International Zoo News Vol. 48/5 (No. 310) July/August 2001
Breeding and Husbandry of Mandrills at Southport Zoo Paul John Juniper and James Barry Tapper
Conserving the World's Most Endangered Crocodile the Philippine Crocodile National Recovery Plan Chris Banks
Tasmanian Tiger and German Wolf: Chapters in the History of Zoological Gardens A.C. van Bruggen
International Zoo News
* * *
In my recent review (I.Z.N. 48:4, pp. 248250) of Threatened Birds of the World (Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, 2000), I made the tentative suggestion that IUCN Red List categories of threat might in future give some weight to captive status, mentioning as an example the `Critically Endangered' Bali mynah with its flourishing captive population. Rather to my disappointment this remark did not elicit any response from readers; but I was reminded of it when I read Chris Banks's article on the Philippine Crocodile National Recovery Plan (printed below, pp. 303308). This species, described as `the world's most endangered crocodile', has bred so successfully in captivity that the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre now holds about 1,500 animals. Another crocodilian officially regarded as Critically Endangered, the Chinese alligator, is similarly flourishing in captivity, with over 5,000 at the Anhui Research Centre in China (see below, p. 348). Every reader could doubtless provide other examples Siberian tiger, waldrapp, Père David's deer, scimitar-horned oryx. . . If taxa like these, with healthy breeding populations numbering hundreds or thousands, can be classified as `Critically Endangered', what more emphatic term can be found to describe animals which really are teetering on the brink of extinction for example, kakapo, Yangtze river dolphin or northern white rhino?
In some cases, and to some extent, the IUCN categories can be justified on grounds of caution. A species surviving mainly or solely in captivity, if concentrated at a single site or in a single country, remains vulnerable to unforeseen catastrophes disease, natural disaster, civil disturbance. Both the crocodilians mentioned above are at present at risk from this `all the eggs in one basket' scenario. The recent shipping of southern white rhinos from Kruger National Park to Australasian zoos (mentioned in Auckland Zoo's annual report, below) was partly inspired by the South African authorities' wish to establish viable breeding populations elsewhere in the world, rather than relying solely on the species' astonishingly successful comeback in that country. But in many cases this argument cannot apply. Many EEP and SSP species have bred so successfully, and are so widely dispersed in zoos, that it is hard to imagine a cataclysm great enough to wipe them out.
The anomaly in the Red Book classifications looks suspiciously like a hangover from the time when field conservationists refused to recognise that captive breeding had any part to play in saving species. (It is only a few years since some of these people seriously argued that the California condor should be allowed to become extinct rather than suffer the `indignity' of being taken into captivity.) But there is in fact a remedy ready to hand: the IUCN category `Lower Risk: conservation dependent' which currently includes, e.g., polar bear, giraffe, hooded crane and great crested newt could surely be extended to include species which, though threatened in the wild, are reasonably secure in zoos. At a time when the survival of every animal species is dependent, to a greater or lesser degree, on human protection, management or toleration, the old, rigid distinction between `wild' and `captive' is becoming increasingly difficult to justify.
* * *
BREEDING AND HUSBANDRY OF MANDRILLS AT SOUTHPORT ZOO
BY PAUL JOHN JUNIPER AND JAMES BARRY TAPPER
Southport Zoo and Conservation Trust (Merseyside, U.K.) is a family concern bought by the current owners, Douglas and Carol Petrie, in 1964. The zoo covers just over five acres [2 ha] of Princess Park, half a mile from Southport town centre, and is situated close to the sea front and promenade. The whole of the zoo is well planted with poplar and willow and has a varied aspect with both sloping regions and flat paddocks, making it an ideal setting for a varied wild animal collection. The site has been completely redeveloped over the last 30 years to provide accommodation for over 600 animals from all around the world. One of the many species successfully bred in the collection is the largest of the monkeys, the mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx).
Mandrill natural history
The mandrill is a primate in the family Cercopithecidae. Mandrills are placed by some taxonomists in the genus Papio, along with the rest of the baboons, but more commonly share the genus Mandrillus with their close relative, the drill (M. leucophaeus), which closely resembles its cousin except for its black face and slightly smaller size. The mandrill's conservation status at present is thought to be Vulnerable. Habitat destruction for farming has been the primary threat to the tropical rain forest that supports this species. Large areas of the Congo have also been sold to logging companies and are earmarked for clearance in the future.
The average body mass for an adult male mandrill is between 21 and 28 kilograms, although individuals weighing as much as 54 kg have been recorded (Attmore, 1987). Females are much smaller, weighing 11 or 12 kg (Hill, 1970). The mandrill's general body plan is typical of that of most baboons. An unusual feature in this species, however, are the pronounced maxillary ridges. The mandrill also has a relatively short tail, only three to four inches [75100 mm] long. The pelage colour ranges from dark brown to charcoal-grey. The male's penis is red and the scrotum lilac-coloured. Mature male mandrills are amongst the most colourful of the primates, having bright red and blue faces and similarly coloured hindquarters; these are regarded as secondary sexual characteristics, acting as a display to females and rival males signalling that a male has reached sexual maturity.
Mandrills are found in tropical Africa from southern Cameroon through Equatorial Guinea and Gabon through to the Congo rain forest (Macdonald, 1995). This species mainly occupies dense primary rain forest.
The mandrill is mainly a frugivorous species, but leaves, seed and nuts also make up a major portion of the diet. They have also been reported to feed upon fungi, roots, and occasionally small mammals, arthropods, crabs, fish, and cultivated crops like manioc and oil-palm fruits. The species mainly forages on the forest floor for food (Estes, 1991).
Mandrills live in large extended family groups with up to 20 or 25 members. A typical family consists of an alpha male, several females and their infants and older offspring (Flannery, 2001). Excess males live alone or forage on the edge of the group. During the dry season, several groups may come together to form troops of up to 250 animals (Hoshino et al., 1984). As so many individuals make up a troop, home range is very large for this species, covering some 9,00012,000 acres [3648 km2].
Mandrills are mainly a terrestrial species and mostly diurnal in habit. They move quadrupedally over the forest floor (Fleagle, 1988), but females and their young will climb into the canopy from time to time to recover fruits and leaves or to sleep overnight.
Researchers have noted several vocalisations. One of these is the loud call emitted by the adult male, which sounds a little like crowing (Flannery, 2001). It is heard when small uni-male groups come together to form larger troops, or when displaying to rival males when a female comes into season. Visual communication such as `tension yawning' can also be displayed by this species. Again, this behaviour is mostly shown by adult males (Estes, 1991). It occurs when the mouth is opened fully to reveal the canines; these teeth can be as much as 2.5 inches [60 mm] long. This behaviour is commonly seen when a rival group male or a predator approaches, and is considered to be a threat display.
Mandrills also display to each other by a behaviour known as `threat jerking'. The head is jerked forward, while the eyelids are retracted, the medial crest of the head is raised, and the lips are compressed forward. This behaviour has been seen in mandrills both sitting and standing (Flannery, 2001).
Mandrills have a uni-male social system, with the leader male doing most of the mating, although males on the fringe of the group will try to copulate with females in oestrus if the alpha male lets his guard down (Flannery, 2001). During oestrus the perineum of the female swells and turns red. Females display their readiness to mate by backing up to males, presenting their swollen genitals for inspection. Following a successful mating the female gives birth to a single offspring after a gestation period of 5.65.9 months. Seasonal births occur in the wild between January and April, probably in conjunction with the rainy season. Daughters stay with their mother's troop, while males usually leave their natal troop around adolescence (three to four years of age), either staying on the edge of the group or foraging on their own in the forest.
Mandrills show several adaptations that make them ideal forest floor dwellers. These include having a particularly long jaw, providing plenty of space for large cheek teeth to grind hard foods such as seeds and grasses. They also have powerful hands used for digging roots and bulbs from the forest floor. Their cheek pouches open adjacent to their lower teeth and extend down the side of the neck, enabling them to hold the equivalent of a stomach-load of food, leaving hands and feet free for running and climbing. Enlarged canines in the males serve as threat devices and weapons. Facial colours help in species identification in the forest. Mandrills have relatively long front limbs that aid in ground walking.
Mandrills at Southport Zoo
The Southport Zoo mandrills (5.7) currently comprise two separate bloodlines. The main group (3.5), the largest in Britain, has been developed from wild-caught founders brought to Southport in 1966. There is also a second group (2.2) held separately, which is composed of animals and their offspring originally imported from Chicago's Brookfield Zoo in 1989. Planned changes to the collection in the near future may well see the combination of these bloodlines. Southport is one of only five collections that now hold this species in the British Isles, the other four being Colchester Zoo, Chester Zoo, Paignton Zoo, and Fota Wildlife Park (Ireland).
Since the first birth of a female to the original founders in 1966, when they were just four years of age, the main group has bred a total of 45 (25.20) offspring, of whom all but seven (all of whom were males) failed to survive. The birth in 1997 of another female heralded the fourth generation of captive breeding for the group. The newer American group has produced seven (4.3) offspring at Southport, as well as two (1.1) animals sired by the male whilst on breeding loan to Belfast Zoo in Northern Ireland.
Sustained captive breeding of mandrills
The Southport animals are part of a European studbook programme (ESB) under the direction of Dr Ilma Bogsch at Budapest Zoo. At the annual general meeting of the Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland on 10 May 1998 held at Chester Zoo. the directors of Southport Zoo were presented with an award for the first fourth-generation captive breeding of mandrills in the U.K. This award is given for the sustained breeding, preferably over a number of generations, of a species or subspecies which is part of a recognized managed breeding programme. The criteria used in judging included the importance of the species or subspecies, the number of captive generations they have been bred for, and the value and completeness of the data on breeding success and on the dispersal of individuals to other collections.
Offspring from Southport have been used to strengthen bloodlines in collections worldwide, with animals having gone to Bristol, Colchester, London and Paignton Zoos in the U.K., and to collections abroad in Bangladesh, China, Germany, Israel, Japan and South Africa.
The two groups of mandrills at Southport are held within the same exhibit, which is divided into two enclosures. The exhibit makes extensive use of glass, with a double mesh barrier between windows keeping the public back from the animals.
The outside enclosures have a central area of rock-work made of concrete over a wood and mesh frame. There are also trees and telegraph poles which act as climbing structures. The floor is made of concrete covered with several inches of bark chip substrate. The house is mostly of timber construction, with a brick foundation. The interior walls are laminated with a wipe-down plastic surface to aid cleaning. The floor and the lowest quarter of the walls are fitted with ceramic tiles. There are two electric heaters in the access corridor for cold weather use.
Each morning while the mandrills are still locked inside their night quarters, the outside enclosures have their rock-work thoroughly swept down. The bark chipping substrate is raked over to remove any uneaten food, fruit peelings and faeces. The windows are washed and the water troughs emptied and refilled with clean water. Scatter feed is then randomly distributed around the enclosure several times a week.
The mandrills are then released into the outside enclosures and locked out. Work can then commence on the indoor areas of the exhibit. Firstly the wet and soiled wood shavings substrate is swept up along with any uneaten food and faeces. The wooden benches are soaked with water and scraped before being washed down. The windows and walls are then washed down with a dilute solution of disinfectant and soap-based detergent; this is then dried off the walls with a squeegee to prevent the animals ingesting any foam that might prove harmful. The indoor water troughs are emptied and refilled. A fresh layer of shavings is sprinkled over the floor, around 2 cm deep. Finally, the morning feed is scattered along the wall before the animals are given access to the indoor areas.
Once a month both the outside and indoor areas of the exhibit are thoroughly washed with a power hose. The indoor area is usually bleached out before this procedure, as over a period of time dirt builds up in the tile grouting that is difficult to remove by hand. This is also true of the concrete rock-work in the outdoor enclosures. The power washer helps us to deal with this gradual build-up of ground-in dirt.
The mandrills at Southport are fed on an extensive range of fruits and vegetables. The main diet is given twice a day (morning and evening), and in addition a scatter mix is thrown into the outdoor enclosure three or four times a week. This is not given every day so as not to get the animals used to any particular form of routine, and thus to reduce stereotypic behaviours, which are very low in the Southport group. An advantage of the scatter mix is that it can be given more than once a day, and the amount given can also be varied. Finally, the mandrills are sometimes given treats (see Table 1).
Table 1. Mandrill diet at Southport Zoo.
The main diet consists of a mixture of the following foods, fruits and vegetables:
Carrots Apples Bananas
Melon Swedes Turnips
Peaches Oranges Lemons
Rhubarb Grapes Boiled eggs
Fennel Beetroot Ginger
Pears Pomegranates Boiled potatoes
Onions Leeks Brown bread
Lychees Pineapple Avocado
Cherries Garlic Mixed peppers
Cabbage Grass Cress
A small feed of around 0.25 kg per individual is fed out each morning and a slightly larger feed is presented as an evening meal. All of the food is given in the house, scattered around the edge of the enclosure to avoid squabbles.
Mixed nuts Sunflower seeds Mazuri Zoo Foods Diet A
Trio Munch Rings Mealworms Spillers Dog Biscuits
Doughnuts Cookies Mixed sweets
Willow (leaves and branches)
The zoo receives donations of cakes, bread, fruit and vegetables from several local supermarkets. (The `backbone' items for the diet such as carrots, bananas and bread are of course bought in to ensure a constant supply.) We are therefore able to offer a great variety of food by changing components as and when they become available from these donations.
The husbandry techniques employed at Southport Zoo have proved most successful over the years. Breeding results have been consistent, and the simple enclosure design and husbandry regime seem to have facilitated this.
Marcus, the new dominant male in our main group, has now been accepted by the females and has sired two offspring to date. He is proving to be a good leader for the group, who is not too hard on his females and even takes time to play with his progeny. Unfortunately our largest male, Mika, who had been the leader of the American group since their return from breeding loan at Belfast Zoo, died unexpectedly from arthritic septicaemia in November 2000. We had originally planned to introduce him to the females in the big group and Marcus to the females in the American group. Since this is no longer possible, it is now planned to mix both groups together once the juveniles present are old enough to cope with the stress that such introductions involve.
We are confident that the Southport Zoo mandrill group will continue to prosper and remain self-sustaining for the foreseeable future.
The authors would like to thank Mr Douglas Petrie, director of Southport Zoo, for the information he has kindly provided regarding mandrill breeding at the zoo over the years.
Attmore, S. (1987): The Animal Encyclopedia. Brimax Books, Newmarket, U.K.
Estes, R.D. (1991): The Behavior Guide to African Mammals. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Flannery, S. (2001): www.primate.wisc.edu/pin/factsheets/mandrillus_sphinx.html.
Fleagle, J.G. (1988): Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Academic Press, New York.
Hill, W.C.O. (1970): Primates: Comparative Anatomy and Taxonomy. VIII. Cynopithecinae. Edinburgh University Press.
Hoshino, J., Mori, A., Kudo, H., and Kawai, M. (1984): A preliminary report on the groupings of mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) in Cameroon. Primates 25: 295307.
Macdonald, D.W. (ed.) (1995): The Encyclopaedia of Mammals. Andromeda, Oxford, U.K.
Paul John Juniper, Head Keeper of Primates, and James Barry Tapper, General Keeper, Flamingoland Zoo, Kirby Misperton, Malton, North Yorks. YO17 0UX, U.K.
[Both the authors were formerly Senior Keepers at Southport Zoo and Conservation Trust, Princess Park, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 1RX, U.K.]
* * *
CONSERVING THE WORLD'S MOST ENDANGERED CROCODILE THE PHILIPPINE CROCODILE NATIONAL RECOVERY PLAN
BY CHRIS BANKS
The Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) is a relatively small freshwater species averaging 1.52.0 m in total length, with adult males reportedly reaching 3.0 m (Brazaitis, 1973; Ross, 1998). It is one of only two species of crocodile naturally occurring in the Philippines, the other being the much larger estuarine or saltwater crocodile (C. porosus), which also occurs outside the Philippines from India to Australia.
Very little is known of the ecology of C. mindorensis, and information on its reproduction, growth and behaviour is based largely on captive animals. Previously distributed through many parts of the Philippines, it is now thought to only exist in the wild as small remnant populations and scattered individuals in central and eastern Mindanao, and north-east Luzon (Ortega, 1998; Pontillas, 2000; van Weerd et al., 2000). The species may still exist in south-west Negros Occidental (E. Alcala, pers. comm.), but anecdotal reports of crocodiles still to be found on Busuanga Island and in Lake Naujan on Mindoro have yet to be substantiated. The general consensus is that no more than 100 adults remain in the wild (Ortega, 1998).
Following a distribution-wide survey in 1982, which estimated the wild population at 5001,000 mature individuals (Ross and Alcala, 1983), the Philippine Government instituted measures to address the plight of both species of crocodile in the Philippines. This led to the establishment of a captive-breeding program at Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, and a joint venture with the Japanese Government to create the Crocodile Farming Institute (CFI) at Puerto Princesa City on Palawan, the latter now part of the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre (PWRCC). The joint venture ceased in 1994 and the PWRCC is now managed solely by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB). Breeding has been successful at both locations and the PWRCC now holds about 1,500 C. mindorensis (Alcala et al., 1987; Ortega, 1998; G. Rebong, pers. comm.).
Worldwide interest in contributing to the conservation of the species resulted in agreements with, and transfer of crocodiles to, Melbourne Zoo, Australia, and Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, U.S.A. These developments provided the foundation for subsequent provision of funds and other support, successful captive breeding at Gladys Porter Zoo, and promotion of the crocodile and its conservation in both countries.
The Philippine crocodile is now recognised by the IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) as the most threatened species of crocodile in the world, and is listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered (IUCN, 2000). It is legally protected in the Philippines and is listed on CITES Appendix I.
Arriving at a national program
A key participant in the establishment of the PWRCC was the Crocodile Specialist Group, whose first global Crocodile Action Plan listed C. mindorensis as the second most endangered crocodilian in the world and recommended establishment of a `national crocodile management program' as the highest priority for the species (Messel et al., 1992). This recommendation was repeated in the second edition of the Plan, produced in 1998 (Ross, 1998). Indeed, as the most endangered crocodilian in the world is an alligator, the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) (Ross, 1998), it is reasonable to refer to C. mindorensis as the most endangered species of crocodile in the world.
With the support of Melbourne Zoo, the PAWB and the CFI/PWRCC were represented at the 1998 meeting of the CSG in Singapore. This led to agreement on developing a National Recovery Plan for the Philippine Crocodile.
Developing the National Plan
The draft Plan was modelled after the `Striped Legless Lizard, Delma impar, National Recovery Plan: 19992003' (Smith and Robertson, 1999), which was developed for the Striped Legless Lizard National Recovery Team during 199799. The Foreword is written by the DENR Secretary at the time and is followed by a two-page Executive Summary. The next chapter sets out the known biology and life history of the species, as well as its taxonomy, conservation status, distribution, and the tenure of the land on which the species still occurs.
Chapter Three, `Issues and Challenges', underpins the basis for the necessary conservation actions:
Habitat loss: C. mindorensis is restricted to freshwater lakes, swamps and rivers, which have suffered greatly from pollution, over-fishing, siltation, drainage, conversion to other uses (rice crops, etc.), and clearing of riparian vegetation. Further, those freshwater habitats which are covered by the protected area system receive little if any protection (PAWB/DENR and Wetlands International, 1992).
Negative community attitudes: all crocodiles in the Philippines have a poor image within the general populace and are viewed negatively at almost all levels of society. Locally known as `buwaya', they are believed by rural people to be bearers of bad tidings and in league with the `dark forces of nature'. They are thus often referred to as `asuwang', or witches (Ortega, 1998). The perceived aggressive nature and dinosaur-like appearance of crocodiles do not endear them to the human population, and reported cases of problem crocodiles, most probably the larger estuarine crocodile, attacking people have reinforced the supernatural beliefs of rural people. Crocodiles are also the most maligned and ridiculed animals in the Philippines. In Filipino culture, crocodiles are frequently compared to corrupt government officials, greedy businessmen, policemen, tax collectors and selfish athletes.
National policies: although there are several laws that provide for the protection of Philippine wildlife and their habitats, only one piece of national legislation specifically includes crocodiles as protected animals. The new Wildlife and Conservation Act updates many of the existing laws, but its impact on C. mindorensis conservation is unclear.
Captive management: in most respects, captive management of C. mindorensis does not differ greatly from that of most species in the genus. However, the seasonal incompatibility that manifests itself in most groupings and pairings presents difficulties for intensive captive management.
Ecology: the ecology of C. mindorensis remains poorly understood and most of our current knowledge of the species is based on captive animals.
