International Zoo News Vol. 48/4 (No. 309) June 2001


OBITUARY – Dr Richard Faust


North American River Otters in European Zoos – a Husbandry Survey John Partridge and Sheila Sykes-Gatz

Water Displacement the African Way: a New Hippo Facility at Schönbrunn Zoo Harald M. Schwammer, Hermann Fast and Gaby V. Schwammer

Teachers' Evaluation of Zoo Education Stephen P. Woollard

Letter to the Editor

Book Reviews



Annual Reports

International Zoo News

Recent Articles

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Richard Faust, 1927–2000

Richard Faust was born on 24 June 1927 in Droemersheim/Rhine. He studied palaeontology, anthropology and zoology at the University of Mainz. On 15 April 1952 he became the first Assistant and Curator of Birds of Frankfurt Zoo's Director Dr Bernhard Grzimek. Among others he hand-raised 186 rheas, 21 ostriches, 27 emus, 52 ocellated turkeys and an Andean condor, as well as a polar bear. He not only raised all these animals, but published scientific papers and films on his observations. Another of his tasks was to keep the animal records.

In 1958 Dr Faust was promoted to Assistant Director, and in the same year he accompanied the first female okapi, named Safari, from the Belgian Congo to Germany. Safari and the male Epulu established the first continuing breeding of okapis in Germany. Together with Professor Grzimek, Dr Faust designed the Bird Halls that opened in 1961, and in 1978 the Grzimek House for nocturnal and diurnal small mammals. Both houses are still considered the best of their kind in Europe and show how visionary were the plans of this excellent team. A lot of first breeding successes for Europe or even worldwide were achieved, for example with the kiwi and both species of Picathartes.

From May 1974 until June 1992 Dr Faust was Director of Frankfurt Zoo. New zoo biological findings showed that the zoo's small size (11 hectares) was insufficient to allow it to keep some of the large mammals. Dr Faust therefore reduced the high number of species – even the keeping of such attractive animals as elephants (1986) or polar bears (1991) was terminated. In 1975 the first phase of an 80-hectare county zoo – the Niddazoo – was opened with the financial help of Frankfurt Zoological Society. It is difficult to understand that this Niddazoo was closed in 1987/88 for local political reasons. The vision of a new 200-hectare Eco-Zoo on another site will still need some years for realization.

Dr Faust was not only a zoo biologist, but became more and more an efficient and knowledgeable conservationist: he was a member of Germany's CITES board, and after Professor Grzimek's death in 1987 he succeeded him as President and Executive Director of Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS). The FZS is nowadays one of the three biggest zoo-based conservation organizations worldwide, with over 70 projects in more than 20 countries on four continents. Major long-term projects have been established, for example, in Germany, on the Galapagos Islands and in Tanzania, with a regional office in the Serengeti.

Dr Faust passed away on 11 November 2000. I admired not only his great knowledge in zoo biology and conservation, but also his quiet and effective work. Some 15 years ago when I returned from Ruanda to Zürich I informed him of rumours that an animal dealer had smuggled mountain gorillas into Germany. Only some two hours later he called me saying that a police action could not find the animals. That was his way: working hard for the sake of animals without speaking many words.

Dr Christian R. Schmidt, Director, Frankfurt Zoo, and Vice-President, FZS.

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A `Husbandry Survey for North American River Otters (Lontra canadensis)' held in European zoos was conducted by John Partridge of Bristol Zoo Gardens (U.K.) in 2000. Sheila Sykes-Gatz compiled the survey results. The five-page questionnaire covered historical and current census data (see Table 1), enclosure design and furnishings, environmental and behavioural enrichment, diet, breeding and management, hand-rearing, new mate introductions, and post-mortem data. The results of this survey are reported below. Nine of the thirteen institutions surveyed responded. The responding institutions were as follows: Baby-Zoo Wingst (Germany), Banham Zoo (U.K.), Basel Zoo (Switzerland), Bristol Zoo (U.K.), Drusillas Zoo Park (U.K.), Novosibirsk Zoopark (Russia), Paradise Park (Hayle, U.K.), Wildpark Eekholt (Germany), and Zoo de la Flèche (France). The invaluable information that was provided by the survey respondents (see Acknowledgements) helped make this paper possible. Within the following sections, each institution surveyed is credited for specific information contributed. This report is not intended to set standards for the care of North American river otters, rather it is meant to provide an overview of the current husbandry, management, census data and reproductive history of this species in European zoos. It is hoped that it will stimulate communication and information-sharing among all institutions holding North American river otters.

(1) Enclosure design, furnishings, and environmental/behavioural enrichment

The zoos surveyed provided information on the following: enclosure size, land-to-water ratio, exhibit land and pool design, containment barriers, indoor housing and dens, and otter access times to the exhibit. Also included are land and pool furnishings (e.g. substrates, vegetation, furniture), environmental and behavioural enrichment, indoor housing design, den furnishings, shelters, sleeping box/nestbox design, and grooming/bedding materials.

Baby-Zoo Wingst. The outdoor exhibit measures 13 m ΄ 13 m including the pool which is approximately 6 m ΄ 13 m. The exhibit containment barrier is 1.45 m high and is composed of a 0.8 m high wall and a 0.65 m high fence extending above the wall. An electric wire is positioned on the containment barrier wall (0.8 m high) and extends 0.1 m outward from the side of the wall. An `otter house with two separations' adjoins the side of the exhibit. The otters are only locked inside when the keeper is cleaning the exhibit. The enclosure land area has soil, sand, and plentiful natural vegetation including bushes and trees. A shelter, separate den, and small waterfall are included within the exhibit. Hay is provided in the nestboxes. A play ball is also given.

Banham Zoo. The outdoor exhibit measures approximately 17.7 m ΄ 14 m and has a 65% land to 35% water ratio. Three smaller pools surround the front of the main pool and a waterfall adjoins the main pool at the rear. The exhibit containment barriers include 1.48 m high back and side walls and a front and side moat measuring 1.9 m ΄ 0.55 m. There is no overhang on the containment barriers or electric fencing. The main house adjacent to the enclosure measures 1.14 m ΄ 1.14 m ΄ 1.72 m. The exhibit contains a large mature oak tree with a hollow burrowed into the roots and a dead oak tree with a burrow between its roots. The enclosure is grassed over and contains some rocks. A wooden house/box measuring 0.75 m ΄ 0.5 m is placed within the exhibit. The pair sleep in the wooden house. Shavings are provided in the house (for a toilet area) and straw is provided in the nestbox (shredded paper has been used in the past). Occasionally sprats are scattered into the pool and ice blocks (with or without fish frozen into them) are given.

Basel Zoo. The outdoor exhibit (formerly a brown bear enclosure) contains two-thirds land area to one-third water area, and the inside housing area measures 4 m ΄ 2 m. Staff emphasize that a large land area is important. The containment barrier walls are 3–4 m high. Otters have access to the outdoor exhibit all of the time. The outdoor enclosure contains wooden bark chips, sand, concrete, a wooden platform, many dead fir trees on land (which are renewed/exchanged), trees, hollow roots, rocks, and cut dead trees in the pool. Three breeding boxes lined with straw and equipped with heat lamps are provided in the enclosure (see breeding box description in Breeding and management section). Straw is provided in the litter boxes of the concrete indoor housing area.

Bristol Zoo. The 12 m ΄ 18 m outdoor exhibit connects to an additional off-exhibit indoor housing area/hut measuring 4.25 m ΄ 1.8 m. A small corner of a large lake and an artificial pool that is 1.5 m at its deepest point are contained within the exhibit. The exhibit has a 65:35 land-to-water ratio. A gentle slope continuing all the way round the artificial pool's edge creates shallow water areas (designed to aid cubs learning to swim). The much deeper lake area has steep sides, so large tree trunks were placed in the lake spanning to its edge, providing cubs who fall or are taken into the water with a safe and easy way out. The artificial pool is filtered using a biological system, the water returning to the pool via a waterfall. The 2 m high containment barrier is constructed of glass panel sections (each measuring 2 m2) along the enclosure's front and part of one side, a solid wall at the exhibit's back and along part of one side, and a 1.1 m high wall on the other side. Perspex sheeting is fitted to the top of the 1.1 m high wall, overlapping the top of the inside of the wall to complete the total height of 2 m. The glass viewing windows and shrubs planted behind the perspex give the overall feeling of a well-planted open enclosure. The otter entrance ways to the inside/outdoor enclosure have sliding shift doors which are operated from the keepers' part of the hut, so that the whole area can be worked without going in with the animals. (Otters are locked in the hut every morning before the keepers clean the exhibit.)

A 2 m high large soil mound with growing grass is at the enclosure's centre. Placed through the mound are large-diameter (30 cm) drainage pipes, one set at ground level and the other about half-way up. The otters use these pipes quite a lot. The pipes increase the opportunity for overall enclosure use and are ideal for hiding food inside and general play activity. They also provide an additional sleeping/resting area. The height of the mound enables the otters to get up to a higher level, and it is occasionally used as a lookout across the lake. In wet weather, especially, it is used as a slide. A small shelter/box (in which an otter can be locked) is placed at the far end of the enclosure, well away from the (breeding) hut. This is done to provide the male with a sleeping/resting area that is as remote as possible from the female, as she is aggressive towards him when she is raising cubs (see Breeding and management, below). Four different types of substrate are deliberately used: grass (including the soil mound), which was initially covered with wire mesh to discourage digging (with limited success!), bark chippings, sand and small stones/pebbles to form a beach-like setting alongside the lake. All four substrates are used regularly by the otters and are occasionally replaced when necessary. The enclosure also includes natural foliage, rocks, and large gravel. Daily scatter feeds and whole rabbits (etc., see Diet) are provided for additional behavioural enrichment.

The indoor housing is a 4.25 m ΄ 1.8 m hut situated behind the containment wall at the back of the exhibit. Two entrance holes in the exhibit wall lead to the hut. The hut contains two sets of sleeping/breeding boxes as well as a small wire run connected to the larger box, and a keeper area. A hay/straw mixture is offered as a nesting material. (See the notes on sleeping/breeding box design in Breeding and management.) Keepers enter the hut from a service area behind the enclosure and there is a safety porch entrance system (the keepers' area of the hut also contains another door that accesses the exhibit).

Drusillas Zoo Park. The outdoor enclosure is approximately 25 m ΄ 10 m, with the land area covering two-thirds of the exhibit and the pool area one-third. The 1.8 m containment barrier fence has a 30 cm overhang, electric wire (220–240 volts, 50HZ, 3W), and four window viewing areas. A rocky covered entrance within the exhibit leads to a 1.5 m ΄ 1.2 m holt positioned adjacent to the exhibit. Two keeper doors (one with a window) access the holt. A high window and a mirror placed at an angle allow the public to see the otters resting. Two keeper entrance doors with secondary containment `safe areas' are placed at two exhibit ends (securing access to the holt as well). The otters have access to the exhibit 24 hours per day.

The enclosure contains trees, grassy land, an area of wood-bark chips, a waterfall, a hill, stones and rocks. Straw and wood shavings are used for bedding in the holt and the otters also bring in grass themselves. For additional enrichment food is hung in the trees, balls are filled with food, food is thrown into the water, boxes are filled with food and straw, and insects are scattered about the exhibit for foraging food.

Novosibirsk Zoopark. The outdoor exhibit is an enclosed system composed of three adjoining enclosures connected with passages to the adjacent enclosures. The average area of each enclosure is 70 m2. The 1.3 otters move freely about the area and have access to the entire exhibit all the time. The exhibit land-to-water ratio is 3:1 and the pool is 1.5 m deep. The enclosure containment barriers are made of metal wire fencing with 2 cm ΄ 2 cm mesh. Electric fencing is not used.

The enclosures have a sand floor with patches of green grass (in the summer) and turf. Trees and bushes also grow within the exhibit. The enclosures are furnished with a variety of logs, stumps, branches, snags and stones, and the pools have small logs and floating rafts. The otters enjoy swimming around and playing on/with the small logs and rafts floating in the water. They also like to play with the branches and snags on land. The enclosures have dens and nestboxes. In the winter sawdust is used in the den for insulation against heat loss. Hay is spread around near the dens for use when grooming and is provided all year round. Nestboxes are furnished with hay all year round. The nestboxes are made of one- or two-celled portable dens.

Paradise Park. The outdoor enclosure is approximately 75 m2 and has a 90:10 land-to-water ratio. The containment barriers are composed of 2.1 m high block walls (with no overhangs or electric fence) and three glass viewing windows at the exhibit's front. Otters have access to the enclosure all year around. The enclosure is covered with grass and has planted conifer trees and bamboo. Hay, straw, and reeds are provided for bedding materials. There are many logs in the ponds. The otters are fed by hand (i.e. food is thrown to them) twice a day for a public show.

Wildpark Eekholt. The park's three separate outdoor enclosures measure 528 m2, 240 m2 and 264 m2. The fence containment barriers have overhangs and electric wiring. Each enclosure's pool has a continual fresh flow of water. Each enclosure contains two or three wooden nestboxes and a separate shelter (with a lid). Otters have access to the entire exhibit all the time. The enclosures are a natural habitat and contain soil, grass, trees, bushes, dead wood, stones and large pool rocks. A large tree trunk forms a bridge over one pool (where the pool narrows). Straw is provided for bedding material in the shelters and nestboxes.

Zoo de la Flèche. The outdoor exhibit dry land area measures approximately 7.5 m ΄ 4 m, and the pool is 6 m in diameter and 2 m deep. The containment barriers consist of concrete walls with at least six large glass viewing windows. The nestbox in the indoor housing is tiled and contains three partitions each measuring 60 cm ΄ 90 cm ΄ 110 cm high. Natural substrate covers the exhibit and bamboo stands are planted in at least four areas of the enclosure. The terrain has different levels, with the highest spot just in front of the pool. There are many large logs on land and small logs floating in the pool. Straw is provided in the nestboxes.

(2) Diet

All the institutions offered fish, but otherwise the diets varied widely. The nine institutions responded as follows:

Baby-Zoo Wingst

Morning: 500 g river fish each.

Afternoon: approx. 500 g chicken each.

Daily: two pullets [young chickens] each with two fish-eater tablets.

Twice a week: carrots and/or apples.

Banham Zoo

Morning: two day-old chicks each.

Mid-afternoon (main feed): 500 g sprats and one chicken/turkey poult leg (250 g approx.) each.

Carnivore supplement given daily.

Basel Zoo

Fed three times a day, especially mice and fish – approx. 25 mice or 15 fish per day per animal.

Bristol Zoo

Fed three times a day at 8.30, 12.00 and 16.00 hours. Feeding increased to four times daily (8.15, 11.00, 14.00 and 16.30) when the female was nursing babies.

Morning: usually chicks and sprats (hidden around enclosure for behaviour enrichment).

Mid-day: fish – herring and mackerel, and very occasionally trout (scattered around enclosure).

Afternoon: meat and sometimes chicks or mice (scattered around enclosure).

Occasionally: once every four or five weeks whole rabbits (one per otter).

Sometimes offered: rats, pigeons, raw eggs, dog biscuits and Zoo Diet A. Otters have caught and eaten ducks and sea gulls that strayed into the enclosure.

Drusillas Zoo Park

Following food for two otters:

Monday: a.m., two adult rats; p.m., two large trout.

Tuesday: a.m., not fed; p.m., two large mackerel.

Wednesday: a.m., two pigeons; p.m., 700 g raw horse meat and six small sprats.

Thursday: a.m., half rabbit each; p.m., two trout.

Friday: a.m., two adult rats; p.m., two trout.

Saturday: a.m., two rats; p.m., 700 g raw horse meat and six sprats.

Sunday: a.m., two trout; p.m., two mackerel.

Novosibirsk Zoopark

Fed twice a day (three times if temperature is below 10° C).

Noon feed: 200–300 g fish each.

Evening feed/s: meat products (beef, liver, heart and lungs with bones, fat etc. removed) are cut into 100–150 g pieces. Each animal is offered 700–800 g of these meat products in summer and 1000 g in winter, and an egg. If temperature is below –10° C the meat products are divided into two feeds at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. When temperature is below –15° C the portion is increased by 20–30%.

Vitamin supplements are given daily.

Paradise Park

Daily diet as follows (for 1.2 otters):

Morning: 15 day-old chicks, 800 g whiting.

Evening: 18 chicks, 225 g whiting, 225 g heart, 170 g liver, three-quarters of a rabbit.

Offered trout (one medium-sized fish each) one day a week.

Wildpark Eekholt

Fed two or three times a day, 750–1000 g per animal per day.

Offered different types of fish, chicks, minced meat enriched with vegetable, mineral powder, vitamins and liver oil.

Zoo de la Flèche

Fed three times a day. Fish are especially fed in the morning and at mid-day, and the most substantial part of the diet is offered in the evening.

Diet offered: 80% fish (native freshwater fish), 18% meat/chicken, and 2% carrots, apples and other fruits. The otters are given live fish (roach and carp) regularly.

(3) Breeding and management

Four of the nine institutions surveyed (Basel Zoo, Bristol Zoo, Wildpark Eekholt, and Novosibirsk Zoopark) reported births. The other five reported no breeding, although two of them have observed mating. Specific breeding information and management for breeding used at each institution applicable are discussed below. Topics include breeding census data (i.e. birth dates, sexes, survivorship [survived beyond weaning]), mating seasons, litter size, and body weights of cubs. Also discussed are parental and cub-rearing behaviour, removal and reintroduction of the sire, cub development, keeper care, breeding/cub management, removal of cubs from parents, and enclosure furnishing/design used to facilitate successful breeding/cub rearing (e.g. breeding box designs, shelter placement, gently sloping pool sides, shallow pool areas). Partridge (1997) presents extensive details from Bristol Zoo on many of these issues.

Baby-Zoo Wingst. Reports no breeding as yet and the male is not removed from the enclosure. No other breeding management information is reported.

Banham Zoo. Comments that their very old pair is still mating but they have had no offspring. Their mated pair's birth dates are unknown, although the male arrived at Banham in 1983 and the female in 1984. No other breeding management information is reported.

Basel Zoo. Seventeen animals from seven litters have been born, as follows:

18 February 1983 – 1.1 born / 1.1 survived

19 February 1987 – 1.1 born / 1.1 survived

3 April 1992 – 0.2 born / 0.2 survived

23 March 1994 – 1.2 born / 1.2 survived

21 March 1997 – 0.2 born / 0.2 survived

22 March 1997 – 1.3 born / 1.3 survived

19 March 1999 – 0.2 born / 0.2 survived

Reports variability in breeding. Breeding has occurred yearly, every second year, or occasionally at longer intervals. Their otters started to breed at two to three years of age. All cubs were born in February, March, or April. Their average litter size is 2–3 and the litter size ranged from 2 to 4. The cubs have been parent-reared and hand-reared (see Hand-rearing, below).

Previously, in a former enclosure, the male was removed from the female, although now he is left with her in the bigger enclosure. The male was closed in his individual den when the female was still very aggressive, to provide him with relief and protection. When the female was not aggressive, all dens, including the male's, remained open to provide complete access for all individuals. The young are dispersed at ten months of age or older.

The breeding box is made of three joined wooden box compartments, and each compartment has one glass pane and a wire-mesh door. There are four round entrance holes (two of which are at the box ends) to access each box compartment. The enclosure contains three breeding boxes, each of which is filled with straw and equipped with heating lamps.

