatened shore bird. The Department have approached us to use the tents within the next month (April 1999), once again for shore plover, as a temporary holding facility in the field.


Bell, M. (1997): New Zealand dotterel protocol for 1997/98. Unpublished report, Auckland Zoo, New Zealand.

Bell, M. (1998): 1997/98 Auckland Zoo New Zealand dotterel report for the NZD Recovery Group. Unpublished report, Auckland Zoo, New Zealand.

Jakob-Hoff, R., Rose, K., Smits, B., and Reed, C. (1997): Avian malaria and avian pox in captive reared New Zealand dotterels, Charadrius obscurus. Paper presented to the 1997 Avian Veterinarians Conference, Perth, Australia.

Molloy, J., and Davis, A.: Setting Priorities for the Conservation of New Zealand's Threatened Plants and Animals. New Zealand Department of Conservation, Wellington.

Bryan Welch, Keeper: Native Species, Auckland Zoo, Private Bag, Grey Lynn, Auckland 2, New Zealand.

Announcing . . . World Parrot Month – August 1999

The World Parrot Trust has designated August 1999 as World Parrot Month. This will be a time to:

– recognise the urgent need to protect and preserve parrots in the wild, especially the 90 species in danger of extinction;

– celebrate the companionship that millions of pet parrots give to people in every country in the world;

– motivate everyone who cares about the conservation of wildlife to see the parrots as logical `spokespersons for nature'; the character and beauty of these birds can help save rainforests and other habitats for the whole of nature, including ourselves;

– raise funds for parrot conservation and welfare.

What will the World Parrot Trust be doing?

First, we will invite every organisation and publication interested in parrots to join us in Promoting World Parrot Month. Second, we will invite everyone who keeps parrots in captivity, studies or protects them in the wild, or just cares about their wellbeing, to join us in publicising their needs. Third, we will contact the media and zoos around the world and ask them, during this special month, to inform and educate their audiences about parrots. Fourth, we will provide a range of promotional materials, including a video, stickers, badges, posters and leaflets.

For further information, contact our UK or USA offices:

WPT–UK, Glanmor House, Hayle, Cornwall TR27 4HY, U.K. Tel.: +(0)1736.753365; E-mail:

WPT–USA, P.O. Box 49766, Sarasota, Florida 34230 Tel.: +941.766.7262; E-mail:


INTERNATIONAL ZOO YEARBOOK 36, edited by P.J.S. Olney, Fiona A. Fisken and Linda J. Davolls. The Zoological Society of London, 1998. viii + 663 pp., photographs, diagrams, hardback. ISSN 0074–9664. £65.00 (U.K.), £69.50 (overseas), including postage and packing. (The list of Zoos and Aquariums of the World is available as an offprint for £18.50 (U.K.), £20.00 (overseas), incl. postage and packing.)

In one immediately obvious respect International Zoo Yearbook 36 looks different from its predecessors – there's a full-colour photo (of a young orang-utan) on the dust-wrapper. Inside, though, almost everything is reassuringly familiar. The Yearbook quickly arrived at a satisfactory formula, and it has stuck to it ever since, with only minor modifications. Indeed, the basic tripartite framework was established with the very first volume – Section 1 devoted to a special topic, Section 2 for `new developments in the zoo world' (recently rephrased as `the developing zoo world'), and Section 3 for reference, with annual lists of animals bred, rare animals kept, etc., and biennial (since 1968, in every even-numbered volume) lists of zoos and aquariums of the world. Anyone who refers to the Yearbook as often as I do will notice minor changes this time. The measurement conversion tables have been dropped from the endpapers – will I be the only person to regret the loss of this minor detail, peripheral to the book's main purpose but handy whenever you need to convert, say, metres to feet or acres to hectares? British zoos are now listed under United Kingdom instead of Great Britain (though with the current talk of devolution, it may not be long before they have to be moved again, to England, Scotland et al.!). Big changes to the taxonomic arrangement and nomenclature in the mammal sections took place in Volume 35; I'm not quite at home with them yet, but I bow to the Yearbook's superior authority, and tend to refer to it for a definitive judgement whenever I have to make my own editorial decisions in this area.

Volume 36 has the most pages ever. The difference is accounted for by the greatly increased bulk of the animal lists; the reason is – unfortunately – not that zoos are suddenly breeding many more animals, but that the lists cover two years, 1995 and 1996. This is, however, very good news if it means – as I assume it does – that from now on these figures will be a year more up-to-date than in past volumes. The publication of Vol. 36 was about six months late; but if 37 appears on schedule this summer, with the 1997 breeding figures, that will reduce the interval between the period the statistics relate to and their publication to about 18 months. To ask for any shorter time-lag than that would be totally unrealistic. The `census of rare animals in captivity' is also much bigger, and in this case the increase is certainly partly accounted for by the greater number of species included. The most striking change is in the invertebrates (up from 45 to 82), but a rapid check revealed other newcomers such as great bustard, Marianas crow, moor macaque and bearded pig.

Turning now to the first two sections, the 31 papers they comprise are listed as usual in our Recent Articles section, below. Last year's welcome innovation, an introductory Guest Essay, appears again, this time in the form of a report by Lee Durrell and Jeremy Mallinson on Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust's shift of emphasis towards field conservation programmes. I have suggested in earlier reviews that the Yearbook needed something like an editorial to focus on the broader issues facing zoos today, and essays like this fulfil that role admirably.

The special topic this time is Old World primates. Two papers discuss this group in general, with reference to nutrition and environmental enrichment. (The former draws attention to vitamin D deficiency as needing particular attention; an interesting point is that the dominant animals in a group may be at greatest risk, because they can select the tastiest – but not necessarily most nutritious – food items.) Chimpanzees and gorillas each receive a behavioural study, and there are three reports on the captive status of orang-utans, in North America, Europe and Taiwan. The orang SSP and EEP seem well on course to achieve self-sustaining populations of both subspecies (though hybrids will remain a problem for many years yet); the picture in Taiwan is less hopeful, but it's useful to have the data (see the summary on p. 185, below). Other species in this section include gentle lemurs (at Jersey and Duke University), slender loris (developing a husbandry manual), various guenons (behavioural studies at Edinburgh), Sulawesi macaques (housing at Newquay), geladas (status and captive management), colobus and patas monkeys (sharing a mixed exhibit), douc langurs (Cologne), moloch gibbons (in and ex situ status), and siamangs (vocalisation).

The 13 papers in Section 2 begin with one aimed especially at readers involved in overall zoo management, showing how the Zoological Parks Board of New South Wales developed ways of measuring performance in key areas of the zoo business. (Being more of an `animal person' myself, I find my eyes tend to glaze over at the sight of this sort of article, but rationally I accept that the zoos I love couldn't function without someone undertaking this sort of work, so I'm grateful that people can be found to do it with enthusiasm!) The remaining articles range as widely as ever. Invertebrates get a look in with a report on the rearing project for ladybird spiders, and reptiles with an account of breeding d'Orbigny's slider turtle at São Paulo Zoo. We hear all too little from Chinese zoos, so it's good to learn about the great success Shanghai Zoo has had in breeding the highly endangered – and `difficult' – oriental white stork (see pp. 185–6, below). Other birds reported on are eastern white pelican (hand-rearing at Vogelpark Avifauna), Rüppell's griffon vulture (hand-rearing in Paris), red-and-blue lory (breeding at Loro Parque) and St Lucia parrot (diet at Jersey Zoo). The husbandry and breeding of two unusual mammals are featured, the Amazon River dolphin (at an aquarium in Venezuela) and the blind mole rat (at Tel Aviv University's research zoo). Finally there are three studies of ungulates, on sex ratios in captive-born ruminants, husbandry and breeding of North American ungulates at two U.S. zoos, and capture and handling of gazelles at the King Khalid Wildlife Research Center in Saudi Arabia.

To end, one final statistic: this volume's articles come from 13 countries in five continents – a convincing confirmation of the Yearbook's international credentials.

Nicholas Gould

RESEARCH AND CAPTIVE PROPAGATION edited by Udo Ganslosser, J. Keith Hodges and Werner Kaumanns. Filander Verlag GmbH, 1995. 338 pp., paperback. ISBN 3–930831–01–5. DM 49.80.

COMPARISON OF MARSUPIAL AND PLACENTAL BEHAVIOUR edited by David B. Croft and Udo Ganslosser. Filander Verlag GmbH, 1996. 256 pp., paperback. ISBN 3–930831–02–3. DM 49.80.

Both books are available from the publishers at Bremer Strasse 21a, D-90765 Fürth, Germany (Tel. 0911–790–5893; Fax: 0911–790–5972): purchasers outside Germany should contact them for postal rates and methods of payment.

Many of the papers collected in Research and Captive Propagation were originally presented at a workshop held at the University of Erlangen in 1994; some additional articles were specially commissioned for the published volume. The end product comprises 32 papers reporting on research projects based in zoos; German contributions predominate, but there are also reports from Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand. Though this is not stated, I assume the workshop was conducted in English throughout; we in the English-speaking world owe a debt of gratitude to our colleagues in Germany and elsewhere, and to the publishers, Filander, for making these papers available in our native language.

One of the contributors, Ian Hume, writing from the point of view of a wildlife nutritionist and comparative physiologist, describes zoos as `a treasure house of species often not otherwise accessible for study.' This enthusiastic tribute from someone outside the zoo community might almost serve as a theme for the book as a whole. It is significant that a majority of the authors are academic biologists rather than zoo people. Cooperation between zoos and universities is of obvious benefit to both; and when zoos are under attack from some ill-informed sections of the public, it is heartening that they have the active support of many outsiders professionally engaged in the study of animals.

The topics covered in Research and Captive Propagation are diverse – more so, indeed, than the title suggests, since papers on, for example, nutrition, environmental enrichment and the pre-release training of captive-bred animals are only marginally connected with breeding as such. It is impossible in a brief review to mention more than a sample selection of the subjects discussed. Colin Groves writes on a topic of perennial concern to zoos – what are the smallest taxonomic units relevant to a captive-breeding programme? In a short but important article, he urges extreme caution in interbreeding, not merely between subspecies (since `today's subspecies may be tomorrow's species, as soon as some taxonomist gets around to revising them'), but even between individuals from geographically separate populations of the same subspecies (such as tigers from opposite ends of the Indian subcontinent). This theme is elaborated by Schreiber, Kolter and Kaumanns, who note that taxonomic species and biological species do not necessarily correspond: both they and Groves mention the case of Kirk's dik-dik, whose population in North American zoos turned out to belong to two cytotypes, visually almost identical but chromosomally distinct and hence incapable of interbreeding.

In a paper which could have wide implications for zoos, Angela Glatston writes about sex ratios in animals. We all know that incubation temperature can affect the sex of hatchlings in many reptile species; but many people may not realise – I certainly didn't – that birth sex ratios in mammals have been shown to be influenced by a number of factors affecting one or both parents, including nutrition, physical condition, age, stress, population density and social status. Glatston admits that the existing data are `confusing, often unclear and sometimes contradictory', but she is surely right to claim that further research into this phenomenon is urgently needed; in a polygynous species, the discovery of a management technique which could alter the male/female ratio at birth from 1:1 to 1:3 would be the equivalent of a trebling of the total population. Will bachelor groups in zoos one day be a thing of the past?