Chapter Four details previous and current initiatives. There were no in situ programs for this species at the time of developing the Plan, but it is held and bred at three facilities within the Philippines. The most significant of these is the PWRCC, at Puerto Princesa, Palawan, where breeding commenced in 1989. This institution is critical to the survival of C. mindorensis, as it holds in excess of 98% of the remaining world population. A much smaller breeding program is in place at Silliman University in Dumaguete City, and a breeding pair is maintained at Manila Zoo.
Outside the Philippines, Gladys Porter Zoo has bred these crocodiles on a number of occasions, and a single female is displayed at Melbourne Zoo. As previously mentioned, formal agreements are in place with both these institutions.
The major field survey in 198081 was followed a lull in surveys until the 1990s, during which many areas of the country were assessed, mostly by PWRCC staff. Most recently, surveys and ongoing work in the Sierra Madre Natural Park, in north-east Luzon, have confirmed the presence of the species (Pontillas, 2000; van Weerd et al., 2000). The species is not found in any protected areas in the Philippines, despite various attempts at achieving this in Mindanao and Palawan (Anon, 1990; Ortega, 1998).
A great deal of effort has been devoted to increasing community awareness and recognition of the importance of C. mindorensis, especially in northern Palawan, by PWRCC staff. This has involved information materials, media campaigns, educational programs and Crocodile Conservation Week, the last-mentioned being a joint initiative of the PWRCC and the City Government of Puerto Princesa (Ortega, 1998). These have been responsible for a significant positive change in community attitudes towards crocodiles in that part of the country. Similar work is underway in the San Mariano district of the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park in north-east Luzon (van Weerd, in press).
The key section of the Plan sets out eight Conservation Objectives, each with a number of Performance Criteria and defined Actions. The primary conservation goal is to re-establish viable wild populations of C. mindorensis and ensure its long-term survival throughout its historic range. Recognising the implications of this objective, protection and survival within sections of its historic range may be the reality over the short-term.
Conservation Objective 1: establish protected wild populations of C. mindorensis. Actions:
Identify areas of habitat which are appropriate for C. mindorensis.
Fully protect areas of habitat for conserving wild C. mindorensis.
Develop a Philippine crocodile release and restocking program.
Monitor protected wild populations.
Conservation Objective 2: promote and encourage positive community attitudes to, and a good understanding of, crocodiles in the Philippines. Actions:
Develop and deliver community and schools-based programs for crocodiles.
Promote the Philippine Crocodile and its conservation in relevant forums.
Conservation Objective 3: co-ordinate the management of captive C. mindorensis. Actions:
Establish and maintain a national registry of all captive C. mindorensis in the Philippines.
Establish a co-ordinated global captive management program for C. mindorensis.
Appoint a `captive management co-ordinator' for the global program.
Conservation Objective 4: determine the ecology of C. mindorensis. Actions:
Collate and assess all available ecological data on C. mindorensis.
Define the ecological questions that need to be answered for C. mindorensis and implement appropriate research.
Conservation Objective 5: define the extent of remaining wild populations of C. mindorensis. Actions:
Collate and assess all available survey data and reports.
Develop and implement a co-ordinated survey program for C. mindorensis.
Conservation Objective 6: resolve the systematic relationships of C. mindorensis. Actions:
Define the research questions to be answered and develop the appropriate research project(s).
Conservation Objective 7: integrate C. mindorensis conservation with the conservation of freshwater wetlands and other threatened freshwater wildlife in the Philippines. Actions:
Identify programs targeting conservation of freshwater wetlands and freshwater species in the Philippines.
Assess above for relevance to Philippine crocodiles and integrate materials/programs accordingly.
Conservation Objective 8: ensure that all relevant Philippine Government policies support the conservation of C. mindorensis. Action:
Review all relevant Philippine Government policies to ascertain their support for the conservation of crocodiles, but specifically for C. mindorensis.
Delivering the Plan
The Plan discusses the consequences of implementing the agreed actions, particularly biodiversity benefits. There will be both positive and negative social and economic consequences given that the Philippine crocodile is seen as a flagship species for the conservation of freshwater wetlands, conserving this species will have significant flow-on benefits for wetlands. However, implementing the recovery actions will be costly and, in some cases, likely to necessitate life-style changes for some communities. Achieving the goals will be possible if all the actions are addressed.
The Plan will be implemented by the Philippine Crocodile National Recovery Team, which was created by a Special Order of the DENR on 3 March 2000 and has eight members drawn from the DENR/PAWB, PWRCC, Melbourne and Gladys Porter Zoos, Silliman University and relevant Protected Area Management Boards. The primary responsibilities of the Recovery Team are to develop and oversee implementation of the Plan, endeavour to access financial and other resources necessary to implement it, foster community awareness and advocacy of C. mindorensis conservation, and conduct annual reviews of the Plan's implementation. The Team is supported by a four-person secretariat drawn from the PAWB and PWRCC.
All the actions have been costed, within the limits of available knowledge and noting that the Plan extends over seven years. Where possible, the lead agency or person has been identified for each action. The total estimated cost of implementing all the actions set out in the Plan, over the seven years, is P (pesos) 79.4 million, or approximately US.$2.1 million (at USD = P37). Successful implementation of the Plan will involve both short- and long-term financial allocations and planning, as well as integration of the Plan's goals with DENR operations and protocols. Funding will need to be allocated on a priority basis by the Recovery Team.
The Plan reflects the views of a range of organisations and individuals directly involved with the management and conservation of the species, and focuses their experience and commitment on the common goal of the conservation of a highly threatened crocodile. As such, it has been a very productive and helpful exercise, as a strongly co-operative approach will be required to achieve the goals set out in the Plan.
Production of the Plan has coincided with a number of other developments that relate directly to actions agreed by the Recovery Team, including the recent findings in the Northern Sierra Madre area and the signing of two revised Memoranda of Agreement with Melbourne and Gladys Porter Zoos. The latter initiative will lead to the establishment of important regional captive populations in Australia and North America, which will lead to further support for in situ programs within the Philippines.
Alcala, A.C., Ross, C.A., and Alcala, E.L. (1987): Observations on reproduction and behaviour of captive Philippine crocodiles (Crocodylus mindorensis, Schmidt). Silliman J. 34 (12): 1828.
Anon. (1990): Preliminary assessment of identified C. mindorensis habitats in the Philippines. Unpublished report, Crocodile Farming Institute, Palawan, The Philippines.
Brazaitis, P. (1973): The identification of living crocodilians. Zoologica 58: 59101.
IUCN (2000): 2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, U.K.
Messel, H., King, F.W., and Ross, J.P. (eds.) (1992): Crocodiles: An Action Plan for their Conservation. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Ortega, G.V. (1998): Philippine crocodile conservation: comprehensive report. In Proceedings of 14th Working Meeting of the Crocodile Specialist Group, pp. 101134. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, U.K.
PAWB/DENR and Wetlands International (1992): A National Wetland Action Plan for the Republic of the Philippines. Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Wetlands International Asia Pacific, Quezon City, The Philippines.
Pontillas, U.F.A. (2000): New breeding sites for the Philippine crocodile. Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter 19 (2): 1012.
Ross, C.A. (1982): Smithsonian Institution/World Wildlife Fund Philippine Crocodile Project, Final Report. WWF #1489, Washington.
Ross, C.A., and Alcala, A.C. (1983): Distribution and status of the Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis). Kalikasan, Phil. J. Biol. 12 (12): 169173.
Ross, J.P. (ed.) (1998): Crocodiles: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan (2nd edition). IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, Gainesville, Florida, U.S.A.
Smith, W.J.S., and Robertson, P. (1999): Striped Legless Lizard, Delma impar, National Recovery Plan 19992003. Unpublished report to Environment Australia, Canberra.
Van Weerd, M., Alfredo, A.G., and van Boven, G. (2000): Update on Philippine crocodile conservation in the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park. Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter 19 (4): 1114.
Van Weerd, M. (in press): Philippine crocodile, Crocodylus mindorensis, distribution and population size in the Northern Sierra Madre, Isabela, Luzon. Proceedings of the 10th Annual Symposium of the Wildlife Conservation Society of the Philippines, Dumaguete City.
[Copies of the Philippine Crocodile National Recovery Plan are available from the author (contact details below).]
Chris Banks, Melbourne Zoo, P.O. Box 74, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia (Tel.: ++61392859491; Fax: ++61392859360; E-mail:email@example.com ).
* * *
TASMANIAN TIGER AND GERMAN WOLF: CHAPTERS IN THE HISTORY OF ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS
BY A.C. VAN BRUGGEN
A lot of data on the history of zoological gardens are hidden in more general treatises of which the title does not reveal anything in this vein. The most famous example is the German series Brehms Tierleben, of which the final edition of the mammal section (4 vols.) virtually reads like the history of the major German zoological gardens (Heck, 1920), particularly that in Berlin. This is also shown by its splendid zoo photographs.
Books on (recently) extinct animals are frequently source material for their history in captivity, thus reflecting the ups and downs of the zoos involved. The Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) has had its share of books devoted to this somewhat mysterious marsupial, of which three titles are outstanding in their scholarship. These are Guiler (1985), Moeller (1997, in German) and Paddle (2000). All three books have extensive chapters on the comparatively short captive history (18501936) of the marsupial wolf (Guiler, pp. 5466, with two photographs of captive specimens; Moeller, pp. 131175, with 31 photos of captive specimens and Table 9 listing 37 zoo specimens; Paddle, pp. 185195, with 13 photos of captive specimens). Moeller has even tried to find out where the thylacines were housed in, for example, London (mainly in the Carnivore Terrace later `Hyaenas and Bears' and the North Mammal House of blessed memory), Berlin (large carnivore house), Washington, D.C., (Lion House), etc.
The most recent book, that by Paddle (2000), strongly emphasizes that the time when marsupials were considered the poor relations of placental mammals is over. In this he endorses a modern trend, already reflected by Moeller (1997). Marsupials are rightly no longer considered phylogenetically backward and comparatively stupid predecessors of the real mammals, but represent the sister group of the Placentalia. Marsupials appear to possess a range of sophisticated adaptations to survive sometimes very harsh environmental conditions, and the extinction of a marsupial should no longer be considered an event of less importance than that of a placental mammal. Sadly this was not reflected at the death of the last Tasmanian tiger in 1936 in its native country in the much run-down Beaumaris Zoo, Hobart. Paddle (p. 195) even implies that the last specimen died of neglect. Incidentally, the history of the extinction of the Tasmanian tiger is also the history of the extinction of the Beaumaris Zoo (19211937). Captive breeding would have been an option for saving the species. This was half-heartedly attempted here and there, but unfortunately usually without success. Paddle (2000, pp. 224226) describes the one and only credible case (Melbourne, 1899). However, females brought into captivity with suckling cubs had no trouble raising their brood (e.g. Washington, D.C., and Hobart).
Oddly enough, Paddle's book on the thylacine, the largest of the three Tasmanian tiger monographs in terms of number of pages and size, consistently refuses to consider the post-extinction hype of persistent rumours of continued existence so well treated by both Guiler and Moeller.
There exists a beautiful colour plate of two thylacines in the gardens of the Zoological Society of London (1853) by the famous German animal painter Joseph Wolf (18201899). The centenary of Wolf's death inspired a number of people in various countries to commemorate him by an exhibition of his works (Germany, Neuburg an der Donau, 2000, and Darmstadt, 20002001; the Netherlands, Leiden, 2001; U.K., the Natural History Museum, London, 1 June 31 July 2001). This captivating exhibition was accompanied by a book edited by Schulze-Hagen and Geus (2000). This book is beautifully produced with a host of interesting illustrations, many in colour. It is carefully researched (see e.g. the notes and the list of books illustrated by Wolf) and bilingual throughout (left column in German, right column in English).
Wolf had an interesting career. He spent most of his life in London (18481899), where he became a very successful animal painter. Many of his colour plates illustrate books by, for example, Elliot (on pheasants, birds of paradise and Felidae), Gould, Gray, Lydekker, Sclater and Thomas (The Book of Antelopes), etc., but also papers in series such as the Proceedings and Transactions of the Zoological Society of London. In the former series the gifted and prolific Wolf had 355 plates of mammals and birds in the period 18481880.
Wolf drew most of his inspiration from the zoological gardens in London. He experienced the Victorian episode in its heyday, with new and interesting animals being delivered almost daily to the museum or the zoo from all parts of the growing empire. The chapter by Schulze-Hagen `Zoological Society of London, Zoo, zoological research their importance for Joseph Wolf' (pp. 189208) is compulsory reading for anybody interested in the history of the zoological gardens in Regent's Park. Illustration is of a high standard and many coloured plates are featured, albeit on a modest scale. The exhibition shows e.g. some originals of the beautiful pheasant paintings which are, indeed, stunning. Throughout the book one finds scattered figures of Regent's Park's zoo scenes, mainly of animals. Some of these are accompanied by photos from the collection of John Edwards (famous for his 1996 book on old photographs of London Zoo) of the actual animal. Many of Wolf's paintings are well-known illustrations of favourite animals, but a number are less known. Of these, I particularly enjoyed the giraffe house interior (with cat and sparrow how very domestic!) on p. 190, the seven honey badgers (probably actually one or two specimens at most, but here are seven depicted engaged in various activities) on p. 191, and the one on p. 192 entitled `Tremendous excitement at the arrival of the penguin at the Zoo', which features five artists (among them Wolf himself) sketching away at a mildly curious king penguin (1865). There are a series of figures of the aye-aye (pp. 194195 and 199202), most appropriate now that the species has returned to Regent's Park, and, of course, the Tasmanian tiger is also featured (p. 293).
This book gives an insight into the Victorian world in Wolf's day and at the same time reflects aspects of social history. It appears that Wolf could make a handsome living by his art, as witnessed by his various studio addresses in prestigious areas of London always, of course, in the neighbourhood of Regent's Park. The book, although somewhat expensive because of the many coloured illustrations, is a generally good investment for anyone interested. It is clear that it was originally a German project; the English translations in many cases are more than adequate, but parts of some are not quite up to the mark. (Of course, several chapters were originally in English; here the German translation is impeccable.) Nevertheless, it is a highly interesting treatise on a seldom covered subject.
Edwards, J. (1996): London Zoo from Old Photographs 18521914. John Edwards, London.
Guiler, E.R. (1985): Thylacine: the Tragedy of the Tasmanian Tiger. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Heck, L. (1920): Brehms Tierleben. Allgemeine Kunde des Tierreichs [2nd impression of 4th ed., under the editorship of O. zur Strassen]. Die Säugetiere, 4 vols. Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig/Vienna.
Moeller, H.F. (1997): Der Beutelwolf Thylacinus cynocephalus. Die Neue Brehm-Bücherei Vol. 642, Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg.
Paddle, R. (2000): The Last Tasmanian Tiger: the History and Extinction of the Thylacine. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Schulze-Hagen, K., and Geus, A. (eds.) (2000): Joseph Wolf (18201899) Tiermaler. Animal Painter. Basilisken-Presse, Marburg an der Lahn (price in the Netherlands Hfl. 175, or c. £47).
Dr A.C. van Bruggen, Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum, P.O. Box 9517, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands (firstname.lastname@example.org ).
* * *
THE MANAGEMENT AND BEHAVIOUR OF CAPTIVE POLAR BEARS by Alison Ames. Published by the author (Dr Alison Ames, Monkey World, Longthorns, Wareham, Dorset BH20 6HH, U.K.). v + 116 pp., A4 paperback. Available from the above address, price £15.00.
Alison Ames first became well-known in the zoo community more than ten years ago, when she carried out a behavioural study of the polar bears at Bristol Zoo, whose conditions had been receiving unwelcome and only to some extent unjustified adverse publicity. One thing led to another, and she went on to observe wild polar bears in the Canadian Arctic, and to study captive bears brown and spectacled as well as polar in other zoos in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands. Her findings and recommendations appeared in two very useful reports published by the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare in 1993 and 1994 (reviewed in I.Z.N. 41:1, p. 44, and 42:2, pp. 108109). Since then, her main field of activity has shifted to primates; but she never abandoned her bear studies altogether, and they culminated last year in the award of a Ph.D. for which the present work was her thesis. The Management and Behaviour of Captive Polar Bears may not be absolutely the last word on the subject (`I feel as though I have only scratched the surface,' is the author's over-modest comment), but it embodies the findings of an expert who knows more about polar bears in captivity than anyone else in the world. Every zoo that exhibits this species should buy a copy to read and keep for reference.
After an introductory chapter, the book falls into three sections, on Husbandry (with chapters on `feeding and foraging', `object manipulation' and `enclosure modification and design'), Behaviour (with chapters on `activity budgets', `social behaviour' and `stereotypic behaviour'), and Other Species (with `comparisons with captive brown and spectacled bears' and `general discussion').
It has to be said that zoos do not come well out of Dr Ames's report. The seven polar bear enclosures in her study like almost all the others in zoos around the world consisted almost entirely of concrete, rock and water in varying proportions, apparently as a result of misconceived ideas of the animals' `hard' natural habitat. They were barren, boring places with little olfactory, visual or tactile stimulation. Every polar bear she observed in such enclosures exhibited stereotypic behaviour. Some zoos have certainly improved to some extent in the ten or eleven years since most of her observations were made, but I fear her main criticisms are still valid. Dublin Zoo is one noteworthy exception, having sensibly consulted Dr Ames in the planning stage of their new polar bear enclosure, opened in 1997; a photo of it in this book similar to the one in I.Z.N. 47:2, p. 84 shows a grassy hillside with rocky outcrops and panoramic views. This is based on the `soft' surroundings enjoyed by the Hudson Bay bears in late summer and early autumn, where they eat berries and grass, make comfortable day beds in sand, grass or seaweed, and dig soil dens under the roots of trees. Polar bears are evolutionarily very close to brown bears (their placing in the separate genus Thalarctos is definitely obsolete), and Dr Ames concludes that the terrestrial habitat of southerly polar bears very similar to that of northerly brown bears offers the best model for captive polar bear enclosures.
The study enclosures lacked visual barriers, compelling these largely solitary animals to remain constantly in each other's view; it was noted that they spent most of their time at least a body length apart. Significantly, after such barriers were installed in some enclosures, making it possible for bears to be alone when they wished, the amount of time they spent in close proximity actually increased. Again, most zoo polar bears are kept in malefemale pairs; but comparisons with the wild suggest that single-sex groups might be less stressful.
Environmental enrichment can, of course, do something to alleviate the boredom of traditional enclosures, and every good zoo now makes use of it. A cynic might point out that scatter feeding, freezing a few buckets of fish, and throwing in the odd car tyre or traffic cone is a much cheaper option than scrapping an outdated enclosure and building a new one. Ultimately, all those old enclosures will have to go. But as a first step, a detailed programme of environmental enrichment is certainly better than nothing. A point too often ignored is the importance of substrates such as sand, bark chippings or even just earth. One of Dr Ames's insights is that captive polar bears do most of their playing in the water not so much because it is their favourite environment as because it is the only soft place in most enclosures, a place where they can indulge in strenuous activity without risk of injury. A simple but beneficial modification to many enclosures would be to break up and remove an area of concrete and fill the hole with some more `bear-friendly' substance!
Ten years ago many people were questioning whether polar bears perhaps ought not to be kept in zoos at all. Such a defeatist stance is quite unnecessary. The Management and Behaviour of Captive Polar Bears shows that this species can adapt perfectly well to captivity, as long as some effort is made to understand and provide for its basic needs. A point made by Dr Ames is that a captive population may be needed for conservation purposes. Polar bears face many threats in the wild (in particular from the oil industry and from the build-up of toxic chemicals); a healthy breeding stock in zoos could ultimately be a valuable safety net. So on conservationist as well as humanitarian grounds, zoo managers need to read and act upon the suggestions in this important and authoritative book.
WÖRTERBUCH DER TIERNAMEN: LATEIN, DEUTSCH, ENGLISCH DEUTSCH, LATEIN, ENGLISCH by Theodor C.H. Cole. Spektrum, Heidelberg, 2000. viii + 970 pp., hardback. ISBN 3827405890. DM 148.00 (c. £46 or US$65).
DIE DEUTSCHEN VOGELNAMEN EINE WORTGESCHICHTLICHE UNTERSUCHUNG by Hugo Suolahti. Second edition, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, 2000. xxxiii + 549 pp., paperback. ISBN 3110168839. DM 68.00 (c. £21 or US$30).
