International Zoo News Vol. 46, No. 4 (June 1999)
[This editorial is based on a talk given by the author at the ABWAK conference, Marwell Zoological Park, April 1999.]
As one who has been actively engaged in wild animal husbandry for over 60 years (how the shadows are closing in!), I'm one of a small and numerically diminishing group who recall from personal experience the incredible difficulties encountered in operating a zoological garden in this country during the Second World War. (At this early juncture I must emphasise that seeking to care for a living collection in a country through which warring armies swept must have been a far worse, indeed heartbreaking, experience, but I cannot speak or write with any authority here.)
From 1939 until 1945 the supplies of fish in Britain were both small and erratic - in fact, posters in fishmongers' shop windows read `When my slab is cold and empty do not look at me in woe; fishermen have gone a-sweeping for the mines laid by the foe.' As may well be imagined, this caused immense difficulties, but necessity is the mother of invention, with the result that a surprising number of species - both mammals and birds - not only eventually took the proffered strips of raw meat dipped in cod-liver oil, but in some cases even survived the conflict on them. Why wasn't freshwater fish offered instead? A good point, young Sir or Madam, but the trout and other fish farms we today take for granted were then far into the future (as also were intensive broiler units, plus the small firms that now breed millions of invertebrates weekly, so there were no chicks for birds of prey or small carnivorous mammals, or the live foods which we now consider to be indispensable for successful reptile-keeping - but, to be fair, as no one then had ever dreamed of such supplies, their absence can hardly be deemed a loss).
Sunflower seed was quite unobtainable (as it was then imported only from the Balkans), as was practically everything else associated with aviculture. In 1945 Andrew Wilson, a well-known and respected Glasgow animal dealer, was heavily fined and sentenced to a term of imprisonment, not for passing secrets to the enemy but for illegally importing 50 pounds of white millet seed, while until as late as 1947 a pound of plain canary seed was a highly welcomed prize at a cage bird society's raffle or quiz night. Yet despite this, at the war's end the Zoological Society of London exhibited no less than 300 psittacines which had been fed for nearly six years chiefly on oats, bread, chopped carrots and weed-screenings, then obtainable from farmers - and they were in good plumage and condition, too.
Hens' eggs? Yes, one per month - and that was the human ration. . .
Imported fruit was virtually non est; bananas, for example, were unknown here between 1940 and 1946 (when, to celebrate their reappearance, every schoolchild was given one), while so few oranges made their appearance that they were available only to young children and expectant mothers. Generally speaking, only home-produced fruit and vegetables were obtainable, and this, along with bread, was the basic diet of the nation's captive non-human primates - yet at the end of the war its twelve public collections each exhibited an excellent display of these animals, and seemingly in good health, despite such an unbalanced diet for what are overwhelmingly omnivores. (Many years later I discussed this unexpected state of affairs with a veterinary surgeon who, far from showing surprise, suggested it was because bread was then made with the very nutritious `national flour' - which has since been refined, with far less satisfactory results.)
Note, by the way, these were just the problems with the supply of food. Building materials were unobtainable, so repairs and general maintenance were out of the question; there was virtually no petrol for private motoring, which drastically affected the gates; and in many cases keepers had been `called-up' into the services - leaving, as one superintendent put it, `only boys, old men and half-wits' to take their places.
The unalterable fact remains, though, that the ceasefire saw every British zoological garden with a good collection of healthy animals, which in many cases had bred and were breeding.
Perhaps I didn't realise it at the time, but it was largely instrumental in teaching me a very valuable and important lesson. I had already noticed that the animals I kept - very scientifically, as befitted a keen young naturalist - lived no longer and enjoyed no better health than those of the same species housed in cramped and dirty quarters, and fed less imaginatively, by other people who might have obtained them as a passing whim; but here was clear additional proof to amplify a contention I was to ponder on and study over the decades to come - viz. that most animals in confinement do not require the super-care they now receive in order to maintain long, healthy and, we hope, contented lives. I didn't know it in those embryonic days, but I was in good company - George Jennison, who for so long was curator of Manchester's Belle Vue, wrote in the 1920s that many species would probably live longer if they received what he called `rougher fare', although I do not know whether he was alluding to food or general care.
I am absolutely convinced that the modern zoological garden is creating a great deal of work for its staff, and is getting through vast amounts of money, very largely unnecessarily - as I hope to prove via the following hypothetical, but perfectly possible, situation.
Looking at the world as a whole, the animals in the Blobtown Zoological Park are better housed and fed than the average human - as indeed they are in 90% of such places - which even the most bitter of all misanthropes will concede is a bit `over the top'. Their excellent, varied and carefully planned diets (including some specifically formulated for individual species), to which mineral and vitamin enrichment is added (only cod-liver oil and calcium lactate, with, perhaps, Virol, in my young days in wild animal husbandry), are prepared in spotless and hygienic kitchens by dedicated career keepers, who are far better informed in their subject than their forebears of yesterday, through corresponding with colleagues the world over, journeying to observe the species they care for in their own habitats, and studying for degrees in animal management.
Not only has veterinary science advanced so far, so rapidly and so successfully since the war that the professions of then and now are not to be seriously compared, but Blobtown Zoological Park boasts no less than two veterinary surgeons, three veterinary nurses and a well-equipped clinic - all waiting for any of the daily-inspected animals to fall ill, whereupon they immediately spring into action as a highly-skilled and professional team. Although this state of affairs is now taken for granted, please think about it for a few seconds, for it produces a somewhat irrational situation not widely realised. Unlike you or me, a sick animal there receives immediate attention, with a `doctor-patient' ratio that would be the envy of workers in the field of human medicine; not only that, but to the best of my knowledge no adults of our own species, anywhere, are daily looked at with experienced eyes to detect the slightest signs of indisposition, so here's another instance of animals being better cared-for than Man. I'm not implying it's wrong, but merely stating a fact.
And Blobtown's superintendent? As you know full well, every time you try to raise him on the telephone it's `Sorry, he's in a meeting' - and as these incessant gatherings (`the practical alternative to work', as someone has sourly dubbed them) play such a large part in his life, one can only assume they are of great benefit to the place, and therefore to its denizens, too.
Houses, aviaries and enclosures are thoughtfully and imaginatively planned, with great attention given to seclusion, to humidity, to . . . but you've got the drift by now.
At this point I must emphasise that I am in no way implying that all this is wrong, or belittling the Blobtown staff's dedication and compassion, misguided though it might be - but I have a question to put: it's a simple one, and it isn't rhetoric either, as I'm genuinely intrigued to learn the answer.
With all this super-care and sense of mission, plus experience and knowledge and facilities, at the B.Z.P., its animals ought, in theory, to die from one of only three causes: (a) senile decay, (b) gynaecological troubles during parturition, or (c) accidents and mechanical injuries. But something, somewhere along the line, has gone sadly and seriously wrong, for they don't. They also still die from respiratory disorders, from tumours (nearly an epidemic in captive lizards as I write this), from renal problems, from toxaemia, from brain damage, from gastroenteritis. . . They still suffer from dental problems, infestations of endoparasites, epidermal outbreaks, arthritis, entropion. . . Just as they did - though, to be fair, perhaps rather less often - in my own zoological garden long ago, just as they did during the war, when our means and methods were so primitive. Why?
13 Pound Place,
Surrey GU4 8HH,
PERSONAL IMPRESSIONS OF SOME OF GERMANY'S SMALLER ZOOS
BY JOHN TUSON
The seasoned zoo-goer will be well aware of the many truly great zoos to be found in Germany. The Netherlands may have a greater proportion of remarkable exhibits within its zoological collections, and there may be more pleasantly quirky eccentricities to be found in the zoos of Britain, but in Germany can be found the highest number of `premier league' zoos: Cologne, Munich, Hamburg, Walsrode, both the Berlin collections, Leipzig - these, and others, are known across the world for their excellent work. But less well known are a string of smaller German collections, each, in its own way, every bit as interesting as those illustrious giants of the zoo world.
Whilst the smaller zoos of, for example, Britain, have tended in recent years to specialise in certain areas - and almost exclusively to focus on smaller animals - this is not the case in Germany. It is not unusual to come across a collection which contains only 30 or so mammal species, but which nonetheless displays elephants, tigers, bears and giraffes, the result being that many of Germany's smaller zoos are, in content and flavour, scaled-down versions of their larger counterparts.
In this respect Karlsruhe Zoo is the archetypal smaller German zoo. If the total number of mammal species to be seen there is not great - somewhere under 40, excluding domestics - then the comprehensive nature of the collection is certainly impressive. And whilst few of Karlsruhe's buildings are truly remarkable, they do all possess a solidity, a permanence, which is certainly typical of Germany, and which is perhaps typical of those larger `premier league' zoos mentioned above. What isn't typical about Karlsruhe Zoo is its location, in the corner of a large botanical park. The botanical displays are pleasant, but it is the zoo which is clearly the biggest draw: on the day of my visit the animal houses were crowded with visitors, the rest of the park almost deserted. Perhaps the most striking building in the zoo is the house for hippos, Asian elephants and lesser flamingos. The areas for the latter two species are simple but attractive (even though the elephants are not over-blessed with space), and the hippos' internal pool, which visitors can cross by means of a wooden bridge, allows close contact with these most impressive animals. A profusion of plants adds a suitably tropical feel to the house, and the overall impression is good, if cramped.
Rather more conventional are the houses for cats (snow and Javan leopards, jaguar, northern lynx, Geoffroy's cat and, in a moated enclosure, lions) and primates (Allen's swamp monkeys are the rarities; half a dozen more commonplace species are also to be seen, including chimpanzees). Elsewhere Grant's (Boehm's) zebra and eland coexist peacefully, whilst in the adjacent paddock can be seen scimitar-horned oryx and blesbok. Banteng and a fair-sized family of giraffes are also maintained at Karlsruhe, but the most notable ungulate species here is the Persian goitred gazelle, a family of which live in a sloping paddock in a quiet corner of the zoo. The only other unusual residents of Karlsruhe Zoo are crab-eating raccoons (Procyon cancrivorus); these wonderful South Americans aside, it is a more predictable roster of species which completes the collection: meerkats, wallabies, sea lions, grey seals (sharing their pool with a group of Humboldt's penguins), and other such frequently-seen creatures, all displayed conservatively in thoroughly adequate but perhaps rather uninspiring enclosures. Finally, five polar bears are to be seen in a concrete pit - large, but not really large or imaginative enough for this species.
Crab-eating raccoon at Karlsruhe Zoo.
As a collection, Karlsruhe does rather lack focus, but it has enough breadth to enable it to introduce a very good cross-section of the animal world to its visitors in very attractive surroundings. Perhaps because it is only one part of a larger concern, it does, occasionally, seem to be rather lacking in energy, as though it is being allowed to drift along without any overwhelming sense of purpose, but nevertheless it is a pleasant zoo with the potential to be very good indeed.
Different in character is the nearby Landau Zoo, which, whilst it has very little which is noteworthy about it, is nonetheless a real gem. Its collection is small, and much of it is housed in enclosures which are neither spacious nor aesthetically pleasing - the bulk of the cats (black leopards, jaguars and lynx) get an especially raw deal here, with only a group of cheetahs being satisfactorily housed. Much better is a shady - and generous - slice of woodland devoted to brown bears, whilst a series of paddocks for - amongst others - zebras, gnus, and a family of red river hogs, are entirely adequate. Lar gibbons, black spider monkeys and an aged group of chimpanzees are the first animals the Landau visitor comes across, and whilst their enclosures are perhaps unattractive, those for the two former species are pleasingly lofty. One or two small mammal species complete the collection - meerkats, fennec foxes, marmosets and so on.
So what is it that makes Landau such a pleasant zoo? Its collection (red river hogs aside) is nothing extraordinary; the houses in which those animals are displayed are adequate, but seldom more than that. But despite these shortcomings, the zoo has its own charm, a feeling that a great deal of care has been lavished upon its small site; the gardens are well-tended, with every corner of the zoo looking freshly swept and scrubbed; the staff are friendly and welcoming. The quintessential Landau enclosure is probably its walk-through aviary. The building itself has certainly seen better days, and the birds within are as predictable a selection as one could wish for: Inca terns, Chilean flamingos, sacred and scarlet ibis, and crowned lapwings. But the planting of the aviary's interior, and the care which has obviously gone into creating an attractive display, combine to make this a thoroughly worthwhile exhibit.
At Landau, every corner is carefully cultivated; at Karlsruhe a very German tidiness and sense of order is forever present. Totally different to both is Saarbrücken Zoo, a sprawling, rather messy place, where a distinctly un-German shabbiness is all too prevalent. But while the collections of Karlsruhe and Landau contain few real rarities, at Saarbrücken can be seen a plethora of unusual species: Malayan bears, echidnas, aardvarks, drills, and one of the best collections of lemurs in Europe. Saarbrücken is an odd sort of zoo: its grounds and its buildings both suggest a terrible shortage of funding, whilst one or two enclosures smack of wasted money. Typical of the zoo, perhaps, is its large `Africa House'. The idea is a good one: a roomy house, with a nocturnal section, in which to display a cross-section of zoogeographically related species, whilst telling the story of those animals and their continent. The actuality is rather less impressive. Saarbrücken's Africa House is a supremely ugly building - a nightmare of concrete and peeling metalwork - detracting attention from the animals it houses (even the giraffes seem dwarfed by it) whilst having all the aesthetic charm of a small-town multi-storey car park. The building's success is further compromised by a Byzantine system of visitor access, which has the intrepid zoo-goer constantly doubling back on him or herself, an unimaginative range of interpretative materials (a few moth-eaten displays look singularly unappealing), and an animal selection policy which sees such un-African species as cotton-top tamarins, kowaris and green acouchis rubbing shoulders with the more geographically correct defassa waterbuck, Chapman's zebra and brush-tailed porcupine. Far from providing an exhilarating voyage of discovery of the wildlife of Africa, the interior of the building is a breezy barn, with one or two cages dotted here and there. Despite its intrinsic ugliness, this could be a wonderful zoo exhibit, with the potential to display animals in a truly relevant way. It needs money to be spent on it, admittedly, but more than that it needs imagination, thought and care.
Close to the Africa House are gorillas and chimpanzees, housed in a rather depressing fashion, and cheetahs, who do somewhat better. This being the African section of the zoo, one can also see short-nosed echidnas and white-fronted marmosets! Elsewhere, similar liberties are taken with zoogeographic theming. The excellent lemur collection is logically housed in the Madagascar area. A large group of ring-tailed lemurs occupy an airy enclosure, whilst their relatives - Sclater's, red-fronted, white-fronted, ruffed (black-and-white and red), Mayotte and black - can be seen in a simple, but nonetheless very reasonable, house. That house is also home to a number of reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates, and encouragingly a number of them are every bit as Madagascan as a ruffed lemur. But, unfortunately, many of them aren't, and in the Madagascar house can be found reptiles from Asia and South America. And if one seeks material to explain Madagascar, to explore its unique wildlife and its special problems, then you have come to the wrong place - so, for the vast majority of visitors, the house will be nothing more than a place to see some strange monkeys and a snake or two, when it could be so much more than that.
Saarbrücken's best enclosure is a simple but enormous cage for a group of lar gibbons, which supplies a wonderful stage for the cavorting of its inhabitants. Meanwhile, families of those two most impressive African primates, mandrills and drills, can be seen in rather cold, rather dismal, rather cramped, heavily barred cages of the type which one might normally expect to encounter in a zoo in one of the more impoverished former Soviet republics. The Malayan bears do just as badly, while one of the zoo's newer enclosures - for Brazilian tapirs - is a riot of artificial concrete: it must have cost a great deal more than a simple fence, which would have done the job just as efficiently and several times more attractively.
Saarbrücken is another relatively small zoo whose collection is of the type which one might usually expect to see in a larger establishment. There is no reason why it should not display that collection in an excellent way - the zoo's site, on a slab of wooded hillside, is rich in potential - but, for the moment, there is still some way to go. Money is in short supply, obviously, but so too are flair and inspiration, commodities which are often far more valuable than hard cash. It is imagination and flair which make Osnabrück Zoo one of the best of Germany's smaller zoos. Money has clearly been reasonably plentiful, and the collection is certainly not without highlights, but it is the panache with which that collection is displayed which is Osnabrück's hallmark.
For a start, Osnabrück Zoo's entrance is magnificent. It is also the entrance to an adjacent museum complex, and in its impressive grandeur it really does not allow the incoming visitor to believe that he or she is doing anything other than entering an important institution. That good first impression continues once the visitor has passed through the zoo's gates: an attractively landscaped flamingo pond and a simple but effective spider monkey island both look most enticing. Even better is a splendid lion enclosure: moated (with running water providing a harmonious soundtrack to the visitor's perambulation) and located on a sharply sloping piece of hillside, it is one of those enclosures which manage to present an otherwise unremarkable creature in such a way as to remind the jaded zoo-goer that every animal - even the African lion - is fascinating. From then on, it is treat after treat. Not all of the zoo is perfect, by any means, but most of it is really very good, and with a massive new exhibit for African ungulates currently under construction it promises to get even better in the future.
For the moment, the zoo's highlight is possibly a compact but attractive South American house, featuring Brazilian tapirs, maned wolves and agoutis on its outside, whilst inside can be seen various marmosets and tamarins, squirrel monkeys, a walk-through aviary and the tapirs' stables. There is nothing extraordinary about the place, save that in its simplicity it has all been put together so very well. The same is true of a combined reptile and amphibian house and aquarium. The species within are not too far different from those which can be seen in countless such houses across Europe, whilst the method of display is mostly fairly conservative. And yet the whole thing is done so very well, so very professionally, that it is lifted above the commonplace.
There's a good cat house too (serval, leopard, Amur tiger) and a monkey house which, if it is not the zoo's best feature, still manages to display a good collection in a thoroughly acceptable fashion: pig-tailed macaques on a large `rock', the rest - capuchins, vervets, one or two lemur species, black mangabeys - in standard primate cages.
Chimpanzees, concolor gibbons and orang-utans are all displayed in enclosures which are small but well furnished; African elephants do not do quite so well, but may well be among those species to be rehoused in the zoo's newest development. The same is probably true of the ungulate collection - defassa waterbuck, white rhino, lowland nyala, addax, Nile lechwe, eland, Grant's zebra - which, for the moment, is to be seen in a string of simple yards. A good-sized bird collection, one or two enclosures for smaller mammals, a well-done area for European animals, and an ocean of a pool for Californian sea lions pretty much complete what Osnabrück Zoo has to offer - except for what is surely the zoo's most intriguing exhibit: a bear enclosure - not big, not small - in which can be seen four species - polar, American black, brown and Himalayan - living side-by-side in apparent harmony. It's an extraordinary enclosure, in an extraordinarily good zoo.
