International Zoo News Vol. 48/6 (No. 311) September 2001
OBITUARY Pier Lorenzo Florio
The Management and Breeding of African Wild Dogs at Bioparco, Rome Siân S. Waters, Giuseppe Subrizi, Marco Subrizi, Diego Reggianti, Luca Monterotti and Benedetta Pellegrini Quarantotti
Some Notes on Weight Data in a Collection of Okapi Farshid Mehrdadfar and Joe Shuler
The Ultimate Educational Resource: a Visit to London Zoo by First-year Undergraduates in Biology and Education Sue Dale Tunnicliffe
Letter to the Editor
International Zoo News
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Pier Lorenzo Florio, 19251999
Though an engineer by profession, Pier Lorenzo Florio felt more comfortable speaking of whales, tigers and zoos. Among the founders of the Italian branch of WWF in 1966, he became a leading authority on threatened species in Italy. He was co-author, together with Francesco Baschieri Salvadori, of one of the first monographs on the subject, Animali che Scompaiono (1977), later translated into several languages, and of Animali da Salvare (1984). During his professional activities abroad, he developed his great interest in zoological gardens. A man always open to collaboration and to sharing opinions, he found it natural to do all he could to develop contacts between Italian zoos and the international zoo community. This task he continued to serve until quite recently, contributing to this journal two papers on the Genoa Aquarium and the Naples Zoological Station [I.Z.N. 43:4, pp. 205213, and 45:3, pp. 133139 Ed.].
Pier Lorenzo served for many years as honorary secretary of the Italian Union of Zoos and Aquaria. It was thanks to him that the accounts of the first two natural rearings of cheetahs in captivity, which occurred in Luciano Spinellis small private zoo at Cecchina, near Rome, in 1966, were made available to the zoo community [see Florio and Spinelli, Int. Zoo Yearbook 7 (1967), 150152, and 8 (1968), 7678]. He continued to keep in touch with zoos even when serving at the Italian WWF TRAFFIC office and later as WWF consultant. It would be difficult to overestimate his influence upon many zoo men and conservationists in Italy. It was through him that I first became aware of International Zoo News and of the activities of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Specialist Groups.
It was also thanks to Pier Lorenzo's presence that WWF Italy maintained a clear pro-zoo attitude in spite of the objective limitations of the country's zoos and the widespread `animalist' attitude among the public. He once proudly told me that an animalist referred to the Rome Zoo as the `Pier Lorenzo Florio Zoological Garden' for his role in saving it from closure in the late 1980s. He again took over the responsibility of vice-president of a Friends of the Rome Zoo Association when, in 1996, the future of the zoo was again on the brink.
Even though his zoological knowledge was immense, the same may well be said of many people. But very few men, even in the zoo or conservation world, are as worthy to be recognised as true gentlemen, men of another time, always ready to give practical help to the cause of conservation, as Pier Lorenzo Florio.
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In our last issue we published a report (I.Z.N. 48:5, pp. 296302) on the mandrill colony at Southport Zoo, U.K. It was obvious from this article and is equally clear from a study of the annual breeding data in the International Zoo Yearbook that this zoo has been highly successful in its husbandry and reproduction of mandrills over a period of several decades.
It was therefore with some astonishment that I read a recent internet news item (http://www.championline.net/html/champnews_display.asp?story=949 ) reporting that Douglas Petrie, co-owner of Southport Zoo with his wife Carol, has been fined £5,000 and ordered by magistrates to `give back' (to whom is not stated) 34 animals the zoo has looked after for years, including owls, Hermann's tortoises, tamarins and ocelots. Mr Petrie was convicted of the `crime' of keeping and exhibiting endangered species without the appropriate licence. During a routine inspection last November, the animals were found on the premises without the correct paperwork to go with them. Police and RSPCA officers were issued a warrant to search the zoo, and found a large number of animals in the zoo which did not have the relevant and newly introduced Article 30 licence, thus contravening the laws relating to the commercial use of endangered species.
Although Mr Petrie accepted that he was technically guilty, he had in fact already applied for the licence in question some days before the first inspection took place. Processing such applications takes weeks, and while this is going on the zoo is not allowed to put the animals on show which Southport had done. But whatever the strict rights and wrongs in legal terms may be, this is surely a case where the authorities might have allowed common sense to overrule the letter of the law. The argument is quite literally about a piece of paper, and no one claims that the animals will benefit either as individuals or as potential breeders from being confiscated and rehoused. (No one, at any rate, except the local `animal rights', i.e. anti-zoo, group Southport Zoo Action, whose spokesperson announced they were `very delighted with the result of the case.') It is clear from Southport's record with mandrills and other species most notably, perhaps, binturongs that the zoo takes its welfare and conservation responsibilities seriously. The regulating body, the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions, should reconsider the verdict in this case.
I am reminded of another recent occasion on which enforcement of the regulations was allowed to override the interests of conservation and animal welfare. I am referring as many readers will have guessed to the case of Harry Sissen. Admittedly, in this instance the breach of the regulations was much more than a mere technicality. Mr Sissen, a private parrot keeper with a world-wide reputation for his breeding successes, was convicted and jailed for illegally importing from Eastern Europe, not from the wild three Lear's macaws and six blue-headed macaws. He undoubtedly acted from the highest motives no one has suggested that he was `in it for the money' and the move was in the birds' best interests. The worst aspect of the case is the disastrous consequences it had for Mr Sissen's collection as a whole: in two raids on his premises, Customs officials confiscated 139 parrots, at least 29 of whom are reported to have subsequently died. I do not want to argue that Mr Sissen should not have been punished: he knew the rules and the good reasons behind them, he deliberately ignored them, and he paid the price. It would set a dangerous precedent if some individuals were officially tolerated when they commit offences for which others are punished. But breaking up a world-class parrot collection was an immeasurably more harmful action than the one for which Mr Sissen was convicted. In cases like this, a way must be found of deterring other potential law-breakers without compromising the welfare, and the value for conservation, of the animals involved.
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THE MANAGEMENT AND BREEDING OF AFRICAN WILD DOGS AT BIOPARCO, ROME
BY SIÂN S. WATERS, GIUSEPPE SUBRIZI, MARCO SUBRIZI, DIEGO REGGIANTI, LUCA MONTEROTTI AND BENEDETTA PELLEGRINI QUARANTOTTI
African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) are one of the world's most endangered canid species, numbering between 3,000 and 5,500 in the wild. They were once distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa, but have disappeared from much of West and Central Africa and are found in depleted numbers in East Africa. The only relatively safe population survives in southern Tanzania, northern Botswana, western Zimbabwe and eastern South Africa (Fanshawe et al., 1997). The species may still be in decline due to a number of factors which include habitat fragmentation, human persecution, disease transmission from domestic dogs, road accidents, and predation by lions and hyaenas (Woodroffe et al., 1997).
African wild dogs have a very complex social structure, living in packs of from two to 27 adults and yearlings (Fuller et al., 1992; Creel and Creel, 1995). Packs are formed from dispersing, same-sex sub-groups which are usually siblings. There is a dominant male and female, and the other pack members help in rearing litters. A helper is described as being over 18 months of age before it can be of real assistance in litter rearing (Malcolm and Martin, 1982). In general only the dominant female breeds, although there are examples of subordinate females raising offspring successfully. The success or failure of the subordinate female in raising her litter seemed to depend on food availability (Fuller et al., 1992). In times of scarcity the dominant female commonly kills or otherwise causes the death of the subordinate's litter (Frame et al., 1979; Fuller et al., 1992). Inbreeding is reported to be rare (Fuller et al., 1992), with only one example (of father-daughter inbreeding) in the wild (Reich, 1978). In captivity, van Heerden and Kuhn (1985) reported that brother-sister matings were more successful than matings between less- or non-related individuals. Research has demonstrated that captive-bred wild dogs have lower genetic variability than those in the wild, and reported paternity of captive litters has not always been verified by genetic analysis (Girman and Wayne, 1997). However, Ralls et al. (1988) found that juvenile survival in captive wild dogs actually increased with the level of inbreeding.
Initial attempts by zoos at breeding the species in captivity were characterised by infanticide, maternal neglect and subsequent hand-rearing (Brand and Cullen, 1967; Dekker, 1968). Collections still appear to encounter problems of mate killing whilst forming new groups (Ensenat, pers. comm.; Lorca, pers. comm.), infanticide and maternal neglect (Deroo et al., unpub.; Lorca, pers. comm.; Challis, pers. comm.). In 1998 only two institutions in the EEP programme, Safari Beekse Bergen (the Netherlands) and the Bioparco, successfully bred African wild dogs (Verbeekemoes, pers. comm.).
It has been recommended that captive populations should be considered as a research and education resource rather than as a source of individuals for reintroduction to the wild. For various reasons reintroduction is considered to be of limited value as far as Africa-wide conservation of the species is concerned (Woodroffe et al., 1997). All known reintroductions of captive-bred packs have failed, although it seems that captive-bred individuals can survive if they are released together with wild-born dogs (Mills et al., 1998; Woodroffe and Ginsberg, 1999). Research focusing on formulating suitable vaccines for canine distemper and rabies is highly recommended and can only be undertaken in captivity (Woodroffe et al., 1997). A vaccine trial using captive packs is in the process of being set up and if successful will be of great benefit to the conservation of the species in the wild (Woodroffe, in litt.)
History of African wild dogs at Rome Zoo
Rome Zoo has kept wild dogs since 1982, when two males and a female arrived via Ravensden. All three animals were recorded as captive-bred and unrelated, though this may not have been the case. The first reported successful litter of 2.1 was born in 1986. Two further litters of two pups each were successfully raised in 1988 and 1990. An unrelated male arrived from Dvur Králové in 1991 and sired a litter of six pups in 1992, none of whom survived. Two litters of nine pups each were then successfully raised in 1994 and 1996. Three more litters were recorded after 1996, but none of these survived and the Dvur Králové male also died. As stated above, infant mortality is a problem in wild dog management, and Rome has been no exception, even though it is considered one of the more successful European institutions breeding the species. Between 1986 and 1999, 50 pups were born in 11 litters. Thirty-two individuals reached adulthood, giving Rome an infant mortality rate of 36% much lower than captive populations in South Africa, for which infant mortality is reported as occurring at 70% (de Villiers, 1997).
By the time the zoo had changed management in 1998 and become the Bioparco, the pack of wild dogs consisted of 14 (11.3) siblings from two litters, plus their post-reproductive dam. Three individuals born in 1994 had been transferred out of the group on the recommendation of the EEP coordinator, but many recommendations were still to be carried out. There was also a female from the 1994 litter who had been separated from the pack before the subsequent birth. The reason for this separation was unclear, and she was transferred to Belfast in 1999. She gave birth there but neglected her pups, who died (Challis, pers. comm.). We suggest that the complex social structure of the species means that individuals need sufficient time within the natal pack to develop appropriate social and rearing behaviour. In some collections (particularly in South Africa) young are removed from their natal pack at six months of age. Some of these animals have been imported into Europe and their inappropriate social behaviour may sometimes be responsible for some of the problems encountered in pack formation and management.
The pack of 15 dogs were kept in an enclosure of approximately 450 m2 surrounded by a wire-mesh fence three metres high with a one-metre, 45° overhang. The enclosure could be divided when it was necessary to isolate individuals, who were then still in visual and olfactory contact with conspecifics. When separation was necessary it was ensured that it did not continue for more than 36 hours within that time frame there were no problems with aggression when the individual was returned to the pack. The total area of the separation unit was 100 m2, and this could be split into two if necessary. A number of rudimentary shelters similar to dog kennels were provided. There was a 1 m2 water pool in each potential enclosure, and the main enclosure had the largest pool, of 2 m2; all the pools had constant running water. The substrate was packed earth and stone. The dogs themselves had constructed their own tunnel and breeding den by digging in the substrate; the length of the tunnel was unknown. A wooden roofed structure had been built above the den mouth, as flooding had apparently occurred in the past when a litter was present. Obviously, a management problem occurred when a sick animal sought refuge in the den, as it was impossible to check on its situation or treat it in any way.
The dogs were fed once a day six days a week in winter with 35 kg of beef, horsemeat or chicken, and with 25 kg per day five days a week in summer, with most of the diet made up of chicken rather than red meat. A vitamin supplement in powder form was sprinkled on the meat. The meat was fed on the bone and chickens were fed whole. Contrary to procedure in other collections and due to the eccentric design of the enclosure it was necessary to enter the area with the pack present. This was done once daily for cleaning and feeding. No serious problems of aggression were encountered as the dogs simply avoided the keepers. The appearance of the keepers prompted much affiliative behaviour that may have been analogous to the social rally performed by the species before going on a hunt in the wild. When the meat was taken into the enclosure, the more dominant animals would stand a little in front of the keepers, in order to carry meat off as it was thrown around the enclosure. An inevitable consequence of all members of such a large pack receiving enough food was a weight increase amongst the more dominant males in some individuals this was substantial.
In April 1998 it seemed that the post-reproductive female was still dominant. Nevertheless one of the females, Ocla, born in 1996 was observed to be in heat and mating with a dominant male sibling on 18 August 1998. It became obvious that she was pregnant, and a week before she gave birth it was noted that she was spending a lot of time in the den and her nipples appeared distended. She did not feed on 15 November, and on the 16th 89 days after the observed mating she remained in the den during feeding time and did not reappear until the following day, when she emerged very briefly to feed. The gestation period has been reported as 69 days (Montford et al., 1997) and 7379 days (van Heerden and Kuhn, 1985). As the observed mating did not equate with the actual birth date, we did not know who had sired the litter. There was also no way of knowing the size or state of health of the litter. Although Ocla occasionally left the den, she was never observed to move the pups from it.
We had already planned that the feeding routine would change as a result of the birth. The `starve day' was abolished and the pack was fed twice daily with the usual quantity of meat split in half. All pack members regurgitated for the pups. The pack at this time numbered thirteen (9.4), as two males had been transferred to Barcelona a few months prior to the birth. Four individuals had prior experience of successful litter-rearing, three males born in 1996 and the post-reproductive grandmother, who was then nine years old.
Thirty days after the estimated birth date a pup was seen being carried back into the den by the dam, and four days later six pups were seen just outside the den. The litter actually consisted of eight pups, all of whom were observed 36 days after their estimated birth date. The average litter size in captivity has been reported as 8Χ 1 (van Heerden and Kuhn, 1985). When the pups were observed eating meat, a worming programme was initiated immediately. Previous problems had occurred with worm infestation, and a whole litter was lost in January 1998 due to ascarid infestation. At Safari Beekse Bergen pups are wormed at 20 days of age. In our case this was not possible until the pups emerged from the den. The substance was placed inside the meat pieces in a quantity calculated to worm the entire pack. During the first week, the pups were only observed outside the den during feeding. A few days after the worm treatment was initiated, one pup was observed convulsing and was removed for veterinary treatment. The pup, a male, showed signs of worm infestation and damage that manifested itself in head and body tremors, so it was euthanased. The worming programme finished without further incident and the remaining seven pups developed normally, with the pack then numbering twenty. Small branches, sticks and grass with roots attached were provided for the pups as they became more active, and they frequently carried these around the enclosure in their mouths. The post-reproductive female was very attentive to the pups when they became more independent.
A few months later, on 19 February 1999, a subordinate female, Elsa, did not emerge from the den for 24 hours. When she finally appeared her nipples were distended and pups could be heard in the den. Individual dogs spent time at the mouth of the den apparently listening to the cries of the pups, but none tried to enter. We were still feeding the pack twice a day and Elsa was observed leaving the den infrequently. The birth was unexpected as Elsa had not shown any signs of pregnancy, but the transfer of two males to another collection was postponed indefinitely as soon as we knew of the pups' existence.
Everything proceeded normally until 17 days after the birth of the second litter, when a dirty and bedraggled pup was found about a metre outside the mouth of the den. This pup showed signs of ill health and was euthanased. The autopsy revealed that worms were causing severe health problems, making survival very unlikely. It was suggested that Elsa had brought the pup out of the den because it was ill. However, a day later, it became clear that the pack were not regurgitating for Elsa, necessitating her more frequent emergence from the den. This has also been noted in the wild, with packs' failure to regurgitate for subordinate females causing the death of the litter (van Lawick, 1974; Malcolm and Martin, 1982). The keepers tried to leave meat in the mouth of the den, but other dogs would still go in and remove it. When Elsa tried to emerge, she was forced back due to attacks by individuals of both sexes, and the eldest female tried to enter the den. Three days later, another pup was found in small pieces the skull was in one of the covered areas and had apparently been regurgitated. The next morning saw Elsa outside the den looking weak and with a minor injury to her tail. The rest of the pack were standing at the mouth of the den or were inside it. A female pup was brought out by an unidentified adult and dropped a few metres away from the mouth of the den. This pup died from its injuries. Elsa was trotting back and forth below the den emitting `hoo' calls. As mentioned above, this is often the fate of offspring born to subordinate females in the wild. It has been suggested that it may be due to resource availability, but this does not explain why it should occur in a captive pack who had ample food available. In early December 1999 it was noted that both Elsa and her female sibling Kira were in oestrus and being mated by the second most dominant male. They were also followed closely by two males of the 1998 litter. Both females were transferred out of the collection later that month.
As the remaining pups got older it was suspected that the pack had separated into two, because the 1998 litter were often observed resting in the smaller area sometimes used for separation purposes, while the adults used the main enclosure. Although we would have preferred this litter to have experience of the birth of at least one other litter, the situation of inbreeding between siblings could not continue. On the advice of the EEP coordinators, it was decided that a new pack should eventually be formed, with the Bioparco keeping only two members of its own pack. The intention was to keep the breeding female, Ocla, and after observation it was decided that the most dominant female of the 1998 litter should be retained, as she and her mother spent much time resting together and seemed compatible. Before this could happen, however, all the other individuals needed to be transferred to other collections.
Two males from the eldest litter of 1994 were transferred to Amsterdam and two to Warsaw in mid-1998 and late 1999 respectively. The two females from the 1996 litter went to French collections in late 1999. Most of these collections had problems in forming their new packs. The two males transferred to Barcelona killed one of the female siblings there on introduction. Pack formation was delayed until the remaining female became sexually mature. The dominant male was then introduced to this female and the second male joined the pair the day after. To facilitate the second introduction the drug Fluoxetine (used in domestic dogs to decrease aggression) was given to all individuals. This pack has now bred successfully (Ensenat, pers. comm.). A female sent from Beauval to Rostock was killed immediately when put with their resident males. In Beauval only the dominant male could be introduced to the Rome female, Elsa. As mentioned, Elsa had already given birth and raised a litter to 20 days, but her second birth resulted in infanticide. It was suggested that she might have been stressed by the close proximity of the subordinate male who was still being kept nearby. After the death of the litter the subordinate male was introduced, but was then withdrawn after fighting occurred (Lorca, pers. comm.).
In September 1999, Ocla was observed mating with a sibling and it soon became apparent that she was again pregnant. During October and November, fighting was frequent, with Ocla and her litter causing many of the problems. The 1998 litter had formed a very cohesive pack and were confident enough to harass the remaining adult males. In fact, two 1996 males had to be removed from the pack at this time one was very ill and one was observed to be extremely subordinate and stressed. (These two were sent to Warsaw after the complete recovery of the former.) Building work had also started in the area adjacent to the wild dog enclosure. In the first weeks of December Ocla was very heavily pregnant, with distended nipples. However, around the middle of the month she no longer displayed any sign of pregnancy. We assume that she gave birth and the litter may have fallen victim to infanticide due to the stressed condition of the pack. Indeed, in June 2000 the litter from 1998 killed what had been the pack's dominant adult male.
To attempt to create a successful pack and try to avoid problems such as infanticide it would appear that:
1. Offspring should be retained for the birth of at least one subsequent litter in order to learn appropriate rearing behaviour. The finding from the wild that effective helpers appear to be over 18 months of age (Martin and Malcolm, 1982) should be noted.