Bristol Zoo. Three litters were born:

5 April 1996 – 1.2 born / 1.2 survived

3 April 1998 – 1.0 born / 1.0 survived

5 April 2000 – 0.2 born / 0.2 survived

The zoo's otters breed every second year. Cubs were always born in April and the litter size ranged from one to three (one additional cub of the last litter was stillborn). The male is not removed from the enclosure and the young are parent-reared. (See below for female aggression towards the male during cub-rearing.) The young are removed from the parents at seven to eight months.

The inside housing area/hut contains two sets of sleeping/breeding boxes. The breeding boxes have sliding doors fitted to the first entrance holes – each hole measuring 28 cm high by 25 cm wide – so that the boxes can be isolated. One breeding box is divided into two compartments and the other into three. (The zoo is planning to refurbish the breeding areas and renew the boxes. Experience has shown that it would be better if each compartment could be isolated using a closing door). Each box compartment is 0.6 m wide ΄ 0.6 m long. Each box compartment is serviced from the top via a hinged lid, and set within the lid is another much smaller (25 cm ΄ 20 cm) hatch with a wire cover fixed immediately below it. This system enables the otter to be shut into the box where, by opening the small hatch, it can be visually examined or, if necessary, darted through the mesh panel. Also, these boxes can be removed from the hut, complete with otter, if required, and therefore double as a catching/transportation facility. (The present design allows for the whole box to be removed; a new design will allow for just one section to be taken away). A hay/straw mixture is offered for nesting material.

A small shelter/box (into which an otter can be locked) is placed at the far end of the enclosure, well away from the (breeding) hut. This is done to provide the male with a sleeping/resting area that is as remote as possible from the female, as she is aggressive towards him when she is raising cubs. She would not allow him into the hut, even with the additional sleeping box there. The male slept in the pipes within the soil mound and in the shelter for at least the first 84 days after the cubs were born.

The article `North American river otters at Bristol Zoo' (Partridge, 1997) provides further details on mating seasons, parental and cub-rearing behaviour, cub development, keeper care, breeding/cub management, and enclosure furnishing/design used to facilitate successful breeding at Bristol Zoo.

Drusillas Zoo Park. Reported no breeding, and breeding has not been encouraged because their pair are siblings. The male is not removed from the enclosure. No other breeding management information is reported.

Novosibirsk Zoopark. Reported that their pair had one litter in 1990:

18 March 1990 – 0.3 born / 0.3 survived

The pups weighed 450 g, 450 g, and 470 g at ten days of age. The male was removed immediately after delivery because the female `grew restless'. He was not reintroduced to the mother with young. All the cubs were mother-reared. The young were removed at five months of age to an enclosure distant from that of their mother.

`Parallelepiped-shaped boxes' made of wood are offered as breeding boxes. A wooden passage adjoins to the box's entry hole to protect the female from draught and intrusive attention.

Paradise Park. Reports no breeding. The male is not removed from the enclosure. No other breeding management information is reported.

Wildpark Eekholt. Reported one litter born:

5 April 2000 – 1.2 born / 0.2 survived (1.0 died 12 June 2000, possibly by drowning)

The male was removed from the enclosure, but at all other times the pair are housed together. The young are mother-reared. One breeding box is described as a one-metre wooden box furnished with straw bedding.

Zoo de la Flèche. Reports no breeding, although their pair was seen mating many times at the end of April 2000. The male is not removed from the enclosure. No other breeding management information is reported.

(4) Breeding/genetic overview in Europe

This overview seems to support reasoning that further research (e.g. regional studbook) is needed in order to facilitate the responsible genetic management of the European captive population.

Baby-Zoo Wingst. Animals received as adults from same location (Canada, 1989) and at the same date. Not known if they are related. No breeding – animals are old.

Banham Zoo. Animals are most likely unrelated, but no breeding. Both are old.

Basel Zoo. Good breeding results from unrelated animals.

Bristol Zoo. Good breeding results from unrelated animals.

Drusillas Zoo Park. Siblings, no breeding seen. Both are at least 13 years old.

Novosibirsk Zoopark. Had successful breeding in 1990. Parent relationship unclear. (Both arrived from Canada on the same date in 1989). New male arrived in 1991 to replace old sire who had died, but no breeding has occurred since then.

Paradise Park. Currently hold 1.2 siblings (born Bristol, 1996). Male to be exchanged for unrelated animal.

Wildpark, Eekholt. Relationship of the otters held here is not clear. Recent breeding in 2000.

Zoo de la Flèche. Pair not related. Mating seen in April 2000.

(5) Hand-rearing cubs

Only one of the nine zoos surveyed had hand-reared cubs. Their report follows:

Basel Zoo. Three cubs were hand-reared because their mother died shortly after giving birth.

Milk Formula:

210 g herrings

4½ spoons milk powder (AL 110)

1½ tablets Benerva (thiamine)

½ spoon vitamin supplement (Combi Feline)

210 ml water and double quantity of Esbilac milk (lactose-free).

Milk formula is pressed through a sieve and gauze to remove herring bones. If babies develop diarrhoea, porridge or wet rice is added to their diet. Cubs were fed every two to four hours until 18 days old, when feeding intervals were gradually increased.

(6) Introduction of new mates

Three of the nine zoos surveyed introduced new pairs. Their reports follow:

Basel Zoo. Both individuals are allowed to explore the outdoor exhibit separately. As well, they are provided adjacent boxes inside so that they can see, smell, and hear each other before they are put in together for full contact.

Paradise Park. They have holding pens adjoining the main enclosure. Wire-mesh doors measuring 30 cm ΄ 30 cm enable animals to see each other in adjoining enclosures. The doors are opened when an introduction is to take place.

Wildpark Eekholt. Reports that introducing new pairs is very difficult. The otters are first kept separately for several weeks, but have visual contact at this time. `An approach of both otters is attempted when they are fed properly and under control.' They report that these attempts often fail.

(7) Post-mortem data

Four zoos have reported deaths and their causes. They are as follows:

Basel Zoo. Reported six deaths due to the following:

1. Chronic myocarditis and glomerulonephritis. Female. Age at death: 11 years 2 months.

2. Angiostrongylus vasorum (French heartworm) infection. Female. Age at death: 1 year 2 months ± 2 months.

3. Abscess in a molar tooth and exhaustion. Female. Age at death: 9 years 2 months.

4. Glomerulonephritis and lymphosarcoma (?). Male. Age at death: 8 years 8 months ± 6 months.

5. Arteriosclerosis and myocardial infarction. Female. Age at death: 14 years 8 months ± 6 months.

6. Killed by a grey heron.

Novosibirsk Zoopark. Reported two deaths:

1. Inflammation of the bowels. Adult male.

2. Poisoning. Female, aged nine years.

Wildpark Eekholt. Reported two deaths:

1. Drowning (probably). Male cub, aged two months.

2. Attack by white-tailed sea eagle.

Zoo de la Flèche. Reported one death:

1. Parvovirus infection. Female, aged two years.


The information provided by respondents to the husbandry survey helped to make this paper possible. Their invaluable contributions and time are greatly appreciated. The survey respondents are listed below by institution: Baby-Zoo Wingst, Fritz Bechinger; Banham Zoo, Mike Woolham; Basel Zoo, B. Steck and F. Salz; Bristol Zoo, John Partridge; Drusillas Zoo Park, Sue Woodgate (Curator); Novosibirsk Zoopark, Rostislav A. Shilo (Director); Paradise Park, Dale Jackson; Wildpark Eekholt, Dr E. Schettler; Zoo de la Flèche, Cyril Hoe (Animal Dept. Manager).


Partridge, J. (1997): North American river otters at Bristol Zoo. International Zoo News 44 (8), pp. 466–472.

John Partridge, Head of Mammals, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Bristol BS8 3HA, U.K. E-mail:

Sheila Sykes-Gatz, Affiliate of Philadelphia Zoo and Dortmund Zoo and otter keeper, Cimbernstrasse 1, 44263 Dortmund, Germany. (E-mail: )

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Hippopotamuses are the heavyweights of Africa: although they only reach a height of 165 cm, they can tip the scales at up to 3,200 kg. They spend the day in shallow water and are perfectly adapted to an aquatic life. They can also be quite aggressive and, in Africa, accidents after unexpected encounters with humans are frequent. This explains their reputation as dangerous wildlife among the native population.

Schönbrunn Zoo, Vienna, Austria, has a long and successful tradition in keeping and breeding hippos. The historic hippo facility was bombed in World War II and reconstructed shortly thereafter. But toward the late 1990s its appearance and infrastructure had become outdated, and in 1996 the decision was made to enlarge the existing outdoor enclosure from 380 m2 to 900 m2. The erection of stone barriers was a courageous and interesting solution that provided a clear view of the animals. As in the case of the cheetahs, large parts of the visitor area were re-dedicated to better serve the animals' needs, yielding new earth, mud and grass surfaces. At that time, glass panels at two places in the facility provided an opportunity for visitors to experience the hippos up close.

Spring 2000 marked the start of extensive reconstruction and remodelling work on the building. The aim was to give the animals more space, to provide an optimally designed enclosure for the cold winter season, and to provide the visitors with entirely new vantage points.

In December 2000 the animals were finally able to set foot in the fully remodelled indoor facility and to claim the pool as theirs. The technical facility had already been switched on for a trial run. The former gloomy, sterile atmosphere along with its dirty water was replaced by a sunlit indoor enclosure that recreated natural scenery. The animals not only accepted their new `fitness centre', but began to show an amazing increase in activity that was sustained over the whole day.

Hippos are true aquatic animals that spend up to 18 hours a day under water. They actually prefer to `walk' underwater rather than on land. This prompted the zoo to increase the pool size to 200 m3. A large glass pane enables visitors to observe the `secret' life of hippos underwater as well. This window into another world turned out to be an attraction not only for the visitors; unexpectedly, it animated the hippos to turn the tables and observe the outside world.

The necessary cleaning and purification of the water, which is maintained at a temperature of about 20° C, required the construction of a new basement area filled to the brim with technical equipment.

The technology of the hippo house

Along with the construction work and redesigning measures, the renovation of the hippo house included the installation of an all-new technological facility.

The hippo house is heated by means of static heating surfaces. In addition to the general room heating system, the terrestrial part of the facility is equipped with floor heating. This serves less to heat the facility than to maintain the appropriate surface temperature for the animals. The installation of an effective ventilation system with heat recovery yielded a major improvement. Its hourly capacity of 6,000 m3 provides a more pleasant atmosphere.

The most important and sophisticated new feature is the filter system for the pool. Hippos defecate in the water, which quickly dirties the pool and reduces visibility to zero. The installation of a powerful filter system keeps the water clean enough to provide a clear underwater view of the animals.

The water intakes are positioned at several levels in the pool (floor, wall) and include spill-over water (surface films). This is pumped to the first-stage separator. A screen conveyor removes most of the faeces and food remains and automatically dumps them into a container. This pre-cleaned water is then collected in an equalizing tank, from which it is pumped through four parallel sand pressure filters. These filters mechanically remove the fine particles. Their efficiency can be boosted by controlled injections of flocculation media into the water prior to filtration.

After the mechanical cleaning, ozone is added to the water in a mixing tank. The dissolved substances in the water are oxidized and disinfected in a large reaction container. Monitoring equipment guarantees that no ozone remains in the returning water. After passing through the filter system, the water flows into a heatable heat exchanger in order to provide the desired water temperature. The cleaned water enters the pool through inflow jets at several levels located diagonally to the outflow openings.

Technical data of the filter system:

Pumping capacity: 200 m3/h

Sand pressure filter: 4 filter tanks with a diameter of 1.5 m, yielding a filter surface of 6.7 m2

Filter speed: ca. 28 m/h

Ozone unit: max. 240 g/h

The design and construction of the filter system for the hippo pool went hand in hand with lengthy deliberations. The first few months of the trial run have proven the validity of these considerations. The rapid dirtying of the water requires a very high recirculation rate in the facility. The recirculation capacity of 200 m3/h allows the entire water volume of the pool to pass through the filter every hour. This is sufficient to provide clear visibility. Beyond the total recirculation capacity, a key factor is a good and complete flow through the pool.

After successful experiments with the filter system in the seal house, a special noise reduction system was installed for the hippo house filter system. Operating pumps tend to transmit vibrations along with sound waves into the pool through concrete floors as well as piping. Mounting the pumps on rubber dampers and equipping the piping system with rubber elements dramatically reduced the noise pollution. Based on these experiences, Schönbrunn initiated a research project that examines and quantifies the acoustic pollution under water and will provide suitable technical solutions.

The maintenance of the filters is a time-consuming process for the staff, because all filters must be backwashed two to four times per day. This takes several hours. This effort is extremely important and, along with the sophisticated technical facilities, guarantees clean water and visibility for hippo and visitor alike.

Not only has the water volume been increased, but the land area has been doubled. This allows the visitor to experience the hippos up close, for example during feeding, separated only by a glass panel. Thanks to the three large glass walls, the sun shines into the hippo house during the winter months as well as in summer. This allows the hippos to peacefully sun themselves even in sub-zero outdoor temperatures.

Finally, an informative exhibition provides interesting details about the life of hippos.

The zoo education approach

An interesting and educational exhibit provides detailed information about how hippos live. The goal was to reach the full range of visitors, to address their many contrasting interests, and to motivate them to more fully perceive and enjoy the animals on display. In an age where we are bombarded with acoustic and visual effects from childhood on, the idea was to provide a visually satisfying display.

A treasure trove of experience in the field of zoo education was applied in setting up this special exhibition on hippos. This is already reflected in the selection of topics. Thus, many of the most frequently asked visitors' questions are addressed and presented in a clear and vivid manner.

The topics selected by the Zoo Education Department include:

`Flusspferd or Nilpferd' – A play on two German words for hippos, the latter being an incorrect term coined because the first hippos to reach Europe happened to come from the Nile region.

`Giant and dwarf' – This title very clearly and concisely compares the common hippopotamus with the pygmy hippo.

`Battle of the titans' – Hippos are social animals and live in groups. Nonetheless, the territorial fights between two bulls are an impressive sight indeed. These fight scenes are very effectively rendered by the artist Martin Huxter.

`Four-legged lawnmower' – This slogan describes the feeding behaviour of these particularly voracious herbivores.

`Tender loving care' – Beautiful photos and drawings illustrate the care the mother shows in raising the baby hippo from birth on.

`Rapture of the senses' – Well-designed displays compare the sensory perception of selected representatives of the animal kingdom.

Univ.-Prof. Dr Erich Thenius was instrumental in creating a striking representation of the evolution and distribution of hippos. Today's trend towards reducing texts requires writers to forsake overly scientific topics and to concentrate on the essential. The photo selection process and title texts rely heavily on `eye catchers', the motto being `keep it short and simple'. Moreover, the zoo's didactic approach involves interactive elements designed for youngsters; conspicuous and eye-catching are the key words here as well. This comprehensive exhibition, which deals with important topics such as nature conservation and environmental protection, was developed in close cooperation with the graphic artist Bert Ilsinger.

Our beautiful wooden benches invite the visitor to take a seat and either relax, observe the hippos or read the information. A small jungle of plants provides an enjoyable atmosphere for visitors and animals alike.

After a test run with full visitor access, the hippo house was officially inaugurated and named in honour of Schönbrunn Zoo's first post-world-war director, Julius Brachetka.

Harald M. Schwammer, Vice Director, Hermann Fast, Curator of Technique and Construction, and Gaby V. Schwammer, Head of Zoo Education Department, Schönbrunn Zoo, Maxingstrasse 13B, A-1130 Wien, Austria.

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Dear Sir,

Maarten de Ruiter's suggestion in I.Z.N. 48:2 (p. 104, Letters to the Editor) to protect endangered species via commercialisation at first sight sounds logical, although not brand-new. Why shouldn't bears as well as cattle, pigs or, latterly, ostriches be killed and utilized by humans? The more so as this wouldn't just meet the human demand for meat consumption, but also the big objective of species conservation.

Unfortunately, though, this suggestion is just as ineligible as it seems at first sight to be interesting. Even if we disregard national legislations concerning the killing of animals, and ethical aspects (animal welfare groups would impetuously attack the zoos), the major obstacle would be species conservation itself. Conservationists have learned from grievous experiences that liberalizing the utilization of products of endangered species (and this also includes the meat of these animals) leads inevitably to the smuggling of similar products stemming from illegal trade. Endangered species and their habitats will only be saved if we combat the evil at its base and inhibit poaching, superstition, illegal trade and greed for gain, and thus the `utilization' of these species – both animals and plants – in total. But information, education and conservation measures cost a lot of money. The (unfortunately still existing) lack of money may in part be remedied by zoos from their animal collections – not, though, by killing and subsequently utilizing animals, but by improving the information given to visitors and actively raising funds. Just imagine a zoo on one hand informing visitors about the EAZA bushmeat campaign, and on the other hand explaining to them that the tiger or turtle next door will be killed to convert them into money! In this case the end doesn't justify the means.

I am writing these lines at the foot of the temples of Angkor Wat, where we will soon be constructing the `Angkor Conservation and Biodiversity Center' (ACBC) to contribute to the conservation of Cambodian wildlife. And although I know that we will again suffer a permanent lack of money, none of the animals in Münster Zoo or any other zoo will be killed. Even the elephant tusk lying on my desk cannot be sold, although this would be the logical consequence of Maarten de Ruiter's notions. (Some years ago, a well-known European zoo director lost his job as a result of a similar approach. . .)

Yours sincerely,

H. Jörg Adler,

Allwetterzoo Münster,

Sentruper Straße 315,

48161 Münster,


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HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD: Volume 6 – MOUSEBIRDS TO HORNBILLS edited by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott and Jordi Sargatal. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, 2001. 589 pp., 45 colour plates, 385 colour photos, hardback. ISBN 84–87334–30X. £110.00 from specialist bookshops or directly from the publishers, Lynx Edicions, Passeig de Gràcia 12, 08007 Barcelona, Spain (Tel: +34–93–301–0777; Fax: +34–93–302–1475; E-mail: ; Internet: ). (For prices in other currencies please check with the publishers.)

THREATENED BIRDS OF THE WORLD edited by Alison J. Stattersfield, David R. Capper et al. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, 2000. xii + 852 pp., hardback. ISBN 0–946888–39–6. £70.00.

There is something inspiring about the concept of a multi-volume work of reference whose publication spans years or decades. Those who undertake such a project have something in common with the cathedral builders of medieval Europe – inspired by a dream, they are willing to devote the rest of their lives, if necessary, to the task of turning it into reality. With six volumes completed, the editors of the Handbook of the Birds of the World must long have lost any doubts they may once have had about the viability of their project; it has been a triumph almost without equal in the history of natural history publishing. But – like many medieval cathedrals – the Handbook has taken on a momentum of its own and outgrown the original plans of its founders. The initial intention, announced in Vol. 1 (1992), was that the complete set would consist of ten volumes; by the time of Vol. 2 (1994) the projected total had risen to 12, where it seemed likely to remain. Volume 6 was then expected to include 18 families (Mousebirds to Woodpeckers), but the amount of material assembled, especially in the family texts and accompanying photos, meant that the number of pages needed eventually approached 1,200 – a size which would practically have restricted the book's users to professional weight-lifters! (It would also, of course, have greatly increased the price.) At this point the sensible decision was made to cut Vol. 6 short at the hornbills, leaving six families (Jacamars to Woodpeckers) for Vol. 7. The editors carefully explain all this in their introduction, but are deferring a decision on how the length of the series as a whole may be affected until they have tested the reaction of readers. Personally, I hope they will feel free to use as much space as their material demands, even if this increases the total number of volumes to 15 and delays the completion of the series by five years. There will never – it is safe to say – be another work like this, so it would be short-sighted to take any decisions which compromised its superb quality and comprehensive coverage.