North of Hamburg, Gettorf Zoo is the exception to the rule of small German collections, and in many ways is closer to the small zoos of Britain and the rest of Europe. An eland and a zebra or two aside, the animals are certainly at the smaller end of the spectrum, and there are two definite areas of specialisation: primates and hornbills. Furthermore, the housing for the collection is of the homely but rather dilapidated type which will be familiar to British zoo-goers. It is a long way from the pristinely manicured Osnabrück Zoo, but in its own way it is every bit as charming. Take away the hornbills and the primates, and there isn't really much to Gettorf: mammals of the most commonly-seen zoo species (Brazilian tapir, Bennett's wallaby, blackbuck et cetera) and a selection of tropical birds. But the unremarkable nature of the rest of the collection is fully compensated for by its excellence in its areas of specialisation. There are currently seven species of hornbill at the zoo, with several of them breeding freely. (See Table 1 for details.) The housing is simple - a row of aviaries in the sort of glorified greenhouse which, in another life, might have found itself filled with bags of peat and potted cacti in a suburban garden centre. It is splendid to see such a range of these most charismatic birds, and even more splendid that they are clearly thriving in northern Germany.
The primate collection is a curious one, in that it is large - just under 20 species - but, with a few exceptions, composed almost entirely of `unfashionable' species. In many ways it is all the more interesting for that: brown capuchins, pig-tailed and Barbary macaques, and squirrel monkeys (Bolivian and black-capped) are all well worth seeing despite their relative lack of rarity. There are rarer species too: black mangabeys, diana monkeys, and Sulawesi macaques. Apes are represented by four female chimpanzees and a group of lar gibbons, and there are also half a dozen species of marmoset and tamarin. As with the hornbills, the housing is functional - much of the collection is to be found in what appears to be a converted string of stables - but the primates too look to be doing well. Gettorf is doubly unusual for a German zoo, in that it is privately owned: this does mean that its entrance fee is steep, but it also enables the place to plough its own pleasingly eccentric furrow.
There are, of course, many more `smaller zoos' across Germany: many readers of I.Z.N. will be familiar with the excellent Rheine Zoo, for example; the Darmstadt Vivarium is a wonderful place, with a number of outstanding displays; and the zoo in the beautiful city of Schwerin is definitely to be recommended, not least for its tremendous combined bear and wolf enclosure. Germany also has its full share of truly dreadful small zoos as well: in particular, the historic city of Lübeck is home to the sort of appalling little menagerie for which there is simply no excuse. Such a place is depressing to see - and, one would imagine, must be even more depressing for the bear, the leopard, the tiger and the chimpanzees who have to live there - but it does not detract from the fact that in Germany, as in the rest of Europe, there is a great deal which is very good in many of the less well-known zoos.
John Tuson, The Mill House, Yapton Road, Barnham, West Sussex PO22 0BD, U.K. (John is currently working in Tanzania, where he can be contacted c/o P.O. Box 6297, Dar es Salaam; he is expecting to return to Britain in the latter half of 2000.)
Table 1. Hornbills at Gettorf Zoo.
Red-billed hornbill 1.1 breeding successfully for third year
Trumpeter hornbill 1.1 breeding successfully for third year
Wreathed hornbill 1.1 breeding successfully for sixth year
Blyth's hornbill 1.1 no breeding
Wrinkled hornbill 0.1 survivor of pair
Great Indian hornbill 1.1 mating without success: eggs infertile
Black hornbill 1.1 breeding without success: chick died last year
(Anthracoceros 0.1 survivor of pair
PARTHENOGENESIS IN SNAKES: A PHENOMENON IN NEED OF INVESTIGATION?
BY RAY PAWLEY
When news about parthenogenesis in snakes came to light, the response from the herpetological community was one of healthy skepticism. A thorough review of the evidence is called for, which should encourage further investigations that, in turn, should open the way to farther discoveries. Had DNA fingerprinting been around years earlier, this matter would probably have been clarified much sooner. Moreover, the confirmation of parthenogenesis in a few lizard species, some decades ago, probably softened the impact of this significant announcement.
It did not take the advent of DNA fingerprinting to conclude, many years ago, that parthenogenesis was the explanation for healthy rates of reproduction among a few all- (or nearly all-) female lizard populations. The same was found to be true among Hawaiian populations of the small, burrowing snake Ramphotyphlops braminus, all females.
On the other hand, determining the extent of parthenogenesis in snakes is likely to prove to be an enormous and time-consuming task. Presently, no all-female populations of snakes (except R. braminus), are known to exist. Unlike studies involving all-female populations of parthenogenetic lizards, heterosexual snakes require the use of DNA fingerprinting of many specimens, across two, three, or more breeding seasons, in order to ferret out the parthenogenesis phenomenon, and then assess the degree of parthenogenesis. It's the old needle-in-the-haystack challenge, even though the phenomenon is likely to occur in many, perhaps most species of snakes, especially among the more populous forms (e.g. Acrochordus, Natricinae, Boidae, Viperidae).
There is an important footnote to this discovery. The carefully documented case of parthenogenesis involving Brookfield Zoo's Arafuran file snakes (Acrochordus arafurae) suggests that progeny may not consist only of male offspring, but females as well. This is apparent because the mothers of Brookfield Zoo's parthenogenetic offspring are very similar genetically and might, as well, be the result of parthenogenesis.
Sperm retention, a reproductive phenomenon already proven in snakes, has been the `catch all' theory, grossly extended to explain all cases of delayed fertilizations, even those where multiple years have elapsed between the last known copulation and subsequent birth/hatching events. Delayed fertilization over a year or so, among snakes that have adapted to wide climatic swings in their environments (e.g. seasonal cold) has been documented. Not only has viable sperm been recovered from the urogenital tracts of some females, but special sperm-storage adaptations have been identified. Gans's Biology of the Reptilia (Volume 6: Morphology E, 1976) contains a summary of several such events. However, it is significant that at the time, 23 years ago, a cautionary note was expressed at the conclusion of the summary, as follows: `However, it may be as well to express caution, particularly for extreme cases of delayed fertilization and the occurrence of fertile eggs several years after the last copulation. In view of the fact that many groups of lizards and even one snake have been shown to be parthenogenetic . . . some of these examples may possibly be sporadic parthenogenetic phenomena.' Clearly, the author was compelled to include this healthy measure of skepticism by suggesting the possibility of parthenogenesis. Suspicions confirmed.
It was in 1988, three years after the arrival at Brookfield of two female A. arafurae from Melbourne Zoo's Curator of Herpetology (at that time), Chris Banks, that a total of two living and three still-born neonates were produced. Personally suspicious of the `sperm retention' theory being applied to lengthy embryo-development periods, I hoped this would be an opportunity to scrutinize the sperm storage theory more closely. Replying to my question, Chris reported that the female adults had been born to a wild-collected female at Melbourne Zoo. These two siblings (females) were kept together following isolation from their litter-mates several days after birth in 1983. They were never in contact with any other snakes since that time (five years). DNA fingerprinting confirmed that the young produced at Brookfield Zoo by these females were of virgin birth. As studies continue, it will be interesting to explore the issue of whether females, produced via parthenogenesis, can produce virgin-birth offspring in turn, and so on.
Perhaps parthenogenesis is relatively common in the genus Acrochordus. In 1979 an article in Copeia reported the production of a stillborn young from a female A. javanicus maintained in isolation from other snakes for seven years. Moreover, both A. arafurae and A. granulatus are highly abundant in portions of their range. Given the wide seasonal fluctuations between drought and flooding in A. arafurae habitat, their bimodal reproductive capabilities may be a significant advantage where environmental disruptions may be severe and last a year or two, or even more. For example, being piscivorous, their natural food may be seasonally abundant (during dryer weather when billabong water levels are low) or scarce (during high-water stages where dispersal is maximized). These severe climatic fluctuations, alternately concentrating, then widely dispersing their food source, as well as individual snakes, can amplify the survival challenge for any species exponentially.
A scarcity of chance meetings between individuals of opposite sex, coupled with any increase in predation pressure, would be a formidable obstacle for any population to overcome. Daunting climatic swings call for elaborate survival compensation strategies. A bridging mechanism, (e.g. parthenogenesis) could be one such solution. Genes can then be transferred `in place' from one generation to the next in a `mark time' manner until seasonal stresses alleviate and heterosexual reproduction can be resumed.
How far parthenogenesis extended into the evolutionary past is an intriguing question. For example, in some of the Mesozoic dinosaur nesting crèches, it would be interesting to run DNA fingerprinting analyses on fossilized embryos to determine degree of paternity. However, such questions will remain unanswered unless a method of extracting DNA from mineralized fossils can be developed.
For the Arafuran file snake, survival as a confirmed heterosexual in such a hostile world runs the real risk of a species dead end from lack of recruitment. On the other hand, widely-dispersed females could, individually and through parthenogenesis, drop-kick their genetic package into a future generation toward a time (perhaps beyond their own natural lifespan) through the production of progeny by asexual means. In another season they may well never see, their genes could make their way into further generations sexually at a more opportune time.
How widespread is parthenogenesis among snakes? Before conducting studies at random, we should attempt to direct our efforts to conserve valuable resources (e.g. time, funding). Some candidates for selection could be the garter snakes and rattlesnakes, among which parthenogenesis has been reported, and which are sometimes found in remarkably large numbers. So, too, the brackish-water species Acrochordus granulatus, which are highly abundant in portions of their habitat.
By starting with species where prolonged intervals between last known copulation and production of fully-formed young have been recorded (a review of the husbandry records of captives would be a good starting point), we could narrow our focus. Then, selecting from those taxa whose abundance in nature is comparatively high, we should be able to significantly increase the odds of discovering additional parthenogenetically capable species at a considerable saving in search resources. Some candidates might be the anaconda (Eunectes murinus), and some of the more secretive genera such as Micrurus, Lampropeltis, Lichanura, Charina, Loxocemus, and others.
From what has been learned, reproduction in parthenogenetic lizards appears to be largely environmentally triggered. For these species, especially all-female populations, triggering and control can be more easily studied (e.g. triggers can be isolated based on whether progeny is produced or not). The testing of Acrochordines, and other snakes that may be part-time parthenogenetic reproducers, is likely to take much longer than with all-female populations of lizards, for example. Can parthenogenesis be understood and controlled? An understanding of the triggering mechanisms could provide some valuable alternative tools to augment species captive-breeding strategies. This could be most valuable if/when a captive (or wild) population may become demographically polarized and numbers are few. Parthenogenesis could provide a valuable species survival option in these situations. On a completely different note, parthenogenesis could be a significant tool in producing large numbers of offspring to meet expanding research, education, pet industry or food consumption needs.
Although news about the confirmation of parthenogenesis in snakes may not capture the imagination of the public in general, the extent and workings of this phenomenon represent a glimpse into a huge unknown tract. On the technological side, we have the tools to explore this huge new territory (e.g. DNA methods). The question is whether or not there is the will. Time, expertise and money will be needed to fully explore this phenomenon. In the process of our undertaking to understand this newly discovered aspect of snake reproduction, we will probably learn more about the parthenogenesis phenomenon than we can begin to imagine at this time! We need to know.
Ray Pawley was Curator of Reptiles at Brookfield Zoo until 1997.
He may be contacted at P.O. Box 218, Hinsdale, Illinois 60522, U.S.A.
BIOACOUSTICS IN ZOOS: A REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS AND PERSPECTIVES
BY ELENA V. VOLODINA AND ILYA A. VOLODIN
[This article is based on the authors' presentation at the Second International Symposium on Physiology and Ethology of Wild and Zoo Animals, Berlin, 7-10 October 1998]
In recent years a bioacoustic approach has been generated as a separate group of non-invasive methods in zoo and agricultural practice. Animal sounds have a potential to provide extensive information about internal state, sex, subspecies, reproductive state, social status, stress and welfare of animals, and there are now many positive results in the area. This approach is based on the vocal behaviour of animals and on the structure of their calls. Here we review both some successful applications of this approach and some scientific reports providing information that can be potentially applied in zoo practice.
Application 1: Identification of species, subspecies and their hybrids
Zoos try to prevent the breeding of individuals of unknown subspecies, and sounds are a promising means of identifying subspecies and their hybrids. This application has been reported as appropriate for the following taxa: Hylobatidae and Cervidae (Mammalia); Phasianidae (Aves).
It has been shown that bioacoustic methods may be useful for determination of subspecies status in black gibbons (Hylobates concolor leucogenys and H. c. gabriellae) (Demars and Goustard, 1978). Some time ago Moscow Zoo used tape recordings of black gibbons' songs to confirm the subspecific status of animals being transferred from the zoo. Geissmann (1984) reported that hybrids between pileated gibbon (H. pileatus) and white-handed gibbon (H. lar) may be distinguished by their songs because of the inheritance of species-specific song parameters.
Deer provide some particularly good examples of hybridization occurring between apparently distinct species both in captivity and in the wild. Long et al. (1998) showed that the status of hybrids between red and sika deer (Cervus elaphus and C. nippon) may be confirmed by their rutting vocalizations and alarm calls.
In common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), twelve subspecies are difficult to distinguish by their external appearance, and then only in the case of males. Phokin (1983) reported that the subspecies may be recognized in one-day-old chicks by their vocalizations.
Application 2: Determining reproductive state
Some zoos and private keepers use animal sounds as indicators for determining reproductive state. This application has been reported as appropriate for the following taxa: Cheirogaleidae, Cercopithecidae, Sciuridae and Felidae (Mammalia). The approach is based on the fact that females of some mammals utter a special call on the day of oestrus, which is not heard during other reproductive phases. Among these species are, for example: grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) (Buesching et al., 1998), lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) (Lindburg, 1990), gelada baboon (Theropithecus gelada) (Moos-Heilen and Sossinka, 1990), Siberian chipmunk (Tamias sibiricus) (Gillett, 1988), puma (Felis concolor), jaguar (Panthera onca) and leopard (P. pardus) (Peters, 1978).
Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) females do not produce any specific call during oestrus, but the males do so in response to urinal scents of oestrous females introduced into their enclosure. Keepers at Moscow Zoo use these males' sounds to decide the time for a pairing. These sounds also provide the potential for assessing the `quality' of a male: as a rule, if a male does not produce the specific calls, he is unable to reproduce (Volodina, 1994; Volodina and Volodin, 1996).
Application 3: Transmission of conspecific sounds in order to increase or decrease some behavioural activities
Transmission of recordings of conspecific calls can be used to stimulate reproductive behaviour and reproduction, or to decrease aggression. This application has been reported as appropriate for the following taxa: Phasianidae, Tetraonidae, Laridae (Aves), Cervidae (Mammalia).
Tichonoff et al. (1988) showed that the transmission of species-specific courtship calls enhances courtship vocalizing, copulatory behaviour and egg fertilization of the farmed game birds Coturnix japonica, Phasianus colchicus, Tetrao urogallus and Lyrurus tetrix. Prenatal acoustic stimulation of embryos gives positive effects on synchronization of hatching. Transmission of comfort calls increases foraging activity and decreases aggression by chicks in high-density housing conditions. Some of these effects were also reported for ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) (Fetterolf and Dunham, 1985) and domestic hens (Guyomarc'h and Guyomarc'h, 1981).
In the red deer (C. elaphus), transmission of male rutting vocalizations advances the occurrence of oestrus in females (McComb, 1987).
We believe, however, that in the case of rare or endangered species of mammal, the transmission of conspecific calls should only be used with great care, because animals' reactions to them are unpredictable - they may react extremely strongly, or alternatively they may become habituated and learn to ignore them.
Application 4: Vocalizations as indicators of social relationships
This application has been reported as appropriate for the following taxa: Hylobatidae, Cercopithecidae, Pongidae (Mammalia), Anatidae, Gruidae, Psittacidae (Aves).
In the Bronx Zoo, one pair of white-handed gibbons showed better duetting than others; later these ethologically compatible partners bred successfully (Gibbons and Lockwood, 1985).
It was found at Stuttgart Zoo that social position is reflected in contact calls in gelada baboons (Aich et al., 1987). Similarly, in wild gorillas intragroup vocal repertoires correlate with the social ranking of individuals (Harcourt et al., 1986).
Duets as indicators of established pair bonds were reported for greylag goose (Anser anser) (Fischer, 1965), snow goose (A. caerulescens) (Gurtovaya, 1990), Canada goose (Branta canadensis) (Phokin, 1985), red-breasted goose (Rufibrenta ruficollis) (Volodin, 1990b), ten species of crane (Archibald, 1974), and canary-winged parakeet (Brotogeris versicolurus) (Arrowood, 1988).
Application 5: Vocalization as an emotional indicator
For animals, the main problem of examining sounds as emotional indicators is how to measure an emotional state independently. But there are some findings in this area. This application has been reported as appropriate for the following taxa: Cebidae, Suidae, Felidae (Mammalia).
Thus, in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) Jürgens (1979) found a relationship between the vocalizations evoked by electrical brain stimulation and the degree of aversion in the animals' emotional state. In his experiments the monkeys had the ability to switch off unpleasant electrical stimulation by moving into a different part of their enclosure, or to stay, if the stimulation provided a pleasant emotional state. The amount of time spent under stimulation was used as a measure of the emotional state of a vocalizing animal.
It was shown at Moscow Zoo that, throughout interactions between cheetahs, the enhanced uttering of tonal or pulsed sounds depends on the social role (Volodina, 1997b). A higher proportion of pulsed sounds is produced by the stronger animals, who can better control events in their environment. It was hypothesised that sounds with a pulsed structure are linked to an emotional state of self-confidence, whereas tonal sounds are produced by animals who are diffident or unsure of themselves. It was also shown that the tonal sound structure, together with a high degree of noise energy, is closely related to frustration in young leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis) and young cheetahs separated from their mothers (Volodina, 1994; 1997a).