2. It therefore follows that the species should be kept in relatively large packs in order to foster and maintain a cohesive pack mentality. Aside from the welfare aspect, it is more educational and interesting for the public.
3. There should be no movement of animals in or out of the pack for six months after the birth of a litter.
4. Females should have a safe place to give birth and not be disturbed for the first weeks after giving birth. However, pups should be wormed at around 20 days to prevent losses from ascarid infestation.
5. There should be no disturbance to the pack, e.g. no cleaning of the enclosure, for at least five days after a birth. In Rome, the enclosure was entered only briefly in order to feed, and this was only necessary due to the enclosure design.
6. Meat should be split into two daily rations after a birth this seems to reduce stress in the pack at what is a stressful time for most mammals.
N.B. Staff from the Bioparco developed a collaborative relationship with the Italian-based Licaone Fund, which supports African wild dog conservation projects. The Fund supplied us with information leaflets and newsletters for distribution amongst zoo visitors and schools. Their website can be found at: http://www.licaonefund.org.
We are grateful to Ilaria de Angelis who helped us out considerably with the identification of individual wild dogs after the zoo changed management in April 1998. Many thanks are due to Conrad Ensenat of Barcelona Zoo, Luc Lorca of Zoo de Beauval and Mark Challis of Belfast Zoo for providing us with information on their wild dog packs. We are very grateful to Mary C. Deroo of the African wild dog research team at Philadelphia Zoo for access to unpublished material and helpful comments regarding this article. We also thank Arnaud Desbiez for comments and advice.
Brand, D.J., and Cullen, L. (1967): Breeding the Cape hunting dog at Pretoria Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook 7: 124126.
Creel, S., and Creel, N.M. (1998): Six ecological factors which may limit African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus). Animal Conservation 1: 119.
Dekker, D. (1968): Breeding the Cape hunting dog at Amsterdam Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook 8: 2730.
Deroo, M.C., Taylor, J., Peckham, V., Lawson, L.M., Collom, D., Seygal, G., and Price, C. (unpub.): Observations of a pregnant African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) at the Philadelphia Zoo, Pennsylvania. Are behavioural changes notable during gestation?
de Villiers, M.S. (1997): Captive breeding of wild dogs in South Africa. http://www.cbsg.org/27wildo .
Fanshawe, J.H., Ginsberg, J.R., Sillero-Zubiri, C., and Woodroffe, R. (1997): The status and distribution of remaining wild dog populations. In The African Wild Dog: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan (eds. R. Woodroffe, J.R. Ginsberg and D.W. Macdonald), pp. 1157. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Frame, L.H., Malcolm, J.R., Frame, G.W., and van Lawick, H. (1979): Social organisation of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) on the Serengeti Plains. Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 50: 225249.
Fuller, T.K., Kat, P.W., Bulger, J.B., Maddock, A.H., Ginsberg, J.R., Burrows, R., McNutt, J.W., and Mills, M.G.L. (1992): Population dynamics of African wild dogs. In Wildlife 2001: Populations (eds. D.R. McCullough and R.H. Barrett), pp. 11251138. Elsevier Applied Science, London.
Girman, D.J., and Wayne, R.K. (1997): Genetic perspectives on wild dog conservation. In The African Wild Dog: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan (eds. R. Woodroffe, J.R. Ginsberg and D.W. Macdonald), pp. 710. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Malcolm, J.R., and Marten, K. (1982): Natural selection and the communal rearing of pups in African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 10: 113.
Mills, M.G.L., Ellis, S., Woodroffe, R., Maddock, A., Sander, P., and Rasmussen, G. (1998): Population and Habitat Viability Assessment for the African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) in Southern Africa. IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, Apple Valley, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Montfort, S.L., Wasser, S.K., Mashburn, K.L., Burke, M., Brewer, B.A., and Creel, S.R. (1997): Steroid metabolism and validation of non-invasive endocrine monitoring in the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus). Zoo Biology 16: 533548.
Ralls, K., Ballou, J.D., and Templeton, A. (1988): Estimates of lethal equivalents and the cost of inbreeding in mammals. Conservation Biology 2: 185193.
Reich, A. (1978): A case of inbreeding in the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) in the Kruger National Park. Koedoe 21: 119123.
van Heerden, J., and Kuhn, F. (1985): Reproduction in captive hunting dogs, Lycaon pictus. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 15: 8084.
van Lawick, H. (1974): Solo: the Story of an African Wild Dog. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, Massachusetts.
Woodroffe, R., Ginsberg, J.R., and Macdonald, D.W. (1997): The African Wild Dog: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Woodroffe, R., and Ginsberg. J.R. (1999): Conserving the African wild dog, Lycaon pictus. II. Is there a role for reintroduction? Oryx 33: 143151.
All correspondence (e-mail only) to: Siân S. Waters, Cochrane Ecological Institute, Canada, email@example.com .
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SOME NOTES ON WEIGHT DATA IN A COLLECTION OF OKAPI
BY FARSHID MEHRDADFAR AND JOE SHULER
In writing this article, it is our intention to share with our colleagues a glimpse of the husbandry practices that have successfully allowed us to establish a weight base line in our collection at San Diego Wild Animal Park. The data gathered and presented in this article will continue to strengthen this data base as our collection grows. It must also be noted that the information presented has been and will be a collaboration of data submitted and gathered by a number of keepers throughout the history of our collection in this institution. The consistency of the husbandry practices maintained by this team has made this article possible.
The okapi (Okapia johnstoni) is a unique ungulate species and a member of the family Giraffidae. One of the largest forest-dwelling ungulates, this animal is so reclusive that it remained unknown to western scientists until 1901. Very little information is known about its natural history, although several have been studied in the Ituri rain forest in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (Hart and Hart, 1988). The species is known to occur in the equatorial forests of northern, central and eastern Congo (Meester and Setzer, 1977), and there is evidence that it also formerly entered western Uganda (Kingdon, 1979). Head and body length is about 197215 cm, tail length c. 3042 cm, and shoulder height c. 150170 cm. Generally considered to be rare, the okapi has been protected in the Congo since 1933, but its densely forested habitat and elusive nature may conceal its true status (Grzimek, 1975).
The preferred habitat of the okapi is dense, damp forest. It is diurnal and normally moves along well-trodden paths through the jungle. It is extremely wary and secretive, dashing away at the least suspicion of danger. Hearing is the best-developed of its senses. It is a browser, feeding on the leaves, fruit, and seeds of many plants. Kingdon (1979) noted that the prehensile tongue is used to pluck leaves, buds, and even small branches. Hart and Hart (1988) reported that each individual has a home range of about 2.5 km2 and moves about 1 km per day as it forages. O. johnstoni is found alone, in pairs, or in small family parties, but never in herds. Estimates of population density range from about 0.8 to 2.3 per km2. Communication seems to involve olfactory marking with pedal scent glands and urine, and males have a ritualized neck fight (Kingdon, 1979). The young are born from August to October, the period of maximum rainfall. The single offspring is about 80 cm tall and starts to nurse within 612 hours. It is precocious, is suckled and defended by the female, and is weaned by six months (Kingdon, 1979). Females attain sexual maturity at one year and seven months. One captive female gave birth to 12 calves, the last when she was 26 years old. The longevity record for a captive okapi is thought to be 30 years 6 months (Jones, 1993).
The first live specimen, a young animal hand-reared in the Congo, reached Europe (Antwerp Zoo) in 1919, but lived for only 51 days (Crandall, 1964). The first okapi to be bred and reared in a zoo was born in 1957 in Paris Zoo (Vincennes); but right up to the present day the success of the captive population has been limited by low calf survival. Speculation regarding the cause has included high inbreeding and susceptibility to bacterial infections during the first year of life (Benirschke, 1978). Since 1978, the number of highly inbred newborns has declined, but the mortality rate of okapis in the first year of life remains high. There is a 30% probability that a newborn okapi in the North American population will not survive its first year of life; this increases to 50% for calves born in Europe (De Bois et al., 1988).
Four (2.2) okapi calves and three adult females at San Diego Wild Animal Park were monitored and weights were collected for the purpose of this paper. The calves' weights were monitored daily during the first 140 days after their birth and weekly thereafter. The adult females' weights were monitored weekly during the entire gestation period. The animals were successfully desensitized to the presence of the keeper and each animal's weights were collected non-invasively. The scale was inserted into the pathway where the animals were routinely guided to and from their outdoor enclosure. Each animal was stopped (utilizing chain-link doors) on the scale for a period of no longer than two minutes, its weight was recorded, and it was then given access to the enclosure.
For breeding purposes, a separate yard was created where the animals were introduced and monitored for copulation. The breeding recommendations from the SSP were closely followed; all breeding behaviors were observed and select behaviors were recorded, including interest, mounting, and successful intromission. Each female was given access to the breeding male during the day (between 0900 hrs and 1600 hrs) for two successive months. Based on behavioral observations of these introductions, an approximate gestation period was calculated. The weekly weight recording of all okapi has been included in our daily/weekly husbandry routine. The data submitted for this paper reflect each female's weights for four weeks prior to introduction to the breeding male, weights throughout the gestation period (421, 421 and 433 days respectively), and four weekly weights after each parturition (Table 1). Also included are all data points (weights) of the four calves starting the day after birth, daily for the first 105 days (males) and 140 days (females) (Table 2).
Summary, results, discussion
As more information has become available on the physiology and behavior of this species, the role of keepers and their observations has evolved into something more than simply caring for the husbandry needs of the animals. Indeed, largely due to the close association of the keepers with their collection, we have been able to increase our knowledge of the animals under our care. The results submitted in this article are examples of the animal care excellence practised in our facility.
The weight of the calves monitored during this study grew rapidly, almost doubling their first data point (birth weight) during the first five weeks (35 days). The weight of the gestating females monitored shows a gradual increase. We are in the process of acclimating our collection to a training regime that will allow us to collect serum, measure body temperature, and/or collect milk. Correlation of the information gained from this husbandry practice, combined with behavioral observations by the keepers, would enable us to increase our knowledge of the okapi's estrous cycle, the nutritional value of its milk, and the thermoregulatory efficiency of the species.
The authors wish to thank Deputy Director of Collections, Larry Killmar, and Curator of Mammals, Randy Rieches, for their support and guidance. Thanks to the mammal team of the Wild Animal Park, particularly the excellent keepers of the Heart of Africa, for their diligence and hard work. Martin Durham, Charlie Tucker and Ken McCaffree were instrumental in preparing and gathering this data. Thanks to Dr Mark Edwards, Dr Allen Dixon and Nicky Dagenais for their technical support and for helping us mix the science and the art of our profession so perfectly.
Meester, J., and Setzer, H.W. (1977): The Mammals of Africa: an Identification Manual. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.
Benirschke, K. (1978): General survey of okapi pathology. Acta Zool. Path. Antverp. 71: 6378.
Crandall, L.S. (1964): The Management of Wild Mammals in Captivity. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.
De Bois, H., Van Puijenbroek, B., and Dhondt, A. (1988): The studbook population of the okapi Okapia johnstoni: some remarks on the current demographic and population genetic status. Acta Zool. Path. Antverp. 80: 5364.
Grzimek, B. (ed.) (1975): Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.
Hart, J.A., and Hart, T.B. (1988): A summary report on the behaviour, ecology, and conservation of the okapi (Okapia johnstoni) in Zaire. Acta Zool. Path. Antverp. 80: 1928.
Jones, M.L. (1993): Longevity of ungulates in captivity. International Zoo Yearbook 32: 159169.
Kingdon, J. (1979): East African Mammals: an Atlas of Evolution in Africa. III (B): Large Mammals. Academic Press, London.
Farshid Mehrdadfar and Joe Shuler, Mammal Department, San Diego Wild Animal Park, 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, California 92027, U.S.A. (E-mail: MammalsAtoZ@CS.com .)
Table 1. Weekly weights (kg) for adult female okapis (Safina, conceived 16.02.99, gave birth 23.04.00; Kasenyi, conceived 12.12.99, gave birth 05.02.01; Kimbia, conceived 14.07.99, gave birth 07.09.00).
(Please note that Week 11 in the table represents the first week of pregnancy for all three animals.)
Week Safina Kasenyi Kimbia
6 303.5 312.5
7 306.5 313.5 301.5
10 306.5 322.5 308
11 (conception) (conception) 299.5 (conception)
15 315 327.5 306.5
16 315 322.5 311.5
17 332.5 314
18 318.5 332
19 312 334 319.5
21 315.5 331 314
22 312 328
23 318 332 316.5
24 337 317
25 319 338 315.5
26 319 334 322
27 324.5 340 324.5
28 320 341 315
29 323.5 345
30 326.5 346.5
31 324 346.5 326.5
32 324.5 341.5 322
33 325 344
35 346 329
36 325.5 345.5 321
37 328 350.5 324
38 347 323.5
39 347.5 336
40 320.5 348 335
41 327 345 336
42 333 351 334
43 334.5 348.5 332.5
44 337 351 330.5
45 336.5 348 338
46 333 352.5 347
47 335.5 352.5 346.5
48 338 352.5 345
49 337.5 350.5 348.5
50 349.5 353.5
51 352 352
52 340.5 355 349.5
53 340 355.5 351
54 361 340.5
55 356.5 330.5
56 347 363 335.5
57 343 362 342
58 344 357 345.5
59 352.5 362.5 351
60 356 362 353
61 346.5 367 345.5
62 360 349
63 343 342.5
64 361.5 346.5
65 347.5 365.5 345.5
66 348.5 366.5 352
67 351 368.5 348
68 352.5 370 358.5
69 352 373 356
70 360 375 357
71 350.5 (parturition) 358.5
72 (parturition) 342 332 (parturition)
73 328 346 343.5
74 327.5 352.5 337
75 327 342.5
76 324 343.5
Table 2. Daily weights (kg) for male and female okapi calves.
Day Kwame (m) Kimacho (m) Karama (f) Shana (f)
1 21 25
2 29.5 22.5 25.5 23
3 32 22.5 27 22.5
4 34 21.5 26.5 24
5 35.5 23.5 29 24.5
6 36 24.5 29.5 25.5
7 38 24 30 27
8 39.5 25.5 32 27.5
9 41 26.5 32.5 28.5
10 42.5 26 34.5 29
11 43 27.5 35 30
12 44 28.5 36 32
13 46.5 29 36.5 32
14 46 30 38 33
15 46.5 32 40 34
16 49 32 41 33.5
17 49 33 41.5 36
18 51 34 42 36.5
19 52.5 34.5 43 37.5
20 52.5 36 45.5 37
21 55.5 37 45.5 38.5
22 55.5 37.5 47.5 40
23 58 38 49 40.5
24 58 39.5 49.5 42
25 59 39 51.5 42.5
26 62.5 40.5 53.5 44.5
27 62 41 53 44.5
28 61 42.5 54.5 46.5
29 63.5 42.5 55.5 46
30 62 44 55.5 47
31 65.5 45 56.5 49.5
32 66.5 45.5 58 50
33 66 47 60.5 51
34 66 48 61 52.5
35 66.5 48 61.5 53
36 68.5 50.5 62 54
37 71.5 51.5 63.5 55
38 73 52 64.5 55.5
39 73 53 68 56
40 74.5 52.5 68.5 57
41 75 54.5 69.5 59
42 76.5 56.5 70 59.5
43 75.5 57 70.5 60
44 77.5 57 73.5 63
45 79 58.5 74 62
46 80 60.5 75 64
47 81.5 60 75 66
48 82 61.5 76.5 67
49 82.5 63 77 68
50 83 65 78.5 68.5
51 85.5 66 80 70
52 85 67.5 81.5 70
53 86 69.5 79.5 70.5
54 86.5 70 82 71
55 87 71.5 84 74
56 90.5 71.5 85.5 73
57 88.5 73 86.5 74
58 92 72.5 85.5 75
59 92.5 72.5 85 76
60 91.5 71 87 77.5
61 95 73.5 88.5 78.5
62 96 73.5 88 79
63 93 73 89.5 79
64 94 73.5 90 79.5
65 94.5 73 92 79
66 74 91.5 81.5
67 98 74.5 92 79
68 98.5 75 93 79.5
69 100 76 94 79.5
70 98.5 76.5 95.5 79.5
71 101 77.5 96 79
72 99.5 79.5 98 80
73 100 80.5 99 81.5
74 102 82 96.5 79
75 102 84 99
76 102.5 100 83.5
77 104 84.5 99 81.5
78 103.5 85 101.5 82
79 85 101.5 83.5
80 104.5 85.5 103 82
81 108 103 84
82 108.5 86.5 103.5 85.5
83 86 105 85.5
84 109 87 107 86.5
85 109.5 86.5 104.5 86.5
86 109 87.5 107 86.5
87 111.5 89 107.5 87.5
88 110.5 90.5 106 89.5
89 111.5 91 109 89
90 112.5 91.5 109.5 89.5
91 112.5 96 111 87.5
92 114.5 95.5 110 91
93 113.5 95 109.5 91
94 115.5 96.5 112 91.5
95 116 94 112 91.5
96 116.5 97 113 93
97 117.5 96.5 113.5 93.5
98 116.5 97 114 93.5
99 116.5 96 115 94
100 119 97 118.5 93.5
101 120.5 99 116.5 96.5
102 118.5 99 118 96
103 100.5 118.5 96
104 121.5 120.5 97.5
105 121 122 99
106 122 119.5 99
107 122 122.5 100.5
108 122.5 125.5 101.5
109 123 126 100.5
110 122.5 125.5 102
111 125 103
112 125 102.5
113 125.5 104
114 126 104.5
115 126.5 105
116 127 106
117 128.5 105.5
118 127 106
119 127 107.5
120 128.5 109
121 129 110.5
122 130 111
123 130.5 112
124 131 112.5
125 131.5 112.5
126 133 113.5
127 134.5 114
130 136 115
132 138 116.5
134 139.5 117
135 138.5 117.5
136 139.5 119.5
139 143 120.5
140 143.5 122.5
* * *
THE ULTIMATE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE: A VISIT TO LONDON ZOO BY FIRST-YEAR UNDERGRADUATES IN BIOLOGY AND EDUCATION
BY SUE DALE TUNNICLIFFE
Arranging a visit to a world-class zoo is an important part of the education of teachers. Teachers have a profound impact on their pupils, and if they are themselves concerned about conservation biology and related issues, they are likely to help their pupils to understand this important area too.
Conservation and education are cited by Western zoos (Brisbin, 1993; Brambell, 1993; IUDZG/CBSG, 1993) as their main mission, and they design their interpretation accordingly. `Education' is the title of Chapter 4 in the World Zoo Conservation Strategy (IUDZG/CBSG, 1993), and the first section includes the declaration, `They [visitors] come to the zoo because in one way or another they have an interest in animals.' However, the nature of this `interest' is not explored, and therein lies a problem what interest? Moreover, it is salutary to remember that visitors already hold opinions about some of the animals with which the zoos are working (Bitgood et al., 1993), as well as about zoos, and may neither be interested in, nor support, projects for animals for which they feel no affiliation. Changes can occur and persist in people's knowledge about conservation following a visit to an aquarium (Adelman et al., 2000). It is to be hoped that a similar increase and retention of knowledge will occur in trainee teachers, so that they will use the experience in their teaching.
Both parents (Rosenfeld, 1980) and schools (Tunnicliffe, 1994) cite education as one of the objectives of zoo visits, although the social aspect of such experiences is often to the fore of the organisers' minds. Indeed, schools do on occasion arrange such visits with social objectives uppermost, because the zoo provides a safe place in which pupils can practise their social skills (Tunnicliffe, 1994).