Reviewers long ago used up all the superlatives in praising earlier Handbook volumes, so it's hardly necessary to say more about Vol. 6 than that it maintains – and in some ways perhaps excels – the standard set by its predecessors. The 258 species covered include some splendidly showy and colourful birds – trogons, kingfishers, bee-eaters, rollers – which ensure that the full-page plates are as magnificent as ever. Each of the introductory family accounts is a monograph in itself, with photos which – as readers have come to expect – are beautiful and informative in equal measure. A long-standing ambition of the editors has been realised for the first time, with the publication of some specially-commissioned photos of species for which nothing suitable was already in existence. A bonus in this volume is the Foreword by Donald Kroodsma and the late Luis Baptista, a lengthy essay (about 20,000 words by my rough reckoning) presenting what must be the most up-to-date and authoritative discussion yet published on the subject of avian bioacoustics.

At £110 a volume, the Handbook of the Birds of the World is, admittedly, expensive; relatively, though, in terms of the number of words and illustrations you get per pound of the price, it is probably cheaper than most bird books. I doubt whether anyone who has bought each volume as it appeared has any regrets. Spread out over nine years, the total cost so far amounts to about 20 pence a day, or even less for anyone who has taken advantage of the various pre-publication offers. (Special deals are still available for those who wish to buy all six volumes en bloc.) Taking the long view, I believe that in a century or so these books will be ranked in the same league as the classics of Audubon and John Gould; so when you buy them you aren't just providing yourself with a lifetime's ornithological reading – you're making an investment your children and grandchildren will thank you for.

Of course, whether your children and grandchildren will find the Handbook of more than historical interest is another matter. No one can look at the future of the world's wildlife with anything but profound foreboding. As far as birds are concerned, Threatened Birds of the World shows what we are in danger of losing, presenting detailed accounts of the 1,186 species – 12% of the total – currently regarded as threatened (the IUCN Red List categories Vulnerable, Endangered and Critically Endangered). This should make for a gloomy read, but BirdLife International isn't that sort of organisation – Threatened Birds of the World is an inspiration and a call to action. Like the same organisation's Endemic Bird Areas of the World (1998), it is an indispensable tool for conservationists, a clear, comprehensive and superbly organised presentation of the facts without which concern is ineffectual.

Each species receives the same coverage, a (large) half-page including an illustration of the bird and an identification guide, a distribution map, and notes on range and population, ecology, threats, conservation, and finally – and most importantly – targets, i.e. proposals for action to promote its survival. All this for each of those 1,186 species, but that's not all: the book also includes lists, with notes, of 727 species classified as Near Threatened, 20 Lower Risk, 78 Data Deficient, and even 128 species known to have become extinct since A.D. 1500. A final, very useful, section lists the world's nations and dependent territories, with the threatened bird species found in each.

Reviewing this book in a zoo-oriented publication, I feel there is one criticism I must make. Captive breeding, a crucial factor in the survival of a number of bird species, is given very little prominence. On the northern bald ibis (waldrapp), for example, the words `Explore the possibility of reintroducing captive-bred birds into previously occupied sites' are the only indication that there are any captive-bred birds; yet this is a species whose prolific zoo population is probably five times as great as its wild one. (It is possible – though I suggest this very tentatively – that the Red List criteria should in future give some weight to captive status: is it really sensible that, say, the Bali mynah should be classified as Critically Endangered on the basis of its tiny wild population, when its captive numbers are around 1,000 and growing?) But this is a small defect in a book which will be seen as a landmark in the history of bird conservation, a reference source which will be of value for many years to come, and a spur to practical action which may prove crucial in saving many species from extinction.

Nicholas Gould

A DIFFERENT NATURE: THE PARADOXICAL WORLD OF ZOOS AND THEIR UNCERTAIN FUTURE by David Hancocks. University of California Press, 2001. xxii + 280 pp., hardback. ISBN 0–520–21879–5. $35.00 or £19.95.

David Hancocks has an outstandingly good pedigree. The driving force behind much of the development at two of America's most innovative and highly-regarded zoos – the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, and the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson – he is now the director of the Werribee Open Range Zoo, Melbourne's country estate. Furthermore, his previous writing has been interesting and – occasionally – inspirational: Animals and Architecture (Praeger, 1971) may now be a little dated, but Hancocks's contribution to Wild Mammals in Captivity (University of Chicago Press, 1996) – a chapter enticingly entitled `The Design and Use of Moats and Barriers' – is 13 pages of the best common sense one will ever read on the subject of zoo design. Bringing an architect's sensibilities to the subject, Hancocks has been one of the leading lights in the move towards naturalistic enclosure design. A Different Nature, his manifesto for the future of zoos, should have been a masterpiece. Unfortunately, it isn't.

The task which Hancocks sets himself is a hefty one: `My proposal,' he writes, `is to uninvent zoos as we know them and to create a new type of institution.' Much of A Different Nature discusses what that new type of institution might be, but first there is an over-long and unengaging trawl through the history of zoos. That history has been discussed to better effect in a multitude of other publications, and it is to be regretted that Hancocks's editor was not a little more brutal when confronted by these unappetising early chapters. `Unappetising' is the verdict which Hancocks passes on most present-day zoological gardens when he turns his attention to them, summarising the contemporary zoo as offering `bored animals in small sterile spaces, popcorn and ice-cream wrappers littering asphalt sidewalks, balloons, plastic snakes, panda key-chains, hot dogs, artificially flavoured drinks, chain-link fences, trees made of epoxy resin.' Specific zoos, too, get something of a bashing. At San Diego there is `an abundance of inadequate exhibits'; London has a `generally depressing atmosphere' (although, bizarrely, praise is offered for both the elephant house – `marvellously expressionistic' – and the Snowdon Aviary – `clever and still impressive'); British zoos are `generally of such mediocrity that it would be better if 90% of them closed'; most of the artificial rain forests which have appeared across America in recent years – and especially the Lied Jungle in Omaha – are condemned. When Hancocks writes that `after thirty years in zoo design and management' he has `formed some heretical opinions' he is, for once, making an incontrovertible point.

It is a pity that Hancocks felt the need to be quite so vituperative in explaining his arguments, because once you strip away the oppressive vitriol of his criticisms, and once you have got used to a prose style which is, at times, seriously wobbly (metaphor and cliché sometimes clash to horrific effect, such as when he writes that `people now speed along the information highway rather than walking country lanes; children browse the World Wide Web rather than watching a spider spin'), he does speak an awful lot of sense. The design of many zoos is depressingly unimaginative. Naturalistic exhibits do look better, all else being equal. The way in which animals are presented does have a massive impact on the way in which they are perceived. When Hancocks makes these claims it is hard to disagree with him. `The most compelling and obvious impact on visitor attitudes towards wildlife is the way that zoo animals are presented,' he concludes. `That is why quality of exhibit design is of paramount importance. The validity of the zoo experience hinges on the functional and visual integrity of the zoo exhibits.' Absolutely right. To illustrate his point, Hancocks compares the behaviour of visitors in the traditional old ape house in Seattle to their behaviour when confronted by the zoo's much-lauded immersion habitat for gorillas. Where once they had shouted and screamed, now visitors stood in reverential awe. Such reverential awe is seen in other zoos, too, however – most notably at Howletts and Port Lympne, where the massive groups of gorillas are viewed with respect by the overwhelming majority of people. And yet the enclosures at those two Kentish zoos are scorned by Hancocks, dismissed for their obvious lack of naturalness. Hancocks's dogmatic beliefs do not permit the acknowledgement that any approach other than his own can succeed.

Nonetheless, if he had left it there, and had gone on to discuss some of the architectural tricks which can be deployed to make the presentation of animals more satisfactory, this would have been a better book. But in seeking to `uninvent' zoos, Hancocks demands more than cunningly-concealed fencing. The zoo of the future as he foresees it will incorporate the functions of the botanical garden, the planetarium and the geological museum, for, as he argues, `it would be more useful for zoos to help us read the entire book of nature, not just isolated chapters.' So far so good: the biopark concept has been trumpeted by, amongst others, Michael Robinson of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and it is certainly an idea with many merits. But Hancocks goes further: his biopark – his zoo of the future – will not even necessarily feature animals. The masterplan for the development of the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, about which Hancocks writes at length, stated that `the presence of animals is not necessarily the primary object of the exhibit.' A jaguar exhibit was proposed for the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in which not a single jaguar would have been kept (but there would have been the sound of jaguars, and `eyeshine in the back of a dark cave'). The exhibit was never built, but the idea was there: a zoo isn't necessarily a place where animals can be seen.

Some of the European zoo exhibits which Hancocks praises reflect this outlook. It is initially a surprise to see the wonderfully old-fashioned Artis Zoo in Amsterdam getting the Hancocks seal of approval, until one realises that it is the presence of a planetarium that he likes so much. Emmen Zoo is praised, but not so much for the wonderful groups of animals as for the Biochron, the museum at the zoo's entrance which, in my experience, serves only to frustrate those people who want to get out in the fresh air and start enjoying being in the presence of elephants, bears and monkeys. And Wildscreen, a new `interactive' museum in Bristol, gets eight pages of praise (`in comparison to the dreary standards of most of Britain's zoos it should surely prove a great success.'). Wildscreen is a great place: a mixture of computer and video displays, live animals and plants, and interesting museum-style displays. I enjoyed my visit there very much indeed – but it's not a place to return to, as a zoo is. Why watch the same piece of video footage twice, or be told the same piece of information again? Give me the infinite possibilities of a zoo over the fixed certainty of a place where the experience is pre-ordained by design. In another of his ill-advised moments of purple prose, Hancocks talks about the way in which a good zoo exhibit can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, quoting the landscape architect Jon Coe's comments about the need to raise the `pulse rate of the visitor.' As an example, Seattle's lion exhibit is discussed. Are we really to suppose that the videos and electronic gadgetry of Wildscreen – interesting though they are – or the absent jaguar at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum are to leave visitors similarly excited? I can't see it myself.

Quite aside from any philosophical differences which one might have with Hancocks, there are moments when this book is puzzlingly insane. In speaking of Zoo Check, the British-based organisation who campaign for the closure of zoos, he writes: `their worthy efforts have earned them only hostility from many zoo directors. . . there is an element of ridiculousness in the zoo profession's unwillingness to provide assistance.' The anti-zoo lobby is further misunderstood when Stefan Ormrod and Bill Jordan – whose book The Last Great Wild Beast Show (Constable, 1978) was a brilliant but savage attack on the zoos of the 1970s – are described as `zoo apologists'. And my favourite moment of madness comes with an anecdote about researchers working with Dian Fossey coming across photographs of gorillas in Seattle and thinking they were pictures of the gorillas they were studying. Given that Fossey's studies were of mountain gorillas, and Seattle holds western lowland gorillas, either the story is untrue or the researchers were shockingly poor.

But these are minor quibbles compared to the biggest flaw in Hancocks' manifesto: he writes of one type of zoo – a place that is good for you, perhaps, a place from which you emerge a better person – without acknowledging either that there should be a variety to the world's zoos or that the vast majority of people who visit zoos do so with the intention of having an enjoyable time. A 1904 visitor to the Bronx Zoo, quoted in the recently published History of the World's Zoos, commented that `it matters little whether Michael Flynn knows the difference between the caribou and the red deer. It does matter a lot however that he has not sat around the flat disconsolate, or in the back room of the saloon, but has taken the little Flynns and Madam Flynn out into the fresh air and sunshine for one mighty good day in which they have forgotten themselves and their perhaps stuffy rooms.' This marvellous justification is one with which Hancocks would presumably hold little sympathy. For him zoos are altogether more serious places. Their purpose is purer (`to help save all wildlife, to work towards a healthier planet, to encourage a more sensitive populace'). And while seriousness and purity are, of course, vital, there is surely room for rather more breadth in the zoo world than is acknowledged in this interesting but flawed volume.

John Tuson

HOTSPOTS: EARTH'S BIOLOGICALLY RICHEST AND MOST ENDANGERED TERRESTRIAL ECOREGIONS by Russell A. Mittermeier, Norman Myers and Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier. University of Chicago Press, 2000. 431 pp., hardback. ISBN 9–686–39758–2. $65.00 or £45.50.

The `hotspot' strategy is an attempt to reduce the biodiversity crisis to manageable proportions by focusing conservation efforts on a limited number of areas that contain the highest diversity of plant and animal life and are under the greatest threat. The concept was first put forward by Norman Myers in 1988, when, using vascular plants as indicators, he identified ten areas in the tropical rain forests which contained 13% of all plant diversity in just 0.2% of the land area of the planet. Since then, the hotspot idea has been enhanced and developed, and now the main criterion for hotspot status is species endemism rather than total species diversity.

Hotspots, which was produced by Conservation International and is distributed by the University of Chicago Press, explains and analyses this and other criteria, and identifies and describes 25 hotspot areas, some of them predictable, such as Madagascar, the Philippines and the Atlantic forests of Brazil, and some – to this reader, at least – unexpected, like the Caucasus and the delightfully-named Succulent Karoo of South Africa. Between them, these 25 cover around 1.4% of the earth's land surface but are home to more than 60% of terrestrial plant and animal species. The text, in which the three main authors are joined by over 70 specialist contributors with expert knowledge of particular hotspots, is well researched and authoritative.

The first thing that strikes one about Hotspots, though, is not the text but the photos. This is a big book (about 295 by 355 mm) lavishly illustrated with superb colour photographs, many of them occupying a full page or a double spread. Indeed, so striking are the photos that I seriously wonder whether they are too good, and will distract attention from the information and the message of the text. I hope I'm wrong, and that they will rather serve as a lure to draw in readers of the text. Certainly this is a book that should be stocked by every zoo shop that takes its responsibilities seriously.

Nicholas Gould

PRIDES: THE LIONS OF MOREMI by Chris Harvey and Pieter Kat. Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000. 144 pp., hardback. ISBN 1–56098–838–X. $34.95.

GIANTS by Nigel Marvin. HarperCollins, 1999. 144 pp., numerous colour photos, hardback. ISBN 0–00–220157–7. £14.99.

`Books on lions can be very dry or very fluffy,' writes Pieter Kat in the introduction to Prides, his study of four prides of lions in Botswana's Okavango Delta. His aim, he continues, has been to produce an alternative, and in this he has certainly been successful. In its design, its readability and, above all, its photographs, Prides can stand alongside the very fluffiest of volumes – this is a coffee-table book par excellence. But it also has the scientific authority of one of those `very dry' works, even if it is lacking the `pages of graphs and tables' which Kat identifies as being the factor that discourages the casual reader.

African lions have long been seen as a `safe' animal, and also as an `understood' animal. Kat challenges both these assumptions. `We just do not know how many lions remain,' he writes, and neither do we know as much as we think we do about their behaviour. One of the claims Kat makes is that lions are essentially solitary animals which have adapted to live a social life: they are `without doubt the most social of cats, but it is important to remember that their sociality is encumbered by a solitary inheritance.' Much of the book develops this idea, concluding that prides are much more fluid, loosely-structured entities than had previously been supposed.

The male lions of Moremi readily mate with females from other prides and frequently abandon their original groups: `Male lion behaviour is flexible, and many pre-conceived notions should be abandoned.' Female lions, too, behave in unexpected ways: they `are such bad mothers that it is sometimes surprising that the species has survived to this day.' Infanticide by male lions, long supposed to be a major cause of cub death, is a relatively minor problem: 75% of Moremi's cubs that die do so from starvation, abandonment, or other events which could be avoided with better mothering.

Prides is a beautiful book. It is, perhaps, the photographs which are at the core of its appeal, but the text is excellent too. Pleasingly, the zoos of Philadelphia and Denver are amongst the organisations funding the research of Kat and his team.

Giants – `the book of the ITV series' – is a rather less satisfying volume. Its subtitle – `Face to Face with the World's Largest Predators' – gives an indication of the rather sensationalist feel of the book (a sensationalism which is hard to maintain when mute swans, great bustards and ostriches – none high on my list of `the world's largest predators', it must be said – are the subject of consideration). Author Nigel Marven is one of the new breed of television presenters who do not believe that an animal's behaviour has been properly explained unless that animal has been wrestled with, played with or interfered with. This approach spills over into the book, where no fewer than 37 photographs feature Marven, swimming with sharks, grinning at bears or being encoiled by snakes. It all seems rather unnecessary.

The text, too, is heavily touched by the presence of its author, to such an extent that Giants is frequently more of a travelogue than a natural history book. There is nothing much wrong with this, I suppose, but it does mean that at its worst this book has the shallow disposability of a Sunday newspaper magazine. At its best, though, Giants is accessible, interesting and lively. The good outweighs the bad, but only just.

The `giants' chosen by Marven are an unpredictable bunch – indeed, this is one of the book's strengths. Alongside the expected roster of sharks, snakes and spiders, we also have monitor lizards and – the best chapter of the book – marabou storks. These last are photographed and described as they lurk around the main abattoir in Kampala, Uganda, and in this section of the book natural history and travelogue fit snugly together. This is not always true elsewhere in what is a rather patchy volume.

John Tuson

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Conserving the Sumatran rhino

The Sumatran rhino is probably the most endangered large mammal on our planet. In the last 30 years numbers have declined from perhaps 3,000 to about 300. As habitat has diminished and numbers of rhinos have declined, the human population has expanded and demand for horn increased, the situation has become critical.

Protection of the rhino in the wild is a formidable challenge. Not only are the animals secretive and elusive, but their tropical forest habitat renders it more difficult to protect them. The task is getting even more difficult as political and economic conditions deteriorate in the countries where the Sumatran rhino still survives – Indonesia and Malaysia. The conservation strategy for the species is diversified and comprises three main components:

1. Protection of rhinos in the wild by anti-poaching teams known as Rhino Protection Units (RPUs).

2. Propagation of rhinos in captivity – also not an easy task.

3. A combination of the two in the form of very large managed breeding centers, known as sanctuaries, in the rhino's native habitat, where more space and natural conditions, especially diet, can be provided.

Cincinnati Zoo is involved and contributing to all three, but this report discusses only the first of the three components. The standard method for poaching Sumatran rhino is with snares, traps, or sometimes pits that are placed along the trails that the rhinos use through the forest. The RPUs' main job is to patrol the forests and destroy or confiscate the snares and traps. Each RPU consists of 4–5 rangers who have much experience and training in tropical forest work. In areas where RPUs have been operating since 1995, there have been almost no rhinos lost to poachers. While there are about 40 Sumatran RPUs operating in S.E. Asia, at least twice as many are needed.

As the amount of encroachment and exploitation of rhinos and their habitats intensifies, the job of the RPUs has become even more difficult. Within the last month, for example, a rhino was lost to poachers in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in Sumatra, even though the area was being intensely patrolled by RPUs. Just a week after the RPUs had passed the area, poachers placed a snare along a rhino trail. A week later, the RPUs discovered a rhino, still alive and struggling, in a snare. There was a desperate and valiant effort to rescue the rhino, which was deep within the forest. By the time field conservationists and veterinarians could get to the site to assist the RPUs, the young, male rhino had died from a combination of suffocation, dehydration and stress.

There are currently Rhino Protection Units operating in all of the main areas where the Sumatran rhino still survives: four major national parks in Sumatra, Indonesia; four parks and reserves in Peninsular Malaysia; and two reserves in Sabah on the island of Borneo. The RPU programs have been developed, supported and coordinated by the International Rhino Foundation in partnership with the Wildlife Departments in Indonesia and Malaysia and other non-governmental organizations including Cincinnati Zoo, the Asian Rhino Specialist Group, the WWF, the Wildlife Conservation Society and SOS-Rhino. Our early human ancestors almost certainly caused the extinction of the Ice-Age woolly rhino, a close relative of the Sumatran rhino, which is also known as the hairy rhino. The partnerships mentioned above are vital to the global and urgent campaign to save the hairy rhino from the same fate as the woolly.