For a century now, the most comprehensive English-German/German-English dictionary has been Langenscheidt's four-volume, large-quarto Muret-Sanders. The current edition, although occasionally reprinted, is for all practical purposes 40 years old. Though therefore weak on, say, computer terminology, I have found it surprisingly useful for looking up the names of even rather obscure animals (and plants). Grzimeks Tierleben, published in English as Grzimek's Animal-Life Encyclopedia, includes comprehensive English, French and Russian glossaries at the end of each of its 13 volumes. Neither, however, can compare in comprehensiveness with Theodor Cole's new Wörterbuch der Tiernamen (Dictionary of Animal Names): over 16,000 animals are listed, first under Latin and again under German entries, with the English equivalents in both lists. The Latin names, of course, would be largely incomprehensible to Galen or Pliny; strictly speaking one should perhaps call them scientific or Linnaean names. Even their `inventor', Linnaeus, bastardised them with Greek loan-words, realizing that there were apparently too many plants and animals for just one language to cover. Cole restricts himself to those animals for which there is a popular German and/or English vocabulary. Like his namesake Russell Cole and Don Wilson, compilers of Common Names of Mammals of the World, he has coined new terms, marked by an asterisk, for animals for which there is a German but no English, or English but no German, name. Wilson and Cole's book (see Nicholas Gould's review in I.Z.N. 48:3, 189192) came out too late, unfortunately, for the author of the Wörterbuch der Tiernamen to incorporate their neologisms into his work and vice-versa.
With his German given name and English surname, a reader in biology at the German campus of an American university, Theodor Cole was perhaps foreordained to compile a German-English(-Latin) zoological dictionary. He has not failed to differentiate between British, U.S. and Australian English, although `lesser' dialects like Canadian and South African are apparently ignored unless local terms like `wapiti' and `wildebeest' have been incorporated into everyone's English. Compiling almost a thousand pages of just names must have been a tedious business, of course, not to mention the proof-reading, and slip-ups were certainly unavoidable. But as far as I could tell they are few and far between. Speaking of wildebeest, Cole lists the German and English names under the Linnaean heading Connochaetes, but forgot to mention the species in the German-Latin-English list. Personally, I would quarrel with a translation or two: Equus asinus is rendered Wildesel (`wild ass') in German, but `donkey, burro' in English. Ursus americanus is given as Schwarzbär in German, but the preferred term preferred, at least, by Grzimek, Muret-Sanders and Duden (the German `Webster') is Baribal, an expression apparently of French-Canadian origin. Schwarzbär does literally translate as `black bear', but its use in Germany is largely limited to tabloids and news agencies reporting on American black bears annoying, say, tourists in national parks by raiding their barbecues. German journalists are frequently just too lazy to look up how `black bear' should be rendered in their own language. Nowadays in fact, Schwarzbär (without any qualifier) is used for the Asiatic black bear, that hapless source of bear bile, which Cole would rightly correct to Kragenbär (collared bear). I was surprised to see a copy of the Wörterbuch der Tiernamen recently on the desk of the science editor of a major news-magazine, next to his Duden too late, unfortunately, for him to use the right word in a feature on the plight of Ursus thibetanus at the hands of Chinese pharmaceutical suppliers.
Will zoo directors, curators and keepers be able to make good use of Cole's dictionary? Certainly! Germans, Austrians and Swiss, of course, will want to consult it before putting up new signs giving the names of their animals in English. British and North American zoos, unfortunately, rarely offer their European visitors the same courtesy they take for granted when visiting menageries on the Continent, but zoologists should find the Wörterbuch a convenient reference work for looking up the English name of a species of which they have only the scientific term at hand. The main objection raised by the author of a review of Cole's dictionary in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung was that it was issued as a book at all a CD-Rom would have been perfectly sufficient. I thought that an odd criticism coming from a newspaper that, although one of the most prestigious and arguably best papers in the country, is so conservative that the editors probably wouldn't mind if the Kaiser took up his throne again in Berlin. Personally, I find it much more convenient as well as pleasant to simply reach for a copy on a desk or shelf, instead of having to click my way through a computer just like the science editor at Stern magazine.
The Kaiser was on his throne in Berlin when Die deutschen Vogelnamen (The German Bird Names) first went into print in 1909. The original publishers have now issued what they call a second edition, but it is in reality just an uncorrected, photo-mechanical reprint, albeit augmented by an informative essay by Elmar Seebold on the background to the book's original appearance. Fortunately for young readers and those whose German is poor (those whose German is non-existent can skip the rest of this review), the book was printed in a standard Latin script, not in German Gothic as was popular at the time. The author, Hugo Suolahti (18741944) was the first professor of German philology at Helsinki University, later chancellor and rector of the university, and before that a member of parliament at a time when Finland was a part of Russia. His Ph.D. dissertation was on the origin of German names for mammals; Die deutschen Vogelnamen was and is a far more comprehensive etymological dictionary of German names for European species of bird and foreign birds popular as pets (thus parrots, for example, but nothing on, say, cassowaries). Birds mentioned in the Bible, too, are well covered. Unlike Cole's dictionary, which is basically just a list, however useful, of names of animal species, Suolahti produced a very readable book for anyone interested in either birds or language. He devoted almost 17 pages, for example, to pigeons alone, and over 30 pages to crows and ravens, detailing not only the origin of current as well as obsolete names for species of bird, but the development of synonyms in various German dialects from Alsatian to Upper Silesian. Along the way one picks up interesting titbits on the history of ornithology. I had forgotten if I ever knew that the German bird trade in the late Middle Ages was dominated by Polish, Czech and Slovenian dealers, hence the Slavic origin of many modern German bird names originally known by Old German appellations. The 50-page index lists not only German terms but, in separate lists, bird names in Dutch, Frisian, English, Finnish and eight other languages or language groups, a clear indication of the cosmopolitan character of ornithological German. In the nine decades since the publication of what W.B. Lockwood 20 years ago in The Oxford Book of British Bird Names called `the standard monograph' on bird nomenclature, new terms have of course crept into the German vocabulary. Thanks to the comics, for example, `roadrunner' has largely replaced Rennkuckuck as the popular German word for Geococcyx. But that's a North American species irrelevant to the bird trade; for the birds covered by Die deutschen Vogelnamen, Suolahti's book is as useful and readable now as it was back in 1909.
* * *
A conservation project for the Tibetan antelope
The chiru (Pantholops hodgsoni), also known as the Tibetan antelope, has become one of the most vulnerable species in the world. They were once plentiful on the high steppes of Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang, and in the early 1900s explorers described many thousands of chiru of all ages as far as the eye could see in every direction. Sightings of single herds of 15,000 to 20,000 were reported. However, these numbers have been reduced drastically in the last 100 years, the result of poaching, overgrazing by large herds of domestic livestock, increased mining and other human activities. Reports from recent population surveys conducted for this species are dismal.
Undoubtedly, the most significant and alarming threat to the chiru is poaching. Although international commercial trade in chiru products has been prohibited since 1979 and the species is protected by Chinese law, well-organized rings of poachers are still actively slaughtering chiru each year. They sometimes kill up to 1000 in just a few days as these seasonally-migrating ungulates gather in large numbers at their lowland grassy winter mating grounds and their barren, high-altitude desert summer calving grounds. Poachers are driven by continued demand for the luxurious chiru wool or shahtoosh (Persian for `king of wools'), the finest and most highly-priced wool available. It is harvested from slaughtered chiru and smuggled to India, where it is woven by hand into shahtoosh shawls, also called `ring shawls' because they are fine and smooth enough to pass through a wedding ring. These shawls sell for up to $15,000 on the international market.
In early 2000, the Saint Louis Zoo Field Research for Conservation program partially funded a field survey of the chiru population found in the Arjin Shan Nature Reserve, one of the largest reserves in the world, established in 1983. The main objectives of this project were:
to describe further the natural ecology of the chiru;
to map the range of a migratory population of chiru: much is still unknown about the wildebeest-like seasonal migratory habits of this species;
to take a census of the population in the reserve and determine the impact of poaching on this population.
During the summer of 2000, the research team monitored the chiru herds of the reserve as they congregated at the calving grounds, to determine if the population had changed from previous surveys. Observations were made to document the chirus' natural behavior. Vegetation samples were collected from different areas of the calving grounds to determine the preferred summertime diet of the chiru. And opportunistically, skulls and jawbones were collected to determine the age at death of these individuals. The team had planned to arrive at the calving grounds in time to mark some newborn chiru with color-coded, numbered ear tags to make it possible to track these individuals into the future. However, inclement weather prevented their arrival until the end of the calving season, and only two calves were tagged; there are plans to ear-tag more calves in summer 2001.
Some preliminary results have been received from this project. They reveal that the number of female chiru that arrived at the calving grounds was significantly lower than in previous years. Unfortunately, this is probably a result of continued poaching and the increased human activity in the area (a new gold mine was recently opened in the middle of the calving grounds). The project is continuing, and further findings will be reported in future issues of Zudus.
Abridged from Martha Fischer in Zudus (St Louis Zoo) Vol. 15, No. 2 (March/April 2001)
Releasing the giant peccary
The Zoological Society of San Diego has been working for more than 15 years on projects to develop a better understanding of the biology of the Chacoan peccary (Catagonus wagneri) and the unique thorn scrub it calls home. Also known as the giant peccary, or taguá, this unusual animal is relatively new to science at one time biologists believed it no longer existed in the wild. In 1972, it was `rediscovered' by scientists in the Gran Chaco region of Paraguay. By 1985, a project was started to help us better understand this remarkable species and its habitat Proyecto Taguá, spearheaded by Dr Kurt Benirschke, founding director of the Society's Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES). Dr Benirschke acquired a small parcel of land in the Chaco for a research station, the project was officially sanctioned by the Paraguayan Minister of Agriculture in 1986, and by 1988 the first captive births occurred. Since then, more than 200 peccaries have been born at the station, and breeding colonies have also been established at San Diego and Phoenix Zoos.
We are often asked how an animal as large as the giant peccary could have escaped notice for so many years. The answer probably lies in the nature of the Chaco: its climate extremes, dense scrub laced with thorns, voracious insects and venomous snakes have justifiably caused the region to be dubbed `the green hell'. Past releases of giant peccaries left us guessing as to the fate of the animals in this difficult area. We could not follow them to determine if they thrived or met with disaster. For the vast majority of the released animals, these answers remain a mystery. But in November 1999, a new effort began. Now giant peccaries are being released wearing VHF radio collars with sophisticated telemetry, which allow us to monitor their movements. Two of the six animals released so far are also equipped with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) units that take readings of their location several times a day, store the information, and download it once a month over the VHF transmitter. The units will operate for one year, after which they detach and fall off the animals.
The use of GPS positioning and VHF signals allows us to follow the taguás' movements without crawling through the scrub all day, every day, to see where they go. This information, coupled with satellite images of the area, helps us determine the type of habitat the animals prefer. It will also allow us to locate and assist injured animals, as well as to find remains of dead ones that were victims of human hunters or jaguars and pumas. We can also learn about the peccaries' social habits. This may reveal the whereabouts of other peccaries and perhaps new wild populations, as well as help us identify threats to their survival.
Since the new program was implemented, two releases have been carried out on the Samuu Ranch. Located in an extremely remote region of the Chaco and right in the middle of peccary habitat, the ranch offers proximity to pristine Chaco, protection from excessive hunting pressure, and basic facilities for the field team. A portion of native vegetation has been fenced off to create acclimation and release pens. The peccaries are moved from the breeding facility to the ranch, and spend about six weeks in these pens prior to release.
Several important things occur during this acclimation period. First, the peccaries herd animals are given time to develop social bonds, which may be vital in successfully adapting to life in the wild. Second, they wean themselves from provided food and begin to forage on natural vegetation. Finally, they become comfortable with the sights, sounds and smells of their new home.
After release, the first group of six animals stayed within less than a mile of their pen. During the day, they split into two groups of three as they foraged, but regrouped in the evening and spent the night together. Ultimately, all but one of these first animals were lost, one to a venomous snake and the others to a puma. Animals from a second release have fared better so far; but later in the study, we plan to radio-tag predators like jaguars and pumas, along with other large herbivores like tapirs that may compete with the peccaries for food, so we can determine their whereabouts.
The Chacoan peccary is just one component of a dynamic and diverse ecosystem. Studying its biology naturally leads to questions about the biology of the plants and animals that share its habitat, including jaguars, armadillos, giant anteaters, rheas, flamingos, and the critically endangered maned wolf. If the goal is to preserve the complexity and biological diversity of the Gran Chaco, we will be faced with many challenges; but we hope that Proyecto Taguá will be a catalyst for change in this fascinating region.
Abridged from William Toone in Zoonooz Vol. 74, No. 6 (June 2001)
Help needed for Philippine sailfin lizards
The sailfin lizards of the genus Hydrosaurus are the largest living agamids. They are notable not only for their size (up to one metre) and spectacular appearance, but also because they are threatened throughout most of their remaining range by habitat destruction and over-hunting for food and the live animal trade. In addition, the taxonomy of the genus is clearly unsatisfactory and in urgent need of review, not least because this is certain to have important implications for our understanding of the distribution and, hence, the likely conservation status and future management needs of the various species and subspecies. Sailfin lizards are essentially endemic to the Wallacean Region, which includes all of the Philippines except Palawan, though the range of the most widely-distributed species, H. amboinensis, extends to New Guinea. There is disagreement about the number of species. A total of four were originally recognised in 1911, but most recent authors recognise only two H. pustulatus from the northern Philippines and H. amboinensis from the southern Philippines through Sulawesi and associated islands to New Guinea. Even within the Philippines, however, this division remains unsatisfactory, in that it is inconsistent with the country's known biogeographic divisions and, hence, the distribution patterns of almost all other Philippine species groups. Moreover, few authors have bothered with subspecies, despite great variations in scale patterns and skin colour between neighbouring populations on different islands.
Recent field status surveys in three of the world's highest conservation priority areas southern Luzon and associated islands, Mindoro and key parts of the West Visayas have produced a great deal of new information on the distribution, habitat requirements, present threats, current conservation and likely future management needs of these animals. They have also resulted in the discovery of at least two undescribed populations of sailfin lizards from Cebu and Panay. Both these populations are not only threatened, but also dramatically different in coloration and other features from each other and from sailfins on all other islands seen thus far; so it seems highly likely that they are new endemic species or subspecies, which will need to be described as soon as possible. The surveys in south Luzon and Mindoro have also yielded data and descriptions of sailfins different from other described populations from Samar, Leyte and Mindanao, reinforcing evidence of much higher levels of variation than can be accounted for by the traditional two-species division. As a result, several leading herpetologists in Europe and the U.S.A. have expressed interest in conducting mtDNA and other taxonomic studies; but unfortunately, little progress has been made so far owing to the absence of study specimens from many areas and the obvious logistic problems, costs and permit restrictions associated with securing specimens from as many locations as possible.
As several sailfin lizards have been obtained (either donated or confiscated) by the three local rescue and breeding centres in Negros and Panay during the past few years, efforts are now underway to establish local breeding, research and education projects based around these animals. Several live specimens from Cebu have also been offered to project staff of the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Programme working on this island. All of these animals have been released in the absence of suitable facilities for longer-term studies, captive management and breeding, but others could be obtained if such facilities were established. For various reasons, sailfins are extremely difficult to study in the wild; but they adapt well to captivity and most normal behaviours can be observed if the animals are maintained in spacious and appropriately landscaped and furnished enclosures. Needless to say, this is potentially far easier to achieve locally than in temperate climates elsewhere.
Perhaps the first-ever, purpose-built sailfin enclosure was constructed last year in the Biodiversity Conservation Centre of the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation (NFEFI-BCC) in Bacolod City, with funding support from Adelaide and Melbourne Zoos. The NFEFI has long been established as the premier environmental NGO on Negros Island, and the NFEFI-BCC is being planned and developed as a `world class' facility. Its primary objectives are therefore to establish properly structured, collaborative breeding and research programmes for selected threatened endemic species, and to serve as a `centre of excellence' for public education and promotion of environmental protection. But many more facilities and sponsorship assistance are required if it is to realise its aspirations and its potential. Current priorities in the five-year development plan include the construction of a range of at least four new enclosures for the maintenance and breeding of small groups of sailfins from Negros, Cebu, Panay and other selected locations. For further information about how you can help, contact: William Oliver, Fauna and Flora International, Great Eastern House, Tenison Road, Cambridge CB1 2DT, U.K., or Richard Perron, Quantum Conservation e.V., Heeder Dorfstrasse 44, 49356 Diepholz, Germany.
Conserving `the rarest gorilla subspecies'
Since 1996, researchers from the City University of New York, with support from the Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx Zoo), have conducted a research programme on the gorillas of Afi Mountain in south-east Nigeria, looking at the threats they face and the best areas for their protection. This research involves a full-time team of trackers who provide a constant conservation presence. In 2000, due to results from this study and other surveys, the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group recognised the five or six populations of `Cross River gorillas' in south-east Nigeria and south-west Cameroon as a distinct subspecies, Gorilla gorilla diehli. With an estimated 150200 individuals, it is probably the rarest of all gorilla subspecies.
Since mid-1999, in collaboration with the Cross River State Forestry Commission and NGO partners, Fauna and Flora International (FFI) has provided a volunteer coordinator to manage the gorilla research, as well as assistance towards developing a comprehensive long-term conservation programme for the area. In May 2000, ten years after it was originally proposed, the Cross River State Government formally gazetted the mountain and some of the surrounding forest as the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary. A major objective of FFI over the coming year is to secure long-term funding to build the capacity needed to manage the Sanctuary and build support for it amongst local communities.
Abridged from Jamison Suter in Fauna and Flora News No. 14 (April 2001)
Reintroductions in Jordan
Jordan's geographical and climatic variability has given the country great biodiversity; but human interactions such as excessive hunting, over-grazing and land misuse have threatened some species and driven others to extinction by the middle of the 20th century the Arabian oryx, Syrian wild ass, roe deer, fallow deer, Syrian ostrich, Arabian leopard, cheetah and Syrian brown bear had all become locally extinct.
Since its establishment in 1966, Jordan's Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) has dedicated itself to the conservation and reintroduction of endangered species and the protection of their habitats. A joint research and survey programme during the 1960s by IUCN, WWF and RSCN formed the basis for the establishment of 12 protected areas and associated reintroduction programmes, for both extinct species and those on the verge of extinction. Today there are six such programmes under way:
The Nubian ibex (Capra ibex) is still found in the southern and eastern mountains of Jordan, but numbers are declining due to hunting. RSCN began a captive-breeding programme in 1989 with a few animals. When their number rose to more than 50, an initial release was conducted with 34 animals in 1998. By the end of 2000, 66 animals had been released and were breeding in the wild.
The Arabian oryx was officially extinct in Jordan by the 1930s. The reintroduction programme started in 1978 with only 11 animals in Shaumari Reserve. By the end of 1999 their numbers had reached 200 animals. RSCN is now in the process of finding suitable release sites, such as Wadi Rum, and is supplying oryx to neighbouring countries for similar programmes.
The Syrian wild ass (Equus hemionus hemippus) was once found in Jordan, but was driven to extinction by humans in the 20th century. RSCN determined that the Persian onager (E. h. onager) was the closest relative to the native species, and started a reintroduction programme in 1983 with two animals. After several difficulties, there are now six animals in Shaumari Reserve.
The ostrich, extinct in Jordan since the mid-1960s, has been part of a reintroduction programme in Shaumari Reserve since 1979. Beginning with three birds, at the end of 2000 the programme included 52 ostriches.
Jordan has several gazelle species, some of which still live in their natural habitat but all of which are threatened by hunting and other human activities. RSCN started a reintroduction programme for the rhim gazelle (Gazella leptoceros), and by the end of 2000 had five animals.
Extinct by the early 20th century from excessive hunting, in 1986 the roe deer (C. capreolus) became the subject of a reintroduction programme in Zubia Reserve. The number had reached 12 animals by the end of 2000, and RSCN is preparing to bring in new animals from similar programmes.
Omar Abu-Eid in World Conservation 3/20001/2001
* * *
Elephant and rhino research symposium
The International Elephant and Rhino Research Symposium was held from 7 to 11 June 2001 in Vienna, and was organized by Schönbrunn Zoo in cooperation with the International Elephant Foundation and the International Rhino Foundation. This marks the first time that the International Elephant Research Symposium has been held outside the U.S.A. and also the first time it has been combined with the Rhino Symposium.
The aim was to bring together scientists, researchers and elephant and rhino managers from the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia for a scientific meeting. The list of authors and topics shows that this objective has been met. About 220 specialists from all over the world met for contributions or discussions about the latest results of recent research. The papers were followed by comprehensive workshops to develop working hypotheses and programmes that will help improve the chances of survival of elephants and rhinos. During the last day a special, practical workshop was held at Salzburg Zoo.
Famous keynote speakers like Iain Douglas Hamilton and Cynthia Moss described their long-term research programmes in Kenya's Amboseli and Masai Mara. An unbelievably large number of oral presentations and posters were accepted for presentation, underlining the wide range of scientific topics on which work is currently proceeding. The spectrum extends from field conservation through nutrition, reproduction, health and behaviour.