A noteworthy feature of this collection is the way in which various authors show the unexpected relevance to captive breeding of a diverse range of topics. Carel ten Cate, for example, writes about imprinting and song learning in birds; how many aviculturists are aware that in some species a male who has learned the wrong song may be incapable of breeding with `normal' females? Büttner and Ganslosser discuss biological rhythms and their consequences for breeding; much of the research on this has been done with laboratory animals such as rats, mice and hamsters, but again studies in zoos might turn up some interesting results, possibly with practical value in breeding programmes.

Species-specific articles in the volume include ones on bonobo, Goeldi's monkey, lion-tailed macaque, Asian elephant, European ferret and takahe. The latter two, of course, are not familiar zoo species, but the inclusion of these studies is entirely justifiable. Infant ferrets become imprinted on the odours of prey species during a brief sensitive phase (the third month of post-natal life); imprinting on the `wrong' prey could seriously reduce an individual's chances of survival in the wild. The implications for reintroduction programmes with similar species – most notably the black-footed ferret – are obvious. Training for life in the wild is also a necessary part of the recovery programme for the takahe, a flightless New Zealand rail with a tiny (c.130) wild population. The species' only predator is the introduced stoat, and captive-reared birds are taught before release to recognise stoats as a threat and respond appropriately.

I hope this brief and very selective review will indicate that Research and Captive Propagation is full of varied and thought-provoking reading for zoo professionals. The fact that it was published in Germany may have limited its impact in English-speaking countries – certainly, I only learned of its existence more than two years after it was published – but since the publishers evidently intend to continue to issue serious zoology books in English, it seems likely that we will all become familiar with the Filander imprint in the future.

This, of course, leads me to the other book under review. Comparison of Marsupial and Placental Behaviour is also based on the proceedings of a meeting – a symposium held at the International Theriological Congress in Sydney in 1993 – with additional contributions specially commissioned for the book. The theme is one never before considered in such detail. It is tempting to assume that the three mammalian subclasses – monotremes, marsupials and placental mammals – represent three stages in an evolutionary progression; but a truer picture seems to present the monotremes and the `therian mammals' (marsupials and placentals) as having emerged as distinct and almost simultaneous developments from reptilian stock around 200 million years ago, with the therians subsequently dividing into their two surviving components some time in the Cretaceous period. The abandonment of the 19th-century hierarchical arrangement of the subclasses involves the rejection of the notion that any subclass is `higher' than the others. In fact, as Mark Rowe points out in the first paper in this book, the monotremes are relatively large-brained when compared with, e.g., some insectivores, and in terms of neocortical development – a good measure of all-round intellectual ability – the larger marsupials, such as the kangaroos, are level with the middle range of placental mammals. `Diversity arises from specialisations in the behaviour and ecology of individual species, which is unbounded by the subclass of mammals studied.'

In general, the book tries inter alia to present evidence of ways in which marsupials actually have the advantage over their placental counterparts; this aim is, in the editors' words, `a response to the notion that marsupials are a curious primitive backwater off the mainstream of mammalian life.' (Not all the papers, however, make direct comparisons between marsupials and placentals; some are more concerned to compare different taxa of marsupials, in particular New World against Australasian species.) Mario Salamon considers the olfactory systems of marsupials and their use in communication; he finds close similarities with placentals, and suggests that marsupials, because of their preponderance of nocturnal species, may prove to be excellent models for studies of chemical communication in mammals. One might expect that evolutionary convergence would likewise have produced similarities in social organisation; but Peter Jarman and Hans Kruuk show that this is not the case – marsupials are socially much more conservative and less diverse than placentals, a limitation the authors ascribe to fundamental phylogenetic constraints. This theme is developed in other papers by Udo Ganslosser and Hubert Hendrichs, and all three authors agree that this is a fertile ground for further research, a suggestion confirmed by David Croft in a paper describing in situ studies of foraging behaviour in bighorn sheep and euros, and Graeme Coulson in an investigation of anti-predator behaviour in marsupials. The latter emphasises the broad similarities of marsupials and placentals in this context, as does Mascha Lissowsky in reviewing patterns of play in the two subclasses.

Three authors focus on reproductive biology – Linda Walker on female mate-choice, Debbie Ashworth on maternal investment, and Martine Atramentowicz on a comparison between the reproductive strategies of the woolly opossum and Allen's bushbaby. The first two tend on balance to emphasise marsupial/placental similarities; the latter finds that the opossum is capable of a rapid population increase with high turnover, while the bushbaby has a low reproductive output, thus contradicting a common assumption that, other things being equal, placentals tend to out-reproduce marsupials. John Winter compares two ecologically and morphologically similar groups, the possums and lemurs, finding one major behavioural difference in the absence of a contact call in possums. He makes the intriguing suggestion that another difference – the fact that no living possum species is diurnal whereas several lemurs are – may be a result of the longer human predation pressure in Australia. Finally, Joanne Righetti makes another comparison between taxa occupying similar niches, shrews and small dasyurids, with special reference to inter- or intraspecific territorial competition; here, there is a striking contrast between the highly competitive and aggressive shrews and the less confrontational dasyurids, who typically rely on avoidance rather than conflict. Here, as elsewhere in Comparison of Marsupial and Placental Behaviour, as many questions are raised as are answered. Indeed, a leitmotif of the whole volume is the opportunity, or need, for further research – research which the publication of these papers may help to stimulate.

Nicholas Gould

Other recent publications (publishers' announcements)

Gone Astray: the Care and Management of the Asian Elephant in Domesticity by R.C. Lair (1998). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Forestry Department, Rome, Italy, and Forestry Department Group, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. 300 pp. ISBN 974–89472–3–8.

This book deals with a wide range of questions concerning the 16,000 domesticated elephants in 11 of the 13 countries in the Asian elephant's range. Domesticated elephants are largely ignored by conservationists, yet the author argues that well-managed domesticated elephants offer many potential benefits to wild elephants. Changing economies and eroding cultural traditions mean that, like the wild populations, their numbers are falling, and their declining value means that many are in need of help. An introduction examines the many facets of elephant keeping, separate chapters deal with the particular situation in each country, and a concluding chapter summarizes the problems and suggests courses of action. There is an extensive bibliography. For anyone with a romantic view of elephant keeping and the mahout–elephant relationship the book will be a revelation. For copies contact: FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (c/o M. Kashio), Maliwan Mansion, 39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand (Tel.: +662 281 7844; Fax: +662 280 0445; E-mail:

Partridges and Francolins: Their Conservation, Breeding and Management by G.E.S. Robbins (1998). World Pheasant Association, P.O. Box 5, Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire RG8 9PF, U.K. Hardback £24.95 (+ £2.50 postage U.K. and overseas surface mail). Tel.: +44 (0) 118 984 5140; Fax: +44 (0) 118 984 3369; E-mail:

The Old World francolins and partridges comprise 92 species, with the forests of eastern Asia holding most of the more threatened species. This book discusses the role of captive breeding in the research and conservation of these birds, and details the design of aviaries and techniques for captive management and husbandry. A taxon advisory group (`Gallitag') has been established to coordinate breeding programmes within the British Isles and to liaise with other interest groups. The book includes a checklist and summary species accounts, including avicultural notes where available. The species are illustrated with colour photographs or paintings.


Saving the pygmy hog

The Pigmy Hog Conservation Programme (PHCP) is a broad-based research and conservation programme with aims to save the smallest and rarest wild suid in the world, the pygmy hog (Sus salvanius). The species is at the brink of extinction, being currently restricted to a few pockets along Assam's border with Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. The recovery programme for this critically endangered species and its equally threatened habitat is being conducted under the aegis of a formal International Conservation Management and Research Agreement signed in February 1995 between the IUCN/SSC Pigs, Peccaries and Hippos Specialist Group, Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, the Forest Department of the Government of Assam, and the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

One of the most important components of the agreed Action Plan, status surveys of all known and suspected grassland habitats of pygmy hog in north-eastern India, has been carried out. These surveys were based mainly on interviews conducted with local people – tribal and village shikaris, forest department employees, mahouts and other persons identified locally as being the most knowledgeable about wildlife. Wherever possible, visits were also made to the field, both to evaluate available habitat and to search for any evidence of the species' recent activities, e.g. forage marks, footprints etc. Although the surveys were primarily focused on the pygmy hog, efforts were also made to locate any remnant population of hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus) and Bengal florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis), both of which species share similar distribution and habitat preferences. Information on human use and management of the habitats and threats were also collected.

The surveys found definite evidence of continued survival of pygmy hogs in a few areas, but the only viable population appeared to be in Manas National Park; even areas which had hogs till the late 1970s had lost all suitable habitat due to human encroachments. However, besides determining the present status of the species at different locations, possible reintroduction sites were identified and short-listed. Restoration of grassland habitat, provision for adequate protection and plans for long-term management of these habitats are scheduled for the next phase of the programme. The pygmy hogs being bred and maintained in captivity will finally be released in these sites.

In 1996, six wild hogs caught in Manas National Park were transferred to a custom-built research and breeding centre about 150 km away at Basistha on the outskirts of Guwahati. Altogether eleven hogs were trapped during this operation; four of them were fitted with radio-harness and released for radio-telemetry studies, while another, a small subadult male, was released after routine examinations. The six founder hogs settled down well in Basistha and three adult females, which were pregnant when caught, produced healthy litters in 1996. All but one of the 13 (7.6) young were reared. Routine husbandry and veterinary procedures were devised, modified and perfected at the centre – little past information on these aspects for the species was available. Other related activities included behavioural, reproductive and nutritional studies on the captive animals.

Seven more litters were born in 1997, but some hogs died due to an infection which was effectively controlled with local and international help; nonetheless, the hog population almost doubled in 1997, from 18 to 35. In the 1998 breeding season, five sows farrowed, adding 21 more hogs to the population. Five animals died in 1998, and currently 51 (28.23) hogs are present at the Research and Breeding Centre, representing about an 850% growth in the captive population after three breeding seasons – a massive increase by any standard. This unanticipated and rapid increase created accommodation problems, but extension enclosures and a quarantine facility have been constructed with funds provided by the Assam Valley Wildlife Society, in collaboration with whom a second breeding centre is being planned, which will preferably be located close to one of the reintroduction sites. Since the animals at Basistha are the only captive pygmy hogs in the world, the second centre will also be an insurance against any catastrophe at the present location. Genetic studies and the introduction of a few more wild hogs into the captive population have also been planned.

Extracts from the Summary Report of the Pigmy Hog Conservation Programme (October 1995 to September 1998)

Oryx go back to the brink

A flagship conservation programme, the Arabian Oryx Project in Oman, has suffered a severe setback because of an illegal trade in live animals sold into private collections, reports Martyn Gorman in Nature Vol. 398, p. 190 (18 March 1999). The story was recounted by Andrew Spalton, a biologist with the project, at a conference in Abu Dhabi in March. The last wild individuals were killed in the deserts of Oman in 1972. Ten years later, reintroductions began with the release of ten founder members into Oman's central desert, just 75 km from where the last wild oryx had been shot. The liberated animals flourished, despite serious drought, and by October 1995 there were around 280 in the wild, ranging over 16,000 km2 of desert.

A few months later, the spectre of poaching returned and oryx began to be taken for sale as live animals outside Oman. Nonetheless, the number of animals continued to increase – to 400 or so – until growing poaching pressure through 1997 and into 1998 led to a population crash to just 138 in September of last year. At that point the wild population was considered to be no longer viable and 40 animals were taken back into captivity. After further poaching in January of this year, just 11 females and an estimated 85 males remain in the wild.

