International Zoo News Vol. 49/7 (No. 320) October/November 2002


Breeding Squirrel Monkeys in European Zoos Jan Vermeer
The Conservation Initiative for Giant Galliwasps at Nashville Zoo: A Preliminary Account Dale McGinnity
The History of Polar Bears at Milwaukee Zoo Thomas Grittinger and Elizabeth Frank
Prolific Female Rhinoceroses Marvin L. Jones
Bristol Zoo Gardens Millennium Awards for Conservation 1999–2002 Stephen P. Woollard
Annual Reports
International Zoo News
Recent Articles

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Every copy of I.Z.N. carries on its inside back cover the statement that `while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of all material published . . . the editor can take no responsibility for any remaining errors.' I sometimes suspect that this disclaimer may be somewhat over-tolerant of my editorial shortcomings. Someone, after all, must be responsible for the errors in a publication, and if not the editor, then who? The buck stops here. I do my best (and in general I'd say that excessive pedantry rather than carelessness is my characteristic failing), but inevitably errors still slip through.

The article by Marvin Jones in this issue, documenting all the captive female rhinos known to have given birth to ten or more calves, puts the record straight on a matter where two misleading items had previously been published. Representatives of two zoos had successively claimed that their female white rhinos – with ten and 12 offspring respectively – might be the most prolific in the world. With hindsight, I realise that I should have checked the accuracy of these items before publishing them. But so, of course, should the representatives of the zoos concerned: as Marvin points out, both collections – like all institutions holding white rhinos – are regularly sent copies of the international studbook for the species, which contains all the data they needed to put the achievements of their own females in context. `Perhaps,' he suggests, `they [the studbooks] are placed on a shelf or in a cabinet and not really read and examined.' Errors are excusable when the relevant information is difficult or impossible to obtain, but much less so when it has been published in sources which every good zoo should make available for staff to consult.

The original idea for this editorial, however, came to me earlier this year as I was reading the newsletter of a medium-sized British zoo. (To spare them embarrassment I won't mention the name, but it is a collection which receives favourable publicity in I.Z.N. from time to time.) In an item about their baby Hoffmann's sloth, the writer commented: `Research so far seems to suggest that she is the first captive-bred Hoffman [sic] sloth in the world.' It would be interesting to know what this `research' consisted of; but it evidently didn't include the obvious first move of consulting the lists of captive-bred animals in the International Zoo Yearbook. Ten minutes' study of these data show that between 1990 and 1996 (unfortunately the last year currently covered) no fewer than 32 Hoffmann's sloths were successfully bred in zoos, five of whom represented at least second-generation captive births. As long ago as the early 1970s, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, had a very successful breeding group (Int. Zoo Yearbook 16, 152–3). I haven't been able to pinpoint the first captive breeding; but according to Lee S. Crandall's Management of Wild Mammals in Captivity (University of Chicago Press, 1964) one was born at London Zoo in 1953 or earlier. (Crandall's book, incidentally, is one of the basic reference works which should be in every zoo. Astonishingly, it was still in print when I bought a new copy in the early 1990s.)

Zoos' press releases are a fruitful source of `howlers'. Just a few days ago one from a collection described as its country's `national' zoo informed me that the scientific name of the maned wolf, Chrysocyon brachyurus, means `fox on stilts'. Perhaps the writer had picked up this misinformation from the website of a major U.S. zoo, where I have also seen it recently. In reality, of course, the literal translation of this name is `short-tailed golden dog'. (By the way, is `fox on stilts' really a local South American name for this species, as is frequently stated? My own suspicion is that it originated in the words `there is a general impression of a red fox on stilts' in an early edition of Walker's Mammals of the World.) Of course, interpreting scientific names isn't always easy, even for experts. There are a few books available on the subject, but the only really comprehensive treatment of any animal group that I know of is James A. Jobling's Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names (Oxford University Press, 1991), and even that doesn't extend down to subspecific level. However, the excuse that no information is available doesn't apply in the case of Chrysocyon brachyurus, a well-known name made up of four common and unambiguous Greek roots.

It could be argued that details of nomenclature aren't of much importance – it's a specialised interest, and one which doesn't have too much impact on affairs in the `real world'. But the errors and inaccuracies propagated by zoos extend far beyond the field of linguistics. For example, two American zoos have recently greeted the birth of Bactrian camels as a conservation success with these `endangered' animals. Presumably the writers were too carried away by their enthusiasm to remember that all Bactrian camels in zoos – with the exception of a solitary male in Beijing (see I.Z.N. 48:1, 22–23) – are of domestic origin, while only the wild form is endangered. Or perhaps they genuinely didn't know there was such a distinction. Again, the director of one of North America's leading zoos was recently quoted as saying that that region's African elephant population `will no longer exist 20 to 25 years from now if current demographic trends continue.' A moment's thought reveals that this is nonsense. Certainly, North American zoos are far from achieving a self-perpetuating population of African elephants: but with several calves being born each year, in a species whose life-span regularly exceeds half a century, how could the African elephant possibly disappear from North America within 20 or 25 years? The context of the remark was the zoo's application to import 1.6 elephants, otherwise destined to be culled, from a managed reserve in Africa; but the case for that should be debated on its merits, not supported by exaggerating – whether carelessly or deliberately – the likely rate of decline in the existing captive population.

It would be understandable to assume that the collective intellectual resources of the major zoo associations would make their official pronouncements and publications more error-free than those of their individual members. Understandable, but wrong. The AZA Communiqué, for example, can be relied upon to provide some entertaining blunders in almost every issue. Mostly these are mere mis-spellings, typos and the like – `Stellar sea lions' (the first extra-terrestrial species to be displayed in any zoo?), reptile eggs incubated at 850° F, etc. Scientific names, once again, seem to present special difficulties: the record-breaking entry in this context is probably Colubus guerza kikiyuensis for the Kikuyu colobus – three mistakes in three words. But serious factual errors occur too: a tribute to John Aspinall informed readers that his achievements included returning Przewalski horses to Morocco! A more alarming instance was the reprinting (in EAZA News as well as the Communiqué) of a paper originally presented at an IUDZG conference, in which it was claimed that `twenty-five percent of all birds have been driven to extinction in the last 200 years.' There are currently about 9,600 species of bird; if these represented 75% of the pre-1800 total, it would mean that about 3,200 bird species had become extinct since then. But to judge by published lists of known recent bird extinctions (1600 is a more normal cut-off date), around 80 would be nearer the correct figure – that is, 0.8% rather than 25%.

Does this kind of thing matter? I think it does: not merely because getting one's facts right is good in itself, but also because getting them wrong does a disservice to the organisation one represents. Zoos nowadays pride themselves on being professional, scientifically-based institutions. If this claim is to be recognised by their colleagues in other zoologically-oriented disciplines, they need to maintain high standards in the published material which is one of the means by which they present themselves to the world. And if, as may sometimes be unavoidable, this material is prepared for publication by a secretary, public relations officer, marketing manager or other person without specialised zoological knowledge, it should at least be checked through by someone likely to spot any serious errors. There is, of course, no way of guaranteeing perfection. Almost invariably, when a new issue of I.Z.N. comes back from the printers, my eye falls on at least one mistake which had remained invisible throughout the whole process of editing and proof-reading. To judge by the comments of friends, this is an experience familiar to everyone involved in the publishing business. But total accuracy remains the ideal to aim for – even though, like every other ideal, it is highly unlikely ever to be fully achieved.

Nicholas Gould

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Squirrel monkeys (Saimiri spp.) have always been a common sight in European zoos. Many animals were imported in the 1970s and early 1980s from Guyana and Bolivia, and several zoos had successful breeding groups. However, the situation has changed since then. The captive-born generations had very poor breeding results, while mortality increased. This was first documented by Mario Perschke, who did a small survey in the German-speaking countries (Perschke, 1992). To investigate the causes of these problems, several surveys were conducted by the present author covering the total European population of squirrel monkeys. The final goal of these surveys is to secure the future of squirrel monkeys in European zoos.

1: Identification of the population and its development

To show that there is a problem with the captive squirrel monkey population, detailed information on its composition and development is necessary. The first survey, in 1996, therefore, had four goals:

(1) List the locations of all squirrel monkeys in Europe;

(2) Identify (sub)species status of all squirrel monkeys in Europe;

(3) Collect data on the reproduction of the genus;

(4) Collect data on the genetic relationships within the population.

The second and third surveys were conducted to monitor the development of the population and to gather more information on the husbandry of squirrel monkeys in European zoos.

Locating and identifying the captive population

A total of 92 institutions responded to the first survey stating that they had squirrel monkeys in their collection. There has always been much confusion over species and subspecies names within the genus, and the taxonomy of Saimiri is still a matter of debate. For the survey I followed the classification that divides the genus into four species (Saimiri sciureus, S. boliviensis, S. oerstedi, and S. ustus – but see Groves, 2001). Following this taxonomy should decrease the confusion that often exists between zoos on the identity of their animals. Many animals were registered as being Saimiri sciureus, but it was not clear if the name was referring to the common squirrel monkey or the black-capped squirrel monkey (formerly named Saimiri sciureus boliviensis). The zoos were asked to identify their animals using a simple key. A total of 38 reported that they kept S. sciureus, 42 kept S. boliviensis, five kept both species and six had a mixed group. Only one S. ustus was reported (easy to identify because of its entirely hairless ears), but no S. oerstedi. Although we know that this way of identifying the animals is not 100% safe, it is a first step to a better-managed captive population. (The subspecific status of many animals could be determined by the location of origin, while several zoos have conducted DNA research on their animals.)

Breeding results

Zoos were asked to supply data on breeding and mortality from 1978 on. At the beginning of the survey we thought that imports from the wild had ceased in the early 1980s. However, we now found out that European zoos had started to import large numbers of wild-caught squirrel monkeys from Guyana in the 1990s. Thanks to ongoing imports, this population grew quickly to several hundreds of individuals, and it was therefore decided to keep these animals separate from those of unknown origin. Therefore the data from three subpopulations (S. boliviensis, S. sciureus sciureus from Guyana and S. sciureus subspecies of unknown origin) was analyzed separately.

While analyzing the data, we focused mainly on the numbers of viable births, unviable births and mortality. The results have been summarized in several reports. At 31.12.2000 there were 164 Saimiri sciureus ssp., 319 Saimiri s. sciureus and 440 Saimiri boliviensis living in European zoos.

The data show that the net results per year are low for all three subpopulations. The breeding of the newly imported S. s. sciureus is better than that of the other subpopulations, but as mortality in this subspecies is also high, the population is growing only slowly. The net results for S. sciureus ssp. were negative, and the results for S. boliviensis are only positive because of the good breeding results of one or two institutions. Mortality is relatively high in all subpopulations, as is the percentage of unviable births.

Although the net results for S. s. sciureus have been positive over the last few years, there is a large problem. Most of the offspring born in this subpopulation are male. This preponderance of male births in newly established groups has also been observed in laboratory colonies. It has been suggested that stress may be associated with the male-biased sex ratios (Salzen, 1989). Groups that have been together longer and are more stable, or that have been in captivity longer, suffer less stress, and the sex ratio may change to a more even balance of male and female births.


The surveys have revealed that most European zoos are unsuccessful at keeping squirrel monkeys in captivity. Breeding is often low, while the population is aging. More research into the possible causes of the problems is necessary to secure the future of this attractive genus in captivity.

2: Determination of the possible causes of the problems

The three surveys that were conducted resulted in a large amount of information on the development of the population and the husbandry of the genus in European zoos. This information was thoroughly analyzed to find possible causes of the problems. Three important factors that may have important effects on the development of the population are discussed below.


With the survey of 1999 a questionnaire was enclosed to find out more information on the diets of squirrel monkeys in European zoos. The survey revealed that there are large differences in the diets used by the different zoos. While some zoos base their diet mainly on fruit, others see squirrel monkeys more as insectivorous animals and feed a diet high in proteins. Very few zoos offered any opinion on the nutritional requirements of the genus.

The survey made it clear that there is very little knowledge in zoos on the nutrition of squirrel monkeys. Despite the fact that they do not breed well and that their condition in zoos is often poor (thin and suffering hair-loss), too many zoos did not make much effort to feed the animals well. Squirrel monkeys were (and are) often regarded as unimportant and easy to keep. More interest in the animals' nutrition may have a positive effect on breeding results. Fortunately there are some zoos that understood this many years ago, and their experiences can help other institutions.


The survey of 2001 was accompanied by a small questionnaire on housing. The participating zoos were asked to give their opinion on the housing requirements of squirrel monkeys and the current situation. The results indicated that the minimal requirements for a breeding group of about 20 squirrel monkeys (groups with less than 15 members do not breed very well, so 15–20 is the minimal group size required for breeding) are, according to the participants, an inside enclosure of 20 m2 divided into at least two compartments, and an outside enclosure of at least 40 m2. Of the 73 institutions that completed the questionnaire, only 20 (27%) have an enclosure that is suitable for a breeding group of squirrel monkeys.

Social management

While analyzing the data from the surveys, it became very apparent that several newly established groups bred very successfully in the first five years, but then the number of pregnancies decreased and females ceased breeding. In these groups, no new animals had been introduced since their establishment. Subsequently, in some of these groups, a new breeding male was introduced after several years with low breeding results. The effects were often striking. The number of births increased considerably and even old females who had not breed for many years raised offspring. It seems that females lose interest in the breeding male if they have been living together for more than four years. This phenomenon was especially observed in Saimiri boliviensis.

There have been very few exchanges of animals between zoos. Some zoos have bred for more than ten years without exchanging one animal, not even a breeding male. Considerable inbreeding may have taken place in some groups.

Squirrel monkeys in the wild live in large social groups of 20 to 60 individuals. Even groups of several hundred animals have been reported. More than 75% of the groups in European zoos contain less than ten individuals, while most reproduction in the population has occurred in the larger groups. This shows that there may be a strong correlation between group size and breeding success.

3: Recommendations for improvements in husbandry

The information obtained from the surveys makes it possible to give some recommendations that may improve the husbandry of squirrel monkeys.


To understand better the nutritional requirements of squirrel monkeys, we need to link up the information that has been published on their anatomy, their diet in the wild, and nutritional research in captivity. This information was published, together with experiences from participating zoos, in the European regional studbook (Vermeer, 2001). Several sample diets from relatively successful zoos were given, to make it easier for other zoos to create their own diet with the available foodstuffs.

There are three points that may need some extra attention. Firstly, squirrel monkeys have a high need for proteins. Wild squirrel monkeys are highly insectivorous, to which they are anatomically adapted. Research in captivity has shown that the reproductive outcome with a diet containing 25% proteins (as percentage of calories) is much higher than with a diet with less proteins. This has been tested successfully at Apenheul, the Netherlands, which keeps over 100 squirrel monkeys and has had very good breeding results since an increase in the amount of proteins in the diet.

Secondly, squirrel monkeys need high amounts of folic acid in their diet. A deficiency of this vitamin has been associated with coat problems, anaemia, loss of appetite, lethargy, low pregnancy rate, abortions, stillbirths and neonatal deaths (Rasmussen, 1979; Rasmussen et al., 1979, 1980; Rosenblum, 1972). These symptoms can be observed in most squirrel monkey groups in European zoos. Folic acid can be found in green vegetables and in commercial primate foods. However, supplementation seems to be necessary for squirrel monkeys. A supplementation of 0.5 to 1 mg per animal per day has proven to be sufficient to avoid deficiencies (Rasmussen et al., 1980; Rosenblum, 1972). Several zoos have reported an improvement in the coat of their squirrel monkeys after folic acid supplementation (pers. comm.).

Finally, the carbohydrate metabolism of squirrel monkeys may deserve some attention. There have been several reports of an impairment of the carbohydrate metabolism in captivity (Ausman and Gallina, 1978; Davidson et al., 1967). It may be related to stress or other environmental factors. There may be a connection between this impairment and the high number of abortions and stillborn babies in the species. Many zoos have experienced birth problems with their squirrel monkeys. The babies are often too large, resulting in difficulties during parturition, causing mortality of females and offspring. Decreasing the amount of carbohydrates (while replacing them with protein and fat calories) has proven to be very successful in avoiding these problems (personal observations and communications). Wild squirrel monkeys in Peru are pregnant during periods of low fruit availability when they consume many insects (Terborgh, 1983).