The close relationship between certain call structures and pleasant or unpleasant emotional states suggests a potential use of sounds also as welfare indicators. Weary and Fraser (1995 a,b) showed that variations of sounds made by young domestic pigs during separation from their mothers, under various degrees of food deprivation, and during castration represent reliable indicators of the animals' needs. Norcross and Newman (1993) found that isolated housing can modify call parameters in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). Budde (1998) reported about some differences in structural nuances between the sounds of grey crowned cranes (Balearica regulorum) recorded from captive and free-living birds.
Application 6: Sex determination in birds without sexual dimorphism
In zoos sex determination in birds which lack sexual dimorphism may be a problem, because cranes, geese and ducks can easily form homosexual pairs. Also, curators need to know the sex of young and adult birds in order to plan their management with these species. This application has been reported as appropriate for the following taxa: Anatidae, Phasianidae, Gruidae (Aves).
This method of sex determination was initially developed by Tichonoff and colleagues (1988) as an alternative to manipulative methods for one-day-old poultry chicks and game bird chicks in industrial incubators. It was less traumatic and faster than the usual manipulative procedures. Bioacoustic sex determination was also reported by these authors for adult birds of various species of Anatidae.
Carlson and Trost (1992) of the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (Maryland, U.S.A.) elaborated a method of sex determination in the whooping crane (Grus americana) by analysis of guard-calls.
The reliability of sex determination by vocal characteristics is dependent upon the parameters used, and is generally about eighty per cent. Sometimes it is possible to enhance reliability by behavioural observation.
At Moscow Zoo we found that in red-breasted geese males in homosexual alliances may be distinguished from females by the absence of the female's part of the duet in their vocal behaviour (Volodin, 1990a).
The bioacoustic methods reviewed above increase the options available for the non-invasive monitoring of captive animal populations. No doubt only a combination of disciplines can provide high-quality monitoring and management in zoo animals. However, bioacoustic methods may help in developing the most appropriate combination of techniques to solve a particular problem. Moreover, we now have better equipment than formerly for sound analysis, so these methods are becoming less and less expensive and more and more productive.
Aich, H., Moos-Heilen, R., and Zimmermann, E. (1990): Vocalizations of adult gelada baboons (Theropithecus gelada): acoustic structure and behavioral context. Folia Primatologica 55: 109-132.
Archibald, G.W. (1974): Methods for breeding and rearing cranes in captivity. International Zoo Yearbook 14: 147-155.
Arrowood, P.C. (1988): Duetting pair bonding and agonistic display in parakeet pairs. Behaviour 106: 129-137.
Budde, C. (1998): The vocal repertoire of the grey crowned crane Balearica regulorum gibbericeps - a comparison between captive and free-living birds. Advances in Ethology 33: 113.
Buesching, C.D., Heistermann, M., Hodges, J.K., and Zimmermann, E. (1998): Multimodal oestrus advertisement in a small nocturnal prosimian, Microcebus murinus. Folia Primatologica 69: 295-308.
Carlson, G., and Trost, C.H. (1992): Sex determination of the whooping crane by analysis of vocalizations. Condor 94: 532-536.
Demars, C., and Goustard, M. (1978): Le `grand chant' d'Hylobates concolor leucogenys: comparaison avec les émissions sonores homologues d'H. concolor gabriellae et d'H. klossii (iles Mentawei, ouest Sumatra). Behaviour 65: 1-26.
Fetterolf, P.M., and Dunham, D.W. (1985): Stimulation of courtship display in ring-billed gulls using playback of vocalizations. Canadian Journal of Zoology 63: 1014-1019.
Fischer, H. (1965): Das Triumphgeschrei der Graugans (Anser anser). Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 22: 247-304.
Geissmann, T. (1984): Inheritance of song parameters in the gibbon song, analysed in two hybrid gibbons (Hylobates pileatus ´ Hylobates lar). Folia Primatologica 42: 217-235.
Gibbons, J.E.F., and Lockwood, R. (1985): The use of vocalizations in the determination of heterosexual compatibility in the white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar). Zoologische Garten 55: 163-165.
Gillett, K.E. (1988): Chipmunks and Siberian Chipmunks in Captivity. Basset Publications, Plymouth, U.K.
Gurtovaya, E.N. (1990): Behavioural activities of snow geese Anser caerulescens during the reproductive season. Zoologichesky Zhurnal 69: 86-98. (In Russian.)
Guyomarc'h, C., and Guyomarc'h, I.C. (1981): Influence de stimulations vocales specifiques sur la reproduction de femelles d'oiseaux gallinaces. Bulletin de la Société Zoologique Française 106: 349-353.
Harcourt, A.H., Stewart, K.J., and Harcourt, D.E. (1986): Vocalizations and social relationships of wild gorillas: a preliminary analysis. In Current Perspectives in Primate Social Dynamics (eds. D.M. Taub and F.A. King), pp. 346-356. New York.
Jürgens, U. (1979): Vocalization as an emotional indicator: a neuroethological study in the squirrel monkey. Behaviour 69: 88-117.
Lindburg, D.G. (1990): Proceptive calling by female lion-tailed macaques. Zoo Biology 9: 437-446.
Long, A.M., Moore, N.P., and Hayden, T.J. (1998): Vocalizations in red deer (Cervus elaphus), sika deer (Cervus nippon), and red ´ sika hybrids. Journal of Zoology 244: 123-134.
McComb, K. (1987): Roaring by red deer stags advances the date of oestrus in hinds. Nature 330: 648-649.
Moos-Heilen, R., and Sossinka, R. (1990): The influence of oestrus on the vocalization of female gelada (Theropithecus gelada). Ethology 84: 35-46.
Norcross, J.L., and Newman, J.D. (1993): Context and gender-specific differences in the acoustic structure of common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) `phee' calls. American Journal of Primatology 30: 37-54.
Peters, G. (1978): Vergleichende Untersuchung zur Lautgebund einiger Feliden (Mammalia, Felidae). Zeitschrift für Zoologie, Spixiana, suppl. 1: 1-283.
Phokin, S.U. (1983): Sound communication and behaviour in the common pheasant in captivity. In Artificial Breeding of Pheasants, pp. 158-168. Moscow. (In Russian.)
Phokin, S.U. (1985): Behaviour and acoustical signalling of geese under artificial breeding. In Breeding of Game Birds, pp. 108-120. Moscow. (In Russian.)
Tichonoff, A.V., Morenkoff, A.D., and Phokin, S.U. (1988): Behaviour and Bioacoustics of Birds. Moscow University Press. (In Russian.)
Volodin, I.A. (1990a): Behavioural repertoire of red-breasted goose Rufibrenta ruficollis. 2: Vocal behaviour. Zoologichesky Zhurnal 69: 98-106. (In Russian.)
Volodin, I.A. (1990b): Establishment of social relations in captive groups of red-breasted geese. Bulletin of the Moscow Society of Nature Researches 95: 42-50. (In Russian.)
Volodina, E.V. (1994): The use of acoustical methods in captive management and breeding of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). Scientific Researches in Zoos (Moscow) 4: 92-100. (In Russian.)
Volodina, E.V. (1997a): Features of aversiveness in isolation sounds of subadult Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis). Scientific Researches in Zoos (Moscow) 9: 241-243. (In Russian.)
Volodina, E.V. (1997b): Vocalization as an emotional indicator in the cheetah Acinonyx jubatus in captivity. Scientific Researches in Zoos (Moscow) 9: 149-162. (In Russian.)
Volodina, E.V., and Volodin, I.A. (1996): Vocalizations associated with reproductive behaviour in rare Felidae species. Scientific Researches in Zoos (Moscow) 6: 142-184 (In Russian.)
Weary, D.M., and Fraser, D. (1995a): Calling by domestic piglets: reliable signals of need? Animal Behaviour 50: 1047-1055.
Weary, D.M., and Fraser, D. (1995b): Signalling need - costly signals and animal welfare assessment. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 44: 159-169.
Elena V. Volodina and Ilya A. Volodin, Moscow Zoo. Address for correspondence: Elena V. Volodina, Scientific Research Department, Moscow Zoo, B. Gruzinskaya Str. 1, Moscow 123242, Russia. (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
MONKEY WORLD'S WOOLLY MONKEY HABITAT
BY ALISON AMES AND JIM CRONIN
On 1 September, Monkey World - Ape Rescue Centre was given the 1998 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) Zoo Animal Welfare Award for the Woolly Monkey Habitat. We were honoured to have the award presented by Dr Jane Goodall, CBE, and Dr James Kirkwood, Scientific Director, UFAW. At present, we have six (2.4) woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha). (See Table 1.)
Table 1. Woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha) at Monkey World.
_ Kismo - dominant male, born 28/01/86
_ Xuzy - born in 1972
_ Tsjika - born 23/12/88
_ Milagra - Tsjika's daughter, born 28/01/95
_ Rosa - Tsjika's daughter, born 05/01/99
_ Branco - born 15/05/94
We developed the designs for the Woolly Monkey Habitat in house. Many of our ideas came from Apenheul Primate Park in the Netherlands, and we also based our designs upon our practical husbandry background and the available woodland environment. The house was designed to give the animals security and provide them with a suitable habitat in a temperate zone. In the roof, we included six panels of triple-walled polycarbonate sheets, creating a greenhouse environment, which is warm and humid. The ceiling is A-framed and the monkeys have access to the beams, which increase their climbing surface area. There are four back bedrooms, which are connected to a large, open playroom by two tunnels. This gives the woolly monkeys small, secure areas as well as a large, public playroom. One of the bedrooms is located off the keepers' kitchen, and a large observation window gives the keepers an area where they can keep a close eye on any individuals who may need medical care. As it has turned out, the monkeys seem to enjoy watching the keepers!
We have also incorporated five feeding trays into the wire mesh of the playroom. The trays slide in and out of the enclosure, giving the monkeys several feeding sites and thus reducing stress at feeding time. The main playroom is deep-littered with bark chips and wetted down each day. Blown gas heating was chosen as it creates a moister environment, and as a result grass and sunflower seeds grow inside the house. The playroom measures 4 m ´ 11 m ´ 4 m and the four bedrooms total 11 m ´ 1.5 m.
The outdoor enclosure was designed to give the woolly monkeys a natural, arboreal environment. A large stand of conifer trees was enclosed by a special monkey-proof fence (it is too slippery to climb). The enclosure has a perimeter of 180 m and has herb gardens, ropes connecting all the trees, and suspended feeding trays. We also added a special snake-proof lining around the base of the enclosure to keep adders out.
Daily and veterinary management
The woolly monkeys are given access to the large playroom, the back bedrooms and the outdoor enclosure every day. During the spring, summer and autumn the monkeys are given access to the outdoor environment throughout the night. During the winter, however, they are called inside for their last feed of the day.
The monkeys receive four feeds per day between the hours of 08.30 and 16.30. Their diet is extremely diverse and specially selected due to their sugar intolerance (see Table 2). The items are selected based upon their fibre content, length and digestibility. We choose foods high in fibre, both digestible and indigestible, which slows the release of sugars into the blood stream. Captive woolly monkeys are renowned for suffering from diabetes, hypertension, necrotic placenta, kidney disease and heart failure. These problems are not so surprising if one considers the Pima Indians of Arizona. They too suffer from diabetes, and related medical conditions, as a result of their inability to produce enough insulin on a `Western' diet, high in readily available sugars. The Mexican Pima Indians, however, do not suffer from these medical conditions as they have remained on a traditional diet which is high in fibre. Like the Arizona Pimas, captive woolly monkeys have medical conditions as a response to an inappropriate diet. Furthermore, the gross anatomy of the woolly monkey shows that they have a functioning caecum, as described by Osman Hill (Hill, 1962). This indicates that we are keeping a primate which is well suited to digesting large quantities of plant materials that are of low nutritional value. If these aspects of the woolly's anatomy and physiology are ignored and they are fed a diet high in sugars and low in fibre, we would expect the resulting diabetic tendencies. At present, conditions which become chronic in captive woolly monkeys are considered species-specific diseases and not the result of inappropriate diet.
Table 2. Woolly monkey diet at Monkey World.
Vegetables Fruit Carbohydrate Protein Supplements
broccoli apple bulgar wheat egg cod liver oil
carrot (& tops) pawpaw oats mealworms garlic powder
celery blackberries Ryvita crickets Vit. C
chicory cranberries crispbread locusts Vit. B12
Chinese berries Shredded sunflower Vit. A, D3
cabbage lemon juice wheat seeds Vit. E
chives Ribena (no pulses: leaf-eater calcium
courgette added sugar) haricot beans pellets folic acid
cucumber broad beans Vionate multi-
endive borlotti beans vitamins
fennel butter beans Super Ted -
garden cress kidney beans (multivitamins,
leek black-eye beans sugar-free, with D3)
spring onion chick-peas selected browse
shallot lentils rose hips
lettuce herb selection
The group is only ever separated in the event of veterinary care. For simple veterinary procedures or inspection, the monkeys are caught in the tunnels between the playroom and back bedrooms. These tunnels are used every day, so the monkeys are used to them and readily pass through them. For more serious medical treatments, individuals are separated in the playroom or in a back bedroom and darted.
Our keepers work very closely with the woolly monkeys, regularly using species-specific calls and talking to them. Some of their food is given by hand, and they receive one sugar-free drink every day, which is given through a 50-ml syringe. As a result, the monkeys are easily medicated.
Animal welfare and environmental enrichment
The house and enclosure were purpose-built for the woolly monkeys. They were sent to us from Apenheul when our facilities were ready. One of our keepers worked at Apenheul with these individuals prior to their arrival at Monkey World. Since Apenheul are recognised as the leading experts on woolly monkey husbandry and management, we designed a lot of our house and enclosure based upon their knowledge of the animals' needs. Since arriving at Monkey World, the woollies have been using every aspect of their new habitat. Indeed, the older female, Xuzy (27 years), has lost a great deal of weight, is more active and is regularly seen playing with the youngsters. She is also cycling regularly and is being mated by the dominant male, Kismo.
This group of woolly monkeys were selected to come to Monkey World and were introduced to each other at Apenheul prior to being sent to Dorset. Not long after their arrival, Tsjika was mated by the dominant male, Kismo. The last seen mating was on 5 June 1998, and Tsjika gave birth on 5 January 1999 (214 days later). The baby female, Rosa, is doing very well and is now starting to wander away from her mother and eat solid food.
The unique design of the woolly monkey habitat incorporates many aspects of environmental enrichment. The large open playroom has ropes and shelves so that the monkeys have a substantial play area when the weather is bad outside. Specially-made canvas hammocks are also hung from the ropes, and the monkeys rest and play in them. This area is deep-littered with bark chips. With the sunroof, grass grows inside, giving the monkeys a complex area to forage for crickets and locusts. Rotting logs are brought in from the forest and the monkeys tear them apart looking for insects.
In the outside enclosure we have built two herb gardens. They are protected by mesh and the monkeys can pick herbs as they grow through. We maintain at least six different species of herbs in the gardens, including camomile, chives, lemon balm, garlic, etc., and other species are rotated into the garden from time to time (see Table 3). (A more lengthy list of suitable herbs can be obtained from Apenheul.) The monkeys pick the herbs according to their preference or medicinal need. They eat many of the herbs because they simply like them, others are picked less often.
Rotten and fallen trees are left in the enclosure to attract insects that the monkeys enjoy foraging for. As the enclosure is overgrown with tall grasses and heather, we have made rope pathways through the trees to increase the arboreal area, and we have also put down bark-chip pathways. While we do not want to encourage the woollies to walk on the ground, they do like to forage for insects in the fallen trees, and we noticed that they did not forage as much when they found the heather difficult to walk on.
Suspended feeding trays are hung over some branches with rope, which is secured to four corners of a wooden tray. In the mornings, the woollies' food is put in these trays and pulled up into the treetops. Because of the simple design, these feeding stations can be moved around the enclosure. The trays encourage the monkeys to feed while in the trees and while hanging by their tails. This is one of the ways in which wild woolly monkeys feed. From time to time the keepers also fill plastic balls with straw and sunflower seed, which the woollies either roll along or shake to retrieve the seeds.
In order to avoid upsetting the woollies with public disruption, they are given access to the back bedrooms at all times. In the outside enclosure, the public are kept eight feet (2.4 m) away from the fence and the stand of trees is thick enough for the monkeys to hide away if they choose.
The main educational vector for the woolly monkey habitat is a keeper's talk, which is given every day. Information about the animals, their biology, behaviour and conservation, is explained, and there is a question time. Another educational feature is our public kitchen. Through a large window, visitors can watch the keepers prepare the frequent feeds for the monkeys. There are also information boards detailing the diet, feeding routines, and background of each individual.
We believe that the unique design of both the house and the enclosure allows the woolly monkeys to exhibit very natural behaviour, and this is an educational benefit to our visitors.
Hill, W.C.O. (1962): Primates: Comparative Anatomy and Taxonomy, Vol. 5, Part B. Edinburgh University Press.
Alison Ames and Jim Cronin, Monkey World - Ape Rescue Centre, Longthorns, East Stoke, Wareham, Dorset BH20 6HH, U.K. (E-mail: email@example.com)
Table 3. Medicinal herbs and their uses at Monkey World.
Scientific name Common name Medicinal properties
Achillea millefolium Yarrow Helps female problems.
Assists the liver.
Allium cepa Chives Diuretic.
Allium sativum Garlic Helps circulation.
Fights chest infections.
Matricaria recutita Camomile Sedative.
Crataegus oxyacantha Hawthorn Diuretic.
Melissa officinalis Lemon balm Sedative.
Passiflora incarnata Passion flower Sedative.
Taraxacum officinale Dandelion Helps the liver.
Urtica dioica Nettle Helps anaemia.
Stops heavy menstrual bleeding.
Alchemilla vulgaris Lady's mantle Astringent.
Reduces heavy menstrual flow.
Helps stop diarrhoea.
Berberis vulgaris Barberry Has antiseptic property.
Assists the gall bladder.
Nepeta cataria Catnip Sedative.
Settles the stomach.
Potentilla erecta Tormentil Helps diarrhoea.
Tropaeolum majus Nasturtium Antibiotic.
Anthriscus cerefolium Chervil Settles the stomach.
Lowers blood pressure.
Vaccinium myrtillus Bilberry Helps diarrhoea.
MATE KILLING IN CLOUDED LEOPARDS: A HYPOTHESIS
BY ANDREW C. KITCHENER
Male clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa) are renowned for killing females in zoos (Richardson, 1992; Law, 1996). As a result captive populations in Europe and North America are continually reinforced by imports as breeding females are killed or no breeding is attempted.