Dr Thomas J. Foose, program director, International Rhino Foundation, in a Cincinnati Zoo press release

Indian vulture crisis

Concern has been growing for some time over a mystery disease which is having a severe impact on vulture populations in India and beyond. At least three species are now Critically Endangered – white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis) and both species of long-billed vulture (G. indicus and G. tenuirostris). At least some populations of white-backed vulture are rapidly declining in Nepal, and the first symptoms of the disease have been observed in white-backed vultures in Pakistan. A westward spread of the disease through Pakistan and beyond to the Middle East, Europe and Africa appears now to be inevitable. Pakistan is therefore considered a critical area for studies over the next year. Moreover, it is the area where the white-backed vultures come most into contact with Eurasian griffons (G. fulvus).

Experts are undecided as to what is the cause of the vulture fatalities, but it seems likely that it is a disease rather than changes in the processing of dead livestock, the misuse of pesticides or other factors. However, the nature of the disease is unclear, although it is probably viral. Birds contracting it spend long periods – up to a month – perched with their heads held drooping down before dying. In India, vultures have traditionally disposed of carcasses in the cities, villages and the countryside, reducing the risk of disease and maintaining sanitation. Identification of this disease, and the development of a remedy, are urgent priorities.

Preliminary studies in India have not detected any viruses or other disease factors known to infect either domestic or wild birds. An immediate priority must be to make available tissues of infected birds to any laboratory in the world that might contribute to the characterisation of the disease factor. Programmes currently being developed through the Peregrine Fund in Nepal and Pakistan are expected to be capable of providing such material soon. The disease is probably one that has `jumped' from another species. If so, development of a vaccine may be possible, and it is now essential to find laboratories that would be interested in undertaking such work. Other priorities include censusing of Eurasian griffon colonies in the countries between India and the Middle East. These are the next populations most likely to be affected, and also the pathway of the disease to the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Captive breeding of the three species, to maintain a disease-free population, is also seen as a priority.

It is well known that the white-backed vulture population in South-East Asia plummeted in the early 20th century, and there is speculation that whatever caused that decline could be causing the current problems. If so, surviving birds from South-East Asia may be immune to the disease and could therefore hold the key to preventing its further spread.

World Birdwatch (BirdLife International) Vol. 22, No. 4 (December 2000)

Golden lion tamarin reintroduction update

The reintroduced golden lion tamarin population reached 359 in this, the project's 17th year. Growth continues to be due primarily to reproduction on 15 privately-owned ranches surrounding the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve in the Atlantic Coastal Rainforest; there were 59 known births and newly discovered older offspring in 2000. Six zoo-born tamarins were released in 2000. But all of the habitat within practical commuting distance for our seven-person field team is at carrying capacity. We now have 50 groups (although some of these are transitional) on about 3,200 hectares of forest. The proportion of the reintroduced population composed of wild-borns remains at 95%, but will increase even more if additional zoo-borns are not reintroduced. Survival of the wild-born offspring remains at 60–70%, averaged over all age classes, largely because they are more quickly self-sufficient than zoo-born reintroductees.

The reproductive success of 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 has produced a generation of new young adults now reaching sexual maturity, with mean group size increasing from 5.8 in 1995 to 7.5 in 1998. These `baby boomers', especially the females, are emigrating and attempting to found new reproductive groups. This results in social instability and group fission, with average group size decreasing from 7.5 in 1998 to 7.0 in 1999 and 7.2 in 2000.

The reintroduced population should continue to grow through reproduction without further reintroduction of captive-born animals. This would be more cost-effective than growth through reintroduction, since there would be fewer animals needing daily feeding and management. However, further reintroductions may be necessary to provide genetic diversity in the reintroduced population, improve the genetic and demographic status of the captive population, promote conservation education, and maintain support for the program by the zoo community. No new reintroductions are planned in 2001.

The 2000 reintroduction involved one group, from Brookfield Zoo. This group (named `Grupo do Jorge', after George Rabb, Brookfield's director) had been studied for several years as part of an inter-zoo research program designed to predict post-reintroduction success of individual tamarins from their early histories and behavior while still in the zoos. The group was reintroduced on 14 June, and on 17 August its female, born at Paignton Zoo, U.K., in 1992, gave birth to twins. The original group and the newborns are thriving six months after being reintroduced.

While Grupo do Jorge had free-ranging experience prior to reintroduction, we documented in 1998 that free-ranging experience in zoos in North America and Europe confers no significant advantage in survival over being reintroduced directly from zoo cages, even without any training whatsoever. This finding is revolutionizing thinking about the necessity of pre-release preparation for reintroduction in general.

Abridged from Benjamin B. Beck and Andreia Fonseca Martins in Tamarin Tales Vol. 5 (2001)

Field research into argali

In November 2000 a joint expedition involving staff of the Denver Zoological Foundation, the Argali Wildlife Research Center, and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences set out from the Mongolian capital city of Ulaanbaatar to immobilize and radio-collar a wild argali sheep (Ovis ammon). After a seven-hour train ride and two-hour van ride, the team assembled at the edge of a valley leading into an expanse of rocky outcrops in Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve in the south-east of the country. Over the next ten days our routine was to spend approximately eight hours hiking in bitter cold (day time temperature as low as –30° F and windchill down to –85° F) through the valleys and interesting rock formations of this breathtaking park in search of argali. Relatively good numbers of argali inhabit the park, but early snows (including one storm that hit soon after we arrived) made a soundless stalk problematic. Our expedition also coincided with the breeding season, so the argali gathered in large groups tended by dominant rams. This meant that there were many eyes, ears, and noses available to detect us.

Just when the success of our mission appeared to be in jeopardy, we succeeded in darting an approximately 110-pound (50 kg) 18-month-old female argali. We named her Gana in honor of one of our team members. We believe this to be the first successful immobilization and radio-collaring of a free-ranging argali anywhere. Since the immobilization occurred close to camp, all members of the team were able to participate in the event. Needless to say, it was a high point in our collective professional careers.

Following measurements, biomaterial samplings and collaring, Gana's anesthesia was reversed, and she was released unharmed back into the wild. We successfully tracked her movements for three days using radio telemetry and global positioning system (GPS) technology before having to leave the park. Mongolian and, more occasionally, American team members will return to the site monthly to locate and monitor Gana in the face of bitter winters (–40° F), scorching summers (+100° F), and sand storm punctuated springs (winds to 60 m.p.h.). This is the difficult, nitty-gritty business of field research necessary for obtaining a better understanding of this little known, threatened species. We are very optimistic that, with sufficient funding and the experience we gained (and continue to gain) from Gana, we can return to the area next year and collar several more argali.

Abridged from David Kenny, V.M.D., and Richard Reading, Ph.D., in The Zoo Review (Denver Zoological Foundation), Spring 2001

Great Barrier Reef dugong population in question

Australia's vulnerable dugong population has seen an increase in numbers, but only slightly, according to a recent independent survey. The data from the survey support the location of the dugong sanctuaries and suggest that the sanctuaries provide increased protection for dugongs. In 1997, the Ministry of Environment established protected sanctuaries where restricted fishing practices were put in place. In total, 16 Dugong Protection Areas (DPAs) covering over six thousand square kilometers have been declared within the Great Barrier Reef area, where the dugong population has been declining in recent years.

`The most recent survey showed an increase in the numbers, which we believe is mainly due to migration into the sanctuaries from outside areas,' said John Tanzer of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. `What I should say, however, is that while the numbers here appear to be slightly up, the numbers overall are seriously down,' he added.

The Australian dugong population is estimated at 85,000, with around 12,000 of these in Great Barrier Reef Marine Park waters. Dugong numbers have fallen significantly – by between 50% and 80% – since the early 1980s, according to reports by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

All four surviving species of Sirenia – the dugong and the West Indian, West African and Amazonian manatees – are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. Although Australia has the largest remaining dugong population in the world, their numbers are threatened by such human activities as habitat destruction through coastal developments, pollution, accidental capture in fish nets and overhunting by poachers, Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. Indigenous communities in Australia have long valued dugongs for their meat, oil, leather and ivory. However, aboriginal communities have agreed to curtail dugong hunting for the sake of conservation.

Shark nets and gill netting are also known to be responsible for the drowning of hundreds of dugongs each year. According to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, 76 dugongs were found dead along the Queensland coast in 2000, up from 68 in 1999 and just 35, 34, and 29 in the previous three years.

`I believe environmental factors, such as the pollution of rivers and run-off into the oceans, rather than destructive fishing practices, are leading to the deaths,' Colin Limpus, a senior conservation officer with the state's parks and wildlife service, told the Australian press. He added that dugong numbers off the Queensland coast were down to between 2,000 and 3,000.

The Environment Minister admitted that the southern Great Barrier Reef population is a fraction of what it was only decades ago, but said the government would continue to review the need for additional measures, including investigations into reported dugong mortalities. `The government has taken further action to protect dugongs by increasing surveillance and enforcement measures, targeting dugong sanctuaries and other high conservation value areas,' he said.

Mark Schulman

Protection for turtles

The Texas state government has closed its shoreline to commercial shrimping indefinitely to protect critically endangered Kemp's ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), which converge on Padre Island during a spring and early summer nesting season. The state has also placed new regulations on shrimp trawling gear and `turtle excluder devices' in an effort to bolster the dwindling populations of five sea turtle species found off the Texas coast.

The main nesting site for Kemp's ridleys is a five-mile [8 km] stretch of beach in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, whose adjacent waters are protected by a no-fishing zone. Fewer than 2,000 female Kemp's ridley turtles are coming ashore each year on the Mexican coast – down from 40,000 observed nesting during a single day 50 years ago – while only 16 ridley nests were observed on Texas's Padre Island last year. Conservation groups are pushing the U.S. government to create a 100-mile-long [160 km] marine reserve at Padre Island to ensure year-round protection for turtles nesting north of the border.

Zoogoer (U.S. National Zoo) Vol. 30, No. 1 (January/February 2001)

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First WAZA director appointed

The president of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), Mr Willie Labuschagne, has announced the appointment of the first full-time director of the Association, Dr Peter Dollinger of Berne, Switzerland, who will take office on 1 October 2001. Dr Dollinger is a 56-year-old native of Switzerland and holds a Dr.Med.Vet. degree. He has represented both his country and the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office on numerous international occasions. Dr Dollinger is a linguist of note – he is fluent in Swiss-German, German, French, English, Swedish and Spanish, and has a knowledge of Italian.

Mr Labuschagne adds that Dr Dollinger is a cosmopolitan man who will gain the respect of the various countries comprising the WAZA. The full-time Secretariat will also be under the auspices of Dr Dollinger and will be based in Berne. The WAZA is a prestigious international association representing world-class zoological and aquarium facilities, with more than 200 member institutions. Membership is by invitation only.

WAZA press release, 17 May 2001

Koalas in Europe

Two young koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus adustus) are presently being raised at Duisburg Zoo, Germany. Duisburg's original female, Yuri, gave birth to a joey on 3 April 2000. Yuri's first offspring, Kangulandai, the first koala to be successfully raised in Europe, also produced a joey shortly thereafter, on 6 May 2000. The two joeys spent the first six months of their life hidden away in the safety of their mothers' pouches: only a swelling of the pouches gave an indication of their presence. At the age of seven months, the joeys began emerging from the pouches to explore their surroundings and eat solid food. These are the eighth and ninth koalas born at Duisburg since the first birth in 1995. Three were stillborn, but all the others were successfully raised.

Two koala pairs are permanently held at Duisburg Zoo. The original pair, Kambara and Yuri, came from San Diego Zoo in 1994. The second pair consists of Duisburg-born Kangulandai, and Birubi, who arrived from San Diego in 1996. Previous offspring born at Duisburg have been placed at Planckendael Zoo, Belgium, and Lisbon Zoo, Portugal, the only other institutions in Europe which keep koalas.

Lisbon Zoo received its first koalas – a male named Maka and a female named Dinkum – in 1991 from San Diego Zoo. This couple produced the first koala to be born in Europe, followed by two more offspring. However, none of the three joeys survived; one did not find its way to the mother's pouch, and the other two died in their last month, the sixth, in the pouch. Post-mortem examination revealed malnutrition as the cause of death in these two cases, indicating that the mother was not able to produce enough milk to rear them full-term. So on 4 December 1996 San Diego sent a new female, Endota, to Lisbon, and on 31 March 2000 another female, Bunyarra, arrived from Duisburg. Bunyarra, born in June 1998, is the fourth surviving koala to be born in Europe.

Endota was two years old and consequently at the beginning of her sexual maturity when she came to Lisbon in 1996. Some time after arriving, she showed signs of oestrus, but she did not accept the male's presence during her cycles until May 1998, when she copulated with Maka. Unfortunately, one month later (gestation in koalas lasts from 34 to 36 days), the keepers found a very small foetus, still alive, on the enclosure floor. The joey was placed in its mother's pouch, but it was already too weak and was found dead the next day. Endota copulated again with Maka in 1999 and bore another joey, who developed normally until the sixth month, but unfortunately, three days after coming out of the pouch for the first time, it was found on the floor; despite several attempts to put it back into its mother's pouch, it repeatedly fell out and was rejected by its mother, and 48 hours later it was dead.

A month later, however, Endota went into oestrus again and on 21 January 2000 she copulated with Maka. On 23 February keepers noticed a mucous trace coming from the cloaca in the direction of the pouch, clearly indicating that a birth had occurred. Four months later small movements were observed inside the pouch, and on 21 June the keepers saw one of the joey's hands coming out. On 17 August the head was seen, still showing very short fur, and on 6 September the joey was seen eating pap for the first time. Due to the high toxic level of eucalyptus leaves, koalas need a very long caecum to digest the leaves – in a recent autopsy at Lisbon Zoo, the caecum of a female koala measured 120 cm, but there are records of koala caecums of up to 240 cm – and also a specific microbial fauna which plays a fundamental part in digesting eucalyptus and neutralising its phenols. A koala is not born with this microbial fauna; the mother transfers it to her joey by feeding a predigested pap to the young during the first weeks that it is out of the pouch. The pap is actually partially-digested faecal material, as it comes from the mother's cloaca, unlike the partially-digested food fed by regurgitation in some other species. The joey was seen on its mother's back for the first time on 29 September, and on 6 October it was weighed for the first time. Both mother and joey were very calm. The youngster weighed 440 g, which is a normal weight for its age. The keepers could also verify its sex, male, and we named him Moonan, which means 'difficult' in Aborigine. Moonan is the fifth surviving koala born in captivity in Europe, and after ten years of waiting, we can truthfully say that it was a difficult delivery! Finally, on 7 October 2000, the joey was seen eating eucalyptus for the first time.

Abridged from Achim Winkler (Duisburg) and Eric Bairrão Ruivo (Lisbon) in EAZA News No. 34 (April–June 2001)

Did an antelope bring BSE into Britain?

Scientists in New Zealand suggest that the origin of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Britain was the import of a single African antelope for a wildlife park. The team, led by Prof. Roger Morris, has investigated 35 theories and the antelope theory is their `number one hypothesis'. They believe that the disease is present in some wild antelopes; an infected animal was brought to Britain, almost certainly for a wildlife park, died, and was rendered into meat and bone meal. `It is likely,' says Prof. Morris, `that the antelope's brain and organs ended up in a batch of cattle feed given to about a thousand dairy cows in the south-west of England between 1975 and 1977. Some of the infected animals were moved to other areas of the country, before being recycled as cattle feed in 1981, spreading the disease. The evidence favours the whole epidemic starting with a single animal. The area of Britain where it started is where several safari parks opened in the seventies. I have evidence that every step in the sequence could have occurred, and I know that various African antelopes are susceptible to the disease.' The final stage of the research will be to find the disease in the field in Africa; it is not known which antelope species is involved, and in the wild animals that developed the disease would be eaten by predators.

Increasing genetic diversity in captive Humboldt penguins

A total of 240 adult Humboldt penguins have been transferred between Japanese institutions (excluding 18 birds that were not in the studbook). Based on the 1993–1998 Japanese Regional Studbooks, a review was made to determine the effect of transferring adult birds as a measure to increase the genetic diversity of the captive population. Of the 240 birds, 81 were moved for the purpose of avoiding inbreeding. Of these, only 14 birds, or fewer than 20%, reared offspring in their new institutions. Of the eight birds that managed to raise chicks during the first year, a poorer reproductive performance was noted after the second year. This reveals the difficulty of adjusting to the new environment with an established group, and of continued breeding. Additionally, the mortality rate among the transferees has been higher than that of the established residents; 53.4% of the mortality of the transferees occurred during the first year. Thus, transfer of individual penguins does not seem to be an effective tool to increase genetic diversity. Based on the above, I would like to strongly recommend transfer of fertile eggs, instead of individual birds, between institutions.

English summary of article in Japanese by Michio Fukuda, Tokyo Sea Life Park, published in the Journal of the Japanese Association of Zoological Gardens and Aquariums Vol. 42, No. 2 (January 2001)

Problems with captive ruffed pheasants

Although the two species of the genus Chrysolophus, the ruffed pheasants, are commonly kept, there are serious problems concerning the captive stock. An aviary bird for such a long time, the golden pheasant (C. pictus) has succumbed to all the effects of domestication. The relative proportion of mutated genes has become far too large in the ex situ population, with an important impact on the features of captive-bred animals. There has also been occasional hybridisation with Lady Amherst's pheasants (C. amherstiae). As a result, today's animals in European collections are hardly comparable with their wild ancestors. The limited imports of mainly male Lady Amherst's pheasants resulted in regular crossbreeding with golden pheasants right from the beginning. In the attempts to reconstruct the Lady Amherst's phenotype by means of artificial selection later on, important mistakes were made. Features that do not occur at all in nature were favoured, while natural characters have disappeared.

About three years ago some ruffed pheasant enthusiasts decided to take action. An extensive morphological investigation of birds caught in the wild was carried out by screening all the skins in the collection of the Natural History Museum at Tring, U.K. The results of these studies were published in a series of papers in the Dutch edition of Aviornis International. They provided us with detailed descriptions of both male and female of the two species, and permit us to unmask most of the hybrids between these species at once on a simple morphological basis. Examination of a large number of animals in private collections confirmed that very few pure animals are left in captivity. Fortunately, we were able to obtain some individuals of the golden pheasant, the offspring of animals imported from the Beijing Breeding Centre and from San Diego Zoo. In the meantime we are keeping within the Ruffed Pheasant Group a population of about 60 birds with good morphological features. As for the Lady Amherst's pheasants, we were not able to localise any `good-looking' birds, with only one exception.

To confirm the morphological research, feather samples were sent to the Instituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica in Bologna, Italy, where Dr Ettore Randi analysed them. Thirty-eight samples of C. pictus and C. amherstiae were collected. All the samples were analysed, and all except one showed mitochondrial DNA very similar to putative pure C. pictus. Therefore, these results suggest that almost all the C. amherstiae in European stocks are hybrids.

However, the C. pictus samples have given rather variable sequences, and there is only one apparently pure C. amherstiae for comparison, so it is obvious that more samples must be taken, especially from reliable reference birds. Perhaps samples from museum skins would be helpful, although this material is not so easy to work with. Another solution would be to obtain samples from animals caught in the wild.