The participating institutions have suggested that squirrel monkeys need an enclosure with more than one cage. Squirrel monkey groups tend to split into subgroups, and physical barriers may be important to avoid stress. Large naturalistic outside enclosures give the monkeys more opportunities to catch a large variety of insects, which may be beneficial to their health. Individual squirrel monkeys at La Vallée des Singes, France, have been observed to catch almost a hundred insects per day (Morin, 2000).

Many enclosures in European zoos seem to be too small to keep a breeding group. Most of these zoos started with a viable breeding group, but as mortality has been higher than reproduction, possibly due to the small size of the enclosure, groups have become very small. Zoos that seriously want to keep squirrel monkeys should be willing to create an enclosure that fulfils the requirements noted above.

Social management

Before keeping a species in captivity, zoos should have some knowledge of its natural behaviour. Squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus and Saimiri boliviensis) have a multi-male, multi-female group structure. Males migrate from their natal group, while females are philopatric.

In captivity, it is rarely possible to keep more than two (related) adult males in a group. More males may result in fighting resulting in severe wounds. In the wild, adult males rarely stay for more than two years in the same group (Mitchell, 1994). To keep the females' interest, and to avoid inbreeding, males need to be exchanged at least every four years.

Bonds between related females are often very strong. Creating groups with unrelated females is often very difficult and can cause a lot of stress. New groups have therefore to be formed with related females. Good observation of the animals easily reveals the structure within the group. The social relationships in a group are especially apparent during sleeping. Closely related females form `huddle-groups', and by observing how the animals are sleeping, the social relationships within the group can be detected. Zoos should never separate mothers and daughters, but create new breeding groups with intact huddle-groups. In this way, both the existing group and the new one will have less stress, which will improve health and breeding results.


Although the European population of squirrel monkeys is large, its future is far from secure. Breeding is low, while the population is aging. Fortunately zoos are now becoming much more interested in these animals, and are starting to understand that they have special needs. To keep this interest, and to further improve our knowledge of their husbandry, the population needs to be managed. The management of Saimiri boliviensis was upgraded to EEP-level in 2001, as closer management seemed to be indispensable. The first studbook was published in 2001. Many exchanges have taken place in recent months, which will hopefully result in an improved reproductive outcome. The other populations will still be monitored through two-yearly surveys, but an EEP or ESB will probably be necessary in the near future to manage adequately the large population of Saimiri sciureus sciureus.

Squirrel monkeys are interesting and attractive animals, but difficult to keep in captivity. Zoos must cooperate closely to secure the future of the genus in European zoos.


Ausman, L.M., and Galina, D.L. (1978): Response to glucose loading of the lean squirrel monkey in unrestrained conditions. American Journal of Physiology 234 (1): R20–R24.

Davidson, I.W.F., et al. (1967): Impairment of carbohydrate metabolism of the squirrel monkey. Diabetes 16 (6): 395–401.

Groves, C. (2001): Primate Taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

Mitchell, C.L. (1994): Migration alliances and coalitions among adult male South American squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus). Behaviour 130 (3–4): 169–190.

Morin, E. (2001): Les saïmiris: Quantité et qualité de la nourriture dans l'environnement de la Vallée des Singes. (In French: report of a preliminary study.)

Perschke, M. (1992): Totenkopfäffchen in Menschenhand. Arbeitzplatz Zoo Extra pp. 1–66.

Rasmussen, K.M. (1979): Folic acid needs for breeding and growth of nonhuman primates. In Primates in Nutritional Research (ed. K.C. Hayes), pp. 73–97. Academic Press, New York.

Rasmussen, K.M., Thenen, S.W., and Hayes, K.C. (1979): Folacin deficiency and requirement in the squirrel monkey. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 32: 2508–2518.

Rasmussen, K.M., Thenen, S.W., and Hayes, K.C. (1980): Effect of folic acid supplementation on pregnancy in the squirrel monkey. Journal of Medical Primatology 9: 169–184.

Rosenblum, L.A. (1972): Reproduction of squirrel monkeys in the laboratory. In Breeding Primates (ed. W.I. Beveridge), pp. 130–143. Karger, Basel, Switzerland.

Salzen, E.A. (1989): A closed colony of squirrel monkeys for laboratory studies. In Housing, Care and Psychological Wellbeing of Captive and Laboratory Primates (ed. E.F. Segal), pp. 115–134. Noyes, Park Ridge, New Jersey.

Terborgh, J. (1983): Five New World Primates: A Study in Comparative Ecology. Princeton University Press, New Jersey.

Vermeer, J. (2000): The nutrition of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri).

Vermeer, J. (2001): European Studbook for the Black-capped Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri boliviensis).

Jan Vermeer, La Vallée des Singes, Le Gureau, 86700 Romagne, France (E-mail: ).

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Giant galliwasps are diploglossine anguid lizards restricted to the Neotropics. They are rarely-seen skink-like lizards with snout to vent lengths (SVL) greater than 200 mm. Four species in the genus Celestus, collectively known as West Indian giant galliwasps, occur or occurred on Jamaica and Hispaniola. One, C. occiduus, is endemic to Jamaica: one, C. warreni, to Haiti: and two, C. anelpistus and C. carraui, to the Dominican Republic. Two species in the genus Diploglossus have maximum SVL less than 200 mm. D. monotropis is found from Panama through Colombia, and D. millepunctatus is restricted to Malpelo Island, located off the Pacific coast of Colombia.

These giant galliwasps are impressive lizards, worthy of conservation resources as a unique group of animals. Most have extremely limited ranges and an apparent propensity for extinction. The Jamaican species, C. occiduus, is probably extinct (Schwartz, 1991). One of the species from the Dominican Republic (DR), C. anelpistus, was recently reported to be `at best exceedingly rare and at worst extinct' (Powell et al., 2000). The 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals listed C. anelpistus as Critically Endangered and C. carraui as Endangered. The status of the Haitian species is unknown, but its limited range occurs in a mostly deforested habitat in northern Haiti. The Central/South American species D. monotropis is considered rare throughout its range. The Colombian species D. millepunctatus has an extremely small range restricted to Malpelo Island, a 1-mile by 0.5-mile (1.6 by 0.8 km) barren island.

Giant galliwasps often have significance in the cultures of indigenous people, who often fear the lizards and consider them venomous. Lynn and Grant (1940) described how Jamaicans regarded galliwasps: `They are greatly feared by the natives and are the subject of many yarns and fables.' Currently, a widely held belief in Jamaica is that galliwasps are venomous and that if a bite occurs and the galliwasp reaches water first then the person dies, but if the person reaches water first, the galliwasp dies. The Haitian species is considered venomous by locals, and has significance in Voodoo religion (Needham, pers. comm.). Myers (1973) wrote the following about the giant galliwasp in Central and South America:

`People in northwestern Panama know Diploglossus monotropis by the name escorpion coral. The names used by Colombian Negroes living in eastern Panama are madre de culubra and madre [de] coral. Medem (`1968' [1969]) also recorded the last two names for Colombia. This ``mother of coral snakes'' is naturally believed to be poisonous and is something to be feared.'

The goals of this project are: (1) to conduct and support fieldwork on the endangered giant galliwasps; (2) to help educate people about these lizards; and (3) to developed standardized husbandry protocols for the groups.

Conservation plan

The conservation plan includes captive, field, and educational components. The captive history for giant galliwasps (primarily C. warreni) in the U.S. was less than stellar prior to 1999. Reasonable captive longevities (maximum recorded 12 years) for wild-caught adults were reported, and captive reproduction had occurred at several zoos (Bronx, Knoxville, and Milwaukee) (Lawler and Norris, 1979; C. Berg, pers. comm.; J. Behler, pers. comm.). However, the captive population became extinct in U.S. zoos by 1995, as the inability to raise offspring and the ban on exportation by range countries allowed for no recruitment. In 1998, the AZA Lizard Advisory Group (LAG) voted to add this project to its three-year action plan, and it was determined that a small group of giant galliwasps should be acquired for research to develop husbandry techniques.

The range and conservation status for the endangered and possibly extinct West Indian giant galliwasp species are poorly known. To the author's knowledge, no formal surveys have been completed for any of these species. However, Sixto Incháustegui has been collecting data on C. carraui in the DR for years. Fieldwork is needed, especially for the potentially extinct species, to determine their actual status. An educational component could both aid the fieldwork and help dispel some common misconceptions about galliwasps, which are often killed on sight.

Captive component

Development of a successful captive-management plan could help insure against future extinctions of populations or even species of giant galliwasps. The only known habitat of C. anelpistus, the Come Hombre forest in the DR, was being destroyed as the only four reported wild specimens were collected in 1977. The animals were sent to a zoo where they produced many offspring; but because successful captive management techniques had not been developed, all of the specimens died. A living C. anelpistus has not been documented in almost 20 years. The inability to successfully raise young giant galliwasps is the primary reason captive programs have failed in the past.

As C. warreni is the least endangered West Indian giant galliwasp species, it seemed the best choice for use as a conservation surrogate to develop captive husbandry techniques for the group. After nearly a year of respectful correspondence, the Director General of Haiti's Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development graciously provided permits for the scientific collection of 9.9 C. warreni. In July 2000, with funding provided by Nashville Zoo, Dr Don Gillespie, James Needham, and the author of this paper traveled to Haiti and collected a founder population of C. warreni. Due to the expert care and dedication of the zoo's lead herpetology keeper, Nicole Atteberry, over 300 offspring have been produced from the founder population. The mortality rate has been less than four percent and the oldest offspring are reaching subadult size. The three factors believed to be important for successful husbandry are: (1) intense UV-radiation created by utilizing self-ballasted mercury vapor bulbs; (2) a deep substrate, hot and dry on one side of the cage and cool and moist on the opposite side; and (3) a varied high-calcium and low-fat diet. The captive program will be considered a success when healthy F2 offspring are produced, hopefully in 2003 or 2004, at which time a studbook will be initiated for the group. In addition, the herpetology department at Nashville Zoo recently acquired a small group of Diploglossus monotropis, which will be utilized to develop captive husbandry techniques that may be utilized in the future for the more highly threatened D. millepunctatus.

Field and educational component

Fieldwork should concentrate on the endangered species, about which the least natural history information is available. For this reason, it was decided that fieldwork would concentrate on C. occiduus, C. anelpistus, and C. carraui. These species are represented by relatively few known specimens, indicating that they are extremely rare – two of them may be extinct. However, they may be more common than presently believed due to their presumed crepuscular and semi-fossorial lifestyles. Locating living specimens of any of these species will require some effort, as their relatively unknown localized distributions and apparent rarity may make them difficult to find. Some initial work has been completed in Jamaica.

George Shaw formally described the Jamaican giant galliwasp (C. occiduus) in 1802. It is the largest diploglossine anguid, with a maximum known SVL of 303 mm (Schwartz and Henderson, 1991). Sloane (1725) reported that this species occurred in marsh grounds on several parts of the island. Gosse (1851) wrote that `in the swamps and morasses of Westmoreland, the yellow galliwasp (C. occiduus), so much dreaded and abhorred, yet without reason, might be observed sitting idly in the mouth of its burrow, or feeding on the wild fruits and marshy plants that constitute its food.' In addition to plant material, this species was reported to eat fish (Schwartz and Henderson, 1991). The few preserved specimens are bleached, so few data are available on color or pattern (Schwartz, 1970). Sloane (1725) described a living individual as having scales on the back or upper parts of a brown color, with spots of orange color and an orange belly. In addition, Boulenger (1885) reported that this species was `brownish above, with dark brown spots or cross bands.'

In addition to traditional survey methods, it was determined that an efficient strategy to locate unknown populations of giant galliwasps would be to involve local people. This strategy could also help to educate the local people about the presence, lack of venom, and need for conservation of galliwasps. A poster was developed and produced for the project in Jamaica with a grant received from the Columbus Zoo Conservation Fund. A generous donation to the project by Rob Ferran funded the initial survey work in Jamaica. In January 2001, Dr Byron Wilson (University of the West Indies), Steve Conners (Miami Metrozoo), and the author conducted initial habitat surveys and interviews with local people, and distributed posters in wetland areas along the southern coast of Jamaica. In addition, a television spot about the project was taped and played over the entire island, and a newspaper article about it was published some time later. Three sites (the upper Black River morass, a small patch of swamp forest on the lower Black River morass, and Alligator Hole) were identified for more intensive survey work based on the results of the initial survey and feedback from local people.

In 1956, Cousens reported that a Jamaican giant galliwasp had not been collected in over one hundred years. Several authors have presumed that it is extinct, although no comprehensive survey has been conducted. Recently, Crombie (1999) reported that he believed that `. . . declarations that the species is extinct may be premature.' The Jamaican iguana (Cyclura collei) was thought to be extinct on mainland Jamaica in the twentieth century until 1970 when a dead specimen was found (Vogel, 1990). The first living specimen was found in 1990 (Vogel, 1990). If a large, diurnally active, terrestrial iguana could go unnoticed for almost 100 years in Jamaica near the capital city of Kingston, then a smaller lizard with a probable crepuscular or nocturnal and semi-fossorial lifestyle may still occur there in an area that Crombie (1999) described in relation to herpetology as follows: `. . . the single most extensive wetlands area in Jamaica is the Black River and its tributaries. With its large estuary and bay, in addition to broad inland freshwater swamps, this area remains very poorly collected and barely explored.'

Conclusions and the future

Two (C. anelpistus, C. occiduus) of the four species of West Indian giant galliwasps have been listed respectively as possibly and probably extinct. Surveys for these two species are critical. Collar (1998) stated that a `commitment to extinction' is perhaps most likely `when we declare species extinct too soon, sealing them off from further investigation.' He also suggested that these assumptions of extinction can be self-fulfilling.

Intensive surveys of the identified localities in Jamaica are planned for late 2002 or early 2003. Funding sources are being identified to support researchers in the Dominican Republic to conduct surveys for the endangered galliwasps in that country in 2003 and 2004. When captive-management techniques have been developed for Diploglossus monotropis, Nashville Zoo staff will work to acquire a small genetically viable captive population of D. millepunctatus. This population will be utilized for research and as a reserve population for this species, which could become extinct by a single catastrophic event due to its extremely restricted range.

Ideally, populations of the potentially extinct species will be found and habitat will be protected for them. Due to their fossorial lifestyle, specimens of these species may be found as their isolated habitats are altered by heavy equipment, as was the case for C. anelpistus in 1977. None of these specimens or their offspring survived longer than three years in zoos, and a living specimen has not been recorded since. If a similar situation occurs in the future, hopefully, the chances for survival will be enhanced.


I would like to thank Rick Schwartz, the Nashville Zoo Director, for his support for this project. Thanks are also in order for the herpetology staff and veterinary staff at Nashville Zoo for their help with the captive population of giant galliwasps. Thanks also to James Needham, Dr Don Gillespie, Dr Byron Wilson, Dr Robert Powell, Sixto Incháustegui, Jose Ottenwalder, Rick Hudson, Julian Duval and others who have contributed to the making of this project over the years. My special thanks to Dr Robert Powell, Sixto Incháustegui, and my wonderful wife Marcia for help with this article.


Boulenger, G.A. (1885): Catalogue of the Lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2. British Museum, London.

Collar, N.J. (1998): Extinction by assumption; or the Romeo error on Cebu. Oryx 32 (4): 239–244.

Cousens, P.N. (1956): Notes on the Jamaican and Cayman Island lizards of the genus Celestus. Breviora 56: 1–6.

Crombie, R.I. (1999): Jamaica. In Caribbean Amphibians and Reptiles (ed. B.I. Crother), pp. 63–92. Academic Press, San Diego.

Gosse, P.H. (1851): A Naturalist's Sojourn in Jamaica. Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, London.

Incháustegui, S.J., Schwartz, A., and Henderson, R.W. (1985): Hispaniolan giant Diploglossus (Sauria: Anguidae): description of a new species and notes on the ecology of D. warreni. Amphibia–Reptilia 6: 195–201.

IUCN (1996): 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Lynn, W.G., and Grant, C. (1940): The Herpetology of Jamaica. Bulletin of the Institute of Jamaica, Science Series 1: 1–148.

Lawler, H.E., and Norris, C. (1979): Breeding the Haitian giant galliwasp, Diploglossus warreni (Sauria: Anguidae) at the Knoxville Zoological Park. Proceedings of the Third Annual Symposium on Captive Propagation and Husbandry, pp. 73–79.

Myers, C.W. (1973): Anguid lizards of the genus Diploglossus in Panama with a description of a new species. American Museum Novitates 2523: 1–20.