School parties come to the zoo with defined educational objectives (Marshdoyle et al., 1981; Tunnicliffe, 1994). An international survey (Tunnicliffe, 1994) conducted in 1992 amongst schoolteachers who arranged a field trip to a zoo revealed that of 147 respondents, 110 (75%) said that they considered conservation an important aspect of their visit, but only 65 (44%) cited this as a focus topic, and 85 (51%) said conservation was not a theme they would study. The popularity of conservation as a reason for a zoo visit was highest amongst teachers of the seven- to nine-year-olds (33 out of 69 or 48%). This age group were the most frequent visitors. While conservation was rated as important, it was significant that those teachers who affirmed the topic's importance in their pupils' education also said that they brought the children to the zoo to study it. There was no positive correlation between the teachers saying they were studying biology in the zoo and those studying conservation. It was significant that contrary to what one might expect from general discussions with teachers the study of conservation was not the dominant reason for teachers bringing pupils to the zoo. The teachers who did not cite conservation as a study theme thought it important that primary students noticed adaptations to the habitat and the real size of the animals, as well as classification and the variety of life. It is not known whether these teachers visited zoos in their training and considered conservation issues: it is likely that they did not. However, in the 21st century the issue is demanding more and more attention, and it is to be hoped that teacher trainers will ensure that their students are made familiar with conservation in its widest sense.
The analysis of conversations collected from primary school groups provides an overview of what interests these visitors. Despite the cited aims of teachers, they do not talk about conservation issues to any great extent. Data (Tunnicliffe, 1995) have shown that school groups in zoos talked about conservation (endangered animals and extinction) significantly more (p < 0.005) than did the family groups, albeit infrequently and to a very slight extent, and that there were few conversations about the natural habitat of the animals, despite a significant number of teachers having indicated in the world-wide survey, which included the U.K. and U.S.A. (Tunnicliffe, 1994), that learning about conservation was one of the reasons for taking their pupils to the zoo. However, the increased mention of conservation amongst the school visitors suggests that either the teachers had heightened the children's awareness of this topic or that the zoos involved had presented the conservation message more successfully for school groups than they had for families.
School groups are expected to have a more focused conversational content about animals, their taxonomy and attributes, than family groups because school visits to zoos are undertaken for educational reasons (Marshdoyle et al., 1981; Tunnicliffe, 1994). One of the functions of zoos is to develop public understanding of biodiversity and conservation, the foundations of which lie in identification of specimens and recognition of criterial attributes. We have to consider the extent to which viewing animals is enabling visitors to attend to these issues, and whether the messages explicit within the exhibits reach the visitors. Listening to and analysing the unsolicited conversations of visitors is one way to ascertain whether or not this occurs. Research has established what primary school groups and family groups talk about, which is a necessary starting point in developing zoos' interpretative and educational strategies, though people do not always talk about all the issues which they notice.
Undergraduates in biology who are also training to be primary teachers are an important audience for zoos to influence and encourage to visit when they are teaching. What do they think about zoos, and does a visit change their opinion? If student teachers are taken to zoos with biological and educational objectives and have the educational potential of zoos explained, it may be that when they become teachers they will arrange for their pupils to visit and help them to focus on conservation as well as other biological issues. Without having the conservation message pointed out to them, would such undergraduates notice it for themselves? What else would they expect and find in the zoo?
Thirteen first-year undergraduates (mostly nineteen years of age) from one of the leading colleges of education in the U.K., who were studying for a four-year Bachelor of Education degree specialising in biology, and who would be studying primate behaviour in the next academic year, were taken on a visit to London Zoo. These students were training to be primary school teachers. Their task at the zoo was twofold firstly to observe primates and secondly to observe school children and the educational opportunities for them. The students were accompanied by their biology tutor, an experienced biologist and educator, who had worked as a zookeeper in his early career. The author also accompanied the students to give an input particularly into the educational aspects of the visit.
The undergraduates were given a questionnaire to complete during the journey to London, and the following morning they were given a post-visit questionnaire. A formal visit to the education department was not planned on this occasion, but the students were taken to the Moonlight World to see nocturnal primates, and also to the other primates, the elephants and hoofed mammals, the reptile house, aquarium and big cats, the Web of Life (the zoo's newest exhibition, featuring invertebrates and highlighting the conservation work of the Zoological Society of London), and the Animals in Action presentation, which shows five animals with a strong conservation message presented through an everyday commentary which relates the animals and their actions to people's own experiences in a friendly, non-academic manner.
1. What are your interests, if any, in a zoo?
2. Why are you visiting the zoo?
3. At the zoo, what do you expect to: See? Hear? Read? Watch? Talk about?
4. What is your task, if any, for your visit today?
5. Are there any aspects about which you want to find out for yourself?
6. Do you have any interest in conservation per se? If so, what in particular?
7. Do you have any interest in conservation education?
8. Are you interested in animal conservation of (a) endemics or (b) exotics?
9. What is your pre-visit idea in a few words about the zoo?
10. Any other comments?
1. How was the zoo visit for you?
2. What did you enjoy most of all?
3. What did you dislike the most?
4. What interested you most?
5. What five things/sights/experiences do you recall that were positive?
6. What five things/sights/experiences do you recall that were negative?
7. What conservation messages did you notice whilst in the zoo?
8. What is your take-away message or overview?
9. Any other comments/observations?
The responses were analysed by counting the number of answers and allocating them to the categories, which emerged from reading and re-reading the answers. This is an often-used technique (Tunnicliffe and Reiss, 1999). The students had not been told before they set out on their journey that they would be asked to fill in a questionnaire. The returned questionnaires were anonymous. The responses for most of the questions fitted into one of four categories, Education, Zoology (variety, taxonomy, behaviour etc.), Conservation and Animal welfare. A few questions in the post-visit questionnaire also had comments about structures and buildings in the zoo.
The totals of responses and the sub-groups into which the responses fall are shown below for both questionnaires. (N = 13; but sometimes an individual gave no answer, or more than one answer, to a question.)
1. What are your interests, if any, in a zoo?
Education: suitability for children (1), watching children (2), petting area facilities (1).
Zoology: animals and evolution (1), animals (2), looking at unusual species and wide variety (8), animal behaviour (?).
Conservation: conservation programmes (2), role of zoos (1), captive breeding (2).
Welfare: how animals are kept (1).
2. Why are you visiting the zoo?
Education: to experience educational environment of zoo (4), to observe children (8), to look at conservation education initiatives and provision for children (1).
Zoology: to look at animals and their diversity (5), to understand evolution (2), to look at primates (2), to study behaviour (1).
(No responses to this question related to Conservation or Welfare.)
3. At the zoo, what do you expect to . . .
Education Zoology Conservation Welfare
. . . see? Variety of Variety of
children (4) species (12)
Unusual species (1)
. . . hear? Children Variety of
talking (5) animal sounds (8)
. . . read? Educational Information Conservation
signage for about animals (8) information (2)
. . . watch? Children (9) Animals (11)
Animals in natural
. . . talk Childrens Evolution (7) Conservation (3) Use of zoos (2)
about with behaviour (7) Variety of
the group? Education species (5)
Total 32 53 5 2
4. What is your task, if any, for your visit today?
Twelve students said their task was to observe children in the zoo. Five students mentioned observing primates.
5. Are there any aspects about which you want to find out for yourself?
Six students wanted to find out for themselves about the zoo as an educational resource. Two more wanted to observe primates in preparation for their course next academic year. One student wanted to see cats and four wished to observe biodiversity. Two students wanted to find more information on captive-breeding programmes, whilst two admitted they did not want to find out about anything in particular.
6. Do you have any interest in conservation per se?
Twelve students reported that they did and one did not. One was a member of BUAV (British Universities Against Vivisection). One student mentioned interest in maintaining rare species, and one mentioned conservation biology. One admitted to having only a little interest.
7. Do you have any interest in conservation education?
The responses of students to this question varied between education for others and conservation topics presumably for their own education. Twelve students responded, as follows:
Education Zoology Conservation Welfare
Raising awareness, Ecosystems (1) Saving rain Not abusing
teaching children (5) Keystone species (1) forests (1) species (1)
Recycling (1) Saving rare species Recycling, what Animal
(1) we can do (1) protection (1)
Human effect on
Captive breeding (1)
Total: 6 10 (some gave 6 2
One student admitted he had not thought about the issue.
8. Are you interested in animal conservation of (a) endemics or (b) exotics?
For both parts of this question, ten students said they were.
9. What is your pre-visit idea in a few words about the zoo?
Education (8); Zoology (1); Conservation (6); Welfare (2).
`The zoo is a place where animals are kept and bred so as to be seen by the public to show world-wide species.'
`Animals are kept in captivity in unnatural environments.'
`Protection of endangered species that would not survive in the wild.'
`An interesting and educational place with the drawback of animals in cages.' `Allows public contact with wild and exotic animals.'
`A zoo is a place where animals are kept in captivity for good reasons.'
`The ultimate educational resource.'
10. Any other comments?
Excited haven't been to the zoo since 1996!
1. How was the zoo visit for you?
All the students gave a positive response. Some gave several words `good and interesting', for example. Seven students said `enjoyable', and one used the word `fun'. Four said it was `very interesting' and three that it was `good'.
2. What did you enjoy most of all?
The Animals in Action talk and demonstration was enjoyed most by everyone. Seven students also mentioned the Web of Life and the invertebrate features in particular, and one mentioned the elephants.
3. What did you dislike the most?
Three students replied `Nothing'. Buildings and features were the subject of ten comments, of which two were on the elephant paddock, one on the reptile house (with no explanation), and seven on the aquarium (it was too dark and `not very inspiring'). One student disliked the sleeping lion, whilst another was upset that not all the animals were visible though she hastened to add that this was not the fault of the zoo but a natural phenomenon! Another comment was that `there weren't many good displays of information'.
4. What interested you most?
Responses ranged from `everything!' (1) to a particular exhibit, the Web of Life (6), through to the behaviour of people in the zoo (1), the variety of animals (6), the lemurs (1), the breeding sand cats (1), and conservation efforts (1).
5. What five things/sights/experiences do you recall that were positive?
Education Zoology Conservation Welfare Exhibits
Watching Seeing Animals in Action Animals had Aquarium (1)
children (3) natural presentation (14) privacy (1) Web of Life (13)
Noticing behaviour (4) Ecological aspects Some imaginative
educational Big cats (1) (1) enclosures (1)
opportunities (1) Leaf-cutter Information on Bear enclosure (2)
Elephant ants (1) conservation
weighing efforts (1)
Total: 13 6 16 1 17
One student said that the Simulator Ride (available in the old Parrot House) was one of his five items although he did remark that it was a pity it was not associated with animals!
6. What five things/sights/experiences do you recall that were negative?
Negative experiences focused on structures, welfare and comments about repetition of species in Moonlight World. Nothing was mentioned about conservation, and there was only one educational comment (unless comments about signs are categorised as educational). There were no negative comments in the Conservation category.
Education Zoology Welfare Buildings etc
Information not Sleeping lion (1) Small Elephant paddock (1)
suitable for Repetition of enclosures Aquarium (8)
children (1) animals, e.g. sloths, for large Empty enclosures (4)
bush babies and animals (11) Old/faded signs (2)
shrews (1) Lonely cats (2) Different messages (1)
Moonlight World (1) Foot and mouth Range of age
No zorilla (!) (1) restrictions (not of buildings (!) (1)
zoos fault) (1) Old cages (1)
Noise of visitors Reptile house (1)
near animals (1)
Total: 1 4 15 19
7. What conservation messages did you notice whilst in the zoo?
One student reported noticing nothing! However, five mentioned the importance of conservation, which they had learned from the Animals in Action presentation, one mentioned smuggling and two the issue of bushmeat. (The latter was highlighted by yellow notices on the enclosures of animals victim to this abhorrent practice.) Six students referred to captive-breeding programmes, three mentioned reintroduction programmes and two the plight of endangered species.
8. What is your take-away message or overview?
Categories mentioned included: Education (5); Enjoyment (6); Zoology (2); Conservation (2); Welfare (1); Buildings etc. (2).
9. Any other comments/observations?
`There is a wide range of animals in the zoo and we must preserve and conserve them.'
`A great place to take children to learn about animals and the importance of conservation.'
`A good, enjoyable day out.'
`A good, enjoyable, informative day.'
`Humans are interested in other animals.'
`Zoos are an exciting resource for schools to use in education about conservation.'
`A good school trip for young children.'
`The zoo is helpful and positive.'
`I will definitely take my class, especially to Animals in Action and the Web of Life.'
`I didn't know there was such a good and large zoo in the middle of London.'
`Good information on the visit and plenty about conservation.'
There were also a few negative messages:
`Good, but the zoo needs updating.'
`I needed more time, especially in the Web of Life.' (Not an adverse comment on the zoo itself.)
`The zoo is not natural you must tell children that; and the enclosures can be disturbing.'
Conversations at exhibits
The conversations of the students were listened to and written down. They showed the familiar pattern of conversations at animal exhibits (Tunnicliffe, 1995), of locating the animal, naming it and noticing any salient feature or behaviour. However, when the students were with their tutor a far higher zoological content was heard, because he initiated dialogue with questions, or statements followed by questions, and taught zoology through an interactive dialogue.
Discussion and implications
Overall, this small sample of potentially influential educators about conservation were pleased and surprised by their day at this zoo. The students had expectations, and a formal task, both of which were met and fulfilled, and they noticed the conservation information. The outstanding event was the presentation by a keeper of five animals (ruffed lemur, green-winged macaw, quaker parakeet, eagle owl and ferret), all of which, through their actions and the commentary, carried a strong conservation message. Before the visit no students mentioned the buildings, but after visiting some students were concerned at the smallness of the enclosures, the concrete and the different styles of the buildings. Before they visited, their main expectations related to educational and zoological experiences. Afterwards, however, their focus of interest had widened to include the facilities and nature of the buildings and exhibits, particularly the suitability or otherwise of the exhibits for children the penguin pool, the aquarium and some of the cats' enclosures were talked about whilst the students looked at them. The lack of variety of species in some exhibits and the variable quality and inconsistency of signage figured after the visit, as well as welfare issues. Conservation issues were remarked upon, but not to such an extent as they had been before the visit. However, the `take-away' messages and conversations with the students the next day indicate that the visit had had a big impact, particularly the conservation work highlighted by the Animals in Action show, which was deemed a brilliant education event! The students did not participate in a formal educational event, but what they experienced certainly worked in terms of understanding the zoo's `strap line', Conservation in Action. However, had the group not been specialising in biology and not had a confident zoology tutor with them who had prepared them for the visit with focused tasks, the outcome in terms of their recall and receptivity might not have been so great.
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Tunnicliffe, S.D. (1995): Talking about animals: studies of young children visiting zoos, a museum and a farm. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, King's College, London.
Tunnicliffe, S.D. (1996): Conversations within primary school parties visiting animal specimens in a museum and zoo. Journal of Biological Education 30 (2): 130 141.
Tunnicliffe, S.D., and Reiss, M.J. (1999): Talking about brine shrimps: three ways of analysing pupil conversations. Research in Science and Technological Education 17 (2): 203217.
Sue Dale Tunnicliffe, Homerton College, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 2PH, U.K.
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Maarten de Ruiter's letter in I.Z.N. 48:2 (p. 104) about breeding and killing bears for the purpose of selling meat or other bear parts on the open market is certainly worth discussing. At first sight it might seem a good solution for owners of wildlife parks to enable them to breed and keep young bears so as to attract a large public. However, bears should never be bred just in order to attract large numbers of visitors or to provide a surplus to be sold for human consumption. Especially not if the reason for breeding, i.e. to attract a large public, is not highlighted, but rather overwhelmed by sidelines. During our years working with bears in captivity not one owner was completely honest and said, yes, we just breed to attract visitors. No, instead, people use different arguments to justify their policy and, of course, in their favour.
It might be that breeding animals themselves benefit from it, because they can display natural breeding behaviour. However, this is only positive for bears if they are able to display the entire range of normal, natural breeding behaviour from conception to the dissolution of family bonds. Breeding annually is not normal behaviour for bears. Normal behaviour is for the female bear to accompany her offspring for at least 1.5 to 2.5 years. She doesn't breed on an annual basis. On the other hand, keeping young bears with their mother for 2.5 years often means for holding facilities that the male would be kept in inadequate housing conditions, because there is not sufficient outdoor space to keep him parted from the female with cubs over such a long period. An additional display of natural behaviour I have never seen is to let a female with cubs freely roam in a large outdoor facility together with the male. In the wild males often grab the cubs, or sometimes even kill the defending mother and then kill the cubs as well. Perfect breeding behaviour!
The market for `traditional Chinese medicines' has expanded over the last decade and has gained enormous popularity in eastern Asia. But this market is not related to the use of certain animal parts in a traditional way. It is a new market. Selling bear meat or other parts, including gall bladder bile, where it is not traditionally used creates a new market that was previously not present. A good example of this practice is in the bile farms of China, where bears are kept in cages too small for them even to turn around. Once `milked' bile, collected under inhumane conditions, was legally available, it created a large demand and was included in foodstuffs and additives never before used in traditional Chinese medicine. A huge number of bears are taken from the wild and any other source to meet the need for additional bears. When more money is involved it will result in more bears being taken from the wild and killed. Where demand can't be met, poachers or other unethical individuals often kill wild bears to provide for the market. This human tendency has been verified many times and should not be encouraged by breeding bears in captivity simply for the sake of doing something `different'.
Jiska van Dijk,
International Bear Foundation,
3911 AV Rhenen,
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MYTH AND REALITY IN THE RAIN FOREST: HOW CONSERVATION STRATEGIES ARE FAILING IN WEST AFRICA by John F. Oates. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1999. xxviii + 310 pp. ISBN 052022252. $50.00 (cloth) or $19.95 (paper).
Professor John Oates is a respected researcher with more than thirty years of experience on primate field studies in India and Africa. As is common among many primatologists, he developed a strong interest in conservation issues, and he compiled the two IUCN/SSC Action Plan editions on African primates in 1986 and 1996. The main message of his book is simple and clear: the assumption that sustainable development and wildlife conservation are not mutually exclusive, but even linked and inter-connected, is wrong. This is especially true in the West African rain forest zone, where the consequences of an integrated approach to conservation by international organisations are having a disastrous effect on biodiversity. He notes that the myth of the `noble savage' living in harmony with nature has not been confirmed by recent research in the tropics, and he strongly argues for a return to a more `preservationist' approach to wildlife conservation. Oates laments that multi-million-dollar `conservation' projects are often headed by bureaucrats, economists and sociologists without the necessary background in biological sciences. It has been shown recently that about 15% of the Earth could be strictly protected with less than a quarter of the amount governments currently spend on environmentally harmful subsidies (James et al., 1999), contradicting the belief that wildlife must necessarily pay for itself. In an interesting chapter, the author offers an overview of the conservation movement's history and of its major switch from strict conservation to a utilitarian approach.
As a corollary to the book's main message, Oates includes a chapter dealing with the role of zoological gardens in the conservation field, `Can zoos be the ark?' He emphasises the value of zoos in the `rearing' of young conservationists, as he experienced himself in the London of the 1950s. He recognises the primary role of Gerald Durrell's early books in instilling in the young Oates a fascination for West African wildlife. Nevertheless, he questions whether zoos can become modern Noah's Arks and foresees the danger of diverting attention from in situ conservation. This warning may be needed at a time when zoos are increasingly relying on conservation to justify their existence in industrialized societies, and like to assure us that our lifestyle is not threatening biodiversity. This is not to deny zoos' role in the conservation of some species, but to put it in a broader perspective. During a recent meeting of EAZA, for instance, I heard of a plan to begin a captive-breeding programme for the Tana River mangabey (Cercocebus g. galeritus), a project never proposed in the IUCN/SSC Action Plan. Similar rare instances of collaboration between field and zoo biologists are summarised in the chapter, a useful critical look at captive breeding of great value to conservation-oriented zoo people. This book represents a J'accuse against international organizations, specifically the European Union, WWF and IUCN, for embracing a community-based and sustainable utilisation approach to conservation apparently without any verification of the results. Although one can question whether conservation can be imposed indefinitely on local communities, Myth and Reality in the Rain Forest is essential reading for everyone involved in conservation and in integrated development programmes in the African forests.