There is a further reintroduction programme in Saudi Arabia, where poaching is currently less of a threat, so the outlook for oryx in the wild is not entirely grim. But in Oman the situation is bleak, and political action will be needed to remedy matters.

Montserrat's mountain chickens

The Caribbean island of Montserrat, a U.K. Overseas Territory, hit the world's headlines in the summer of 1995 when the Soufriere Hills volcano unexpectedly erupted after a 350-year dormancy, devastating the southern parts of the island. While the human implications have been closely monitored, the effects of on-going volcanic activity upon Montserrat's unique wildlife have largely been ignored. Despite being only 102 km2 in area, this rugged island has a diverse fauna and flora which includes two endemic plants, one endemic bird, the Montserrat oriole [see I.Z.N. 45:4, p. 228], and three endemic reptiles. It is also home to one of only two populations of the endangered mountain chicken frog (Leptodactylus fallax).

Roughly the size of a guinea pig, the mountain chicken is one of the world's largest and most extraordinary frogs. Its name derives from its long hind legs, which supposedly taste like chicken. These handsome frogs are more commonly heard than seen, producing loud yelping calls that can be detected over one kilometre away. Historically, the mountain chicken inhabited at least five islands in the Lesser Antilles. Due to invasive species, hunting and habitat loss, however, they now occur only on Dominica (where they are still heavily hunted) and Montserrat.

In January 1998 a Fauna and Flora International (FFI) herpetologist, Jenny Daltry, went to Montserrat to help devise a monitoring programme to find out how far the frogs were threatened by the volcanic crisis. The programme entails frequent appraisals of the mountain chicken's distribution range, abundance, health and reproductive success. Transects have been established throughout the remaining frog habitat, and, every few months, each one is systematically surveyed using visual and aural encounter techniques at night. All frogs captured are sexed, weighed, measured and examined for signs of external damage. Findings from this programme are being compared to FFI's three-month study conducted shortly before the first major eruptions in 1995. The findings show that at least 10% of the species' original (1995) habitat in Montserrat has been annihilated by pyroclastic flows (ash and fragmented rock), and all parts have been exposed to acid rain and volcanic ash fall-out. The volcano is also releasing toxic gases such as sulphur dioxide and hydrogen fluoride. Not surprisingly, much of Montserrat's normally lush vegetation now shows severe signs of dieback, and there is evidence of skin disease and tooth decay among wild and feral mammals, as well as ash-related illnesses among humans.

Remarkably, mountain chickens still survive in the moist forest of the Centre Hills within an area of almost 17 km2. Numbers of frogs seen in some valleys in 1998 compare favourably with pre-eruption sightings, and all frogs examined have been plump and in excellent condition, despite often being heavily coated in ash. But can the mountain chickens still breed in this highly polluted environment? This is not an easy question to answer, due to this frog's unconventional reproductive behaviour – mountain chickens spawn and tadpoles develop in a foam nest at the bottom of a deep and well-concealed burrow, and are therefore hard to find even under normal circumstances. It is clear, however, that sub-adults are now unusually scarce, comprising only 6% of the population. No one knows how much longer the Soufriere volcano will be active, or how many years it will take the soils and forests to recover. It is therefore crucial that the monitoring programme continues to provide regular, well-informed updates on the status of this globally important population. If the frogs continue to show poor breeding success, the only option will be to establish a number of mountain chickens in captivity on another island. In accordance with recommendations made by FFI, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust has offered to lead the captive-breeding feasibility study.

Jenny Daltry in Fauna and Flora News No. 10 (February 1999)



Annual Report 1997 – extracts from the English language summary

Animal Collection

In February Coco, our youngest (11-year-old) female Indian elephant, produced her first calf, Hannibal. He was the zoo's eighth elephant calf and the first young of a zoo-born elephant. Coco delivered him without any assistance, but would not let him suckle, and finally became aggressive towards him. Eventually it was decided to remove him and bottle-feed him. For the first two days bovine colostrum was used, and subsequently breast milk substitute for babies. As experience has shown that products containing bovine butterfat cause indigestion (vigorous diarrhoea) in infant elephants, the product Mamex was chosen, as it only contains vegetable fat; also, its composition comes very close to that of elephant milk. At first 130 g of Mamex was used to make one litre of milk; later the concentration was increased to 225 g per litre. In the early days the calf drank 6–7 litres a day, later rising to 10–12 litres. From the age of three months, rice milk cereal (Protimex) was substituted for part of the milk.

At birth Hannibal weighed 110 kg, and by about 100 days old he weighed 178 kg. Everything went smoothly until 5 June, when he had diarrhoea and a reduced appetite. A bacteriological examination of his faeces showed a pure culture of Salmonella enteriditis. Even though antibiotic treatment succeeded in controlling the salmonella infection, Hannibal continued to suffer from violent diarrhoea. Medication, force-fed supplements of electrolytes and vast amounts of intravenous fluids only resulted in a short period of improvement, and he gradually became weaker. On 14 June he was unable to stand and beyond any hope of cure, so he was euthanised; he then weighed 163 kg. The post mortem examination showed that the salmonella infection had been treated successfully; but the mucous membrane in the gastrointestinal canal had undergone changes causing serious digestion disturbances, which dramatically reduced the ability to absorb nutrients.

The babirusas delivered a single piglet in March, and in May we were able to send a pair to Wilhelma Zoo, Stuttgart. They were the first piglets we could send to other participants of the breeding programme since the babirusas were added to the collection in 1981.

Other notable mammal births included a two-toed sloth (the third to be born in the tropical house, and the fourth in the zoo's history) and a Californian sea lion. The latter, in a change from our previous practice of isolating pregnant females, was delivered in the sea lion enclosure; but, regrettably, the cub died a few days after its birth.

The two female reticulated giraffes each produced a healthy male calf, but about a month later one of the calves was found dead. It weighed 80 kg and was in good body condition. The autopsy showed necrotic gingivitis around the molars. In the oesophageal groove, similar inflammatory changes were found, with ulceration and bleeding to the rumen. A bacteriological examination of the inflammatory processes revealed a bacterial flora dominated by Fusobacterium necrophorum biovar A. The pathological changes indicate the cause of death to have been necrobacillosis (bovine diphtheria). The explanation of the bacterial infection could be that the calf began to eat hay at a very early age (one week old); the stiff alfalfa stalks probably injured the mucous membrane of the mouth, and thus created an entrance for the infection of necrotic bacteria. Subsequently, the infection spread from the gingiva to the oesophageal groove, followed by ulceration and bleeding, which developed into a fatal loss of blood into the rumen.

The Caribbean flamingos produced a record of four chicks. The fine result can be ascribed to the keepers' skills. The previous year they had observed that the birds attempted to build nests behind the mud hole which was actually intended for nesting. Therefore, this year we made a mud hole further back, and the flamingos quickly gained confidence in the new nesting site. Eight birds laid eggs, half of which were fertile. [See I.Z.N. 45:3, pp. 177–178.]

In the tropical house the breeding successes continued. For the first time ever the African jacanas (Actophilornis africana) produced two chicks, which unfortunately died at a few months old. However, the jacanas were now proven breeders, and they gave it another try later in the year. Several other birds produced chicks. In November we sent the first young of the red-and-yellow barbets (Trachyphonus erythrocephalus) and the white-rumped shamas (Copsychus malabaricus) to Amsterdam Zoo. Another major development in the tropical house was the fine breeding result with tomato frogs [see I.Z.N. 46:1, pp. 46–47].

Among new acquisitions during the year were a group of ring-tailed lemurs (2.0 from Mulhouse and 0.3 from Rheine), who are intended to form the first part of an education centre on the theme of island faunas; they settled down well together from the very first day.

Other new arrivals were two young Bactrian camels from Knuthenborg Safari Park, two young male green acouchis from Frankfurt Zoo, and three young female crested screamers from Osnabrück to join our lone male. We sent our polar bear cub, born in 1996, to Aalborg Zoo, and in April a sea lion born here left to join a newly-established group at Amsterdam Zoo. Unfortunately, we failed to find another zoo for our young male chimpanzee, Mike. He was born in 1989, and after reaching sexual maturity he became an aggressive rival to the breeding male. For two years we tried to find another place for him, but chimps now breed so well in zoos that surplus males are becoming a problem. So after all attempts to keep him in the group had failed, we had to make the difficult decision to euthanise him.


A number of behavioural studies were carried out in cooperation with the zoological institute at the University of Copenhagen. These included the following:

Dominance relations and urine marking of wolves. The dominance relationship between the zoo's wolves was determined by the occurrence of aggressive and non-aggressive behavioural elements, and the frequency of urine marking by individual wolves was recorded. Furthermore, the wolves' reactions to the scent of faeces from unknown wolves from Givskud Zoo were examined. The results showed that only the dominant animals marked, and that the presence of the scent of unknown wolves increased the frequency of marking.

An activity study of white-faced saki. The study was carried out immediately after the introduction of the zoo's sakis to their newly refurbished enclosure. At the time, the group consisted of the breeding couple and two young males, six months and one-and-a-half years old respectively. The results showed that the group was most active around the feeding time in early afternoon, and that social activities mainly took place in the morning and late afternoon. The monkeys mostly stayed high up in the trees, but avoided those closest to the windows, either because they were close to the visitors or because they lacked good resting sites.

Exhibit use, daily activity pattern and social interactions of two-toed sloths. The main aim of the study was to investigate the sloths' use of the exhibit, their activity pattern in relation to the time of day, and the social interactions between the animals. At the time, there were five sloths, the breeding pair and three youngsters, who were one, two and three years old respectively. It turned out that the two adults never both stayed in the same area; they had their preferred sleeping places at opposite ends of the house. The two youngest sloths spent most time in the area near the female, whereas the oldest infant moved about in the area between the male and the female. Apparently, there was no regular activity pattern for any of the animals. Their activity varied greatly from day to day, but the oldest youngster was clearly more active than the other sloths. The study concluded that this animal should be moved as soon as possible, as it was probably difficult for it to establish its own territory between the male's and the female's. It was also reaching an age at which inbreeding might become a problem.

Behavioural enrichment of brown bears. The aim of this study was to see the effect, if any, of `enrichment feeding' on the behaviour of the bears. The group consisted of four (3.1) three-year-old bears. Small pieces of apple and carrot were mixed with raisins, grapes, peanuts and live mealworms and used as enrichment feed, which was buried in a gravel heap or hidden in a pile of branches in the enclosure. For the purpose of comparison, observations were made for six days with and without enrichment feed. The results showed a 100% increase in foraging behaviour when enrichment feeding took place, compared to traditional feeding; at the same time, the frequency of social interaction decreased. The report discusses the consequences of these results, both for the animals and for visitors. The activity pattern of the bears does not seem to be changed radically by the use of enrichment feeding, though the tendency to be most active at midday seems to become intensified in terms of increased foraging behaviour.

Behaviour of Congo peacocks in captivity. The study investigated young Congo peacocks' influence on the parent birds' reproductive behaviour. A family group of four birds, a breeding pair and two young males from earlier clutches, were observed for 45 hours, and the behaviour of the birds before egg-laying and during incubation was described and quantified. Before sitting on the eggs, the peacocks spent most time foraging and autogrooming. There were very few social interactions between the birds, and the young seemed to have no particular influence on the breeding behaviour of the parent birds. When the hen started sitting, the cock spent longer periods of time at the nest-box than before. The incubation activity of the hen had no effect on the young birds' behaviour.