Powell, R., Ottenwalder, J.A., Incháustegui, S.J., Henderson, R.W., and Glor, R. (2000): Terrestrial amphibians and reptiles of the Dominican Republic: species of special concern. Oryx 34: 118–128.

Schwartz, A. (1970): A new species of large Diploglossus (Sauria: Anguidae) from Hispaniola. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 82: 777–788.

Schwartz, A., Graham, E.D., Jr., and Duval, J.J. (1979): A new species of Diploglossus (Sauria: Anguidae) from Hispaniola. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 92: 1–9.

Schwartz, A., and Henderson, R.W. (1991): Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies: Descriptions, Distributions, and Natural History. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.

Sloane, H. (1725): A Voyage to the Islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, St Cristophers, and Jamaica; with the Natural History . . . of the Last of these Islands. Vol. 2. London.

Vogel, P. (1990): Rediscovery of the Jamaican iguana (Cyclura collei). In Conservation of West Indian Herpetofauna through Captive Propagation (eds. B. Johnson and F. Paine), pp. 97–98. AAZPA, Wheeling.

Dale McGinnity, Curator of Ectotherms, Nashville Zoo, 3777 Nolensville Road, Nashville, Tennessee 37211, U.S.A. (E-mail: )

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Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) made zoo history at Milwaukee on 2 December 1919 with the birth of Zero. `This cub was successfully reared and was believed to have been the first polar bear to be reared in captivity' (Crandall, 1964). As of 1953, the zoo claimed the record for the most polar bears raised (Anon., 1953). This zoo, the Washington Park Zoo, founded in the 1890s (Anon., 1992), acquired its first polar bears in August 1912 (Osman, 1953). Since then, polar bears have been kept continually at the Washington Park facility and, after 1960, at its cross-town successor, the Milwaukee County Zoo. Between 1912 and 2002, 30 polar bears have been kept at this zoo for a period of at least one year, and there have been 29 births resulting in 37 cubs.

Milwaukee's first polar bears and the birth of Zero

The Washington Park Zoo began to exhibit polar bears in 1912 after obtaining four (3.1) wild-born cubs. They were caught off the east coast of Greenland in June 1912 by Norwegian fishermen (Speidel, 1949). The cubs were about nine months old and weighed about fifty pounds (23 kg) apiece on arrival (Heller, 1930, 1932). The males were named Silver King, Clown and Borealis, and the female Sultana. It was the birth of Zero to Silver King and Sultana that really caught the attention of the public and zoo professionals. For years, local newspaper accounts described this interest. An article in a local newspaper (Anon., 1932) reported:

`When Zero was born, zoo experts all over the world scoffed at Milwaukee's chances of keeping the cub alive. Cubs had been born in the London Zoo and in the Carl Hagenbeck Menagerie in Germany, but all died before they were even a few weeks old – victims of their mothers' neglect. But when Zero grew up, officials of the London and Hagenbeck organizations came to Milwaukee to ask questions of Edward H. Bean, then director, and keepers.'

The article goes on to mention that Charles Stanke, the keeper who was responsible more than any other human being for Milwaukee's success, claimed that there was no particular trick:

`A cage fitted with a bathing pool, plenty of clean straw and absolute solitude are needed. Along in November, every other year, Stanke fills her den with straw. After Sultana retires she closes the opening – which is just large enough to admit her – with a pile of the straw. From then until March or April, when the cubs have passed the infant stage, Stanke leaves Sultana strictly to herself, not even entering to clean out the old straw. His only attention is to see Sultana has plenty of fresh straw, which he tosses over the bars into the outside cage.'

In addition to a `hands-off' approach, credit is also given to Sultana's `wonderfully placid disposition – for a bear' (Osman, 1953).

Husbandry at the Washington Park Zoo

Heller (1930, 1932) gives us insight into the rearing conditions in those early years:

`Every day their keeper, Charlie Stanke, brought them large loaves of bran bread to eat, also, many fresh ``herring'' from Lake Michigan, bunches of carrots, and several meaty dog biscuits. A few dried salt fish were also added to their daily rations. In summer, they received baskets full of fresh green grass, which they ate with a relish during the early summer for a period of one month. Another delicacy, which they particularly liked, was cod-liver oil, which they received once a week the year round. Their playground was a large [186 m2] yard fifty feet [15.2 m] long and forty feet [12.2 m] wide with a cave or dark den forty feet [12.2 m] in length by ten feet [3.0 m] in width and eight feet [2.4 m] in height built into the back wall. In this dark den the bears could retire at any time to sleep or hibernate, free from the prying eyes of people. A large swimming pool twenty-five feet [7.6 m] long and fifteen feet [4.8 m] wide and eight feet [2.4 m] deep was a source of great delight to them and in its waters they dove and swam everyday, both summer and winter. In these ample quarters the four bears lived together for eight happy years, Sultana associating with the three males, Silver King, Clown, and Borealis.'

The Sultana dynasty

Sultana turned out to be remarkable in other ways as well. The Specimen Reports (Anon., 2002a) and the Taxon Report for Ursus maritimus (Anon., 2002b) both list the 1937 cub as the last for Sultana, while Crandall (1964) states that the 1935 cubs were the last. Even using the 1935 figure, she is credited by Jacobi (1968) as being the oldest female, at 24 years, to give birth in captivity. According to the Specimen Reports, Sultana produced 13 cubs; if the 1933 cub, which is listed as having unknown parents, is credited to her, as it is by Speidel (1949), then Sultana had 14 cubs. This amounts to a `world record' according to an article in the Washington Park Zoological Society of Milwaukee (Anon., 1938). Many of these cubs survived into adulthood and many were twins. Sultana died on 13 April 1947, making her about 35 years, four months old at death (on the assumption that she was born some time in November or December prior to capture). This makes her the oldest polar bear so far in the Milwaukee collection. The Sultana era extended well beyond her death in 1947 through her descendants. They established a 70-year-long dynasty extending from the arrival of Sultana in 1912 to 1982 with the death of Frosty, the last Sultana descendant in residence. Sultana produced many cubs on an alternate year basis, with Silver King siring the first seven of these and Borealis siring her last cubs after Silver King's death. He was euthanized on 16 October 1928. The Specimen Report (Anon., 2002a) and Doolittle (1932, p. 76) mention that this was done due to his having hydatidosis. This condition is caused by ingestion of the eggs of a tapeworm (Echinococcus sp.) with the subsequent formation of large cysts or hydatids in various parts of the body, especially the liver and the lungs.

Sultana II, born to Sultana and Borealis on 5 December 1931, was also very successful. In turn, two of her offspring, Artice (a male) and Miss Bartlett, helped to continue the dynasty. From Sultana to Frosty, there are a maximum of five generations of polar bears. The Official Guide Book for the Milwaukee County Zoo (Anon., 1967, p. 13) states, `All our individuals today are descendants of those born here. Although closely inbred, they seem to inherit the best characteristics.' However, a family tree reveals the extent of inbreeding, reinforcing Kroening's (1972/1973) remark that `it is high time that we change the blood line.'

Some of the misfortunes of the Sultana era

Of the original four wild-caught bears, Clown came to the most unusual end. He escaped from the zoo on 11 April 1928 and was shot and killed by the police. At the time, there was no moat in front of the bear dens at Washington Park, only bars, and Silver King and Clown were fighting, trying to get into each other's pen. Clown got out at about three or four o'clock in the morning and was shot and killed at about 8 a.m. (Osman, 1953).

Other misfortunes arose when one of the directors of the Washington Park Zoo had polar bears, grizzly bears, black bears, and even wolves sharing a common exhibit. Eventually, three black bears were drowned by the polar bears. The director was censured by the park board and the animals were separated (Osman, 1953). Even after separation, problems continued due to the behaviour of the male polar bear, Greely. In the words of the Milwaukee Journal (Anon., 1940), `A sulky and morose animal with occasional flashes of murderous temper, Greely was responsible for the deaths of three bears at the zoo.' He killed his twin sister, Niobi, in 1930. In 1935, he tore the leg off of a little black bear in a neighboring cage. On 10 April 1939, he led the attack that killed Borealis (Anon., 1939). One of the sad stories that came out of this era was the plight of the abandoned cub, Cumulus. He was born to Borealis II and Cirrus on 4 December 1955. This story (Anon., 1956) was one of frustration for the zookeepers. Attempts to keep the cub warm using electric heating pads, a surrogate mother in the form of a nursing beagle, hand-feeding with manufactured dog's milk, then goat's milk, time in an oxygen tent, and around-the-clock attention did not work. The cub died at 12 days old.

The move to the new zoo

On 5 August 1960, the bears were moved from Washington Park to the present facility, the Milwaukee County Zoo. Here they occupy a 361-m2 moated outdoor gunite exhibit. Underwater viewing was added in 1986, with an area of 126 m2. The outdoor exhibit is connected to separate indoor cages and two outdoor carousel cages that are non-public areas. The new zoo incorporates breeding dens which maintain the successful features from the Washington Park Zoo. George Speidel, the director at the zoo from 1947 to 1979, said: `The breeding dens are approximately ten feet by ten feet [3 by 3 m]. The pregnant bears are separated from the group early in October and are given this very seclusive den. We have no known temperatures, except no heat is provided. We give them extensive beds of shavings and straw and no one goes near them until the cubs are brought out.' (Jacobi, 1968).

The five bears, Cirrus, Miss Bartlett, Artice, and their youngsters, Alaska and Hawaii (Anon., 1960), moved from Washington Park to continue this popular exhibit, went on producing cubs. For years, all lived peacefully, until 19 November 1981, when Hawaii, almost 23 years old, was attacked by Frosty in the outdoor exhibit as she was waiting to be admitted to the indoor area. She was euthanized due to severe head injuries (Don Schuetz, keeper, pers. comm.). Then, on 17 May 1984, Cirrus II died from a ruptured stomach and septicemia after falling into the 20-foot-deep (6 m) dry moat which runs along the front of the exhibit (Anon., 2002a). Cirrus II was a male, purchased from the Bronx Zoo in New York on 1 December 1982; he was born on 9 December 1981.

To replace the dwindling Sultana dynasty, new bears were obtained from various sources. These included two females, Mishka, born at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo on 10 December 1982, and Aurora, born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on 13 November 1982. Mishka arrived in 1983 and Aurora in 1984. A third addition was Callisto, born at Detroit Zoo in 1983. Zero, born on 14 December 1989 to Callisto and Mishka, was the first polar bear born at the zoo in 18 years; he arrived 70 years after the birth of his namesake, the first Zero. The old formula of leaving the pregnant female alone was adhered to. Mishka was placed in isolation in a relatively small, dark area on 30 November. The chamber and the drained outdoor pool were lined with straw. Zero was not seen until 16 February 1990, though his vocalizations were evident from birth on. On 1 May, the straw was removed from the two-meter-deep pool and it was refilled with water. Zero learned to swim by 24 May. As expected, Zero `the younger' was very popular with the public. He really got attention when on 6 June 1990 Mishka accidentally bumped him into the moat, all in front of a group of school children. He was rescued unhurt (Anon., 1990), but somehow ended up in the moat again on 28 September (Anon., 2002a). A ladder was placed in the moat for him, but he spent two weeks down there before climbing out on 10 October.

Callisto, who had been kept separated from Mishka and Zero, developed chronic eye problems caused by eyelashes rubbing on the corneas of both eyes. On 17 September 1992 he was anesthetized for treatment but died of respiratory arrest (Anon., 2002a). He was only eight years and nine months old. After his death Aurora, who had been loaned to the Henry Vilas Park Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, in June 1989, was returned to Milwaukee, and Mishka was sent to Madison to prevent possible inbreeding with her son, Zero. Aurora remained at Milwaukee from 1993 to 2001, with the hopes that she would breed with Zero. Though she showed signs of courtship behavior and Zero was very interested in her (Anon., 2002a), it was not successful, and Aurora was finally donated to Cleveland Zoo in 2001. Chukchi was obtained as a more promising breeding candidate. A donation from Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Chukchi was a successful breeder and had produced cubs. Other than a fall into the moat, her stay at Milwaukee has been uneventful. Although mating was seen between Chukchi and Zero in May 2001, no pregnancy has resulted; but the zoo is optimistic that eventually a successful breeding will occur.

Over the eighty-year history of polar bears in Milwaukee, ten different females have produced 37 cubs. Only the original female, Sultana, was wild-caught. Reproductive spans (the length of time between a female's first and last cubs) ranged from one to 18 years. All cubs were born between mid-November and the end of December.


We would like to thank Ann Grittinger and Dr Greta Grittinger-Odders for their suggestions on this paper. We would particularly like to thank all the zookeepers responsible for the 80 years of success rearing polar bears in Milwaukee.


Anon. (1932): Tenth cub born to polar bear at zoo. Milwaukee Journal (26 February).

Anon. (1938): Our friends at the zoo. Washington Park Zool. Soc. of Milwaukee 11 (1).

Anon. (1939): Patricide at zoo; polar king slain by offspring. Milwaukee Sentinel (11 April).

Anon. (1940): Mercy shot ends life of Greely, killer of fellow bears at the zoo. Milwaukee Journal (23 April).

Anon. (1953): 17th polar bear born at the zoo still in `nursery'. Milwaukee Zoo News 2 (9): 3–4.

Anon. (1956): Saga of Cumulus grasped attention of city, nation. Milwaukee Zoo News 4 (10).

Anon. (1960): Elephants, bears move to new zoo. Milwaukee Zoo News 9 (2).

Anon. (1967): Official Guide Book Milwaukee County Zoo. Milwaukee County Park Commission.

Anon. (1990): Polar birth: countdown to Zero. Alive 10 (3): 8–9.

Anon. (1992): Wild since 1892. The first 50 years. Alive 12 (3): 4–7.

Anon. (2002a): Milwaukee County Zoo ISIS Specimen Reports. Unpublished data.

Anon. (2002b): Taxon Report for Ursus maritimus. Unpublished data.

Crandall, L.S. (1964): The Management of Wild Mammals in Captivity. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Doolittle, W.O. (ed.) (1932): Zoological Parks and Aquariums. American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums.

Heller, E. (1930): Polar bears reared in Milwaukee. Bulletin of the Washington Park Zoological Society of Milwaukee 1 (2): 2–5.

Heller, Edmund. 1932. Polar bears reared in Milwaukee. Zoological Parks and Aquariums (American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums), 70–76.

Jacobi, E.F. (1968): Breeding facilities for polar bears, Thalarctos maritimus (Phipps, 1774), in captivity. Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 38: 39–46.

Kroening, W.E. (ed.) (1972/1973): The bear that made Milwaukee famous. Operating Review and Report 1972/1973 Zoological Society of Milwaukee County.

Osman, L.H. (1953): Zoo had anniversary in its polar `bearing'. Milwaukee Journal (2 January).

Speidel, G. (1949): Milwaukee's polar bears. Parks and Recreation 32 (4): 235–237.

Thomas F. Grittinger, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin Sheboygan, Sheboygan, 53081 Wisconsin, U.S.A. (E-mail: ); Elizabeth Frank, Curator of Large Mammals, Milwaukee County Zoo, 10001 W. Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, 53226 Wisconsin, U.S.A. (E-mail: ).

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Two recent items in I.Z.N. reported that female southern white rhinoceroses at two different locations had given birth to ten or 12 young, and each was believed to have been the greatest number born to a female. The first was at Memphis, Tennessee, a female who had ten offspring (I.Z.N. 49:2, p. 120), and the other at Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K., with 12 (I.Z.N. 49:4, p. 224). It would seem that neither collection is aware that the Berlin Zoological Garden publishes a studbook for the species and has now done so for years. Copies are regularly sent to all of the collections that hold the species, but perhaps they are placed on a shelf or in a cabinet and not really read and examined for the great amount of information they contain – otherwise the two people submitting the data to I.Z.N. would have realised they were far from correct.

Actually no fewer than 12 southern white rhino (Ceratotherium s. simum), three black rhino (Diceros bicornis) and four Indian rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) females have given birth to ten or more young in captivity. A few are now deceased, but most are still alive and in most cases still breeding. What follows is a summary of all of them, with comments as to age and location.