Various reasons for this phenomenon have been proposed in the past, including a poor captive environment, imprinting due to hand-rearing of captive or wild cubs (resulting in inappropriate sexual behaviour), and a lack of understanding of the social system of clouded leopards. The latter has led to the suggestion that either clouded leopards are obligate monogamous breeders or pairs should be introduced at a young age to ensure that they socialise properly, and are then kept together permanently. However, even though this approach may well work, it greatly reduces the flexibility of captive-breeding programmes by limiting matings to particular pairs, and in the event of the death of one of the pair, this may result in the end of breeding of the other, because of the possible consequences of introductions between strange animals.
It is unlikely that clouded leopards are monogamous, given the tropical forests they inhabit and the extreme sexual dimorphism that they show. However, we still know almost nothing about clouded leopards in the wild, apart from anecdotal observations (e.g. Brownlow, 1928; Pocock, 1939; Gibson-Hill, 1952; Davies, 1990; Rabinowitz et al., 1987; Santiapillai and Ashby, 1988; Nowell and Jackson, 1996).
The hypothesis I am proposing below came out of a discussion with Andy Reeve of Whipsnade Wild Animal Park at the EEP annual meeting in 1997 at Doué la Fontaine. At that time he had successfully bred the goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) for the last three consecutive years. Like the clouded leopard, the goshawk is a highly sensitive animal and shows extreme sexual dimorphism, so that large females frequently kill small males in captivity. I asked Andy how he was successful in introducing goshawks to each other for breeding. He believes that the birds suffer from not being able to kill prey, so that they become frustrated, and this may inadvertently lead to the death of males. To solve this, Andy flies his goshawks at rabbits through the winter, so that they are able to perform this important aspect of their behavioural repertoire. He also carefully monitors the introduction of the male to the female, and will not leave them together if she does not accept the male for mating immediately.
Could this have important lessons for dealing with clouded leopards? I have recently completed a review of social learning in cats (Kitchener, in press). Despite a wealth of captive and field data, wild felids have not really been viewed from a social learning perspective before (but see Ewer, 1973; Caro and Hauser, 1992). The most important route for transmission of a variety of information is from mother to young, which is the most enduring social grouping found in most wild felids. In particular, young cats learn to refine their predatory skills and what prey species are available from their mother. In addition, it should be noted that Leyhausen (1979) has shown that the stimulus to elicit prey capture is independent of the state of hunger of the cat. This allows cats to take advantage of any local abundance of prey, so that multiple kills can be stored for later consumption (Kruuk, 1972).
So where does this leave the clouded leopard? Undoubtedly, hand-reared clouded leopards, whether born in captivity or taken as cubs from the wild, may behave inappropriately to others (see Mellen (1988) for hand-rearing data on domestic cats). For example, I have seen a female clouded leopard displaying classic oestrous behaviour in the presence of a male in an adjacent enclosure; but when the animal's keeper went away, the female stopped cheek-rubbing and rolling on the ground, only to resume once the keeper returned. When this female was introduced to the adjacent male she was badly injured, possibly because she was not actually in oestrus and appeared to be reacting to her keeper, so that she apparently did not know how to react to a male clouded leopard. However, I wonder whether Andy Reeve's prey capture hypothesis, or at least a variation on it, has some bearing too.
The average captive clouded leopard will have had no opportunity to kill its own prey. It will not have been educated by its mother to recognise prey species, and to learn to direct its largely innate predatory behaviours towards them. In captivity, clouded leopards may not be given whole food items, so that they receive food which does not elicit prey capture responses or even allow them to learn prey processing (see Pettifer, 1981; captive-bred cheetahs did not know how to open up an ungulate carcass). Domestic cats may learn to hunt at varying ages from a few weeks old to adulthood, without necessarily compromising their eventual competence as predators (Martin and Bateson, 1988). This probably applies to all cat species, although under normal situations in the wild the mother is responsible for teaching her young by bringing a variety of live prey to them (Kitchener, in press). However, this may not be the case in captivity. Therefore, if a female clouded leopard makes a sudden movement, the male may automatically respond by trying to kill his first `prey' animal, which just happens to be the female. This could and probably does occur in other felids (e.g. I know of mate killing in lions, leopards, servals, and Temminck's golden cats), but the temperament of clouded leopards makes them particularly susceptible to it. Perhaps if clouded leopards were able to kill their own whole prey, or if it were possible to simulate live prey by some form of enrichment, this would reduce their drive to kill and allow them to learn to kill the appropriate species. This might make introductions of females and males much safer.
Therefore, in summary, is the basic problem that we have male clouded leopards who are ignorant killers, who are triggered by sudden movements of females to learn their natural prey-killing behaviour? It seems to me that, with all the male clouded leopards in captivity in Europe, we have an opportunity to test this hypothesis.
However, even if this is an important factor in mate killing, I believe that we should still follow Law's (1996) protocol for the introduction of animals, which enabled him to introduce females to a known mate-killing male, resulting in successful mating - although, sadly, no cubs. Law achieved this by careful management, including the provision of a secure naturalistic environment with the minimum of disturbance. He allowed animals in adjacent enclosures to go through a process of familiarisation, where each animal has sole access to the outdoor enclosure of the other, so that they can learn each other's `home range', and identify each other by their scent marks, when they are eventually introduced. This replicates the overlapping home range system of many wild felids, including most probably the clouded leopard (Kitchener, 1991).
Brownlow, A. (1928): A clouded leopard (Felis nebulosa) attacking a man. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 32: 789-790.
Caro, T.M., and Hauser, M.D. (1992): Is there teaching in nonhuman animals? Quarterly Review of Biology 67: 1512-1574.
Davies, R.G. (1990): Sighting of a clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) in a troop of pigtail macaques (Macaca nemestrina) in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society 28: 95-96.
Ewer, R.F. (1973): The Carnivores. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York.
Gibson-Hill, C.A. (1952): Notes on the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa (Griffith)). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 49: 543-546.
Kitchener, A.C. (1991): The Natural History of the Wild Cats. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York.
Kitchener, A.C. (in press): Watch with mother: a review of social learning in the Felidae. Symposium of the Zoological Society of London.
Kruuk, H. (1972): Surplus killing by carnivores. Journal of Zoology London 166: 233-244.
Law, G. (1996): The clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa: a study of a pair of captive clouded leopards. Unpublished M.Phil. thesis, University of Paisley.
Leyhausen, P. (1979): Cat Behavior: the Predatory and Social Behavior of Domestic and Wild Cats. Garland, London and New York.
Martin, P., and Bateson, P. (1998): Behavioural development in the cat. In The Domestic Cat (eds. D.C. Turner and P. Bateson), pp. 9-22. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K..
Mellen, J. (1988): The effects of hand-raising on sexual behavior of captive small felids, using domestic cats as a model. AAZPA Annual Proceedings, pp. 253-259.
Nowell, K., and Jackson, P. (1996): Wild Cats: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Pettifer, H.L. (1981): The experimental release of captive-bred cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) into the natural environment. In Proceedings of the Worldwide Furbearer Conference (eds. J.A. Chapman and D. Paisley) 1: 1121-1142.
Pocock, R.I. (1939): The Fauna of British India, Mammalia, I. Primates and Carnivora (2nd edition). Taylor and Francis, London.
Rabinowitz, A., Andau, P., and Chai, P.P.K. (1987): The clouded leopard in Malaysian Borneo. Oryx 21: 107-111.
Richardson, D. (1992): Big Cats. Whittet, London.
Santiapillai, C., and Ashby, K.R. (1988): The clouded leopard in Sumatra. Oryx 22 (1): 44-45.
Andrew C. Kitchener, Dept. of Geology and Zoology, National Museums of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF, U.K. (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
ZARAFA: THE TRUE STORY OF A GIRAFFE'S JOURNEY FROM THE PLAINS OF AFRICA TO THE HEART OF POST-NAPOLEONIC FRANCE by Michael Allin. Headline Book Publishing, London, 1998. 215 pp., illus., hardback. ISBN 0-7472-2299-1. £12.99.
I picked up this little book in the bookshop of the Natural History Museum, but I found it nowhere else in a recent extensive survey of London bookshops; I would have hated to miss it. Michael Allin, an American who confesses to being obsessed with the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, happened to stumble on the story of the first living giraffe in Paris and was instantly captivated. He has thoroughly researched everything, retracing almost every step from the Sudan to Paris.
The female giraffe was caught in 1825 in Sennar as a two-month-old calf `no taller than the men . . . who killed her mother' (p. 68). After crossing the Mediterranean, the giraffe and its retinue landed in Marseilles on 31 October 1826. After spending the winter in a specially erected building, a curious procession started on 20 May 1827: the giraffe had to walk all the 550 miles from Marseilles to Paris, which was accomplished in 41 days (with seven days rest, covering a total of 550 miles, or on average 16 miles per day). The by now thoroughly tame giraffe was lightly held by at least two men with a couple of ropes. On arrival in Paris she had grown to 12 feet 2 inches (3.7 m). After living in the Jardin des Plantes, the giraffe died in 1845. Subsequently she was mounted for exhibition in the National Museum of Natural History nearby, but when more specimens became available she was farmed out to one of the provincial museums, that of La Rochelle on the west coast of France. There she still is, and she may be `identified by her markings in the paintings commissioned by Saint-Hilaire' (p. 195).
Transporting a still nursing calf of a notoriously delicate species over a distance of more than 4,000 miles from the heart of Africa to Paris in the first half of the last century is an early example of good animal husbandry. Since the beast lived in Paris for 18 years, the long voyage obviously did no harm. Incidentally, 18 years of zoo life, a record for those days, would even nowadays be considered excellent longevity.
I missed the - surely apocryphal - story of King Charles X standing on a ladder in order to feed the giraffe rose leaves, an oft-repeated story in the literature. Of course, everybody who has ever watched this animal knows that this tale has no basis of truth - on being offered food, any tame giraffe will bend over and accept it gracefully from the hands of the person in question. (I have even seen adult giraffes go to such lengths in obtaining food from quite small children.)
Unfortunately the identity of the two accompanying antelopes, representing a new species (p. 139, the zoologist Saint-Hilaire stating: `The companion of the giraffe turned out to be a very precious animal . . . new to zoology . . . for it unites the principal features of the gnu, the mouflon, and the antelope'), is nowhere revealed. This is a pity - the author has done so much research that he must have stumbled over details of this.
Why is this charming little book important? First of all it contains original new data on the subject; the author has spared no trouble to retrieve details from old archives. Also, the whole story is placed in the context of the times, containing thumb-nail sketches of the people involved - Muhammad Ali (the viceroy of Egypt), Drovetti (an Italian adventurer/entrepreneur), Hassan and Atir (the keepers of the giraffe), Saint-Hilaire (the scientist who accompanied the giraffe during her long trek through France, etc.). Finally, the book is both well written and well produced - I was enthralled by the story and can highly recommend purchase of this little jewel in the crown of zoo-related books
A.C. van Bruggen
Just published: EEP Yearbook 1997/98 (including the Proceedings of the 1998 EAZA Conference)
This 594-page volume offers an extensive account of the actual situation of more than 150 species managed in European zoos as European Endangered Species Programmes (EEPs) or on Studbook level. The Yearbook also presents the annual reports of EEP Taxon Advisory Groups, as well as the proceedings of the 1998 EAZA/EEP Conference in Berlin and general EEP information.
The EEP Yearbook 1997/98 can be ordered for Dfl 130 (Dutch guilders) including postage from:
EAZA Executive Office,
c/o Amsterdam Zoo,
P.O. Box 20164,
1000 HD Amsterdam,
(Tel.: +31 20 5200 750; Fax: +31 20 5200 752; E-mail: email@example.com)
The preferred payment is by Eurocheque or International Money Order. Please add Dfl 15 for bank costs if paying by other means.
A book store on the web
Visit the Natural History Book Store at http://www.nhbs.com for thousands of titles describing and explaining the amazing diversity of the natural world. Field guides, textbooks, monographs, reports, CDs, videos and cassettes on every environmental subject from aardvarks and amphibians through to zebras are included. A wide range of disciplines are covered, from biogeochemistry, botany and ecology to environmental assessment, species and habitat conservation and zoology. To explore the NHBS Mailorder Bookstore, search or browse the title descriptions and summaries in our full online catalogue, NHBS BookNet - by subject, geographic area, author, title. Well worth a visit.
Marine turtle rehabilitation
During 1998, Sea World, Queensland, Australia, received 40 marine turtles for rehabilitation. However, this was not as successful as in previous years and follows a general downward trend over the past four years, mainly due to incurable disease problems in green turtles. Thirty-one green turtles were brought in, 20 of which died, four are still at Sea World and seven were successfully released. Green turtles are being affected by what we term `floating syndrome', which usually involves an intestinal blockage of compacted sea grasses and occasionally fishing tackle. Gas builds up in their systems and is unable to be released, which causes the animals to float, preventing them from feeding on the sea floor and making them vulnerable to boat strikes.
Of the five loggerhead turtles we received, three died and two remain in rehabilitation. These figures are quite worrying when you consider that this is an endangered species, with only 300 nesting females remaining in Australian waters. Each loggerhead rehabilitated is vitally important to the population. Most injuries to loggerheads are anthropogenic, either boat strikes or drowning. Early in 1998, 28 loggerheads were washed up dead on beaches south of Brisbane under suspicious circumstances. Most of these individuals were large, healthy mature adults, with little or no external damage, no obvious disease symptoms, but with a gut full of fish remains. Loggerheads do not naturally eat fish as they are too slow to catch them, and it was felt that their deaths were associated with the commercial trawling industry. Now, the local industry has begun using turtle exclusion devices (TEDs), and this type of death has declined dramatically.
Marnie Horton in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 41 (February 1999)
Mountain gorilla update
Two mountain gorillas, a juvenile and a baby, were killed on 3 September 1998 in the Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The two, members of an eight-strong habituated family group, were found by park guards during a routine patrol. The reason for the killings will never be known, but it is likely that armed poachers, hunting monkeys for food, killed them and then, having discovered that the animals they had shot were gorillas, abandoned the bodies and fled.
War broke out again in the DRC on 3 August 1998. Rebel soldiers opposed to Kabila's government have gained control of much of the east of the country, where the fighting is threatening the security of the Virunga National Park. The work to protect the mountain gorillas and their habitat continues, but the guards are having to endure increasingly difficult conditions.
Remarkably, despite everything, they are continuing with the ranger-based monitoring programme and are able to undertake patrols of the park by accompanying military officers. They have reported that all the habituated family groups of gorillas have been located, and that they appear to be unaffected by the troubles. The International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) is providing technical material and financial support so that, despite the constraints, conservation efforts and protection of the park can continue.
In Uganda, the effects of tourism on the health of the gorilla population have always been a major concern, and strict rules are enforced to minimize the health risks to gorillas. IGCP is funding two research studies which focus on some of the problems associated with habituating gorillas. The first assesses the effectiveness of the current tourism rules in minimizing health risks to gorillas. It will review how effective measures, such as reducing the number of visits to the gorillas and the length of time spent by each visit, and only allowing healthy people to visit, really are. The second study is to design a methodology for assessing the behavioural impact of tourism on gorillas.
In Rwanda, the situation around the Parc National des Volcans is still unstable and constrains the work of IGCP. The military continue to patrol the area and incidents between them and the rebels are frequent. There are no more rebel camps in the park, as they have been destroyed by the military, and the rebels are moving across the border between Congo and Rwanda. This shift has resulted in a decline in poaching activity within the park, as the rebels no longer have permanent bases there from which to monitor their snares. The Rwandan Tourism and National Parks Office has recently been able to join with the military to undertake joint patrols. All gorilla groups habituated for tourism have been located and appear to be in good health, and young offspring were observed, which is a very positive sign.
The International Gorilla Conservation Programme urgently needs funds to support its work in all three countries. Donations, and requests for further information, should be sent to: IGCP (UK office), c/o FFI, Great Eastern House, Tenison Road, Cambridge CB1 2DT, U.K. (Tel.: +44 (0) 1223 571000; Fax: +44 (0) 1223 461481; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Abridged from Annette Lanjouw and Katherine Dixon in Fauna and Flora News No. 10 (February 1999)
New threat to Sumatran tigers
Since the political unrest and economic uncertainty in Indonesia, the pressure on natural resources has heightened once again. In Kerinci National Park, Fauna and Flora International (FFI) team members have reported around a hundred local people taking chainsaws to the forest, and an increase in hunting of mammal species.
Most worrying are the poachers who now see Kerinci as their best opportunity to hunt Sumatran tigers, due to the lack of protection and enforcement of Indonesian law. In 1998 alone, FFI confirmed that five tigers had been trapped and killed in the park and its surrounding buffer zone. Many other unconfirmed reports of poached tigers were also received. There are estimated to be between 60 and 80 tigers left in the park, which is probably the largest remaining population left in Sumatra. The subspecies is critically endangered, with numbers left in the wild thought to be between 400 and 500. Of these, about 100 are scattered individuals who are unlikely ever to contribute to a breeding population as they are isolated in fragmented forests. The subspecies cannot survive the current levels of poaching, and FFI is in the process of allocating funds to establish a protection unit that will investigate all areas of the trade and support prosecutions against those involved in hunting and trafficking.
Fauna and Flora News No. 10 (February 1999)
Elderly kakapos breed
Three kakapo (Strigops habroptilus) chicks hatched on Maud Island in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand, in March 1998, bringing the total number of this terrestrial parrot to 57. The chicks were the offspring of two elderly birds put on the island as a last resort in the hope that they might pair. The male was not known to have mated in 23 years, while the female had made no attempt to breed for 16 years. The probable stimulus for egg-laying was the female's shift from Little Barrier Island to Maud Island, where it had access to supplementary food.
The kakapo, the world's heaviest - and only flightless - parrot, was saved from almost certain extinction when, between 1987 and 1992, the surviving individuals were translocated to three offshore islands, Codfish, Maud and Little Barrier. Prior to the present breeding, reproduction had occurred on Codfish and Little Barrier, but never on Maud. The present success is especially encouraging in view of the age of the parents - most surviving kakapos are now 20 years old or more.