What has become abundantly clear is that both elephants and rhinos are highly endangered species that can only survive in specific protection areas. Their survival under human care is also less than certain, even though great strides have been made in improving their reproductive success.
The symposium saw the presentation of 36 elephant papers, 19 rhino papers, 26 elephant posters and 17 rhino posters. The abstracts of the contributions have been published in a book, Recent Research on Elephants and Rhinos, which is designed to serve as a reference volume and a working basis, and forms the first issue of the `Scientific Progress Reports' published by Schüling Verlag (Münster, Germany). However, Schönbrunn Zoo will also be publishing proceedings containing the full text of the papers.
Harald M. Schwammer,
Vice Director, Schönbrunn Zoo
The problem of sloth bears in Europe
The Sloth Bear EEP, initiated in 1994, is now coordinated by Hans van Weerd of Amsterdam Zoo. A mere five zoos in Europe hold sloth bears, and since 1951 a maximum of 21 have been held at any given time. The population is now at a high, with 21 individuals (including both subspecies) included in the studbook report for 2000. Ironically, there are currently no new spaces available for the few young sloth bears being produced. While bears have a reputation as public favourites, this holds true only for the larger species, and the dilemma of whether to invest in exhibits for popular animals (e.g. polar bears) or threatened animals (e.g. sloth bears) is a very real problem in the management of bear taxa. Could an attractive enclosure with good educational materials housing sloth bears be as compelling an exhibit as one for polar bears?
The current EEP population is unsustainable, and it is hoped that the EEP Committee will arrive at a decision at the EAZA meeting in September 2001 on how to proceed. Three different options being considered are: to dissolve the EEP programme; to import unrelated founders from Indian zoos; or to link up with the North American programme to exchange genetic material. Whatever the decision, we hope it will be the one that benefits sloth bears the most.
English summary of article by Ko Veltman, Robert van Herk and Ben Westerveld in De Harpij Vol. 20, No. 2 (2001)
Analysing the tiger's roar
At a recent meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Elizabeth von Muggenthaler, a bio-acoustician from the Fauna Communications Research Institute in North Carolina, discussed her work analysing the frequency of tiger sounds to better understand the part of a tiger's roar that we can feel, but can't hear. Humans can hear frequencies from 20 hertz to 20,000 hertz, but whales, elephants, rhinos and tigers can produce sounds below 20 hertz. This low-pitched sound, called `infrasound', can travel long distances permeating buildings, cutting through dense forests, and even passing through mountains. The lower the frequency, the farther the distance the sound can travel. Scientists believe that infrasound is the missing link in studying tiger communication. In the first study of its kind, von Muggenthaler and her colleagues recorded every growl, hiss, chuff and roar of 24 tigers at the Carnivore Preservation Trust in Pittsboro, North Carolina, and at Riverbanks Zoological Park in Columbia, South Carolina. The bio-acousticians found that when tigers roar, they can create frequencies significantly below 18 hertz. `When a tiger roars, the sound will rattle and paralyze you,' says von Muggenthaler.
Cat News (IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group) No. 34 (Spring 2001)
Keepers at San Diego Zoo's Pacific Bell Giant Panda Research Station were worried that senior panda Shi Shi's teeth might not be up to chewing the same amount of bamboo browse as the younger animals. So to make sure that he still gets enough fiber in his diet, nutritionist Dr Mark Edwards created the unique recipe for panda bread. Each day, the keepers combine a mixture of coarse and fine bamboo flour, crushed leaf-eater biscuits, gelatin and water into a loaf that is steamed for one hour. They break the large loaf apart and roll it into balls, then scatter them throughout Shi Shi's enclosure. So where do you buy bamboo flour? You can't that's why associate nutritionist Karen Lisi and a team of volunteers regularly pick and process bamboo, slowly drying it and then grinding it into both coarse and fine flours.
Zoonooz Vol. 74, No. 4 (April 2001)
Self-recognition in dolphins
Presley and Tab, two male bottle-nosed dolphins at the New York Aquarium, have demonstrated the ability to distinguish their own reflections from those of other members of their species, a skill previously only known in humans and great apes. When the dolphins' skin was marked with black ink and they were put in a pool with mirrored sides, they examined their strange new look in close detail; they did not show the social responses, such as defensiveness or aggression, that most animals exhibit when they encounter other members of their own species, and each was indifferent towards the reflection of the other.
Presley, aged 13, and Tab, 17, took so quickly to the sight of themselves that they raced to get a look at new markings whenever their keepers put ink on different parts of their bodies. They spent more time in front of the mirror after being marked, and the first thing they did on reaching the mirror was to expose their new marking to examine it. The study, reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (1 May 2001), provides further evidence that dolphins are among the most intelligent animals.
* * *
AUCKLAND ZOO, NEW ZEALAND
Extracts from the Annual Report 19992000
The zoo is currently actively involved with eight conservation programmes linked directly to the requirements of in situ programmes managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC). All of these have made good progress during the year.
Middle Mercury tusked weta. The aim of this project is to raise captive-bred wetas (Motuweta isolata) to establish multiple populations on other islands in the Mercury group. Sixty nymphs hatched by Landcare were transferred to the zoo for rearing (in individual containers, due to their cannibalistic tendencies). Only one mortality occurred, and 21 have recently been released onto Double Island, with another 18 due for release in September. Twenty will be reared to adulthood before being transferred elsewhere for breeding purposes.
Tuatara. Ten years ago the DOC Tuatara Recovery Group were very concerned about the viability of remnant populations of northern tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) on Cuvier, Red Mercury and Stanley Islands, which had been predated by introduced kiore rats (Rattus exulans). These tuataras were therefore removed from the islands during the summer of 1990/91 and housed by several zoos whilst the kiore were eradicated. Since then Auckland Zoo has successfully bred both Cuvier and Red Mercury Island tuataras and all the adults of the latter species have been successfully repatriated to the island. Due to our breeding success, five Stanley Island tuataras were transferred to us from Wellington Zoo. Twenty-five eggs, of which four have already hatched, have been transferred from Auckland Zoo to Victoria University for incubation.
Chevron skink. The only known surviving wild population of this species (Oligosoma homalonotum) is on Great Barrier Island. There are currently seven wild-caught chevron skinks at the zoo. A DOC scientist carried out research at the zoo on these and other native skinks to determine the rate of water loss from their skin. This, together with research in the wild, will help determine the conservation requirements for the species.
Robust skink. Kelly Cosgrave, one of our native fauna keepers, is a member of the DOC Recovery Group for several species of skink including the robust skink (Cyclodina alani). The adult pair at the zoo have once again bred this year, producing five healthy young which will be part of a release onto an off-shore island.
North Island brown kiwi. Auckland Zoo plays a key role in Operation Nest Egg by hatching and rearing chicks from wild-laid kiwi (Apteryx australis mantelli) eggs which are returned to the wild once they are large enough to cope with most predators. The aim is to stabilise wild populations, in which the estimated annual mortality of all kiwis is 5.6% with very little replacement, because most eggs and chicks are taken by introduced predators. A total of 13 kiwi chicks have been released onto Motuora Island; this `island creche' enables the chicks to grow up naturally in a predator-free environment. These birds will later be used to re-stock areas in Northland. Two chicks also hatched from eggs laid by the zoo's breeding pair.
Brown teal. This threatened species (Anas chlorotis) is now largely restricted to Great Barrier Island and eastern Northland. The zoo has become involved in the breeding programme, and received an adult pair. Additionally, we hatched and reared five ducklings from eggs salvaged from a nest and reared an orphaned duckling, also from Great Barrier. These teal were transferred and will be used either to bolster the captive gene pool or for reintroduction to the wild.
New Zealand dotterel. To prevent mosquito-borne avian malaria and avian pox in captive-reared chicks of this species (Charadrius obscurus), the zoo has developed systems including the use of mosquito-proof tent aviaries [see I.Z.N. 46 (3), pp. 154156]. Four chicks, including one hatched from an egg punctured by the tooth of a stoat which killed the incubating parent, were hatched, reared and released by the zoo. DOC staff are monitoring these birds to ascertain their survival rate, which is currently 75%.
Fairy tern. Auckland Zoo makes a vital contribution to the conservation of the critically endangered New Zealand subspecies of fairy tern (Sterna nereis davisae), of which only approximately 30 birds are alive today. During 1998/99, several fairy tern eggs were abandoned by their parents due to adverse conditions in the wild and were brought to the zoo. Two chicks were successfully hatched and reared and have been released back into the wild.
Non-native threatened species
Our pair of Luzon bleeding-heart doves successfully reared a chick during the year. The group of ring-tailed lemurs increased due to the birth of three infants, but was subsequently reduced to seven animals when four females were transferred to Melbourne Zoo as part of the managed breeding programme. This will enable us to continue breeding from our group without overpopulating the exhibit. We continue to successfully reproduce cotton-top tamarins, with the free-ranging group in the zoo's McDonald's Rainforest rearing two sets of twins during the year. The oldest male offspring in this group was recently paired with a daughter of our other breeding pair which were sent to Brooklands Zoo in New Plymouth.
The regional coordinator recommended that a bachelor group of male red pandas should be established at Hamilton Zoo. Mario, our post-reproductive male, and his son were transferred there during the year. This has enabled us to put our breeding female, Maya, in with Shimia, the male we imported from Adelaide Zoo. Despite a brief escape from her enclosure, Maya has now settled well with her new consort and we hope they will breed this year.
Following the successful rearing of another litter of Asian short-clawed otter cubs, we have decided, in conjunction with the regional studbook keeper, to split up the breeding pair to prevent this bloodline swamping the captive gene pool. We expect to establish new pairings, with imported animals, over the next year.
A consortium of Australasian zoos (Auckland, Hamilton, Perth and Werribee) led by Peter Stroud of Melbourne Zoo have imported surplus southern white rhinos from Kruger National Park, South Africa. After nearly four years of planning, three rhinos, a young adult male and an adult female with a 15-month-old female calf, arrived here on 20 October 1999. The South African vet who travelled with them informed us that the female was pregnant; subsequent tests confirmed this, and she gave birth to a beautiful daughter on 26 June 2000.
The zoo's Wildlife Health Centre team have continued to make significant contributions to our understanding of health issues relating to both captive and free-living native fauna. Health screening of young kiwi chicks shortly after arrival at the zoo revealed the presence of two blood parasites (Babesia and Hepatozoon) not previously identified in this species. Three chicks remain at the zoo and although, to date, the symptoms of infection have been relatively mild, a comprehensive research programme to better understand the role of these organisms in kiwi survival has been initiated in collaboration with DOC, Massey University and overseas parasitologists.
A survey of coccidia parasites in wild kiwis in the North Island was completed last year, and established for the first time that this is a natural parasite of wild kiwis. As a potentially lethal organism it was important to identify its role in wild populations. This year the survey has been extended to cover the South Island, Stewart Island and Kapiti Island. This has shown that kiwis in all parts of New Zealand can carry this parasite without apparent harm. All species of kiwi have been shown to be affected. Work is currently under way to identify the species of coccidia so that we can better understand how to control its life cycle in captivity.
Extracts from the Annual Report 2000 (English version by Cathy King)
The growing international cooperation among zoos, and between zoos and other nature conservation organizations, provides an increasingly broad base for efforts to conserve threatened species. In 2000, Rotterdam Zoo participated in 49 EEPs, 23 European studbooks (ESBs) and 11 international breeding programmes, including the SSPs for sea otters and François's langurs. The EAZA Ciconiiformes and Phoenicopteriformes TAG, chaired by a Rotterdam Zoo employee, completed a regional collection plan in 2000 for the many taxa that the TAG covers.
Five EEPs are coordinated by the zoo. The red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) EEP includes 266 birds in 67 institutions; the number is gradually increasing, and the future for this species is promising, at least in zoos. The fourth edition of the crowned pigeon (Goura spp.) studbook appeared in 2000. An increase in exchanges between zoos to improve breeding success is now considered the highest priority in this programme. As of 31 December 1999 the EEP included 79 common, 53 Scheepmaker's and 127 Victoria crowned pigeons. The future of the tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus spp.) EEP is rather critical there were only 5.2 Goodfellow's and 1.2 Matschie's tree kangaroos held in the EEP at the end of 2000, and there is little hope of importing additional animals from other regions. The zoo holds the international studbook as well as the EEP for red pandas; the captive population of this very popular zoo species has grown so well that the emphasis needs to be on managing rather than increasing it. The future of the Asian elephant EEP is far less bright; while there are approximately 300 held in some 80 zoos and an increasing willingness to cooperate in improving breeding results, the current birth rate is far too low to maintain the species over the long term.
In addition to keeping the ESB for the Cheirogaleid lemurs, in 2000 Rotterdam took on the ESB for the
Komodo dragon, now held in eight European zoos. Cooperation with the international studbook keeper at Cincinnati Zoo, U.S.A., will be a priority in setting up guidelines to manage this species in Europe. Another programme initiated in 2000 is the EEP for the seriously threatened Egyptian tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni), coordinated jointly by London and Rotterdam Zoos.
The range of the European hamster (Cricetus cricetus) extends into a small part of South Limburg in the Netherlands. Because the officially protected remnant hamster population was so quickly declining in this country, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries decided to make a last-ditch attempt to save the population through initiation of a captive-breeding programme. Fourteen hamsters, possibly the last in the Netherlands, were captured and distributed between Rotterdam Zoo and Stichting Das en Boom (the Badger and Tree Foundation). In 2000, 32 were reared, including 14 at the zoo, and the goal of releasing hamsters should be achieved in 2001.
A variety of in situ conservation projects, all linked in some way with other Rotterdam Zoo activities, received financial support from the zoo's Bernhardine Fund, established in 1996. These include:
The Antigua racer project. With less than 100 individuals surviving, the Antigua racer (Alophis antiguae), considered to be the rarest snake in the world, is now found only on Great Bird Island, off the coast of Venezuela. This small island, with an area of approximately 8 ha, is used as a picnic site for some 20,000 people annually. The racers are killed on sight by visitors unaware of how harmless and endangered they are, and the habitat is heavily damaged through this intense human use. Efforts to restore the snake to other areas in its former range have been frustrated by people who do not want a snake on their land. The Bernhardine Fund gave US$10,000 to be used for educational materials to inform the public about the plight of this snake, and the campaign is felt to be very successful virtually every inhabitant of Antigua is now aware that this snake is unique, harmless and severely endangered. Other threatened animals on Antigua, e.g. lizards and whistling ducks, are also profiting from this conservation effort.
Turtle project in Nicaragua. Thousands of sea turtles of six different species lay their eggs on the beaches of the two nature reserves, Chococente and La Flor, on the south-west coast of Nicaragua. The success of these reproductive attempts is largely foiled by some 5,000 local people who supplement their income through selling most of the eggs. Efforts to protect these beaches are part of a comprehensive project to keep all the ecosystems found within the reserves intact, and the first step is to educate the public on both a local and national scale about the goals of their reserves.
The Cross River Gorilla Project. The Fund contributed financially to protecting the gorillas, possibly a `new' subspecies [see above, pp. 320321], living in this area in Nigeria, until the site was officially named a national park.
The Philippine Negros Project. A breeding centre and educational programme in the town of Bacolod on the island of Negros has now been supported through the Fund for three consecutive years. Indigenous species such as the Philippine spotted deer and Visayan warty pig are the focus of these efforts.
European Mink Breeding Programme. The zoo participates in the EEP by working with this species off-exhibit. The Fund also contributes to the breeding and reintroduction project; the first minks to be released were set free on the Baltic Sea island of Hiumaa in summer 2000, and the attempt was quite successful, as most of the c. 50 minks released were alive at the end of the year.
Red panda subspecies differentiation. Two subspecies of red panda are recognized, A. f. fulgens in the western part of the range and A. f. styani to the east. It is not always possible to determine which subspecies an individual belongs to based on morphology, so the Fund helped support a project to see if DNA could be used for this purpose. Preliminary results indicate that differences in gene bands can be used to discriminate between the two subspecies.
Research and veterinary care
Rotterdam Zoo has long had a veterinary research laboratory, and is now also one of the few zoos to have a research laboratory as an integral part of its aquarium. This has a chemistry section responsible for water quality control in the `Oceanium', and a biological section where research is carried out on sea animal behaviour and reproduction. An attempt will be made to breed all the species possible held in the Oceanium, and minute food animals that can be fed to larvae of animals that the zoo is trying to breed must be cultured. Additionally, husbandry problems encountered with difficult-to-keep species can be researched through the laboratory.
A gorilla visibility project was carried out by a student during summer 2000, in which the effectiveness of various strategies in encouraging the gorillas to spend more time in their relatively new outside enclosure was studied. It was found that use of a water spray installation in the indoor enclosure to persuade the gorillas to go outdoors was too stressful, resulting in stereotyped behaviour; but the use of the outdoor enclosure by the gorillas was considerably improved through the project. However, a project aimed at reducing the amount of time that the giraffes `pace' in front of the door to their inside enclosure, waiting to be let inside, was less successful no activities, e.g. hanging food at a more appropriate level in the outdoor area, was effective in reducing this behaviour.
A behavioural study gathered data on enclosure use, interspecific interactions and feeding behaviour of the kittiwakes, Atlantic puffins and common guillemots (murres) in the new `Bass Rock' enclosure. Some kittiwakes who were influencing enclosure use and feeding behaviour of the alcids by harassing them were identified and removed, and now harassment is observed only incidentally. The alcids spend far less time on the water than is desired, so means to remedy this are being explored.
Two gorillas became the first of their species to have artificial lenses fitted into their eyes. This was necessary because they had a severe cataract condition in both eyes. Fortunately the operations proceeded without problems.
The strict quarantine protocol established for fish before being placed in their new Oceanium homes proved to be well worth the effort; a number of parasites and diseases were handled during the quarantine, and the fish have had a very good survival rate since being transferred.
The first Chinese giant salamander eggs to be laid at the zoo were produced in 1999 as a result of hormonal treatments. Eggs were produced again in 2000, and this time a number were fertilized. The embryos developed for only a couple of weeks before dying, but this is a positive step forward, and hopefully some changes in water quality parameters in 2001 will lead to successful embryonic development.
In November, the Asian elephant Irma gave birth to her fourth daughter, Bangka, the first elephant here to be fathered by Alexander, the new bull who arrived from Münster Zoo in 1998. Indian rhinos Nico and Namasthe produced a second son in July.
When the female Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) disappeared in the spring it was hoped that she had whelped in a hidden den, so it was a big disappointment when her body was recovered from the pool in the enclosure. Another female Iberian wolf is not available through the EEP, so the male was transferred to Olomouc Zoo in the Czech Republic and a pair of grey wolves (C. l. lupus) were received from Scandinavia. Small cat births in 2000 included 0.4.0 European wild cats and 3.0.0 fishing cats. The courtship of the fishing cat pair had proceeded quite rapidly the female was received from Port Lympne in March and the young were born on 8 July.
Female offspring were born to both pairs of the threatened Philippine spotted deer, and both were mother-reared without problem. A male fawn was born to the Michie's tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus michianus); Rotterdam is currently the only European zoo to hold (two) females of this taxon. A male okapi was born to his experienced mother Lisala. EEP antelope births included 0.3.0 addax and 5.0.0 Arabian oryx. Three (1.2) Przewalski's horses were surprisingly sired by a `sterilized' stallion; he has since been replaced by a stallion who, despite his more certain sterilization, manages to keep all the animals in his enclosure in line, even the Bactrian camels.
Other mammals successfully bred included two (0.2) greater kudus, three California sea lions, a male François's langur, 2.1 Malagasy giant rats (a Rotterdam `first'), 2.1 wart hogs and 2.3 bush pigs (Potamochoerus porcus pictus).
Three new bird enclosures were opened in the Oceanium in 2000, the Bass Rock enclosure (mentioned above), the Cuban enclosure housing Cuban amazons and black-billed whistling ducks, and the Sea of Cortez desert exhibit with 1.1 roadrunners and 0.2 burrowing owls. A great deal of time and energy was put into rearing alcids for the Bass Rock exhibit and solving all the unexpected disease and husbandry problems that were encountered. Few alcids are held in captivity, and even fewer in outdoor zoo enclosures where they come into contact with disease vectors not encountered in their natural pelagic environment. Reports on enclosure design considerations, health problems encountered and hand-rearing experiences (for which a number of zoos kindly provided expertise) will be incorporated into husbandry guidelines for use by the EAZA Charadriiformes TAG.