The most prolific up to now is the white female Komaas, wild-born about 1963, who came to San Diego Wild Animal Park on 17 February 1971, had her first young on 3 February 1973, and has had 16 young to date. Close behind is the female white Mfolozi, born about 1961, and also at San Diego Wild Animal Park since 1971; she had her first calf on 14 December 1972, and has had 15 young to date. Female black rhino Elly, wild-born in Kenya in 1971, and at San Francisco Zoo since 16 April 1974, has now had 14 young.

There are four females with 12 young. The Edinburgh white female Umfolozi, wild-born about 1969, was first kept at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, U.K., where she arrived on 5 August 1970, and where she was mated by the male Mpugwana. She was pregnant by him when she was moved to Edinburgh, where she arrived along with her present mate – and sire of all her subsequent offspring – Kruger, on 10 May 1976. Her first calf was born at Edinburgh five months after she arrived, on 27 October 1976. The Indian female Jaypuri, wild-born in 1963, came first to San Diego Zoo on 28 February 1965, and was transferred to the new Wild Animal Park on 26 April 1972. She also had 12 young, the first born on 24 March 1975. She is now retired and living at The Zoo at Gulf Breeze, Florida. Another white female to have had 12 young is Phoebe, wild-born in 1969 and living since 13 February 1971 at San Antonio Zoo, Texas; her first calf was born on 20 January 1975. The black female Hana, wild-born in 1966 and living since 14 July 1971 at Hiroshima's Asa Zoological Park, Japan, has likewise had 12 young.

Other females who have had ten or more young are as follows:

Doris, white, wild-born 1969, living at Hodenhagen Safari Park, Germany, since 3 August 1974, 11 young;

Molly, white, wild-born 1969, at Hodenhagen since 3 August 1974, 11 young;

Joymothi, Indian, wild-born 1947, arrived Basel Zoo, Switzerland, 8 July 1952, died there 10 November 1983, ten young;

Nanda, Indian, born at Basel Zoo 1965, moved to Stuttgart Zoo, Germany, 29 May 1968 and died there 13 July 1992, ten young;

Gainda, Indian, born at San Diego Wild Animal Park in 1978 and still living there, ten young;

Nelly, white, wild-born 1971, living at Safari Beekse Bergen, the Netherlands, since 26 September 1972, ten young;

Tombi, white, wild-born 1972, arrived at Kings Dominion, Doswell, Virginia, 2 October 1972, moved to Memphis Zoo 16 April 1976, ten young;

Aggi, white, wild-born 1968, at Lion Country Safari, Florida, since 3 October 1972, ten young;

an unnamed female (Studbook No. 406), wild-born 1969, living at Lichtenburg Game Reserve, South Africa, since 9 September 1976, ten young;

Igor, white, wild-born 1967, living since 1 January 1968 at Six Flags Adventure Park, Jackson, New Jersey, a minimum of ten young (this park had several calves born for whom the dams were not known);

Lottie, black, born Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio, 27 January 1961, moved to Oklahoma City Zoo 28 June 1963, then to Detroit Zoo, Michigan, 5 November 1985, where she died 6 March 1994, ten young.

Hopefully this list will be increased in the future as more attention is paid to captive breeding, but it does show just how well some individual females of the various rhinoceros species are reproducing in captivity.


My thanks to the white and black rhinoceros studbooks coordinator at Berlin Zoo, Frau H. Mercado, and the Indian rhinoceros studbook keeper at Basel Zoo, Dr Gabriele Wirz-Hlavacek.

Marvin L. Jones, 4070 Kansas Street, Apt. 205, San Diego, California 92104–2515, U.S.A.

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Bristol Zoo Gardens, U.K., like the majority of zoos, features wildlife from all over the world, and in more recent times has developed a strategy of focusing upon species of conservation concern. The zoo has also been involved in supporting a variety of in situ conservation projects for a number of years in locations as far afield as Cameroon, the Philippines and Brazil. However, the zoo recognises the importance of native (British) wildlife and habitats too.

In the early 1990s Bristol Zoo Gardens began a partnership with the Hawk and Owl Trust, sponsoring the work of their conservation officer in the south-west, Chris Sperring [see I.Z.N. 38 (2), p. 38 – Ed.]. This work resulted in the natural recolonisation by barn owls (Tyto alba) of the old Avon area, through creation of grassland verges and working with local landowners, including farmers.

Following the successful `Barn Owl Project' the idea was suggested of enabling local people to get involved in native wildlife conservation projects with help from the zoo and drawing upon Chris Sperring's expertise and experience. The zoo applied to the Millennium Commission, a U.K. national lottery fund, to become a Millennium Awards partner and receive a grant to enable creation of our local conservation awards.

The Bristol Zoo Gardens Millennium Awards for Conservation were launched at the zoo by botanist and conservationist Dr David Bellamy in March 1999, with the aim of enabling 40 people from the South-West of England and South Wales to design and implement their own local wildlife conservation projects.

The awards were operated by Bristol Zoo Gardens in partnership with the Hawk and Owl Trust (with half of Chris Sperring's time devoted to the scheme) and the Millennium Commission, whose grant of £168,000 provided 79% of the budget (the remaining 21% of the costs being contributed by the zoo).

The award winners were selected through an application form and interview process and were required to demonstrate that their project idea would benefit wildlife, the community and themselves. They were given support over a period of around two years and a grant of up to £4,650.

Summary of Achievements

– Forty award recipients' projects were completed;

– The award winners were aged between 20 and 75 years, came from throughout the area, both city and country, and focused upon a wide range of species;

– The lowest award was £2,225 and the highest £4,650 (average £3,600);

– The length of the projects ranged from 14 months to 28 months (average 23 months);

– The awards yielded measurable benefits for wildlife, the community and the individuals concerned.

What did award winners do?

The award winners designed and implemented projects that focused upon particular habitats; such as ponds, grassland or hedgerows; or upon a particular species, some of which have local or national listed status, e.g. dormouse, badger, greater horseshoe bat, common toad, peregrine falcon, bee orchid, Bath asparagus (Ornithogalum pyrenaicum) and adder's tongue spearwort (Ranunculus ophioglossifolius). All of the projects have made a contribution to support biodiversity in the region. There follow some examples of the work undertaken by award winners.

Stella Fisher, a retired head teacher, used her award to facilitate the cleaning out and restocking of a large pond in the centre of the town of Cheltenham. The pond had been neglected for many years. After Stella's work it is now home to a diversity of aquatic life, as well as causing an increase in local bird diversity, and has become a local community wild space.

A number of award winners actually created new ponds. For example, Julia James excavated a large area on land near her house, put in a pond liner and established an excellent wildlife pond, now teeming with life, including 11 species of dragonfly; she also created a native wildflower meadow adjacent to it, in a rural area near to the city of Bath. One of the other ponds was created by award winner Terry Mullin, and is adjacent to an inner-city housing estate and on the grounds of a local primary school, so it has become the focus of `pond-dipping' and wildlife discovery lessons.

The award scheme enabled Tracey Berridge, from Croyde in North Devon, to buy safety equipment to assist toads across the road. Her studies and investigation into the migration of the toads in her area resulted in the breeding ponds and migration route being designated as a county wildlife site. The collation of data and report writing was also assisted by the purchase of a computer through the award, and this equipment also enabled the production of leaflets and a newsletter for her group, Croyde Amphibian Rescue.

The awards helped a diversity of people and projects, not just those that created new habitats. For example, Yvonne Cox used her award to establish a wildlife rescue centre, specialising in helping hedgehogs, north of Bristol. Sharon Ubank used her award to raise the profile of local wildlife and wild places on land adjacent to one of the fastest growing housing estates in the country (Bradley Stoke, Bristol). Sharon organised local walks and published a book about the farm that now forms part of the housing estate.

A local university student, Ed Drewitt, used his award to help him study the dietary habits of peregrine falcons, and this resulted in a feature article in BBC Wildlife magazine (July 2001), and ultimately a job in education with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Another local student, Ben Rose, was able to study the habitat requirements of a locally important plant species, the Bath asparagus, and to create a website to raise the profile of this plant.

The 40 award winners also included: retired doctor, John Perrin, whose ancient lime woodland in Gloucestershire became home to dormice; bat enthusiast Rebecca Collins, who established a county bat group for Herefordshire, and became so involved that she decided to set up her own environmental consultancy; and school teacher Simon Pugh-Jones, whose passion for orchids has taken him and his students to the Mata Atlantica forest in Brazil – the award enabled him to expand his work into the propagation of native (British) orchids.

How was the awards scheme managed?

The awards were a new development in our conservation work and therefore involved some `on the job learning'. As the idea came from Stephen Woollard, Assistant Head of Education, it was decided that he would be manager of the awards (Head Millennium Awards), with Chris Sperring as Awards Field Manager.

The management of the awards was complicated by the requirements of the majority funder, the Millennium Commission. All of the award winners had to receive approval from the Commission, and the zoo had to provide quarterly reports, in a very specific format, to the Commission. In addition, award winners had to claim their financial grant as needed, a bit at a time, submitting receipts or invoices for payment.

Field support was provided via site visits (on average quarterly) and through phone and e-mail contact. In addition regular meetings were held at the zoo and an e-group was established to enable award winners to network together.

Over the three years that the awards were operational (March 1999 to July 2002) it is estimated that the Field Manager committed 500 working days to the scheme, and the Head Millennium Awards 280 working days. This was more than we had anticipated, largely due to the extra paperwork in dealing with claims and payments to comply with the Millennium Commission's requirements.

The awards were also affected by the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the U.K. in 2001. This resulted in some project modifications and the postponing of many site visits. However, the award winners were still able to achieve their objectives and many used the time to develop other aspects of their project ideas, including providing information for their community.


The Bristol Zoo Gardens Millennium Awards for Conservation have been very successful and yielded measurable benefits to wildlife, the community and the individuals concerned:

Benefits to wildlife:

– Creation of at least 15 new habitat areas, including ponds, hedges and grassland verges;

– The designation of ponds in Croyde, North Devon, as a county wildlife site and the third most important for toads in the U.K.;

– Woolaston Lime Coppice, Gloucestershire, registered as a National Dormouse Project Monitoring Site;

– Planting of at least 4,000 trees and over half a kilometre of hedgerow, along with hundreds of shrubs, bulbs and seeds;

– 100 bird nest boxes, 50 dormouse boxes, and 15 bat boxes erected;

– Species records made on a variety of sites throughout the region, with over 160 plant species and 70 bird species recorded, in addition to countless invertebrates; many new to the sites surveyed.

Benefits to the community:

– It is estimated that as a whole, the award projects have had contact with over 3,000 people, plus reports in the press (newspapers, radio and television) and through the work of the zoo;

– Local community groups and individuals were directly involved in tree planting, scrub clearance, habitat maintenance and species recording;

– Hundreds of school children have been studying and recording wildlife on many of the sites;

– Open days have been held for local residents and members of wildlife groups such as the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, the Wildlife Trusts and other community groups;

– A number of the award winners have given talks and presentations and been involved in providing information and advice to others;

– The new habitats and enhanced wildlife sites, along with the expertise of the award winners, are now a community and wildlife resource for the future.

Benefits to the individual award recipients:

– The awards provided a boost in recipients' confidence and abilities;

– Personal computer skills were developed, including the use of PowerPoint, scanning, e-mail and web pages;

– Training courses were attended on subjects such as species identification, habitat management, photography, and information technology skills;

– The awards enabled people to put their ideas into action;

– The awards made possible networking and contact with others who are interested in local wildlife and community projects.

Benefits to the zoo:

The awards scheme not only benefited the individuals, community and wildlife in the area, but also had significant benefits to the zoo. For example:

– Publicity for the work of the zoo and Zoological Society in native species conservation;

– Greater recognition by the local conservation community, and the public, of the zoo's role with native species;

– The award of an MBE for Chris Sperring's work, which the zoo has supported for many years;

– Commendation in the U.K. Federation of Zoos Conservation Awards for 2000 in recognition of the award scheme's contribution to native species conservation;

– Development of staff skills in running and managing community wildlife projects.

The awards were closed with a `Celebration of Achievements' held at the zoo in June 2002 and attended by award winners, their guests, local councillors, representatives from local wildlife organisations, the Lord Mayor of Bristol, and Dr David Bellamy. At the event, ten award winners gave presentations on their projects, and this attracted local media coverage. In closing the award scheme, Dr Bellamy said:

`I am most impressed by the award winners' dedication to their projects. By really focusing on a particular habitat or species, they have learnt more about biodiversity and shared with their communities practical ways to protect the environment. They are part of a conservation renaissance for this new millennium. I congratulate them on their achievements and Bristol Zoo Gardens for its foresight and practical direct support for conservation.'

The success of the awards is further illustrated by the fact that most of the award winners are continuing their projects into the future and have attracted people in their communities to take an interest in wildlife around them, and even to get involved too. The awards have shown that a small amount of money, together with expert practical help and advice, can make a significant contribution to native wildlife conservation and community action.


The awards were a great success thanks to the efforts of the 40 award winners and the people who helped them to enact their projects. The Millennium Commission provided 79% of the funds required to operate the awards. Chris Sperring, MBE, and the Hawk and Owl Trust provided expert field support. A number of other organisations and individuals were also involved, including several Bristol Zoo Gardens staff (for example Development Manager Neil Maddison who put the funding proposal together to secure Millennium Commission funding), and Dr David Bellamy, who supported the scheme from start to finish.

[The final report of the awards scheme is available as a pdf file in the conservation section of the Bristol Zoo Gardens website ( ).]

Stephen P. Woollard, Head Millennium Awards, Assistant Head of Education, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3HA. U.K. (E-mail: ).

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Wild colony of eastern waldrapps found

Northern bald ibises or waldrapps (Geronticus eremita) have been discovered breeding in Syria. In April 2002, three incubating pairs and a seventh adult were found in a desertic steppe area in the centre of the country by a team carrying out wildlife surveys on behalf of the Syrian government's Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform (MAAR). Three chicks subsequently fledged successfully, and all the birds had left the breeding site by 8 July.

This is the first evidence of the continued breeding of waldrapps in the Middle East since a colony at Bireçek, Turkey, became extinct in 1989. Since then there have been sporadic sightings in Saudi Arabia and Eritrea, suggesting that a breeding population existed somewhere in the region, and evidence suggests that hundreds of the birds probably inhabited the area of the newly discovered colony only a few decades ago.

The MAAR survey team were optimistic that the species still existed in central Syria, as they had received reports of the birds' presence from Bedouin nomads and local hunters. Project staff responded quickly to the important discovery and two recently-trained eco-tourism guides were appointed to watch over the colony 24 hours a day and collect data on the breeding cycle for the following 11 weeks. Funding and advice was provided by Britain's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, who have considerable expertise in the conservation of waldrapps in Morocco.

Meanwhile, from Morocco, there is encouraging news about the western population of the species, whose feeding habitat was threatened by development. Club Med looks set to shelve its plans for a holiday complex there, and the conservation status of the area seems likely to be upgraded. The birds themselves are continuing to increase, with a recent count of 315 (up from 220 in 1994), and the number of breeding pairs has almost recovered following a mortality incident in 1996 when 38 adults died or disappeared in a ten-day period. The species still remains on the Critically Endangered list, however.

Adapted and abridged from World Birdwatch Vol. 24, No. 3 (September 2002)

European zoos' work for the African wild dog

With only 5,000–6,000 animals estimated to remain, attention to both wild and captive populations of African wild dogs has increased, and an EEP programme was established in 1993. It is coordinated by Wim Verberkmoes, director of Safari Park Beekse Bergen, and nine people representing zoos that hold the species constitute the EEP committee. There are some taxonomic questions regarding this canid, but fortunately all the captive animals appear to be derived from the southern African population, greatly simplifying management.

When the EEP began, wild dogs were often held in pairs, but participants are now encouraged to keep them in larger, more natural, groups. There were 70.55 animals in 39 participating zoos in 1993, with 14 zoos holding groups of four or more animals. At the end of 2001 there were 101.78 animals in 34 zoos, with 20 zoos holding groups of four or more. The European population is genetically healthy, and there is a waiting list for animals. As zoos are often not willing to wait long to fill enclosures, there is a risk that potential spaces for this dog may be filled by other species. The EAZA Canine TAG, also chaired by Wim Verberkmoes, encourages zoos to select canine species included in the European collection plan.