Oryx Vol. 33, No. 1 (January 1999), with additional background material compiled by Nicholas Gould
A setback for Mexican wolf reintroduction
Of the 11 Mexican wolves released into national forests along the Arizona-New Mexico border in March 1998, none remains in the wild. Five were shot; some believe that ranchers, angry about the return of this predator to their neighborhoods and wishing to sabotage the program, are responsible. Another wolf is presumed dead, while five others have been recaptured. Despite this, the program showed evidence of success. The wolves hunted elk [wapiti (Cervus elaphus)] successfully, and a pup was born to one of the females. Determined to press ahead, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is preparing to release another ten to 15 wolves by the end of March this year. In addition, the service is investigating the killings thoroughly and is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for killing a member of an endangered species.
Zoogoer (Friends of the National Zoo, Washington, D.C.) Vol. 28, No. 1 (January/February 1999)
Increasing numbers of wild shoebills
Shoebills (Balaeniceps rex) rarely succeed in rearing both their chicks. Therefore, the Brehm Fund is supporting a programme aimed at increasing their numbers in Uganda by collecting and artificially rearing the second chicks. This will be done at the Wildlife Education Centre, which has been established in the grounds of the former Entebbe Zoo. The most difficult and costly part of the programme will be tracking down the birds' widely scattered nest sites in large tracts of papyrus and Miscanthidium swamp. This will be done using micro-light aircraft to locate and monitor the nests, so that the chicks can be collected three to ten days after hatching. To guard against the birds becoming imprinted, they will be fed using shoebill-head puppets, and will be walked by keepers dressed to look like shoebills. They will be trained to catch lungfish, the shoebill's favourite food. Prior to being released in suitable habitat, the young birds will be fitted with radio transmitters so that their progress can be monitored. If the programme is a success in Uganda, the same techniques may be used in other African countries, such as Sudan and Zambia.
Flying Free (newsletter of the Brehm Fund for International Bird Conservation) Vol. 16, No. 1/2 (Summer/Autumn 1998)
Northern white rhino update
The latest count, made from the air, found that at least 20 northern white rhinoceroses, the most endangered rhino subspecies, have survived the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). Four young have been born since the conflict abated in May 1997. Congo's Garamba National Park contains the only northern white rhinos remaining in the wild; an estimated 27 to 30 lived there in 1996, up from 15 in 1984.
Wildlife News (African Wildlife Foundation), Vol. 33, No. 4
Park extended for tamarin
Superagui National Park in Brazil has been increased in size from 21,400 to 34,254 ha by including the north of the island and the entire eastern coast, as well as part of the mainland immediately adjacent. This was deemed vital for the survival of the black-faced lion tamarin (Leontopithecus caissara), because the park was threatened by land speculation along the coast.
Oryx Vol. 33, No. 1 (January 1999)
Red-fronted macaws seized in Bolivia
Park rangers seized 19 endangered red-fronted macaws (Ara rubrogenys) from traffickers in the Amboro National Park, Bolivia, in November 1998. The birds are currently housed in Santa Cruz Zoo, where it is hoped that they will be marked and registered as part of a new monitoring programme for all Ara species held in captivity in Bolivia. The new initiative has received widespread support and is regarded as a key opportunity to establish the marking and registration of macaws as a standard and obligatory procedure in Bolivian zoos.
World Birdwatch Vol. 21, No. 1 (March 1999)
Western tragopan conservation
Westrag 2000 is a project with the objectives of setting up a captive population of western tragopans (Tragopan melanocephalus) in Pakistan for research and education purposes, and to support the continuation of the Pakistan Galliform Project. Owen Joiner has been appointed as overseer and arrived in Pakistan in October 1998. Two satyr tragopan hens and a pair of Temminck's tragopans were sent to Pakistan in July 1998 as part of an educational programme. The birds were kindly donated by Marwell Zoo, Gatwick Zoo and K. Chalmers-Watson.
A breeding centre has been established at Shinkiari, North West Frontier Province. A hut and pens were completed during January 1999. The catching of the birds is to begin in February, when it is hoped that six pairs can be taken from Keyal Valley directly to the breeding pens. Any other species caught accidentally will be released immediately after taking feather samples for the DNA project.
Michael Cook in WPA-UK Bulletin No. 42 (February 1999)
Researchers are increasingly finding that many animals are as skilled at maths as young children, reports Sanjida O'Connell in The Times (28 April 1999). Dr Miriam Rothschild was the first to prove that birds can count, when she made a study of cormorants used by fishermen on the Li-kiang River in China. The fishermen tie string round the birds' throats so that they cannot swallow the fish they catch. The string is removed to allow the birds to eat every seventh fish. Rothschild says: `Occasionally, the fishermen would lose count of the number of fish caught and say ``Go on'' to a cormorant, but the bird would just sit there refusing to dive, until the fishermen realised - ``Of course, it's the seventh fish'' - and took the string off.'
More recently, Prof. Marc Hauser, of Harvard University, used a technique called preferential looking time (PLT), adapted from child psychology, to demonstrate that monkeys can count. He showed the monkeys an aubergine, then put a screen in front of it; he then showed them another, and put that behind the screen, too. After secretly removing one of the aubergines, he lifted the screen, revealing the remaining one. The monkeys stared for longer at this aubergine than they did when he had left the two in place, suggesting that they were surprised to see one aubergine when they had expected to see two. Similarly, they were surprised to see two aubergines `miraculously' metamorphose into three. In a second experiment, Hauser put different numbers of plums in two buckets. The monkeys consistently went to the bucket containing the most plums. He says: `We found that they are capable of discriminating between three and four, a capacity which one-year-old human infants do not have.' This, though, seems to be their limit - they can't distinguish between four and five plums.
Hauser points out that there could well be a survival value in being able to count. `Animals are constantly confronted with situations where they have to evaluate the number of animals, or the number of pieces of food,' he says. `So it is a natural task for them to solve a simple mathematical problem. The question which has remained open is whether they evaluate things simply in terms of ``more or less'', or whether they are really counting.' Hauser was able to demonstrate that monkeys were counting. He put one aubergine, followed by another, behind a screen, and raised it to reveal one large aubergine that weighed as much as the previous two combined. The amount of aubergine was still the same, but the number was different, and the monkeys looked for longer when they saw the large aubergine.
Questions still arise about exactly what is involved in the sort of counting animals can do. Prof. Euan Macphail, a psychologist from York University, suggests that they are not counting, but `subitising' - this is the ability to look at a number of objects and to know how many there are without counting. Human beings' subitising ability allows us to name only up to eight objects; so one would expect animals, if they were subitising, to understand numbers up to or fewer than eight, too. However, a number of chimpanzees in Japan and America have managed to both count up to nine, and do simple arithmetic. Prof. Sarah Boysen, from Columbus State University, Ohio, has taught some of her animals to use a touchscreen computer. She shows them a number of objects, usually sweets, and they point to the correct number on the computer. Two of the chimps, Bobbie and Sheba, can also add up and subtract simple sums and work out fractions, such as half a banana or a quarter of a pear.
More amphibian species
At a time when many amphibian taxa are experiencing world-wide population declines or extinctions, new species are being discovered at a greater rate than are many other vertebrate taxa. The number of formally described species increased from 4,003 in 1985 to 4,780 by the end of 1995, and is predicted to reach at least 5,000 by the year 2000, exceeding the number of extant mammals. Some of the new taxa have been discovered by the now almost routine application of molecular tools for systematic and taxonomic analysis. These have been particularly effective in revealing large numbers of morphologically cryptic species within taxa that were previously recognized as comprising single species.
J. Hanken in Trends in Ecology and Evolution Vol. 14, No. 1 (1999)
New disease found in Asian elephants
Researchers at the U.S. National Zoo and Johns Hopkins University have identified the cause of a highly fatal disease of Asian elephants in North American and European zoos as a new type of herpesvirus. A description of this disease was first reported in a circus elephant in Switzerland in 1990. After the sudden loss of an Asian elephant calf at the National Zoo in 1995, apparently from the same disease, researchers uncovered seven previously unrecognized cases of elephant herpesvirus disease in the U.S. and Canada. By using viral DNA amplification technology, they have now identified the cause as a new, endotheliotropic herpesvirus; and the Swiss case and three other Asian elephant deaths in Germany and the Netherlands have been confirmed as cases of the same disease.
The virus affects mainly young elephants, and usually has a fatal outcome within a week of onset. Clinical signs are variable, but include lethargy, oedematous swellings of the head and thoracic limbs, oral ulceration and cyanosis of the tongue. Recently, two Asian elephant calves from different American facilities became ill with these clinical signs, and were found to have the herpesvirus by a blood test using polymerase chain reaction. Both animals were treated very early on with Famciclovir and recovered. Also, two African elephants in American zoos died from a similar disease, with the recovery of a similar endotheliotropic herpesvirus.
So far there are no serological tests available because it has not been possible to cultivate the virus in vitro. Some of the epidemiological aspects of this disease are not yet clear and are still under study.
Abridged from R.J. Montali, L.K. Richman and Thomas Hildebrandt in Elephant Journal Vol. 1, No. 3-4 (December 1998), the journal of the European Elephant Keeper and Manager Association (EEKMA). For information about EEKMA, contact: Harald M. Schwammer, Schönbrunn Zoo, Maxingstrasse 13B, A-1130 Wien, Austria.
[It is reported in Science (Vol. 283, p. 1171) that this virus has been traced to skin lesions in African elephants (which are otherwise unaffected), and that it may therefore be advisable to keep the two species apart. - Ed.]
MARWELL ZOOLOGICAL PARK, U.K.
Extracts from the Annual Report 1998
The animal collection (by Peter Bircher)
Over the year, several new species of rodent, fish and invertebrate have been added to the collection - though most of these are not yet on public display. We very much hope to link our new-found interest in small mammals into conservation programmes for endangered species like the European hamster (Cricetus cricetus) and the red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) by offering technical support and facilities to other organisations working in the field with these species. The construction of a display unit dedicated to the captive breeding of small European mammals is planned for 1999. We also plan to open, for Easter 1999, a nocturnal display housing kowari (Dasyuroides byrnei), Senegal bush baby (Galago senegalensis) and various rodent species.
The arrival of 1.1 Madagascan jumping rats (Hypogeomys antimena) from Jersey Zoo has taxed the ingenuity of staff in trying to display this semi-nocturnal creature with our ring-tailed lemurs. An arrangement of plastic pipes buried under a carpet of woodchips and terminating in a small dustbin was constructed to mimic their natural habitat. While at the time of writing the pipes still remain intact, the dustbin has been steadily reduced to a pile of plastic chippings and has been replaced with a wooden box, which is now also in the process of being demolished. Although the rats are nocturnal, they can usually be seen in the early morning and late afternoon displaying their superb agility.
Several species of invertebrates are now breeding well in our Tropical House, and the survival of several hatchings of Peruvian fern stick insects (Oreophoetes peruana) has been the cause of some excitement, as this colourful insect does not usually thrive in captivity; in fact, we believe that they may be the first hatched in a British zoo. We were also pleased to breed our first four-horned chameleon (Chamaeleo quadricornis), though many other eggs failed to hatch for reasons not determined.
Our emperor tamarins (Saguinus imperator subgrisescens) produced a total of five offspring, of which 1.2 survived, continuing our run of success over the last four years with this delightful species. Five Marwell-born animals were sent to other European collections, as part of the EEP breeding programme for the species.
The most significant addition to our bird collection in the past two years is the colony of African and macaroni penguins. On arrival, the former species were all sub-adult birds and of unknown sex, so we were pleased to observe at the end of 1998 signs of breeding behaviour and the laying of several fertile eggs, which should hatch in early 1999. We very much hope that the birds will incubate and rear their own chicks, but we have set up incubators within the penguin facility as a precaution.
The most significant bird breeding result of the year was the hatching of two Stanley crane (Anthropoides paradisea) chicks. This species had been maintained here for 20 years without any breeding success, despite the exchange of birds with other collections. Following the arrival of our present male from Whipsnade four years ago, some breeding behaviour was observed and several clutches of infertile eggs laid. This year the hen was directly inseminated with semen collected from the ten-year-old male. The following clutch of two eggs were taken away for artificial incubation, both proving to be fertile, though only one chick was subsequently hatched. The hen bird was then inseminated for a second time, resulting in two more fertile eggs, which this time were left with the parent birds to incubate. Once again, one chick hatched and was successfully reared, and one was found dead in shell. The adult birds proved to be exemplary parents and very protective of their progeny. We plan to repeat the insemination in 1999.
The female okapi, Elila, born in March 1997, continued to thrive and is now almost fully grown. She will be transferred to Regents Park some time in the spring, to be paired with a young male who is already in residence. Elila's mother, Bibi, was subsequently re-mated, and a second female calf named Zukisa was born on 26 December; despite being initially cared for by Bibi, she had to be removed after receiving a violent kick when first attempting to suckle. Fortunately, she was only slightly hurt and was readily taking bottle feeds within the first 48 hours of life. The use of artificial colostrum, antibiotics and vitamin therapy seems to have kept her free from any infections. The milk used to rear both calves comes from a local herd of Channel Island cows and is collected direct from the farm every day. One interesting feature of young okapi calves is that, despite taking two to three litres of milk daily, no faeces are passed until the 45th day of life. This is the cause of much biological speculation, being unique to the species.
A 13-year-old female okapi, Mieke, arrived in February from Bristol Zoo, with the hope of establishing her with our breeding male, Dibaya. This female had been paired with a rather aggressive male some years previously and had developed the habit of lying down on her side when other okapi approached. She was also very nervous of staff and would not allow any physical contact. Over a period of several months, we have managed to gain her confidence and she will now allow keepers to pat and stroke her. Faecal analysis has shown that she is now cycling regularly, but any attempt to introduce the male still results in her lying down. We are now looking at various ways of dealing with this bizarre behaviour. Our second male, Kibali, is now 28 years old and the oldest okapi in captivity.
Sadly, our 15-year-old female pygmy hippopotamus died after a short illness. Post mortem examination revealed a complete lack of body fat, though no significant cause for this could be determined. Fortunately, we were able to import a replacement animal from Antwerp Zoo, and we are hopeful of compatibility with our male, although the initial introduction was not entirely promising.
Our two 11-year-old female white rhinos, Sula and Kiri, are possibly pregnant for the first time. A 14-year-old, Hannu, arrived from Knowsley Safari Park in April 1997, and within a few weeks both females were showing signs of oestrus. A mating with Kiri was subsequently seen, which would give a birth date of around mid-March 1999. Whilst no mating with Sula had been observed, more advanced udder development would suggest that she may have mated at an earlier date. If one or both females are pregnant, they will produce the first second-generation calves born in this country. [Sula gave birth to a healthy male calf on 8 February. - Ed.]
The birth of a female Somali wild ass was a most welcome event and significantly improves our long-term prospects with this now critically endangered equid. Marwell is the only zoo holding this species in the United Kingdom.
We are now somewhat concerned about the long-term breeding potential of our Hartmann's mountain zebras, who during the last decade have steadily reduced in number from around 13 animals to seven at the end of this year. Whilst this reduction takes into account animals translocated elsewhere, poor breeding results have prevented natural replacement - only two foals have been born in the last five years. The problem seems to be a combination of non-compatible (aggressive) males and non-cycling females. The reason for this situation is not entirely clear, and the use of hormonal treatments to induce oestrus (or improve the male's libido) have failed to have the desired effect. Whilst we are now trying to locate a replacement male for our group, we may also try to maintain our females without a male for a few months and then reintroduce them in late summer. Interestingly, two of our mares, who are held at the South Lakes Wildlife Park, were observed in season and mated some 24 hours after being introduced to an old stallion, who had previously had a chequered breeding history. This stallion had also rejected and was very aggressive to one of the mares when they were both at Marwell. A blood test carried out on both females suggests that they are pregnant and should foal in the spring. During the last ten years, we have also suffered a serious problem with sarcoid tumours, which occur around the lower abdomen and often involve the mammary gland. The tumours can become very invasive if they are not treated at an early stage of growth - and, in most cases, surgical removal or freezing usually results in regrowth after a period of remission. The use of a specially formulated experimental cream has shown more promising results and, in the case of one animal, has completely cured the problem.
Field research (by Tim Woodfine)
Field research with Przewalski's horse and black rhinoceros continued throughout 1998. Time constraints meant that some of the work planned with the horses was delayed in favour of working with the rhino, which is considered to be a higher priority. Nevertheless, progress was made with both species.
Field work with Przewalski's horses continued primarily at Eelmoor Marsh. [For the background to this project, see I.Z.N. 43:3, pp. 190-192. - Ed.] The data collected is helping to build a model of changes in the horses' habitat use and diet selection, not only on a diurnal and seasonal basis, but also over time since initial release into semi-free-ranging conditions. This information is important for our understanding of the horses' ability to learn about and exploit new resources in response to changes in biotic and abiotic conditions.
One of the main focuses of the Przewalski's horse research is to determine the species' requirements for vitamin E. Adequate dietary levels of naturally-occurring vitamin E are important for combating incidences of equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy and other deficiency syndromes suffered by captive wild equids. During 1998, studies were carried out to compare availability of vitamin E in the grasses consumed by animals at three sites representing different management regimes - Marwell (captive facility), Eelmoor Marsh (semi-reserve) and Pentezug Puszta Steppe Reserve (former range of the wild horse). It appears from this initial work that vitamin E levels may be lower in the zoo paddocks than in the natural grasslands of Eelmoor Marsh and the Hungarian steppe. Although the observed differences may simply be accounted for by natural variations between sites (due to localised environmental factors), it is possible that long-term high-density grazing in the zoo may result in a reduction of sward quality. Further investigations are required to test this hypothesis and to confirm the findings thus far. A database of vitamin E levels from over 200 Przewalski's horse blood samples has now been collected, allowing comparisons between free-ranging and captive animals. This information, together with chemical assays of vegetation samples, should go some way to defining adequate dietary levels of vitamin E for captive wild horses.
Research on black rhino nutrition has by necessity been expanded beyond the original remit of determining vitamin E requirements for the species. While fat-soluble vitamins may play an important role in defending cell membranes from oxygen-free radicals, other studies suggest that black rhino have evolved unique methods of antioxidant defence, and low circulating levels of these nutrients appear to be normal. Of prior concern is direct and indirect evidence implicating mineral and fatty acid imbalances, excesses or deficiencies in captive black rhino. For example, excessive concentrations of calcium and iron measured in black rhino tissues at necropsy may underlie reported cases of hypophosphataemia and haemosiderosis respectively. Essential fatty acids play an important role in maintaining the integrity of erythrocytes and other cell membranes. As a result, reported fatty acid deficiencies and imbalances in captive diets may be key factors associated with haemolytic anaemia and ulcerative dermatitis.