New arrivals of special interest included a pair of the rare Cabot's tragopan and six Dalmatian pelicans (an EEP species), five of which were parent-reared at Schönbrunn Zoo. A pair of rainbow lories acquired in March reproduced in October in a mixed-species enclosure with blue-faced honeyeaters and Victoria crowned pigeons.
EEP species that bred, and were parent-reared, in 2000 include 2.0 African penguins, 0.1 Congo peafowl, 1.1 white-naped cranes, 2.1 Scheepmaker's crowned pigeons, 2.0 Mauritius pink pigeons and 6.6.1 Bali mynahs. One of the two successfully reared Palawan peacock pheasants (of four that hatched) was reared by the parents, the other by a temporarily single female Germain's peacock pheasant; this female has also served as a foster parent to Rothschild's peacock pheasants, as well as parenting her own young in the past.
A pair of toco toucans reared 1.1 young in 2000. This is the fourth pair to reproduce here in the last eight years. The wading birds were quite productive: 0.0.15 little egrets, 0.0.12 black-headed ibis, 0.0.4 glossy ibis, 4.2.3 greater flamingos and 2.2 Caribbean flamingos hatched, most of whom were reared. Two very prolific species in 2000 were the speckled mousebirds (Colius striatus), rearing 31 young, and the Java sparrows (Padda oryzivora), rearing 45.
Reptiles and amphibians
Thirteen species of reptile bred in 2000, of which three were `firsts' for the zoo: the pygmy spiny-tailed skink (Egernia stokesii) and the spiny-tailed iguanas Ctenosaura melanosternum and C. oedirhina. A total of 49 young were reared from the knight anole (Anolis equestris), Malayan box turtle (Cuora amboinensis), Hamilton's box turtle (Geoclemys hamiltoni), Australian snake-necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis), Philippine sail-finned water dragon (Hydrosaurus pustulatus), black spiny-tailed lizard (Uromastyx acanthinurus), lace and mangrove monitors (Varanus varius and V. indicus), San Francisco garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia), and Russian ratsnake (Elaphe schrencki).
Important acquisitions include 0.0.2 savanna monitors (V. exanthematicus) who were bred at Melbourne Zoo and are unrelated to these monitors already at Rotterdam. Five (1.0.4) crocodile lizards (Shinisaurus crocodilurus) arrived from the Aqua Zoo in Düsseldorf, Germany. A group of 1.3.2 California king snakes (Lampropeltis getulus californiae) and 2.0 San Diego gopher snakes (Pituophis catenifer annectens) were acquired from a private breeder for the Sea of Cortez exhibit in the Oceanium. Three of the zoo's 19 amphibian species bred successfully in 2000: the European fire salamander, the Taiwan newt (Cynops ensicauda popei), and the dyeing poison-arrow frog.
Fishes and invertebrates
Two species of shark acquired in 2000 were the blacknose shark (Carcharhinus acronotus) and blacktip shark (C. limbatus). The Oceanium's shark tank now holds five species. The royal gramma, or fairy basslet (Gramma loreto) was also a welcome arrival in 2000.
The section of the River Hall devoted to aquaria lost many of its inhabitants when the Oceanium was ready. A limited number of freshwater fish are still being held there, and a modest insectarium, housing a number of species including the strikingly coloured fruit beetle (Eudicella smithi). A trial attempt to keep Central American butterflies in preparation for the butterfly exhibit in the Oceanium was extremely insightful and essentially successful.
WALSRODE BIRD PARK, GERMANY
Annual Report (from the Bird Inventory 2000)
The park had a difficult season in 2000, running into a financial crisis for various reasons. Rescue came in September, when a group of three companies took over business. It became obvious that Walsrode would have to invest considerably in order to stop the decline in attendance, and to add attractions for our younger visitors. So immediately after the change of ownership, plans were developed to increase the park's appeal to visitors, including a public Baby Station, a Flight Show, a Children's Zoo and opportunities to feed birds such as pelicans and penguins. Aviaries were reconstructed and optimized, now forming larger units, housing flocks of birds rather than single pairs, in particular in the parrot section. In order to display something closer to natural communities, we also planned to add a few small mammals and reptiles in geographic-region enclosures.
While modernizing Walsrode according to the demands of today's zoo visitors, we will try to keep our international reputation within the zoo world. We will continue to participate in international captive-breeding programmes, to maintain our off-exhibit breeding facilities, and to cooperate with zoos worldwide in the effort to establish viable captive populations of rare bird species.
Despite all the problems related to the change of ownership, we had a better breeding season than in 1999, not only in number of young birds reared (1,083 in 2000 v. 841 in 1999) but also in the number of species (210 v. 184). The most noteworthy breeding attempts were unfortunately unsuccessful. One of our two pairs of kagus laid an egg in December, but the shell had several cracks; we succeeded in fixing these, and the embryo developed to the age of four weeks, but finally died when it was ready to hatch. Great and red bird of paradise (Paradisaea apoda and P. rubra) females laid one clutch each, consisting of one and two eggs respectively. However, we had missed the right time to let the females into the males' aviaries, so all three eggs were infertile. Nevertheless, this was a promising start with our birds of paradise, which we only received in May 1999.
Our Bulwer's pheasant hen laid a sensational 25 eggs in 2000, perhaps a record for the species. Unfortunately, all the eggs were infertile, because our male is too old. This species is now extremely rare in captivity, but early in 2001 we succeeded in acquiring a male from Antwerp Zoo.
Since 1995, we have kept a big group of the spectacular Montezuma oropendola (Gymnostinops montezumae). The females built many of their typical huge bottle-shaped nests, side by side in big trees, while the males established display territories. But it was only in 2000 that the birds reared two chicks, and another four were rescued from nests after a heavy rainstorm and hand-reared.
In the attempt to rear Asian openbill storks (Anostomus oscitans), we have made a lot of experiments focusing on digestive enzymes added to the food of the chicks. In 2000, we reared two chicks artificially, while the parents failed to rear any. This is the first captive breeding ever of this extraordinary stork species. One pair of our African openbills (A. lamelligerus), a similarly delicate species as regards its juvenile diet, again succeeded in rearing one chick by themselves. The southern bald ibises (Geronticus calvus), which we have bred for several years, were successful again and reared seven chicks.
Among the many parrots which reproduced in 2000, the outstanding event was the rearing of several young Riedel's eclectus (Eclectus roratus riedeli). This, the smallest subspecies of eclectus parrot, is very rare in captivity and has a limited range in the Lesser Sunda Islands. Our flock now consists of 15 birds, the only Riedel's outside Indonesia. Nearly as rare is Cornelia's eclectus (E. r. cornelia), two pairs of which reared three babies in total. The blue-headed macaw (Ara couloni) is among the least known parrot species, with a very restricted distribution; we received five confiscated pairs on loan.
In 1998 we started a cooperative programme with Tsimbazaza Zoo in Madagascar. One aim of this programme was the establishment of viable captive populations of endemic bird species. In 2000, we had a first success when we reared five young crested couas (Coua cristata). We received additional individuals of this and two other species, Madagascar crested ibis (Lophotibis cristata) and sickle-billed vanga (Falculea palliata), so that we now have sufficient founders for the purposes of the programme.
Several species of passerine birds bred in our Nusantara Rainforest exhibit, which was opened in 1999. Among these, blue-tailed pittas (Pitta gujana), large wren-babblers (Napothera macrodactyla) and chestnut-backed scimitar-babblers (Pomatorhinus montana) successfully reared chicks, while Sunda blue robins (Cinclidium diana) failed to rear their offspring.
* * *
INTERNATIONAL ZOO NEWS
Banham Zoo, U.K.
The zoo's falconers have always been keen on developing a breeding programme and requested purpose-built off-show enclosures to facilitate this. These were completed in time for spring 2001. They consist of a block of four solid-walled enclosures measuring 16 feet by ten feet and ten feet high [4.9 ΄ 3 ΄ 3 m], with an open roof of plastic netting and some shelter over the nest shelf. Within the same complex are another four smaller enclosures to house single imprinted falcons. These birds require a huge amount of interaction with the human handler, so the aviaries are smaller, allowing us to enter the bird's personal space. These birds eventually form an artificial pair-bond with the handler, which allows him or her to artificially inseminate the females. All the enclosures have a gravel floor with a permeable liner to allow drainage, fresh water in the form of a bath, and a hatch for food with a removable, cleanable drawer. Closed-circuit TV is installed to allow us to monitor birds closely to assess compatibility for future years.
We chose to breed falcons; all but a few of the birds chosen had been flown recently and were selected according to their performance in the field. In the enclosures for natural pairs we included one pair of lanner falcons, one of saker falcons, one of Barbary falcons and one of lugger falcons. The imprinted falcons for AI included two peregrine falcon females, one male and an enormous female saker.
In mid-February feeding was increased to six feeds a day. This consisted of a rotation of vitamin-enhanced quail and day-old chicks every other day. The quail was cut into quarters to allow the smaller males to carry it easily to the females, and ensured they remained active. Courtship was similar in each species, and consisted of gentle calls between pairs and head-bowing, always around the nest shelf. Food intake increased, with the males often eager to collect it. At first they would take it to the nest shelf and eat it in front of the female, later presenting it to her, and finally the falcons were observed storing food, particularly when eggs were laid. Some birds muddled through this process, with others it was very natural, some didn't form a bond at all, and the Barbarys got it all the wrong way round, with the female collecting food and giving it to the male. Not surprisingly, when they did lay, the eggs were infertile.
All the natural pairs laid, with the luggers being the first on 1 March, then the lanners on the 13th, the sakers a week later and the Barbarys on 10 April. Sasha, an imprinted saker, was taking inseminations voluntarily from 25 March and laid her first egg six days later. In total 19 eggs were laid, 11 were fertile, ten made it to pipping and eight hatched successfully; so at present we have eight chicks of four species, an achievement we are pleased with. The whole experience will be complete when the birds are fully feathered and trained.
Abridged from John Dickson in The Friends of Banham Zoo No. 14 (June 2001)
Belfast Zoo, Northern Ireland, U.K.
Among our marmosets and tamarins, another birth of twin Weddell's tamarins (Saguinus fuscicollis weddelli) has further increased our numbers of this rarely-kept subspecies. Our second pair of white-bellied pygmy marmosets (Callithrix pygmaea niveiventris) have bred for the first time in the zoo. The breeding female arrived in Belfast from America only last June, so this recently established pair have settled together and bred remarkably quickly. A highlight of the winter was the successful birth and rearing of a pied tamarin (Saguinus b. bicolor). Critically endangered in Brazil, it has the smallest natural range of all the South American primates. Captive numbers are also small, and at present just four other collections in Europe maintain them. Their captive management is complex and time-consuming, and they are quite unlike any of the other marmosets and tamarins we keep. The protocols we have developed are modelled on those used at Jersey Zoo, which has been particularly successful with the pieds, and from where our breeding female was acquired. It is really pleasing to be playing an active and productive role in this vital captive-breeding programme.
Among the antelope species we keep, births occurred in our herds of Nile lechwe and sitatunga. We used to consider our sitatunga were Tragelaphus s. spekei, but a new European studbook for the species was published recently, and following research and investigation it appears that the majority of British Isles sitatunga are in fact of the West African gratus subspecies.
Another mhorr gazelle calf has been born, and is doing well despite some poor weather these desert animals are relatively hardy when coping with a cold but dry climate. This subspecies is extinct in the wild, but is thriving in fenced reserves recently established in North Africa and populated by animals bred in European zoos. Although our herd is still quite small, we have a growing confidence with their management and breeding, and if in time we can establish a sizeable herd in Belfast, the reintroduction programme would be an exciting project with which we would hope to become involved.
Abridged from Mark Challis in Zoo Crack No. 51 (Spring 2001)
Belize Zoo, Belize, Central America
On 6 July 1999 the zoo had a successful birth of a female black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra), a species confined to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Fifteen months later, on 20 October 2000, the mother gave birth to another female. The mother was wild-caught in Belize, and is estimated to have been born in 1994, making her five years old when she first gave birth. The father was also wild-caught, with an estimated birth date of 1990.
With the first offspring the dam was very nervous, refusing during the first eight weeks after the birth to enter the management pen at night. She only came in to eat, and moved out directly when any zoo staff tried to close the entrance shutter. This was very worrisome as it was the start of the rainy season and there were some torrential downpours. To give some shelter and access to food, the entrance to the management pen was left open every evening from 16.30 until 08.00 the following morning.
Within four days of the birth, the other adult female in the troop had started to assist the mother with the grooming of the infant. By the third week in August the young monkey was observed to be moving away from its mother, but always staying within arm's reach. As the weeks went by the infant spent more time away from its mother. At 23 weeks old it was seen browsing on oak leaves, the first time it had been observed feeding itself. Weaning took place at ten months old, and by the end of May 2000 the young monkey was away from its mother for most of the day.
With the second birth in October 2000, the mother seemed to be much more relaxed, entering the management pen with no stress, allowing zoo staff to come close and inspect the baby at a very short distance. The new arrival was seen being carried by its older sister piggyback style the day after it was born. At the time of writing (Nov. 2000), the baby, another female, is four weeks old and is starting to reach for branches and leaves and moving freely between the two adult females in the troop.
The zoo's howler monkey exhibit is in two sections, each of approximately 7,000 square feet [650 m2], highly vegetated and enclosed with an electric fence. Climate control is not a problem, as the monkeys (as with all other Belize Zoo animals) are native to this country. One section has two male howlers, and the other is home to an adult male, two adult females, and the juvenile (one year old) and four-week-old females. Feeding consists of suitable browse in the morning, and in the evening papaya, banana, citrus, high-protein dog chow, boiled eggs, carrots and lettuce. The evening feed is provided in the management pen, and when the monkeys enter to feed, the shutters are closed keeping them locked up safely for the night. Fresh water is available in the exhibit and in the management pen at all times.
Abridged from John Foster in Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 28, No. 3 (March 2001)
Birds International Inc., Diliman, Quezon City, The Philippines
[A visitor's report by Sally Walker]
Birds International Inc. (BII) is a successful commercial parrot breeding farm which describes itself as a world-class facility dedicated to the preservation of endangered birds. Its capacity, if not its claim, to be on the cutting edge of bird conservation, is not unbelievable after touring the large, well-managed facility. Founded in 1973, Birds International is committed to saving the world's endangered birds by striving both to conserve and protect rare birds by successfully breeding them in captivity, and to help prevent bird poaching and smuggling through legal means.
BII utilizes the latest advances in breeding technology and pioneering in research to achieve its objectives, having cared for, bred, and preserved thousands of rare, exotic birds at its modern, six-hectare facility. It is the largest breeding centre of its kind in the world. According to its brochure, it has achieved breakthroughs in aviculture, and is a leader in researching and developing new breeding techniques.
BII is not a zoo in any sense, since it does not permit visitors except by very special arrangement and is not set up for viewing. Birds are kept in cages, some of them quite small by zoo standards. The purpose here is breeding and research, not exhibition, entertainment, or even education. BII claims, nonetheless, to be dedicated to the protection and survival of threatened birds, and to seek the best possible homes for their birds with their heath and well-being the primary concern. It breeds and sells birds, serving the needs of the world's `serious aviculturalists' in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Clients are screened to ascertain that their conditions are safe and their motives supportive of the goals of conservation and protection. Through its high standards of service and professional excellence, BII believes it is improving the numbers and rate of survival of endangered birds throughout the world. In touring the facility, one does not find any reason to think otherwise. The director and his wife and daughter are all involved in the business and clearly knowledgeable and dedicated to excellence.
The first thing that strikes you in going around the facility is the sheer number of birds which one normally sees in twos and threes only dozens and even hundreds of macaws, parrots, hornbills, rare pigeons, etc. BII holds as many as 6,000 birds, 2,000 of them breeding pairs. Their `production rate' is 2,500 birds per year, a number which increases by 20% every year. Every aspect of the facility is engineered to this end propagation of numbers of threatened birds. Research is also a high priority, and keeping current with the most recent science of aviculture is the objective. BII maintains an extensive network with others of the world's best aviculturists.
Even the location is important, as the tropical climate of the Philippines is important for the breeding of these tropical species. Food is carefully selected to be of a high standard and absolutely fresh, which is not a problem in the luxuriant Philippines such foods are available in the market and are also gathered from the wild. Special vitamin supplements are imported so that the specific nutritional needs of each species are met. Extensive and strict preventative measures are taken to insure that birds are not exposed to harmful bacteria. The facility is noticeably clean and set up for implementation of rigorous sanitation. The staff of 167 college-educated technicians are highly trained and sent for supplementary training frequently.
BII claims to provide a natural environment for its birds which involves simulating natural conditions rather than re-creating naturalistic habitat as many zoos do. The birds are destined for other breeding situations, so human contact is kept to a minimum. The facility provides large flight cages where the birds can have social interactions with their conspecifics. It has successfully bred through the fourth generation the golden conure, hyacinth macaw, Moluccan cockatoo, Nicobar pigeon and scarlet macaw. Species bred through first and second generations include Buffon's macaw, caninde macaw, Cuban amazon, blue-crowned and golden-mantled racquet-tailed parrots, guiabero parrot, Illiger's macaw, palm cockatoo, Pesquet's parrot, red-crowned amazon, red-vented cockatoo and Palawan peacock-pheasant. The breeding of Spix's macaw deserves a special mention with 18 birds, BII holds a sizeable proportion of the world population of this species.
Birds International has many secret techniques which it does not part with easily. Competition in the bird market, which consists of an enormous number of private breeders and facilities, is very stiff. It was a pleasure to see this unique facility and witness the excellence with which it is managed. One doesn't easily realise just what is involved in keeping 6,000 birds. A simple visit to the dishwashing house told the story as dramatically as any other 6,000 birds mean 6,000 dishes minimum, all of which have to be carefully washed to prevent the carrying and spread of disease!
Abridged from Zoos' Print Vol. 16, No. 2 (February 2001)
Bronx Zoo (Wildlife Conservation Park), New York, U.S.A.
The year 2000 was marked by the loss of birds to West Nile virus, and a great deal of time was spent dealing with the consequences of these losses and finding solutions to the problems created by it. The latter included mosquito-proofing facilities and removing standing water, as well as exploring further ways of protecting and treating birds should the disease recur.
Despite the setback, birds bred during the year included crested wood partridge, white-naped crane, pink pigeon, Marianas fruit dove, Montezuma oropendola, fairy bluebird and birds of paradise (Paradisaea spp.). The bird department received the AZA Edward H. Bean Award for long-term breeding of the red and lesser birds of paradise (P. rubra and P. minor). Offspring of the lesser were sent to Cologne Zoo, Germany, and of the red to Chester Zoo, U.K.
Avicultural Magazine Vol. 107, No. 1 (2001)
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Ohio, U.S.A.
With an estimated two months until delivery, zoo staff are carefully considering each detail in preparation for the birth of Sumatran rhino Emi's calf. Not knowing the precise gestation for the species adds a major variable; at the zoo's Center for Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW), Emi's hormone levels are monitored closely to evaluate the progress of the pregnancy and to look for any hints of pending parturition. In addition to collecting blood samples from Emi, the veterinary staff has collected and stored rhino plasma just in case an emergency occurs. This plasma was obtained by collecting blood during a routine foot trim on an Indian rhino at a local breeding and research facility in central Ohio. This blood was then spun in a centrifuge and separated into plasma. Two liters of the plasma have been banked and are ready, if needed to supplement the calf.
The nursery staff is prepared for the remote possibility that Emi does not produce enough milk. Because milk from each species differs, data on rhino milk have been collected and will be used as a basis for matching any supplemental milk that may be needed for the calf. For the past six months, the staff has collected, analyzed and stored an extra ten gallons of colostrum from several local facilities, including the horse industry, since horses are the closest living domestic relatives of the rhinoceros. The colostrum is then processed at a low heat to kill bacteria, but not the antigens which are necessary in immune defense. In 1976, the zoo's nursery staff had the experience of hand-raising a female black rhino, but each case is different and more information is available. `If our assistance is needed, there will be no time to prepare,' says head nursery keeper Dawn Strasser. `Neonatals have a very small window of opportunity to turn around a problem. Where most animals might have days, neonatals have only hours.'
Every day, Emi is inspected for changes in mammary development and milk production, her temperature is taken and weight recorded. Even her appetite and behavior throughout the day is noted. `We are ready for this event, but are hopeful that many of the ``just-in-case'' preparations will not be necessary,' says director of CREW Dr Terri Roth. `An uncomplicated labor resulting in the birth of a healthy calf that is cared for by a doting mother would be just what the doctor ordered.'