Experiencing group life and rearing of younger group members is important in behavioural development of young African wild dogs. If the group becomes too large, however, there is a negative effect on breeding, and EEP participants are encouraged to transfer dogs from their home group at approximately 1.5 years of age. As new dogs are not accepted into existing groups, the most successful means to maintain genetic variation within the population is to establish new groups. Ideally these groups consist of three brothers from one litter and two sisters from an unrelated litter. While introduction problems are fewer in these cases, particularly if the animals were all parent-reared, problems do sometimes occur. They often begin after the initial introduction, so intensive observation for several weeks is necessary. Worm infestations and parenting problems result in a high pup mortality. Young can be de-wormed, however, and minimizing disturbance to the mother and unrest in the group help to decrease aberrant parenting behaviours.

Safari Park Beekse Bergen and some other EEP-participating zoos support conservation of these animals in the wild. Projects to study social behaviour are supported in Zimbabwe and Tanzania. Vaccination against canine distemper and rabies, two diseases that these dogs have recently come into contact with and have no immunity to, are being undertaken in Kenya, along with a study on population density.

English summary of an article by Rolf Veenhuizen in De Harpij Vol. 21, No. 3 (2002)

Saving the Spix's macaw – latest developments

Tony Juniper, the well-known parrot expert, and discoverer in 1990 of the last remaining wild Spix's macaw in Brazil, chose the 5th International Parrot Convention, hosted on 18–20 September 2002 by the Loro Parque Foundation in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, to launch his new book Spix's Macaw – the Race to Save the World's Rarest Bird (ISBN 1–84115–650–7). In its pages, Tony meticulously details the travails of this species, and the Herculean efforts required for its recovery and restoration to the wild state – something that can now only be achieved by effective repatriation of birds in captivity, of which there are little more than 60.

Declared Extinct in the Wild in December 2000, Spix's macaw is a habitat specialist, being adapted to exist in gallery woodland, especially with caraiba (Tabebuia caraiba) trees alongside the seasonal creeks in the dry caatinga of north-east Brazil. This habitat has suffered catastrophic reduction through large-scale clearance and sustained over-grazing. Only about 30 km2 of the gallery woodland remains in three fragments. On top of this pressure, the species' final descent to extinction was due to intensive trapping pressure for illegal internal and international trade.

In 1990 the Permanent Committee for the Recovery of the Spix's Macaw (CPRAA) was established, overseen by the Brazilian Government Institute for Environment and Natural Renewable Resources (IBAMA), and with the Loro Parque Foundation as a founder member. For ten years up to the disappearance of the last wild bird, the CPRAA sustained multi-disciplinary field and captive conservation programmes. Loro Parque, as principal donor, has invested US$590,200 into the key activities of the field programme, as well as being a participant in the captive-breeding programme. Over the same period to date the captive population has grown from 11 to more than 60 birds.

Although this species can now only be restored by reintroduction of birds from captivity, the field programme has resulted in the creation of much-improved conditions for this to be successful. In particular the programme has developed strong participation by the local community of Curaçá, not just in protecting the wild male, but also in habitat protection and restoration, and improving patterns of livestock grazing. Although a female Spix's macaw released in 1995 to join the male subsequently disappeared, the later reintroduction of a group of blue-winged (Illiger's) macaws (Propyrrhura maracana) to the area as a pilot attempt was successful. During the same period, various innovative techniques for nest manipulation met with similar success. Thus, the cumulative total of activities has prepared the ground for the eventual recovery of this species to the wild state.

The usefulness of the CPRAA has now run its course, and future conservation actions will take place under a different structure. In a landmark vote at the Convention in September, the 850 delegates voted by a 6:1 majority for the urgent return of ownership of all Spix's macaws to the Brazilian government, on whose behalf the holders would continue to maintain and breed the macaws in their own breeding centres. (The Loro Parque Foundation returned ownership of all Spix's macaws in its possession to the Brazilian government several years ago.) The importance of this vote is underlined by the fact that it represents the view of the broadest possible range of interests in parrot aviculture, science and conservation. Meanwhile, on 24 September, a female from Loro Parque was returned to Brazil to be paired with a carefully selected mate to improve the breeding programme there.

Abridged from Loro Parque press releases

Grand Cayman iguana emergency

In June 2002, the Iguana Recovery Program of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands estimated that only 10–25 Cayman Island blue iguanas (Cyclura nubila lewisi) are left in the wild, down from about 100–200 in 1993, making this one of the most critically endangered reptile taxa in the world. Including captive specimens in Grand Cayman and the U.S.A., only 91–120 individuals exist worldwide. Now, scientists sponsored by the International Iguana Foundation are mobilizing a response that may involve collecting the last remaining wild specimens to ensure their safety and attempt recovery.

The greatest threats to the iguanas' survival are habitat loss and killing by feral cats, domestic dogs and road traffic. While additional protected habitat is being secured, the Rock Iguana SSP will attempt to maintain a stable and genetically diverse captive population of 225 iguanas as a hedge against extinction in the wild. In the absence of wild sub-populations, the SSP captive iguanas will effectively become the `backup' population. New dedicated facilities in warm-climate southern zoos are desperately needed. Currently, ten U.S. institutions house a total of 24 iguanas (with some additional eggs and new hatchlings) as part of the SSP. A larger number of head-start iguanas must be generated for future release, but the existing captive-breeding facility in Grand Cayman is too small to accommodate the recommended 1,000-strong population needed for long-term viability. With the facility at maximum capacity, funding is urgently needed to construct new breeding and rearing enclosures. For information on how you can contribute to the Cayman Island blue iguana emergency conservation efforts, visit or contact Rick Hudson of the International Iguana Foundation at .

Abridged from AZA Communiqué (September 2002)

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Extracts from the 2001 Annual Report

On 14 October 2002, the zoo celebrates its 90th anniversary. The oldest zoo in the Baltic countries offers visitors the chance to see 475 species of invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. However, our prime objectives are the preservation of biological diversity, and finding solutions to problems connected with the protection of wild fauna. Our zoo participates in European programmes involving 74 Red List species; and special attention is devoted to the keeping and breeding of representatives of Latvian fauna.

After several decades of stagnation caused by Soviet rule, the visual appearance and content of the zoo is changing. A host of new enclosures have been established, among them the complex for cranes and pelicans, the enclosures for Amur tigers and maned wolves, the restored lions' arena, and in particular the tropical house opened in 2001, where visitors can see up close, in a natural environment, many of the animals that were forced to exist for years in the `backstage' of the zoo.


Notable breeding successes included four European minks (Mustela lutreola novikovi), a South American tapir, a Tibetan wild ass or kiang (Equus kiang holdereri), a banteng and a Himalayan tahr. For the first time in Riga, two fennec cubs were born. Amongst other successful births, we should mention common tree shrew, common marmoset, patas monkey, Barbary sheep, Turkmenian markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri) and Siberian ibex (Capra s. sibirica).

The tropical house, which opened on 25 May 2001, includes a nocturnal hall with 11 exhibits. Australia is represented by kowari, brush-tailed bettong and sugar glider, Africa by potto and Senegal bushbaby, Asia by sand cat, pygmy slow loris and Indian flying fox, Madagascar by giant jumping rat, mouse lemur and tail-less tenrec, and South America by southern night monkey, large hairy armadillo and kinkajou. There are four mixed exhibits – sugar glider and bettong, potto and bushbaby, mouse lemur and tenrec, and night monkey and armadillo. The last two have proved not very successful: the tenrec hibernated almost all the time (from August until December), and the armadillo liked the deep substrate so much that he almost destroyed the base of the artificial tree where the monkeys' nest-box is placed. The total area of the nocturnal hall is 207 m2, 91 m2 of which forms the exhibition space. The front walls of the exhibits are made of glass, the others of artificial rocks with terraces. All the animals except the flying foxes have a 40-cm-deep substrate on heated floors. is made. There is a reversed light regime of 11 + 1 : 11 + 1, with one-hour twilight phases when the intensity of light is changed every 20 minutes. Temperatures are 18–20° C at night, 20–22° C during the day. The first six months indicated some weak points of this exhibit: not all the animals can be seen very well, and visitors aren't always very keen to pay much attention to animals who are hiding in low light.


In spring 2001 the crane and pelican houses were opened. The crane house has six separate aviaries covered by mesh, together with indoor facilities, accommodating two pairs of red-crowned cranes, a breeding pair of East African crowned cranes, three young common cranes hatched in the zoo in 2001, two young blue cranes imported from South Africa in 2001, and a young pair of black storks. The red-crowned and East African crowned cranes are proven breeders. Eight young white pelicans are housed in the pelican house, which has both indoor and large outside pools.

The restocking of the birds-of-prey exhibit was started in 2000. According to the plan, all local species (except the owls) were housed in the Raptor Breeding Center in `Ciruli' (see below). In future only vultures will be exhibited at Riga Zoo. A new display of local wild birds replaced the old enclosures for different breeds of poultry. A considerable reduction in our collection of small Psittaciformes was started; all these species had been in off-show premises for many years, and there are no plans to exhibit them in future.

In autumn 2001 the inhabitants of the old waterfowl exhibit were housed in off-show premises, and construction of new seal and Palearctic waterfowl exhibits was started. Every year several stranded seal pups are delivered to the zoo, so the building of modern facilities for seals is essential. In 2001 we received eight pups, four of whom survived and were moved to Tallinn Zoo. Altogether 14 grey and harbour seals have been successfully rehabilitated and housed in different zoos or released into the wild during the last ten years.

Aquarium and terrarium

There are representatives of 65 species of reptile and 79 of fish in the Aquarium–Terrarium department. The most notable breeding successes of 2001 were those of Cuban boa, Madagascar giant day gecko and Jackson's chameleon. Unfortunately, a major part of the collection is kept in the terrarium house, where the old facilities are not very suitable for keeping difficult reptile species. However, some of the reptiles were moved to new exhibits in 2001. The central hall (total area 800 m2) of the tropical house is the first immersion exhibit in Riga Zoo. It is intended to display fauna and flora of South-East Asia, but this scheme cannot yet be fully implemented because of our American alligator. Since this individual has been at Riga Zoo since 1 April 1935, he is very probably the oldest alligator who has ever lived in captivity, and certainly the oldest animal in the zoo. Amongst inhabitants of the central hall are 0.0.4. false gharials, 1.1 prehensile-tailed skinks, 0.0.3. Asian water dragons and 1.1 blood pythons. Four pools with a water temperature of 26° C provide a good environment for the alligator, false gharials, Siebenrock's snake-necked turtles (Chelodina siebenrocki) and Indo-Chinese box turtles (Cistoclemmys galbinifrons). Heated floors provide a constant temperature of 25–28° C (day) and 22–23° C (night), the air is changed fully eight times per day, and humidity is 95%.

Ecological laboratory

There were 44 species of amphibian and reptile in the laboratory in 2001. [For Riga Zoo's work with the frog Theloderma corticale, see I.Z.N. 49 (6), 373–4 – Ed.] Fifteen amphibian species are on exhibit in the amphibian hall of the new tropical house. We keep at least two groups of animals of each species, so that while one group is exhibited, the other can have a rest period. Visitors can often see two or more species in amplexus. Since the opening, the Denny's tree frogs (Polypedates dennysi) have laid eggs, and in the terrariums of Costa Rican tree frogs (Phrynohyas resinfectrix) and Vietnamese mountain toads (Bufo galeatus) the development of eggs and tadpoles have taken place. In terrarium design, the main difficulties were with the burrowing species Ceratophrys ornata and Dyscophus guinetti. Here we used clay as substrate, enabling the frogs to dig holes, but not cover themselves completely; and the plants in these terrariums are placed on the `second floor', where the animals cannot climb up and dig them out.


In 2001 the zoo's first permanent invertebrate exhibit was opened in the tropical house. It is possible to display more than 22 species of invertebrates simultaneously, and by periodically changing species in some terrariums, we can display most of the 51 species in the collection. Currently the exhibit holds tropical representatives of the following groups: walking-stick insects, bugs, locusts, beetles, cockroaches, crickets, bird-eating spiders, scorpions and leaf-cutter ants. The ants – the most popular exhibit – are located in a four-metre display consisting of two terrariums. The nest and the fungus gardens are in glass cases on a glass-topped table with its legs in water. Leaves for the ants are placed on an island three metres from the nest, surrounded with moving water. The island and the nest are connected by an artificial liana for the ants to cross.


The zoo's affiliate facility `Ciruli', founded in 1993, is situated 154 km west of Riga. The initial aim was to create a breeding station for kiangs and facilities for out-placement of valuable animals from Riga Zoo. In 1995 1.7 kiangs were released in a 35-ha enclosure. Now, the total area of Ciruli covers 115 ha, and 26 species of wild animals, rare domestic breeds and beautiful landscape attract visitors, mainly rural people, from western Latvia.

The Riga Zoo line of kiangs is our greatest contribution to the preservation of the world's animal gene pool. From 1957, when the zoo obtained a pair of kiangs, to 1980, we held the only known kiangs anywhere in the world outside China. During this period, while China provided no information about wild or captive kiangs, specialists at Riga produced five generations of offspring from this one pair, after overcoming the negative effects of inbreeding (though about 40% of the foals died of hereditary heart defects, physical anomalies etc.). In 1980 and 1984, American and Russian zoos each managed to obtain a pair of kiangs from China, and the males were crossbred with the females of the Riga herd. With this addition the negative effects of inbreeding were halted. But living in small zoo enclosures, the kiangs were threatened with domestication – they could not form natural herds with hierarchical relationships, or graze naturally. So the Ciruli facility was created to enable them to be kept in semi-wild conditions. By 2001, 210 kiangs had been registered in the international studbook, of whom only 47 were not animals from Riga or their direct descendants.

The Raptor Breeding Complex was opened in autumn 2000, so 2001 was the first breeding season for eight species of owls and raptors. Only one species, the East European race of barn owl (Tyto alba guttata), bred successfully; breeding attempts by European eagle owl and white-tailed sea eagle failed. In the case of the eagles the reason is probably the different geographic origins of the male and female. Aggression of the female towards the male, characteristic of this species, was prevented, and the female incubated the eggs for the full period, but unfortunately they were infertile.



Extracts from the Annual Report 2001 (English version by Cathy King)

Nature conservation

Seven EEPs were coordinated or initiated by Rotterdam Zoo in 2001, and an additional two European studbooks (ESBs), for crowned pigeons and Madagascan Cheirogaleids (dwarf and mouse lemurs), held. The international studbook for red pandas is also kept at Rotterdam.

The Komodo dragon EEP is concentrating on determining the degree of relatedness between the Komodo dragons held in European zoos before proposing genetic management options. This EEP was initiated by Rotterdam Zoo in 2001, when it was decided that more intensive management was necessary than could be provided via the ESB established in 2000. The opposite was determined for crowned pigeons: because none of the three species is critically endangered, sufficient founders and potential founders exist, and many crowned pigeon holders are private breeders, it was decided to see whether lowering the status of the program from an EEP to an ESB would result in better cooperation and less paperwork.

The recently established Egyptian tortoise EEP, jointly managed with London Zoo, is well under way: an inventory has been completed, with approximately 100 tortoises in 15 zoos located. Husbandry guidelines are also in development. The red-crowned crane EEP population has flourished, and now more intensive management must be practised to selectively breed less-represented bloodlines and slow down population growth. The same is true for the very successful red panda EEP. The Siberian crane EEP is focusing on providing cranes for a release project in Siberia, with seven birds bred at the Oka Reserve in Russia released in 2001. Management of the Asian elephant EEP is complicated by importance of the family-based social structure of these huge animals, making transfers that would genetically benefit the population extremely difficult to accomplish. The number of zoos that can provide suitable accommodation for healthy-sized groups is also limited.

Tree kangaroos are not faring well in their native New Guinea, and the population in European zoos has not done any better. Rotterdam's remaining young male Goodfellow's tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus goodfellowi shawmayeri) is being sent to Frankfurt Zoo, where 1.1 are already held. Tree kangaroos are now only found in five zoos, and unless new animals are imported into the population, this group of animals will probably disappear from European collections.

Personnel at Rotterdam Zoo also (co)chair three EAZA Taxon Advisory Groups. In 1991, the Ciconiiformes and Phoenicopteriformes TAG revised the European Stork, Ibis and Spoonbill Collection Plan and concentrated on improving management of relevant species. The TAG worked together with EAZA to find a supplier for flamingo (and pelican) rings that could be offered for sale to zoos via the EAZA Executive Office. This arrangement proved to be a huge success, and if most of the rings sold by the end of 2001 are used, it is estimated that almost half of the EAZA zoo flamingos will be individually identifiable, a tremendous achievement in flamingo management. Rings are now available through the Office for all Ciconiiformes in the regional collection plan, as well as other waterbirds.