During 1998, field work was carried out at the Marwell Dambari Field Station and Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage in Zimbabwe. This involved monitoring the intake of fresh browse by black rhino and processing samples for chemical analysis. Simultaneously, blood sampling was undertaken to provide comparisons between the intake of specific nutrients and circulating levels. At the time of writing, results are expected from the laboratories of the University of Zimbabwe in Harare. Comparative work is planned at two U.K. zoos over the coming months, to highlight any nutritional differences between zoo diets and native browse. The methods and protocols developed will also be adopted by other European zoos as part of a global initiative to address rhinoceros nutritional husbandry.
Health problems in captive black rhino and the resulting need for further nutritional assessments are of global concern. Conservation strategy for the species incorporates ex situ captive breeding by the international zoo community and translocations of individuals between free-ranging sites within their native range. As well as the obvious need to develop adequate zoo diets, there are also nutritional problems being encountered when moving wild black rhino from one habitat type to another. As information gained from in situ studies is of vital importance for our efforts to maintain captive animals, future research may be aimed in this direction. To this end, discussions have been initiated with the Wildlife Unit of the Zimbabwean Government Veterinary Department to engage in collaborative research.
RHEINE ZOO, GERMANY
Excerpts from the Annual Report 1998
This was a year of ups and downs: important breeding successes contrasted with some severe losses, and promising husbandry improvements took place on one side while new maintenance difficulties came up on the other. We feel that there is an ongoing need to share experiences, and therefore this summary includes some notes on our current knowledge of captive management of certain species.
Within one week our three adult female ring-tailed lemurs gave birth to four young (twins and two single births). The highest-ranking female disturbed the lowest-ranking one so seriously that her infant dropped off, but the keepers succeeded in getting it to cling to its mother again. We separated the mother and baby to leave her undisturbed, but were then unable to reintroduce her into the group as the aggression of the higher-ranking females went on. So later in the year she and her youngster were sent to Amersfoort Zoo in the Netherlands. In the mating season the two adult males started to fight, but this year even more severely than in the past. We were also unable to reunite the males, and one was sent to Allwetter Zoo, Münster. In our experience, aggressions and fighting between females frequently occurs in the spring (birth season), whereas males start to fight in late autumn (mating season). Successful reintroduction of separated individuals is more promising in males than in females.
We lost our breeding pair of cotton-top tamarins; both animals were more than 12 years old. The six remaining adult offspring of the family group started fighting and two males had to be separated. We were surprised by a birth in the remaining group of four siblings, but the tamarins failed to rear the infant.
In spite of all the efforts of our keepers, we have still not found the key to successfully propagating our squirrel monkeys again. After the deaths from different causes of four adult and very old animals, our stock has obviously reached a point from which a positive development is most unlikely. We have to report a very similar situation with our lion-tailed macaques. For some years they have delivered only stillbirths, and this year again both females gave birth to dead infants. We lost a younger male by a Streptococcus infection, and at the end of the year we were left with 3.2 animals; all three males are fully adult. So far the males - a father and two sons born from different females - are getting along quite well with each other, but this is certainly the result of the keepers' attention and highly sophisticated management during daily routine work, which reduces competition for food and incipient aggression.
Five years after giving birth to her second infant, the white-handed gibbon had a stillbirth. We are maintaining a family group, the breeding pair with a daughter born in 1990 and a son born in 1993. So far all four animals show a high amount of social activities, especially play behaviour.
Cessation of breeding and a high level of inbreeding in our group of black mangabeys (Cercocebus aterrimus) led to the decision to exchange males with the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes, Paris. But whereas our fully mature male, Schopfi, had no problems establishing himself at Paris as the new `chief' of four adult females, the introduction of the young adult from Paris, Pollux, to our five females proved to be impossible. Even after habituation to his surroundings and future mates from a neighbouring cage, Pollux was severely bitten by the females, and both he and some of the females had to be treated by the veterinarian. The separation of one female for treatment, however, caused more trouble among the females; they started to fight among themselves, and in the end the group split into three. After another exchange of a female for a male from Osnabrück Zoo, we finally established one adult pair - who left the zoo later in the year - and a group with Pollux and the three remaining young adult females. The whole process had been monitored by a student, and the results of the study show that there are very close bondings between female black mangabeys, whereas the males play a more peripheral role. As a result of our experiences, we can recommend that in future transfers and introductions of this species, only fully mature males should be introduced to groups of fully mature females, and young adult males should be combined with younger females only.
Just when we thought we knew the husbandry needs of gelada baboons, we experienced a severe setback when we lost an adult female and the breeding male, Zorro. Circulatory collapse and heart failure were the post-mortem findings. Of most concern was the finding that both animals were severely overweight, a condition which was not obvious from visual inspection. We revised our diet again, and replaced the primate pellets with hay cobs to add even more roughage. The feeding is currently regularly protocoled and experiences are exchanged with the other participants of the gelada EEP. Introduction of a new male to replace Zorro might cause infanticide, as this is a natural behaviour in this species; of the six geladas born during the year, two are at risk of infanticide. At the end of the year, we had a total of 32 geladas in two groups. This is the largest population we have ever held at one time since we starting with this species in 1981. These animals represent nearly a quarter of the entire captive population. There are positive developments within the EEP, and all the participants have great interest in the long-term establishment of this impressive primate species in zoos.
Finding suitable places for offspring of our harbour seals is becoming more and more problematic, in spite of the fact that our young ones are already trained when only a few months old. Fortunately we were able to distribute two 1997 males and the two males born in 1998 over three European zoos. In the same way we were lucky to place three male sitatungas; five of these beautiful antelopes were born and grew up.
The EEP recommendation for our Humboldt penguins is `limited breeding', so the two young we raised were sufficient as our contribution to this huge breeding programme. Later in the year we received two unrelated penguins hatched in 1998 at Dresden Zoo; these are the first additions to our colony since 1974.
The extremely rainy and cold weather during the brooding season is most probably the reason for the poor breeding results in the wetland aviary: only one scarlet ibis, two cattle egrets and eight little egrets were reared. The white storks had tin roofs fixed over their huge nests as protection against rain, and as a result we have much better success to report: 17 chicks grew up, and at least seven hatched in the nests of the resident free-flying storks in trees or on roofs.
We had 21 Chilean flamingo hatchlings, but lost ten of them who drowned in the mud or got cold during the frequent rainfalls. Two of the survivors developed deformed legs and appeared in an overall poor condition, but after applications of high dosages of vitamins D and E they recovered quickly and further growth restored their legs to a normal shape.
In terms of breeding successes, 1998 was certainly the year of the waders. Rheine Zoo has a long tradition in maintaining waders, but this year was exceptional in both breeding and rearing. This might be related to the weather, but certainly the keepers contributed substantially to the final result of 134 waders reared. Among these were our first spurred lapwings, six ringed plovers, 27 redshanks and 34 ruffs. But `trees never grow up to the sky': just when the ruffs were fully fledged and exactly a day before their placement in other zoos, a small carnivore, most probably a marten, gained access to the nursery aviary and killed 17 ruffs within one night. So in the end we could not very much enlarge the captive stock of this species; but we hope we have a better idea of its husbandry as a result of our experience this year.
Some rearrangements had to take place with our macaws, as we have some sibling pairs of birds hatched here some years ago. We received a female green-winged macaw from Schwerin and sent one of ours to Hagenbecks Tierpark, Hamburg. Bochum Zoo sent us their pair of hyacinth macaws on breeding loan. In the past we have had some hatchings and one young reared of this species; when the female of the breeding pair died, we sent the remaining male to Rotterdam, and he has fathered some more young there.
We reared a Bali mynah - nothing very special these days, but nevertheless the first time at Rheine. After fledging we checked the nest-box and were surprised at the amounts of nesting material the birds had carried in - the nest was more than 25 cm high and reached up to the entrance hole of the box.
For ten years we have regularly bred village weavers (Ploceus cucullatus). As we wanted to have an idea of the group composition, we decided to ring all the birds with aluminium rings of the sort normally used for budgerigars. The effect was disastrous - the weavers were so highly irritated by the rings that they started to pick at them and in doing so they harmed themselves. Within two days five birds had died, either losing their legs or accidentally hanging themselves in the nesting materials. As the situation did not improve, we caught all the birds again and removed the rings. So we will continue to lack data on the age structure of the weaver colony. Fortunately the breeding results outweighed the losses, and at the end of the year we had 85 village weavers.
A new addition to our bird collection was a group of 4.7 crested oropendolas (Psarocolius decumanus), imported from the wild. The birds habituated quickly to their new surroundings and there were initially no maintenance problems. They ate large amounts of fruit and mealworms, and only gradually habituated to softbill mixture, meat or boiled egg. But in the course of the year the birds appeared sick and we lost three within a short time. Post-mortem findings indicated endoparasites (Syngamus roundworms, tapeworms, coccidiosis). After specific treatment all the other birds recovered quickly, but we will have to keep a close check on their health in future. The oropendolas make a lively exhibit and draw some attention from the public. They started nest-building during the year, but did not succeed in finishing one completely. This might be because they appeared to be young on their arrival, but it could also be that we have not yet found the right nesting materials to stimulate their activities.
Achim Johann, Curator
INTERNATIONAL ZOO NEWS
Chessington World of Adventures, U.K.
The gorilla infant born in January is doing well. It has been sexed as female and named Mjuko. Her mother Asili was also born at Chessington.
In the bird garden the signs are pointing towards a very productive season. The great Indian hornbills have mudded up, the southern pieds are showing interest in their box and the long-tailed hornbills are now outside in the largest mixed aviary. Birds currently (9 April) sitting or laying include red-billed blue magpie, perfect lory, blue-streaked lory, grey peacock pheasant and red-sided eclectus. The male king vulture, Akimba, who was here on loan, has been returned. He resides at Chessington over the winter season to pair with our genetically important female. On this visit the pair were involved in courtship behaviour, material carrying and nest-making. Unfortunately he had to be returned for flying display purposes; we are hoping to locate a male on a more permanent basis. Recently 2.1 young Californian sea lions left the collection and 1.0 was added (exchange with 0.1 to Dublin). The Humboldt's penguins currently have one egg, and other young pairs are carrying nesting material.
Recent deaths include: 1.0 golden lion tamarin, 1.0 Arabian oryx, 0.1 addax (euth.), 0.1 black-capped lory (during surgery), 0.1 keel-billed toucan (yersinia), 0.0.1 green-winged macaw (yersinia), 1.0 eclectus parrot (fledgling), 1.0 golden mynah (iron storage), 0.0.1 lesser kiskadee flycatcher, 0.1 black-throated laughing thrush, 0.0.1 sailfin lizard, 1.1 king cobra.
Significant arrivals were: 0.0.21 black rat (from Drusillas), 0.1 red-tailed hawk (private), 1.0 emperor goose (Beale Park), 1.0 Sonnerat's jungle fowl (Beale), 0.1 black-throated laughing thrush (Gatwick), 1.1 king cobra, 3 flower mantid, 1 Peruvian centipede, 1 Vietnamese centipede, 2 Peruvian stripe-kneed spider, 2 rhinoceros-horned baboon spider, 5 giant pink-toed tree spider, 3 Nicaraguan gold scorpion, 3 imperial scorpion, 5 emerald fruit beetle, 6 Nigerian crab, and various millipede species.
Significant departures included: 0.1 snow leopard, 1.0 common buzzard, 1.0 laughing kookaburra, 0.1 lanner falcon, 0.1 eagle owl, 1.1 lilac-breasted roller (Gatwick).
At the beginning of the year Lionel Rowe, the Zoo Manager, left the park after some 28 years. For many years he was in charge of the elephants, and later he had the dual role of elephant keeper and head keeper. During this time he obtained his first arachnid, and in the years to follow he became an expert in this field. In 1986 he took on the task of zoo manager, made all the more difficult in that the years that followed were somewhat turbulent at Chessington - from zoo `old style' with a fairground, to major theme park with a zoological department, there have been many changes. Like most parks we still have good and bad points; but many of our good points will have had their base in Lionel's steady and thoughtful approach, and he has left the park a much improved place.
Luke Gates (animal news) and Chris Anscombe (Lionel Rowe)
Chester Zoo, U.K.
For over 15 years Chester Zoo has been successfully involved in the breeding programme for the highly endangered Rodrigues fruit bat. But the bats' old quarters were a little cramped, and their opportunities for flight were limited. The new `Twilight Zone' is anything but cramped - though the bats took a while to adjust to their new space, and at first were inclined to stick to their roost. The huge enclosure, dimly lit by day to simulate twilight, is home to 37 Rodrigues fruit bats and 140 Seba's short-tailed bats. Both species are breeding now that they have settled into their new area.
The bats fly freely around visitors, sometimes coming so close that people can feel the slight draught caused by the beating of their wings. Visitors are delighted to have such a degree of contact with wild creatures, and many stay in the Twilight Zone for long periods. Even the most timid and nervous relax once they are accustomed to the atmosphere. No glass or bars separate visitors from animals - you are walking through their environment.
This exhibit inspires people to think of our native wildlife, and many visitors talk to us about bats they see near their homes. This has led to the concept of using the Twilight Zone for recording data about British bats. There are many bat groups in the country, but it is by no means the case that they know each other, and every bat on their patch. Most of the bat workers' time is spent rescuing bats from places where they should not be, and attending sick or injured bats and giving advice. Information on the whereabouts of bats in winter is especially lacking. Sadly, information about the sites of roosts often comes too late - after the bulldozers or chainsaws have acted. The zoo had over a million visitors in 1998, and potentially our visitors could be an important source of information. All our native bats are protected species, but if the `Where?' and `How many?' questions cannot be answered, protection becomes impossible. There must be an enormous amount of vital information about our native wildlife, but it is in little `droplets' all over the place. Recently, the zoo's animal, education and marketing divisions have been meeting with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust to decide the best way to collect these data, and a pilot scheme involving a questionnaire and maps has been launched involving everyone on the mailing list for our magazine Chester Zoo Life.
Chester Zoo Life (Spring 1999)
Columbus Zoo, Ohio, U.S.A.
On 19 February a female gorilla infant weighing 4.5 pounds (2 kg) was delivered by caesarean section at the zoo's Joseph Cross Animal Hospital by a medical team headed by the zoo's Animal Health Director and including an anesthesiologist, two neo-natal specialists and two obstetrics/gynecology doctors from a local human hospital, along with the zoo's animal health team. The eight-year-old primiparous mother, Kebi, experienced complications during pregnancy, including a severe seizure episode several weeks prior to the surgery, and had been under 24-hour observation. Since the delivery, she has been recovering satisfactorily and the symptoms seen during the pregnancy have subsided. The infant initially required supplemental oxygen, but was released from intensive care and sent to the gorilla building nursery at six days old; she continues to do well.
On 24 February, 0.4 wolverine (Gulo gulo) cubs were born at the zoo. One was stillborn, but the other three appeared healthy. The dam and sire had produced two offspring last year, but neither survived. This year the dam appears much calmer and is an excellent mother.
D. Winstel in AZA Communiqué (May 1999)
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jersey, Channel Islands, U.K.
Romeo, a green tree monitor (Varanus prasinus) at Jersey Zoo, has undergone revolutionary microsurgery by vets at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) in Newmarket to remove a cataract. A spokeswoman for the AHT said: `We are almost certain that this is the first time such an operation has been carried out on a monitor lizard anywhere in the world. We are very pleased with the lizard's progress and optimistic that he will be able to see again.' It is thought that old age caused the ten-year-old lizard to lose his sight. Keepers were using tweezers to feed him by hand with insects because he was unable to catch live prey. Jane Sansom, the AHT's head of ophthalmology, operated on the lizard using a technique that allows the cataract to be removed through a very small incision - a procedure widely used on people and domestic pets. But the size of the eye, less than 0.5 cm in diameter, complicated the procedure. Jersey Zoo is one of only two European collections breeding the species, and has so far produced five young.
Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana, U.S.A.
The first hatching of a desert monitor (Varanus g. griseus) outside of its natural range occurred at the zoo in 1998. This species has reproduced once before in captivity in Israel. The 1.2 adults were received in 1992 as part of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confiscation. The breeding is a result of a six-year conditioning program that included introducing individual females to the male only during the breeding season, fasting periods and brumation.
After receiving fertile eggs in 1997 from one female without successful hatching, both females produced some fertile eggs in 1998. They were incubated in plastic containers in a 2:1 vermiculite/water mixture at about 29°C. One egg hatched on day 122 and the neonate started feeding on mouse parts within a few days. In U.S. zoos, monitor lizard breedings in general have been sporadic and not easily repeatable. The zoo hopes to expand this breeding program in 1999.
B. Christie in AZA Communiqué (April 1999)
Kentucky Reptile Zoo, Slade, Kentucky, U.S.A.
A few days before Christmas, Jim Harrison, the zoo's director, learned that about 260 Asian cobras (Naja naja kaouthia) had been confiscated in Singapore. The snakes were on their way to Canada and Hong Kong, where they would have been killed and eaten as a delicacy. However, the Singapore authorities were unable to properly care for the snakes and they needed a place to go. After some debate, Jim decided that Kentucky Reptile Zoo would take the snakes. The zoo, a non-profit organization with an exhibit open to the public, also houses one of the few venom extraction laboratories in the country, and supplies venoms to various researchers. Venom from many species of snake is used worldwide in medical research on AIDS, Parkinson's disease, high blood pressure, cancer and strokes.
The zoo is in need of donations to help house and care for these cobras.
For more information, contact KRZ, 1275 Natural Bridge Road, Slade, Kentucky 40376, U.S.A. (Tel.: +606-663-0907)
Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society Vol. 34, No. 2 (February 1999)
North Carolina Zoological Park, Asheboro, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Four horned puffins (Fratercula corniculata) and two parakeet auklets (Cyclorrhynchus psittacula) were successfully hatched and reared at the zoo in August 1998. Several of the birds were parent-reared for an extended period. Others were hand-raised after parental care was determined to be insufficient during the first 48 hours. One puffin chick was produced by a 15+-year-old pair with no prior reproductive success. This is believed to be the first successful world captive breeding for both species. Persons with information regarding possible previous captive breeding for these species are encouraged to contact the Curator of Birds at the North Carolina Zoo.