Abridged from a Cincinnati Zoo press release, 9 July 2001
Danmarks Akvarium, Charlottenlund, Denmark
Several kinds of cephalopod were on display in 2000 and attracted considerable attention. These included the deadly poisonous blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena sp.), several Mediterranean octopuses (O. vulgaris) from Funchal Municipal Aquarium, Madeira, a giant octopus (O. dofleini) from the Pacific Ocean, and a school of cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis). The rarely-seen nautilus was also exhibited.
During the past year keepers at the aquarium were successful in hatching two batches of piranhas; this was done by simulating the fishes' natural fluctuating environment of the Amazon region. Our West African dwarf crocodile died at the approximate age of 25, presumably of old age. Fortunately, Bristol Zoo was able to supply us with four juveniles, three of whom survived and are growing well.
Extracts from the English summary of the Annual Report 2000
Dublin Zoo, Ireland
(A visitor's report by Ray Cimino)
The development plan for Dublin Zoo has been reported before in this journal (see Ray Cimino, I.Z.N. 42:3, pp. 160166, and John O'Brien, I.Z.N. 47:8, pp. 8288). The recent opening of the African Plains exhibit marks the largest single phase of the development. The 13 hectares of new space which are reviewed here effectively double the size of the zoo.
The site comprises a large lake bordered by a narrow strip of land on one side, and a much wider land area on the other. The lake area is `dead space' as yet, as it has not been stocked with any waterfowl. About half the land area consists of mature woodland, which masks many of the enclosures and animal houses very well. Along the wooded side of the lake are enclosures for bongo, marabou stork, red river hogs, ground hornbills, cheetah and lions. The bird enclosures are perhaps the least interesting; they are very high for primarily ground-dwelling birds, and might benefit from the addition of a more arboreal bird or mammal species. All of these enclosures are aesthetically pleasing, and the profusion of mature trees gives them a long-established look.
There are only two primate islands, which I think is a pity considering the size of the lake. One is a long narrow island with a family group of 3.2 white-crowned mangabeys from Barcelona Zoo. The larger island is for chimpanzees, and there are four animals at present (two from Dublin and two from Belfast). Two others drowned shortly after being released (a mother who tried to rescue her offspring after it had fallen into the water was also drowned), and chainlink has been placed flat around the sloping sides of the island to help prevent such accidents happening again. The chimps have set to work stripping the bark off the numerous mature trees on the island, and extra behavioural enrichment will be required when they have finished this task! The chimp house is reasonably large, but somewhat gloomy and with little variety of enrichment. There is a relatively small meerkat enclosure beside the chimp house, which is not nearly as good as another meerkat enclosure in the older part of the zoo.
The rest of the land area is devoted to larger hoofstock. There are separate enclosures for pairs of white rhino and hippopotamus. While the hippos have a fair-sized outdoor pool, I feel there was an opportunity missed to present these animals in a more spectacular fashion by allowing them access to a part of the adjoining lake. As stated earlier, the lake has no animals on or in it, and it really needs something to bring it to life.
The rest of the hoofstock share a large grassed paddock and hard-stand area. There are groups of six reticulated giraffe, five scimitar-horned oryx, several plains zebra, a trio of ostrich. Dama gazelles should feature also, but were not visible on my visit. There are separate large barn-style houses for the different species, which the public cannot enter, but they can look through large plate-glass windows. Which brings me to a major criticism! All of the viewing windows into all of the animal houses are set vertically, and there is so much glare that it is sometimes impossible to see what is inside. There is no need for that in this day and age.
The Irish Prime Minister recently performed the official opening of the African Plains, and he promised another £10 million funding for the zoo over the next five years. This will fund an expanded elephant enclosure (already under way), ibis cliff and wading bird aviary on the site of the old chimp enclosure, and a new education centre. Speaking of education, as yet the standard of educational material in the African Plains area is poor. There is nothing to link the African theme together, so in effect the area is just an assortment of seemingly randomly selected species and enclosures. That, combined with the fairly standard design of the enclosures, represents to this writer something of a missed opportunity, although it has to be said that generally they are a considerable improvement over what went before.
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jersey, Channel Islands, U.K.
The zoo's central valley is being restored to a wetland habitat for the benefit of the island's wild flowers, butterflies, squirrels, toads and birds. Already 3,000 trees have been planted across the top of the valley. This provides shelter from prevailing south-westerly winds, which often cut across the open ground of the zoo's organic farm and through the core of the valley. The new woodland planted last April has started to establish and will create a warm and stable microclimate where native and exotic flora and fauna will flourish.
During the last few years, Jersey Zoo has been restoring and encouraging habitats for local species. Some banks around the periphery of the grounds have been designated `native specie areas', and wild flowers have been sown on previous wasteland areas to encourage local wild animals to take up residence. This has been very successful. For the first time we have red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) living at the zoo, and visitors can see lots of butterflies, dragonflies, small mammals and a few reptiles and amphibians. Now, the Trust is using its Save Animals From Extinction (SAFE) funds to raise money to support a Ph.D. study on Jersey's threatened agile frog (Rana dalmatina).
Forty years ago the zoo's central valley was a wetland, but it was modified to provide accommodation for globally threatened waterfowl. Unfortunately these species overgrazed the valley and the small lakes silted up. The Trust then moved its most delicate species into aviaries because predators, such as polecat-ferrets, caused havoc among the wildlife living in the valley. In April 2000 the zoo launched a three-year project to breathe life into the `lungs' of the zoo. The £1 million programme will take place in stages to minimise disruption to the animal collection and to visitors.
The whole water system will be recycled to avoid wastage. Reed beds, which act as an incredibly efficient and natural filtration system, will be introduced and much of the valley will be re-seeded. Resident plants will be encouraged to proliferate in order to recreate the original wetland habitat. Some exotic species, such as flamingos and cranes, will be introduced, but they will not compromise the natural system.
Before the project started several surveys were carried out, on moths, butterflies and other invertebrates, native plant species, and reptiles and amphibians. For some years resident and migratory birds have been monitored by our deputy head of birds, Glyn Young. These surveys will continue during the development of the central valley and, of course, afterwards for several years to provide a database of what is here now and what may be here in the future. In time we hope that the zoo will have a reputation for providing a haven for Jersey's own native flora and fauna we will be conserving globally threatened species and looking after our own backyard too.
Abridged from Quentin Bloxam in On the Edge No. 88/89 (June 2001)
Edinburgh Zoo, U.K.
We recently had a number of surplus Arabian oryx that we could not relocate, and the advice from the EEP coordinator was to cull these animals. This drew much fire from the press, using emotive words such as `slaughter' without any mention of our animal population management policy. The crux of the situation is a surplus of males, as these cannot be housed in close proximity to one another even brothers will shortly begin to be aggressive towards each other in an attempt at dominance. In captivity, only one adult male can be kept with a group of females and youngsters. Is this a problem of captive conditions?
Our breeding record showed that between 1997 and 2000, five out of the six Arabian oryx born were males. In a search of the literature on the area of nutrition, keeper Jenny Cook found that a phenomenon noted in other mammals, such as grey seals and red deer, was that when food resources are abundant, females tend to produce more male than female offspring. In reviewing the diet of our oryx, Jenny found that it was too energy- and protein-rich for a general ungulate. The question arose as to just what Arabian oryx eat in the wild, so that we could adjust their diet accordingly.
A fortunate opportunity came up for me to visit Oman. Here, I was able to study wild groups of oryx, and I also observed the semi-free-ranging group at the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary, through Ralph Daly, Advisor for Conservation of the Environment at the Diwan of the Royal Court of the Sultan of Oman. What became obvious was that social groupings and behaviour in captivity were very similar to those in the wild. An adult male would not tolerate other potential rivals near a group of females that he had managed to convince of his value. Males did not group for long periods, and savage fights decided who would remain with females. This suggested that surplus males in captivity could not be successfully kept as bachelor groups, as we had already understood from experience.
Dr Andrew Spalton at the Diwan had investigated the diet of Arabian oryx in the wild, and David Hunt, manager of the White Oryx Project, pointed out the food types to me. I also noted the diet of the semi-free-ranging group and discussed the long-term effects of the diets with him. From this visit, we have begun a project on comparing the diet and digestive efficiency of the Arabian oryx in the wild, semi-free-ranging and in our captive group. This involves cooperation between myself and Dr Spalton, Mr Hunt and the Research Officer Richard Jeffries in Oman, and Dr Neil Jessop and student Iona Sinclair of the University of Edinburgh. The information will allow us to adjust our animals' diet to a more suitable one and will hopefully result in a more balanced sex ratio of offspring born, which would help to alleviate the problems of excess males in the population.
Abridged from Dr Mauvis Gore, Head, Animal Conservation and Research Department, in Arkfile Vol. 10, No. 2 (Summer 2001)
Frankfurt Zoo, Germany
Bonobos have been living at Frankfurt Zoo since 1955, and the world's first captive breeding took place here in 1962. Today, along with Planckendael and Apenheul, we still have one of the biggest and most successful bonobo breeding groups in Europe. Since 1962 five females (three of whom were themselves Frankfurt-born) have given birth to a total of 22 (7.15) infants, of whom 2.2 were either stillborn or died within a few days.
Following the birth of ten (!) females, we were delighted by the arrival of a son for Ludwig and Natalie on 23 January 2001. Heri (`luck' or `success' in Swahili) is noteworthy in several respects. He is 16-year-old Ludwig's first son, and the first son and possibly the last offspring of Natalie, who was wild-caught in 1966. Normally female great apes are only capable of breeding up to the age of about 35 or 40 (though a chimpanzee recently gave birth to her first child at the age of 43). Through her first daughter Ukela (born 19 December 1985), Natalie was already a grandmother (of Binti, born 14 August 1995). We deliberately kept Natalie's next surviving daughter, Ulindi (born 10.10.93), until her brother was born, to enable her to gain experience with a view to her own future breeding. Natalie's labour pains began at 10.30, Heri was born at 10.40 and the placenta was expelled at 10.55. When Natalie showed no interest in it, the placenta was eaten by 27-year-old female Salonga. Ulindi sat beside her mother throughout the birth and drove away the boisterous youngsters Binti and Cheka. Since then, Ulindi's interest in her brother has faded, and on 17 May, following an EEP recommendation, she was transferred to join three males in Pongoland, Leipzig Zoo's new, large-scale great ape exhibit.
It is impossible to write about Frankfurt's bonobos without mentioning our matriarch, Margrit, who this year reaches the great age of 50 the oldest bonobo in Europe. Only the female Kitty at Milwaukee Zoo is perhaps a year older; but she is senile and almost blind, whereas Margrit is absolutely fit and an alpha female who leads the group with a firm hand. So that the sole male, Ludwig, does not find life with so many females too oppressive, we have from time to time set up a variety of sub-groups such as would occur in the wild.
Dr Christian R. Schmidt in a Frankfurt Zoo press release (translated and abridged by Nicholas Gould)
Leipzig Zoo, Germany
Great apes have been a part of Leipzig Zoo's inventory throughout its 120-year history. In recent years, however, we have been aware of technical problems in our post-war ape accommodation, and that our keeping methods were neither contemporary nor suited to the animals' needs. So it was a big opportunity for the zoo when, in 1997, the Max Planck Society chose it as the location for their Wolfgang Köhler Primate Research Center. This gave us the chance to construct a new great ape habitat, `Pongoland', which opened in May this year.
At the centre of Pongoland is a large [1,600 m2, up to 20 m high] tropical house divided into five inner enclosures for the four species chimpanzee, gorilla, orang-utan and bonobo and, in addition, a group of baby chimpanzees. The building is surrounded by five spacious outdoor enclosures [from 1,500 to 4,100 m2], one of which the orang-utans share with a pair of yellow-cheeked gibbons (Hylobates gabriellae). There are no fences, tiles, or concrete to be seen; instead, the animals live in indoor and outdoor enclosures designed to match their natural environments and allow them to demonstrate their natural behaviour. Visitors are separated from them only by wet and dry moats and, in some locations, shatterproof glass.
This undertaking represents the largest investment in our zoo since the 1920s, and it was necessary to simultaneously meet the needs of the animals, the recreational needs of visitors, and the demands of the Max Planck Institute's scientists. For them, we set up observation areas, where they have a view of each individual enclosure in its entirety and can keep an eye on all the animals without being disturbed by zoo guests. Research at the Köhler Center is strictly observational, and focuses on the behaviour and cognition of the great apes, with a special focus on the ontogeny of chimpanzee cognition. Researchers and students from the University of Leipzig, and other universities around the world, conduct their research projects at the center guided by on-site personnel. Visitors are able to observe some scientific studies as they take place, emphasizing the central concept of Pongoland as both a scientific institution for behavioural research and a high-quality zoo experience for visitors.
Extracts from the brochure published by Leipzig Zoo and the Max Planck Institute on the occasion of the opening of the new facility
Loro Parque, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Proventricular dilatation disease (PDD) is causing the death of captive and free-ranging birds on a global scale. The disease, well-known since the end of the 1970s, appeared for the first time in macaws and was formerly known as `macaw wasting disease'. Its progressive appearance in other psittacines and other groups of birds has generated a variety of other synonyms. PDD can present subacute, acute and chronic stages. Most diseased birds die within from a few months to a year after developing clinical signs, the most common of which include depression, weight loss, regurgitation and the occurrence of undigested food in the faeces. Other signs reported, although less frequently, include lethargy, hypotension, diarrhoea, polyuria and muscle atrophy. It can also affect the nervous system, causing a lack of coordination and abnormal head movements. Just among the Psittaciformes, PDD has been reported in more than 50 species, including such disparate groups as cockatoos, Agapornis spp., amazons and macaws. It poses a serious threat, not only for aviculture, but also for the management of threatened species in the wild.
During the last six years, investigations have incontrovertibly established that PDD is caused by a virus, although there is still disagreement about the precise virus involved. Another important issue is how this virus, which according to some authors is quite similar to the paramyxovirus that affects chickens, started to affect the macaw population. PDD cannot be diagnosed by a clinical examination or by gross necropsy findings: at present, a definitive diagnosis first requires microscopic examination of the characteristic lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates within the nervous system of the ventriculus, proventriculus, crop or brain. Previous presumptive diagnosis will be based mainly on medical reports, clinical signs of digestive dysfunction or radiographic evidence of proventricular dilatation; biopsies of the crop and proventriculus can be carried out to confirm the disease, but are unreliable as several other conditions can produce similar symptoms. The development of a test to detect the virus a necessary step towards the creation of a vaccine against the disease seems at present to be far off. Three groups are leaders in this field, headed by Dr R.E. Gough (Avian Virology Central Veterinary Laboratory, Weybridge, U.K.), Dr Christian Grund (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany) and Dr Ritchie of the Psittacine Disease Research Group (PDRG) at the University of Georgia. Since 1996, Loro Parque has given financial support to Dr Ritchie's group, taking into account the successful results that he has so far achieved obtained in this field.
Cyanopsitta (Loro Parque Foundation) No. 60 (March 2001)
Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabarceno, Spain
This park keeps one of the biggest groups of African elephants in Europe (6.10) and certainly has one of the largest outside enclosures (50 acres or 20 ha) anywhere in the world. The herd is kept in a no-contact system and each elephant has its individual stall at night. The park opened in 1990 and started with a group of elephants acquired from different zoos and safari parks, with animals varying in age from sub-adult to old, and also varying in temperament, This meant that it was difficult to form a herd with individuals getting along well with each other. Some animals were added to the group later, including two females from German zoos who had become aggressive to their keepers and were too dangerous to be kept in a hands-on system.
Breeding started when the first calf, a female called Kira, was born in February 1995. In the next five years five more calves were born, and only one of them did not survive. Little Kira developed rapidly and seems to have reached sexual maturity, as the behaviour of the bulls indicates copulations have been observed and time will show if she is pregnant.
In February this year Cabarceno sent two young elephants a four-year-old female and a two-year-old male to a newly-opened park near Seville. Both are offspring of the female Zambi (formerly at Augsburg Zoo, Germany), who is now pregnant again and due to give birth this summer. It is remarkable that Zambi has very short intervals between her births, but the reason for this is unknown. Both young elephants have settled in well in their new surroundings, where they joined 1.2 elephants from 15 to 20 years old, and this group now runs together.
The park's seventh birth took place on 10 April 2001, when Celia (18 years old) gave birth to a strong female calf called Hilda (104 kg, 0.9 m tall). She is Celia's second calf; her first one (a male called Pepe, born in 1998) she rejected, but he was successfully hand-reared. This time Celia was again very nervous after the birth but showed little sign of aggression; after a low dose of sedative she calmed down and accepted her baby. Now she is caring for it perfectly and mother and child are integrated into the group.
The little hand-reared bull, Pepe, died very suddenly on 3 May 2001 from colic symptoms. He had developed very well after some initial problems and was integrated into the herd. His death was totally unexpected and a sad event for the staff who had dedicated so much attention and time to his survival.
The African group at Cabarceno now stands at 4.12 animals, after a 32-year-old female from Madrid Zoo joined the herd on a temporary loan agreement. The sire of all the calves at the park is 22-year-old Chisco, the dominant bull the two other mature bulls are 20 and 17 respectively. Cita, the older one, has mated several cows.
European Elephant Group
Ramat-Gan Zoological Center, Tel Aviv, Israel
This park is very successful in breeding both species of elephants. Last year two female Asian calves were born, one of which is being successfully reared by its mother Warda. Warda, the matriarch of the little herd, has given birth to ten offspring since 1973, and seven of these are still alive.
This year it has been the turn of the African elephants. Two male calves were born in February and May, and both are developing well. The mother of the older one is Yoki, 11 years old and herself born at Ramat-Gan. She had a calf before, in 1998, which unfortunately died immediately after birth, but this time things look promising and Yoki is caring perfectly for her baby.
The younger African calf is the fourth offspring of 40-year-old Bahati, and she is rearing it as successfully as she did her previous ones. Bahati had her first calf in 1974, a son called Yossi, and he is the sire of all African elephants born in Ramat-Gan since 1987. A total of 21 African elephants have been bred here, of whom Yossi sired 18! He has developed into a huge bull who is now over 11 feet [3.35 m] tall and weighs over six tons. The African herd now stands at 12 (5.7) animals, and most of the time Yossi runs with the group it has even happened that calves were born in the presence of the big male, but this turned out to be no problem.
European Elephant Group
Riverbanks Zoological Park, Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.A.
The most notable breedings during the period April to June 2001 were the birth of five wart hogs, four of which survived and are being reared by the dam, and the hatching of eight toco toucans (1 DNS). The toucan breedings are significant not just because of their number, but also because they represent multiple generations involving unrelated pairs.
Other births and hatchings during this period were as follows: 2 Prévost's squirrel, 2 golden lion tamarin. (1 DNS), 1 snowy-crested robin chat, 2 troupial, 1 golden-breasted starling, 2 galah cockatoo, 7 superb starling (6 DNS), 2 fairy bluebird, 5 American flamingo, 1 keel-billed toucan, 3 black-necked swan (DNS), 2 radiated tortoise, 24 Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko, 3 giant leaf-tailed gecko (1 DNS), 2 New Caledonia giant gecko, 10 eastern cottonmouth.
Another event of special interest was the acquisition of an established group of 1.3 gorillas, on loan to us from Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago; these are the first great apes ever to enter our collection. Other acquisitions were: 0.1 Nile hippopotamus, 3.0 ring-tailed lemur, 1.1 California sea lion, 2.1 Empress of Germany's bird of paradise, 0.1 chestnut-mandibled toucan, 1 rockhopper penguin, 1 buff-crested bustard, 1 eastern coral snake, 0.1 Boelen's python, 1 scarlet king snake, 1.0 green tree monitor, 0.2 ornate uromastyx, 1 Cope's tree frog, 4 horned frog.
Alan H. Shoemaker, Collection Manager
Safari Beekse Bergen, The Netherlands
While animals in zoos are now often presented in mixed-species exhibits, usually on a geographical theme, elephants are seldom included in such enclosures. Nonetheless elephants are successfully held with hoofstock in a few zoos, and at Beekse Bergen five African elephant cows share a 13,000 m2 enclosure with a group of approximately 75 hamadryas baboons.
This combination, and the enclosure, offer many enrichment opportunities for both the elephants and the baboons. The baboons can pick through the largely undigested, freshly excreted elephant manure to find tasty titbits. The baboons often sit on top of the stack of hay daily provided to the elephants to glean favourite plant materials. These primates also try now and then, sometimes with success, to carry off one of the birch branches frequently offered to the elephants. In turn the elephants find it challenging to try to take items from the baboons, who sometimes sit within reach of an elephant's trunk while eating their food, offered in a part of the enclosure restricted from the elephants by electric fencing. Near the safety of their rocks, the baboons (particularly young males) like to ride on the backs of the elephants. While some of the elephants tolerate this behaviour better than others, the baboons are regularly seen on the backs of four of the five cows. Both species enjoy a good bath at the mud hole, particularly when the weather is warm.