Conservation projects which received funding from the zoo's Bernhardine Fund in 2001 included the following:

Antiguan racer project. Funds provided in 2001 were for production of educational materials and activities to inform the public about this harmless snake, now only found on Great Bird Island off the coast of Venezuela. Because of the massive educational campaign efforts, most local people are now sympathetic to the snake's plight; however, plans to reintroduce it on Green Island in 2001 had to be postponed because of continued opposition by a few of the island's human inhabitants. While it is recognized that recovery of the snake will be a long process, it is hoped that reintroductions on other islands will also be possible in the future. More information on this snake and its conservation can be found at .

Turtle project in Nicaragua. The Bernhardine Fund financed fitting of a satellite transmitter on an Atlantic green turtle (Chelonia mydas). The transmitter was placed on the turtle on 12 September 2001, just after she laid her eggs on the beach near Tortueguero. Three turtles in total were fitted with transmitters to gather information on their movements, which will be used to better protect areas important for the species. Peddel 2 – named after her conspecific, Peddel 1, the first animal to be placed in Rotterdam Zoo's Oceanium – travelled 700 km north in the first two months after laying her eggs, to feed near the border of Honduras and Nicaragua. If the transmitter reaches its full 18-month life expectancy, it may be possible to follow the turtle through her next breeding cycle and return to her feeding grounds. Peddel 2's movements can be followed on .

Galapagos project. The Galapagos Maritime Reserve, home to a complex and diverse sea ecosystem, is threatened by illegal fishing and water pollution. The zoo funded the fitting of special radar and other technical improvements on one of the ships that patrol the 133,000-km2 area to apprehend illegal fishers, mainly from Ecuador, Costa Rica and Colombia.

King penguin project. The money saved through not sending Christmas cards was used to help protect a king penguin colony on the Falkland Islands, an important breeding area for this species. The colony lies only 20 km from human habitation, and is frequently visited by people. The zoo financed educational graphics for the public and the purchase of a caravan for a volunteer guard to live in during the summer months, when the colony is most sensitive to disturbance. Additionally a mandatory car park was constructed, as until then vehicles could approach the colony as closely as possible.

The Philippine Negros project. The breeding and education station in Bacolod, Negros, has received support for four consecutive years. The export of eight captive-bred Philippine spotted deer to Mulhouse Zoo in France provided much-needed room for further breeding of the three pairs of this indigenous endangered species at the breeding station. The death of an important breeding female Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons) was a severe setback in the breeding program for this indigenous and threatened pig; only five young were reared in 2001.

Not all the conservation projects supported by the zoo involve exotic animals. A program for the European hamster (Cricetus cricetus) was initiated in 1999 with the capture of 14 animals, probably the last survivors of the species in the Netherlands. They were placed at the zoo to start a breeding and reintroduction project. While enough animals were produced for a reintroduction attempt, habitat was not made available in 2000 or 2001, and indeed only after Rotterdam Zoo announced at a press conference that the reintroduction project was threatened with failure was the needed land made available for the release of 60 animals. The first release was scheduled for spring 2002.

Research and veterinary care

Various research projects were carried out with the help of volunteers and students in 2001. A student completed a project focusing on enclosure use by Atlantic puffins, common murres and kittiwakes in the new Bass Rock seabird exhibit. It was found that some of the 28 kittiwakes appeared to regularly harass the other species. The offenders were identified, and 14 kittiwakes, including these individuals, removed. Few interactions between the kittiwakes and the other species were observed thereafter. A major management goal of the enclosure is for the seabirds to spend most of the time on the water, and, while none spent as much time as was desirable, the amount of time was very variable between species – and probably also between individuals, although this was not studied formally. The kittiwakes spent 28.2.% of the day on or in the water, the murres 24.9% and the puffins only 5.6%. Factors that might be affecting surface water quality, and thereby water use, particularly efficiency of the skimming apparatus and growth of algae, were identified. Another student initiated a comparable project at the end of 2001 to assess whether changes in algal growth and the skimming system had influenced time spent in the water. The effect of use of a random feeder on general activity and time in water is also being studied.

Another student undertook a behavioral study on the group of king penguins in the Oceanium, to ascertain how they adjusted to their new enclosure between the third and eighth week. The birds entered the water voluntarily for the first time in the third week, and the amount of time that they spent in the water (and consequently their general activity) increased throughout the study, with the penguins spending 33% of the (day) time in the water by the eighth week. Time-budget samples thereafter indicate that the level has increased even more. In the only other known captive king penguin time-budget study the group was only in the water for 1% of the time, and generally king penguins have the reputation of being the landlubbers of the penguin world in captivity, so this enclosure definitely seems to encourage swimming activity.

Together with Erasmus University, the veterinary department further developed and adapted a new canine distemper vaccine for zoo animals such as red pandas, wolves and otters that are known to be susceptible to this disease. The vaccine was also used to immunize a group of African wild dogs in Tanzania as part of a project that the veterinary department has been involved with for a couple of years.

The year 2001 was marked by limited but nonetheless serious outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the Netherlands. Because the Dutch government is obligated by law to cull susceptible zoo animals if the disease comes too close to a zoo, Rotterdam Zoo staff were heavily involved in an EU-level campaign to change laws so that susceptible zoo animals can be vaccinated instead. This option has not been possible because it would cause the relevant country to loose its FMD-free status, and EU legislation forbidding vaccination has been in effect since 1991. Some progress was made this year in opening the vaccination possibility for zoo animals, but solutions acceptable to all the relevant parties have not yet been found.

There were 500 post mortem investigations performed in 2001: 142 mammals, 149 birds, 40 reptiles, 1 amphibian, 166 fish and 6 invertebrates. An example of the usefulness of these investigations in developing appropriate management measures is the red-cowled cardinal (Paroaria dominicana). It was found that several recently fledged young from different broods had died of the protozoal disease atoxoplasmosis, and an appropriate preventative treatment protocol, the same as that already in place for other known sensitive species, e.g. Bali mynahs, was established for this species as well as for other related species.

The zoo is working with a number of institutions, including Erasmus University, to identify an unknown intestinal parasite that caused serious illness and some mortality in gorillas and Bornean orang-utans at the zoo.

A German doctoral student began a three-year project to develop a method for sexual reproduction of stone corals in captivity. This has never yet occurred, all reproduction having been vegetative, through breaking of a part of the coral. This leaves it susceptible to infection and does not provide opportunities for genetic recombination. Six tanks measuring 4 m by 1 m by 70 cm have been set up in the public laboratory of the Oceanium for experiments to produce the corals.


The last enclosures to be included in the Oceanium were finished in 2001, including the exhibit housing Cuban amazons and the Central American freshwater aquaria for redtail catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus) and red piranhas (Pygocentrus nattereri). The 2.0 northern sea otters were moved without problems to their new enclosures. The Sea of Cortez enclosure for 2.2 rock squirrels (Spermophilus variegatus) was completed in September, but had to be adapted for the squirrels, who are more inventive at escaping their enclosure than had been anticipated. They were put back a month later and have stayed put since then. The Falkland Island king penguin enclosure, the last in the Oceanium to be completed, was ready just in time to receive its first inhabitants, 12.8 king penguins who arrived from the U.S.A. on 19 June. An `ice floe' that visitors can walk across with penguins swimming underneath them is a popular extra attached to this enclosure.

The okapi stall and outdoor areas, designed to house 2.3 okapis plus young, were reconstructed, as was the bush pig enclosure. The outdoor okapi shelters are heated to extend the amount of time that these tropical animals can be outside in the Dutch climate. The slender-tailed meerkat enclosure was modified in 2001 to stop the meerkats escaping; however, alterations proved inadequate, and these Houdinis still find their way to the public areas.


While the zoo eventually emerged relatively unscathed from the FMD outbreak, animal transports, often in conjunction with breeding programs, were greatly delayed. Nevertheless some important transports did occur in 2001. Rotterdam-born okapi Kamina returned pregnant from a visit to Antwerp during the renovation of her housing. Undoubtedly the most important arrivals were 1.4 mhorr gazelles on loan from the Estación Experimental de Zonas Aridas, a breeding station in Almeria, Spain. This subspecies is now extinct in its native range in the western Sahara. All four females were pregnant when transported, but unfortunately two died trying to give birth. One fetus had been dead for some time and the other died just before the birthing process.

Many important hoofstock births took place in 2001, including 1.1 bongo, 1.1 reticulated giraffe, 0.1 pudu, 0.2 addax, 1.0 lowland anoa, 2.0 mhorr gazelle (1.0 DNS) and 1.1 okapi. These were our 35th and 36th okapi births, and Deto, son of Demba, is the first sixth-generation okapi at the zoo. A total of 3.5.1 bush pigs (Potamochoerus porcus pictus) was born, of which 0.1.1 survived. Other significant births include 1.0 Sichuan takin, 1.0 Thorold's deer and 1.0 Michie's tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus michianus). Two (2.0) Philippine spotted deer were born, but one was stillborn and the other, delivered outside during the night in cold and wet conditions, died of hypothermia.

Most of the carnivores are restricted from breeding, but some species nevertheless produced young – 1.1 red pandas, 2.1 fishing cats, 1.3 South American fur seals, 2.2 Californian sea lions and 7.4.1 Pallas's cats. Of the latter, only 1.1 survived; however, these are the first young to be reared in the Netherlands. A European wild cat produced one young in April and, surprisingly, another five in July, with all 4.2 successfully mother-reared. The grey wolves acquired in 2000 reared 1.3 young, greatly enhancing the wolf exhibit.

A pair of wolverines was received from Rhenen Zoo, as the EEP needed new holders for this species. Acquisition of two female agile wallabies from Munich Zoo provided four unexpected bonuses: not only was it discovered while they were in quarantine that each had a joey in the pouch, they also both carried fertilized eggs resulting in two additional young in 2001. Two other ESB Macropus taxa to produce young in 2001 were black-faced kangaroo (M. fuliginosus melanops) (1.4) and red kangaroo (0.0.2).

A new male François's langur arrived from London Zoo in September. He seemed to adjust well to his new surroundings, but was found unexpectedly dead of unknown causes in December, and the search for a new male continues. The young male black spider monkey born in 1995 was sent to La Flèche Zoo in France to join a bachelor group; conflicts between him and his father had become increasingly serious, and a new home had been sought for some time. It was necessary to form two groups from our 4.8 gorillas when Ernst, the dominant male, refused to accept two young females received in 2000 as EEP-recommended transfers.


The zoo participated in a historical event in 2001: the establishment of a great hornbill `dating center' [see I.Z.N. 49 (1), pp. 35, 44–45 – Ed.]. Our pair of wreathed hornbills, an ESB species, reared 0.1 young, and the Von der Decken's hornbills, now also an ESB species, reared 2.1 young. Other ESB and EEP species to rear young in 2001 included white-naped crane (0.2), Scheepmaker's crowned pigeon (0.1), African penguin (0.0.5), Congo peafowl (0.4), Palawan peacock pheasant (4.0) and Rothschild's mynah (5.5.5).

The breeding of four ciconiiform species, cattle egret, little egret, glossy ibis and black-headed ibis, in one tree with nests at eye-level a few meters from the public in the Asian walk-through aviary once again created a terrific exhibit. The colony of flamingos finally topped 100 birds with the hatching and rearing of 0.0.3 Phoenicopterus r. ruber and 0.0.8 P. ruber roseus.

The demoiselle cranes reared their usual two offspring. The crested wood partridges had a very prolific year, with 34 young hatched and 25 reared by two pairs. Four species of Charadriiformes, pied avocets, bush stone curlews, crowned lapwings and blacksmith plovers, reared young. In addition to the crowned pigeon, pigeons that were parent-reared in 2001 included Nicobar pigeons, pied imperial pigeons, and orange-bellied and black-naped fruit doves.

The two pairs of blue-faced honeyeaters (Entomyzon cyanotis) each laid two clutches, resulting in 4.1.1 reared. Successful reproduction of grosbeak starlings (Scissorium dubium) had ceased when the birds were placed in an outdoor enclosure, but once they were returned to the tropical hall at the end of 2001 breeding immediately began again, and three chicks were reared.

Two difficult losses occurred in 2001. A family group, consisting of a pair of Scheepmaker's crowned pigeons and their two young all died within a few days of each other of toxoplasmosis. This dependable pair, an F1 female born here in 1982 and a wild-caught male, hatched 35 chicks and reared 21 in the 15 years that they were together. The breeding pair of toco toucans died from different causes (the female of a Capillaria infestation and the male of bacterial hepatitis), ironically within eight days of each other. Avian malaria caused the death of a African penguin, an Atlantic puffin and two kittiwakes.

The highlight of the bird year was undoubtedly the arrival of 12.8 king penguins from Sea World of Florida in June to inhabit the Falkland Islands enclosure, where they were later joined by 0.2 more on breeding loan from Basel Zoo. This enclosure is designed to house 20.20 king penguins plus young of the year. The birds adapted quickly to their new enclosure, with two eggs laid just 3.5 months after they arrived. Though neither hatched, the future looks promising.

Reptiles and amphibians

There were 71 reptiles of 11 species born in 2001. The dragon lizards (Pogona henrylawsonii), with 21 offspring reared, were the most successful, followed by the knight anoles (Anolis e. equestris) with 15. The hatching of a rhinoceros iguana (Cyclura c. coronata), an ESB species, was very welcome, as it has been many years since the zoo bred this threatened Hispaniolan iguana. Other reptiles reared included 0.0.6 gidgee skinks (Egernia stokesi), 0.0.2 Philippine sail-finned lizards, 0.0.3 mangrove monitors, 0.0.8 Malayan box turtles, 0.0.5 black-tailed ratsnakes and 0.0.8 Cuban boas, an EEP species. Acquisitions included 1.1 dwarf caimans from Cologne Zoo, 1.1 Dumeril's ground boa, 1.1 matamatas, and 3.1 mountain chickens (Leptodactylus fallax) from Jersey Zoo; this frog, found only on the island of Montserrat, is vulnerable because of its limited distribution.

Fish and invertebrates

Many interesting fish and invertebrates were acquired for the Oceanium in 2001. A total of 165 stone coral colonies of seven species were collected in Curaçao for the research project mentioned above. Ten blackbar soldierfish (Myripristis jacobus) and 20 longspine squirrelfish (Holocentrus rufus) were acquired for the large coral reef aquarium. A number of species bred for the first time; for example, 0.0.5 silver surfperch (Hyperprosopon ellipticum) grew up without problem in the kelp forest aquarium. Two species of cleaner shrimp, Periclimenes pedersoni and Lysmata cf rathbunae, were reared. Beadlet anemones (Actinia equina), plumose anemones (Meridium senile) and golfball coral (Favia fragnum) were also reared.

Many species of insects and other terrestrial invertebrates reproduced, and offspring were sent to zoos in four other countries as well as the Netherlands. Several species of butterfly were successfully reared; however, despite great effort to make the new butterfly area in the Oceanium suitable for exhibiting these attractive insects, it was regretfully concluded that the butterflies would be better off elsewhere, and they have been returned to the greenhouse where they were displayed before.

* * *


Banham Zoo, U.K.

Two major projects have been completed this year. The erection of nine large canopies, purchased from the closure sale of the Millennium Dome, has provided an open-air covered eating area for our visitors. A new open-topped enclosure for the black-and-white colobus monkeys, with a holding cage and large house, has considerably improved on the previous accommodation for this species. At present, work is underway on a second red squirrel enclosure and a road train station.

Notable births and hatchings included the following: 3 black-footed penguin, 8 little egret, 2 white stork, 5 ne-ne, 1 white-cheeked turaco, 2 kookaburra, 3 Geoffroy's marmoset, 2 red squirrel, 1 Grevy's zebra, 5 Formosan sika deer, twin red-bellied lemurs and single ring-tailed, crowned and mongoose lemurs.

Arrivals included three very large leopard tortoises from Customs and Excise, a pair of Goeldi's monkeys (Colchester and Drusillas) and a female striped hyaena, destined for Suffolk Wildlife Park after quarantine. Departures were 2 ocellated turkeys (to Antwerp), 3 eastern grey gentle lemurs (Newquay), 3 ring-tailed lemurs (Manor House, Tenby) and a male Sri Lankan leopard to a private collection in the Netherlands.