Examination of the occurrence of endoparasites in selected mammals at Copenhagen Zoo and Knuthenborg Safari Park. The occurrence of endoparasites in 52 species of mammals was determined from faeces samples. Forty species turned out to be infected, whereas the remaining 12 showed no signs of endoparasites. In Bactrian camel, llama, yak, sable antelope and giraffe, the occurrence of endoparasites was compared and related to the use of de-worming treatment as well as to the substrate in the enclosures; while all the animals at Knuthenborg turned out to be infected, only 53 of the animals in Copenhagen were infected with endoparasites. The difference is ascribed to the different substrates, gravel in Copenhagen and grass in Knuthenborg.

PAIGNTON ZOO (Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust), U.K.

Extracts from the Annual Report 1998

Mammals (by Neil Bemment)

A trio of pygmy marmosets donated by Banham Zoo became the subjects of our first free-ranging primate exhibit. A large, heated, tree-top nest-box was erected as a `base' and, after a cautious start, they now venture about in a 20 m radius and can be seen at all levels in the trees adjacent to the visitors' walkway. Pairs of black howler monkey and common dormouse arrived on loan, the former under the EEP for the species, and the latter as part of English Nature's Species Recovery Programme for this threatened British mammal. The dormice produced their first litter just prior to hibernation, which bodes well for the intention of supplying individuals for future reintroduction initiatives.

There were several notable births this year, in particular our first big cat births for nearly 15 years, when three (0.3, one of which was unfortunately stillborn) Asiatic lion cubs were born on 4 June [see I.Z.N. 46:2, p. 119]. Among other births were Sulawesi crested macaque, Goeldi's monkey, capybara, American bison, Bactrian camel and sable antelope. The Goeldi's baby was the thirteenth for the female in question, which is approaching the breeding record for this diminutive primate.

At the recommendation of the EEP coordinator, one of our two male white rhinos, Dale, was sent on loan to Burgers' Zoo, Arnhem, the Netherlands. It is hoped that in 1999 we will be changing from `whites' to `blacks', as our rhino house is better suited to the management of the latter.

Claus, one of the two silverback gorillas on loan from Cologne Zoo, was moved to Bristol to be paired up with a young female. It is intended that, in the absence of surplus females, two more young males be transferred to Paignton's bachelor group.

It was with much frustration that we learned that our Sumatran tigers, Kali and Suma, are actually hybrids, 75% Sumatran and 25% Indochinese. Their father at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Park was imported from Sumatra in good faith, but karyotyping has since confirmed that he is the product of subspecific hybridisation. Suitable homes are being sought for both animals for exhibition purposes only, with a view to acquiring pure-bred individuals as soon after as possible.

Birds and Reptiles (by Colin Bath)

Such are the breeding successes of our group of jackass penguins that we are now able to move on surplus birds to other collections, and in January eight young penguins were sent to Rode Bird Gardens in Somerset. Other successes of which we are justly proud are past rearings of Abyssinian ground hornbill, and this year again we have been able to place birds with two of the few holders of this endearing species; a mature male arrived from a private keeper, bringing a useful change of blood. We also acquired a pair of trumpeter hornbills, destined for display at the proposed Forest Aviaries.

Some of our most engaging newcomers are two pairs of hammerkops hatched last year in Germany, which we acquired to add movement and further interest to `Brook-Side', the large walk-through aviary. Within weeks a pair had commenced construction of their huge platform nest, a task involving the continuing efforts of the keeper who had to provide sack upon sack of suitable sticks. Hammerkops are compulsive nest builders, regardless of breeding activity, and the completed structure is one of the largest of all birds' nests. Other arrivals at Brook-Side included a trio of the endangered white-winged wood duck, kindly deposited by Jersey Zoo, numbers of speckled pigeon and red turtle dove, and most interestingly two pairs of European scops owl, from which two young were hatched and reared by the end of the season.

At the Desert House, small flocks of four species of seed-eaters, including the threatened Gouldian finch, have boosted numbers of flying birds. Once again, the hooded parrots raised chicks in the artificial termite mound [see I.Z.N. 45:4, p. 245].

Repeating their success of raising a single chick last year, the Australian cassowaries reared two this season, a continuing endorsement of the suitability of the new forest enclosures. Other reliable breeders included red-legged seriema and little egret, raising five and four young respectively, while several species of parrot, waterfowl and pigeon also raised chicks.

Reptiles, too, fared well during 1998, in particular the Mediterranean tortoises, of which 18 were artificially hatched. Chelonian species at the zoo now number 16, and individuals well exceed 100; some have arrived as donations from other collections and private keepers, but more as a result of confiscations by HM Customs and Excise.

Science Report (by Amy Plowman)

This was a second successful year for the new Science Department. Most research within the zoo focused on the effects of environmental enrichment on the behaviour and welfare of the animals. The department has made significant contributions to help keepers provide and, most importantly, evaluate enrichment for many species. In particular, some very effective enrichment was devised for the elephants, a huge challenge due to their great intelligence, incredible strength and highly destructive nature!

In situ research began in earnest in 1998 with three members of the department undertaking field trips to Africa. Andy Marshall created a major zoo news event when he spent a week in a monkey cage in order to raise money for his trip to Tanzania to conduct biodiversity surveys in the little-known forests of the Udzungwa National Park. Matt Taylor participated in a study of white rhino territoriality at Thaba Tholo in South Africa, in conjunction with the Zoology Institute, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. Finally, I visited the Dambari Field Station in Zimbabwe to begin long-term studies into the behaviour and nutrition of duikers, a poorly studied group of mini-antelope. Dambari provides a unique opportunity to conduct research into these endearing animals. On this visit, in collaboration with Viv Wilson, I measured the total daily intake of all dietary components (fruit, leaves and pellets) of blue and grey duikers. Samples of all their various foodstuffs were prepared and sent to the university in Harare, along with blood samples, for complete nutritional analysis. I also performed 24-hour general behaviour and detailed rumination behaviour observations. Over the years, this fundamental biological information, together with population studies in the nearby Matopos National Park, will make a significant contribution to the conservation of some of Zimbabwe's lesser-known wildlife.


Aquarium of the Americas, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.

The aquarium had another successful year in 1998 with its dart frog [poison-arrow frog] propagation program. Over the last three years, production levels average well over 500 frogs per year. The current collection contains over 30 breeding pairs of 14 different taxa, with emphasis on the Dendrobates tinctorius tribe, including D. azureus, D. leucomelas, D. galactonotus, and several rare forms of D. auratus. Some of the breeding pairs are over ten years of age. Offspring have been provided to over 30 institutions, both nationally and internationally. The primary reason for the aquarium's success has been the continued refinement and simplification of husbandry techniques. The aquarium staff have created and distributed over 200 copies of AOA Introduction to Dart Frog Husbandry. Institutions interested in obtaining a copy may contact the aquarium's Husbandry Department at (504) 565–3029.

J. Hewitt in AZA Communiqué (March 1999)

Belfast Zoo, U.K.

A king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonica) hatched at the zoo in 1998. This species breeds only sporadically in European zoos, and our success is all the more significant as the chick was parent-reared. The zoo also continued its success in breeding Moluccan cockatoos. But perhaps our most significant recent breeding success is the birth of a male clouded leopard; with just 30 animals in the clouded leopard EEP, and no other breedings in Europe in 1998, this is a most significant success, especially as the cub is being mother-reared. A notable arrival in 1998 was that of 2.2. purple-faced langurs (Semnopithecus vetulus) from Colombo Zoo, Sri Lanka; Belfast's experience with the management and breeding of other langur species suggests that they will do well here.

Mark Challis and John Stronge in EAZA News No. 25 (January–March 1999)

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

The zoo's newest exhibit, Manatee Springs, opens on 22 May 1999. This $4 million, 15,000-square-feet (1,400 m2) exhibit highlights the diversity of Florida wildlife and the ecological interaction of the wetlands and river ecosystems they inhabit. The flagship species is represented by two male manatees [see I.Z.N. 46:2, p. 116] in a 120,000 gallon (450,000 liter) freshwater tank. Other species featured include American alligator, American crocodile, alligator gar (Lepidosteus spatula, a large, predatory freshwater fish), largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), alligator snapping turtle (Macroclemys temmincki), eastern coral snake (Micrurus f. fulvius), eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais), giant prawn (Macrobrachium carcinus), eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus), red piranha, green iguana, marine toad, two-toed amphiuma (A. means, an eel-like amphibian with tiny, vestigial limbs), bananaquit (Coereba flaveola, a widespread neotropical bird, a casual visitor from the Bahamas to southern Florida), cattle egret, and julia and zebra longwing butterflies (Dryas julia and Heliconius charitonius).

One of the most exciting features of Manatee Springs is the 3,375-square-foot (315 m2) Florida habitat greenhouse, an intriguing introduction to one of the most distinctive areas of North America. In the swampland area are such trees as oak, bald cypress, water tupelo, southern magnolia and cabbage palmetto, some of them draped with Spanish moss. Below the tree canopy grow masses of pond apple, needle palm, and scores of herbs, saplings, and shrubs. In sunny spots, patches of switchcane grow along with wax myrtle, inkberry and other plants. The coastal habitat is represented by several species of mangrove, as well as such shrubby trees as sea-grape and pigeon-plum. Other noteworthy species are gumbo-limbo tree, Jamaican caper, mahogany, strangler fig, and several palms, including the buccaneer palm, one of the rarest American palm species, which grows on one of the islands of the Florida Keys.

Abridged from Cincinnati Zoo press releases

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jersey, Channel Islands, U.K.

[As from March 1999, the 40th anniversary of the founding of Jersey Zoo, Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust changes its name to that given above. The name `Jersey Zoo' will not be changed. – Ed.]

After more than 20 years in captivity and an agonising eight-year hiatus in breeding activity, Round Island boas (Casarea dussumieri) have successfully reproduced again at Jersey Zoo. The captive population numbered only 14 individuals in August 1998 when 12 out of 13 eggs in a clutch pipped and hatched. Eggs from three other clutches in the incubator produced 14 more healthy baby boas by mid-September, nearly trebling the captive figures in just six weeks.

Originally collected on Round Island in 1977 and 1978 by Gerald Durrell and John Hartley, these highly endangered snakes have always been difficult to keep and breed. The boas bred sporadically in the 1980s, but hatching success was always very low. Since 1990 all eggs have either been infertile or have failed to hatch. Over the past four years many modifications have been made to the boas' diet, accommodation and seasonal environment in an effort to stimulate renewed breeding vigour. Drs Borthwick-Clarke and Nesbit from Jersey General Hospital contributed their expertise to the problem, carrying out monthly ultra-sound scans on all the female boas for two years. This helped us to develop a better understanding of their reproductive cycles and to identify when individuals were ovulating, so that they could be introduced to males at the right time.

In 1997, the final piece of the puzzle fell into place. The boa diet was supplemented with calcium and vitamin D3, the vitamin which controls the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus in the body. Without sufficient vitamin D3, eggs do not have properly calcified shells and embryos do not have sufficient calcium reserves to take them through their development to full term. We had to exercise caution in the use of D3, as too much can be toxic. Low doses improved the quality of the boas' eggs. When we modified the dose rate we achieved the breeding success we had awaited so long.