While the elephants obviously could deliver a deadly blow to a baboon, no accidents have occurred. The animals are supervised by the keepers during feeding times, and both species are accustomed to entering their separate night quarters. While this combination of animals is fairly easy to manage from a keeper standpoint, few plants stand a chance between the two species. Several groves of pine trees protected by electric fencing offer some greenery and shade, however, as well as a chance for the baboons to escape their much larger enclosure mates.
English summary of article by Rolf Veenhuizen in De Harpij Vol. 20, No. 2 (2001)
San Diego Wild Animal Park, California, U.S.A.
The park has had great success breeding bee-eaters (Merops spp.). Keeping up with these birds' food preferences and breeding habits can be quite a challenge. Our main goal is to simulate their native habitat as closely as possible, which has led us to some creative solutions in our bee-eater exhibit.
As might be expected, the bee-eaters' favorite food item is the honeybee. To accommodate their appetite, we maintain a natural beehive in the exhibit and replace it periodically as the colony of bees diminishes or vacates the hive. In addition, we also feed the birds a variety of other live insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. The problem is that we need to keep the insects alive and moving to entice the birds. We solved this dilemma by creating a Plexiglas box with a removable screen bottom and an open top. The box keeps the insects contained, alive and active, and the bee-eaters can swoop down into the feeder and return to a perch with their catch. We also had to foil the birds' competition, however: ants. We added water wells to the legs of the feeder stand, to keep ants from climbing up into the Plexiglas box. When the birds are raising chicks, we add a few more morsels to the buffet, including beetles and fly larvae and pupae.
One of our biggest challenges is getting the bee-eaters to go through their natural breeding cycle. In order to make it easier for them, we provide them with two types of specially designed nesting areas. One is a four-foot by four-foot by eight-foot [1.2 m ΄ 1.2 m ΄ 2.4 m] plywood box that is packed with sand to simulate a riverbank. The front of the box has slats that can be removed at random to expose the sandy areas, and this is where the birds begin excavating their nesting tunnels. The other nesting area we provide is the same size plywood box, but it has a false front with round holes cut in it to simulate the tunnels into a riverbank. Behind that front is a series of rectangular nest boxes with sand inside that are attached at different levels. The individual boxes can be opened, which makes it easy for us to check the eggs or retrieve eggs that may need to be artificially incubated.
Both types of nest box have been successful. The white-throated bee-eaters (M. albicollis) nested in the false-fronted box in late February 1999. Unfortunately, their inexperience forced us to take out the eggs and artificially incubate them, but they produced two healthy chicks that we hand-raised. In the spring and summer of 2000, seven white-fronted bee-eaters (M. bullockoides) were raised by their parents in the sand-filled nest box, and they successfully fledged and took up residence in the bee-eater aviary. At the time this is being written, we are entering another breeding season, and our adult white-fronted bee-eaters have been seen entering the nesting tunnels, so we're hoping for another year of success.
Debbie Gungle in Zoonooz Vol. 74, No. 6 (June 2001)
Sea World, Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia
On 4 February 2001 we received a male juvenile false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) from Underwater World at Mooloolaba; he had been stranded in the surf zone at Teewah Beach on the Sunshine Coast. We believe he was from two to three months of age and he weighed 86 kg. He has been bottle-fed every two hours during the day and three-hourly during the night. He is now a healthy 104.5 kg and is doing well. His teeth have started to come through, so within the next few months we will start introducing solid food into his diet.
In mid-March we attempted to start the release of our dugong [see I.Z.N. 47:1, p. 57] into the Moreton Bay area. Unfortunately this was aborted due to extreme weather conditions, and we are hoping to try again in September/October of this year. The dugong has been at Sea World since November 1998, when he was a neonate and weighed only 19.5 kg. Two-and-a-half years later he is now doing very well, weighs 168 kg and has had sea grasses introduced to his diet.
Robert Landman in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 50 (May 2001)
Taronga Zoo, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
The zoo is to bring back elephant rides, last seen in 1976. The decision has angered animal rights activists, who say that it is a retrograde move. But Guy Cooper, director of the New South Wales Zoological Parks Board, has no doubt that the reintroduction of rides will benefit both the animals and the children. `You have to make a connection between animals and people, and there's no doubt about it that elephants can play an enormous role in this,' he says. `Elephants have been working with humans for three or four thousand years. They are one of the species that enjoy interaction with people.' He insists that elephants are happiest when they are working, and says that the lives of the four young Asian elephants who will arrive in Sydney in the next few years will be far richer than those of their two predecessors, who are to be retired to Western Plains Zoo after a lifetime confined in an enclosure.
News in brief
The director of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jeremy Mallinson, O.B.E., is to retire after 42 years. He joined Jersey Zoo on `a short-term summer employment'! in 1959 and worked alongside its founder, the late Gerald Durrell, to pioneer the role of zoos in wildlife conservation. Mr Mallinson formally retires after the arrival of his successor, Mark Stanley Price, in August, but he is looking forward to maintaining an advisory role within the organisation.
A five-year-old walrus at Moscow Zoo died after a carefully planned operation by a British veterinary team to remove its tusks. Yozhik was one of eight walruses operated on by Peter Kertesz and his team to extract tusks in which abscesses were forming [see I.Z.N. 48 (3), pp. 204205]; he never came round after being heavily sedated for the procedure. At half a ton, Yozhik was one of the lightest and weakest of the animals who underwent the surgery. The team tried for three hours to revive him, but in vain. The other seven animals are recovering well, and two more were spared the procedure altogether.
On 4 July Koko, the signing gorilla, celebrated her 30th birthday at the Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California. Born at San Francisco Zoo in 1971, Koko became famous after learning to sign more than 1,000 words. She picked her own birthday menu, including corn on the cob, coleslaw, nuts, vegetable chips and cider. She also received many cards and presents from admirers around the world. But a baby is the gift Koko has said she would like most. She and her male companion, Ndume, 19, have been together for eight years; he came to the foundation on loan from Cincinnati Zoo after Koko selected him from a video of available zoo gorillas. Plans are under way for the pair to move to Hawaii, where a new facility is being constructed on a 70-acre [28-ha] site.
Hannibal, a common frog (Rana temporaria) bred at the Aquarium of the Lakes, Cumbria, U.K., astonished staff when he returned to the aquarium almost a year after being released in a pond a quarter of a mile [0.4 km] away. The journey back to his birthplace involved crossing a busy car park, getting through the aquarium reception's electric doors and climbing up two flights of stairs to the artificial pond where he was reared. Frogs tend to return to breed where they were hatched, but staff had hoped the froglets would consider the natural pond to be their home.
* * *
Acharjyo, L.N.: Incidence of parasitic diseases among wild mammals and their control in Indian zoos. Zoo's Print Vol. 16, No. 6 (2001), pp. 15.
Allchurch, A.F., and Dutton, C.J.: Suspected toxic epidermal necrolysis or Stevens-Johnson Syndrome in a captive lowland gorilla Gorilla g. gorilla. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), pp. 9697.
Amori, G., and Gippoliti, S.: Identifying priority ecoregions for rodent conservation at the genus level. Oryx Vol. 35, No. 2 (2001), pp. 158165. [Rodents account for 40% of living mammal species. Nevertheless, despite an increased interest in biodiversity conservation and their high species richness, Rodentia are often neglected by conservationists. The authors attempt a first world-wide evaluation of rodent conservation priorities at the genus level. Given the low popularity of the order, they discuss identified priorities within the framework of established biodiversity priority areas of the world. Two families and 62 genera are recognized as threatened. The Philippines, New Guinea, Sulawesi, the Caribbean, Chinese temperate forests and the Atlantic Forest of Brazil are highlighted as the most important (for their high number of genera) `threat-spots' for rodent conservation. A few regions, mainly drylands, are singled out as important areas for rodent conservation but are not generally recognized in global biodiversity assessments. These are the remaining forests of Togo, extreme western Sahel, the Turanian and Mongolian-Manchurian steppes and the desert of the Horn of Africa. Resources for conservation must be allocated first to recognized threat spots and to those restricted-range genera which may depend on species-specific strategies for their survival.]
Andrianandrasana, T.H.: Survey of the habitat of the ploughshare tortoise Geochelone yniphora in the Baly Bay region, Madagascar. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), p. 92.
Arivazhagan, C., and Thiyagesan, K.: Studies on the binturongs (Arctictis binturong) in captivity at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur. Zoo's Print Journal Vol. 16, No. 1 (2001), pp. 395402.
Baker, W.K.: Can attitude make a difference before, during, and after a crisis situation? Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 28, No. 1 (2001), pp. 1516.
Baker, W.K.: Have any major changes occurred in crisis management? Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 28, No. 3 (2001), pp. 102103.
Baker, W.K.: What do you look for in a firearm? Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 28, No. 2 (2001), pp. 5657.
Baker, W.K.: What options are available for emergency or temporary housing for animals? Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 27, No. 12 (2000), pp. 559560.
Bohlman, N.R.: An examination of potential reasons for variation in egg-laying cycles of wattled cranes. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 107, No. 1 (2001), pp. 49. [Data from seven U.S. collections suggest that climatic factors influence both the dates of the breeding season and the number of eggs laid.]
Brandes, F., and Wiegmann, T.: Der `Chinese Alligator Fund' erste Schritte zur Rettung des China-Alligators. (First moves to save the Chinese alligator.) ZGAP Mitteilungen Vol. 17, No. 1 (2001), pp. 2526. [German, with English summary. Only between 130 and 150 Chinese alligators are left in the wild, nearly all their protected habitat has gone, and numbers are declining fast. The IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group estimates that, if current trends continue, the species will be extinct in the wild within 15 years. The Anhui Research Center of Chinese Alligator Reproduction keeps some 5,000 animals, which offer a chance for reintroduction. The newly-established Chinese Alligator Fund aims to restore the natural habitat and educate local people before reintroduction can commence.]
Combreau, O., Launay, F., and Lawrence, M.: An assessment of annual mortality rates in adult-sized migrant houbara bustards (Chlamydotis [undulata] macqueenii). Animal Conservation Vol. 4, No. 2 (2001), pp. 133141. [Between 1994 and 2000, the overall annual mortality rate in adult-sized houbara bustards migrating through Asia was 0.283; hunting and poaching pressure could explain 73.5% of the observed mortality. The species appears to be especially at risk in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. A VORTEX simulation showed that under current pressures, the probability of extinction can be anticipated at 50 years with a 94% probability. The maximum sustainable yield was estimated at 7.2% of the adult-sized population, whereas as much as 20.8% is currently taken.]
Cooper, J.E.: Tumours (neoplasms) of reptiles: some significant cases from Jersey Zoo. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), pp. 8286. [Tumours were diagnosed in three species of reptile at Jersey Zoo. These were leukaemia and malignant lymphoma in Jamaican boas, squamous cell carcinoma in Round Island skinks, and a bile duct adenoma in a plumed basilisk. No other neoplasms of reptiles were detected nor were there any records of tumours in Trust records and reports between 1964 and 1999.]
Courchamp, F., and Macdonald, D.W.: Crucial importance of pack size in the African wild dog Lycaon pictus. Animal Conservation Vol. 4, No. 2 (2001), pp. 169174. [Although the massive organized slaughter of African wild dogs largely ended several decades ago, this endangered canid continues to decline and faces extinction. Several lines of evidence suggest that this arises from obligate cooperative breeding, which makes Lycaon more sensitive to anthropogenic mortality. A number of behaviours in this species are characterized by a reliance on helpers. These include cooperative hunting, defence from kleptoparasitism, pup feeding and babysitting. As a result, there are strong, positive relationships between pack size and the production and survival of pups, and pairs of wild dogs are often unsuccessful at raising offspring without the assistance of helpers. Consequently, a pack in which membership drops below a critical size may be caught in a positive feedback loop: poor reproduction and low survival further reduce pack size, culminating in failure of the whole pack.]
Daltry, J.C., Bloxam, Q., Cooper, G., Day, M.L., Hartley, J., Henry, McR., Lindsay, K., and Smith, B.E.: Five years of conserving the `world's rarest snake', the Antiguan racer Alsophis antiguae. Oryx Vol. 35, No. 2 (2001), pp. 119127. [This species is confined to Great Bird Island, a 9.9-ha islet which represents well under 0.1% of the species's historical range. During the past five years, the total number of racers aged one year or more has fluctuated between 51 and 114, and currently stands at approximately 80. Since 1995, the Antiguan Racer Conservation Project has tried to save this harmless snake from extinction by using a combination of education, conservation breeding, habitat restoration, local capacity building and applied research. The snake's ecology and population dynamics have become well understood, and the species has evidently benefited from the project's rat eradication programme. The snakes are still seriously threatened by other intrinsic and extrinsic factors, however, including inbreeding depression, frequent hurricanes, invasive predators and deliberate killing by tourists, as well as the problem that Great Bird Island is too small to support more than about 100 individuals. The authors outline a series of conservation activities to safeguard the long-term future of the species, which include its reintroduction to restored islands within its former range.]
Deane, A.L.: Habitatverbesserung für chilenische Chinchillas: Renaturierungsversuche und Untersuchung von Korridoren als Schutzmassnahmen für eine bedrohte Population. (Habitat improvement for Chilean chinchillas: trial restoration of natural habitat and testing of corridors as conservation action for an endangered species.) ZGAP Mitteilungen Vol. 17, No. 1 (2001), pp. 1618. [German, with English summary; Chinchilla lanigera.]
Dickinson, H.C., Fa, J.E., and Lenton, S.M.: Microhabitat use by a translocated population of St Lucia whiptail lizards (Cnemidophorus vanzoi). Animal Conservation Vol. 4, No. 2 (2001), pp. 143156.
Dunham, K.M.: Status of a reintroduced population of mountain gazelles Gazella gazella in central Arabia: management lessons from an aridland reintroduction. Oryx Vol. 35, No. 2 (2001), pp. 111118. [Mountain gazelles were reintroduced to Hawtah Reserve in 199195. A search in winter 199899 suggested that numbers were 64% less than four years earlier, and that this decline was a result of poaching. This started after reserve management built, without adequate consultation, a new fence that was intended to bar local people from part of the reserve. Management lessons include the need for continued monitoring of reintroduced populations after the initial post-release phase, long-term dialogue with local people, effective law enforcement and the management of aridland domestic livestock in ways that prevent inter-specific competition for food causing the elimination of wild ungulates.]
Engel, H., and Müller, H.P.:Wiederansiedlung zoogeborener Addax im Souss Massa Nationalpark, Marokko. (Reintroduction of zoo-born addax in Morocco.) ZGAP Mitteilungen Vol. 17, No. 1 (2001), pp. 2122. [German, with English summary. From 1994 to 1997, the following animals were reintroduced to the Souss Massa National Park: 70 (42.28) addax, 29 (17.12) scimitar-horned oryx, 21 (13.8) mhorr gazelle (all zoo-born), as well as translocated red-necked ostriches and dorcas gazelles.]
Foster, J.: Howler monkey births in the Belize Zoo. Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 28, No. 3 (2001), p. 105. [See above, pp. 335336.]
Ganslosser, U., and Witt, K.: Wasserstellen-Nutzung beim Gelbfuss-Felskänguruh (Petrogale xanthopus celeris) eine wichtige Frage im Naturschutz-Management. (Waterhole use by yellow-footed rock wallabies an important point in conservation management.) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 43, No. 4 (2000), pp. 173178. [German, with English summary. Compares the drinking behaviour of wild and captive wallabies.]
Gedir, J.V.: A non-invasive system for remotely monitoring heart rate in free-ranging ungulates. Animal Welfare Vol. 10, No. 1 (2001), pp. 8189. [The system described was tested on eight captive wapiti at a Canadian research station. It offers a reliable, humane and inexpensive method for short-term measurement of heart rate in captive or wild ungulates. The ability to measure physiological responses under different management regimes can aid in selecting optimal herd sizes and social structures for captive animals, and in developing superior housing, enclosure designs, handling and transport methods. In addition, information about heart rates can help wildlife managers to improve their management strategies, by gaining an understanding of the energy expenditure associated with various activities and environmental influences.]
Good, S.: A survey of operant conditioning in AZA institutions. Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 27, No. 12 (2000), pp. 551557.
Grindrod, J.A.E., and Cleaver, J.A.: Environmental enrichment reduces the performance of stereotypic circling behaviour in captive common seals (Phoca vitulina). Animal Welfare Vol. 10, No. 1 (2001), pp. 5363. [A number of enrichment devices were used in this study at the Sea Life Centre, Hunstanton, U.K., focusing primarily on occupying more time in feeding/foraging behaviours. The performance of stereotypic circling behaviour was significantly reduced during the enrichment period, suggesting it had improved the welfare of all the animals in the study.]
Gromadzka-Ostrowska, J., Zalewska, B., Jakubów-Durska, K., and Goslawski, J.: Remarks on seasonal changes of some blood indices in donkeys (Equus asinus) living in zoological garden conditions. Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 3 (2001), pp. 147158. [Warsaw Zoo.]
Guerrero, D.: Animal behavior concerns and solutions: an overview of the use of the bridge and some resources related to it (Part 1). Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 28, No. 1 (2001), pp. 911.
Guerrero, D.: Animal behavior concerns and solutions: an overview of the use of the bridge and some resources related to it (Part 2). Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 28, No. 2 (2001), pp. 5052.
Guerrero, D.: Animal behavior concerns and solutions: an overview of the use of the bridge and some resources related to it (Part 3). Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 28, No. 3 (2001), pp. 9294.
Guerrero, D.: Animal behavior concerns and solutions: clarifying the training term `secondary reinforcers'. Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 27, No. 12 (2000), pp. 548550.
Hickey, T.: Nutritional review of the diet fed to St Lucia amazons Amazona versicolor at Jersey Zoo. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), pp. 3950. [In the initial stages of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust's breeding programme for the St Lucia amazon, problems were encountered with the health of the birds and reproductive output was compromised. High mortality in both wild-caught adults and captive-born youngsters from nutrition-related diseases prompted an investigation of the birds' diet. Following modifications, there was a significant improvement in the overall health of the parrots and a burst of reproductive activity. However, poor fertility has blighted the breeding programme, and with the death of a mature, wild-caught breeding male in 2000 attributed to visceral gout (the bird was also obese), the parrots' diet has once again come under scrutiny. Results of a study of the current diet suggested that crude protein levels were high, vitamin E and manganese were low, and dietary calcium was deficient, a problem intensified by the high levels of phosphorus. Fat levels were slightly high and should also be monitored.]
Hinze, I.: Breeding the Mali or kulikoro firefinch Lagonosticta virata. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 107, No. 1 (2001), pp. 2734.
Hötte, M.: Fortschritte bei den in situ Schutzmassnahmen für den Amurleoparden. (Progress in in situ conservation action for the Amur leopard.) ZGAP Mitteilungen Vol. 17, No. 1 (2001), p. 15. [German, with English summary. In 1996, a conservation plan for the Amur leopard was developed with help from the Siberian Tiger Support Coalition. Components include an anti-poaching team, a compensation scheme to reimburse farmers for losses to leopards, education projects, a forest fire-fighting team, and monitoring of leopard distribution and density. In 1998 a total of 4044 Amur leopards was estimated. It is planned to expand activities from Russia into China in the future.]
Jewgenow, K., Göritz, F., Hildebrandt, T.B., Rohleder, M., Wegner, I., and Kolter, L.: Bestimmung des Antikörpertiters gegen Schweine-Zona-Pellucida bei Zootieren vor und nach Kontrazeption mit porcinen Zona pellucida (pZP) Proteinen. (Analysis of antibodies against porcine zona pellucida (pZP) in zoo animals before and after contraception with pZP proteins.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 3 (2001), pp. 159172. [German, with English summary.]
Jiménez, I., and Vargas, A.: Der Schutzstatus des Goldkronen-Sifakas. (Conservation status of the golden-crowned sifaka.) ZGAP Mitteilungen Vol. 17, No. 1 (2001), pp. 1012. [German, with English summary. Total population estimates throughout the 360 km2 of forest available to Propithecus tattersalli range from 6,200 to 10,000 individuals, with an effective population size of 2,4004,000. With its limited distribution in a severely fragmented habitat, this is a truly endangered species, although it appears to be fairly resilient to human disturbance. This adaptable behaviour is likely to allow the species to survive in a fragmented landscape as long as human disturbance does not increase significantly, and that large forest tracts are not destroyed. Recommendations for establishing a network of protected areas are given.]