James, A.M., Gaston, K.J., and Balmford, A. (1999): Balancing the Earth's accounts. Nature 401: 323324.
BRING EM BACK ALIVE: THE BEST OF FRANK BUCK introduced and edited by Steven Lehrer. Texas Tech University Press, 2000. 248 pp., hardback. ISBN 0896724301. $28.95.
Steven Lehrer, an associate professor of radiation oncology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, has been a lifelong fan and admirer of the legendary hero and wild animal trapper, Frank Buck. In this anthology, Lehrer introduces a well-paced selection of Buck's writings, with just the right balance of tension, pathos, humour and excitement. He also cogently explains the contribution that Buck made to conservation and zoos around the world with his shared publicity.
Buck embarked on his collecting career in 1911 when he won $4,500 in a poker game. At the time, Carl Hagenbeck in Hamburg was the leading contractor to the world's zoos. Hagenbeck's death in 1913, and the outbreak of World War I a year later, precluded many clients from having further dealings with the German organization, thus providing the opportunity and demand to fuel Buck's enterprise. By the 1920s the name of Frank Buck was known to zoo directors around the world, and in 1922 he single-handedly provided the entire stock of over 500 animals for Dallas Zoo. During the construction stage he was also the temporary director of San Diego Zoo.
Bucks' adventures were framed in the exotic jungles and ports of the Far East, a canvas conjuring excitement and intrigue, at a time when piracy was still a trading option in the Java seas and Malacca Straits. Head-hunting, too, was a popular pastime among the more remote tribes in the territory. Buck's contemporaries in the wilds were the forestry officers, overseers on rubber plantations, district officers and tea planters, all of whom had forsaken the comforts of the city for a testing challenge on the edge of civilization. In the Singapore environs his life revolved around the care of captive animals at his Katong camp and the glamour and romance of the Raffles Hotel, a crossroads for globe-trotting adventurers, socialites and far-eastern nobility.
Capturing wild animals for zoos in Buck's day was fraught with perils both financial and physical. He was almost ruined in 1928 when an entire shipment was washed overboard during a raging tropical typhoon. The trapping of more dangerous specimens without causing them injury often required the intrepid collector to work at uncomfortably close quarters, utilising his remarkable skills with ropes and lasso. His was a demanding hands-on job, requiring patience and stamina, unaided by jet-age know-how or tranquillizer technology. He knew the trials of transportation on bullock carts floundering in the mire from monsoon torrents, and rail cargoes torpedoed by washouts and floods, forcing him on one occasion to swim an elephant to its destination. Little surprise that enthralling adventures ensued in such conditions, particularly when one of his dangerous captives through some misadventure gained its freedom. During these episodes his confidence was never shaken; he preferred to take a calculated risk rather than resort to the use of firearms. Subsequently, even the most notorious escapees were finally delivered in good condition, including king cobras, leopards and hordes of primates.
Frank Gibbons, a war correspondent friend, persuaded Buck to put his experiences in print, resulting in the publication in 1930 of Bring em Back Alive, which made its author an instant celebrity and hero to be ranked with Charles Lindbergh, Jack Dempsey and other icons of the day. In all, he wrote or co-authored seven books, several of which earned him even greater fame when they were transferred to the movie screen. His name lives on in the Frank Buck Zoo, Gainesville, Texas, opened in 1948. Buck's type of business couldn't and shouldn't exist today. Suffice to say that the action man with the Errol Flynn moustache and pith helmet was a unique product of his time!
Auckland Zoological Society
COLLINS POCKET GUIDE TO CORAL REEF FISHES: INDO-PACIFIC AND CARIBBEAN by Robert Myers, illustrated by Ewald Lieske. Revised edition, HarperCollins, 2001. 400 pp. (including 175 pp. of colour plates), paperback. ISBN 0007111118. £14.99.
COLLINS FIELD GUIDE TO CATERPILLARS OF BRITAIN AND EUROPE by David J. Carter, illustrated by Brian Hargreaves. HarperCollins, 2001. 296 pp. (including 72 pp. of colour plates), hardback. ISBN 000219080X. £16.99.
The Collins Pocket Guide to Coral Reef Fishes was first published in 1994. It included and illustrated 2,074 species `all that are likely to be observed by the non-specialist,' wrote Robert Myers in the introduction. This is rather more than half of all coral reef fish species, and most of the omissions are either cryptic or very small. The book certainly includes most of the tropical marine fishes likely to be found in zoos or aquariums, and the copy which I received (and reviewed) at the time has seen much use over the years. The new edition is essentially the same book, though a careful inspection reveals a few alterations and additions. The species covered have been increased to 2,118, and some of the plates have consequently been redesigned. A few errors in the original text have been corrected. The work remains probably the best low-cost, compact reference work on this group of animals; and Robert Myers's introduction is an admirably clear but concise essay on reef fish distribution, ecology and biology.
A quick count reveals 12 Collins guidebooks in my office (there are more elsewhere in the house). Most of them are described as either `pocket' or `field' guides. It is difficult to draw a firm distinction between the two types (probably the criteria have changed over the years); but in general the field guides seem to combine equally fine illustrations with a much fuller text. The Field Guide to Caterpillars of Britain and Europe has around four times as much text per species as Coral Reef Fishes. With over 5,000 species of butterflies and moths in Britain and Europe, some selection was necessary, and the book includes around 500, chosen because they are frequently encountered or of special interest.
The book's text is arranged in taxonomic order, with each species succinctly described under the headings Distribution, Description, Habitat, Foodplants and Biology. The illustrations, however, are arranged on a different system. Caterpillars present special problems in designing an identification guide. Though, as the plates in this book delightfully demonstrate, they are not nearly so boring or so similar as many people suppose, it is not really feasible to arrange them by colour or form, as is often done in the case of, e.g., wild flowers; but a taxonomic ordering is likely to leave the non-specialist floundering. This guide has opted for an arrangement which seems so obvious that it is hard to believe that as the publishers claim it has never been used before. Since most caterpillars are specialist feeders, the plates are arranged by foodplants (in a standard botanical order). Caterpillars encountered in the field will almost always be on their preferred plants, so this seems likely to be an excellent starting-point in identifying any specimen. I look forward to trying it out when caterpillar time comes round again!
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Lorises in Vietnam
The beautiful tropical forests of Vietnam are home to a surprisingly wide variety of rare and endangered animals. Among the least studied are two closely-related primate species: the pygmy loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) and its larger relative, the slow loris (N. coucang). Vietnam is one of only a few countries where both species inhabit the same forests.
Lorises are unique nocturnal primates that have been the subjects of a wide range of ongoing research projects at San Diego's Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES), including studies of reproductive behavior, olfactory communication, endocrinology, genetics, and virology. We have also had outstanding reproductive success from three different loris species, with a total of 43 lorises born at our off-exhibit research facility during the past 13 years.
But in spite of all we have learned about lorises in captivity, there is still very little known about them in the wild. Unfortunately, lorises are becoming increasingly rare due to habitat loss and the illegal pet trade. Surveys of primate distribution in recent years indicate that their numbers are seriously decreasing and their habitats are becoming more degraded. For these reasons, we realized that it was important for us to expand our efforts to include field research and conserve the lorises' native habitat in Vietnam.
I had the extraordinary privilege of going to Vietnam in February and March of this year to conduct our first loris field survey in collaboration with Vietnamese biologists. The success of this challenging survey was primarily due to the dedicated efforts of Professor Vu Ngoc Thanh, who was able to acquire the necessary permits and make all the logistical arrangements.
Our survey area was in the Ben En National Park approximately 125 miles [200 km] south of Hanoi. The park contains a large lake with more than 23 islands and peninsulas. The vegetation in our survey sites consisted mainly of hardwood trees and mixed bamboo. We reached the site after several adventurous days of travel by jeep, boat, and on foot. Along the way, local hunters, rangers, wood gatherers, and traders were interviewed so we could identify loris habitats and learn how humans impact the local primate population. We explored all the suitable trails during daylight, returning after dark with our headlamps in the hopes of spotting the distinctive orange eyeshine of lorises.
I was thrilled to be the first on our team to achieve success. My first wild loris was spotted about 30 feet [9 m] above the ground in a tree, and I was able to follow it for more than 20 minutes before it disappeared. We found a total of eight pygmy lorises during our night surveys. Our team was especially appreciative of this success, because we were unable to detect signs of any of the other five primate species that have historically lived in this forest. We also discovered disturbing evidence of wood poaching, hunting, and animal collecting.
During our survey, a group of three pygmy lorises and one slow loris were confiscated from local animal traders. We took this opportunity to measure, photograph, and collect hair samples for genetic analysis before releasing these lorises back into the forest. I was very interested to discover that one of the pygmy lorises was pregnant, because it indicated that the birth season found in the San Diego research colony is similar to that of pygmy lorises in the wild. I was also amazed to see that the slow lorises found in this location were a unique variety, with long, fluffy, silver fur and distinctive dark patches around their eyes.
As with other countries, the economic needs of the Vietnamese people often come in conflict with the conservation needs of their precious wildlife. The Zoological Society of San Diego recognizes this challenge and has supported conservation programs for other Vietnamese primates, such as the endangered douc langurs. Now we are initiating some new conservation and education programs by developing loris conservation posters, publishing a Vietnamese translation of a loris husbandry manual, and creating educational materials for local schoolchildren. These are all part of a long-term conservation and research plan, which we hope will help protect all Vietnamese primates.
Although there are still many difficult challenges to address in this region, it is exciting to be a part of these efforts. The spectacular Vietnamese forests still hold a wealth of unique wildlife, and it is important for us to learn about these fascinating animals and to assist with their continued survival. I am eagerly looking forward to our upcoming survey in southern Vietnam, which is planned for later this year, because each such project advances much-needed primate conservation.
Helena Fitch-Snyder in CRES Report (Fall 2001)
Conservation effort for an endangered rabbit
Representatives from international organisations and throughout South Africa came together in August to adopt the IUCN's Population and Habitat Viability Assessment (PHVA) for the riverine rabbit (Bunolagus monticularis), one of 12 globally endangered rabbit species and one of South Africa's most endangered mammals. The rabbit has the same critical conservation status as the cheetah, black rhino and African wild dog, but none of the sentimental fanfare that these more charismatic animals attract.
Riverine rabbits occur in river catchments in the semi-arid south central Karoo in Cape Province. This habitat does not fall within formally protected areas, but extends along the river course which runs through a series of privately-owned farms. The conservation programme therefore focuses strongly on the protection of the remaining habitat, the forming of `conservancies' (voluntary agreements by landowners to manage their farms according to accepted conservation principles), and the raising of the species' profile through an extensive awareness campaign. The conservation of Africa's only indigenous burrowing rabbit species has received renewed impetus thanks to a generous sponsorship by WWF-SA towards the Riverine Rabbit Conservation Project. This has given Cape Nature Conservation and Northern Cape Nature Conservation Services the necessary backing for a renewed, co-ordinated drive to save the rabbit from extinction, and to collect sufficient baseline data to make the necessary management decisions for its long-term survival.
(For further information on this project, see the website http://www.riverinerabbit.co.za .)
Cape Nature Conservation press release, 21 August 2001
Crocodile reintroduction in Vietnam
Twenty-five adult Siamese crocodiles (C. siamensis) have been transferred to Nam Cat Tien National Park, north-east of Ho Chi Minh City, in the hope that they will breed in the wild. Animals will later be introduced into Bau Sau, a 2,500-ha lake. The crocodiles have been kept in captivity by the Ca Sau Hoa Ca Crocodile Company. The Siamese crocodile and its saltwater cousin, the estuarine crocodile (C. porosus), have not been reported in Vietnam for at least ten years, although there have been recent reports of crocodiles in the Mekong Delta area. These are thought to have escaped from farms during Vietnam's worst floods for 40 years.
Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter 19:4 (2000), 1516
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Viviparous lizard selects sex of embryos
Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), whereby the sex of embryos depends on the temperature at which they develop, is a well-known phenomenon in many egg-laying reptiles, including all crocodilians and some lizards, tortoises and turtles. But no one suspected that TSD might occur in viviparous reptiles, because thermoregulation in the mother results in relatively stable gestation temperatures. Recently, however, two Australian biologists, Kylie Robert and Michael Thompson, reported in Nature (Vol. 412, 16 August 2001) that developing embryos of a viviparous skink, Eulamprus tympanum, are subject to TSD. The researchers kept pregnant females at different laboratory temperatures, and found that those maintained at 32° C produced exclusively male offspring, those at 30° C produced predominantly (75%) males, and those at 25° C produced roughly equal numbers of each sex. More surprisingly, females provided with unlimited conditions for thermoregulation maintained body temperatures of 32° C and consequently produced only male offspring.
In the field, equal sex ratios are the norm; but the mechanism by which females select body temperature to give this result is not yet known. It is possible that unbalanced numbers of adult males and females may result in mothers selectively thermoregulating to produce offspring that help to restore a balanced sex ratio: this would explain why an all-female laboratory population produced only sons when given the opportunity to thermoregulate.
TSD may explain the fact that E. tympanum, like many other viviparous taxa, is restricted to high altitudes; the warmer temperatures further down the slopes would encourage production of exclusively male offspring and lead to the eventual extinction of those populations. A combination of montane distribution and TSD is likely to be a problem in the event of rapid climate change or global warming, as these species might not be able to evolve rapidly enough to compensate, and a rise in environmental temperature would result in increased production of males. Models predict a temperature rise of 4° C by 2100, which could seriously alter the sex ratio and lead to the extinction of species such as E. tympanum.
Magnetic homing in newts
Researchers at Indiana University took adult red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus sp.) 45 kilometres away from their home ponds. In three separate tests, the newts set off homewards in the correct direction. The team says it may be the first evidence of the use of a `magnetic map' in nature. They also used electromagnets to simulate changes in the inclination of the magnetic field equivalent to journeys of about 200 km. Again, the newts chose the right direction in their experimental tanks.
There is a lot of evidence that animals use biological magnetic compasses, but little that they use magnetic maps. Studies of pigeons and turtles have been inconclusive because it is hard to deny an animal all the other information it might use to navigate.
In the wild, newts travel only a mile or so, leaving their ponds in summer and returning in winter. The researchers believe they get to know their local magnetic field as they grow up; but any magnetic map used on a sub-kilometre scale would have to be incredibly sensitive.
Reprinted from the free, electronic weekly newsletter HerpDigest (to subscribe, go to http://www.herpdigest.org )
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BIOPARCO, ROME, ITALY
Extracts from the Annual Report 2000
The year 2000 has been a turning point for Rome's Bioparco. We have overcome the huge obstacles we met in our first two business years and created and consolidated a strong team. The changes that have been made are tangible a master plan and a new business plan have been laid out to ensure the transformation process over the coming years. The participation and sense of belonging that should exist between the Bioparco and the city of Rome has not yet been fully restored; we have to develop a new culture and awareness of what the role of modern zoos is. But thanks to the opening of the Bears' Valley and the other important projects that are under way, the public can already see for themselves the changes that are taking place and may thus feel involved in this project, which belongs to everyone and is aimed at the conservation of the ecosystems of this planet of ours.
Probably the most important event for the Bioparco during 2000 was the opening of the new European brown bear facility, the Valley of the Bears. This new enclosure incorporates the best design and husbandry practice for bears, and its completion dealt with what was arguably the biggest animal welfare problem we had. The six old concrete and iron cages have been replaced by an area of 3,500 m2, housing eight animals and featuring a waterfall, a 70-m2 pool, fruit trees, bushes, tree trunks and rocks. The size and complexity of the area gives Rome a bear enclosure that compares favourably with any other such facility in any urban zoo in the world.
The most important individual animal event of the year was the departure of Calimero, our adult African bull elephant, to Basel Zoo, Switzerland. Moving such an animal is a potentially dangerous and complex process, so we contracted a very experienced animal transporter, Roy Smith, to assist us.
In the field of cooperative management under the umbrella of EAZA, Bioparco staff chair the Cattle TAG, act as advisors for various species programmes within the Felid TAG and, most recently, have been asked by the chair of the Deer TAG to explore the development of a captive-management programme for the highly endangered, and possibly extinct in the wild, Dybowski's sika deer (Cervus nippon dybowskii).
Much progress was made in the renovation of the reptile house, work that is aimed at providing the animals with the best possible living conditions. The most important work carried out was the removal of the inner Plexiglas dome and the installation on the roof of special panels made of plastic material that allows ultraviolet rays in. Thanks to this operation, the amount of light inside the house has increased enormously. The crocodiles living in the central tank can now get the whole range of solar radiation wavelengths required for their physiological well-being. Living conditions for all the reptiles have significantly improved, as was clearly demonstrated by the reproduction rates achieved over the year. The most important of these was the breeding of ocellated lizard (Lacerta lepida). The young of this endangered species are a welcome addition to the stock of specimens for a future reintroduction project.
Renovation work has also begun on some of the aviaries, which will soon house four groups of parrots. The reason for this work was the need to provide these animals with the best possible conditions and to manage them in proper social groups, in terms of both number of individuals and ratio between the sexes. A complete screening of the birds has also been carried out using the most advanced techniques of molecular genetics, and this has disclosed the sex of the birds belonging to species that do not display dimorphism, as well as helping to diagnose the most frequent diseases affecting this group of birds. Similar work on both the aviaries and the birds themselves was also performed for diurnal raptors.
In the primate department there has been more work on environmental enhancement: the floor of the cages has been covered with pine bark to create a more natural environment, and scattered feed is being used to keep the animals busy. Also, two couples of chimpanzees have at last been joined together to form a single group.
There was much renovation work among the carnivores. Besides moving the bears to their new enclosure, we also moved the African hunting dogs. The pack is going to be subdivided into smaller groups, and some of them will be transferred to other zoos within the EEP. Also, four dogs are going to South Africa, where their offspring will form part of a reintroduction project. More specimens are due to arrive shortly to form new reproductive pairs. The pair of African lions have been moved to Rostock Zoo, Germany, and their old enclosure will be totally renovated and enlarged to house a couple of Asian lions.
DENVER ZOO, COLORADO,
Extracts from the 2000 Annual Report
It was a relatively quiet year for the reptiles/fishes division, with the sad exception of the loss of our giant green anaconda. This 16-foot [4.9 m] snake, originally acquired from Bronx Zoo as an adult, had been exhibited in Tropical Discovery since its opening in 1993. Details of the case are given below in the veterinary report.
Several specimens of Gila monsters and beaded lizards were acquired and sent to Wilhelma Zoo, Stuttgart, Germany, who had asked for our help in locating these species for their new south-western desert display. We were happy to acquire several specimens from U.S. zoos, obtain the necessary permits, and ship the animals to them after holding them for several months. Wilhelma's appreciation for our efforts made it all worthwhile.
Zookeepers modified some individual exhibits within the Tropical Discovery building to display new species or provide better environments. Included among the modified habitats were the moving of six prehensile-tailed skinks into a more spacious exhibit in the Komodo dragon wing. We converted the former Indonesian rainbow fish display to a Madagascar rainbow and killie fish display that allowed us to share some of our staff's extensive experience with conserving the freshwater fishes of this island. Zookeeper Alex Saunders traveled for a month to Madagascar to collect fishes for our captive reproductive program, and was able to return with seven species, most of them new to science. We attempted to display crocodile monitors in the former ground iguana exhibit, but the animals proved to be too secretive, so we renovated the exhibit and placed five Weber's sailfin lizards and some Hamilton's pond turtles in this space.