The babies are tiny, 20 cm long and weighing only 4 g. Rearing these offspring is labour-intensive. Each baby boa must be force-fed twice a week. Until they reach the age of about six months, the diminutive serpents will be coaxed to swallow slivers of vitamin- and mineral-enriched beef heart by ever-patient herp staff. The beef heart is readily available, protein-rich, easy to prepare and, most importantly, it works! Since Jersey is still the only zoo in the world maintaining this species, every proven technique – old and new – must be exploited to the full in order to safeguard against the boas' extinction in the wild.

Richard Gibson, Head of Herpetology, in On the Edge No. 83 (November 1998)

Frankfurt Zoo, Germany

The keeping of the northern brown kiwi (Apteryx (australis) mantelli) started in the nocturnal section of the Grzimek House at the zoo in 1978. The first kiwi chick to survive, Tipeni, hatched in an incubator on 24 March 1987. Allowing chicks to hatch in their father's nest was abandoned after we found remains of three dead chicks buried in the substrate of the nest-box.

We now keep most of our kiwis in well-planted outdoor aviaries connected to indoor enclosures containing sleeping and breeding boxes. Only one surplus male is still kept in the nocturnal section of the Grzimek House. Outside of the breeding season we keep the sexes totally separated so that the birds cannot hear or smell their usual partners or any other individuals of the opposite sex. This is to avoid continuous egg-production in the females, as we think that laying of too many eggs causes the death of many females in captivity.

To date ten kiwis have hatched in Frankfurt, excluding the three dead birds discovered in the nest-box and one that externally pipped the egg but was dead the next day; six of these ten are still living here. In 1998 a chick was bred from a pair made up of the above-mentioned male, Tipeni, and a female, Diega, who hatched on 13 October 1987 in San Diego and is on loan to Frankfurt from Rotterdam Zoo. This pair has already produced four chicks. The 1998 chick hatched from an egg laid on 15 November 1997, which weighed 449 g and measured 119 by 78 mm. This naturally-incubated egg was candled for the first time on 4 December 1997 and proved to be fertile; on day 73 of incubation it was transferred to an incubator at 35–36° C with a relative humidity of 75–85%. Kiwi eggs are not turned. The egg pipped on 5 February and hatched on 7 February 1998 after 85 days of incubation. The chick weighed 330 g and remained in the incubator to lose weight and reabsorb the yolk. By the fourth day it weighed 307 g and was sitting and walking a few steps. By eight days of age the chick weighed 277 g and was actively searching for food. The first food given was 20 small earthworms of 40–70 mm length distributed in the grass sods when the chick was ten days old and weighed 269 g. Thereafter enough food was given for the chick to gain 6–8 g daily. After 100 days the body mass was 919 g.

As of November 1998 there were four fertile eggs produced by two pairs on 12 September and 10 October (pair 1) and 17 October and 7 November (pair 2). Two of the eggs were produced by a new pair, the female Foul Egg and the new male, Apteryx, that we received from Berlin Zoo.

Rudolf Wicker, Gerda Ebel, and Marlies Joppe-Blindenhöfer in EAZA News No. 25 (January–March 1999)

Hirakawa Zoo, Kagoshima, Japan

In February 1998, six baby Aldabra giant tortoises were hatched at the zoo. This is only the second breeding of the species in Japan. The parents, both estimated to be about 23 years old, came to the zoo in March 1995. Mounting behaviour has been seen once or twice a day from spring to autumn every year. On 4 November 1997, the female dug a nest about 30 cm deep and deposited 20 eggs in it. Eight of these were left in the ground, and the other 12 were incubated at 28° C and 70% relative humidity. Six of these hatched between 15 and 28 February 1998. The incubation period was 103–116 days. At birth the babies averaged 5.9 cm in carapace length and 45.8 g in weight.

At first the babies were fed clover and wild grasses, but after about a month they were given mainly sweet potato leaves. At present each is eating about 30 grams a day. Since constipation is said to be the main cause of death in babies, they were placed in warm (40° C) water for an hour a day during their first month of life. Each day they would defecate immediately after being placed in the water.

At 37 weeks of age the babies averaged 12.1 cm in length and 391.6 g in weight.

English summary of article in Japanese by M. Terahara and S. Moriyama, published in Animals and Zoos Vol. 50, No. 12 (December 1998)

Marwell Zoological Park, U.K.

The most important recent births are those of an okapi on 26 December 1998 and a white rhinoceros on 7/8 February 1999. The okapi, the second female calf to be born and successfully hand-raised at Marwell, has been named Zukisa and is doing very well. The rhino, a male, is called Bhasela, which means `gift' in the Xhosa language of southern Africa. A first for Marwell and for his parents, female Sula and male Hannu, he is genetically extremely important and, obviously, a certain `crowd puller'.

Other births in the first quarter of 1999 are as follows: 1.0 bongo, 1.0 sitatunga (DNS), 1 mouse deer (stillborn), 2 caracal, 1 jaguar, 3 serval, 1 parma wallaby (DNS), 1 Malagasy giant jumping rat (DNS), litters of capybara, African striped grass mouse, Gunther's and reed voles. The jaguar cub (melanistic, but born to a spotted female, Bonita) is our first successful jaguar birth for many years. Marwell used to breed jaguars prolifically in the late 1970s and 1980s, when at one time most of the jaguars in British zoos were Marwell-born animals.

A black-footed penguin which hatched on 24 January, the first successful penguin hatching since the establishment of our colony, is being parent-reared.

A marabou stork was killed by others in the group. This phenomenon has occurred previously with another original pair of these birds; it appears very spontaneously with little warning in birds which were apparently getting on well together. Other deaths in this period included 1.0 Congo buffalo (Champ, 23 years old, an old favourite at Marwell who had sired many calves), 0.1 Hartmann's zebra (Vicky, 11 years old), and 0.1 Arabian gazelle (old age).

To prevent inbreeding, a male giraffe, Bruce, arrived from Suffolk Wildlife Park in exchange for our male, Harry, who has been the breeding bull here for many years. Several water voles (Arvicola terrestris) are over-wintering at Marwell prior to release in the U.K. in the spring; this is part of our cooperation in the conservation programme for the species. African pygmy mice, African striped grass mice and desert hamsters (Phodopus roborovskii) all arrived from private collections. Four owl species – spectacled, great grey, Ural and white-faced scops – arrived from various collections to inhabit our new range of owl aviaries.

The first phase of the new giraffe/ungulate complex is complete and the giraffes installed. Further building work is taking place, and it is hoped to exhibit other species such as colobus monkeys and another primate species, as well as rock hyrax and possibly African crested porcupines, both of which are already resident within the park. An old building adjacent to Marwell Hall has been converted into a nocturnal house for small mammals, and it is hoped that it will be open to the public by Easter.

Paul M. Irven

Melbourne Zoo, Victoria, Australia

Seven young freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) were hatched in November 1998 from clutches of eggs laid by the zoo's two females. The young crocodiles, three from one clutch and four from the other, emerged from eggs laid in the exhibit in August and hatched after 97–101 days at 29–31° C. At hatching they weighed 39 g and averaged 234 mm in total length. Of the other eggs laid, one from each clutch was fertile but the embryo died, and each clutch also contained one infertile egg. The successful hatchlings constitute the first breeding of these crocodiles at the zoo in seven years. The adults arrived in May 1980 and originated in the Liverpool River in the Arnhem Land plateau, Northern Territory. Freshwater crocodiles from this area are known as `Stone Country' crocodiles, and are much smaller than `normal' C. johnstoni. The Melbourne animals are the only group in captivity and, hence, these youngsters are important for improving our overall understanding of the species.

Chris Banks in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 41 (February 1999)

Plzen Zoological and Botanical Garden, Czech Republic

The zoo has been keeping brown bears since 1981. In July 1998 the old bear pit was replaced by a new 1.26 ha (3.1 acre) enclosure which provides the bears with close to natural mental and physical stimuli. There is a meadow, forest, hills, rocks and a small lake. The enclosure is surrounded by two fences, an outer one of 2 m high wire mesh with a 45° inhang and electric wire, and an inner metre-high electric fence at a distance of 1 m from the mesh fence. Two electric circuits operated independently of each other reduce the risk of malfunction. The bears had plenty of time to get used to the electric fence before they were moved to the new enclosure, which was only opened to the public when the animals were fully acquainted with their new environment.

The seven brown bears (two females and five castrated males) have eight night dens at their disposal. Each den measures 3 m2, and two of them can be used as `squeeze cages' for medical treatments. In addition there is also a 32 m2 enclosure for separation purposes connected to the main enclosure by a tunnel. The night dens are behind the scenes and completely embedded in the landscape; the roof forms a viewpoint that provides visitors with a beautiful overview. Visitors also very much appreciate the bridge over the waterfall and the lake from which the bears enjoy catching live fish. An educational path runs along one side of the enclosure, with information on the bears and their natural habitat.

Romana Bartosová in EAZA News No. 25 (January–March 1999)

Rotterdam Zoo, The Netherlands

A group of around 300 Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) was acquired from ten western European zoos in 1991 for exhibition in a naturalistic bat grotto that had no barriers between the public and the bats. The colony rapidly expanded and surplus animals were sent to 13 other zoos between 1991 and July 1997. Three of 60 bats sent to a Danish zoo in July 1997 were found dead in a ventilation duct within a week of being placed in their new enclosure. Two of these were sent to a laboratory for an immunofluorescent test (IFT), in which brain tissue is examined for the presence of rabies. Both animals were positive, and Rotterdam Zoo immediately undertook a series of public safety measures.

Some 65 bats that had died in the zoo's colony over the years had been routinely tested for rabies, but none had been positive. Another 274 were sacrificed for an IFT test after the Danish incident, and of these 225 proved negative. Further tests in different laboratories on material from both the Rotterdam and Danish zoo colonies indicated the presence of one of the Lyssavirus group, serotype 1 EBL1a. This serotype is one of the seven Lyssaviruses that belong in the family Rhabdoviridae (the RNA viruses). The only Lyssavirus that has resulted in more than one or two human deaths is serotype 1, the classic rabies virus. While the IFT test is quite conclusive for serotype 1, it is not for EBL1a. Furthermore, with one exception this serotype has only been found in one bat species, the serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus). Mice inoculated with material from the IFT-positive zoo animals suffered a much lower mortality thn typically seen with mice inoculated with EBL1a serotype from wild bat colonies, suggesting that the IFT could be false-positive.

Opting to be on the safe side, the public health department decreed in September 1997 that the remaining 420 bats in the colony must be euthanised. Further tests on the euthanised bats and live bats taken from the wild and the zoo colony again failed to convincingly demonstrate the presence of the virus. A colony of new individuals, now separated from the public by a glass barrier and a separate air system, has been acquired. But this group has also tested positive for the same serotype.

Rotterdam Zoo's head veterinarian, Willem Schaftenaar, presented an account of this matter at a meeting of the European Association of Zoo Veterinarians. (The paper, in English, is available on request.) He suspects that the bats may have been carrying a related virus (not the EBL1a serotype) that may be found both in the wild and in other zoo bat colonies. He feels that the zoo has taken appropriate measures to protect the public from any possible danger, and that any decision by the public health service to euthanise the current colony would be unjustified.