Gary Batters

Belfast Zoo, Northern Ireland, U.K.

[A visitor's report by Ray Cimino]

Situated on a 60-acre [24-hectare] site on the side of Cave Hill, a few miles north of Belfast City, and owned and managed by the City Council, the present zoo opened in 1978 (replacing a smaller, Victorian-style zoo that had opened in 1932). It was about ten years since I last visited the zoo, and my main impression was of how little had changed since then. When it was designed in the 1970s it was very much a state-of-the-art modern zoo, and while much of it still holds up well, there are aspects which now look very much of their time. Nevertheless, if you get the opportunity to visit, there is so much worthwhile to see that at least a full day should be set aside.

There are some excellent enclosures (e.g. black-and-white ruffed lemur, lion-tailed macaque, vicuna, penguins – gentoo, king, Magellanic and rockhopper – and two walk-through aviaries), and a number of species rarely seen in the British Isles which are worth the admission price alone. These include fossa (off-view when I was there due to a recent birth), Temminck's golden cat, African wild dog, three langur species (François's, purple-faced and Javan brown) and rare marmosets and tamarins (golden-rumped and golden-headed lion tamarins, pied and emperor tamarins and two types of pygmy marmoset, to name a few).

For aficionados of hoofstock there is a good collection, mostly housed in single-species enclosures (Nile lechwe, bongo, Malayan tapir, mhorr gazelle and sitatunga). There are also Bactrian camels (in a very small enclosure) and a mixed exhibit of giraffe, zebra and ostrich. The latter are housed in one of the few large-scale houses, along with Asian elephants, and it is here that the zoo begins to look like a prisoner of its 1970s design. The outside enclosures for the elephants and hoofstock are far too small and bare, and several giraffes and elephants display mild stereotypical behaviours. There is the potential to expand the hoofstock area into two adjoining ungulate enclosures. The elephant area could conceivably be expanded to encompass space occupied by camels and emus. It would be nice to see something along these lines happen sooner rather then later.

While I am drawing attention to those aspects of the zoo where criticism is justified, I would also mention that it would be good to see more complex enrichment in some of the monkey enclosures. The gorilla and chimpanzee exhibits (opened by Jane Goodall in 1991) are pretty standard fare which could easily be improved from the point of view of the inhabitants and viewers. Rows of aviaries containing some interesting species (several cockatoos including blue-eyed and palm cockatoo, and several turaco species) look rather grim beside a couple of excellent free-flight aviaries (including a very large and superbly laid-out one with spoonbills, ibis, storks, turacos, cattle egrets, Nicobar pigeons and others). It would be possible to greatly improve these aviaries quite cheaply by extending them upwards and knocking down many of the dividing walls.

If the above list of species on view already sounds quite comprehensive, you might be surprised that I haven't mentioned Asian lions, cheetahs, tigers (including one white tiger), Asian short-clawed otters, red river hogs, spectacled bears, red pandas and several others. These are all reasonably good exhibits that would deserve more detailed descriptions in many zoos, but such high standards are set by those that I picked out at the beginning that the latter ones don't really make such a lasting impact.

We have three zoos on the island of Ireland, and they are all mostly of a high standard, making a long weekend trip by British or continental enthusiasts very worthwhile. Belfast's best points make it the number one.

Bratislava Zoo, Slovakia

[A visitor's report by Benjamin Ibler]

Bratislava is one of the few zoos in Europe to keep the rare Nubian ibex (Capra ibex nubiana). In an enclosure near the North Africa enclosure I saw a group of six individuals, including two from this year's breeding. This group is very important for the European captive population, which has been declining for some years: there is no possibility of acquiring new blood-lines from Khartoum Zoo, Sudan, from which European zoos used to import these animals.

At the moment the zoo management are making efforts to adapt to Western keeping standards. They have constructed three new primate facilities, which are well designed with plants and other elements. These house Barbary macaques, de Brazza monkeys and ring-tailed lemurs.

The only two walk-through exhibits are terrarium houses. In both the animals are mostly reptiles – African dwarf crocodiles, pythons, some species of turtle, etc. – and amphibians, but three dioramas are inhabited by tamarins and a slow loris. A turtle enclosure is under construction in front of the houses.

The zoo of the Slovakian capital is located in a beautiful wooded valley on a 96-hectare site, of which only 45 ha is currently used. Therefore the garden has a unique chance to develop into one of the most impressive zoos in Europe – if they can get enough money to build more new facilities.

Chester Zoo, U.K.

Keas (Nestor notabilis) are native to the South Island of New Zealand, which comprises hundreds of mountain peaks covered in perennial snow, above a well-demarcated tree line. In this rigorous and unforgiving environment, the kea has evolved a level of intelligence and flexibility that rivals that of the most sophisticated monkeys.

To devise and develop stimulating enrichment for our keas, we need to study their habits in the wild. Keas adapt their diet in accordance with the seasonal availability of their food. In spring they forage on the various insects and plants uncovered by the melting snow in daisy-filled alpine grasslands. In summer, they converge on the alpine shrubs for fruit, foliage, seeds and flowers. After beech trees, coprosma berries are their most important food source. They feed readily from flowers, lapping up nectar and pollen, and also catch and eat significant numbers of grasshoppers, beetle grubs and other insects. In autumn, they turn their attention to the buds of the mountain beech and forage on roots, berries, bulbs, stems, fruit and seeds. In the stark New Zealand winter, from June to September, the greatest mortality of keas is due to starvation. Often feeding below the tree line on the forest floor, they scrounge for remnants of fallen fruits and berries. They also seek animal fat and will tear open carcasses to consume meat and internal organs. They scrape dried meat from bones before cracking them and extracting the nutritious marrow. The larger males have an advantage here, in that their upper mandibles can be up to 15% longer.

In the wild, it is these adaptations, plus a bold, inquisitive and exploratory nature, that has brought them into conflict with the human population. Keas are regularly found around garbage dumps, parking lots, ski lodges and back country cabins, where they wreak havoc on human property, shredding tents and hiking boots, rifling through backpacks and pulling the rubber from car windscreen wipers. They have even been known to enter buildings through chimneys in order to steal food – but their widespread reputation for killing sheep is somewhat exaggerated.

At Chester Zoo, enrichment is based on both the investigative nature and the dextrous ability of the wild birds. When foraging, our birds are encouraged to rip and tear into superfluous objects such as cardboard rolls stuffed with food. They will also manipulate pine-cones studded with seeds and nuts. Egg boxes or cardboard boxes filled with bark chip or similar substrate allow the birds to use beak and feet to grip, pull, prise and generally demolish these food parcels for choice titbits. Natural foods, such as leafing or budding willow and poplar branches and flowering shrubs, such as currant, mahonia and forsythia, are all easily presented and utilised. To encourage digging and grubbing for food, we provide heaps of soil or shavings containing hidden items. By making use of studies of keas in the wild, and by diligent use of materials to hand, we can greatly enhance the lives of these inquisitive, intelligent and entertaining parrots.

Anne and Paul Morris in Chester Zoo Life (Summer 2002)

Nuremberg (Nürnberg) Zoo, Germany

A harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) hatched at the zoo on 27 May 2002. Since 1980, when a pair arrived at Nuremberg from a private falconry collection, there have been 13 chicks hatched (not counting this latest one) and ten (8.2) reared to independence; the latter birds have been distributed to Antwerp, Wuppertal, Dortmund, Mallorca (the former breeding station of Walsrode Bird Park) and Tierpark Berlin.

The first chick to hatch, in 1984, died shortly afterwards. The first successful hatching took place in July 1986; this chick, a male, was raised by his parents and went to Antwerp Zoo in 1987. Parent-rearing took place only in the years 1986–7; there was a partial hand-rearing in 1989 after a chick became ill and was removed, and all the other chicks were hand-reared.

The world's first breeding success with this species took place in September 1981 at Tierpark Berlin, but since 1994 the excellent breeding era there has come to an end, despite an exchange of partners between two pairs in 1997. The loaned male harpy from the falconry centre at Berlebeck, near Detmold, who fathered the chicks, was killed by one of the females.

Nuremberg Zoo's latest chick hatched from an egg produced by the original 1980 pair. The egg was kept in an incubator for three weeks and then placed under the foster-mother, a female hatched in 1992 and hand-reared. Keeper Martin Geisendörfer fed the chick at first with the female looking on, then she took over the responsibility for the afternoon feeds – a truly remarkable relationship between a notoriously aggressive eagle and her keeper.

This species seems to have been bred in captivity only in the following collections: Tierpark Berlin, Los Angeles, Nuremberg, San Diego, and the Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey (Boise, Idaho) and Neotropical Raptor Center (Panama).

The animals in the zoo's new `aqua-park' [see I.Z.N. 49 (4), pp. 220–223] have adapted very well to their new habitat. Last year a Californian sea lion, Lisa, gave birth to the first offspring in the new pinnipeds' pool [see front cover, I.Z.N. 49 (4)]. The infant, Laguna, grew up very well. On 14 and 19 June 2002, two further female calves were born to Lisa (received from Wuppertal Zoo, 1994) and Nancy (born 1984 in the old enclosure in Nuremberg and hand-reared). The sire of both calves is Patrick, a full-grown, imposing bull, born at Rotterdam Zoo in June 1986. Another female was born and reared in the zoo's second breeding group of Californian sea lions, located in the dolphinarium. In July, to increase genetic variability, a new female, Ginger, born in 2001, was brought in from Wuppertal Zoo. Nuremberg now maintains 17 animals of this species, the biggest breeding group in Europe.

Breeding results with the Humboldt penguins were also pleasing, with approximately six chicks hatched. An old pair of black-footed penguins are sitting on a clutch at the time of writing (01.08.02), though so far this pair's eggs have been infertile. Our new 0.0.8 specimens, which arrived from Amsterdam Zoo in November 2001, have not yet reached sexual maturity. An old single black-footed penguin has been placed at Straubing Zoo, because it mated with a Humboldt.

No breeding success occurred during the summer with the Eurasian beavers and otters; the beavers had an unusually heavy stillborn infant last year.

Chris Brack (harpy eagle) and Benjamin Ibler (aqua-park)

Riverbanks Zoological Park, Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.A.

Births and hatchings during the period May to August 2002 were as follows: 2 Prévost's squirrel, 2 greater flamingo, 1 East African crowned crane, 1 pink-necked fruit dove, 3 hawk-headed parrot, 2 galah, 2 white-crested turaco, 1 spectacled owl, 2 toco toucan, 1 blue-crowned motmot, 2 blue-winged leafbird, 1 crested oropendola, 3 hooded pitta, 3 troupial, 1 fairy bluebird, 2 golden-breasted starling, 1 superb starling, 4 flat-tailed gecko, 2 lined leaf-tailed gecko, 7 Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko, 4 giant leaf-tailed gecko, 12 ornate spiny-tailed lizard, 1 eastern cottonmouth, 4 black-headed python.

The following were acquired during the same period: 2 short-nosed echidna, 1 De Brazza's monkey, 1 sun bittern, 2 blue-faced honeyeater, 3 Malaysian giant pond turtle, 3 Standing's day gecko, 3 Arakan forest turtle, 2 Burmese black tortoise.

Susan Reno, Registrar

San Diego Wild Animal Park, California, U.S.A.

Although widespread in Africa and extremely popular in zoos, giraffes have been deemed to be `conservation dependent' due to continued encroachment of their natural habitat. One of the most restricted and endangered subspecies is the Uganda giraffe, also known as the Baringo, or Rothschild's, giraffe. The Wild Animal Park has one of the best collections of these animals in the world.

Giraffes have been housed in zoos for more than 200 years, but we know little about their social behavior. Most field studies have focused on their feeding ecology, since they spend most of their time eating or chewing their cud and seldom interact with each other. Field observations report that giraffes are frequently observed alone, but they are also found in groups of more than 100 animals. Why giraffe social structure is so diffuse and how animals manage their social relationships is unclear. In fact, the low levels of social interactions have led many people to suspect that giraffes do not have preferred social partners. And this is where the Bud Heller Conservation Fellowship, awarded annually for conservation research at the Park, enters the picture. Meredith Bashaw, this year's Fellow, thinks there is more to giraffe social behavior than meets the eye.

Meredith began studying giraffes three years ago at Zoo Atlanta. Interested in how animals respond to being separated from their social partners, she and another doctoral student decided to study the behavior of two females who were left behind when the adult male of their group was transferred to another zoo. Both females showed behavioral signs of stress following his departure, indicating that they had a social attachment to the male. During the study, Meredith developed a social attachment of her own: she became fascinated with the behavior of giraffes. She and her colleague proceeded to do several other studies on giraffes. They examined different ways of feeding captive giraffes to create activity budgets that more closely resembled the wild, and they conducted a survey to discover how housing and management of giraffes at different institutions affected their behavior. Meredith wanted to conduct a detailed study of social behavior in giraffes, but she could not do so at Zoo Atlanta because of the limited number of animals there.

Meanwhile, the Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES) Behavioral Biology Division, under the leadership of Dr Fred Bercovitch, was developing a collaborative project with Randy Rieches, curator of mammals at San Diego Wild Animal Park, to investigate social relationships among giraffes. We wanted to design a study to answer a few basic questions about the social lives of giraffes, including whether their patterns of interaction were affected by age, relatedness, or reproductive status of the individuals in a social group. Meredith's prior research experience and our future research plans meshed perfectly. The park is a fantastic venue for such a study, because it contains one of the largest mixed-sex, reproducing herds of Uganda giraffes in the country, and these giraffes are housed in semi-natural conditions. There are enough giraffes to examine the way in which an individual animal distributes its social behavior among the members of the herd. This behavior distribution can then be compared to those of other Artiodactyla and megaherbivores (animals with mass greater than 1,000 kg) to place the giraffe social system in an ecological context.

In addition, the CRES Behavioral Biology Division has partnered with the Endocrinology Division to determine hormone levels (specifically estrogen and progesterone) from giraffe fecal samples. By matching the fecal levels of these sex hormones to behavior data collected every day in the field, we are able to relate the social activity of giraffes to their phase of the estrous cycle. We can track when females are ovulating and determine whether the dominant male is able to effectively determine when a female is ovulating and monopolize estrous females in order to prohibit them from mating with any other males in the group. We can also see if increased levels of social behavior with males during estrus result in decreases in social behavior among females, which might indicate males are interfering with female social relationships during mating periods. Giraffes are often pregnant for quite some time before visual inspection will allow managers to confirm that the new mother is expecting. We are working with the mammal department to create a type of non-invasive hormonal pregnancy test for giraffes that will assist in colony management procedures.

Scientists have recently discovered that giraffes produce infrasonic vocalizations (at frequencies below the level of human hearing), and we intend to examine how such sounds influence giraffe behavior. Infrasound is a relatively quiet bandwidth in the wild, possibly allowing these animals a way to communicate without much interference from other signals. Furthermore, infrasound waves are much longer than the sound waves humans are able to hear, and as such they can travel farther than waves in the human hearing range. In elephants, infrasonic vocalizations appear to be a mechanism for long-distance communication. The same may be true of giraffes, but it remains to be seen whether they do use infrasound to communicate and what information might be contained in infrasonic messages. We plan to pursue bioacoustic analysis of giraffe communication in order to better understand the social system of the species.

Abridged from Fred Bercovitch and Randy Rieches in CRES Report (Fall 2002)

Suffolk Wildlife Park, Kessingland, U.K.

In 2001 a house and holding yards were completed for white rhino, part of the master plan for a mixed African savannah exhibit. Work is now underway on accommodation for Chapman's zebra, ostrich and greater kudu. Once completed this will allow for at least one third of the large grassed paddock to be fenced. Other work at the park has included a spacious enclosure for leopard tortoises, a new flamingo house and a larger shelter for the Ankole cattle.

Notable births and hatchings included the following: 1 leopard tortoise, 1 giraffe, 6 short-eared elephant shrew, 1 hooded vulture, 3 meerkat, 4 small-clawed otter, 1 straw-coloured bat, and 1 red-bellied, 3 ring-tailed, 4 black-and-white ruffed and 3 red ruffed lemurs.

Arrivals included a white rhino from Paignton and a Madagascan spider tortoise from Customs and Excise. Three fossas departed, one each to Aalborg (Denmark) and Fort Wayne and Cleveland (U.S.A.). A female yellow mongoose, 2 crested porcupines and 3 short-eared elephant shrews went to Marwell and 3 talapoin monkeys to Fuengirola in Spain.