In January the zoo unveiled one of the country's most innovative educational projects, with the launching of a new website that enables students and teachers to communicate directly with scientists working in the field to help save the elephants of Cameroon, West Africa. The website, at www.nczooeletrack.org, was developed in conjunction with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the local school system and several other partners. The zoo has been involved with WWF for two years in an effort to install satellite-tracking collars on Cameroon elephants to determine their migration patterns. We have worked with AZA to establish links to the website through other zoos and aquariums around the country, and during its first three months, more than 20,000 users from all 50 states and 75 different countries have visited the site.
K. Reininger (birds) and R. Hackney (website) in AZA Communiqué (May 1999)
Paignton Zoo (Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust), U.K.
At present the zoo holds 17 different species of Chelonia with some 130 individuals. Many of our tortoises were deposited with us by HM Customs and Excise, including the seven Aldabra giant tortoises which arrived in 1986 after confiscation while being smuggled in a suitcase bound for the U.S.A. At the time they measured just 10 cm in length, weighed only 150 g and were estimated to be only a year old. Now, 13 years on, they are a metre long and weigh over 50 kg, and yet they are still far from being fully grown. The Aldabra tortoise reaches sexual maturity at 20 years of age and can live until well over a hundred, so we still have some way to go before we hear the rumble of tiny feet!
Some of the oldest tortoises in the zoo are of Mediterranean origin, namely the spur-thighed tortoise and the Hermann's tortoise. These once common tortoises are now protected and are no longer collected from the wild. Most of our Mediterranean tortoises are former pets which have been donated. Their age is sometimes hard to know exactly, but some had been pets for more than 40 years and were adult when they became pets. Nearly all had lived a solitary existence in Britain before coming to the zoo. They are matched up with their own subspecies and the male and female are introduced to each other as soon as they wake up from hibernation in early spring, when mating takes place. Afterwards the male is removed to allow the female peace and quiet in which to select a suitable place to excavate a nest and lay her eggs. The eggs are then removed and artificially incubated for approximately eight weeks, before the baby tortoises start to emerge.
The sex of tortoises, like many other reptiles, can be predetermined by the temperature at which the eggs are incubated, the phenomenon known as environmental sex determination. For these tortoises the incubation temperatures are as follows:
less than 26°C = eggs fail to hatch;
26°C - 29.5°C = all male offspring;
30°C - 32°C = both sexes;
32.5°C - 33°C = all female offspring;
more than 34°C = offspring deformed or dead in shell.
At present all the zoo's Mediterranean tortoise eggs are incubated at 31°C to obtain a mix of sexes. The eggs are incubated in a dry environment, with the humidity increased just prior to hatching - in the wild, eggs usually hatch after heavy showers, as the subsequent burst of new growth provides ideal food for tiny mouths. Last year proved a good one for our Mediterranean tortoises, with 16 hatchlings.
Another pair of long-standing residents are the three-toed box turtles (Terrapene carolina triunguis). Though small, only 20 cm in length, they can live to a considerable age, with numerous accounts of individuals reaching 100 years old. The zoo pair had lived in the same sort of accommodation for ten years, and although they were healthy, no breeding activity had been observed, so it was decided to try something different. In Florida, where they normally live, they experience a short winter, when they would naturally hibernate, so to replicate this, in the autumn of 1997 they were allowed to stay in their outside accommodation when they were usually brought in for the winter. Their weights were carefully monitored throughout October, November and December; then early in the New Year they were brought indoors and gradually warmed up. They actually lost very little weight in this period, though once fully awake they both had a ravenous appetite - and not only for food! Mating was observed frequently in February, and on 2 April 1998 three eggs were laid. They were carefully removed from a well-hidden nest and placed in the incubator at a temperature of 31°C. Seven weeks later three turtles hatched. They did not feed for the first two weeks, living off their stored egg-sac reserves, but then started to take small insects and finely-chopped vegetables, and have grown steadily throughout the year.
Rod Keen, Head Keeper of Reptiles, in Paignton Zoo News No. 38 (Spring 1999)
Perth Zoo, Western Australia
The nine young numbats (Myrmecobius fasciatus) bred at the zoo in 1998 were weaned from their mothers in late October and early November, and fattened up on `numbat pudding' and termites in preparation for their release on 3 December, when they joined the 1997 young in Dale Conservation Park. The numbats were fitted with radio collars and tracked by air before ground checks in January.
This year our specialist keeper, Vicki Power, tried something different to prepare the animals for release. They were all exposed to a bird of prey on two occasions to enhance their own instinctive responses by observing their mothers' reactions. The bird, a black-breasted buzzard, was baited into the numbats' enclosures, providing a realistic threatening experience for the youngsters and adults alike. Their responses were much quicker and more pronounced at the second exposure. In fact, the young remained inside their nest box for about an hour at a time of day when they would normally be playing outside. We are hopeful that these experiences will be successful in making them more aware of their natural predators. This predator training will be part of a research project in 1999. We intend to include playing taped calls of raptor species that inhabit the area the numbats are destined for, at the same time as the young are exposed to the raptor.
Vicki Power in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 41 (February 1999)
Riverbanks Zoological Park, Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.A.
The following births and hatchings took place during the period January to March 1999: 2 black-footed cat, 1 white-crested turaco, 6 radiated tortoise, 4 Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko, 1 giant leaf-tailed gecko, 1 lined leaf-tailed gecko, 1 crocodile skink.
The following were acquired: 3.0 larger Malay chevrotain, 1.0 Matschie's tree kangaroo, 4 thick-billed parrot, 0.1 bog turtle, 300 turbo snail, 1 arc-eye hawkfish, 2 long-nosed butterfly fish, 8 convict tang, 1 diadem dottyback (Pseudochromis diadema), 1 rusty angelfish, 5 diamond goby, 1 Kole tang, 4 Banggai cardinalfish, 1 raccoon butterfly fish, 24 camelback shrimp, 1 derasa clam.
Alan H. Shoemaker,
Walsrode Bird Park, Germany
In 1981, Walsrode received 11 young oriental white storks (Ciconia boyciana) as part of a cooperative breeding programme. The first breeding occurred in 1987, since when more than 30 have been bred here. Others have been bred in zoos in China and Japan. Recently seven young storks hatched and reared at Walsrode were sent to the captive-breeding centre at the National University of Education in South Korea. Their offspring will be released in suitable habitat in South Korea, where this species last bred in 1971. It is thought that a few pairs may continue to breed in North Korea.
The Korean biologist who will be responsible for the captive management programme will be trained at Walsrode, not just in keeping and breeding storks, but also herons, egrets and spoonbills; for the rare black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor) and Chinese, or Swinhoe's, egret (Egretta eulophotes) are also part of this conservation project, supported by the Brehm Fund in Germany.
Flying Free (newsletter of the Brehm Fund for International Bird Conservation) Vol. 16, No. 1/2 (Summer/Autumn 1998)
Western Plains Zoo, New South Wales, Australia
The Solar Energy Complex and Kiosk, a joint project of the zoo and Advance Energy, was officially commissioned on 11 September 1998. In 1997, Advance Energy approached Western Plains Zoo to construct a solar energy complex within the zoo. The aim was to demonstrate to visitors how solar technology can be used to generate `green electricity'. It highlights the development of electricity generation methods which are sustainable, do not rely on the consumption of fossil fuels, and therefore assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is the only complex of its kind in New South Wales that is located on a site that encourages public viewing. The majority of the electricity generated by the 50 kW complex will feed directly into the state electricity grid to supply Advance Energy's `green power' customers. It will also power the Advance Energy Kiosk, which is adjacent to the complex. The zoo is already purchasing 25% `green power' from Advance Energy.
The Solar Energy Complex complements the current Western Plains Zoo environmental programs, including: the artificial wetlands which filter water leaving the zoo before it enters the Macquarie River; the use of equipment and processes which maximise water-use efficiency; and the development of the zoo's site rehabilitation program.
Abridged from Trevor James in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 41 (February 1999)
News in Brief
Dr Donald G. Lindburg of the Zoological Society of San Diego has retired as Editor-in-Chief of Zoo Biology, after holding the post since 1989. He is succeeded by Dr Daniel C. Wharton of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Dan Wharton has worked for the WCS in New York for nearly two decades, and is currently director of Central Park Wildlife Center; his special interests include molecular systematics, genetics and population management.
* * * * *
The white alligator Paleface, a star attraction for a decade at New Orleans Aquarium for the Americas, Louisiana, U.S.A., died after choking on a coin which was tossed into his enclosure by a visitor. The animal was found in 1987 along with his 17 brothers and sisters. While not technically albinos, they have white skin and bluish-grey eyes, which means their mutation is leucism, an even rarer cause of whiteness in alligators.
Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society Vol. 34, No. 3 (March 1999)
* * * * *
On 9 April 1999 a male African elephant was born at Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, Germany. The infant, who was 79 cm high at birth, is developing well. The parents are Sabah, 14 years old, and Tembo, who is also the father of the female born on 15 January (see I.Z.N. 46:2, p. 122). Together with the new little bull, the Tierpark now has 14 elephants (9 African and 5 Asian).
Dr Bernhard Blaszkiewitz
* * * * *
Central Park Wildlife Center, New York, reports the 1998 hatching of a chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) chick whose father is a zoo-born male. It is believed that this second-generation, parent-raised chick is the first of its kind in a 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 at Central Park, seven were hatched there.
D. Moore in AZA Communiqué (March 1999)
[For a report on chinstrap and gentoo penguin breeding at Central Park, see Celia Ackerman's article in I.Z.N. 44 (6), 327-333 - Ed.]
* * * * *
Tama Zoo, Tokyo, has had Indian rhinoceroses ever since its opening in 1958, and in 1973 it recorded the only birth ever of this species in Japan. But the female died of old age in 1991, and the male in 1995, and the zoo has not exhibited this species since then. Recently Basel Zoo, Switzerland, offered to donate one, a two-year-old male called Tarrh, who had been harassing another young male in his group. Tarrh arrived at Tama in October 1998, and plans are being made to breed from him after he reaches maturity.
Takahisa Hosoda in Animals and Zoos Vol. 51, No. 3 (March 1999)
* * * * *
John Pickard reports that Wellington Zoo's pair of Malayan sun bears (the subject of his article in I.Z.N. 46:3, pp. 134-140) have successfully produced twins. At the time of writing (24 May 1999) the cubs are six weeks old and doing well.
* * * * *
The Bergen Aquarium in Norway is asking Boris Yeltsin for a new Russian sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedti) to replace Nikita, a fish donated by the Kremlin in the 1960s, who has died at about 38 years old from an overdose of salt water in his tank. Nikita was one of four fish given to Norway by Nikita Khrushchev in 1964; the aquarium named it in his honour after it outlived the others. `We understand it's not top priority, but if Russia would be so kind as to give us a new sturgeon, we would be incredibly grateful,' says Stig Saegrov, the aquarium's director. `We would call it Boris.'
* * * * *
Dribbles, a female giraffe who died suddenly on 13 April 1999 at Marwell Zoological Park, U.K., was at least 34 years old, making her the oldest giraffe in the world. She had enjoyed a full life, giving birth to 11 calves and rearing them herself. Dribbles was wild-caught in Uganda in 1966, when she was already possibly a year or more old, and came to Marwell in 1971. It is unusual for giraffes to exceed 30 years in captivity, and in the wild they would not normally live for longer than 20 years.
Marwell Zoo News No. 99 (Spring/Summer 1999)
[The greatest recorded longevity for this species is 36 years 2 months (Marvin L. Jones, International Zoo Yearbook 32, 1993, p. 162) - Ed.]
* * * * *
In May, three tigers killed a German couple at Safari El Vergel, a park in eastern Spain. Ignoring warning notices, the tourists had got out of their car and closed the doors when the animals pounced on them, inflicting fatal neck wounds.
* * * * *
Three Livingstone's fruit bats were born at Bristol Zoo, U.K., in January. The species is critically endangered in its natural habitat in the Comoro Islands, north-east of Madagascar, where the population has been reduced to only 400. Bristol and Jersey are the only zoos currently holding and breeding these bats, and are also helping to fund educational and ecological work for the species in the Comoros. Bristol's original seven bats came from Jersey in April 1998.
Abridged from Bristol Zoo press release
* * * * *
A zoo worker in Salt Lake City lost a finger and part of his nose when an escaped chimpanzee attacked him and another employee. Zoo officials killed the chimp and one of its companions. A former zoo employee said officials ignored warnings to keep the injured worker away from the chimps, because the animals behaved violently whenever he was around.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (2 March 1999), contributed by Richard J. Reynolds
Anon. (Edinburgh Zoo reptile staff): The original fast food. Ratel Vol. 26, No. 2 (1999), pp. 73-75. [Ways of obtaining invertebrates for lizard and amphibian food.]
Baker, W.K.: Can individual personalities among staff members make a difference in a crisis situation? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 26, No. 3 (1999), pp. 96-97.
Baker, W.K.: How can staff members contact each other in an emergency? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 26, No. 4 (1999), pp. 134-135.
Banks, K.: Breeding the southern helmeted curassow at Birdworld. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 104, No. 4 (1998), pp. 152-156. [Pauxi u. unicornis; probably first British captive breeding.]
Banks, K.: The year at Birdworld. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 104, No. 3 (1998), pp. 131-132.
Battistini, G., and Paredes, R.: Nesting habits and nest characteristics of Humboldt penguins at Punta San Juan, Peru. Penguin Conservation Vol. 12, No. 1 (1999), pp. 12-19.
Böer, M., Brain, C., Cantzler, T., Hamza, H., and Venzke, K.: Reintroduction of a captive born white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) to the Etosha National Park. Part II: Behaviour in the boma, procedures before and locomotion during the first ten weeks after release and observations from June until September 1997. Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 69, No. 2 (1999), pp. 73-81. [After an intercontinental long-distance transfer and an adaptation period of about six months, a rhino born in a German safari park was released into an area of the natural former range of this species in northern Namibia. The rhino was able to find optimal habitat within 12 days, after travelling over a distance of more than 100 km. The results indicate one possible way of performing successful reintroductions of ex-situ-born rhinos in the future.]
Burckhardt, A.: Nachdenken über die Tötung von Tieren in Zoologischen Gärten. (Thoughts on the killing of animals in zoos.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 69, No. 3 (1999), pp. 137-158. [German, with brief English summary. In the light of the negative media response to the killing of two `surplus' bears at Leipzig Zoo, the author discusses the ethical and legal questions raised by the killing of animals as part of the regulation of zoo populations.]
Carlstead, K., Fraser, J., Bennett, C., and Kleiman, D.G.: Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) in U.S. zoos: 2. Behavior, breeding success, and mortality in relation to housing facilities. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 1 (1999), pp. 35-52. [The authors collected data on 23 zoos with black rhinos, to compare zoo environments with reproductive success, mortality, and behavior. They found that the breeding success of a zoo since 1973 correlated positively with enclosure area, and zoos with two or more females had a lower reproductive rate than zoos with only one female. They conclude that there may be a density-dependent suppressing effect on reproductive function among females in zoos. Females residing during their pre-reproductive years at a zoo with another reproductive female gave birth for the first time on average three years later than sole females. Mortality since 1973 correlated positively with percentage of public access; scores for males on the behavior trait Fearful (see Carlstead, Mellen and Kleiman, below) also correlated positively to percentage of public access, and they suggest that this aspect of exhibits is a stressor for this species, especially the males. Captive facilities influence the behavior and breeding success of each sex differently, probably by interfering with social communication. Males appear to be more affected by limited enclosure area and the olfactory environment as it is altered by chlorine disinfectant. Females are sensitive to some aspect of concrete enclosure walls, perhaps their acoustical properties or the visual separation from conspecifics. Male scores on the behavior trait Dominant were higher in smaller enclosures, and female scores for a group of behaviors suggesting agitation (Chasing/Stereotypy/Mouthing) were positively correlated with percentage of walls in their enclosure; both these behavior traits are negatively correlated with the breeding success of an individual male or female. Among the authors' conclusions is that basic research is needed on auditory and olfactory communication of black rhinoceros, to help us to understand fully the mechanisms of the compromising effects of captive environments on this species.]
Carlstead, K., Mellen, J., and Kleiman, D.G.: Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) in U.S. zoos: 1. Individual behavior profiles and their relationship to breeding success. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 1 (1999), pp. 17-34. [On the basis of a questionnaire asking keepers to rate their black rhinos on 52 behavior elements, the authors grouped the most reliably rated elements into six behavior traits: Olfactory behaviors, Chasing/Stereotypy/Mouthing, Friendly to keeper, Fearful, Patrolling, and Dominant (to conspecifics). A behavior profile of each animal consisted of scores on these six traits, and to test the validity of these profiles, scores on the six traits were compared to the behavior of each rhinoceros during a standardized test of reactivity to a novel object and a novel conspecific scent. Scores on Friendly to keeper, Dominant, and Olfactory behaviors described differences between animals of captive/wild origin, age, and sex, respectively. Among successfully breeding males, scores on Dominant and Olfactory behaviors were negatively correlated with reproductive success; the most successfully breeding pairs were those in which the female was rated as more Dominant than the male. (Older females rated higher on Dominant than younger females.) Females with higher ratings on Chasing/Stereotypy/Mouthing had poorer reproductive performance; the authors suggest that these three behaviors be investigated as indicators of lack of estrus.]
Cosgrove, J.J., and Dierenfeld, E.S.: Circulating a-tocopherol and retinol in free-ranging and captive penguins: speculation on dietary influences. Penguin Conservation Vol. 12, No. 1 (1999), pp. 6-11.
de Ruiter, M.: Egg-eating by Rothschild's mynahs. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 104, No. 3 (1998), pp. 129-130.
Ellis, J.A.: Changing brooms. Ratel Vol. 26, No. 1 (1999), pp. 9-10. [Benefits of staff exchanges between zoos.]
Enciso, A.E., Calcagno, J.M., and Gold, K.C.: Social interactions between captive adult male and infant lowland gorillas: implications regarding kin selection and zoo management. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 1 (1999), pp. 53-62. [Interactions between silverback-infant dyads at Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, were compared in an attempt to assess the influence that kinship may have on male parental behavior; the silverback was the father of the infant in one dyad, and unrelated to the infant in the other. Each infant was responsible for initiating most of the encounters with its respective group silverback. However, based on the frequency and duration of interactions, there is a significantly higher degree of affiliation and tolerance within the silverback-offspring dyad. Furthermore, the unrelated infant was the recipient of more than 40% of the agonistic behaviors exhibited by the silverback, whereas no such encounters were recorded within the related dyad. Although alternative explanations must be considered, these findings are consistent with kin selection theory, and are similar to observations documented for wild mountain gorillas. The study offers behavioral information relevant to the management of captive gorillas, which often requires the introduction of immatures into non-natal groups.]