English summary of article in Dutch by Ben Westerveld and Robert van Herk, De Harpij Vol. 18, No. 1 (1999)

San Diego Zoo, California, U.S.A.

With the coming of spring, a brief period will begin soon that may lead to panda breeding. Our female giant panda, Bai Yun, is expected to enter her third period of mating receptivity, or estrus, since arriving in San Diego two-and-a-half years ago. Bai Yun's 1998 estrus was two weeks earlier than in 1997, possibly the first step in a gradual shift in timing leading to births as early as midsummer, which occurred in pandas in Mexico City and Washington, D.C. Giant panda females have a single annual estrus, and they are therefore fertile for only about two or three days per year. Such a narrow window of opportunity leaves little room for error in our planning.

Those who have followed previous reports will recall that our primary objective for the San Diego pair is to increase understanding of panda biology in areas that might be of benefit to the wild population. In focusing our efforts on the communication system – in particular the sense of smell – we have found that spring courtship offers a rich opportunity to observe social interactions in these otherwise solitary mammals. Changes in patterns of scent-marking, vocalizing, and sexual displaying are noted, and great care is taken to search out their underlying hormonal correlates through analysis of urine samples collected from the female each day. Studies that can only be carried out in captivity thereby offer the prospect of illuminating many details of the species' mating system, about which very little is known.

The failure of San Diego's male panda, Shi Shi, to respond to his partner's mating overtures led us to attempt artificial insemination in 1998. Despite a nearly perfect procedure with high-quality semen from this male, the birth season ended without an infant. For the 1999 season, we will again give priority to natural mating, and we will test the effect of `novel' female scent on the responses of the male. This will be achieved through delaying the timing of their first seasonal contact to a date when estrus is fully under way. Our studies of the solitary cheetah revealed the importance of olfactory priming in arousing the interest of males, and this could be a factor with Shi Shi. Should he continue to show little interest in Bai Yun's overtures, however, all is in readiness to again seek a pregnancy via artificial insemination.

Concurrent with these local efforts, in 1999 we will again pursue our collaborations with colleagues in China and Mexico City. Dr Ron Swaisgood returns to the Wolong Centre in China in late February to collect data on courtship and mating for the fourth consecutive year. Because Wolong holds up to eight adults of each sex, the opportunity to expand our knowledge of the reproductive biology of pandas is greatly enhanced.

Last year, we were instrumental in setting up an endocrine laboratory for hormonal analysis at Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City. During February and March, we will send teams there to assist with the artificial insemination of their three panda females; approval from China to use semen from Shi Shi is still pending. There has not been a panda birth outside China since 1990, but with four females as candidates, we may hope that this will change in 1999.

Donald G. Lindburg in CRES Report (Spring 1999)

Sea World, Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia

On 28 November 1998 a male dugong calf was brought to Sea World, having been rescued by the Department of Environment (DoE). He arrived in an emaciated condition and, from the shreds of umbilical cord deep in his navel, very short bristles on his facial disc and pertinent clues, it was established that he had been born only recently. The circumstances in which he became separated from his mother are unknown. Sea World has previously cared for two very young dugongs. Although they survived for only four to six weeks, we were able to learn about some of the problems associated with trying to rear them. Discussions took place with the DoE and it was agreed that worthwhile information could be obtained from a rearing attempt, irrespective of the outcome.

Sea World veterinarian, Wendy Blanchard, has been in constant contact with many overseas facilities that house manatees, with regard to the milk formula they use, feeding schedules and trouble-shooting intestinal problems. It was decided to try to feed the calf every two hours, 24 hours a day. This punishing schedule is now nearly into its seventh week. During the last six weeks there have been many days when he has rejected up to four feeds and, at its worst, he declined six consecutive feeds. There have been constant problems with his bowels and he is still suffering from apparent stasis of his large intestine, leading to almost daily enemas to try and relieve the faecal material in his colon.

The young dugong's progress has been up and down, and Wendy remains cautious about his long-term chances of survival. However, all locally involved parties need to consider the consequences if he does survive. Young dugongs are suckled for at least 18 months, but start eating sea grasses very early. Adults are believed to ingest about 8–10% of their body weight in sea grass per day. This raises the question of both permission to, and feasibility of, collecting substantial volumes of sea grass from the Moreton Bay region on a frequent and long-term basis until the calf is independent and able to maintain weight and to grow on sea grass alone.

Trevor Long in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 41 (February 1999)

Wassenaar Wildlife Breeding Centre, The Netherlands

The Centre has a 20-year tradition of breeding cheetahs, but 1998 turned out to be the most successful year so far. Four litters were born, with a total of 14 (6.8) cubs, all of which were successfully reared. Another litter (3.2 – 1.0 DNS) was born at Amersfoort Zoo (Netherlands) after previously being mated at Wassenaar. Coincidentally, the pregnancy period of all five females was 92 days! As part of the Cheetah EEP, several males and females were exchanged with other facilities to create new unrelated pairs. The breeding males used in 1998 were born in Basel and Neuwied, the females in Münster and Wassenaar.

As reported in I.Z.N. 45:5 (pp. 320–322), a difficulty occurred when a two-week-old litter of cheetahs stopped gaining weight. To avoid hand-raising these three cubs, it was finally decided, as an experiment, to try to introduce the youngsters to another mother, Questa, who had three cubs of her own only three days younger. She accepted them well, and turned out to be a very good mother as well as foster-mother. All 14 cubs will remain with their mothers for at least 12 months, as is usual at Wassenaar.

Other notable births in 1998 were twin (0.2) Chinese golden cats (Catopuma temmincki tristis); the birth of more than one kitten in a litter is exceptional in this rare species (see further I.Z.N. 45:6, pp. 392–393). Also worth mentioning is the first birth in Wassenaar of a pancake tortoise (Malacochersus tornieri). The incubation period was 148 days at a temperature of 27° –29° C. This was our first success after six years of eggs which failed to hatch. A pair of hawk-headed parrots (Deroptyus a. accipitrinus) produced their 15th chick, which was successfully parent-reared.

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

Jan W.W. Louwman

Western Plains Zoo, New South Wales, Australia

Five (1.4) Przewalski's horses arrived at the zoo on 18 November 1998 after an arduous 48-hour trip from England. They are from three different zoos in the U.K., and will bring new genetic material to the program for the species in Australia. Three of the horses are from Port Lympne, the stallion is from Whipsnade, and the other mare is from Marwell.

All of the horses were individually crated at their zoos of origin. They were then taken by road to Liverpool, and travelled the rest of the way to Dubbo by air via Amsterdam, Singapore and Sydney. Despite their ordeal, they arrived in good condition, although they did suffer some abrasions over their eyes and on their rumps during transport. They were required to spend 30 days in quarantine before being allowed to move to their permanent exhibit at Western Plains, where they are now on display. Two of the Port Lympne mares are pregnant and are due to foal around April.

David Blyde in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 41 (February 1999)

News in Brief

I was saddened to learn recently of the death of Reg Gates, who had worked at Perth Zoo, Western Australia, since 1985, and been Curator of Primates there since September 1995. Among the animals in his care at Perth were one of the very few breeding groups of Javan, or silvery, gibbons (Hylobates moloch). Reg was passionately committed to this species, for which he became international studbook keeper, as well as founding and organising the Silvery Gibbon Project, a campaign to promote and fund in situ conservation of the species in Java. His account of this project was published in I.Z.N. 43:5, pp. 327–329. More recently, he contributed a report on the species' status to the latest International Zoo Yearbook.

Nicholas Gould

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Central Park Zoo, a Wildlife Conservation Society facility in New York City, recently reported the 1998 hatching of a chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) chick whose father is a zoo-hatched male. It is believed that this second-generation, parent-raised, zoo-bred chick is the first of its kind in any zoo or aquarium. The chinstraps at Central Park were also the first in a North American zoo to successfully parent-hatch and raise chicks. Of the 22 chinstraps currently on exhibit in the zoo, seven were hatched there.

D. Moore in AZA Communiqué (March 1999)

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The problem of the disposal of `surplus' animals is currently a big talking point in U.S. zoos. This follows the publication – first as a series of newspaper articles and then on the Internet – of a long and extensively researched report on the subject by a journalist from the San Jose Mercury, which alleges that AZA-accredited zoos regularly supply animals to the exotic animal trade. Readers who are interested can find the report at

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Five crocodile monitors (Varanus salvadorii) from a clutch of six eggs laid in May 1998 hatched at Honolulu Zoo, Hawaii, from 5 to 18 January 1999. The incubation period ranged from 233 to 246 days, and the average weight of the young was 66.3 grams. The female deposited a second clutch of seven on 12 November 1998. It is believed that Honolulu is only the third zoo in the U.S. to have accomplished successful hatchings of this species, the other two being Gladys Porter and Fort Worth Zoos.

D. Meier in AZA Communiqué (March 1999)

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The two breeding male hunting dogs at Perth Zoo, Western Australia, have died from poisoning; the dominant female was also poisoned, but recovered well after a week of intensive veterinary care, and has joined the remaining two females. The source of the poison was proven to be horse meat contaminated with pentobarbitone, and the W.A. Health Department is investigating.

Helen Robertson in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 41 (February 1999)

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Last year Walsrode Bird Park, Germany, received a female kagu (Rhynochetos jubatus) from Noumea Zoo, New Caledonia, to join two males who came from the same institution in 1997. The new female and one of the males will be housed in a large off-public breeding aviary. The other male, which is on public display, will receive a mate in 1999. Noumea Zoo has had a successful kagu captive-breeding and release programme for some years. Nogeyama Zoo, Yokohama, Japan, is the only other zoo to have bred kagus successfully. [On the breeding programme in Yokohama, see I.Z.N. 39:2, pp. 17–21 – Ed.]

Dieter Rinke in EAZA News No. 25 (January–March 1999)

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Warrick Angus of the University of Sydney is carrying out research at the Australian Reptile Park, Gosford, New South Wales, on the redback spider (Latrodactus hasselti). He is examining various ecological aspects of the species, including selection of web and nest sites, and the factors influencing that selection, responses to temperature gradients, the energetics of web construction, and feeding ecology relationships between adults and juveniles. The park has a self-sustaining population of the spiders, which reproduce very successfully in the insect raising room, which is thermostatically controlled to around 31° C. Astonishingly, free-living juvenile spiders in this room have built webs directly under 275-watt heat lamps, where readings in excess of 60° C have been recorded.

Lyn Abra in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 41 (February 1999)

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In September 1998, after 126 days of incubation, 16 ornate Nile monitors (Varanus [niloticus] ornatus) hatched at the Bronx Zoo, New York. The hatchlings' average weight was 23 grams, and their average total length was 303 mm. The adult female was introduced to the male on 10 April 1998, and on 12–15 May she laid 16 eggs in a nest-box filled with a mixture of damp sand and coconut mulch. The eggs, which averaged 57 mm in length, 34 mm in width and 35 g in weight, were divided into two groups of eight and incubated using (1) a 1:1 ratio of vermiculite to water by weight, with a light moss layer on top, and (2) a combination of moss, perlite and water. Both groups were kept at 100% relative humidity with a temperature range of 86.4–86.7° F (30.2–30.4° C).

S. Lee, J. Abene and J. Behler in AZA Communiqué (March 1999)


Adloff, A.: Die Umschlagbilder der Wegweiser des Tierparks. (The cover illustrations on Tierpark Berlin guidebooks.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 5 (1998), pp. 551–612. [German, no English summary; includes 56 full-page black-and-white reproductions.]