There is also the problem of unmasking hybrids from C. pictus with only paternal introgression of C. amherstiae. As mitochondrial DNA is maternally inherited, it can detect only maternal hybridisation. Dr Randi is currently checking c. 50 different micro-satellite loci, which were originally isolated in the domestic fowl. These micro-satellites will be used to obtain information on paternal hybridisation.

Meanwhile, any information about reliable Chrysolophus individuals, especially C. amherstiae, would be welcome!

Ludo Pinceel (Rivendell, Grootrees 66, B-2460 Katerlee, Belgium; E-mail: ) in WPA News No. 65 (May 2001)

[Coincidentally, the same issue of WPA News contained a report that in recent years Li Zhu-mei of the Guizhou Institute of Biology has found three cases of hybridisation between golden and Lady Amherst's pheasants in the wild in Guizhou, China.]

A children's book by Ken Kawata

In 1969 a book by Ken Kawata was published in Japan, where it's now in its 26th printing and has been adopted as a school textbook. After more than 30 years, it is at last available in English. Animal Tails has a lively, simple but informative text and clear, naturalistic illustrations by Masayuki Yabuuchi. It would make an attractive gift for a young child, and is an obvious choice for anyone stocking a zoo shop. Animal Tails (ISBN 1–929132–05–0) is published by Kane/Miller Book Publishers (P.O. Box 310529, Brooklyn, New York 11231–0529, U.S.A.), price $13.95.

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Annual Report 2000 – extracts from the English language summary

The animal collection

Notable breeding with a number of species characterised the year. The ring-tailed lemurs had no fewer than five young, bringing the group size to 16. For the first time in the zoo's history the Rothschild's mynahs produced three chicks after several unsuccessful attempts; all three survived and will be sent to a private EEP breeder in 2001. Another first breeding was with the Stella's lorikeets (Charmosyna papou stellae), who reared two chicks; unfortunately the breeding female died later in the year and we are now looking for a new female.

A first-time breeding in Denmark was achieved with the green wood hoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus). We received the breeding pair of this beautiful African species from Walsrode Bird Park, Germany. They settled well and a single chick was hatched. The pair of East African crowned cranes also proved their fertility for the first time. The keepers had created a quiet indoor area for them by sheltering their nest with a bamboo barrier. Two healthy chicks were hatched in August, but unfortunately both died within the next month.

Animals sent to other zoos included our 55th reticulated giraffe calf, a female born in 1999, to Osnabrück Zoo, Germany, four young sable antelope to Kolmården Zoo, Sweden, which is forming an all-male group, and three Congo peacocks to Cincinnati and Oklahoma City Zoos in the U.S.A. and to Wilhelma Zoo in Germany. These birds are part of the international breeding programme coordinated by Antwerp Zoo. The programme includes about 100 birds and, thanks to our success in breeding them, we have been allowed to keep three breeding pairs. The future prospects for this species are not very encouraging as its primary natural habitat is the rain forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been severely affected by a civil war in the past few years. It is difficult to conduct studies on the Congo peacock in the wild, and consequently little is known about its natural history. Holding three breeding pairs gives us the opportunity to carry out research and thereby contribute to increasing the knowledge of this species.

One of our breeding groups of golden lion tamarins was moved in with the pale-headed sakis, partly in order to get more space and partly to form a mixed exhibit providing new challenges to both species. At first the sakis were very cautious and moved away when the more lively tamarins approached. A period of frequent confrontations followed, but after the first month the two species coexisted without difficulty. They react to each other's presence with respect rather than fear, just as they do in their wild habitats when they interact with other species. In the autumn we received a breeding group of three (2.1) golden-headed lion tamarins from Lisbon and Antwerp. The surplus of males in zoos makes it of current interest to test this kind of breeding group in captivity, and they will be studied closely by students from the university.

One of the female polar bears had to be euthanised because of old age; she was 30, which is very old for a polar bear. The two remaining bears are of the same age so we do not expect to keep them for much longer. The oldest babirusa was also euthanised at 22½ years old; Fru Snøfte (`Mrs Snore'), as the keepers named her, was the longest-lived babirusa in the international studbook. She came to the zoo in 1983 as mate for a lonely male, but they never had offspring; the post-mortem revealed a tumour on one of her ovaries, which may have caused her sterility.

Veterinary conditions and nutrition

A new female wolf arrived from Skånes Animal Park, Sweden. Two days after arrival she was anaesthetised and checked thoroughly. It turned out that she had two microchip transponders; by mistake we had been sent their alpha female. She was immediately returned to Sweden and accepted into her pack. A different female was sent to us instead.

Both female Nile crocodiles were in heat at the same time and got into a vigorous fight. One was particularly badly injured by bites and was immobilised and moved. The wounds were cleansed and sutured and subsequently healed well. The other female was treated by feeding her rats injected with antibiotics.

Tawndy, the female Malayan tapir, suffered from periodontitis. She was anaesthetised and taken to the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, where the affected tooth was surgically removed and the abscess cleansed. Treatment with antibiotics and analgesics enabled her to eat normally the next day. In order to reduce stress and make handling easier, Tawndy had been trained to lie still on her side and to accept application of a local analgesic ointment under an occlusive bandage. This enabled the withdrawal of four blood samples with no drugs administered. Comparative samples were taken from the male and they were all analysed for the hormone progesterone. The results confirmed a pregnancy and we are anxiously awaiting the calf, which is due around 1 August 2001.

Our okapis and giraffes are very particular about their feed and refuse to eat anything other than sun-dried alfalfa hay of a certain quality. We made a bulk purchase of high-quality alfalfa hay from South Africa. Apart from the giraffes and okapis, it is fed to other species as a nutritious supplement. Enrichment feed such as frozen bee pollen, syrup, palm nuts and browse are now a permanent part of our supplies.


Behavioural studies carried out in cooperation with the Zoological Institute at the University of Copenhagen included:

Behaviour of Californian sea lions. The study examined the social structure of the zoo's group, which consisted of one adult male, two adult females and a two-year-old female born at the zoo. The sea lions had a rigid hierarchy with the male at the top followed by the two adult females, who were of almost equal rank, with the female cub was lowest in rank. The relationship between the young and the two females differed. Her mother was more tolerant than the unrelated female, which had aggressive confrontations with the younger animal. The cub was still attached to its mother and they were often seen swimming closely together.

Courtship behaviour and aggression in the group of Caribbean flamingos. Based on already known sequences in the courtship behaviour of the flamingos, the students wanted to identify the individual elements of behaviour, their interdependence and differences in occurrence seen in relation to the time of the day and where the birds spent their time. The study showed a clearly synchronous behavioural performance. Courtship activity increased gradually throughout the day, and concurrently with the increase a steady fall in aggression was noted. A clear connection between temperature and the intensity of the behaviour was also found: the higher the temperature, the higher the level of courtship activity. Finally, it was established that the aggressive interactions between the flamingos were most frequent close to the nests and feeding sites.

Effect of enrichment on the time budgets of chimpanzees. The activity budgets of the 1.5 adults were examined with and without access to different kinds of enrichment (such as an artificial termite mound, a fruit slot machine, a nutcracker and a hollow tree trunk). Contrary to expectation, the enrichment devices did not have any effect on the activity level of the chimpanzees. This was ascribed to a long-lasting familiarity with the enrichment devices which had made them uninteresting and unchallenging. Individual differences in the use of the devices were found – the youngest of the chimpanzees accounted for 80% of the use of the fruit machine, whereas the male and one of the oldest females showed greatest interest in the hollow tree trunk.

Frands Carlsen continued the genetic examination of the European chimpanzee population initiated in 1999. The objective of the project is to establish a European studbook for chimpanzees and to identify specimens of the West African chimpanzee (P. t. verus), which are to be included in a future EEP. The subspecies analysis is made by sequencing DNA, primarily extracted from hair samples, in cooperation with the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University. In 2000 the study resulted in a preliminary report containing analysis results from 20 specimens; the work will continue in 2001.


Extracts from the Annual Report 2000

This year brought one of the most worrying periods of the last decade. Firstly, our two groups of bush dogs – which were housed at opposite ends of the park – developed symptoms of illness at the same time. All affected animals rapidly developed haemorrhagic enteritis, which caused severe dehydration and led to their collapse within hours. Our initial diagnosis was one of food poisoning – possibly salmonella – or a viral disease. Despite intensive supportive treatment, only two dogs that had been less affected survived and made a complete recovery. Post-mortem examination failed to identify any common pathogens likely to cause the symptoms seen and, whilst parvovirus was considered to be a contender, investigation by specialist laboratories again failed to find any evidence to support that possibility.

The death of two waterbuck caused further anxiety; however, on this occasion, tests implicated a clostridial infection. Treatment proved to be rather problematic, in that large volumes of antibiotics needed to be administered for several days and a smaller volume of vaccine given some 14 days apart. This was solved by the modification of a transportation crate into which the animals were walked direct from their stalls and by the use of a length of plastic connecting a hypodermic needle to a standard syringe. This method of treatment enabled us to isolate and treat the ten remaining animals within a 30-minute period each day, with the minimum of stress, and they all recovered. Several Congo buffalo developed similar symptoms and were treated with the same combination of drugs. Signs of improvement were noted within 72 hours, and all recovered without further complications.

The birth of 2.1 bongo was pleasing, though we now have some concerns about the number of males that are being produced. We also bred a female mouse deer; we have not been very successful with this species in the past, and the loss in May of a breeding female during parturition was again a setback. However, the birth of other calves during the year gave us a more optimistic view of our future success with this diminutive ungulate.

We opened a small area displaying our increasing collection of small rodents. Many of the species are held simply to maintain viable captive populations, but some, like the European hamster (Cricetus cricetus), are likely to be bred for future reintroductions. In February we received a total of 30 water voles (Arvicola terrestris), which were held for some months before release into a nature reserve in the south of England.

In March we received eight Humboldt's penguins from three U.K. zoos. They replaced the birds that had died in 1999 from suspected avian malaria. In view of our past problems, the new arrivals were placed in isolation and given a full health check which included blood tests for malaria and several other diseases. The birds were also fed fish that had been treated with an anti-malarial drug. Further measures were taken to minimise the presence of mosquitoes in the vicinity of our penguin pool. Interestingly, we noticed mosquito activity during the early part of the year, which was thought to be a direct result of the very mild winter. More birds were added during the year and, despite some slight concerns, all remained fit and healthy.

Following breeding success with okapi in previous years, we were very disappointed when our female, Bibi, aborted a two-thirds-term foetus in May for no apparent reason. She did subsequently develop a serious uterine infection, but responded well to treatment and made a full recovery. However, we were pleased to hear that a male born in January at Rotterdam Zoo will come to Marwell in spring 2001 to be paired with Zukisa, our two-year-old female.

During October a total of three Grevy's zebras showed signs of having aborted, though only one foetus was recovered for examination. Blood tests revealed no obvious signs of a condition likely to result in abortion or any other signs of ill health. We noted a similar event last year when two mares aborted – one passing twins. The only patterns to have emerged so far are: most are first-time pregnancies; all abortions occurred at the same time for the last two years, and all foetuses are at the same stage of development. Animals at a later stage of pregnancy remain unaffected. It is interesting to note that the abortions occur shortly after the animals are confined to their hard-standings for the winter months. We can only theorise at this stage that these abortions are the result of some stress-related condition, which occurs when animals in the early stages of pregnancy are kept in close proximity. In future all breeding will be managed to ensure that our mares are at a later stage of pregnancy by the time of their winter confinement.

Our breeding programme for roan antelope suffered a slight setback with the loss of three calves and an adult female. This was largely a consequence of our own success with this species in recent years; since their arrival in the early 1980s, their numbers have steadily increased to almost 30, and we now have the potential to breed some 12 to 14 calves annually. We provided a dedicated building some years ago, but have now encountered some overcrowding problems. There has also been a corresponding increase in parasitic activity during the autumn months, which has proved difficult to treat in the younger animals because of the low take-up of treatment in their diet. To prevent further problems of this nature, we are now planning to split the roan herd into two groups, using both their present accommodation and the Przewalski horse facilities, which will be suitably modified once the horses have been moved to a new site.

We have completely netted over our lemur enclosures and plan to establish several bird species with the lemurs. At the end of the year we used this accommodation as temporary housing for ten waldrapp ibis and four African spoonbills purchased from Rode Bird Garden when it closed to the public. These birds will eventually be housed in a free-flight aviary now under construction.


Excerpts from the Annual Report 2000

The year 2000 saw the opening of an expansion area of the zoo where visitors can stroll in two landscaped enclosures among, respectively, red-necked wallabies and llamas, or alpacas and Patagonian cavies. Llamas arrived from Berlin and Leipzig Zoos, and to enlarge our stock we received three Patagonian cavies as a gift from Wilhelma Zoo, Stuttgart.

There is also a new enclosure for prairie dogs. A group of 18, who arrived from Twycross Zoo in 1999, moved there in early summer and felt at home from the beginning. However, they became highly aggressive among themselves and developed extreme territoriality. As a result of fighting we lost a number of animals of both sexes, and by the end of the year the group numbered 12 individuals. Hopefully the situation will calm down in the next season and, with births, the group will start to grow again.

Within the primate section we exchanged two male ring-tailed lemurs with Emmen Zoo, the Netherlands. Introducing new animals into existing lemur groups in most cases brings some trouble in consequence, and so we had to separate two females, leaving us at the end with a compatible group of 2.4. Unfortunately we lost a female who suffered from an injury of the vagina which resulted from copulations.

In spite of all our efforts in their maintenance, the once prolific group of lion-tailed macaques broke down over the years to 2.2 related animals. The reasons for this, as mentioned in earlier reports, were bacterial infections and difficulties with births (overweight young). As a new expedient we changed the males this year. Our old breeding male Leonid and his fully adult son Nino moved to Santillana Zoo, Spain, and from Primate Park Apenheul, the Netherlands, we received the beautiful six-year-old Clinton. Clinton became acquainted with the adult female Vera and her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter Asha through a wire lattice for more than six weeks. During this time we noticed only positive contacts, and when we combined male and females for the first time in January 2001 everything seemed to work well; there were grooming contacts between Clinton and Vera, and young Asha was absolutely relaxed, playful and always eager to build up contact with Clinton. However, the third day after they were put together Clinton attacked Asha and bit her several times, causing severe injuries. After surgical treatment Asha recovered, but we stopped any further attempt to bring the three animals together. This was the second case of infanticide or attempted infanticide we have experienced with this species at Rheine Zoo.

The stock of our gelada baboons grew by two births, up to 35. This is a quarter of the captive world population (130 individuals in 19 zoos worldwide by the end of the year 2000 as listed in the international studbook). Now it is once again time to place some of our geladas at other zoos. Tierpark Berlin was to receive a small group from us, but this has so far been hindered by veterinary regulations. In fact, such regulations may have a harmful effect on the positive – until now – development of breeding programmes.

After 20 years of maintenance of gelada baboons at Rheine, we have collected a number of vital data. Currently we keep the three oldest geladas in Europe, females born in 1978 and 1979 at Stuttgart Zoo. Gerda, born 1978, is still the leading matriarch of one of the harem-groups. She raised her last offspring in 1989, and since then has only had miscarriages, the last being in 1997. Maya, born in 1979, had a live birth in June 2000, but failed to raise the infant because of lack of milk, and it died three days after birth, as did its two predecessors. In November 2000 Maya suffered from a sudden lameness of the hind legs. After two weeks she had an abortion and recovered amazingly quickly, but her overall shape no longer leaves any doubt of her old age. Her contemporary Afra, on the other hand, is in obvious good condition, and is raising her daughter born in April 2000.

Among the hoofstock we had to work with the sudden aggressiveness of the Chapman's zebra stallion towards one of his three mares. Temporary separations, as well as changes of the group structure by transferring the foals of 1999 to Schönbrunn Zoo, brought no positive results, and so we had to place the stallion elsewhere. As a `farewell gift' he sired three foals, but one of these was born weak and did not grow up.

The birds in the Wetland Aviary surprised us by the imbalance in their breeding results. From the same number of founder stock – 12 adult birds each – the little egrets reared 22 young, whereas only a single cattle egret grew up. Three scarlet ibis and two roseate spoonbills were raised. There are only a few prolific groups of roseate spoonbills in European zoos, and our birds contribute annually to a stable captive population. Last year's offspring found a new home at Dvur Králové Zoo, Czech Republic, whereas the young of 2000 will stay with us to balance the age structure of our group of 14 birds.

After our alterations to their daily maintenance schedule, the Chilean flamingos obviously felt more comfortable than in the previous year, when too many keepers' activities seem to have disturbed them in the critical phase of egg-laying. Nineteen chicks hatched, but unfortunately only eight of them could be raised. Mortality was caused mainly by inclement weather – i.e. too much rain – when the chicks were just a few days old, and two of them also suffered from leg deformation, most probably resulting from a vitamin deficiency. However, unlike in previous years when these symptoms occurred, treatment with vitamins A, D and E proved to to be of no benefit, and the young flamingos died at the age of about two months.

The bird keepers were very busy and also very successful in raising 115 chicks of six species of waders. Most numerous were redshanks (37) and ruffs (35). This allowed us again to send ruffs to several zoos, for example Stockholm, Antwerp and Münster, in the hope of establishing more flourishing groups.

Much to our surprise we found a hatchling of the superb fruit doves which was already about a week old when it was seen for the first time. The pair brooded and raised the chick absolutely unobtrusively in the outdoor aviary. In every previous year their brooding in the indoor aviary was hindered, especially by the crested wood partridges who destroyed the eggs even in well-hidden nest sites. Within half a year the young dove moulted and proved to be a male.

The crested oropendolas (Psarocolius decumanus) built huge nests and we assumed from their behaviour that the three females were brooding. The keepers also noticed some noises coming from one nest, which they thought were made by hatchlings. Just at this time the female belonging to this nest was missed during the morning feeding, and as she did not turn up for the afternoon feeding there was some concern that she had accidentally caught herself up in the nest, as it was moving heavily. She had in fact become entangled in the nesting material, and we could only rescue her by destroying the nest. In it we also found two chicks just a few days old. Hand-rearing failed, as they had already been weakened and chilled, and they died overnight.

The textor weavers were much more successful: ten young fledged and these more than equalled the year's losses, so the colony grew to 88 birds.

Achim Johann, Curator

* * *


Animal World, Emerald Safari Resort, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa

The South African National Zoo's new facility, Animal World, has proved to be a great success since it opened to the public on 11 May 2001. Animal World comprises 203 hectares consisting of a game park (189 hectares) and a zoo (14 hectares). More than 500 animals of 70 mammal, bird, reptile and amphibian species have been transferred to the site from the National Zoo in Pretoria and its two satellite breeding centres at Lichtenburg and Potgietersrus. Animals on view include two white rhinos, two hippos, three red river hogs, two Arabian oryx, three lions, two Cape fur seals, wild dogs, cheetahs, blue wildebeest, springbok, blesbok, forest buffalo, zebra, and various lemurs, parrots and reptile species.

Animal World is the only facility of its kind to offer both a zoo and an animal park on one property. This means that both in situ and ex situ conservation are represented on the same site. It will offer the National Zoo the opportunity to increase its diverse animal inventory and to distribute the gene pool in various locations. All the animals sent to Animal World have been carefully selected based on their charismatic, educational and conservation value, and they will all participate in a major breeding programme.