Fa, J.E., and Clark, C.C.M.: Language and zoo biology training outcomes: a cautionary note. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 1 (1999), pp. 71-76. [An analysis of grades obtained by trainees for the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust and University of Kent Diploma in Endangered Species Management (DESMAN) suggests that low course performance could be related to inability to fully understand the English language.]
Gates, L.J.: Anti-predator behaviour and alarm calling in captive meerkats (Suricata suricatta): function for survival and applications for enrichment. Ratel Vol. 26, No. 2 (1999), pp. 57-72. [Drusillas Zoo, U.K.]
Gates, L.J., and Allen, L.K.M.: Hand rearing a Californian sealion (Zalophus californianus) at Chessington World of Adventures using shared custody. Ratel Vol. 26, No. 1 (1999), pp. 24-30. [A pup whose mother was not lactating was removed for feeding and then returned to her. Though the pup died on the 43rd day from an umbilical infection, the experience gained is documented and may be useful in future attempts.]
Goodfellow, W.: The royal parrot finch Erythrura cyaneovirens regia. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 104, No. 3 (1998), pp. 106-113. [Reprint of a 1934 article; Goodfellow was responsible for introducing this bird to aviculture. See also Macklin, below.]
Hanuszczak, S., and Gerencser, J.: Flight demonstration training of a hooded crane (Grus monachus). Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 26, No. 3 (1999), pp. 108-112. [International Crane Foundation, Baraboo, Wisconsin.]
Holland, G.: Captive breeding to save an endangered snipe. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 104, No. 4 (1998), pp. 145-147. [Coenocorypha aucklandica; article also printed in I.Z.N. 46:2, 117-119.]
Honegger, R.E.: Herstellung von künstlichen Ästen zur Verwendung als Epiphytenäste. (Making artificial branches for use with epiphyte plants.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 69, No. 2 (1999), pp. 133-136. [German, no English summary.]
Laubscher, C.: Musschenbroek's and emerald lorikeets: an introduction to the two representatives of the genus Neopsittacus. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 33, No. 2 (1999), pp. 47-55.
Laubscher, C.: Stanley parakeets. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 32, No. 12 (1998), pp. 411-415. [Platycercus icterotis.]
Lindsay, N.: Flamingos at Whipsnade. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 104, No. 3 (1998), pp. 100-101.
Ludes-Fraulob, E., and Anderson, J.R.: Behaviour and preferences among deep litters in captive capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus). Animal Welfare Vol. 8, No. 2 (1999), pp. 127-134. [A group was given a choice of four substrates - ground corn cob, wood chips, wood wool and peat. The corn cob proved the least attractive floor covering for the monkeys, while peat and wood wool were most attractive. Most instances of social contact occurred on the peat, due to the occurrence of communal peat-bathing, while wood wool afforded the most play. The provision of different litter types in different areas of an indoor enclosure is a simple means of providing a greater range of natural activities in captive primates, and probably also in other animals.]
Macklin, C.H.: Breeding of the royal parrot finch. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 104, No. 3 (1998), pp. 113-115. [Erythrura cyaneovirens regia; reprint of a 1935 article. See also Goodfellow, above.]
Maple, T.L.: Donald G. Lindburg: a decade of leadership and scholarship. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 1 (1999), pp. 3-4. [A tribute to Dr Lindburg on his retirement as editor of Zoo Biology.]
Mason, L.: The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project. Ratel Vol. 26, No. 1 (1999), pp. 32-34. [Report of a visit to the project on Phuket Island, Thailand.]
Meyer, W., and Kränzle, S.: Zur Bedeutung von Färbung und Zeichnung der Körperpole (Kopf und Analregion) bei Säugetieren. (The functions of coloration and markings of head and anal region in mammals.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 69, No. 3 (1999), pp. 159-187. [German, with brief English summary. The article documents the most important patterns in 14 orders of mammals, and explains them with regard to possible biological functions such as camouflage and inter- and intraspecific communication.]
Morrad, J., and Baverstock, B.: Birds on Mauritius. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 104, No. 4 (1998), pp. 157-160.
Odening, K., Stolte, M., and Bockhardt, I.: Einheimische Sarcocystis-Arten (Sporozoa) in exotischen Zoosäugetieren (Gayal, Cerviden, Cameliden, Ozelot). (Infection of exotic zoo mammals by indigenous Sarcocystis species.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 69, No. 2 (1999), pp. 109-125. [German, with English summary.]
Pittman, T.: An unforgettable experience with Lear's macaws at Toca Velha. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 33, No. 1 (1999), pp. 3-7. [Contains comments on in and ex situ conservation of Anodorhynchus leari and other blue macaws.]
Pittman, T.: The inauguration of the new base for the Projeto Arara Azul. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 33, No. 2 (1999), pp. 39-40. [An in situ conservation project for the hyacinth macaw in Brazil.]
Reason, R.: Successful rearing of a 10½-week-old orphaned giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) calf at Brookfield Zoo. Ratel Vol. 26, No. 2 (1999), pp. 52-54. [First published in Animal Keepers' Forum 26:2.]
Reburn, L.: A study of visual aids used as sources of inspiration for education in zoos. Ratel Vol. 26, No. 1 (1999), pp. 13-18.
Rehbein, S., Neubert, E., and Bienioschek, S.: Hämatologische und klinisch-chemische Untersuchung bei natürlich und bei mutterlos aufgewachsenen Damhirschen (Dama dama L.). 2. Mitt.: Klinisch-chemische Untersuchung im Blutplasma. (Haematological and biochemical research in naturally and artificially reared fallow deer. Part 2: blood plasma analysis.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 69, No. 2 (1999), pp. 89-108. [German, with English summary. The recorded differences in most biochemical parameters did not appear to affect the development of the deer.]
Reillo, P.R., Durand, S., and McGovern, K.A.: First sighting of eggs and chicks of the red-necked amazon parrot (Amazona arausiaca) using an intra-cavity video probe. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 1 (1999), pp. 63-70. [Using a mini-camera mounted on a telescoping pole to study natural nests in Dominican rainforest trees, two clutches were discovered in nesting cavities roughly 15 m from the ground. Information from these sightings is essential for quantifying the life history of this flagship species for Dominica's endangered rainforest ecosystem.]
Rinke, D.: News from Vogelpark Walsrode. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 104, No. 4 (1998), pp. 161-168.
Robertia, J.: The inception of a cooperative shifting conditioning program for bongo antelope. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 26, No. 4 (1999), pp. 151-153. [Dallas Zoo, Texas; four Tragelaphus euryceros were trained to respond to verbal cues during daily moves on and off exhibit.]
Rollinson, G., and Rollinson, A.: Hand rearing of infant and re-introduction into the colony of pygmy marmosets. Ratel Vol. 26, No. 1 (1999), pp. 20-23. [Marmoset and Tamarin Captive Breeding Centre, Oban, Scotland, U.K.]
Schifter, H.: Breeding records of Piciformes (barbets and toucans) in Germany and Austria. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 104, No. 4 (1998), pp. 148-151.
Schmid, M., and Baur, B.: Massnahmen zur Reduktion von Frassschäden an der Bepflanzung der neuen Freifluganlage für Breitbinden-Allfarbloris im Basler Zoo. (Measuring the reduction of damage to plants in Basel Zoo's new free-flight aviary for rainbow lorikeets.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 69, No. 2 (1999), pp. 82-88. [German, with English summary. The aviary is so designed that visitors can stroll amongst tropical plants to view free-flying lorikeets (Trichoglossus h. haematodus). A study was carried out to examine whether the offer of additional branches (cherry, elder, hornbeam and forsythia) reduces damage by the birds to the permanent plants. The results showed that additional branches attract the lorikeets and considerably reduce such damage. Recommendations are made concerning the type of branches and the best time of day to offer them to the lorikeets.]
Schmidt, C.R., and Weigl, R.: Hohe Lebensdauer beim Siamang, Symphalangus syndactylus. (Longevity of a siamang.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 69, No. 3 (1999), pp. 192-193. [German, with brief English summary. A female siamang at Frankfurt Zoo was euthanised due to general weakness at an estimated age of 40. She had given birth to 12 offspring and reared six; she successfully reared a daughter at 30 years old, and gave birth for the last time at 36, after which she was sterilised.]
Schofield, P.: A feral Alexandrine and other escapees. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 104, No. 3 (1998), pp. 116-117. [Psittacula eupatria and other escaped exotic birds in southern England.]
Schürer, U., and Kauffels, T.: Erste Nachzucht des Mittelamerikanischen Tapirs, Tapirus bairdii (Gill, 1865), im Zoologischen Garten Wuppertal. (First breeding of Baird's tapir at Wuppertal Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 69, No. 3 (1999), pp. 188-191. [German, with very brief English summary. The birth, in August 1998, was the first in a European zoo; the infant has been successfully mother-reared.]
Scott, C.: Brotogeris parakeets: a review of five species in this interesting genus. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 32, No. 11 (1998), pp. 372-376.
Spalton, J.A., Lawrence, M.W., and Brend, S.A.: Arabian oryx reintroduction in Oman: successes and setbacks. Oryx Vol. 33, No. 2 (1999), pp. 168-175. [By April 1990 there were over 100 oryx in the wild in Oman, independent of supplementary feed and water, and using a range of over 11,000 km2. At that time a new monitoring programme was implemented that allowed the transition from individual- to population-based monitoring and management. The population continued to grow and by October 1995 numbered c. 280 in the wild (of which 22 were surviving founders), and used over 16,000 km2 of the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary. However, in February 1996 poaching resumed and oryx were captured for sale as live animals outside the country. Despite the poaching the population continued to increase and by October 1996 was estimated to be just over 400. However, poaching intensified and continued through late 1996 and 1997. By September 1998 it had reduced the wild population to an estimated 138 animals, of which just 28 were females. The wild population was no longer considered viable and action was taken to rescue some of the remaining animals from the wild to form a captive herd.]
Sweeney, R.G.: First steps forward in the breeding of the plum-crowned pionus Pionus tumultuosus at Loro Parque. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 104, No. 3 (1998), pp. 102-105.
Sweeney, R.G.: Notes on an expedition to collect king penguin eggs. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 104, No. 4 (1998), pp. 169-179. [Article also printed in I.Z.N. 45:8, 487-494.]
Sweeney, R.G.: Notes on the breeding of red-fronted macaw (Ara rubrogenys) in aviculture. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 32, No. 12 (1998), pp. 417-420.
Sweetland, D.: Zoo keepers as naturalists. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 26, No. 3 (1999), pp. 117-119.
Thorbjarnarson, J., and Wang, X.: The conservation status of the Chinese alligator. Oryx Vol. 33, No. 2 (1999), pp. 152-159. [At one time the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) was widespread throughout much of the lower Yangtze River basin; today the remaining wild individuals are restricted to a small area in southern Anhui province and perhaps in adjacent Zhejiang. Population estimates conducted in the 1980s suggested that only 500-735 wild individuals remained at that time. Current figures suggest that the wild population is c. 400 and continues to decline. The principal factor contributing to this decline has been habitat loss, but deliberate killing and the heavy use of pesticides have also had significant negative effects. The current conservation programme in Anhui is based on captive breeding and the establishment of a reserve for small groups of wild alligators. However, the inferred recent decline in the size of the wild population suggests that the reserve design is inadequate for the long-term survival of alligators. Programmes to survey the status of the remaining wild populations and evaluate the feasibility of establishing new wild populations by reintroducing captive-bred animals are currently being developed.]
Touti, J., Oumellouk, F., Bowden, C.G.R., Kirkwood, J.K., and Smith, K.W.: Mortality incident in northern bald ibis Geronticus eremita in Morocco in May 1996. Oryx Vol. 33, No. 2 (1999), pp. 160-167. [In May 1996 there was an acute and dramatic mortality incident in the last remaining wild population of this critically endangered species, comprising only about 250 individuals on the Atlantic coast of southern Morocco. Over a period of ten days a total of 38 adult birds died or disappeared. Deaths, probably secondary to the loss of one or both parent birds, also occurred subsequently in six nestlings and one recent fledgling. The incident appeared to involve no other species. This paper describes the pattern of the incident, and pathological, microbiological and toxicological investigations and findings. Several features point to a toxic aetiology, but the cause of the incident has not been established.]
Walton, J.T.: The Stanley parakeet. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 32, No. 12 (1998), pp. 408-410. [Platycercus icterotis.]
Waters, S.A.: Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Centre. Ratel Vol. 26, No. 2 (1999), pp. 76-77. [Visitor's report.]
White, V.: Keeper exchange between Woburn Safari Park and Chessington World of Adventures. Ratel Vol. 26, No. 1 (1999), pp. 11-13.
Will, H., Hoffmann, M., and Grätz, U.: Chronologischer Abriss der Haltung, Zucht und Aufzucht von Krokodilschwanz-Höckerechsen (Shinisaurus crocodilurus) im Zoo Dresden. (Chronological summary of husbandry, breeding and rearing of Chinese crocodile lizard at Dresden Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 69, No. 2 (1999), pp. 126-132. [German, with brief English summary.]
Woodroffe, R., and Ginsberg, J.R.: Conserving the African wild dog Lycaon pictus. 1: Diagnosing and treating causes of decline. Oryx Vol. 33, No. 2 (1999), pp. 132-142. [Today c. 5,000 wild dogs remain in total, mostly in southern and eastern Africa. Because they live at very low densities, even `fragments' covering thousands of square kilometres may not support viable populations. Furthermore, packs often range beyond the borders of reserves, so even nominally protected populations are often subject to persecution, road accidents, snaring, and disease contracted from domestic dogs. Such edge effects mean that reserves smaller than c. 10,000 km2 will provide only incomplete protection. The highest priority for wild dog conservation, therefore, is to maintain and promote the contiguity of areas available to wildlife. Establishing cross-border parks and buffer zones, and encouraging game ranching on reserve borders, will all be beneficial. In smaller areas, protecting wild dogs requires that edge effects be mitigated by: (i) working with local farmers to limit persecution; (ii) controlling snaring; (iii) routing roads carrying high-speed traffic away from wildlife areas; and (iv) minimizing contact between wildlife and domestic dogs. Most of these measures will also benefit other wildlife.]
Woodroffe, R., and Ginsberg, J.R.: Conserving the African wild dog Lycaon pictus. 2: Is there a role for reintroduction? Oryx Vol. 33, No. 2 (1999), pp. 143-151. [Given an urgent need for population recovery, especially in West and central Africa, this paper discusses the possibilities for using reintroduction to re-establish wild dog populations. Reintroduction is probably now technically possible, as long as release groups include wild-caught animals; several past attempts failed because captive-reared animals lacked skills needed to survive in the wild. However, reintroduction has only a limited role to play in wild dog conservation. Ideally, it should involve animals of the appropriate local genotype. Limited genetic data indicate that wild dogs from West and central Africa may be distinct from those in eastern and southern Africa. Because there are no wild dogs with West or central African genotypes in captivity, and no wild populations in the region large enough to be harvested for translocation, future reintroductions might have to use animals with non-native genotypes. In addition, there appear to be no suitable sites for wild dog reintroduction in West or central Africa, and few in eastern and southern Africa. Releases currently planned in the Republic of South Africa will be locally valuable, but will not establish a population likely to remain viable without intensive management in perpetuity. For these reasons, protecting remaining wild dog populations currently represents a better investment than any attempt at reintroduction.]
Young, S.J.F., Huff, D.G., and Stephen, C.: A risk-management approach to a mycotic disease potential in captive beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas). Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 1 (1999), pp. 5-16. [In response to the isolation of Aspergillus fumigatus and other potentially pathogenic fungi in expired air from four of five captive beluga whales at Vancouver Aquarium, Canada, a systematic assessment of the magnitude and nature of the risks associated with this finding was conducted. Ten genera of ubiquitous fungi, most of which were potential pathogens, were isolated from the whales over a 16-month period. During this same period, the whales did not exhibit any behavioral, physical, hematological or biochemical indications of disease. All the genera of fungi isolated from the whales were also found in air and water samples taken throughout the facility. Opportunities for contamination of samples of expired air were identified. The final risk-management plan involved: (1) alterations to the management of the pool to reduce environmental contamination and opportunities for exposure to fungi, (2) more rigorous quality control for sample collection, and (3) an increased frequency of blowhole cultures. The animals at the facility, including a new-born calf, remained healthy during the three years after the risk management program.]
Zeliff, J.: When it was necessary to go against the grain: from natural exhibit to cage display. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 26, No. 4 (1999), pp. 146-148. [Silver Springs Wildlife Park, Florida; a beneficial move of a white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) group from a naturalistic island - liable to flooding - to a traditional cage.]
Zirpolo, K.: Keeper exchanges - a view from over the `pond'. Ratel Vol. 26, No. 1 (1999), pp. 10-11. [The author, a keeper at Zoo New England, Boston, U.S.A., reports on a month spent at Chessington, U.K., as part of a keeper exchange programme.]
Publishers of the periodicals listed:
Animal Keepers' Forum, American Association of Zoo Keepers, 635 S.W. Gage Boulevard, Topeka, Kansas 66606-2066, U.S.A.
Animal Welfare, Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead, Herts. AL4 8AN, U.K.
Avicultural Magazine, Avicultural Society, c/o Bristol Zoo, Bristol BS8 3HA, U.K.
Oryx, Blackwell Scientific Publications Ltd (for Fauna and Flora Preservation Society), Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0EL, U.K.
Parrot Society Magazine, Parrot Society, 108b Fenlake Road, Bedford MK42 0EU, U.K.
Penguin Conservation, 8060 Upper Applegate Road, Jacksonville, Oregon 97530, U.S.A.
Ratel, Association of British Wild Animal Keepers, 12 Tackley Road, Eastville, Bristol BS5 6UQ, U.K.
Zoo Biology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158, U.S.A.
Der Zoologische Garten, Gustav Fischer Verlag Jena GmbH, Villengang 2, D-07745 Jena, Germany.