Agoramoorthy, G.: Status of orang-utans Pongo pygmaeus ssp. in Taiwan. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 118–122. [Between July 1995 and September 1996 a survey was carried out of 16 facilities maintaining orang-utans in Taiwan. Data on the management, age, sex and life history were collected for 72 animals housed at three public zoos, nine private parks, two animal breeding farms, a rescue centre and a temple. Information on animals registered as privately owned was also examined. Recommendations are given for the future management of all these animals.]

Amato, G., Egan, M.G., and Rabinowitz, A.: A new species of muntjac, Muntiacus putaoensis (Artiodactyla: Cervidae) from northern Myanmar. Animal Conservation Vol. 2, No. 1 (1999), pp. 1–7. [Five species of large mammal have recently been discovered or rediscovered in the Annamite Mountains region of Laos and Vietnam, of which three are muntjacs. These discoveries have led to assertions that this region is a unique Pleistocene refugium preserving exceptional levels of endemism. One of the results has been an enormous infusion of conservation funding for a very specific area. Reported here is the discovery and description of another muntjac species, using diagnostic DNA characters, not in the Annamite Mountains, but in a remote area of Myanmar (Burma). The authors suggest that this wave of discoveries reflects how little is known about both this particular taxonomic group and the remote, relatively unexplored mountainous regions of Asia, and highlights the importance of continued field surveys in remote regions. Similar studies have resulted in a significant increase in conservation efforts in other parts of South-east Asia, and argue for additional conservation efforts for this region.]

Armbruster, P., Fernando, P., and Lande, R.: Time frames for population viability analysis of species with long generations: an example with Asian elephants. Animal Conservation Vol. 2, No. 1 (1999), pp. 69–73. [There is an approximately 200-year lag period before extinction events begin to occur in slowly declining populations of E. maximus. Therefore, examining population persistence over a 100-year time frame seriously underestimates the risk of population extinction over a longer, 1000-year period. For populations with long generations, a 100-year time period will often not be sufficient to evaluate demographic processes leading to extinction. These results have important implications for how investigators conduct PVAs, and for IUCN's listing of endangered species.]

Badraun, J.C., Mootnick, A.R., Deaner, R.O., Agoramoorthy, G., and McNeese, K.M.: Hand modulation of vocalization in siamangs Hylobates syndactylus. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 84–89.

Baoqing, H., and Yunshuang, C.: Breeding and rearing the oriental white stork Ciconia boyciana at Shanghai Zoological Gardens. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 174–178. [This species is classified as Endangered by IUCN; there are c. 2,500 storks in the wild and as at 31 December 1995 there were 112.107.56 in captivity. Difficulties in establishing compatible breeding pairs has inhibited breeding in captivity. Because oriental white storks replace eggs that are lost during the laying period, it is possible that the reproductive potential of pairs could be increased by removing the eggs and incubating them artificially. In 1991 a pair of storks at Shanghai Zoo produced 13 eggs in three clutches, from which nine young were raised; this technique has been followed in subsequent years. The authors describe the incubation, hand-rearing, diet, development and veterinary treatment of the hatchlings.]

Baptistotte, C., Scalfoni, J.T., and Mrosovsky, N.: Male-producing thermal ecology of a southern loggerhead turtle nesting beach in Brazil: implications for conservation. Animal Conservation Vol. 2, No. 1 (1999), pp. 9–13. [The major nesting areas for loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in Brazil are estimated to produce about 90% female hatchlings on account of their warm temperatures. In the present study, sand temperatures were monitored at the southern end of the nesting range; the temperatures here were cool enough to produce a far greater proportion of males than at the major beaches further north. Particular beaches may be thermally suited for the production of a particular sex. Protection of rookeries that appear minor in terms of numbers of turtles nesting could be important for the health of a larger population by insuring that there is an appropriate sex ratio.]

Bartos, J.M., and Kelly, J.D.: Towards best practice in the zoo industry: developing key performance indicators as bench-marks for progress. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 143–157.

Beattie, J.C., and Feistner, A.T.C.: Husbandry and breeding of the Alaotran gentle lemur Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis at Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 11–19.

Becker, C.: Status and management of orang-utans Pongo pygmaeus ssp. in European zoos. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 113–118.

Bent, N., and Reason, R.: A preliminary study of sex ratios in captive-born ruminants. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 223–228. [A number of studies have suggested that in the wild, body size and condition of female ruminants can affect the sex ratio of offspring. The present study of 17 species/subspecies in captivity found that only one, Kirk's dik-dik (Madoqua kirkii), had a significantly skewed sex ratio (169.134).]

Blaszkiewitz, B.: Neue Hirschhäuser im Tierpark. (New deer housing at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 5 (1998), pp. 517–520. [German, no English summary.]

Blount, J.D.: Redevelopment of a disused enclosure for housing Sulawesi crested macaques Macaca nigra at Newquay Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 56–63.

Boede, E.O., Mujica-Jorquera, E., and de Boede, N.: Management of the Amazon River dolphin Inia geoffrensis at Valencia Aquarium, Venezuela. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 214–222. [The species is distributed throughout the Amazon and Orinoco River basins. It is rare in captivity and as at 31 December 1996 there were only 3.0 reported to ISIS and 1.4 maintained at Valencia Aquarium. The authors describe the husbandry, diet and veterinary care of 14 dolphins maintained at the aquarium between 1975 and 1995, and the rearing and development of a female born there in 1994.

Brook, B.W., Cannon, J.R., Lacy, R.C., Mirande, C., and Frankham, R.: Comparison of the population viability analysis packages GAPPS, INMAT, RAMAS and VORTEX for the whooping crane (Grus americana). Animal Conservation Vol. 2, No. 1 (1999), pp. 23–31. [Significant differences were found between the projections of the PVA packages. It is clear that caution must be exercised when interpreting the projections of a model built using any one PVA package since, due to seemingly subtle differences in what biological assumptions and threatening processes are included in the models, the predictions among PVA packages (or versions of the same program) are not necessarily concordant.]

Crissey, S., Pribyl, L., Pruett-Jones, M., and Meehan, T.: Nutritional management of Old World primates with special consideration for vitamin D. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 122–130.

Dathe, F.: Die Haltung von Schlammschildkröten, Kinosternidae, im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde von 1956 bis 1998. (Management of mud and musk turtles at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 5 (1998), pp. 526–532. [German, no English summary.]

Dickie, L.: Environmental enrichment for Old World primates with reference to the primate collection at Edinburgh Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 131–139.

Durrell, L., and Mallinson, J.J.C.: The impact of an institutional review: a change of emphasis towards field conservation programmes. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 1–8.

Fa, J.E., and Cavalheiro, M.L.: Individual variation in food consumption and food preferences in St Lucia parrots Amazona versicolor at Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 199–214.

Gates, R.: In situ and ex situ status of the silvery or moloch gibbon Hylobates moloch. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 81–84.

Gazit, I., Terkel, A., and Terkel, J.: Breeding and husbandry of the blind mole rat Nannospalax ehrenbergi at the Zoology Department, Tel Aviv University. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 246–255. [Little is known about the behaviour of this solitary and highly aggressive fossorial mammal, and until recently it had not been bred in captivity. At Tel Aviv University an artificial environment was developed which closely resembled the type of tunnel system that the species would dig in the wild. The tunnel system was divided into two and a pair of blind mole rats was given the opportunity to develop their own territories for 3–4 months before the breeding season, thus becoming habituated to the enclosure and each other. Each animal covered the barrier with soil and scent-marked the area until the breeding season, when they began to dismantle the soil barrier until they could make contact with each other. The authors describe the management conditions and tunnel system which made possible the observation, maintenance and breeding of blind mole rats in captivity. A policy of minimum disturbance and patience appeared to be one of the secrets of successful breeding.]

Gold, K.: Bonobo: de vergeten mensaap. (Bonobo: the forgotten ape.) De Harpij Vol. 18, No. 1 (1999), pp. 18–21. [Dutch, with English summary: a review of the book Bonobo: the Forgotten Ape by Frans de Waal and Frans Lanting. The review is favourable, but regrets that the book gives little attention to the contribution of zoos to bonobo in situ conservation and ex situ research programmes.]

Haring, D., and Davis, K.: Management of the grey gentle or eastern lesser bamboo lemur Hapalemur griseus griseus at Duke University Primate Center, Durham. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 20–34.

Hoff, M.P., Hoff, K.T., and Maple, T.L.: Behavioural response of a western lowland gorilla Gorilla g. gorilla group to the loss of the silverback male at Zoo Atlanta. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 90–96. [For three months following the death of the silverback from cardiovascular disease, there was a significant increase in aggressive display behaviours, and the mother–offspring relationship intensified. An understanding of the `control role' of the silverback and the behaviour of group members following changes in social structure can help zoo managers plan their management strategy when periods of social change are unavoidable.]

Johann, A.: The status of gelada baboon Theropithecus gelada: breeding a neglected species. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 64–68.

Johann, A., and Salzert, W.: Die neue Dschelada-Anlage im Tierpark Rheine. (The new gelada enclosure at Rheine Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 69, No. 1 (1999), pp. 1–10. [German, with brief English summary.]

Kaiser, M.: Eine neue Grossvoliere im Tierpark. (A big new aviary at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 5 (1998), pp. 521–525. [German, no English summary.]

Kichenside, T.B.: Gazelle husbandry at King Khalid Wildlife Research Center, Riyadh: with special reference to capture and handling. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 228–234.

Kormann, J.: Eine parasitierende Nacktkiemerschnecke, Tritonia spec. (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Nudibranchia), auf der Hornkoralle Pseudopterogorgia bipinnata im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. (A parasitic sea slug on a coral at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 5 (1998), pp. 533–536. [German, no English summary.]

Manceau, V., Crampe, J.-P., Boursot, P., and Taberlet, P.: Identification of evolutionary significant units in the Spanish wild goat, Capra pyrenaica (Mammalia, Artiodactyla). Animal Conservation Vol. 2, No. 1 (1999), pp. 33–39. [Samples of mitochondrial DNA from seven populations distributed over the species' geographic range revealed that the level of divergence between the Pyrenean and other Spanish haplotypes is almost as high as the divergence between Alpine (C. ibex ibex) and Spanish wild goats. In addition, the Pyrenean goat is morphologically distinct from other Spanish wild goats. Therefore the Pyrenean goats should be considered as an evolutionarily significant unit, which has implications for the proposed reinforcement of their critically small surviving population of 0.2 individuals.]

Mentz, I., and Perret, K.: Environmental enrichment bei Flachlandgorillas (Gorilla g. gorilla) – Beobachtungen zur Nahrungsaufnahme und zum Manipulationsverhalten. (Environmental enrichment for gorillas – observations on food-gathering and tool-using.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 69, No. 1 (1999), pp. 49–63. [German, with English summary; Münster Zoo. Gorillas have traditionally been regarded as less dexterous in comparison with other great apes, so a particular aim of this study was to find out to what extent gorillas use tools in connection with feeding. The authors could not establish any quantitative or qualitative difference between chimpanzees' and gorillas' tool-using behaviour with similar food boxes. They emphasise the contribution of an imaginative enrichment programme to the psychological well-being of gorillas, and the low investment of time and materials involved.]