Abridged from Pretoria Zoo press releases

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

It is over three years since the world's first captive-bred lesser Antillean iguana (Iguana delicatissima) hatched at Jersey Zoo. During that time, whilst the single hatchling has thrived, our adult female became egg-bound and was subjected to an emergency operation to remove infertile ova from one oviduct. Despite this drastic medical intervention, an operation which often prematurely curtails the reproductive life of iguanas, eight perfect eggs were laid and the nest site guarded in August 2000. Ninety-five days later the first of eight baby iguanas emerged from its egg. All eight babies began feeding almost immediately on a variety of leaves and fruits, but like their older sibling preferred hibiscus flowers above all else. Offered a mixed-vegetarian diet and under eight hours per day illumination with Active UVheatÔ reptile lights, the eight iguanas are growing by as much as half their body weight per month. Jersey is still the only collection to have reproduced this threatened Caribbean iguana. We hope that our experiences with it will aid efforts to breed them in the two other zoos maintaining this species, Memphis and San Diego.

Richard Gibson in EAZA News No. 34 (April–June 2001)

Dvur Králové Zoo, Czech Republic

Our common crowned pigeon (Goura cristata) breeding pair arrived in February 1998 (male) from Budapest Zoo and in March 1999 (female) from a breeding centre in the Philippines. The pair made five unsuccessful breeding attempts starting in February 2000. The life-span of the chick increased with each attempt, and it was obvious that the parents were gradually learning parenting skills. The first chick to be successfully parent-reared hatched on 11 November 2000. This is all the more significant as European zoos are not maintaining a self-sustaining population of this species. The Crowned Pigeon EEP numbered 48.36.23 common crowned pigeons in 38 institutions on 1 January 1998, but only one chick was successfully reared that year while eight adult birds died.

The African wild dog EEP population has not stabilized either; 40 participating zoos produced only 13 surviving pups while 16 adults died in 1998. Another litter was born at Dvur Králové, one of the few European zoos successfully breeding the species, on 22 November 2000. It was seen (via an infra-red camera in the den) that six young were born, but two pups were eaten by the parents immediately after birth and one male died the next day, most probably of suffocation. The three (3.0) others were successfully parent-reared. Holy, the mother, was born in 1993 at Amsterdam Zoo and Kibwezi, the father, in 1997 at Port Lympne. This was Holy's third parturition. The first was with an experienced old male in 1996, when three offspring survived until one month of age. Her second litter, the first fathered by Kibwezi, was born in April 2000 and most probably consisted of five young that were lost because the male was too inexperienced. The zoo has kept African wild dogs since 1960 and successfully raised 96 puppies of this threatened species up to now.

Kristina Tomasova in EAZA News No. 34 (April–June 2001)

Edinburgh Zoo, U.K.

Monogamy, the mating system in which an individual has one mating partner, is rare among other vertebrates, but about 90 per cent of bird species are monogamous. This includes the staid and respectable waldrapp ibis, and in their spacious new enclosure at the zoo, as the spring progresses, the devoted pairs will more than likely be billing and cooing (or squawking) at their chosen nest-sites.

But all is not what it might seem. The outward signs of stability and harmony in the colony conceal evidence of temptation, wandering attention and downright hanky-panky. Because this species is colonial during the breeding season, there is optimal opportunity to covet your neighbour's partner or simply to get confused. This would appear to be easier in the wild, where foraging birds are away from their partners for extended periods, but remarkably enough it also happens in captive colonies.

At the risk of receiving a good pecking, what adaptive advantages can result from extra-pair copulations, known in the trade as `sneaky matings'? For both sexes this can increase the genetic diversity of their offspring and insure against having a sterile or low-fertility mate. For the males it can also increase the number of offspring carrying their genes, but the females achieve this by means of another risky behaviour, that of dumping eggs into unattended nests so that extra offspring are raised by other pairs.

A casual visit to the waldrapp enclosure will not immediately detect behaviours which, by their very nature, happen without fanfare or lingering. However, careful observation of marked individuals by keepers and researchers has revealed that such goings-on are not uncommon. Of course, a sneaky mating does not automatically imply a successful one, but with DNA testing a rigorous check can now be applied if need be. The same testing can also go part-way to helping the genetic management of the captive population of this critically endangered species, which we fervently hope will survive and continue to have a good time.

Professor David Waugh, director, in Arkfile Vol. 10, No. 1 (Spring 2001)

Healesville Sanctuary, Victoria, Australia

Success is even sweeter the second time around for Healesville, with the emergence of another platypus baby on 14 April. A male, the offspring of Koorina and N, now second-time parents, duplicates the 1999 breeding success [see I.Z.N. 46:6, pp. 374–375] and firmly establishes Healesville as the leader in the field, the only organisation to have bred platypus in captivity.

David Fleay made Sanctuary history in 1944, breeding the first-ever captive-born platypus. It took another 55 years to duplicate his success in 1999 with the emergence of twins, Yarra Yarra and Barak. The 2001 breeding is the culmination of many years of work in trying to establish a breeding pair and in providing a captive habitat where these often secretive, shy animals feel comfortable and have all their needs met for breeding success. The fact that this is the second time in two years confirms that the Sanctuary has overcome the problems associated with this once elusive feat.

The as-yet unnamed male has been described by platypus keeper, Fisk, as `healthy, chubby, fluffy and friendly.' His first look at the world, captured on film on 14 April, was only a few minutes long, a casual shuffle around the burrow entrance. On 16 April, keepers were on site as he emerged again and took his first swim. The marathon swim lasted three hours, and the little platypus was observed approaching the water alone while mum Koorina slept in her burrow. After only a moment of hesitation this newest addition to the Healesville Sanctuary platypus family floated, swam, dipped and dived, and held his breath underwater. Keepers fed him a hearty dinner of mealworms. `There's no doubt that our newest addition is a perfect little natural,' said Fisk.

Michael de Oleveira in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 50 (May 2001)

John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.

Over the last several years we have been working hard to establish a cohesive troop of brown-headed spider monkeys (Ateles fusciceps robustus). What started out as a group of two older females whose past history included time spent as pets has grown into a group of seven females of various ages and one adult male. In the wild these monkeys live in groups of from four to 20, but often form smaller subgroups within the larger group in what biologists call a `fission–fusion' community. Our troop is much the same, with alliances formed between females depending on each one's status within the group.

Last fall keepers began suspecting that some of our females were pregnant. As we did not actually observe many of the matings we were unsure exactly who was pregnant and, if so, when births would occur. One morning in late November keepers discovered a baby had been born in the night. The `mother' (I'll call her `A') was not holding the baby properly and would not allow it to nurse. We thought A was the mother based on the blood we observed and the fact she was carrying the baby. Eventually A put the baby down and would not retrieve it. Fearing it was suffering from hypothermia, I decided to remove it, warm it up and then try to get A to take it back, but unfortunately it died minutes after we removed it, and a closer examination revealed it had a fractured skull. We suspect that either A dropped it shortly after birth or a fight occurred over the baby, resulting in the injury. The lack of proper parental care on A's part is not unusual in new mothers. The stress of the birth, coupled with the fact that she was very low in the social hierarchy, may have contributed to her being unwilling to care for the baby.

The following weekend another newborn monkey was discovered. Once again A was carrying the baby, and this time she seemed to be caring for it. However, she did not appear to be this baby's mother – another female (`B') showed all the signs of having recently given birth. We were all stymied at this point as to what to think. There was concern about A's ability to care for a baby that was not hers. Discussion amongst keepers, curators, the veterinarian and myself centered around whether or not A was still producing milk, as it had been a week since her baby was born. Careful observation over the first 24 hours revealed that she did have milk, as the infant nursed often and gained strength. A was also providing excellent care. B, on the other hand, showed no interest whatsoever in the infant. No intervention on our part was needed – that was until A's younger sister (`C') became extremely aggressive towards the baby. Every crowd has to have a trouble-maker, and C certainly fulfills that role in our spider monkey troop. She is the youngest member and the most rambunctious, constantly exploring the exhibit and interacting with other monkeys. Shortly after her sister became a foster mother, C became extremely aggressive towards the baby. She would attempt to pull it off A or bite at it. Concerned that she would seriously injure the baby, we decided to isolate C from the troop, so we transferred her to a nearby off-exhibit holding area where she could still see and touch other troop members through a barrier, but could not harm the baby. In addition, at night we placed one other troop member with C so she could remain a part of the troop's social structure. This separation lasted for several weeks and gave the baby an opportunity to gain strength. Also, A's status in the social hierarchy increased, with the result that fellow troop members stayed in closer proximity to her and the baby.

Eventually we made the decision to reintroduce C to A and the baby. At first we only left C in with the rest of the troop for a few minutes. Initially things were calm, then C would approach A and attempt to touch or interact with the baby. Other troop members would gather close to A as if to protect her, and often A would move away from C. If any aggression was shown by C she was separated from the troop. Over a period of three weeks the time C was left with the troop was increased. Keepers would observe the animals throughout these introduction periods. At the end of this period we stopped observing the troop continually, left C in with them throughout the day, and checked on them every 15–20 minutes. C continued to be separated at night just in case. Gradually her behavior changed to more curiosity than aggression. She would approach A and touch the baby or sit quietly next to A. If A became uncomfortable she would move away, and on one occasion A bit C as if to reproach her for being too rough.

The next step was leaving C in the troop throughout the night. Many of us didn't sleep well that night, but we knew that it was best that C be reintegrated with the group. The exposure to the baby would allow her to gain experience with infants which will hopefully make her a better mother.

At the time of writing things are back to `normal' in the group. There are, however, a few unanswered questions. Who is the real mother of the baby A is caring for? Is it B, as we have thought all along, or is it another female in the troop? Did C play a role in the unfortunate death of the first infant by being aggressive towards the mother? Certainly her observed behavior with the surviving baby makes us think that way. Is A possibly not the mother of either baby, and the blood we observed on her and B was actually a result of fighting over the babies? These questions may never be answered; however, the maternity of our spider monkey babies will be. We will be collecting blood samples for DNA testing from all of the troop members once the infant is a little older.

Abridged from Norah Fletchall, assistant director, in Zoo News (John Ball Zoological Society) Vol. 18, No. 1 (March 2001)

Loro Parque, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Thick-billed parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha) chicks were successfully reared in the park in 2000, the most recent addition to Loro Parque's long list of successful reproductions of psittacine species. These chicks are not our first hatchlings of the species, since on another two occasions fertile eggs were produced and chicks hatched, but this is the first time that the offspring fledged. Previously, either the eggs or the young have not been viable. The breeding pair produced a clutch of two eggs, and both chicks hatched on 26 August 2000. This breeding success is all the more significant as the chicks were naturally reared by their parents.

The thick-billed parrot is rarely kept in European collections, and is also not established in private aviculture. A breeding programme has existed since 1984 in the U.K., and a proposal for a European studbook was agreed on at the recent meeting of the EAZA Parrot TAG, expanding the British regional programme to the rest of Europe. The habitat of this endangered species is now restricted to the mountainous regions of Mexico; historically, it occurred also in Arizona and New Mexico, where it is now extirpated. Each captive breeding success is therefore an important contribution to the survival of the species. The first captive breeding of thick-billed parrots was achieved by San Diego Zoo in September 1965.

Miguel Bueno in EAZA News No. 34 (April–June 2001)

Miami Metrozoo, Florida, U.S.A.

Nearly ten years after Hurricane Andrew shattered the zoo's Wings of Asia exhibit, plans have been unveiled for a new $13.5 million aviary that will replace the last visible reminder of Andrew's destruction -- and help mend the zoo's struggling public image. Andrew's 145-m.p.h. winds and heavy rains caused more than $15 million worth of damage in 1992 and displaced nearly 400 animals. The zoo has been trying to make a comeback ever since. After an initial post-Andrew influx of visitors, numbers steadily declined. Last year, though, marked the first jump in attendance in five years, with more than 430,000 visitors, and about a half-million are expected this year – a good sign, but a far cry from the zoo's heyday in the early 1980s, when crowds of 800,000 passed through each year.

The aviary will house 300 species of rare and exotic Asian birds, from hornbills and pheasants to magpies and storks, under steel mesh canopies. Visitors will either walk through or ride a monorail through the lush landscaping of a simulated Asian jungle, complete with towering baobab trees and a temple-inspired plaza overlooking a winding pond and waterfalls. The new aviary will be part of a 2.6-acre [1-ha] project that is larger than the original Wings of Asia exhibit and signals a shift in zoo-keeping philosophy. Just outside the aviary's gates, visitors will be able to take a stroll down an evolutionary memory lane and visit with the feathered flock's unlikely ancestors: dinosaurs. `Kids say they're sorry dinosaurs are extinct, but they're not,' says Philip K. Stoddard, a Florida International University professor and consultant on the dinosaur exhibit. `They just grew wings and learned to fly. Those that didn't died off. But the hummingbird is the world's smallest living dinosaur.' Construction on the project is slated to begin this September and be completed by September 2002. After completion, it will not open to the public for a few months to allow the birds to become accustomed to their new home.

Perth Zoo, Western Australia

Work has commenced on changing the water in the Penguin Plunge from fresh to salt water. We are using seawater that is trucked in by tankers, rather than sea salt, which is a much more expensive option. The change is being done gradually to enable the penguins and other sea birds in the exhibit time for their salt glands to become active. Research in several articles on the activation of salt glands revealed several things we were unaware of. From one paper it seemed that salt excretion in ducks begins within two hours, but differentiation of gland tissue associated with adaptive growth of the gland in response to osmotic stress begins within 12 to 15 hours; there was no clue as to when it is complete.

Another paper looked at the incorporation of thymidine into the gland tissue of geese and ducks. The authors found a marked increase at two days, then by seven and 14 days incorporation was low; however, by this time there was a significant increase in the DNA content of the glands. It would seem, then, that for ducks and geese, the glands appear to be fully operational somewhere between seven and 14 days.

From this information we developed the following protocol:

Day 1: Replace 13,000 litres of fresh water with seawater. This will give a solution that is 26% seawater (i.e. 0.91% saline solution). The papers all used a 1% saline solution to activate the salt glands.

Day 3: Replace 13,000 litres of 0.91% saline solution with 13,000 litres of seawater to give a 1.58% saline solution.

Day 6: Replace 13,000 litres of 1.58% saline solution with 13,000 litres of seawater to give a 2.08% saline solution. By this time the birds' salt glands should be pretty much able to respond to any further changes in salinity.

Day 9: Replace 13,000 litres of 2.08% saline with 13,000 litres of seawater to give a 2.45% saline solution. By Day 9 the birds' salt glands should be more or less fully activated and should have undergone their growth to adapt to constant salt load – assuming penguins are like ducks and geese in this respect!

Day 12: Drain and clean the pool, fill with seawater (3.5% saline solution), and activate new filtration system (which includes two sand filters, a biofilter and an ozonator).

During the acclimatisation period, as well as after the pool has been changed to seawater, plenty of fresh water was available within the enclosure to allow all birds to drink fresh water if they needed to. The penguins' and seabirds' salt glands were functioning within 24 hours and the health of all the birds appears fine.

Pamela Smith in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 50 (May 2001)

Reykjavik Farm Zoo, Iceland

[A visitor's report by Baldur Thorvaldsson]

This is Iceland's only zoo, and – as its name suggests – much of the collection consists of domestic animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. However, the zoo also exhibits a number of wild or feral mammal species found in Iceland – mink, arctic foxes, reindeer, mice and rats, and seals.

Mink were brought to Iceland in the 1930s for fur farming, but many escaped from their poorly-made cages and they are now found everywhere in the country. There have been constant attempts to eliminate them, but people are now beginning to realise that these efforts are hopeless. Arctic foxes were the only land mammals here before the arrival of the vikings. It is thought that they may have reached Iceland by following polar bears over the pack ice from Greenland, trying to scavenge fragments of seals killed by the bears. Reindeer were first brought here in 1773. They were used for hunting, and have never been domesticated as they are in Finland and Sweden. In most areas they have been hunted down, but a few live now in the mountains of eastern Iceland. Mice and rats came in the same way as they reached Britain and other countries throughout the world, hidden in ships and boats. The species here include brown and black rats (Rattus norvegicus and R. rattus), house mouse (Mus musculus) and wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus).

The zoo exhibits only one seal species, the common or harbour seal (Phoca vitulina). This and the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) are the only species breeding on the coasts of Iceland, though strays of other species from Greenland are very common, including harp, hooded and bearded seals. Sometimes (though very rarely) walruses stop by, including a young animal last year. Polar bears arrive occasionally on drift ice. In all, 55 are known to have been killed in Iceland and over 500 have been sighted on ice, land and sea. Since 1969, five bears have stopped by, but sadly, they were all shot.

St Louis Zoo, Missouri, U.S.A.

When an antelope becomes pregnant at the zoo, not only do we hope for a healthy baby, but we also hope for a female one. Why this bias against males? Most antelope species in the wild live in female groups, where males reside on the outskirts of the herd. Generally, only one or two males mate with those females. In captivity, we try to mimic these social situations by housing multiple females with or near one or two males. So, when a male calf is born, animal managers must quickly try to find him a home before he reaches puberty, which can be within one year in most species.

Because of the limited number of spaces available, as well as genetic management constraints, zoos are trying to find ways to prevent the overproduction of males. Researchers at St Louis have been using in vitro embryo production, the procedures used to make domestic cow `test-tube babies', with addax and banteng. Addax embryos have been produced to the stage necessary to be transferred to a surrogate mother or survive being frozen at –196° C and stored indefinitely. Although banteng are closely related to the domestic cow, embryo production has not been as successful. Investigations are underway to clarify this species difference.

Using our knowledge of in vitro embryo production, we are now trying to produce only female embryos. Because gender is determined by the sperm that fertilizes the egg, sperm must be sorted into female or male fractions before being used in the test-tube. `Female' sperm has an X-chromosome that is larger than the Y-chromosome in `male' sperm. Because of this very slight difference, sperm can be sorted by weight using a specialized machine called a flow cytometer. There are only two flow cytometers in the country that are used for sorting sperm from farm animals. We are collaborating with Dr David Guthrie and his team at U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratories in Beltsville, Maryland. To sort sperm, we collect a sample from our addax or banteng male and immediately ship it to Maryland. They hold the sample overnight, sort it the next morning, and ship it back to us that day so we can use it to fertilize eggs that evening. Weather and plane delays can cause significant problems, so we are currently working on improving the process so the sperm live longer.

Monica L. Hall-Woods in Zudus Vol. 15, No. 2 (March/April 2001)

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

As nursery keeper Janet Hawes prepared milk formula for three new-born Indochinese tiger cubs, the telephone rang. The caller was Dr Miller, a veterinarian from Florida who needed expert advice from zoo colleagues. An aardvark infant had been born that morning, but the mother wasn't caring for it. Dr Miller, who had never helped care for a new-born aardvark, needed to know what to do, stressing that time was of the essence. Thanks to Janet's advice, which included hand-rearing instructions, the baby aardvark survived and is thriving.

San Diego's nursery keepers receive inquiries like this on a regular basis, because the zoo has the largest exotic animal nursery in the world and its keepers have extensive experience in hand-raising a wide variety of animals. Janet says that `the calls come from zoos, wildlife rescue stations, endangered species breeding facilities and conservation programs within the United States, and also from Europe, Central America, and Asia.' And because of this great need for hand-rearing information, the nursery keepers are developing a computer information data base – the Nursery Information System – that will make it easier and faster to share knowledge. This could make all the difference in the survival of an orphaned or sick young animal that needs special nursery care.

The hand-rearing data is divided between handwritten files and an array of notebooks, as well as stored in the minds of experienced nursery keepers. The Nursery Information System will consolidate and organize hand-raising techniques developed by San Diego Zoo staff and will generate summaries with all the information needed to hand-raise a particular species. Janet equates these summaries to `recipes' that include everything from weight charts, formula compositions and feeding schedules to housing, expected behavior and special needs.