In the bird division, the propagation of avian species for sustainable captive populations is a paramount institutional goal. Our first successful reproduction and fledging of an Egyptian plover chick is a wonderful example of staff efforts toward that goal. The pair laid two clutches of three eggs each during the summer. All the eggs were fertile, but only one was successfully artificially incubated to term, with a chick hatching at 28 days. The chick was returned to the parents, who immediately began brooding. This species utilizes varying brooding strategies from directly keeping the chick warm with body contact to partially burying it in warm sand while the parents are absent. The juvenile plover developed normally throughout the remainder of the year. This was the first successful breeding of this species in a U.S. zoo.
In 1999 a pair of blue-crowned lories was acquired and exhibited for the first time at our zoo; this threatened South Pacific island species successfully hatched and reared one chick in 2000. Several other successful breedings were important because they represented second-generation reproductions. A pair of blue-crowned motmots fledged another chick; the breeding female was hatched here in March 1986. Years ago keepers designed and constructed an artificial motmot nest-box; it was located in a service area and connected to the exhibit with approximately eight feet [2.4 m] of irrigation pipe, allowing the birds to continue their burrow-nesting behavior. Over the past fourteen years, this pair of motmots has produced seven living offspring who have been transferred to four other collections. Two African penguin pairs each produced a chick; one of the breeding males was hatched here in May 1997.
A pair of Sumba lesser sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata), introduced in late 1999, produced two chicks in December. The pair were fairly compatible from the beginning of their introduction, but the female initially laid 18 infertile eggs. In November, she laid two fertile eggs and two chicks hatched at the end of the 28-day incubation period. The parents appeared to be focusing their attention only on the older chick, so the neglected younger sibling was removed for hand-raising; both chicks were developing normally by the end of the year.
In summary, 49 species of birds produced 372 eggs, of which 78 were fertile and 53 chicks were hatched (67.6% hatchability).
Notable avian acquisitions included a pair of Rothschild's peacock pheasants, two pairs of blue-naped chlorophonias (a small South American forest species), and a pair of king eider ducks. A small group of 12 Chilean flamingos was added to our existing flock to help promote increased reproductive success and to enhance an already popular exhibit. Our pair of great hornbills, who have been in the Treetops exhibit since 1975, were transferred to Audubon Park Zoo in New Orleans; the long-term plan is to shift our propagation efforts to another large hornbill species and acquire a pair of rhinoceros hornbills.
In the mammal division, we opened a new exhibit for gerenuk (Litocranius walleri) with animals obtained from Los Angeles and Columbus Zoos. At present, we are successfully maintaining a bachelor group while developing our skills in working with these delicate antelope; we hope to acquire females as they become available. Since this species displays a unique hind-leg-standing feeding method, outdoor browse feeders were installed in the yard to stimulate their natural feeding behaviors. The gerenuk is a species prominently featured in our collection master plan and we intend to continue working with it well into the future.
The most significant new mammal exhibit this year was our $153,000 okapi facility. We welcomed the opportunity to allow our horticulture department the time to develop a forest-like habitat in the yard prior to introduction of the animals. A new pair of okapis arrived from White Oak Conservation Center, Florida, and Oklahoma City Zoo, and another from San Diego Wild Animal Park will also join our herd, which will then number five animals. Since the newly acquired okapis are still rather young, we do not expect breeding to occur for a couple more years.
Other notable mammal acquisitions during the year included an adult female black rhinoceros on breeding loan from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado, who will be paired with one of our males, a yearling male bongo purchased from White Oak Conservation Center, Yulee, Florida, as a future herd sire, a young female Mishmi takin, received on loan from San Diego as an intended mate for our single male, and a fine pair of Chinese red pandas (A. f. styani) on loan from Columbus Zoo, Ohio.
Operant conditioning, a form of animal training based on positive reinforcement, is a primary focal point at Denver Zoo. Our elephant management team has continued to work on conditioning the zoo's three female Asian elephants to accept a variety of minor medical procedures such as reproductive exams, foot treatment, taking of radiographs and blood collection. Ultimately, this has resulted in our receiving a recommendation to send one of our elephants, temporarily, to another zoo for breeding. The seal and sea lion team has also implemented changes to their operant conditioning regimen, successfully working towards bringing the animals into the back service area on command. The animals now accept a variety of minor medical procedures, including routine physicals, from the veterinary staff. We are beginning to make progress in conditioning the Arctic wolves and some of our hoofed animals as well.
Primate Panorama completed its fourth full year of operation in 2000. The blossoming of the outdoor vegetation in the 7.2 acre [2.9 ha] area remained a high point of the exhibit's environment. Another credit to our horticulture staff was the vegetable garden located on the site that produced fresh vegetables for the primates throughout the warmer months.
General activities included the completion of the third successful year for our free-ranging golden lion tamarins, a pair that spent much of the summer roaming unconfined in a wooded area in the Panorama's entry plaza. This was a cooperative project in collaboration with the zoo's education and conservation departments. We are especially grateful to the army of volunteers who observed the tamarins and related the story of the successful golden lion tamarin reintroduction project in Brazil to zoo guests.
Animal Health Department
A mysterious illness has been afflicting our colobus monkey troop for the past year. Three members of the troop were brought to the zoo hospital with life-threatening gastrointestinal problems. One female has been presented on three separate occasions, two have had abdominal exploratory surgeries, and one died from a gastric ulcer that eroded through a large blood vessel. The cause of this slow-moving disease syndrome eluded us until we received a clue from the biopsy results in the most recent case. The pathologist found plant material embedded in the stomach wall. Either the plant was acting like a foreign body migrating through the stomach leading to ulceration or it became fixed in the stomach after the ulcer had formed. The suspected offending plant was a rough-leafed variety of a Viburnum species. We sent a fresh leaf sample of the plant to the pathologist, who responded that it appeared to be the same material he saw in the biopsy. This diagnosis made more sense than an infectious disease, because it moved so slowly through the troop and no other primates in the area appeared to be affected. At this point we have our fingers crossed that removal of the plant will also be the end of the problem.
Debbi, an aged female reticulated giraffe, was euthanized in December following a chronic leg problem. In 1984, when Debbi was four years old, she severely injured her right hind leg in an accident, and during the succeeding 16 years this leg was to give her intermittent problems. In the last few years she became more reluctant to move, despite a variety of medical treatments, and this resulted in her hooves becoming overgrown from inactivity. She was immobilized by the veterinary staff (always a risky procedure in a giraffe) for a foot trim by a professional farrier. The immobilization and foot trim were successful, but three days later, when Debbi went down and could no longer get up, we made the decision that we should not continue and the giraffe was euthanized. Necropsy revealed that Debbi's injury, 16 years earlier, had caused scar tissue to develop to the point that the tendons in her right hind leg were no longer functional, leading to her reluctance to walk.
During the second half of 2000 the Animal Health Center's staff was busy performing wellness exams on our four gorillas. Physical examinations are an integral part of any preventative medicine program. The great apes are susceptible to many of the same diseases that affect humans, so they need to be monitored carefully in captivity. Reproductive abnormalities, heart disease, and infectious diseases such as hepatitis and influenza are just a few of the potentially life-threatening maladies to which great apes are susceptible. To immobilize the gorillas with the minimum of stress on the animals and caregivers, Dr Knightly operantly conditioned all the animals to accept a hand-injected anesthetic. With the help of our MD colleagues we were able to assemble a team of expert consultants in the areas of dentistry, cardiology, gynecology, and infectious diseases. We found a previously unknown cervical/uterine infection in female Bassa and are looking carefully at male Koundu's cardiology exam since his father died from an aortic dissection. We can answer the question that is on the minds of all Denver Zoo gorilla fans just how big is Koundu? He weighs 515 pounds and has a 57-inch chest [234 kg, 145 cm].
We had the unique opportunity to closely follow the progress of polar bear cubs Ulaq and Berit following their birth to Ulu. We periodically entered the den, while mom was locked out, in order to give it a thorough cleaning, and weights were obtained which enabled us to get a comparison to the famous hand-reared twins, Klondike and Snow. On 28 June the cubs were transferred to Cincinnati Zoo. Their weight gains were simply incredible, with Ulaq weighing in at 515 pounds [234 kg] and Berit 360 pounds [163 kg] when only 18 months of age. Unfortunately, Ulu was euthanized following a three-day illness the same day the cubs left for their new home. A necropsy and subsequent pathological study revealed that she was suffering from a severe neuromuscular disease known as myasthenia gravis. This is the first known report of this disease in a polar bear and its cause remains a mystery.
The zoo suffered a major loss with the sudden death of our anaconda, Livia. She appeared to have made a full recovery from a tail amputation performed a year earlier (see I.Z.N. 47:6, p. 388). She gave no indications that she had any other problems until she was unexpectedly found dead. The gross necropsy indicated that she was suffering from a chronic pneumonia. Since Livia arrived at Tropical Discovery she had been treated three times for suspected pneumonia. The histologic evaluation caught us by surprise Livia had tuberculosis (TB). This helps to explain her three earlier bouts of pneumonia and her apparent recovery following antibiotic therapy. The treatment for TB requires using TB-specific antibiotics for as long as a year. Fortunately, TB is not a common disease in reptiles. Large anacondas can be quite a handful to work with, but Livia was actually quite a docile patient and we will miss working with her.
Conservation and research
During 2000, Denver Zoo was involved in 40 field conservation and research projects in 13 countries and six states of the U.S.A. Geographically, several focal regions are evident, including the western U.S.A., Mexico, and Mongolia and north-central China.
Dr Rich Reading continued his involvement in conservation and ecology research directed toward wild Bactrian camels and argali sheep in Mongolia [see I.Z.N. 48:4, pp. 257258 Ed.]. He was also involved in conservation of prairie dogs and attitudes toward this key species. Dr Brian Miller continued research on pumas and jaguars in the dry tropical forests of Jalisco, Mexico, and on a project monitoring the effect of wolf colonization on ecological processes in Grand Teton National Park. Dr Carlos Lopez has been working to conserve and understand the ecological needs of jaguars in northern Sonora, Mexico.
In the reptile and fishes division, curator Rick Haeffner and keepers Vern Veer and Kent Weissenfluh worked with Dr Numi Mitchell (the Conservation Agency) on conservation efforts for the endangered Turks and Caicos iguana (Cyclura carinata). Rick Haeffner and keeper Alex Saunders continued working on Malagasy fish conservation. In the bird division, supervisor Mary Jo Willis returned to Chile to complete her research on the ecology of Humboldt penguins. Mammal supervisor Dale Leeds traveled to Namibia to help initiate a conservation project for desert elephants.
Members of staff were active within the zoo in 2000, conducting 12 conservation and research projects. Horticulturalist Merle Moore and research associate Dr Nancy Irlbeck continued their study of browse fed to zoo animals, as well as their compilation of a browse database. They published a Zoological Browse Identification Handbook in 2000. Bird curator John Azúa continued his analysis of penguin interpretative graphics, while mammal curator Dale Leeds assisted in a study of polar bear behavior. Bird supervisor Mary Jo Willis and research associate Dr Julie Long continued development of assisted reproductive technologies for cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus), and keeper Chris Bobko initiated a study of stress factors affecting black rhinoceros.
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INTERNATIONAL ZOO NEWS
Adelaide Zoo, South Australia
A Ph.D. student has approached the zoo's bird department for assistance in determining the gut passage time of seeds in fruit pigeons, helping to determine the role these birds play in native flora seed dispersal. The department, with assistance from research officer Greg Johnson, will set up six individually housed Torres Strait pigeons (Ducula spilorrhoa) and feed them various sized and coloured beads in their fruit. Volunteers will monitor gut passage time of the various beads and the knowledge gleaned will be relevant to a whole host of fruit pigeon work occurring in the field, particularly in the Pacific islands.
Ten pairs of rose-crowned fruit doves (Ptilinopus regina) and Barbary doves (Streptopelia roseogrisea) have been set up for another fruit dove research project. The goal is to find out what pelleted diet will enable seed-eating Barbary doves to successfully foster-raise fruit doves from the egg. We will also be extracting and analysing crop milk from adults in the hope of developing a formula that will allow us to hand-raise fruit doves from the egg, something that has eluded aviculture until now. Both trials have relevance to proposed recovery initiatives on fruit doves in the Pacific and elsewhere.
Murray Guy in Thylacinus Vol. 25, No. 1 (2001)
Amsterdam Zoo (Artis), The Netherlands
A female red-faced black spider monkey (Ateles paniscus) was born at the zoo on 25 April 2001. The youngster is being reared by her 11-year-old, wild-born (Surinam) mother Kitty, who was hand-reared and arrived in Amsterdam in 1995. This is Kitty's second offspring; the first, born in 2000, had to be hand-reared when she abandoned it three weeks after delivery. Pedro, the father, was born in 1979 at Paignton Zoo, U.K., and has lived at Amsterdam since 1997. Artis Zoo has bred this species four times since 1985. This is all the more significant as the European population of red-faced black spider monkeys numbered only 23 individuals in six zoos on 1 January 2000. The small, non-breeding North American captive population is being phased out following an AZA TAG decision. The Ateles paniscus population in South America is difficult to monitor both in zoos and in private hands. It is thus the responsibility of European zoos to maintain and increase the captive population.
Henriëtte Plantenga and Hans van Weerd in EAZA News No. 35 (JulySeptember 2001
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California, U.S.A.
The aquarium made history in June by becoming the first facility to successfully breed weedy sea dragons (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus). After a gestation period of six to eight weeks, the male gave birth to 29 babies over 12 days of labor. The hatchlings have hearty appetites, and are feeding on enriched baby brine shrimp and mysids. A second male has just received over 100 eggs on the underside of his tail, and the leafy sea dragons (Phycodurus eques) have been actively courting. [An earlier breeding attempt at this aquarium was reported in I.Z.N. 47:6, p. 396 Ed.]
AZA Communiqué (August 2001)
Bronx Zoo (Wildlife Conservation Park), New York, U.S.A.
Late in 1999, the Tanzanian Power Authority began diverting the water in Kihansi Gorge in the Southern Udzungwa Mountains to produce badly-needed electricity. Progress never seems to come without a price, however. This time the victim was the habitat of a recently discovered species, the Kihansi spray toad (Nectophrynoides asperginis). The toad's habitat is formed by the fine mist produced from the cascading waters of Kihansi Falls, which supplies an almost constant temperature and humidity plus protection from predator safari ants. This environment is so specialized that the amphibian has not been found in any surrounding wetlands or gorges. As the hydroelectric plant became operational, the water slowed to a trickle, and so did the toad's chances for survival.
Over the next 14 months, a consortium of zoos led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) developed a captive-breeding plan. After finalizing an agreement with the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, and with help from the World Bank, NORPLAN (a Norwegian engineering firm) and WCS field biologist Tim Davenport, Bronx Zoo reptile keeper Jason Searle arrived in Tanzania in November 2000 to collect spray toads for captive breeding in the United States.
After a 3,000-foot [900 m] climb to the falls, Jason and accompanying biologists collected the allotted 500 toads in just one hour. This was a sure sign that the population had been compressed into remaining habitat. The toads were then swiftly transported to the Bronx Zoo. When the precious cargo was carefully unpacked, males began calling within just five minutes of investigating their new home. The following day, 250 toads were transferred to Detroit Zoo's National Amphibian Conservation Center.
Tanzania continues to investigate alternatives to insure the delicate balance between nature and meeting the power needs of their country. In fact, artificial spray systems have been set up at the gorge with their effectiveness being monitored. The Bronx Zoo's toads currently remain in an off-exhibit quarantine area so that further studies can be made regarding diet and development, as little is known about this rare amphibian species.
AZA Communiqué (June 2001)
Burgers' Zoo, Arnhem, The Netherlands
The zoo reports the births of no fewer than 0.3 (0.1 DNS) aardvarks (Orycteropus afer). Female Pieta (born at Arnhem in 1991) delivered healthy twins on 28 February 2001. She had given birth twice before but did not rear her offspring, so a closed video system was installed to monitor the delivery and rearing. The keepers discovered the offspring on the evening of 28 February. The aardvark twins weighed 1260 and 1380 g respectively. Two days later, on 2 March, female Oryc (born at Arnhem in 1995) gave birth to her first offspring, a female. Although the birth was not premature, the infant was extremely light (800 g) and, despite perfect maternal care, died after four days. However, as Oryc seemed to be an excellent mother and we doubted if Pieta had enough milk to feed her twins, it was decided to put Oryc with Pieta and her offspring. This was a success: Pieta and Oryc feed and take care of the twins together. During the first weeks, the keepers took the babies away from the mothers during the night because aardvarks are nocturnally active, and in the past mothers have accidentally injured their offspring by stepping on them at night; the young were returned to the females in the morning without causing any problems to either them or the mothers.
This is only the fourth set of aardvark twins known to have been born in captivity. Two sets were born at Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio, in the 1980s, but no young survived. The third twin birth occurred at Arnhem in 1992, of which one offspring survived and is now living in Memphis Zoo, Tennessee. The European aardvark studbook is kept by Arnhem Zoo and lists 21 (9.12) living individuals as of May 2001. The North American regional studbook includes 14 (9.5) living aardvarks as of May 2001. Japanese zoos held 3.5 aardvarks as of December 2000. So far, zoos worldwide are not able to maintain a self-sustaining aardvark population in captivity.
Marc Damen in EAZA News No. 35 (JulySeptember 2001)
Disney's Animal Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, U.S.A.
To improve the success that zoos have had in keeping Komodo dragons in captivity, it is important that keepers manage them causing as little stress as possible. Something as simple as scale training will provide a great deal of information on their growth rate in a non-invasive way. The two komodos that we house are males about six feet [1.8 m] long; they are siblings, but from different clutches. The exhibit is all natural substrate with grasses and shrubs. Three-quarters of the enclosure is surrounded by a water moat; the water is about four feet [1.2 m] deep, and the outer wall is about nine feet [2.7 m] high. The remaining quarter is where they come on and off exhibit via a door behind rockwork. There is a heat rock in the middle of the exhibit measuring about five feet by seven feet [1.5 by 2.1 m].
It came to our attention that these komodos need to have their nails trimmed on a routine basis because they don't wear them down naturally. This is especially true for one of our komodos. When he was younger and smaller, the keepers were able to trim his nails by going in with him, but now that he's older and larger, we had to come up with a way to do it without going in with him and without stressing him. Training was the answer.
We have exhibited these animals since November 1998; during that time we began to train them to respond to an audible cue and to scale-train them. Weighing is done monthly. After seeing the success of this training, we came up with the idea of trimming their nails through the wire mesh, and this has been very successful with one of the animals. We began by giving him access to the chute, and letting him walk around a bit to investigate. After a few minutes we cued him down to one end of the chute, rewarding him with a mouse `fuzzie'. Then another fuzzie was moved slowly up on the outside mesh. He followed it to the point where he actually started climbing the mesh. At this point we touched the nails that were poking out through the mesh. This was done to desensitize him to having his nails touched. He showed no signs of stress at this stage. We increased the pressure a bit to simulate the feeling of having his nails trimmed. While he was in this position one keeper continued to feed him fuzzies, and the other applied pressure. If he got down from the mesh, we just re-cued him back again.
When we thought that he was ready for the veterinarians to come down and do a couple of nails, we called them and they brought down a portable cauterizing tail docker; this was used so that if there was any bleeding, it would cauterize the spot immediately. We were pleased and astonished that he let the vets trim four front nails, and two of his back nails as well, the very first time they tried. We have now successfully done this procedure several times with this animal, and feel that it's a safe way to accomplish a nail trim without stressing the animals, the vets or the keepers.
Abridged and adapted from Dawn Herndon in Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 7 (July 2001)
Edinburgh Zoo, U.K.
At breeding time, all our gentoo penguin pairs are out to make the best that they can for their reproductive success. Having already chosen each other, pairs turn to building quality nests for the future clutch of eggs. Large pebbles are the materials of choice, and it takes a very strong beak to be able to transport each one back to the budding nest. The pebble is subject to approval by the residing partner, who may reject or ignore the effort made. So quality is important in building a good nest. The pebbles, however, are not only heavy, but they have to be fetched from some distance from the nest site. The penguin in pursuit of a suitable pebble also has to run the gauntlet of penguins on nests situated between the nest and the pebbles, and he or she is subject to harassment there and back for entering personal space.