Miller, B., Ralls, K., Reading, R.P., Scott, J.M., and Estes, J.: Biological and technical considerations of carnivore translocation: a review. Animal Conservation Vol. 2, No. 1 (1999), pp. 59–68. [`Because large carnivores often play key roles in regulating ecological interactions between trophic levels, restoring them is more than a single species activity. By restoring carnivores in viable numbers, we can take a large step toward recovering ecological integrity of geographically extensive landscapes.']

Molina, F.B., and Gomes, N.: Breeding and nesting behaviour of d'Orbigny's slider turtle Trachemys dorbignyi at São Paulo Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 162–170.

Moore, D.E.: Husbandry and breeding of North American ungulates at Burnet Park Zoo, Syracuse, and Thompson Park Conservancy, Watertown. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 234–246.

Murray, L.E.: The effects of group structure and rearing strategy on personality in chimpanzees Pan troglodytes at Chester, London ZSL and Twycross Zoos. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 97–108. [Fifty-nine chimpanzees, maintained in groups, trios or pairs, were rated on a scale consisting of 28 behaviourally-defined adjectives. The results demonstrated that when chimpanzees are maintained in larger groups, they are inter alia more maternal/paternal, playful, popular, gentle, protective, sociable, curious and intelligent, and less irritable and solitary.]

Nederlof, L.-J.: Vlinders tussen een plantencollectie. (Butterflies within a botanical collection.) De Harpij Vol. 18, No. 1 (1999), pp. 3–5. [Dutch, with English summary. Butterfly culture is being attempted in an existing bromeliad house at Rotterdam Zoo on a trial basis, in expectation of keeping butterflies in the Costa Rican section of the Oceanium, now under construction. Insects of the Heliconiidae family were selected because they are low-flying, diurnally active and easy to breed. The data collected will help to provide optimal conditions in the future exhibit.]

Neubauer, S., and Heckner-Bisping, U.: Soziale Interaktionen innerhalb einer Gruppe von männlichen Flachlandgorillas, Gorilla g. gorilla (Savage & Wyman), im Loro Parque Teneriffa. (Social interactions within Loro Parque's bachelor gorilla group.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 69, No. 1 (1999), pp. 11–39. [German, with English summary.]

Ober, S.H., and Verkade, R.: Hand-rearing the eastern or great white pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus at Vogelpark Avifauna, Alphen. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 171–173. [This species is rarely bred in captivity and eggs are often infertile, or are broken or disappear during nesting. At the park, mortality of parent-reared young has been high and some chicks have drowned because they could not climb out of the pond in the outdoor enclosure. Between 26 January and 26 April 1996 52 eggs were laid, only four of which were fertile. The eggs were removed from the nests and placed in an incubator which was maintained at 37.6° C. They hatched on 26 April, 1, 18 and 19 May. The paper describes incubation, hand-rearing, diet and development of the hatchlings.]

Pereladova, O.B., Sempéré, A.J., Soldatova, N.V., Dutov, V.U., Fisenko, G., and Flint, V.E.: Przewalski's horse – adaptation to semi-wild life in desert conditions. Oryx Vol. 33, No. 1 (1999), pp. 47–58. [In 1989 an experiment was started at the Bukhara Breeding Centre, Kyzylkum Desert, Uzbekistan, to discover whether zoo-bred Przewalski's horses could adapt to semi-wild desert conditions. One stallion and four mares of different ages were released into a 5,126-ha fenced area and monitored over a period of seven years. The article presents the information gained from the studies concerning home ranges, interactions with other ungulate species, adaptation to new food resources and comparative changes in daily activity. The results of breeding and changes in the structure of the group are also presented. The horses appeared to adapt well to the new conditions and there appeared to be no negative effects of interspecific interaction with introduced kulans in the release area.]

Perkins, L.: Conservation and management of orang-utans Pongo pygmaeus ssp. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 109–112.

Pochon, V.: Mixed-species exhibit for eastern black-and-white colobus and patas monkeys Colobus guereza and Erythrocebus patas at CERZA, Lisieux. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 69–73. [The exhibit was developed in an attempt to provide a social and physical environment which promotes the expression of diverse and spontaneous behaviours. C. guereza is an arboreal species, while E. patas inhabits the savannahs of Equatorial Africa. The centre of the enclosure is naturally forested and is surrounded by a clearing which blends into a strip of low vegetation around the perimeter, providing the monkeys with spatial heterogeneity over the vertical plane, thus accommodating the different habitat niches of the two species.]

Rudloff, K.: Bemerkungen zu einigen Kleinsäugern – Stachelmäuse, Acomys. (Notes on some small mammals – the spiny mice.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 5 (1998), pp. 502–516. [German, no English summary; Tierpark Berlin.]

Ruempler, U.: Husbandry and breeding of douc langurs Pygathrix nemaeus nemaeus at Cologne Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 73–81. [Since 1970, 24 douc langurs have been born at the zoo and 5.6 are currently maintained there. (The author admits, however, that as it is most unlikely that a sustainable captive population will ever be established, conservation efforts should focus on in situ preservation.)]

Saint Jalme, M., Hennache, A., and Plouzeau, E.: Artificial insemination of the Blyth's tragopan in the Zoological Park of Clères (France). WPA News No. 58 (1999), pp. 6–7. [Two viable T. blythii chicks were hatched and reared.]

Schlee, M.A.: Hand-rearing Rüppell's griffon vulture Gyps rueppellii at Paris Menagerie, Milwaukee County Zoo and Burger's Zoo, Arnhem. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 179–194.

Schulze, H.: Developing a husbandry manual to facilitate the distribution and presentation of information: with special reference to slender loris Loris tardigradus nordicus at Ruhr University, Bochum. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 34–48. [Generally the practical information required for husbandry of wild species in captivity is not readily available in a single comprehensive source. This paper describes the sort of information which would be most useful for species management, using the slender loris as an example, and provides a practical model of the possible form and content of a husbandry manual. Manuals which are updated at intervals using, for example, a subscription-based amendment service or a computer-accessed database are both reasonable possibilities. The paper also gives details about a database currently being developed for accessing conservation and species-management data on the internet. Husbandry details for slender lorises are also presented.]

Seidel, B., Wicker, R., Sebisch, S., Nickel, H., Fleissner, G., and Schildger, B.: Chronoethologische Untersuchungen am Streifenkiwi (Apteryx australis). (Circadian rhythms of brown kiwi.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 69, No. 1 (1999), pp. 40–48. [German, with English summary; Frankfurt Zoo.]

Smantek, G.: Ein Bambusbär (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) im Tierpark Berlin – Erinnerungen an `Chi-Chi'. (A giant panda at Tierpark Berlin – recollections of Chi-Chi.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 5 (1998), pp. 496–501. [German, no English summary.]

Staal, M.: De Stad der Oudheid: een verhaal over dieren in een oude stad in een dierentuin in Amersfoort. (The Ancient Town: a story about animals in an old town at Amersfoort Zoo.) De Harpij Vol. 18, No. 1 (1999), pp. 24–26. [Dutch, no English summary.]

Strauss, G., Czupalla, O., Lange, A., and Hildebrandt, T.: Der Dammschnitt als geburtshilfliche Massnahme bei einem Asiatischen Elefanten. (Episiotomy to assist delivery in an Asian elephant.) Milu Vol. 9, No. 5 (1998), pp. 483–495. [German, no English summary; Tierpark Berlin.]

Sweeney, R.G.: Breeding the red and blue lory Eos histrio at Loro Parque, Puerto de la Cruz. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 194–198.

Taylor, A.C., and Cooper, D.W.: Microsatellites identify introduced New Zealand tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii) as an `extinct' taxon. Animal Conservation Vol. 2, No. 1 (1999), pp. 41–49.

Thomas, C.D., Glen, S.W.T., Lewis, O.T., Hill, J.K., and Blakeley, D.S.: Population differentiation and conservation of endemic races: the butterfly, Plebejus argus. Animal Conservation Vol. 2, No. 1 (1999), pp. 15–21. [Five races of this species are restricted to different habitats in north Wales and north-west England. One race is extinct, and others are threatened. The four extant forms differ in morphology, habitat, host plant choice, performance on different host plant species and species of associated ant. Some of these differences are maintained in captivity, suggesting evolutionary divergence. Different races with different habitat requirements require different practical conservation management to maintain existing populations and metapopulations. Between-population, or racial, variation is an important consideration in the development of conservation programmes for this and other threatened species. Racial differentiation in P. argus suggests relatively long periods of isolation in particular habitats; the same areas contain other rare species and races. Many countries support the principle of conserving genetic variation within species, but practical methods do not exist for recognising key areas to prioritise. The authors suggest that the existence of local races of well-known taxa may be used to indicate biodiversity hotspots, at a taxonomic level below that of full species. These may represent key locations for the conservation of genetic biodiversity.]

Ward, T.J., Bielawski, J.P., Davis, S.K., Templeton, J.W., and Derr, J.N.: Identification of domestic cattle hybrids in wild cattle and bison species: a general approach using mtDNA markers and the parametric bootstrap. Animal Conservation Vol. 2, No. 1 (1999), pp. 51–57. [Because interspecific hybridization is often a consequence of population decline and fragmentation, identification of individuals or populations with hybrid ancestry is an increasingly important issue in conservation biology. In many wild cattle species, the problem of natural hybridization has been compounded by indiscriminate cross-breeding with domestic cattle for the purpose of improving domesticated stocks. Using a PCR-based genetic test, domestic cattle mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were detected in yak, European bison, and six out of 15 American bison populations tested. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for the conservation status and future management of wild cattle species.]

Westerveld, B., and van Herk, R.: Te dol voor woorden. (Too crazy for words.) De Harpij Vol. 18, No. 1 (1999), pp. 6–12. [Dutch, with English summary (reprinted on pp. 179–180 of this issue of I.Z.N.). The discovery of a possible rabies virus in the Rotterdam Zoo bat colony.]

Wisniewski, P.J., and Hughes, I.: The ladybird spider Eresus cinnaberinus rearing project. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 158–162. [The ladybird spider was considered to be extinct in the U.K. until 1979, when it was rediscovered in one heathland site in Dorset. By 1992 the population had reduced to between 15 and 40 breeding individuals, and a recovery plan was proposed for the species. In 1994 a zoo-based captive-breeding project was established. Because it was important that the British population was not further depleted by the collection of specimens until maintenance and breeding protocols had been developed, an experimental captive population was established with 1.10 specimens imported from Denmark. The authors detail the maintenance, breeding and rearing protocols developed for the species at the Endangered Species Breeding Unit, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Martin Mere.]

Young, R.J.: Behavioural studies of guenons Cercopithecus spp. at Edinburgh Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 36 (1998), pp. 49–56. [There is limited published information on the behaviour of guenons; this paper presents a review of the studies carried out at Edinburgh on the social behaviour, hand-rearing, feeding and enclosure use of C. neglectus, C. d. diana, C. d. roloway, C. lhoesti, C. hamlyni and Allenopithecus nigroviridis, and describes a range of environmental and behavioural enrichment devices which have been developed and assessed at the zoo.]

Publishers of the periodicals listed:

Animal Conservation, Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY, U.K.

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

International Zoo Yearbook, The Zoological Society of London, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, U.K.

Milu, Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, Am Tierpark 125, D-1136 Berlin, Germany.

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

WPA News, World Pheasant Association, P.O. Box 5, Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire RG8 9PF, U.K.

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