Fortunately, a generous, new Founder's Circle member has funded this $20,000 project, which will enable our nursery experts to play an integral role in readily assisting animal care specialists worldwide in their endeavors to hand-rear precious mammals.

Zoonooz Vol. 74, No. 3 (March 2001)

Tama Zoo, Tokyo, Japan

A number of attempts have been made at the zoo to hand-raise black-faced spoonbills (Platalea minor), but all were unsuccessful because of digestion and defecation problems. Even when the feeder loaches were liquified in a blender, the chicks' faeces would be compacted. The following improvements were made after observing the adults' natural behaviour, and last year two chicks were hatched and raised successfully:

1. After hatching, the chicks were not fed until they began to utter their feeding cries;

2. Originally the feeder loaches were injected with vitamins and digestive enzymes just before feeding, but this time the enzymes were injected two hours before feeding and the loaches warmed up in an incubator. In this way the loaches became soft, and there was no need to liquify them in the blender. Physiological saline solution was also added to the food, in consideration of the fact that these birds feed on mud flats;

3. In order to avoid overfeeding, food was simply placed on the tongue of the chicks, and it was left to them to ingest it at will.

English summary of article in Japanese by Yukihiro Takahashi and Heizo Sugita, published in Animals and Zoos Vol. 53, No. 2 (February 2001)

Wilhelma Zoo, Stuttgart, Germany

Our little wattled crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) has not yet acquired the splendid plumage of an adult bird, and the wattles on his neck are still tiny. He is, of course, unaware of what a rarity he is: in European zoos there are only a few breeding pairs of these impressive cranes from southern and eastern Africa. And when they do succeed in breeding, the adults often want to have nothing to do with their offspring: so the chick has to be hand-reared, grows up with no contact with its conspecifics, and is itself unable to breed and rear offspring.

Each year in Europe only three or four wattled crane chicks are reared by their parents, and thus have the chance of a natural life. This is what makes the Wilhelma crane family so special. Like all cranes, the chick is growing up fast, but he will not be sexually mature for three or four years. He is not hard to feed, with a choice of water-plants, insects, snails and frogs, and artificial alternatives – instead of frogs, for example – are quite acceptable. Wattled cranes tend not to wander, as long as there is water near at hand, which is certainly no problem at Wilhelma.

There are some new arrivals in the free-flight enclosure – northern helmeted curassows (Pauxi pauxi). These members of the Galliformes have a diet not unlike that of poultry – fruit, buds and sometimes insects – but in some ways these turkey-sized birds are very different from other galliforms. They are adapted to an arboreal life-style, fly and climb skilfully, nest in trees, live in pairs or family groups, and lay only two eggs. The chicks, however, are as precocial as other galliforms, and can fly well after just a few days. In the wild, their low reproductive rate is sufficient to maintain their numbers in the face of their natural predators, but not to survive human persecution; these large and tasty birds are a popular target for hunters and as a result are highly threatened. Our curassows were bred at Antwerp Zoo. They share their aviary with other South American birds, yellow-rumped caciques and blue-crowned motmots.

Translated by Nicholas Gould from Wilhelma Zoo press releases (2 and 9 May 2001)

News in brief

On 4 May 2001, a female African elephant was born at Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. The mother is the 20-year-old female, Pori, who came on loan from Magdeburg Zoo in 1997, and the father is 16-year-old Tembo, who also sired the calves Matibi and Tutume, born at the park in 1999. The new calf was 84 cm high and weighed 75 kg at birth.

Dr Bernhard Blaszkiewitz

A first for Nikolaev Zoo, Ukraine, was the breeding of white-tailed sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in 2000. This is all the more significant as both chicks were reared by the female on her own. She became very aggressive to the male after the chicks hatched and we had to separate him.

Vladimir Topchy in EAZA News No. 34 (April–June 2001)

* * *


Acharjyo, L.N.: Role of zoos in the conservation of reptiles in India. Zoos' Print Vol. 15, No. 7 (2000), pp. 5–8.

Baker, W.K.: How can an impending animal birth affect behavior patterns and safety? Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 10 (2000), pp. 436–437.

Baker, W.K.: How do you prepare for a crisis management drill? Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 9 (2000), pp. 384–385.

Baumgartner, R.: Wiederansiedlungsprojekt Tachin Tal. (Tachin Tal reintroduction project.) Bongo Vol. 30 (2000), pp. 1–14. [German, with brief English summary. Discusses reintroduction projects for Przewalski's horses, with special emphasis on a project initiated in 1992 in south-western Mongolia.]

Beerepoot, M.C., and Groot, L.D.A.: Rantsoenen onder de loep! (Diets under the magnifying glass) De Harpij Vol. 20, No. 1 (2001), pp. 22–25. [Dutch, with English summary. Two students have undertaken a project aimed at improving the diet of mammals at Amsterdam Zoo. They first inventoried the diets fed to all the mammals and then compared the diet with what is known about the natural diet of two species: the Asian elephant and the lowland gorilla. It was found that the diet fed to both species at the zoo was much lower in crude fibre and much higher in crude fat than what wild counterparts eat. This can lead to digestive problems resulting in diarrhoea. Gorillas with a low-fibre diet are also more susceptible to infection of the large intestine. The zoo gorilla diet was also found to be deficient in some vitamins (A, D, and E) and too high in calcium and too low in phosphorus. It may be that the gorillas are able to synthesize vitamins A and D from their zoo diet, and they show no signs of vitamin deficiency. Nonetheless the students recommended that the vitamin intake be increased.]

Berghaier, R., Maas-Anger, T., and Ffinch, J.: Wild avifauna of the Philadelphia Zoological Garden. Ratel Vol. 27, No. 6 (2000), pp. 214–223. [Reprinted from Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 27, No. 7.]

Berndt, G.: Erinnerungen an den Tiermaler Wilhelm Eigener. (Recollections of the animal artist W. Eigener.) Bongo Vol. 30 (2000), pp. 115–122. [German, with brief English summary. Eigener (1904–1982) had a lifelong close association with Berlin Zoo.]

Birchenough, A.C., and Evans, S.M.: The potential contribution of aviculture to conservation breeding of estrildid finches. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 106, No. 4 (2000), pp. 145–156. [The authors assess the potential contribution that could be made to the long-term conservation of the Estrildidae by members of the U.K.-based Australian Finch Society.]

Bloomsmith, M.A., and Lambeth, S.P.: Videotapes as enrichment for captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Zoo Biology Vol. 19, No. 6 (2000), pp. 541–551. [The responses of ten 3.7 adults to videotapes of chimpanzees engaging in a variety of behaviors, to videotapes of other animals and humans, and to television programs were compared. No general behavioral differences in response to the tapes based on sex or housing were revealed.; however, individually housed animals watched the videotapes more than socially housed ones. When viewing time was averaged across all videotapes, the chimpanzees watched the monitor a mean of 38.4% of the time available. Although this type of enrichment did not extensively alter behavior, it did occupy a significant portion of the subjects' activity budget, indicating that videotapes may be a useful enrichment for captive chimpanzees.]

Carbone, C., Christie, S., Conforti, K., Coulson, T., Franklin, N., Ginsberg, J.R., Griffiths, M., Holden, J., Kawanishi, K., Kinnaird, M., Laidlaw, R., Lynam, A., Macdonald, D.W., Martyr, D., McDougall, C., Nath, L., O'Brien, T., Seidensticker, J., Smith, D.J.L., Sunquist, M., Tilson, R., and Shahruddin, W.N.W.: The use of photographic rates to estimate densities of tigers and other cryptic mammals. Animal Conservation Vol. 4, No. 1 (2001), pp. 75–79.

Courchamp, F., Clutton-Brock, T., and Grenfell, B.: Multipack dynamics and the Allee effect in the African wild dog, Lycaon pictus. Animal Conservation Vol. 3, No. 4 (2000), pp. 277–285. [The current decline of this highly endangered species may be partly due to the population dynamics induced by their social system. African wild dogs are obligate cooperators, and their need for helpers could generate inverse density dependence at the pack level. This can lead to a lower population size and a higher risk of population extinction, compared to populations with direct density dependence. Furthermore, habitat fragmentation and destruction, as well as increased human pressure, increase the effects of inverse density dependence. Direct and indirect anthropogenic effects may thus be more detrimental to obligate cooperative breeders than to other species.]

Davison, A., Griffiths, H.I., Brookes, R.C., Maran, T., Macdonald, D.W., Sidorovich, V.E., Kitchener, A.C., Irizar, I., Villate, I., González-Esteban, J., Ceña, J.C., Ceña, A., Moya, I., and Miñano, S.P.: Mitochondrial DNA and palaeontological evidence for the origins of endangered European mink, Mustela lutreola. Animal Conservation Vol. 3, No. 4 (2000), pp. 345–355. [The European mink is one of Europe's most endangered carnivores, with a few vulnerable populations remaining. Surprisingly, a recent phylogeny placed a single mink specimen within the polecat (M. putorius, M. eversmannii) group, suggesting a recent speciation and/or the effects of hybridization. The analysis has now been extended to a further 51 mink and polecats. As before, phylogenetic methods failed to resolve the relationships between the species. One haplotype was found in both species, and predominated in European mink from Spain and eastern Europe. The known M. lutreola fossils are of very young date, so either mink arose recently, or else the situation is confused by hybridization and a biased fossil recovery. The study highlights the dangers of using a single genetic marker in defining Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs). Polecats and European mink are clearly distinct in their morphology and ecology, and should still be considered as separate ESUs, but without further data it is difficult to define management units. Following the precautionary principle, the authors recommend that for the moment European mink in eastern Europe and Spain should be managed separately.]

De Vleeschouwer, K., Van Elsacker, L., Heistermann, M., and Leus, K.: An evaluation of the suitability of contraceptive methods in golden-headed lion tamarins (Leontopithecus chrysomelas), with emphasis on melengestrol acetate (MGA) implants: (II) endocrinological and behavioural effects. Animal Welfare Vol. 9, No. 4 (2000), pp. 385–401. [In order to be suitable, a contraceptive method should have little or no effect on social organization or behaviour. In callitrichids, changes in socio-sexual interactions between group members, due to hormonal changes induced by contraception, may have consequences for the reproductive inhibition of offspring in their natal group. This may lead to an increased rate of inbreeding. The authors' research confirmed earlier findings that MGA implants inhibited reproduction through the suppression of ovulation and regular ovarian cycles in the implanted female, while the occurrence of ovarian cycles in the oldest female offspring of each group was not affected. Sexual interactions between the dominant adults still occurred but underwent temporal changes. Reproductive inhibition in female offspring was maintained. Social interactions between group members altered in a non-consistent way, but did not have an impact on the stability of the study groups. In principle, MGA implants do not have a detrimental impact on the behaviour of group members. The suitability of MGA implants from a behavioural point of view depends on the extent to which those involved wish to preserve the entire range of natural behaviours for this species. The behavioural effects of other contraceptive methods are still largely unknown.]

de Wit, P.: De 4e Internationale pinguïn-conferentie. (The Fourth International Penguin Conference.) De Harpij Vol. 20, No. 1 (2001), pp. 12–16. [Dutch, with English summary. The author attended the conference, in La Serena, Chile, in connection with his position as Humboldt Penguin EEP coordinator. Most of the conference participants were field workers specialized in study of one species of penguin, and often even just one aspect of the penguin's ecology. Refined research techniques and instruments have greatly increased the scope of penguin research, for example satellite tracking of penguins with transmitters fitted on their backs gives information on the depth and location where they are foraging. It is also now possible to measure how much and when a penguin eats. Much research emphasis is currently on foraging habits of penguins, as ensuring that they can find sufficient food is essential in penguin protection. Important factors in declines seen in most penguin populations include the `El Niño effect', over-fishing of penguin food items, disturbance (e.g. by tourism), introduction of predators and oil pollution. There are several areas in which zoos and field workers can work closely together, including improving design of wing bands and of artificial nest sites for burrowing species (such as the Humboldt penguin). Zoo and field workers can also jointly collect funds for penguin conservation, approach the relevant authorities about taking necessary conservation measures, and most importantly, develop local and international educational projects.]

Dobberstine, J., and Coleman, P.: Duiker management at the Houston Zoo. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 11 (2000), pp. 485–490.

Dolan, J.M.: The mammal collection of the Zoological Society of San Diego: a historical perspective. Part 17: Dipodidae to Leporidae. Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 2 (2001), pp. 73–96.

Eaves, H.E.: Duikers: a primary target for Africa's bushmeat trade. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 11 (2000), pp. 497–505.

Ellis, J.: The first UK breeding of crowned hornbill (Tockus alboterminatus) at Leeds Castle. Ratel Vol. 28, No. 2 (2001), pp. 55–57.

Encke, D.: Erfahrungen mit der Bepflanzung in begehbaren Anlagen für Kattas (Lemur catta) und Guerezas (Colobus guereza). (Experience with planting walk-through enclosures for ring-tailed lemurs and colobus.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 2 (2001), pp. 128–136. [German, with very brief English summary. The two exhibits, at Münster Zoo, were opened in 1998 and 1999; both have natural woodland vegetation. The author describes the different kinds of damage caused by the primates, and outlines possible ways of long-term maintenance of the natural vegetation.]

Ferrell, S.T., Radcliffe, R.W., Marsh, R., Thurman, C.B., Cartwright, C.M., De Maar, T.W.J., Blumer, E.S., Spevak, E., and Osofsky, S.A.: Comparisons among selected neonatal biomedical parameters of four species of semi-free ranging Hippotragini: addax (Addax nasomaculatus), scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx), and sable antelope (Hippotragus niger). Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 1 (2001), pp. 47–54. [This study, at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Texas, demonstrates important differences in biomedical parameters for closely related species of Hippotraginae, born in a similar environment, underscoring the importance of determining clinical normal values for a particular species and age class whenever possible. Some of these biomedical differences may be reflections of evolutionary adaptations to certain ecological niches. Medical and management decisions relating to neonates that are a part of breeding or reintroduction programs should ideally not be based on reference ranges derived either from adult populations or from other closely related species.]

Fitzgerald, L., Robertia, J., and Vogle, K.: Operant conditioning of yellow-backed duiker at the Dallas Zoo. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 11 (2000), pp. 509–512.

Frädrich, H.: Der Zoo in Charlottengrad. Bongo Vol. 30 (2000), pp. 83–86. [German, with brief English summary. After the 1917 revolution, Berlin became the home of many Russian exiles, including some well-known writers. As they lived mainly in the area around the zoo, it is mentioned in quite a number of articles written at that time.]

Frankham, R., Manning, H., Margan, S.H., and Briscoe, D.A.: Does equalization of family sizes reduce genetic adaptation to captivity? Animal Conservation Vol. 3, No. 4 (2000), pp. 357–363. [Genetic adaptation to captive environments is likely to reduce the reproductive fitness of endangered species when they are reintroduced into natural environments. Equalization of family sizes is predicted to halve genetic adaptation to captivity as it removes selection among families, and is recommended in captive management of threatened species. Testing of this prediction with Drosophila, however, raises doubts about its validity.]

Friedner, T., and Morrow, C.: Husbandry study of six captive Maxwell's duikers (Cephalophus maxwelli). Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 11 (2000), pp. 520–536. [St Catherine's Island Wildlife Survival Center, Georgia.]

Gamble, K.C., Fitzgerald, L., and Buch, J.: Vasectomy reversal in a yellow-backed duiker (Cephalophus sylvicultor). Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 11 (2000), pp. 506–508.

Gates, L.J.: Developing the animal collection at Merrist Wood College. Ratel Vol. 27, No. 6 (2000), pp. 200–203. [A well-resourced animal care department at a further education centre.]

Gillespie, D., Frye, F.L., Stockham, S.L., and Fredeking, T.: Blood values in wild and captive Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis). Zoo Biology Vol. 19, No. 6 (2000), pp. 495–509. [Samples from 33 free-ranging animals in Komodo National Park, Indonesia, were evaluated to assess underlying health problems. To build a comparative database, samples from 44 Komodo dragons in both Indonesian and U.S. zoos were also analyzed. Tests performed included complete blood counts, clinical chemistry profiles, vitamin A, D3, and E analyses, mineral levels, and screening for chlorinated pesticides or other toxins in wild specimens. The results indicate no notable medical, nutritional, or toxic problems in the wild Komodo dragon population. Problems in captive specimens may relate to, and can be corrected by, husbandry measures such as regular ultraviolet-B exposure.]

Grantham, B.: Breeding the purple-bellied parrot Triclaria malachitacea. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 106, No. 4 (2000), pp. 170–172.

Grogan, I.: Breeding the white-breasted amazilia Amazilia amazilia leucophoea. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 106, No. 4 (2000), pp. 157–164.

Guerrero, D.: Animal behavior concerns and solutions: training a baboon to give urine and blood samples. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 10 (2000), pp. 429–431.

Guerrero, D.: Animal behavior concerns and solutions: training giraffes. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 9 (2000), pp. 377–381.

Hales, C.: The Ducorps cockatoos. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 34, No. 12 (2000), pp. 417–419. [Cacatua ducorpsii.]

Höhn, M., Kronschnabl, M., and Ganslosser, U.: Similarities and differences in activities and agonistic behavior of male eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) in captivity and the wild. Zoo Biology Vol. 19, No. 6 (2000), pp. 529–539. [Kangaroos were observed in groups of similar size (50–60) in a 4.2-ha enclosure at Neuwied Zoo, Germany, and at Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia. Activities in both situations were very similarly distributed: feeding took up less time in the zoo, but resting was similar in both situations. Frequencies of social interactions and agonistic behavior, with the exception of ritualized fighting, were greater in the zoo, probably because of increased group density. No differences in escalation tendencies toward potentially injurious fighting could be found. In general, behavior in captive and free-ranging animals is remarkably similar, at least under conditions of large enclosures with natural vegetation.]

Holdsworth, M.: The orange-bellied parrot recovery programme. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 34, No. 10 (2000), pp. 338–340. [Neophema chrysogaster.]

Hosey, G.R.: Zoo animals and their human audiences: what is the visitor effect? Animal Welfare Vol. 9, No. 4 (2000), pp. 343–357. [The presence of human visitors has been shown to affect the behaviour of several different mammalian species in a number of different zoos, but the behavioural changes observed are not always consistent with a simple `stressful influence' explanation. Data for non-primate species are too sparse to draw meaningful conclusions; but for primates, the evidence reviewed in this paper allows several hypotheses to be tested. Neither a social facilitation nor an audience attraction hypothesis can be generally supported by the available studies. However, these studies are consistent with a general stressful influence hypothesis, although the extent of this influence is itself affected by other variables, notably species and housing differences. There is some evidence that chronic exposure to human audiences may lessen this stressful influence in some species; and in certain circumstances (notably where some members of the public throw food) the effect of the audience is almost an enriching one.]

Jolliffe, T.: Breeding the lemon-breasted canary Serinus citrinipectus and notes on some other Serinus species. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 106, No. 4 (2000), pp. 178–181.

Juniper, P.: The management of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park. Ratel Vol. 27, No. 5 (2000), pp. 168–175.

Kaiser, M.: Erste Ergebnisse der Zählung freilebender Wasservögel im Zoologischen Garten Berlin. (First results of the census of free-living waterfowl at Berlin Zoo.) Bongo Vol. 30 (2000), pp. 17–23. [German, with brief English summary.]