Jugtawat, R.: Jumping capability of captive-bred wolf. Zoo's Print Vol. 16, No. 7 (2001), p. 6. [Jaipur Zoo: a wolf escaped by jumping from a dry moat with a 2.65-metre wall.]
Kaumanns, W., Singh, M., Beisenherz, W., Schwitzer, C., and Knogge, C.: Bartaffen und ihr Lebensraum. (Lion-tailed macaques and their habitat.) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 43, No. 4 (2000), pp. 147168. [German, with English summary. An overview of the current status of the species and the efforts to save it, both in and ex situ.]
Krishnakumar, N., and Manimozhi, A.: Study on causes of mortality in lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) at Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur. Zoo's Print Journal Vol. 16, No. 2 (2001), pp. 421422.
Kuchling, G.: Concept and design of the Madagascar side-necked turtle Erymnochelys madagascariensis breeding facility at Ampijoroa, Madagascar. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), pp. 6274. [The facility can hold at least six adult females and males and provides for at least 200 hatchlings to be raised for two to three years.]
Kuchling, G., and López, F.J.: Endoscopic sexing of juvenile captive-bred ploughshare tortoises Geochelone yniphora at Ampijoroa, Madagascar. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), pp. 9495.
Lengwinat, T., Quest, M., Göritz, F., Tscherner, W., and Kolter, L.: Zur Embryonalruhe des Brillenbären (Tremarctos ornatus Cuvier, 1825). (Delayed implantation in the spectacled bear.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 3 (2001), pp. 137146. [German, with brief English summary. When a 24-year-old female spectacled bear at Tierpark Berlin was euthanized in October 1999, the uterus and ovaries were immediately investigated. The uterus was flushed post mortem and an embryo at blastocyst stage was recovered. The ovaries contained well-developed corpora lutea with predominant large luteal cells. The uterus showed activated endometrial glands. As mating of the female had been observed in May/June, the authors conclude that this species exhibits delayed implantation.]
Leyendecker, M., and Magiera, U.: Lebensraumbereicherung bei adulten Orang-Utans, Pongo pygmaeus, im Zoo. (Environmental enrichment for adult orang-utans in zoos.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 3 (2001), pp. 173193. [German, with English summary; Osnabrück Zoo. The authors report the effects of an enrichment programme for two (1.1) orang-utans, consisting of varied presentation of food and the offer of different manipulation objects. The animals' feeding behaviour and manipulation activity were significantly enhanced, and the time they spent feeding was comparable to that in the wild. Moreover, behavioural disorders and antagonistic behaviour significantly decreased.]
Lindemann-Matthies, P., and Kamer, T.: Evaluation der betreuten Besucherinformation im Tierpark Goldau. (Evaluation of interactive visitor information at Goldau Zoo, Switzerland.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 3 (2001), pp. 194208. [German, with English summary. The authors studied the effect of interpretative materials, and, in particular, of `touch tables' on bearded vulture and brown bear, on visitors' learning, using a test group (313 visitors) and a control group (326 visitors). Visitors in the test group more often reported having learned something at the zoo than those in the control group. In particular users of touch tables said they had learned something about the biology, ecology, and conservation of animals. A higher proportion of visitors in the test group gave correct answers to questions about bearded vultures, both immediately after their visit and two months later.]
Low, R.: Breeding the grey-winged trumpeter Psophia crepitans. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 107, No. 1 (2001), pp. 2126. [Palmitos Park, Canary Islands.]
Moreira, N., Monteiro-Filho, E.L.A., Moraes, W., Swanson, W.F., Graham, L.H., Pasquali, O.L., Gomes, M.L.F., Morais, R.N., Wildt, D.E., and Brown, J.L.: Reproductive steroid hormones and ovarian activity in felids of the Leopardus genus. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 2 (2001), pp. 103116. [Ocelot, oncilla and margay.]
Mutschler, T., Randrianarisoa, A.J., and Feistner, A.T.C.: Population status of the Alaotran gentle lemur Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis. Oryx Vol. 35, No. 2 (2001), pp. 152157. [The results of a field census carried out in February and March 1999 are compared with an earlier census carried out by the same team and following the same methods in 1994. In most sites group encounter rate was at least 50% lower than five years before. Taking into account unusually low water levels because of a drought at Lake Alaotra in 1999, the authors estimate that there has been a 30% decline in the total population, caused mainly by human-induced fires coupled with heavy hunting for food.]
Neumann-Denzau, G.: Schutz der Kulane in Turkmenistan. (Conservation of the kulan in Turkmenistan.) ZGAP Mitteilungen Vol. 17, No. 1 (2001), pp. 1314. [German, with English summary. After the independence of Turkmenistan in 1991, the number of kulans (Equus hemionus kulan) in the Badkhys Reserve decreased due to poaching from some 6,000 to less than 1,000. The summer months, when most kulans leave the reserve due to shortage of water, are most critical. Migration routes and summer grounds do not have sufficient protection status. The Munich-based Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations encouraged and paid a team of local activists to intensify the protection of the kulans in 2000, with measures like additional patrolling and creating artificial water-holes. This `first aid' helped to create more awareness and to establish close connections with reserve staff, local authorities and villagers. The team will now work with the WWF, which has announced a three-year kulan conservation project for Badkhys from 2001 onwards.]
Owen, A.: The collection of eight Montserrat orioles Icterus oberi and their establishment at Jersey Zoo. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), pp. 5161.
Parsani, H.R., Momin, R.R., and Bhuva, C.N.: Parasitic infections among captive birds at Sakkarbagh Zoo, Junagadh, Gujarat. Zoo's Print Journal Vol. 16, No. 4 (2001), pp. 462464.
Pedrono, M.: Interactive management of wild and captive populations: conservation strategies for the ploughshare tortoise Geochelone yniphora in Madagascar. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), pp. 9394.
Pillai, K.C.: Breeding of blue-fronted amazon in Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad. Zoos Print Vol. 15, No. 12 (2000), pp. 1011. [Amazona aestiva.]
Prasad, A., Dinesh, M.T., Hareesh, P.S., Biju, S., Harikumar, S., and Saseendran, P.C.: Analysis of musth episodes in captive Indian elephants (Elephas maximus). Zoos Print Journal Vol. 15, No. 9 (2000), pp. 322327. [Data from an elephant camp in Kerala suggested that the duration of musth was 99 +/ 36 days, increasing with advancing age. Hours of sunshine were negatively, and humidity positively, correlated with duration of musth.]
Razafindrajao, F.: Study of the Madagascar teal Anas bernieri and other Anatidae of the western wetlands of Madagascar. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), p. 90.
Razandrimamilafiniarivo, O.C., Reid, D., and Bekarany, E.: Captive management and reproduction of the Madagascar flat-tailed tortoise Pyxis planicauda at the Chelonian Captive Breeding Centre, Ampijoroa, Madagascar. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), pp. 7581. [This tortoise is found only in a diminishing area of dry deciduous forest in west Madagascar, under continuing threat from burning for cultivation. Recently the tortoise has also come under threat from collection for the exotic pet trade. In 1989 the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust started a captive-breeding project for this species at Ampijoroa. The authors describe the maintenance of these tortoises in captivity and the results of the project from 1995 to 1999. Following the death of several juveniles, seven (3.4) adults and seven juveniles remained at Ampijoroa prior to the 2000 breeding season.]
Rehling, M.J.: Octopus enrichment techniques. Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 28, No. 2 (2001), pp. 7180. [Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Ohio, U.S.A.]
Reichler, S.: WAPCA neues Artenschutzprojekt für Westafrikanische Primaten. (A new conservation project for West African primates.) ZGAP Mitteilungen Vol. 17, No. 1 (2001), pp. 89. [German, with English summary. The Guinean Forest is recognised as one of the 25 global biodiversity hotspots. Several primate subspecies have their exclusive distribution in a small isolated forest area extending from Ivory Coast to western Ghana. These endemic primates are highly threatened by habitat destruction and hunting for bushmeat as well as for the illegal pet trade. On the initiative of Heidelberg Zoo, several European zoos and conservation groups have founded West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA), which aims to enforce the conservation of these species, especially the Roloway monkey and the white-naped mangabey. In cooperation with the Wildlife Department in Ghana, it is planned to establish a housing facility for confiscated endangered primates. WAPCA will also fund conservation efforts in the last forest fragments, and an education campaign to inform local people about the need to protect endangered primates and other wildlife.]
Root, T., and Imboden, K.: King penguin training at the Indianapolis Zoo. Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 28, No. 1 (2001), pp. 2425.
Rowson, A.D., Obringer, A.R., and Roth, T.L.: Non-invasive treatments of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone for inducing spermiation in American (Bufo americanus) and Gulf Coast (Bufo valliceps) toads. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 2 (2001), pp. 6374. [Center for Research of Endangered Wildlife, Cincinnati Zoo. The technique described may be a safe method of improving reproductive success in threatened amphibian species.]
Ryan, S.J., and Thompson, S.D.: Disease risk and inter-institutional transfer of specimens in cooperative breeding programs: herpes and the elephant Species Survival Plans. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 2 (2001), pp. 89101. [The authors used data maintained in North American studbooks to estimate the potential risks of disease transmission by direct and indirect contact of specimens in the AZA Elephant SSP. Histological evidence for a novel herpesvirus disease transmitted between elephants in North American zoos prompted an examination of possible transmission routes within the captive population. Compared with other species managed through SSPs, elephants experience relatively few transfers between zoos. Nevertheless, the number of direct contacts with other elephants born during the study period of 19831996 was much higher than anticipated, and the number of potential indirect contacts was surprisingly large. Although these high rates complicate exact identification of infection pathways for herpesvirus, the authors were able to propose potential routes of transmission for identified cases. Furthermore, studbook data allowed them to identify other animals who did not succumb to the disease despite similar exposure. They reveal the possibilities of multiple disease transmission pathways and demonstrate how complex the patterns of transmission can be, confounded by the unknown latency of this novel herpesvirus.]
Sawyer, R.C.J.: Breeding the blue-bellied roller. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 107, No. 1 (2001), pp. 13. [Coracias cyanogaster.]
Shoemaker, S.: Care of a critically ill infant gorilla. Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 27, No. 12 (2000), pp. 561563. [The infant, at Memphis Zoo, was diagnosed with leukaemia at six months old and euthanised four months later.]
Shukla, U., and Kashyap, A.: Distance dressing in zoo animals. Zoo's Print Vol. 16, No. 7 (2001), pp. 56. [Lucknow Zoo: a non-invasive, stress-free wound treatment.]
Singh, L.A.K., Srivastava, S.S., Mohanty, A.P., and Rout, S.D.: Prevention of rubbery-snout and X-ray revelations on hunchback condition in mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris). Zoo's Print Journal Vol. 16, No. 4 (2001), pp. 465466. [Calcium-rich feed is recommended to prevent these osteological conditions in captive crocodiles.]
Singleton, I.: Ranging behaviour and seasonal movements of Sumatran orang-utans Pongo pygmaeus abelii in swamp forests. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), p. 88.
Smith, R.: Census of Jersey wall lizards Podarcis muralis and ecological correlates of distribution at fort sites in Jersey. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), pp. 9596.
Sontag, W.A.: Notes on behaviour and ecological requirements of the Rothschild's mynah Leucopsar rothschildi. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 107, No. 1 (2001), pp. 1020.
Speake, B.K., Surai, P.F., and Gore, M.: Lipid composition, fatty acid profiles, and lipid-soluble antioxidants of eggs of the Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni boettgeri). Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 2 (2001), pp. 7587. [Edinburgh Zoo, U.K. The egg yolks were investigated with the aim of identifying any features that may potentially impair the adaptation of this endangered species to deteriorations in habitat. The most striking feature found was the almost complete lack of two nutrients, docosahexaenoic acid and vitamin A, which are essential for the developing embryo. Although it is feasible that the embryo synthesizes these nutrients from other yolk-derived ingredients, the yolk is poorly endowed with the necessary precursors. The stringencies displayed by yolk composition in this species may limit its flexibility to adapt to changes in the availability of food items when the habitat is threatened.]
Stenke, R.: Artenschutzprojekt Goldkopflangur auf Cat Ba Island, Nordvietnam. (Conservation project for the golden-headed langur, Cat Ba, Vietnam.) ZGAP Mitteilungen Vol. 17, No. 1 (2001), pp. 68. [German, with English summary. The article describes a new, multifaceted project (organised by the Munich-based Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations) for the highly endangered Trachypithecus poliocephalus.]
Suarez, C.E., Gamboa, E.M., Claver, P., and Nassar-Montoya, F.: Survival and adaptation of a released group of confiscated capuchin monkeys. Animal Welfare Vol. 10, No. 2 (2001), pp. 191203. [One commonly used method of managing confiscated wild primates in Latin American countries is to release rehabilitated individuals back to their natural habitats. However, little information has been collected from such releases, so no clear guidelines have been developed to measure the success of this type of procedure. In this study, a group of eight confiscated and rehabilitated brown capuchins (Cebus apella) was released in Los Llanos Orientales in Colombia, and monitored for 6.5 months. Results were analysed according to how the animals adapted to their new environment in terms of foraging, feeding, locomotion, sleeping, social interactions between the group and with other animals and species, predation, orientation and establishment of a territory. The results show that the short-term adaptation and survival of the group was successful. Five of the eight animals remained together, two separated, and only one was lost during the first month.]
Suresh, K., Choudhuri, P.C., Kumari, K.N., Hafeez, M., and Hamza, P.A.: Epidemiological and clinico-therapeutic studies of strongylosis in elephants. Zoo's Print Journal Vol. 16, No. 7 (2001), pp. 539540.
Tinsman, J.E.: Observations of captive breeding in yellow-billed storks (Mycteria ibis). Animal Keepers Forum Vol. 28, No. 3 (2001), pp. 109120. [Jacksonville Zoological Gardens, Florida, U.S.A. This species is abundant in its native tropical Africa and the population appears to be stable. Though it is still relatively uncommon in zoos, numbers are growing. Captive breeding has been successful in several zoos, including Jacksonville, where a study was carried out in 1998 in the form of an ethogram through daily observations of a pair as they reared their newly-hatched chick. The purpose was to establish a database of behavior and environmental conditions for captive pairs and compare this with that known for wild pairs. While this species is not threatened, it has many similarities to other species that are. Established databases of successful captive-breeding programs may be useful for future conservation efforts with such threatened or endangered species as the American wood stork (M. americana), painted wood stork (M. leucocephala) and milky stork (M. cinerea).]
Todd, L.D.: Assessment of a release technique for captive-bred burrowing owls Athene cunicularia. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), p. 91.
Valladares-Padua, C., Martins, C.S., Wormell, D., and Setz, E.F.: Preliminary evaluation of the reintroduction of a mixed wildcaptive group of black lion tamarins Leontopithecus chrysopygus. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), pp. 3038. [In order to save the critically endangered black lion tamarin from extinction in the wild, a metapopulation management plan has been formulated, which includes managed dispersal of wild tamarins within the remaining habitat, translocation of animals between forest fragments, and reintroduction of captive-bred animals to the wild. This paper describes the formation and reintroduction of a mixed group of two wild females and a captive-bred male and evaluates the techniques used. The male had previously spent two years free-ranging in a wooded area of Jersey Zoo and had developed many of the necessary skills for survival in the wild. After a period of quarantine and bonding, the group was reintroduced to the females' original territory in Morro do Diabo State Park, São Paulo State, Brazil. After some initial difficulties due mainly to extremely cold weather, the male succeeded in living with the females as a wild animal for approximately three months without support, before being taken by a predator after another period of exceptionally cold weather. This study demonstrates that, although some modifications to the procedure will probably increase the chances of success, reintroduction involving captive-bred animals with pre-release training and the opportunity to learn from wild tamarins can be an effective component of metapopulation management strategies for this species.]
Vasarhelyi, K.: Is Callimico monotypic? A reassessment in the light of new data. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), pp. 2029. [Goeldi's monkey (Callimico goeldii) is generally regarded as the only species within its genus, despite anecdotal observations of variation in pelage coloration and an earlier report of weak outbreeding depression detected in a studbook analysis. In a recent study using seven microsatellite loci, the genetic structure of the wild-caught founder stock for the captive population was characterised and associations with reproductive fitness were assessed. A strong increase in infant mortality was found for matings between the most genetically distinct founders. To a lesser extent, matings among the most genetically similar founders also led to increased infant mortality in the offspring. Founders of an intermediate level of genetic similarity had the highest breeding success. These inbreeding and outbreeding effects were confirmed in a studbook analysis of first- and second-generation offspring. The results of that study point to a complex genetic structure within the founder stock. Some founders may originate from genetically isolated populations, while others may be closely related. The outbreeding effect implies that within the genus Callimico there may be more than a single species or subspecies. In the present study anecdotal reports of morphological variation are reviewed to evaluate this proposal, although no firm conclusions can be drawn. Further studies are needed to clarify the taxonomy and to provide proposals for possible adjustments to the present breeding strategy.]
Veenhuizen, R.: Olifanten en bavianen samen op Safari. (Elephants and baboons on safari.) De Harpij Vol. 20, No. 2 (2001), pp. 1215. [Dutch, with English summary. See above, p. 345.]
Veltman, K., van Herk, R., and Westerveld, B.: EEP's in dierentuinland: lippenberen ontberen succes. (EEPs in zooland: sloth bears lack success.) De Harpij Vol. 20, No. 2 (2001), pp. 26. [Dutch, with English summary. See above, pp. 322323.]
Vilà, C., and Wayne, R.K.: Sind die europäischen Wölfe durch Hybridisierung mit Haushunden bedroht? (Are European wolves threatened by hybridisation with domestic dogs?) ZGAP Mitteilungen Vol. 17, No. 1 (2001), pp. 2627. [German, with English summary. Although hybrids have been observed in the wild, significant introgression of dog genes into wild wolf populations has not yet occurred. Even in small, endangered wolf populations near human settlements hybridisation may not be common. Mating between domestic dogs and wolves is unlikely to occur because of behavioural and physiological differences, and hybrid offspring rarely survive to reproduce in the wild.]
Vogt, T., and Forster, B.: Zur Naturschutzsituation im West-Bali-Nationalpark. (Conservation situation in the West Bali National Park.) ZGAP Mitteilungen Vol. 17, No. 1 (2001), pp. 2325. [German, with English summary. A 19982000 field study of the black leaf monkey (Trachypithecus auratus) in the park estimated the population at 7,000 individuals. Although there seemed to be no serious current threats to the monkeys, conservation in the park was in general found to be unsatisfactory, with poaching for Bali mynahs, illegal fishing, timber theft, garbage disposal, and the building of a tourist camp in the conservation area. Difficulties were predominantly caused by corruption, mismanagement and lack of interest, reflecting the severe political, administrative and economic situation found throughout Indonesia today.]
Volahy, A.T.: What limits the distribution of the Madagascar giant jumping rat Hypogeomys antimena in the western dense dry forest? Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), p. 89.
Walker, S.: Crisis for Indian zoos: tiger deaths at Nandankanan Biological Park. Zoos Print Vol. 15, No. 9 (2000), pp. 17. [Responding to a trypanosomiasis outbreak.]
Wormell, D: Management guidelines for pied tamarins Saguinus b. bicolor. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), p. 87.
Wormell, D., and Brayshaw, M.: The design and redevelopment of New World primate accommodation at Jersey Zoo: a naturalistic approach. Dodo Vol. 36 (2000), pp. 919. [The three callitrichid complexes at the zoo have been modified extensively over several years, with very large increases in the size of the enclosures both inside and outside. Utilisation of large sections of tree trunk means that, in effect, each outside area simulates an area of forest. Bromeliads (Bilbergia sp.) provide a natural means of environmental enrichment outside. Ropes allow full access to the entire area, but will in time be replaced as the live planting grows, providing further foraging opportunities. The animals' quality of life has been greatly enhanced, and husbandry and management have been greatly facilitated; as a result, stress levels are noticeably lower. An important feature of these modifications is that they were designed by keeping staff, and where possible construction work was carried out in-house. This new approach to the design and furnishing of accommodation for these primates has therefore resulted in an efficient low-cost upgrade, which is also flexible enough to take account of changing requirements in the future.]
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.
Dodo, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Les Augrès Manor, Trinity, Jersey JE3 5BP, British Isles.
De Harpij, Stichting De Harpij, Van Aerssenlaan 49, 3039 KE Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Oryx, Blackwell Science Ltd (for Fauna and Flora Preservation Society), Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0EL, U.K.
Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo, Zoologischer Garten, Riehler Strasse 173, D-50735 Köln, Germany.
ZGAP Mitteilungen, Zoologische Gesellschaft für Arten- und Populationsschutz e.V. (Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations), Franz-Senn-Strasse 14, D-81377 München, Germany.
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.