Once the pebble is brought all the way back, approved by the mate and placed in the mosaic of the nest, the penguin still cannot relax. If a pebble is good enough for this pair, it might be good enough for another. Thieving of pebbles is rife. University of Edinburgh student, Pippa Grenfell, and I have been investigating this phenomenon by providing `super' pebbles painted in a bright, breeding colour and a non-breeding colour. This follows up work that I carried out with Dr Gerry Borgia on the satin bowerbird and the male propensity for trashing other bowers in search of an elusive blue parrot feather. Pippa has been taking data on the movement of attractive and non-attractive pebbles and will relate this to reproductive success in pairs.
Abridged from Dr Mauvis Gore, Head, Animal Conservation and Research Department, in Arkfile Vol. 10, No. 2 (Summer 2001)
Endangered Species Breeding Unit, Martin Mere, U.K.
The major project for the year has been bulking up the numbers of the hazel pot beetle (Cryptocephalus coryli) as part of an English Nature sponsored programme. A successful first breeding generation was achieved and numerous larvae produced in 2001. This attractive leaf beetle is highly endangered in Britain. Bulking-up work has also been carried out on the interrupted brome (Bromus interruptus) an endemic grass now extinct in the wild. Thanks to the efforts of Edinburgh Botanical Gardens the species still survives and a programme for its reintroduction is being planned.
Notable breedings in 2001 include Bosnian alpine newt, alpine crested newt, Hermann's tortoise, golden sawfin goodeid (Skiffa francesae), painted betta (Betta picta) and Rio Choy swordtail (Xiphophorus multilineatus). New arrivals include Poiret's newt, giant fire-bellied toad and a possible new crested newt taxon from Calabria, as well as Australian crayfish (Cherax tenuimanus) and two subspecies of the skink Chalcides sexlineatus.
Patrick J. Wisniewski
Fort Worth Zoo, Texas, U.S.A.
Two quince monitors (Varanus melinus) were discovered on 3 November 2000 in an exhibit housing 1.2 long-term captive adults. One female in the group was thought to be gravid in March 2000 and a nest-box was provided but not used. Several tunnels in the soil were found and examined during this time, but no eggs were found. Upon closer examination, two eggshells were found above ground under a rock ledge. This information would indicate an incubation period of approximately eight months. Oviposition occurred in a land area with 18 inches [0.45 m] of sod and mulch substrate. Subsequent to hatching, temperatures of 7074° F [2123° C] have been recorded in this area. Average length of the two hatchlings was 114.5 mm (snout to vent) and 258 mm (tail). Average weight was 19.7 g. The first meals included crickets, `pinky' mice and chopped minnows. Mealworms were refused. The young are kept on a cypress mulch substrate and have made a series of burrows in which they spend most of the day. Like the adults, they are active and basking early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
This is the seventh monitor species reproduced at Fort Worth and may represent a first captive breeding for this recently-described species from the Moluccan Islands, Indonesia. Currently there are 5.7.7 quince monitors held in seven U.S. zoos.
Rick Reed in AZA Communiqué (June 2001)
Fuengirola Zoo, Málaga, Spain
On 24 May 2001, we introduced a pygmy hippo and mandrills in the same new exhibit. The female hippo, Liberia, from Rome Zoo, had been living in the exhibit for 45 days. She was then removed for three weeks, at the same time that we introduced the 1.2 mandrills and let them settle down. They had been living for years in barren, inadequate concrete cages, and settled nicely into their open, landscaped, planted new home, basking under the Mediterranean sun for the first time without iron bars. They could also see other species of animals quite close and without visual barriers, including chimpanzees and pygmy hippos.
At around noon on the 24th, two-year-old Liberia dived underneath the semisubmerged fallen log that acts as a barrier dividing the hippo-only area of the exhibit from the common area, as she had been doing prior to the introduction of the mandrills. The moment her shape could be seen under the clear water, the young female mandrill Loca gave a call of alarm, and all three monkeys came down to the water's edge to find out what had entered their territory. Liberia emerged close to them, equally puzzled. As she approached, the male mandrill, Alphonse, tried in vain to chase away his too curious females, and actually splashed water at the hippo, but was startled when she flapped her ears. Eventually, curiosity was too strong, and at some point Alphonse quickly touched Liberia's muzzle, and immediately smelt his hand.
For some time, Liberia swam underneath the log and to the waterfall at the other end of the `river', emerging occasionally to inspect the primates but not quite daring to come ashore. When she finally did, quite slowly, the mandrills were very agitated, and climbed to the top of rocks or trees, closely watching the movements of the hippo. They challenged her, but moved out of her way when she approached. They followed her when she entered a fan palm (Chamaerops humilis) thicket. Alphonse grinned, displaying his large canines, and was met with Liberia's yawn. Eventually the mandrills started losing interest and began grooming each other.
After three hours of curious investigation, we called Liberia out of the exhibit. Since then, the animals have been together every day in the exhibit, as if they had shared it all their lives, without any problems, and most of the time ignoring each other. We plan to introduce other mandrills and pygmy hippos to the exhibit.
Fuengirola Zoo has been under reconstruction for two-and-a-half years, and will open to the public during June 2001. Instead of the old-fashioned rows of inadequate, barren cages, the visitors will find an elaborate recreation of the tropical forests of Madagascar, Equatorial Africa and South-east Asia. Several mixed exhibits are planned, to better use the available space, and also to convey the spirit of the primary rainforest for the benefit of both animals and people.
Healesville Sanctuary, Victoria, Australia
It's a rare occurrence for a sugar glider, a dingo, a harrier and a wombat to be in a small, enclosed room at the same time, but Dr Andrew Turner, visiting veterinary ophthalmologist, was in demand. Specialists in veterinary science are becoming more common in Australia. Dr Turner decided to specialise after 15 years in general practice. With a keen interest in eye diseases, he has been specialising in animal eye disorders for the past ten years, one of nine specialists Australia-wide in this field alone. Like many consulting specialists, Dr Turner generously donates his time to Healesville Sanctuary and, in exchange, treats a wide variety of native wildlife that he wouldn't usually see in his day-to-day practice.
First up today was a male sugar glider with a corneal ulcer that had been assessed a week earlier by the Sanctuary's veterinarians. Under anaesthetic, the right eye of this tiny creature was examined by Dr Turner. The animal still had a large ulcer on its cornea, but with further treatment, including antibiotic ointment and suturing the eye closed for protection, Dr Turner expected the ulcer to heal and the glider to regain sight in the eye.
The harrier's eye problem was more complex. The previously examined detached retina showed little improvement. The bird's severely reduced vision would affect its ability to hunt and survive in the wild. After conferring with Michelle Manhal, the wildlife carer who had observed it crashing into the shadecloth in its aviary and being slow to respond to food stimulus, it was decided that the bird had a permanent, severe eye injury and would not respond to rehabilitation, so euthanasia was the only option for everyone concerned, the hardest decision of the day.
The next patient was a sedated 35-kilogram male wombat that had been brought into the Sanctuary's Animal Reception Centre (ARC) with a diagnosis of blindness. He had been found stumbling around, bumping into things in the wild. Although wombats generally have poor eyesight and rely more on their sense of smell and hearing, his behaviour indicated that his sight was poorer than that of a normal wombat. A wombat's eyes are incredibly small, well protected and extremely difficult to get a good look at, even with Dr Turner's specialised `tools of the trade'. With assistance from Healesville's senior veterinarian, Dr David Middleton, this big fellow's optic nerve was found to be functioning well and the lens and retina looked fine. Dr Turner could find no pathological reason for the wombat's blindness. Dr Middleton said they would have to look for other causes of poor vision, including those affecting the brain, so in the meantime he'd be returned to the ARC, where he had become a bit of a favourite.
Harry, a two-year-old male dingo from the Sanctuary, was next. His keeper, Kate Miller, thought one of his greatest problems was that he'd been with his mother until he was ten months old; he was great with people, but still didn't cope well with inanimate objects or sounds he was not familiar with. The possibility that a visual disturbance was affecting Harry's perception of objects needed to be explored; but on examination Dr Turner found his eyes to be normal. At least Kate now knew that an eye problem could be ruled out, and that Harry's confidence around new objects needed a little more work.
As he packed up his equipment, Dr Turner had certainly done an amazing morning of voluntary work, or `putting a bit back', as he called it.
Abridged from Andrea Burgess in Zoo News Vol. 21, No. 1 (March 2001)
John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.
In 1985 the John Ball Zoo Society created a Wildlife Conservation Fund which allows the zoo and the society to contribute directly to conservation projects in the wild. This year's awards include support for on-going projects which include the following:
Project Golden Frog, a study by Anthony Wisnieski of Baltimore Zoo, with support from the AZA and a number of other U.S. zoos, aimed at preventing one of the world's most recognizable, culturally significant and endangered amphibians: it is feared that current trends in land use, illegal collection, and an incurable fungal disease will result in the extinction of this species (Atelopus zeteki) within the next two years.
A program to develop survey techniques for assessing the distribution, reproduction and relative abundance of the Amur leopard in the Russian Far East; once this information is acquired and stored, locations will be identified which may be suitable for a reintroduction program based on captive-born leopards from international zoos.
A serosurvey of canine distemper virus and feline viruses in the spotted hyena in the Masai Mara, Kenya. During the devastating canine distemper epidemic in 199394, countless hyenas died in addition to lions, resulting in a major loss of important predators. Their numbers have continued to decline due to persecution and possibly disease. Hyenas were implicated in the spread of the CDV epidemic because they range among human habitations and travel extensively, but what role they play in transmission of other diseases is not known. Although not currently threatened, spotted hyenas share territories with endangered species such as the African wild dog and cheetah, thereby posing a risk if they harbor and transmit infectious disease. The study is expected to yield information on the ecology of these diseases in the Serengeti ecosystem that can be used to conserve the health of resident species.
Abridged from a John Ball Zoo press release
John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Three (2.1) bonnethead sharks (Sphyrna tiburo) recently joined the aquarium's Caribbean Reef habitat. The bonnethead is the smallest of 12 species of hammerhead sharks. Scientists believe that these sharks' unusual head shape helps them to zero in on prey. A hammerhead's eyes and olfactory organs are located at the tips of its T-shaped head, allowing the fish to scan a wide area. The front edge of the broad head is peppered with sensory pits that detect chemical, thermal and electrical changes in the water. The largest hammerheads are ferocious predators 20 feet [6 m] long, with three-foot-wide [0.9 m] heads. Bonnetheads are four to five feet [1.21.5 m] long and mild-tempered as our divers, who swim with them daily, will attest.
WaterShedd Vol. 22, No. 3 (Summer 2001)
Los Angeles Zoo, California, U.S.A.
The zoo is pleased to have successfully bred Gila monsters (Heloderma suspectum) for the first time. The two hatchlings were the result of a labor-intensive, year-long process. Keeping staff had to re-create the natural life cycle of the reptiles. By cooling them down and controlling their light exposure, keepers were able to induce the dormant state during which cells necessary for reproduction are produced. They then `woke' them up with heat and light and food. When the group were put together, the three males battled for days over the single female. In the end, the oldest male successfully mated with the female a confiscated animal and she laid eggs that would hatch four months later.
Zooscape Vol. 24, No. 8 (March 2001)
Réserve Africaine de Sigean, France
The park covers a 278-hectare area rich in various biotopes. The most important of these is the `l'oeil de Ca pond' where the zoo's Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) colony lives. This approximately 10-ha pond has brackish water no more than a metre deep. Six groups of Chilean flamingos, 203 in total, were acquired from other zoos in 1974 and another 35 came to Sigean between 1982 and 1987. There have been no more flamingos acquired since then.
These flamingos were released on the l'oeil de Ca pond as soon as they arrived. Poor acclimation to this new environment may have been the cause of the death of 52 birds in 1974. After this first difficult year, and until 1991, the number of deaths stabilized at an average of six per year.
Rudimentary nest mounds were made by the keepers in 1990, and the first chicks hatched in 1991. Since then, the number of hatchings has continued to increase, reaching its climax in 1999 when no fewer than 53 Chilean flamingos hatched at Sigean. The survival rate of the young has averaged 70% per year, with the exceptions of 1994 and 1997 when survival was lower because of high precipitation. The high water level of the pond in both years resulted in the loss of either the eggs or the chicks. The main cause for chick mortality in `normal' years is yellow-legged gull (Larus cachinnans) predation. Although flamingo parents have been observed defending their offspring against these aerial attacks, we sometimes have to protect the nests, notably at dawn and dusk, by organising tours of guards. Hatchings usually occur between mid-June and the end of September, but have been as late as 30 October.
The food that we offer the flamingos varies seasonally in quality and quantity. In winter we feed 0.25 kg of Mazuri Flamingo E per individual per day. When the chicks hatch, the adults are fed with Mazuri Flamingo Breeder (until mid-November) in the same proportion as before. The young are fed by their parents for one year. Adults who have lost their own offspring have been observed feeding offspring of another pair.
The colony consisted of 187 adult Chilean flamingos when 53 young hatched in 1999; to our knowledge production of this number of offspring is unique in the zoo world. Moreover, we nearly equalled this number in 2000, when 52 chicks hatched, of which 41 have survived so far. It is possible that some hybridisation occurs between our birds and some wild greater flamingos (P. ruber roseus) flying over the park to and from the Camargue.
While the flamingo is a traditional zoo animal, Sigean is one of the few zoos able to maintain a self-sustaining population of Chilean flamingos. This success might be due to the tranquillity of the site, and perhaps also to the fact that our keepers partially build the nests. We also added shells to the mud in 1999, which might make the nests more stable. This site presents a biotope which is not only exceptional in the zoo world, but also in the region, as it is free of tourist activity and nautical traffic. The zoo visitors are kept well away from the nests to prevent disturbance of the flamingos.
Marianne Bilbaut in EAZA News No. 33 (JanuaryMarch 2001)
Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, Kansas, U.S.A.
On 21 March, a thirty-month-old female prehensile-tailed alligator lizard (Abronia graminea) gave birth to four young in the zoo's herpetarium. This is believed to be the first time this species has reproduced in a zoo. A. graminea has been designated by the AZA Lizard Advisory Group as a pilot project species and is in immediate danger of extinction. Since very little is known of the husbandry requirements of this entire genus, the hope is that any information learned from the birth can be used to start captive-breeding programs for other members of the genus.
Both dam and sire are approximately the same age and were captive-born at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington. Several husbandry parameters such as photoperiod, basking temperature, humidity, and separation/
introduction were manipulated and it is unclear which, if any, were responsible for inducing reproduction. Ambient temperature was maintained at 68° to 72° F [2022° C], with daytime basking spots reaching 85° F [29° C]. The animals were misted three times a week from April to September and then daily from October to March. Copulation was observed on 20 October 2000 and lasted about nine hours. After copulation, the basking site temperature was increased to 96° to 100° F [3538° C] and a subterranean basking site was provided. This added heat seems to be a very important factor in successful maternal incubation of the young. By early January, a large mid-body swelling was noticed in the female. In the later stages of pregnancy, this swelling extended to the shoulder area. An estimated gestation period of 152 days was obtained, much shorter than had been previously reported.
Ken Naugher in AZA Communiqué (June 2001)
Tama Zoo, Tokyo, Japan
In April 1998, a baby African elephant was born for the first time at Tama Zoo. It was a healthy male, and with a view toward its future docility, we decided to separate it from its mother and start formal training at an early age.
The first attempt at separation was made when the baby, named Pao, was one year and three months old. A small corral was built, and to get Pao used to it, he was fed there every day. One day the keepers shut the baby in the corral. Both mother and baby became very agitated, and the next day Pao was allowed to return to his mother. The second attempt was made when he was one year and nine months old. He was put into a crate and carried to a far corner of the zoo. But here his appetite dropped off, and he was unable to sleep well, so after ten days he was reunited with his mother.
Final success was achieved when Pao was two years and two months old. The secret of success was the squeeze cage of the elephant house. The cage was prepared and the elephants were allowed to go in and out freely. In the beginning both were fed together in the cage. When they became used to this, the gate of the cage was lowered so that only Pao could pass under it. Food only for Pao was put inside the cage. Then one day the gate was lowered completely. The mother panicked, but Pao continued to eat tranquilly. The cage was then shortened till it was just the right size for Pao. He did not become agitated or lose his appetite. He became used to having a chain on his leg, and has now learned to lift any leg on command, and to walk when and where directed.
English summary of article in Japanese by W. Otozu, T. Sekii, M. Katayanagi and E. Tobita, published in Animals and Zoos Vol. 53, No. 4 (April 2001)
Tisch Family Zoo, Jerusalem, Israel
An exciting first for the zoo was the birth of two Cape giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa). The first, a male, was born on 28 November 2000 and the second, a female, on 14 February 2001. The male's birth was videotaped from start to finish. The youngsters are doing fine and are now being integrated into the herd. Two months after the birth, the mother of the older calf became ill for a few days, with a marked lethargy and loss of appetite. She recovered after medical treatment. We found it interesting that during this time her calf was allowed to suckle by the other female along with her own infant. The parents of the calves were purchased at the Natal Game Auction and originate from the Umfolozi Game Reserve. All were sub-adult on arrival in Jerusalem in September 1996. They are housed in an open `savannah' type of enclosure, along with zebras, addax, white rhinoceroses, ostriches and marabou storks. The giraffe herd is temporarily off-exhibit until both babies are fully introduced to the other giraffes, at which time we will start reintroducing the herd to the exhibit.
The living population of Cape giraffes in the EAZA region numbered only 14 specimens in four zoos on 1 January 2000. Only one of these was zoo-born, in Thoiry, France, while all the others were imported from the wild between 1990 and 1998.
Beverly Burge in EAZA News No. 35 (JulySeptember 2001)
Tokyo Sea Life Park, Japan
The park has been keeping common guillemots or murres (Uria aalge) ever since it opened in 1989, and now has 12 of them. Mating was observed twice, but until recently there was no successful reproduction. In 1999 the birds laid their first eggs, and the first two chicks were successfully raised in 2000.
In order to produce the illusion of a `flock', mirrors and false eggs were placed among the birds in the spring of 1995 and 1996, but they were ineffectual. Further attempts at breeding the birds were abandoned. But on 24 June 1999, when a keeper entered to clean the enclosure, there was one bird that refused to move. It was brooding an egg it had laid on a rock. This was an unsafe position, so the egg was replaced with a false one and returned to the parent one week before hatching. But the chick died in the egg just before hatching. While this female was brooding, the other birds gathered around her as if deciding on a place to nest, and it was probably then that a new pair-bond was formed.
On 11 June 2000, the female of the previous year laid another egg in the same place. Other females followed suit, and soon there were six eggs. Apparently, two pairs had successfully reproduced, and one pair abandoned their egg. The other three eggs were either infertile or cracked, and it was not clear which birds had laid them. The abandoned egg was put in an incubator and successfully hatched, but the chick died after 22 days. The other two eggs were brooded by the parents and hatched on 13 and 17 July. The chicks grew rapidly, and by eight days of age they were eating their parents' food. They left the nest at 27 and 28 days of age respectively, and dived into the pool of their own accord.
As for why it took ten years before the guillemots began breeding, three factors can be considered: (1) it took them that long to get used to their environment; (2) the pair that bred in 1999 acted as a trigger; and (3) their diet had been reinforced with vitamins because their feathers were in poor condition.