Klös, U.: Völkerschauen im Zoo Berlin zwischen 1878 und 1952. (Ethnological shows at Berlin Zoo, 1878–1952.) Bongo Vol. 30 (2000), pp. 33–82. [German, with very brief English summary.]

Klös, H.-G.: Entwicklung des Bestandes von Przewalskipferden in Menschenobhut seit dem 1. Fang im Jahre 1899 bis zum 31.12.1958. (Development of the captive population of Przewalski's horse from the first capture in 1899 to 1958.) Bongo Vol. 30 (2000), pp. 133–134. [German, no English summary.]

Klös, H.-G.: Entwicklung des Bestandes von Przewalskipferden in Menschenobhut seit Einrichtung des Zuchtbuches durch Erna Mohr am 31.12.1958. (Development of the captive population of Przewalski's horse since the establishment of the studbook in 1958.) Bongo Vol. 30 (2000), pp. 15–16. [German, no English summary (but mostly a table of figures).]

Klös, H., and Bauer, S.: Vermittlung von Zoologischem mit Spass und Spannung für Kinder und Jugendliche im Zoo Berlin. (Combining zoology with fun and excitement for children and young people at Berlin Zoo.) Bongo Vol. 30 (2000), pp. 87–94. [German, with very brief English summary.]

Kuehn, R., Schwab, G., Schroeder, W., and Rottmann, O.: Differentiation of Castor fiber and Castor canadensis by noninvasive molecular methods. Zoo Biology Vol. 19, No. 6 (2000), pp. 511–515. [There are several free-ranging populations of introduced American beavers in Europe. To assist a number of reintroduction programmes for European beaver, the authors developed a simple and reliable method for differentiation of the two species.]

Lange, J.: Die Haltung von Brückenechsen im Zoo-Aquarium Berlin. (Tuatara husbandry at Berlin Zoo.) Bongo Vol. 30 (2000), pp. 25–32. [German, with brief English summary. In 1990 the aquarium at Berlin Zoo received a group of ten young tuataras. One died by an accident in 1992, but the others developed very well. On their arrival they had a total length of 9.5–12.5 cm and weighed 61.9–99 g. At the end of 1996 they had a snout–vent length of 18.5–22.6 cm and a weight of 334–624 g. The terrarium for the tuataras measures 450 by 480 cm. The bottom is covered with 20–70 cm of earth, clay and a thin layer of shredded bark. The room temperature is between 14° C and 18° C. The tuataras are fed only on vitaminized crickets, because they very quickly grow fat if fed with baby mice.]

Larter, N.C., Sinclair, A.R.E., Ellsworth, T., Nishi, J., and Gates, C.C.: Dynamics of reintroduction in an indigenous large ungulate: the wood bison of northern Canada. Animal Conservation Vol. 3, No. 4 (2000), pp. 299–309. [Eighteen wood bison (Bison b. athabascae) were reintroduced into the Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary of the Northwest Territories, Canada, in 1963. The population subsequently increased in number and range, peaking at about 2,400 in 1989; numbers were estimated at about 1,900 in 1998. Recolonization occurred through a series of increases in local areas followed by pulses of dispersal and range expansion. This pattern was originally described for exotic species' introductions. Differences in diet and overwinter survival of calves over the bison's range suggest that intraspecific competition for food provided the stimulus for range expansion. For a conservation strategy, the reintroduction of animals into several independent sites in their historic range would facilitate recolonization and achieve a faster spread than a reintroduction into one site followed by waiting for the population to spread as a result of its own density-dependent responses.]

Low, R.: A plea to cockatoo breeders – `Please think twice.' Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 34, No. 11 (2000), pp. 381–384. [Argues strongly against hand-rearing and early weaning.]

Matson, K.D., Millam, J.R., and Klasing, K.C.: Sweet, salt, and sour taste stimuli in cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus). Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 1 (2001), pp. 1–13.

Mehrotra, P.K., Bhargava, S., Chaudhary, S., and Mathur, B.B.L.: Pasteurellosis in cage birds at Zoological Park, Jaipur. Zoos' Print Journal Vol. 15, No. 7 (2000), pp. 292–294.

Minion, J.: The purchase and transport of an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Ratel Vol. 28, No. 2 (2001), pp. 38–45. [The elephant was purchased in northern India and transported to Twycross Zoo, U.K.]

Morgan, E.: A year in the life of a mixed-species exhibit: keeping Goeldi's monkeys (Callimico goeldii) and pygmy marmosets (Cebuella pygmaea) together at Edinburgh Zoo. Ratel Vol. 28, No. 2 (2001), pp. 47–53.

Mycock, M.: The probable first UK breeding of the marabou. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 106, No. 4 (2000), pp. 182–184. [Leptoptilos crumeniferus; Blackbrook Zoological Park.]

Neachell, P.: My experiences with Malayan long-tail parakeets. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 34, No. 12 (2000), pp. 410–412. [Psittacula longicauda.]

Norton, T.M.: Rumen hypomotility (`Sloshing Syndrome') in small duikers. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 11 (2000), pp. 491–492.

Ochs, A.: Zur derzeitigen Situation der Breitmaulnashörner weltweit. (The current situation of white rhinos worldwide.) Bongo Vol. 30 (2000), pp. 129–131. [German, with brief English summary. The captive population has stabilised, but there is no reason for over-optimism.]

O'Sullivan, C.: An investigation into exudate feeding of Geoffroy's marmosets, Callithrix geoffroyi, at Edinburgh Zoo. Ratel Vol. 28, No. 1 (2001), pp. 22–35.

Pagel, T.: Notes on keeping and breeding the elegant pitta Pitta elegans. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 106, No. 4 (2000), pp. 165–169. [Cologne Zoo.]

Patel, P.V., Patel, A.I., Sahu, R.K., and Vyas, R.: Prevalence of gastro-intestinal parasites in captive birds of Gujarat zoos. Zoos' Print Journal Vol. 15, No. 7 (2000), pp. 295–296.

Perschke, M.: Der Orang-Utan `Jumbo', 1895 im Zoo Berlin, und andere Backenwülster. (Orang-utan Jumbo and other `bulgy-cheeks'.) Bongo Vol. 30 (2000), pp. 95–113. [German, with brief English summary. Reports on the first male orang-utans to be imported into Europe, and lists orangs kept at Berlin Zoo from 1872 to 1943.]

Pfefferkorn, C.: Status of captive duikers in North America. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 11 (2000), pp. 537–538.

Pill, L., and Hange, B.: Using operant conditioning to weigh 1.1 southern white rhinos. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 10 (2000), pp. 432–435. [Baltimore Zoo.]

Ramanujam, M.E.: An attempt to rationalize on the vocalizations and displays of captive Indian eagle owls, Bubo bubo bengalensis Franklin. Zoos' Print Journal Vol. 15, No. 6 (2000), pp. 269–274.

Ramanujam, M.E.: Food consumption and pellet regurgitation rates in a captive Indian eagle owl (Bubo bubo bengalensis). Zoos' Print Journal Vol. 15, No. 7 (2000), pp. 289–291.

Randi, E., Mucci, N., Claro-Hergueta, F., Bonnet, A., and Douzery, E.J.P.: A mitochondrial DNA control region phylogeny of the Cervinae: speciation in Cervus and implications for conservation. Animal Conservation Vol. 4, No. 1 (2001), pp. 1–11. [The authors researched the phylogenetic relationships in 25 Cervinae taxa, and found that Cervus splits into clades that are partially discordant with current species delimitations. Nominate Cervus elaphus includes two divergent clades that must be referred to as species C. elaphus (European elaphoid deer) and C. canadensis (Eurasian and North American wapitoid deer). C. nippon splits into Japanese and continental plus Taiwan sika. Père David's deer is nested within Cervus, suggesting that Elaphurus should be merged with Cervus. European and Persian fallow deer are genetically divergent and distinct species. Natural and farmed populations of some species have been deeply affected by human management and the conservation of deer populations would be aided by the appropriate identification of the different evolutionary and taxonomic units.]

Rendall, K.A.: Handraising and re-introduction of common marmosets: a layman's experience. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 10 (2000), pp. 441–446.

Robertia, J.: Guidelines for establishing training and conditioning protocols for captive duikers. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 11 (2000), pp. 463–481.

Roeder, B.L.: Fecal scoring in captive duiker antelope. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 11 (2000), pp. 516–519. [`Assigning a numeric score to the visual appearance of duiker feces can help animal keepers detect a digestive problem associated with feed or an illness in its early stages.']

Rowden, J.: Behavior of captive Bulwer's wattled pheasants, Lophura bulweri (Galliformes: Phasianidae). Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 1 (2001), pp. 15–25. [Birds of this species have traditionally been housed in pairs in captivity, although it is unknown whether monogamy is their natural mating system. In 1998 Bronx Zoo placed their group of 3.3 together in a complex outdoor habitat, in order to investigate several questions. These included whether monogamous pairing was the natural mating system for the species, how the new grouping would affect their behavior, and what microhabitats the individuals preferred within the complex habitat. Initially, all six individuals remained in the same enclosure without conflict. After a period of approximately six weeks, 2.1 of these individuals were removed for their safety, due to increasingly aggressive interactions. The project produced several suggestions for improving captive husbandry of L. bulweri. The data argue against housing this species in monogamous pairs, as has been the standard practice in captivity. During the non-breeding period groups of males and females can be housed together, which may prime them for breeding behavior since it could mimic the natural seasonal social dynamics of the species in the wild. At the onset of breeding, aggression will escalate and aviculturists should be careful to monitor their birds for signs of it. Maintaining more than one female with a single male when breeding activity begins seems to promote breeding and display activity for both male(s) and females. The number of females that may be housed with a male is unclear; we did see intrasexual female aggression when we had a group of three females together. A longer acclimation time for the birds during the non-breeding season could reduce aggression between females. In addition, more space in the enclosure could allow more females to be included in the social group.

The data also support having males visually isolated but within calling distance of each other during breeding. This mimics the conditions of an exploded lek, which is the type of breeding system best supported by the data. Because of this, we would suggest that consolidating the few members of this species that are in captivity at a small number of institutions might be the best way to promote reproduction in the species. Having small groups (e.g. 2–3 males and 3–4 females) at single institutions will allow those institutions the flexibility to manage their L. bulweri collections as an exploded lek type of system. Considering the small size of the captive population in the U.S.A., it is likely that there are only enough individuals for one or two institutions to pursue this strategy. In the absence of small groups, playing recorded male vocalizations within the auditory range of single males may mimic the aural aspects of an exploded lek. (See I.Z.N. 48:2, p. 128 – Ed.)

Finally, a complex environment seems most appropriate for this species. Males and females prefer different types of cover, probably due to their different sizes, levels of crypsis and roles in the breeding process. Large, complex habitats with open and shaded areas seem to suit this species best.]

Russello, M.A., and Amato, G.: Application of a noninvasive, PCR-based test for sex identification in an endangered parrot, Amazona guildingii. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 1 (2001), pp. 41–45. [Ex situ management of the St Vincent amazon has been hindered by the sexual monomorphism of the birds. A molecular sexing technique, using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA from a single feather tip, was applied to the captive populations on St Vincent (66 individuals) and Barbados (13). This study allowed for the rapid assessment of gender, while posing no threat to individual health, and will facilitate the efforts of the consortium breeding programs on those islands and in the United States and Europe.]

Schanberger, A., and Fitzgerald, L.: Mixed species management involving Cephalophinae. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 11 (2000), pp. 493–496.

Schratter, D.: Erfolgreiche Aufzucht von Zwillingen beim Grossen Ameisenbären (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) im Tiergarten Schönbrunn. (Successful rearing of twin giant anteaters at Schönbrunn Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 2 (2001), pp. 97–112. [German, with very brief English summary. Births and successful raising of giant anteaters in zoos are still rare events. In Europe, only Dortmund Zoo has so far been successful on a regular basis. The article reports the first-ever birth and rearing of twin anteaters (born 24 February 2000), with details of their development.]

Schutz, P.: Breeding and group dynamics in magpie shrikes Corvinella melanoleuca at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 106, No. 4 (2000), pp. 173–177.

Shaffstall, W.: An overview of training staff and rhinoceros for ultrasonography procedures. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 9 (2000), pp. 396–401. [Kansas City Zoo, Missouri.]

Sommer, S., and Hommen, U.: Modelling the effects of life-history traits and changing ecological conditions on the population dynamics and persistence of the endangered Malagasy giant jumping rat (Hypogeomys antimena). Animal Conservation Vol. 3, No. 4 (2000), pp. 333–343.

Stoinski, T.S., Daniel, E., and Maple, T.L.: A preliminary study of the behavioral effects of feeding enrichment on African elephants. Zoo Biology Vol. 19, No. 6 (2000), pp. 485–493. [Feeding enrichment in elephants is under-studied. Its behavioral effects were tested in three African elephants at Zoo Atlanta by substituting an equal dry weight of browse for hay. The results showed a significant increase in feeding and significant decreases in drinking and inactivity when the browse was present. Behavioral changes were also seen outside of the time when the browse was present; however, the relationship of these changes to the experimental intervention is not fully understood. There was also a significant increase in visibility to zoo visitors when browse was present.]

Stoinski, T.S., Hoff, M.P., Lukas, K.E., and Maple, T.L.: A preliminary behavioral comparison of two captive all-male gorilla groups. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 1 (2001), pp. 27–40. [Zoo Atlanta and Santa Barbara Zoo. No significant differences in overall social behavior were observed between the two institutions. The Atlanta males (three subadults) spent more time within 5 m of each other than the Santa Barbara males (two subadults and a silverback), but both groups appeared cohesive, with high rates of affiliative behaviors. The behavioral profiles of the animals were similar to those found in bachelor groups of wild mountain gorillas, with the notable exceptions of sexual behavior and dominance interactions. Variations in behavior between individual subjects corresponded with what is expected from age differences and suggest that none of the animals are behaviorally suppressed. However, high levels of self-directed behavior in the Santa Barbara silverback may be indicative of stress. The data suggest that all-male groups are certainly a feasible short-term management technique for male gorillas. In addition, the high levels of affiliative behavior and proximity reveal that all-male groups are good display groups for zoos. However, more data are needed to fully evaluate the behavioral dynamics of all-male groups and the feasibility of such groups as a permanent management strategy.]

Stubbington, T.: Effect of inbreeding and outbreeding in captive populations. Ratel Vol. 27, No. 5 (2000), pp. 176–191.

Taylor, L.: Random organization: organizing the enrichment program at the Regenstein Small Mammal and Reptile House at Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, Illinois. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 9 (2000), pp. 386–389.

Trodden, R.: Hand-rearing of a Bali starling (Leucopsar rothschildi) at Edinburgh Zoo. Ratel Vol. 28, No. 2 (2001), pp. 65–67.

Tintner, A., and Kotrschal, K.: Waldrappen im Freiflug – Das Grünauer Waldrapp-Projekt. (Free-flying northern bald ibises – the Grünau Waldrapp Project.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 2 (2001), pp. 113–127. [German, with English summary. At the Konrad Lorenz Research Station in Grünau, Austria, a waldrapp project was founded in 1997. Plans were to establish a reproductive and resident colony for social research and to get know-how for reintroduction projects with this species elsewhere. Each year chicks were hand-raised to make them attached to the locality. During the day the birds, who are marked with individual combinations of rings, fly free. In the evening they return to a room where they can stay overnight in safety from nocturnal predators. Only during bad weather or in the absence of caretakers do they stay in an aviary. In the first two years many birds were lost to predators or flew away during the migration period (late summer to autumn), so from the third year on they were placed in an aviary between August and November. Now, for nearly two years no more birds have been lost; 22 waldrapps are flying free in the area and there is hope that they will soon start to breed.]

Valenzuela, C.G.: Rare Amur leopard born at Exotic Feline Breeding Compound. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 9 (2000), pp. 396–401. [This facility, in Rosamond, California, houses 17 species or subspecies of exotic cats.]

Veltman, K., and van Herk, R.: EEP's in dierentuinland: het gaat goed met de zwartvoetpinguïns. (EEPs in Zoo-land: African penguins are doing well.) De Harpij Vol. 20, No. 1 (2001), pp. 2–8. [Dutch, with English summary; the first of a series of articles on European Endangered Species Programmes. The African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) EEP was initiated in 1994 because of the tremendous decline of this species in the wild, and because there was a substantial population in European zoos. As Amsterdam Zoo is renowned for its success with this species, with 1,130 African penguins reared there since the 1970s, Jaap Govers (zoo biologist) was asked to coordinate the programme. Jaap also coordinates the lesser Malayan mouse deer (Tragulus javanicus) EEP, and has estimated that these two programmes consume 30% of his work time. There are now 35 zoos cooperating in the African penguin EEP. The article outlines the work of the coordinator and the Species Committee,.]

Venkataraman, B., Manimozhi, A., and Krishnakumar, N.: In-house breeding of rats and mice to feed captive reptiles and cost benefit analysis. Zoos' Print Vol. 15, No. 7 (2000), pp. 1–4.

Vijayaraghavan, B.: Chennai Snake Park. Zoos' Print Vol. 15, No. 6 (2000), pp. 21–25. [The park, formerly Madras Snake Park, is a public collection currently holding 47 reptile species.]

Walker, S.: Ex situ conservation of reptiles in Indian zoos in context of status according to IUCN Red List criteria. Zoos' Print Vol. 15, No. 8 (2000), pp. 1–9.

Walpole, M.J.: Feeding dragons in Komodo National Park: a tourism tool with conservation complications. Animal Conservation Vol. 4, No. 1 (2001), pp. 67–73.

Whitaker, R.: Romulus Whitaker – snake crazy. Zoos' Print Vol. 15, No. 6 (2000), pp. 27–28. [An autobiographical sketch by the founder of the Chennai Snake Park and the Madras Crocodile Bank.]

Wilson, V.: Chipangali Wildlife Trust, Zimbabwe, duiker and mini-antelope research programme. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 11 (2000), pp. 482–484.

Wolf, K.N., Wildt, D.E., Vargas, A., Marinari, P.E., Ottinger, M.A., and Howard, J.G.: Reproductive inefficiency in male black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes). Zoo Biology Vol. 19, No. 6 (2000), pp. 517–528. [A high proportion of female black-footed ferrets exhibit estrus in captivity during the spring breeding season. However, many males considered to be prime-breeding age (1–3 years old) fail to sire offspring. Breeding records in 1995 revealed that 40 of 73 males (55%) managed under the SSP did not reproduce, despite being provided opportunity; corresponding figures for 1996 and 1997 were 38 of 69 (55%) and 35 of 60 (58%) respectively. The study identified six categories of reproductive failure, which indicated that combined behavioral and physiologic factors, but not overall sperm quality, influence reproductive performance in male black-footed ferrets managed in captivity.]

Yang, A., and Sawyer, V.: Yellow-backed duiker (Cephalophus sylvicultor) husbandry at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Animal Keepers’ Forum Vol. 27, No. 11 (2000), pp. 513–516.

Publishers of the periodicals listed:

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

Animal Keepers’ Forum, American Association of Zoo Keepers, 3601 S.W. 29th Street, Suite 133, Topeka, Kansas 66614, 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.

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

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

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

Ratel, Association of British Wild Animal Keepers, c/o Luke Gates, Woodpecker Lodge, Holly Lane, Worplesdon, Guildford, Surrey GU3 3PB, U.K.

Zoo Biology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158, U.S.A.

Der Zoologische Garten, Urban & Fischer Verlag GmbH, P.O. Box 100537, D-07705 Jena, Germany.

Zoos’ Print, Zoos' Print Journal, Zoo Outreach Organisation, Box 1683, Peelamedu, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641 004, India.