English summary of article in Japanese by Michio Fukuda, Nobuhiro Kasai and Hidemasa Hori, published in Animals and Zoos Vol. 53, No. 5 (May 2001)
Ueno Zoo, Tokyo, Japan
Artificial insemination was performed in Ijima's copper pheasant (Syrmaticus soemmerringii ijimae), which is considered difficult to breed naturally in captivity. The procedure took place five times from March to May 1999. Semen was collected with a massage technique from two male birds in our zoo, and the presence and activity of spermatozoa were confirmed microscopically. The quantity of semen collected ranged from 0.01 to 0.02 ml, and more activity of spermatozoa was found in the higher volume of collection. The semen was collected through an injection pipe that contained 0.2 ml of physiological saline. The semen solution was divided into two equal parts and was artificially introduced into the cloacas of two female birds. As a result, 14 eggs were laid, 12 of which were placed in an incubator. The fertilization rate was 58.3% (7 eggs) and the hatching rate of the fertilized eggs was 85.7% (6 eggs), indicating that AI is very effective in breeding Ijima's copper pheasant.
English summary of article in Japanese by Fukuharu Sugimoto, Shu Morikubo, Maki Sato, Akira Takagi, Hidemasa Hori, Kyoko Torikai and Masato Yoshihara, published in the Journal of the Japanese Association of Zoological Gardens and Aquariums Vol. 42, No. 2 (January 2001)
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Martin Mere, U.K.
During early 2001 the centre underwent a major re-fencing programme to rejuvenate the Waterfowl Gardens. A second pen for cranes was constructed, and this now houses two European cranes, both males until females can be found. This follows the construction of an African Waterhole pen in 2000 which currently houses a pair of East African crowned cranes, alongside Egyptian geese, comb ducks and white-faced whistling ducks. The young pair of crowned cranes produced their first clutch of five eggs in 2001.
Other notable breeding successes included our first Madagascar teal and freckled duck, as well as white-winged duck, spotted whistling duck, radjah shelduck (all eggs infertile), goldeneye, goosander, smew, Chinese spotbill, marbled duck, Philippine duck, coscoroba, Andean goose, and greater and lesser Magellan geese.
Our waterfowl nursery was refurbished to give greater public access during the breeding season.
Patrick J. Wisniewski
Wilhelma Zoo, Stuttgart, Germany
A wattled crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) hatched at the zoo on 31 March 2001. This breeding success is a first for us, although wattled cranes have been kept at Wilhelma for the last 31 years without interruption. The mother was directly imported from Africa through a dealer and arrived in Stuttgart on 1 July 1970. The father is also wild-caught (1973) and came on breeding loan in December 1997 via Wassenaar and Frankfurt. The parents are thus at least 32 and 28 years old and are among the oldest individuals listed in the international studbook.
This breeding success was quite a surprise, as the female had produced an almost countless number of infertile eggs both with her current male and before with her former partners (a wild-caught male who arrived with her from Africa and died in April 1983, and another male who came on loan from Rotterdam Zoo in December 1990). It was known, however, that the pair would make perfect parents, since they had foster-reared a young white-naped crane without any problems in the summer of 1998. The chick they are rearing now hatched from the second clutch of this breeding season. Like many other bird species of the southern hemisphere, wattled cranes housed in the northern hemisphere start breeding in late autumn or early winter. The chick of the first clutch hatched on 14 January 2001 but died after six days.
Unlike most other Gruidae species, wattled cranes do not breed well in captivity. Less than 10% of the 100+ pairs in the international studbook population have produced young, and only 6 to 11 chicks have survived per year in the period between 1997 and 1999. Only three chicks were parent-reared in 1997, and only two in 1998 and 1999. The situation is even more alarming within the EAZA region: three surviving chicks were produced by two pairs in 1997, five chicks by three pairs in 1998 and four chicks by three pairs in 1999. Of these, only two chicks were parent-reared, both in 1998. The other European breeders were Walsrode (1997, 1998, 1999), a private breeder in Lemgo, Germany (1999), Lotherton (1998) and Hayle (1997, 1998, 1999).
Günther Schleussner in EAZA News No. 35 (JulySeptember 2001)
York's Wild Kingdom, Maine, U.S.A.
The goal of our staff is to maximize the foraging time of all the animals under our care through enrichment. Animals in the wild may spend up to 80% of their daily activity time foraging, and competition for food has driven evolutionary processes to yield extremely diverse niche-specific foragers. It makes sense to utilize species-specific foraging devices that allow an animal in captivity to maintain levels of foraging time similar to those seen in the wild.
For five years the various psittacines at our zoo have had the opportunity to use foraging units manufactured specifically to meet their daily requirements (courtesy of Fauna-Tek). The aim is to test the effectiveness of these units on different birds to determine if they do increase foraging time compared to open dish feeding. This was tested by comparing the time it would take a psittacine to fill its crop from an open dish to the time it would take from a species-specific foraging unit. Psittacines may fill their crop an average of four to six times a day, though they may not fill it completely at every feeding.
One of our blue-and-gold macaws was given a stainless steel dish full of sunflower seeds near his perch. He was then timed from the moment he started taking the seeds until he finished filling his crop. The entire time he spent collecting seeds from the dish was 16 minutes. The crop was estimated to be full when he stopped actively accumulating seeds from his dish. The next day the same bird was given a species-specific foraging unit with sunflower seeds placed only in four chambers concealed by rotating disks. The unit was hung from the top of the enclosure within reach of his perch. This time, it took him 50 minutes to fill his crop. The increased time spent foraging was generated by the complexity of the unit. Previously, the macaw had learned how to manipulate the spinning disks with his beak and tongue so that the disks align with the hole in the chambered unit containing seeds. By positioning the spinning disks with his beak and tongue at the appropriate seed-gathering point, the bird occupied significantly more time foraging than when he was removing seeds from an open dish.
The macaw also occupies his time with the unit for purposes other than foraging. He has been observed sliding empty drawers in and out, pulling and twisting the hanging attachments of the unit, and hanging from it in various positions. These actions increase overall foraging time, since they are commonly observed between crop fillings.
This foraging unit is designed for large psittacines such as macaws and cockatoos. It has rotating disks blocking seed chambers on each of its four sides. It also has three double-ended sliding drawers and three double-ended threaded pegs where food items can be placed on either end for increased foraging time. It is made of plated aluminum and measures 10.2 cm by 10.2 cm by 30.5 cm high. The unit is versatile in its design, keeping rodents and other birds from stealing food and providing a dry environment to store the food while it is being consumed.
Abridged from Andrea Kingsbury in Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 7 (July 2001)
[For details of the Fauna-Tek range of psittacine foraging units, see their website at http://www.fauna-tek.com .)
News in brief
Chippie, a seven-foot [2.15 m] male conger eel at the Macduff Marine Aquarium in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, was set free after staff noticed that he was displaying signs of being ready to breed. Congers mature at from five to seven years old; when they are ready to mate, they stop eating and lose their teeth. Chippie, who is thought to be six, was released into the North Sea to begin his journey south to an area in the Atlantic between the Azores and Gibraltar where congers meet to spawn and then die.
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Six red pandas were born at Knoxville Zoo, Tennessee, in 2000, bringing the zoo's total red panda births to 66 the most successful breeding of this species in North America. The zoo hosts a red panda keeper training workshop every fall for its keepers to share their expertise, problems and working solutions with others.
AZA Communiqué (June 2001)
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A temporary attraction at Woburn Safari Park, U.K., this summer was a 5½-acre [2.2 ha] maze carved out of a field of maize. The maze, the creation of international maze designer Adrian Fisher, is in the shape of a sea lion (though this can, of course, only be seen from the air). At the end of the season the crop will be harvested and fed to the park's three Asian elephants.
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Two saddle-billed stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) chicks hatched on 28 February and 1 March at Dallas Zoo, Texas. The parents incubated both eggs, and the chicks are being parent-raised in an off-exhibit area. Dallas is thought to be the only zoo in the world that allows chicks of this species to be parent-reared.
AZA Communiqué (June 2001)
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Keepers at Brookfield Zoo, Illinois, U.S.A., were especially pleased when a healthy sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) chick emerged from its shell on 5 April. Midway through the chick's 30-day incubation, they had noticed a small crack in the egg. To protect the growing chick, the keepers painted a thin coat of glue over the hole to seal out bacteria. The method worked, and the robust chick is now growing up fast in a free-flight aviary.
Zoo Views (Fall 2001)
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On 4 June, a female red-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus) was born at San Diego Zoo. The baby is the 64th douc langur born at the zoo, and the fourth offspring of 11-year-old Trien. Keepers say both mother and infant are doing well.
AZA Communiqué (August 2001)
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Adams, C.M., Larkin, S.L., and Lee, D.J.: Volume and value of marine ornamentals collected in Florida, 199098. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 2536.
Andrews, L.: The use of acupuncture to relieve pain in an eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus) suffering arthritis of the spine. Thylacinus Vol. 25, No. 1 (2001), pp. 67. [Healesville Sanctuary.]
Asa, C.S., Bauman, J.E., Houston, E.W., Fischer, M.T., Read, B., Brownfield, C.M., and Roser, J.F.: Patterns of excretion of fecal estradiol and progesterone and urinary chorionic gonadotropin in Grevy's zebras (Equus grevyi): ovulatory cycles and pregnancy. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 3 (2001), pp. 185195.
Baker, W.K.: Can personal interests influence crisis training? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 7 (2001), pp. 270271.
Baker, W.K.: Problems with shift doors in a carnivore building. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 6 (2001), pp. 237238.
Baker, W.K.: What can our facility do to increase dive safety in our aquatic operations? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 4 (2001), pp. 144145.
Baker, W.K.: What options does a zoological facility have in the event of a long-term loss of electrical power? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 5 (2001), pp. 188189.
Baxter, E., and Plowman, A.B.: The effect of increasing dietary fibre on feeding, rumination and oral stereotypies in captive giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis). Animal Welfare Vol. 10, No. 3 (2001), pp. 281290. [Many captive giraffes perform oral stereotypies, in particular tongue-playing, licking of objects (including conspecifics) and vacuum chewing. Typically, the diet of these large ruminants in captivity consists mostly of food concentrates, which are consumed rapidly and do not provide stimulation for their long, prehensile tongues. In the wild, browsing requires extensive use of this organ, but in captivity material upon which to browse is limited. Consequently, vacuum activities, such as mock leaf-feeding behaviour, and stereotypies may develop. Rumination is also a major component of a giraffe's behavioural repertoire. It is essential for proper digestion, but may also be connected with non-REM sleep. Inadequate opportunities for rumination may also contribute to the development of oral stereotypies. The authors examined the effect of increasing dietary fibre on the time spent ruminating and feeding, and the extent to which oral stereotypies were performed. Two giraffes of different age, sex and subspecies were studied at Paignton Zoo. Dietary fibre was increased by the addition of coarse meadow hay to their existing diet. Following the addition of hay, time spent feeding did not change significantly, but there was a significant increase in the time spent ruminating and a significant reduction in time spent performing oral stereotypies by both giraffes, suggesting that oral stereotypies may be connected with rumination rather than feeding. Stereotypic behaviour is generally accepted to be an indicator of sub-optimal welfare. Thus, the reduction in this behaviour by the simple addition of coarse fibre to the diet can be interpreted as enhancing the welfare of these animals.]
Blaszkiewitz, B.: Masse und Gewicht einer Seekuh-Frühgeburt. (Size and weight of a premature manatee calf.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 2 (2000), pp. 208210. [German, no English summary.]
Blaszkiewitz, B.: Neue Papageienvolieren im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. (New parrot aviaries at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 2 (2000), pp. 218221. [German, no English summary.]
Bloks, A., ten Cate, C., and Diephuis, E.P.: Gevlekte hyena's in Amersfoort. (Spotted hyenas at Amersfoort Zoo.) De Harpij Vol. 20, No. 3 (2001), pp. 1819. [Dutch, with English summary. A student project was undertaken to formulate recommendations for requirements, including furnishings, in a new enclosure to be built for hyenas at Amersfoort (the European studbook holder for this species). A literature search, interviews, and an ethological study of the hyenas already held at the zoo (a five-year-old female, three-year-old male and their two male pups born in October 1999) were carried out. It was concluded that the matriarchal relationship and many behaviours performed by the zoo animals were similar to those described for wild conspecifics, and that there was very little aggression among individuals. The hyenas, particularly the male and the pups, greatly appreciated environmental enrichment materials, and every small change in the enclosure occupied them for some time. They also thoroughly enjoyed playing in the pool in their enclosure. As the zoo plans to hold a hyena clan in the future, it was recommended that there be numerous hiding places available, as this could help reduce potential aggression.]
Brandstätter, F.: Die Gründerjahre im Neunkircher Zoo Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Neunkircher Zoos. (The early years of Neunkirchen Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 4 (2001), pp. 266275. [German, with brief English summary. Neunkirchen Zoo was originally founded in 1926 by a local association of aquarium and vivarium enthusiasts. It was at first planned to serve as an open pond area for the exhibition and breeding of aquarium fish, but soon non-aquatic animals were added to the collection. Despite financial problems resulting in the loss of many animals, the zoo was operated even during the war years. After the war it was kept going by some enthusiasts, and in 1949 it was officially reopened.]
Bruckner, A.W.: Tracking the trade in ornamental coral reef organisms: the importance of CITES and its limitations. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 7994.
Cecil, A.: Training cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) for urine collection at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 6 (2001), pp. 250252.
Chang, M., and Southgate, P.C.: Effects of varying dietary fatty acid composition on growth and survival of seahorse, Hippocampus sp., juveniles. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 205214. [Three commercially available fatty acid enrichment emulsions were used to enrich Artemia nauplii fed to seahorse fry. Survival and growth of seahorses at the end of the 30-day growth trial were greater in treatments receiving enriched Artemia. The results show that dietary n-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids are essential for optimal growth and survival of Hippocampus sp. and indicate what level of dietary docosahexaenoic acid supports optimal growth and survival.]
Choudhury, A.: An overview of the status and conservation of the red panda Ailurus fulgens in India, with reference to its global status. Oryx Vol. 35, No. 3 (2001), pp. 250259. [The current status and distribution of the red panda in the wild is poorly known. The species' range in India extends over about 170,000 km2, although its area of occupancy within this may only be about 25,000 km2. An estimate based on the lowest recorded average density and the total area of potential habitat suggests that the global population of red pandas is about 16,00020,000. Habitat loss and poaching, in that order, are the major threats. The author reviews the distribution, status and conservation problems of the red panda, especially in India, and recommends appropriate conservation measures, including the protection of named areas and the extension of some existing protected areas.]
Corbin, J.S.: Marine Ornamentals '99, Conference highlights and priority recommendations. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 311. [Introduction to a special issue containing papers presented at the First International Conference on Marine Ornamentals, Hawaii, November 1999.]
Craig, J.: The trials and tribulations of a mixed exhibit. Ratel Vol. 28, No. 4 (2001), pp. 139141. Drusillas Zoo, U.K.; an initial mix of 0.1 common marmoset, 1.0 golden-headed lion tamarin and 1.1 potoroos went fairly well, as did the introduction of 2.1 Geoffroy's marmosets, but following the birth of twins the Geoffroy's marmosets became extremely aggressive towards the potoroos, one of whom died, apparently from stress.]
Daw, T.M., Rogers, G.C.C., Mapson, P., and Kynoch, J.E.: Structure and management issues of the emerging ornamental fish trade in Eritrea. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 5364.
de Ruiter, M.: Breeding the red and yellow barbet in captivity. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 107, No. 2 (2001), pp. 4952. [Trachyphonus erythrocephalus.]
Delbeek, J.C.: Coral farming: past, present and future trends. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 171181. [There have been significant technical advances in marine aquarium maintenance in the last 20 years. It is now possible to maintain, grow and reproduce in aquaria many of the coral species found on coral reefs. Due to the increased demand for live corals and other reef invertebrates, the commercial production of these organisms for the home aquarium market has become feasible. The author describes the early beginnings of live coral propagation and current coral propagation facilities in Europe, North America, and the Pacific basin, and discusses an example of the possible future for coral farming, namely propagation by sexual reproduction.]
Earnhardt, J.M., Thompson, S.D., and Marhevsky, E.A.: Interactions of target population size, population parameters, and program management on viability of captive populations. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 3 (2001), pp. 169183. [In the past decade, the AZA has expanded species conservation programs by increasing the number of SSPs and establishing more than 300 new, less intensively managed Population Management Plan (PMP) programs. The authors claim that the average PMP population can expect to lose gene diversity more rapidly than the average SSP population; in fact, they are projected to lose 10% or more of their founding gene diversity within only two years, in contrast with 10% in 40 years in the average SSP population. More intensive genetic management of PMP populations could increase gene diversity and improve viability, while less rigorous population management should be reserved for populations whose long-term survival is secure or who can be readily replenished from the wild. Because PMP populations need intense genetic management similar to that currently in effect for SSPs, there should be neither a management-level distinction between programs nor an arbitrary difference in space allocated to them.]
Farrell, M.A.: The relevance of breeding programmes in modern conservation. Ratel Vol. 28, No. 4 (2001), pp. 128132.
Fridman, T.: Axis deer training at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 4 (2001), pp. 146149. [Training to stand on scales, take oral medication via syringe, and enter crate.]
Friedlander, A.M.: Essential fish habitat and the effective design of marine reserves: application for marine ornamental fishes. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 135150.
Gaffing, S.: Effects of a change in husbandry on aggression and breeding in a group of captive meerkats at Edinburgh Zoo. Ratel Vol. 28, No. 4 (2001), pp. 116126.
Garner, R.: Captive shark chemoreception of human urine. Thylacinus Vol. 25, No. 1 (2001), pp. 1013.
Gebauer, A., and Engler, S.: Anmerkungen zum Nahrungsverhalten und zur Aktivität von Katzenbären (Ailurus f. fulgens) in einem grossen Freigehege. (Notes on feeding behaviour and activity of red pandas in a large open-air enclosure.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 4 (2001), pp. 209220. [German, with English summary. The 0.2 animals at Görlitz Zoo, Germany, were studied in a newly-built 1,200 m2 exhibit. They use the grassy areas to feed on grasses and herbs and to dig for roots or soil-dwelling animals. They also eat the fruits of raspberry bushes and yews. An association with white eared pheasants was unsuccessful, as the pandas tried to catch the birds several times and injured them. An experimentally-offered dead chicken showed that the pandas accepted this type of food. This complements recent studies of the carnivorous habits of the species. The bimodal daily activity pattern (crepuscular with substantial nocturnal activity) of the animals studied is comparable to that of red pandas in the wild. Even the distribution of rest periods is the same. A previously unknown behavioural adaptation to the cold climate is the extensive grooming behaviour which maintains the insulation function of air in their fur. Red pandas have a high cursorial activity, and for this reason they need sufficient open space in their enclosure.]
Graham, L., Schwarzenberger, F., Möstl, E., Galama, W., and Savage, A.: A versatile enzyme immunoassay for the determination of progestogens in feces and serum. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 3 (2001), pp. 227236.
Guerrero, D.: Animal behavior concerns and solutions: how often should the animal's name and/or command for the desired behavior be used in requesting an animal to perform a certain action? Can the animals adapt between different styles of training? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 4 (2001), pp. 140142.
Guerrero, D.: Animal behavior concerns and solutions: is teaching an animal to show aggressive behavior asking for trouble later on? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 7 (2001), pp. 262264.
Guerrero, D.: Animal behavior concerns and solutions: training African elephants. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 5 (2001), pp. 184185.
Herndon, D.: Pedicure for a dragon. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 7 (2001), pp. 293294. [Claw trimming for a Komodo dragon at Disney's Animal Kingdom (see above, pp. 402).]
Herron, S., Price, E., and Wormell, D.: Feeding gum arabic to New World monkeys: species differences and palatability. Animal Welfare Vol. 10, No. 3 (2001), pp. 249256. [Members of the genera Callithrix and Cebuella have specialisations for eating plant exudates. Exudates are also an important component of the diets of many other callitrichid species in the wild, especially at times of nutritional stress. At Jersey Zoo, gum arabic is fed daily to all marmosets and to some tamarins. The authors investigated species differences in liking for gum and the effects of the concentration of gum solutions on palatability. As predicted from field data, Callithrix species consumed more gum than other species; Saguinus also showed quite a strong liking for gum. In parallel with data from the wild, Leontopithecus spp. consumed the least, and Callimico also took relatively little. The two marmoset species tended to like stronger solutions of gum more than weak solutions; so the provision of smaller amounts of stronger concentrations is likely to be the most cost-effective way of incorporating gum into the diet. Providing gum to callitrichids on a regular basis can have significant welfare benefits.]
Ignaut, J.: Putting our guests `in touch' with the out-of-reach residents of a walk-through aviary. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 5 (2001), pp. 190192. [Disney's Animal Kingdom, Florida, U.S.A.]
Jayewardene, J.: Effective care for orphaned baby elephants. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 7 (2001), pp. 289291. [Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust, Sri Lanka.]
Johann, A.: Hohes Lebensalter und lange Haltungsdauer beim Kampfläufer (Philomachus pugnax). (Unusual longevity of a captive ruff.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 4 (2001), p. 278. [German, no English summary. The female bird (therefore technically speaking a `reeve' in English! Ed.) lived at Rheine Zoo for nearly 13 years and was at least 13½ years old when it died.]
Kolbe, H.: Erstimporte, markante Punkte früher Haltungen sowie Erstzuchten der Entenvögel in Deutschland bis zum Jahresende 2000 (I). (First importation, notable details of early husbandry, and first breedings of waterfowl in Germany up to the end of 2000. Part I.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 4 (2001), pp. 243265. [German, no English summary (but much of the information is in the form of dates and zoo locations requiring little or no knowledge of German).]
Kusunoki, H., Daimaru, H., Minami, S., Nishimoto, S., Yamane, K., and Fukumoto, Y.: Birth of a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) after artificial insemination with cryopreserved epididymal spermatozoa collected postmortem. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 3 (2001), pp. 135143. [An 18-year-old male chimpanzee at Asa Zoo, Hiroshima, Japan, suddenly died of acute haemorrhagic enteritis. Within 24 hours a large quantity of spermatozoa of excellent quality were recovered and was subsequently cryopreserved. After storage for 67 days, the frozen spermatozoa were thawed and inseminated on the optimal day into an adult, normally-cycling, nulliparous female. Pregnancy was confirmed, and a normal female infant was born after a 214-day gestation.]
Larkin, S.L., and Degner, R.L.: The U.S. wholesale market for marine ornamentals. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 1324.
Lin, J., Sparsis, M., and Hagood, R.W.: Growing giant clam (Tridacna derasa) in aquaculture effluent. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 225230.
Low, R.: The Cuban amazon. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 35, No. 1 (2001), pp. 1216. [Amazona leucocephala.]
Mellen, J., and MacPhee, M.S.: Philosophy of environmental enrichment: past, present, and future. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 3 (2001), pp. 211226. [The authors present a historic perspective of environmental enrichment, propose a broader, more holistic approach to it, and describe a framework or process that will ensure a consistent and self-sustaining enrichment program.]
Molenda, S.L.: Breeding yellow-face parrotlets in the United States. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 35, No. 2 (2001), pp. 5759. [Forpus xanthops.]
Moss, S.M., and Argue, B.J.: Biosecurity and genetic improvement of penaeid shrimp: applications to the marine ornamental industry. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 231240.
Müller, M., and Neumann, N.: Keeping and breeding fig parrots of the genus Psittaculirostris at Vogelpark Walsrode. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 35, No. 1 (2001), pp. 2123.
Nakamichi, M., and Kato, E.: Long-term proximity relationships in a captive social group of western lowland gorillas (Gorilla g. gorilla). Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 3 (2001), pp. 197209. [To visualize long-term social relationships among 12 gorillas in a captive-breeding group at San Diego Wild Animal Park, the multidimensional scaling (MDS) procedure was applied to proximity (within five meters) values collected in five different periods over 2.5 years. The resulting two-dimensional representations clearly show that in samples taken during this period, the silverback male was surrounded by five adult females, while three infant or young juvenile females, gathered in a body, remained between the silverback and adult females. Some adult females maintained proximity to the silverback more frequently than others throughout the five periods. Unlike mountain gorillas in the wild, females with dependent offspring did not tend to stay near the silverback more frequently than other females, and related females did not tend to spend more time near each other than non-related females. Three older juvenile or young adult males were plotted the furthest from the silverback, with gradual changes with increasing age. The usefulness of the MDS procedure, which can be used to visualize easily and clearly the social relationships among individuals, is discussed from the viewpoint of the management of breeding groups of captive gorillas.]
O'Callaghan, P., and Horton, M.: Hopping in the deep with Fleay's barred frog. Thylacinus Vol. 25, No. 1 (2001), pp. 25. [Mixophyes fleayi; captive husbandry and breeding at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Queensland.]
Ogawa, T., and Brown, C.L.: Ornamental reef fish aquaculture and collection in Hawaii. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 151169. [At present, the market for Hawaiian ornamental reef fish is supplied entirely by the export of wild-captured animals, but the long-term sustainability of this practice is debatable. The authors review the progress that has been made in the captive cultivation of ornamental marine fishes and provide an overview of the status of the marine aquarium industry in Hawaii.]
Ostrowski, A.C., and Laidley, C.W.: Application of marine foodfish techniques in marine ornamental aquaculture: reproduction and larval first feeding. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 191204.
Pohle, C.: Kleinkatzen im Tierpark Berlin ein Rückblick auf die ersten 45 Jahre. (Small cats at Tierpark Berlin a look back at the first 45 years.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 2 (2000), pp. 184200. [German, no English summary.]
Poulsen, E., and Willms, E.: Eradicating baldness and pacing in two captive Andean bears. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 4 (2001), pp. 165172. [Tremarctos ornatus, Calgary Zoo, Canada; enrichment and varied diet.]
Rance, L.: Crimson-winged parakeet (Aprosmictus e. erythropterus). Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 35, No. 2 (2001), pp. 5152.
Reed, D.H., and Bryant, E.H.: The relative effects of mutation accumulation versus inbreeding depression on fitness in experimental populations of the housefly. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 3 (2001), pp. 145156. [The authors conclude that even if captive populations are kept large to avoid inbreeding, breeding them in benign environments where the forces of natural selection are curtailed may jeopardize the capability of these populations to exist in natural environments within a few generations.]
Rees, P.A.: Is there a legal obligation to reintroduce animal species into their former habitats? Oryx Vol. 35, No. 3 (2001), pp. 216223. [Species reintroduction programmes are an important feature of global conservation efforts. There is evidence within the texts of some international and European laws of legal obligations to reintroduce species to their former habitats. However, these obligations are inconsistent between legal instruments, and it is not at all clear exactly what it is they are legislating to recreate. In particular, definitions of native species are either absent from the law or unclear, especially in an historical context. Attempts to reintroduce some predators have been met with legal challenges, and so it is essential that conservation authorities have a clear mission in their reintroduction activities, and that this mission is reflected in their national law. Successful reintroductions will be achieved only with public support, and this is more likely where clear objectives have been established after public consultation. Conservation authorities undertaking reintroduction projects should use the legal system and the international commitments made by their governments to validate their efforts.]
Rubec, P.J., Cruz, F., Pratt, V., Oellers, R., McCullough, B., and Lallo, F.: Cyanide-free net-caught fish for the marine aquarium trade. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 3751.
Rubec, P.J., Pratt, V.R., and Cruz, F.: Territorial use rights in fisheries to manage areas for farming coral reef fish and invertebrates for the aquarium trade. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 119134.
Rudloff, K.: Anmerkungen zur Historie des Langschnabeligels, Zaglossus bruijnii, in Zoologischen Gärten. (Notes on the history of long-nosed echidnas in zoos.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 2 (2000), pp. 201207. [German, no English summary.]
Schlee, M.A.: Hand-rearing techniques and social bonding in a young king vulture, Sarcoramphus papa, at the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes. Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 4 (2001), pp. 221242. [This was the first hand-rearing of a king vulture at this zoo. The author describes the artificial incubation and the manual assistance of the chick during hatching. Post-natal care emphasizes the ingestion of foreign material and pellet formation. Details are provided on diet, feeding schedule, techniques and behaviours, as well as the procedures used to socialize the chick to its own species and integrate it into a king vulture family. Audiospectrographic analyses are presented for the main vocalizations heard during the nestling period, as well as the call emitted during hatching.]
Schofield, P.: Observations on seed-eating pigeons. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 107, No. 2 (2001), pp. 5361.
Shafir, S., van Rijn, J., and Rinkevich, B.: Nubbing of coral colonies: a novel approach for the development of inland broodstocks. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 183190. [The establishment of large numbers of ramets from any individual coral genet can be used as a valuable source of material for trade and research. The authors discuss the rationale and applicability of reefing ex situ large numbers of `nubbins' (minute fragments, down to the size of a single polyp). Nubbins taken from colonies of the branching Red Sea coral Stylophora pistillata show high survivorship under ex situ conditions and fast growth rates (5- to 6-fold increase in polyp numbers within three months).]
Simpson, N.: Breeding the Victoria crowned pigeon Goura victoria at Bristol Zoo Gardens. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 107, No. 2 (2001), pp. 7684.
Smith, C.: The Andean tinamou Nothoprocta pentlandii in captivity. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 107, No. 2 (2001), pp. 6268. [Husbandry and breeding at Oklahoma City Zoo.]
Strauss, G., and Wisser, J.: Tierärztliche Bemerkungen zur Haltung von Klippschliefern (Procavia capensis) im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. (Veterinary notes on management of rock hyraxes at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 2 (2000), pp. 211217. [German, no English summary.]
Strehlow, H.: Ein Blick zurück Zoohistorie ist kein Luxus. (A glance back zoo history is no luxury.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 2 (2000), pp. 173183. [German, no English summary.]
Sweeney, R.G.: Captive psittacine populations aid conservation. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 35, No. 1 (2001), pp. 2428.
Tardona, D.R.: Conservation of nonhuman primate species in Panama: monkeys of the Primate Refuge and Sanctuary of Panama. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 6 (2001), pp. 230236.
Tilghman, G.C., Klinger-Bowen, R., and Francis-Floyd, R.: Feeding electivity indices in surgeonfish (Acanthuridae) of the Florida Keys. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 215223. [Studies of the food preferences of free-ranging Acanthurus sp. fish may provide insight to improve nutritional management of captive herbivorous reef fish.]
van 't Land, I., and Wennink, M.: Rainbow lorikeets: correlation between gender and beak measurements. Thylacinus Vol. 25, No. 1 (2001), pp. 89. [Currumbin Sanctuary, Queensland; a non-invasive sexing method for the monomorphic species Trichoglossus haematodus.]
Veldhuis, J., Veltman, K., and van der Zanden, R.: EEP's in dierentuinland: giraffen: geliefd en onbekend. (EEPs in the zoo: giraffes popular but unknown.) De Harpij Vol. 20, No. 3 (2001), pp. 25. [Dutch, with English summary. An EEP, the most intensive level of European breeding programme, was initiated for giraffes in 1988. The EEP is coordinated by Wilhelma Zoo, Stuttgart. Mortality of giraffes in European zoos is high; inbreeding and mixing of taxa are potential population management problems. There is little hope of receiving additional giraffes from Africa, so it is essential that the giraffes in Europe be optimally managed if they are to be held in European zoos in the future. Currently nine studbooks are maintained, one for each of seven recognized taxa, one for known hybrids and one for giraffes of unknown origin. A total of 444 living animals are registered. Discussions regarding giraffe management are ongoing: are all the recognized taxa valid? Is there enough genetic diversity in the captive populations of the different taxa to warrant holding all of them? Should some taxa be managed at a studbook or other level rather than an EEP? How many animals are needed to form a true `herd'? There is a surplus of male giraffes compared to females, and few zoos are willing to transfer females because of the high mortality. Several zoos are now experimenting with holding all-male groups, as it is difficult to hold multiple males together with females. There is thus still much to be learned, work to be done and decisions to be made regarding giraffe zoo management.]
Westerveld, B.: De giraffencrush. (The giraffe crush.) De Harpij Vol. 20, No. 3 (2001), pp. 610. [Dutch, with English summary. The need to trim the overgrown hooves of a 17-year-old male giraffe, Mark, without anaesthetizing him prompted the construction of a giraffe crush at Rotterdam Zoo. The crush stands in the doorway adjoining the inside and outside parts of the giraffe enclosure. The breadth of the doorway was reduced to 90 cm so that the giraffes would have to walk through the crush to enter or leave the building. Removable panels are used on all sides, and many possibilities to adjust the crush to each situation exist. Two slings can be placed under the belly of a giraffe to ensure that the animal cannot collapse. All of the giraffes walked through the crush by the second day, and their confidence quickly grew. Mark was then enclosed in the crush without incident. The first trimming session (including two intermissions when Mark became too nervous) took 1.5 hours, and Mark even munched on some branches while the veterinarian was working on the hooves. The hoof trimming was carried out three times at two-week intervals. The crush has been used since then to take blood from a 1.5-year-old male and to manoeuvre him into the transport crate when he was moved to Beauval Zoo in France. The crush is considered a very useful tool in management of the giraffes.]
Wiesner, H.: Alienophagie beim Tapir (Tapirus terrestris). (Unusual food consumption by a South American tapir.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 71, No. 4 (2001), pp. 276277. [German, no English summary. A tapir at Cuiabá Zoo, Brazil, was seen eating a fish given to the giant otters who shared the large enclosure.]
Wilkinson, R.: Chester Zoo bird review 2000. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 107, No. 2 (2001), pp. 6975.
Willette, M.M.: The saga of Jasai. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 5 (2001), pp. 200202. [Gladys Porter Zoo, Brownsville, Texas, U.S.A. Jasai, a five-year-old Indian rhino, received (unsuccessful) surgical treatment for colic, the first rhino ever to undergo such surgery.]
Wilson, J., Osenberg, C.W., St. Mary, C.M., Watson, C.A., and Lindberg, W.J.: Artificial reefs, the attraction-production issue, and density dependence in marine ornamental fishes. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 95105. [Artificial reefs may provide a useful tool to enhance production of marine ornamentals and to divert detrimental harvesting activities from sensitive natural habitat. The efficacy of this strategy depends, in part, on the extent to which artificial reefs contribute to new production, rather than simply attracting fishes from natural habitat, and therefore benefit harvested populations on a local and regional basis. The authors present the attraction and production hypotheses and their application to marine ornamentals, and discuss how the strength and timing of density dependence can affect the response of fish population dynamics to artificial reefs.]
Wilson, S.: Management of blue-billed ducks Oxyura australis in captivity. Thylacinus Vol. 25, No. 1 (2001), pp. 1618. [Melbourne Zoo.]
Wood, E.: Global advances in conservation and management of marine ornamental resources. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 6577. [Currently, as many as 30 million coral reef fish belonging to 1,000 species are collected annually to supply private and public aquaria around the world. In addition, over 100 species of invertebrate are used, involving hundreds of thousands or even millions of individuals. The majority of these specimens come from coral reefs and associated habitats, with about 45 countries supplying the ornamental market. Considering the many pressures currently faced by reefs, it is vital that ornamental fisheries are investigated and monitored, and management strategies formulated to ensure they are sustainable. This requires research, monitoring, training, use of non-damaging collecting methods and adoption of conservation strategies for controlling catch, such as reserves, quotas and closed seasons. There are also a number of possibilities for enhancing the fishery, such as mariculture and construction of artificial reefs. This paper concentrates on some of the conservation measures that can be taken and discusses their application and effectiveness. Such measures include limiting collecting effort, establishment of species-based or overall quotas, restrictions on rare and/or endemic species, temporary closures, and establishment of fishery reserves.]
Woodroffe, R.: Assessing the risks of intervention: immobilization, radio-collaring and vaccination of African wild dogs. Oryx Vol. 35, No. 3 (2001), pp. 234244. [Controversy has surrounded the role of intervention in studies of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus). Following the death or disappearance of all wild dogs under study in the Serengeti ecosystem, it was suggested that immobilization, radio-collaring or administration of rabies vaccines might have caused high mortality by compromising wild dogs' immune response to rabies virus. Planning future management and research on wild dogs and other species demands an assessment of the risks associated with such intervention. The author critically reviews the available evidence and concludes that it is extremely unlikely that intervention contributed to the extinction of wild dogs in the Serengeti ecosystem. A more likely scenario is that vaccination failed to protect wild dogs exposed to rabies virus. Radio-collaring is an important component of wild dog research; hence, the benefits of immobilization appear to outweigh the risks, as long as (i) research is orientated towards wild dog conservation, (ii) radio-collaring is followed up by efficient monitoring, (iii) the number of animals immobilized is kept to the minimum necessary to maintain scientific rigour, and (iv) full data on disease and genetics are collected from all immobilized animals. By contrast, rabies vaccination currently seems to confer few benefits, at least when a single dose of vaccine is given. Further research, on captive animals, is in progress to establish more effective protocols, and to assess the role that vaccination might play in future management of wild dog populations.]
Wrogemann, D., and Zimmermann, E.: Aspects of reproduction in the eastern rufous mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus) and their implications for captive management. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 3 (2001), pp. 157167. [The reproductive biology of the eastern rufous mouse lemur, one of the smallest primate species, has not been examined because of its rarity in captivity. The authors present the first data on reproduction from a wild-caught breeding colony at Hannover Veterinary College, Germany.]
Zabala, R.: Environmental enrichment: yurumi (Myrmecophaga tridactyla). Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 28, No. 7 (2001), pp. 277281. [Buenos Aires Zoo, Argentina: constructing an artificial anthill for a giant anteater.]
Ziemann, D.A.: The potential for the restoration of marine ornamental fish populations through hatchery releases. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 3, Nos. 13 (2001), pp. 107117. [Populations of tropical and subtropical marine fish are being depleted worldwide to supply increasing demands of the aquarium industry and fresh seafood market. Overfishing and destructive harvest techniques have left some marine fish populations virtually extirpated in a number of primarily underdeveloped countries. In situations where only small remnant populations and significantly degraded habitat remain, population recovery even under the complete absence of collection will be slow, with the high potential for population loss due to natural environmental and recruitment variability. Stock enhancement, supplementing natural recruitment with hatchery-produced fry, has the potential to significantly increase the rate of population recovery while maintaining population vigour. Stock enhancement research on Pacific threadfin (Polydactylus sexfilis) has demonstrated measurable positive impacts on recreational and commercial fisheries for this species in experimental-scale releases; similar successes can be expected for enhancement efforts directed toward species of ornamental value. The major technological barrier to ornamental fish enhancement, the development of appropriate culture capabilities, is being addressed in research directed to the commercial production of fish for the aquarium trade.]
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.
Aquarium Sciences and Conservation, Kluwer Academic Publishers, P.O. Box 322, 3300 AH Dordrecht, The Netherlands. [The articles listed above are from a special issue on the International Conference on Marine Ornamentals, Hawaii, 1999.]
Avicultural Magazine, Avicultural Society, c/o Bristol Zoo, Bristol BS8 3HA, U.K.
De Harpij, Stichting De Harpij, Van Aerssenlaan 49, 3039 KE Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Milu, Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, Am Tierpark 125, D-1136 Berlin, Germany.
Oryx, Blackwell Science Ltd (for Fauna and Flora Preservation Society), Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0EL, U.K.
Parrot Society Magazine, Parrot Society, 108b Fenlake Road, Bedford MK42 0EU, U.K.
Ratel, Association of British Wild Animal Keepers, c/o Luke Gates, Woodpecker Lodge, Holly Lane, Worplesdon, Guildford, Surrey GU3 3PB, U.K.
Thylacinus, Australasian Society of Zoo Keeping, P.O. Box 248, Healesville, Victoria 3777, Australia.
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.