Gary Batters

World Owl Trust, Muncaster Castle, Cumbria, U.K.

We are hoping to join in with English Nature's marvellously successful red kite (Milvus milvus) reintroduction scheme. Until the mid-1800s, the Lake District used to be one of the places where these spectacular birds could be found nesting but, as everywhere else in Britain apart from a few pairs in central Wales, they eventually died out due to persecution. One potential breeding pair was sighted in Lakeland in 1977, but nothing came of it.

For 13 years, English Nature and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds have been carrying out reintroduction of red kites in several areas of England and Scotland, and these have been hugely successful in restoring the bird to some of its former haunts. So far, however, the Red Kite Project Team have fought shy of attempting this in Lakeland – so we thought we would try. As a first step, we brought in a pair of injured wild kites, kindly provided by the Welsh Kite Trust through Jemima Parry-Jones of the National Birds of Prey Centre at Newent. It was hoped to rehabilitate these birds once they recovered from their injuries. To our sorrow, however, the female never recovered and over many months gradually deteriorated to the point where she had to be euthanised. The male initially did splendidly and was eventually released in Wales in 2000, but was recovered on the ground only a week later and brought back to Muncaster. We were then lucky enough to be loaned a replacement female from the Cumberland Bird of Prey Centre, and we were very hopeful of achieving breeding success in 2002, as the pair seemed very compatible.

Meanwhile, we had managed to acquire a second splendid captive-bred young male from Germany, and a second female was kindly loaned to us by the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, giving us two potential breeding pairs for this season. But in late April we were dismayed to find our original male grounded, though without apparent injury. At first we thought he had become weak through supplying the female with all the food, but after a spell of hospitalisation he appeared little better. In the end, he started to use his wings for getting around, and this resulted in sores developing on his wing butts which resulted in incurable septicaemia. Sadly, he too had to be euthanised, and although we introduced the young German male to the female, it was already too late in the season for breeding to take place. At the moment, all three are together on public view, and we hope to acquire a new male before next spring to restore our two pairs. We also hope English Nature will agree to us joining in the reintroduction programme, so that we can once again enjoy the sight of red kites soaring over the Lake District.

Abridged from Jenny Thurston and Tony Warburton in World Owl Trust News Bulletin (Summer 2002)

News in brief

The group of Californian sea lions at Longleat Safari Park, U.K., share the use of a large lake with a pair of common hippopotamus. As shown in the photo [see print version of I.Z.N.], the sea lions have discovered that a hippo's back makes a fine basking surface.

* * * * *

Oregon Zoo, Portland, U.S.A., has taken charge of a blind female elephant seal calf found stranded on the California coast. The keepers will adjust their feeding and training practices to suit her: for example, noise-making beads will be added to the target-training pole, and food will be placed in the animal's mouth rather than tossed towards her.

* * *


Acharjyo, L.N., Kumar, V., and Patnaik, S.K.: Longevity of lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) in captivity at Nandankanan Zoological Park, Bhubaneswar. Zoos' Print Journal Vol. 17, No. 8 (2002), p. 861. [The animal, a male born at the National Zoological Park, New Delhi, died in March 2001 at the age of 24 years and nine months. This seems to be a record for an Indian zoo; but the authors note that several lion-tailed macaques currently living in European and U.S. zoos are over 30 years old.]

Ademmer, C., Klumpe, K., von Maravic, I., Königshofen, M., and Schwitzer, C.: Nahrungsaufnahme und Hormonstatus von Kleideraffen (Pygathrix n. nemaeus Linnaeus, 1771) im Zoo. (Food intake and hormone levels in douc langurs at Cologne Zoo.) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 45, No. 3 (2002), pp. 129–135. [German, with English summary. Douc langurs are highly adapted to leaf-eating, and their maintenance and breeding has proven difficult in zoos. At Cologne, nine individuals of this species are kept in three groups. The authors describe two studies carried out there on feeding behaviour and the assessment of hormone levels. The study on feeding behaviour aimed at assessing the energy and nutrient intake of the Cologne doucs, as well as drawing up an activity budget. The results may help in designing appropriate diets for colobines in captivity. The aims of the hormone study were to elucidate the ovarian cycle of female douc langurs as well as the influence of stress on the cycle.]

Baker, W.K.: What do you use for crisis reference material? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 8 (2002), pp. 320–321.

Baker, W.K.: What options are available for emergency or temporary housing for animals? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 9 (2002), pp. 365–366.

Bannor, B.K.: Scarlet ibis incubate sacred ibis eggs and partly rear a sacred ibis chick. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 2 (2002), pp. 59–62. [Eudocimus ruber and Threskiornis aethiopicus at Miami Metrozoo, Florida.]

Barnicoat, F.: Blue-crowned hanging parrots. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 36, No. 8 (2002), pp. 265–268. [Loriculus galgulus; husbandry details from successful breeders.]

Barr, D.: Visiting the vervets: cheap and easy enrichment. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 9 (2002), pp. 369–374. [A group of Cercopithecus aethiops at Burnet Park Zoo, Syracuse, New York, were found to be stimulated and unstressed when observing the public.]

Berends, R., and Polderman, A.: Werken bij de orangs in Sabah. (Working with orang-utans in Sabah.) De Harpij Vol. 21, No. 3 (2002), pp. 12–15. [Dutch, with English summary. Two keepers from Apenheul primate park visited Sabah, Malaysia, for ten weeks to assist in the Kinabatangan Orang Utan Conservation Project (KOUCP). This project, initiated in 1993 by a French couple, Marc Ancrenaz and Isabelle Lackman, receives financial support from Apenheul. The project headquarters is on the east coast of Sabah. Oil palm plantations have been established in the area, fragmenting animal habitats and polluting the water. The local people previously made their living from fishing the river, but now the fish have disappeared because of pollution. Illegal harvest of timber is also a great problem, though ironically the local people reap only a small portion of the profit from this activity. KOUCP focuses on studying the orang-utans and working with local people to educate them about the values of the forest and help them to find alternative incomes that do not result in forest damage. Many local inhabitants work for the project, studying the apes. They observe social interactions, selection of plants eaten, where the animals go and how they use the habitat. Botanists record the plants found in the 65-ha study area. During their visit the Apenheul keepers helped search for nests, and followed an adolescent male travelling alone, which proved very difficult. They also observed an eight-year-old female with her 2.5-year-old son for a period, and could see how the mother taught him which plants to eat and how to eat them. The keepers developed a deep respect for the project leaders and concluded that the project was very worthwhile. They are very pleased that Apenheul supports this project, and hope that others will also provide funding, as it needs more support. Persons interested in receiving more information about the project can contact the authors at Apenheul Zoo, P.0. Box 97, 7300 AB Apeldoorn, The Netherlands.]

Blaszkiewitz, B.: Zwei weitere Elefantengeburten im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. (Two more elephant births at Tierpark Berlin.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 5 (2002), pp. 326–332. [German, no English summary.]

Brickell, N.: Notes on the feeding and nesting of olive pigeons. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 2 (2002), pp. 63–68. [Columba arquatrix.]

Chhangani, A.K.: Successful rescue and rearing of Indian long-billed vulture (Gyps indicus) at Jodhpur Zoo, India. Zoos' Print Vol. 17, No. 7 (2002), pp. 20–22.

Classen, D.: Orang-Utans – Ein Kommen und Gehen. (Orang-utans – coming and going.) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 45, No. 3 (2002), pp. 145–149. [German, with English summary. The orang-utans at Cologne Zoo use their enclosure maximally and in a differentiated way. From two metres above the ground to the top they prefer horizontal structures with a large surface they can reach easily. They show individualistic behaviour to a large extent, but also interact with other group members. Nearly two-thirds of interactions are sociopositive with physical contact; agonistic and sexual behaviour is rare. Although the orangs interact frequently and mostly sociopositively, the average distances between individuals tend to be relatively large. The study demonstrates that this species is able to live peacefully in a large group, though the size of the enclosure may be an important factor in this. The management of orang-utans in a large and demographically rich structured group could be an advantage for producing individuals of a high social competence, making it easier to establish new groups.]

Cousins, D., and Huffman, M.A.: Medicinal properties in the diet of gorillas: an ethno-pharmacological evaluation. African Study Monographs Vol. 23, No. 2 (2002), pp. 65–89. [A growing body of literature in the behavioral, ecological and pharmacological sciences suggests that animals use certain plants for the control of parasite infection and related illnesses. It has also become increasingly apparent that chimpanzees in Africa and their human counterparts share strong similarities in the plants they use for the treatment of similar diseases. Little is yet known, however, of our other closest living ape relative in Africa, the gorilla. The authors review the ethnopharmacological literature to evaluate the possible role of plant secondary compounds in the diet of gorillas in the wild. A total of 118 medicinal plant species from 59 families are listed from an extensive review of the literature on gorilla diet in the wild. The major pharmacological activities of those plant foods, which are also used in traditional medicine, include antiparasitic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, cardiotonic, hallucinogenic, stimulatory and respiratory activities. A greater understanding of the role of such plants in the primate diet and how they can be used for health maintenance is a promising new avenue for expanding our understanding of the biological basis and origins of traditional human medicinal practices and for developing novel applications of ethnopharmacological knowledge for humans.]

Dathe, F., and Dedekind, K.: Pflege und Vermehrung von Prachtskinken, Riopa fernandi (Burton, 1836), im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. (Keeping and breeding Fernand's skinks at Tierpark Berlin.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 5 (2002), pp. 360–371. [German, no English summary.]

Ellis, M.: A summary of pittas in European zoological collections. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 2 (2002), pp. 75–79.

Gossett, J.: Penguin training at Lincoln Park Zoo. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 8 (2002), pp. 339–341.

Guerrero, D.: Animal behavior concerns and solutions: do wild animals become quite `tame' under the right circumstances and with proper training and care? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 8 (2002), pp. 317–318.

Haase, D.: Bonobos – Ein Kommen und Gehen. (Bonobos – coming and going.) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 45, No. 3 (2002), pp. 151–155. [German, with English summary. The paper refers to an on-going study on the social relationships in a small group of bonobos at Cologne Zoo before and after a change in group composition. Preliminary data and qualitative observations indicate that during the pre-period relationships were tense and unbalanced. Almost no sexual behaviour was observed. General activity levels were low. After the change (an adult female was removed and two young adult females were introduced) the relationships were more relaxed. Significantly more sexual behaviour was shown, and general activity levels were much higher. The preliminary findings support the assumption that the breeding problems the group experienced (with no offspring for some years) might be a consequence of social problems.]

Harcourt, A.H.: Empirical estimates of minimum viable population sizes for primates: tens to tens of thousands? Animal Conservation Vol. 5, No. 3 (2002), pp. 237–244. [Theoretical estimates of long-term minimum viable population (MVP) sizes for mammals indicate MVPs of tens of thousands, even a million. However, data to test the theoretical estimates are effectively non-existent. The author uses information on distributions of primates on islands of south-east Asia to provide empirical estimates of the size of multi-millennial MVPs following the post-Pleistocene insularization in the Sunda region. Small Sunda region islands have fewer taxa than do large ones. Assuming extinction on the small islands, the MVP size is somewhere between the population size on the smallest island on which the taxon is extant and that on the largest island on which the taxon no longer exists. Results for eight to ten genera (depending on the taxonomy) on 35 islands indicate MVPs of perhaps a few score for lorises and macaques to several thousands, or scores of thousands, for orang-utan and siamang. Large-bodied taxa have significantly larger MVPs than do small-bodied taxa. Only four protected areas in south-east Asia are large enough to conserve the smaller MVPs of the siamang and orang-utan.]

Hopkins, G.W., and Freckleton, R.P.: Declines in the numbers of amateur and professional taxonomists: implications for conservation. Animal Conservation Vol. 5, No. 3 (2002), pp. 245–249. [To ensure the effective conservation of biodiversity, the distribution of species needs to be accurately characterized and areas of high species richness located. For many taxa this can be achieved only by experienced taxonomists. Taxonomic research has a large input from non-professional or amateur researchers, in addition to professionals working at museums or universities. The decline of taxonomy and the number of taxonomists within the professional community has been widely publicized, but the trends in the activities of amateur taxonomists are unclear. Because amateurs contribute many valuable records of species occurrence, this may have a disproportionate impact upon the information available for conservation planning. Using the example of taxonomic research by U.K. entomologists, as revealed by contributions by British-based authors to Entomologist's Monthly Magazine from 1918 to 2001, the authors show that both amateur and professional taxonomy have undergone a long and persistent decline since the 1950s, in terms of both the number of contributors and the number of papers contributed. It is argued that the conservation community needs to help to reverse the decline of taxonomy.]

Jauch, D.: Vom Wildtier zum Haustier: Der Schaubauernhof der Wilhelma. (From wild to domestic animal: Wilhelma's zoo farm.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 5 (2002), pp. 288–302. [German, with English summary. The demonstration farm at Wilhelma, Stuttgart, was opened in 1993. As its theme it has the close community of humans and animals, which has been in existence for thousands of years, and the origins and development of our most important domestic animals. As far as they are still in existence, the wild ancestors of today's domestic animals – mouflon, wild goat, wild boar and Przewalski's horse – are compared with old breeds of domestic animal. Instead of the now-extinct aurochs, wild cattle are represented by the European bison; together with Mesopotamian fallow deer, these clearly illustrate zoos' importance in the field of species preservation. The camel is a representative of exotic domestic animals. Wild and domestic forms of poultry are also shown together. There are two enclosures where children are allowed to touch and stroke animals. Nine years of observation have shown that not only wild but also domestic animals are capable of fascinating the zoo's visitors.]

Jeltes, E.: Transferring African penguin eggs. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 9 (2002), pp. 367–368. [Two genetically-valuable fertile eggs were taken from Baltimore Zoo, Maryland, to Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, Indiana, where they were successfully hatched under foster-parents.]A group of Cercopithecus aethiops at Burnet Park Zoo, Syracuse, New York, were found to be stimulated and unstressed when observing the public.]

Kaiser, M.: Zur Haltung und Zucht des Himalaya-Königshuhnes (Tetraogallus himalayensis Gray, 1843) im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Lautäusserungen. (Husbandry and breeding of the Himalayan snow-cock, with special reference to vocalisations.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 5 (2002), pp. 303–325. [German, with English summary. This species was kept in Tierpark Berlin from 1961 to 1968 and again since 1991. Husbandry, feeding and problems of sex determination and pair formation are described, as well as data about the longevity of the park's birds. A total of 119 eggs have been laid since 1992, but only 19 (16%) were fertile. In 1998 six chicks hatched after an incubation period of 28 days on average; four were successfully foster-reared by domestic hens. The development of the young birds is described. Some of the characteristic vocalizations of the adults, as well as of young ones of different ages, are showed as sonograms and different voice parameters are illustrated. The guard calls of adults are sex-specific in frequency and form. Probably the isolation distress call of young snow-cocks develops into the guard call of the adults. Significant differences between two (1.1) siblings, which are presumed to be sex-specific, too, are already established in this call from the hatching day.]

Kaumanns, W.: Primatenhaltung im Kölner Zoo. (Primate husbandry at Cologne Zoo.) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 45, No. 3 (2002), pp. 103–116. [German, with very brief English summary.]

Keith, M.: Weighing giraffes at the Calgary Zoo. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 8 (2002), pp. 326–331.

Kormann, J.: Eine sich seit 25 Jahren selbst rcproduzierende Gruppe des Brillantsalmlers (Moenkhausia pittieri Eigenmann, 1920). (A 25-year-old self-sustaining group of diamond tetras.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 5 (2002), pp. 390–393. [German, with very brief English summary. The author compares the group, at Tierpark Berlin, with similar groups of other species, and discusses some advantages and problems typical of self-sustaining aquarium fish groups.]

Low, R.: Threats to parrots in aviculture. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 2 (2002), pp. 49–51. [The threats discussed are failure to cooperate with other breeders or studbook coordinators, producing rare species which are unsuitable for breeding (e.g. birds imprinted on human rearers), legislation and its interpretation, and lack of exchange of information.]

Meurrens, C.: Olifantenworkshop in Amerika: het EMA-congres 2001 in Disney's Animal Kingdom. (Elephant Managers Association Conference 2001.) De Harpij Vol. 21, No. 3 (2002), pp. 22–24. [Dutch, with English summary.]

Mohamad, A., and Romo, S.: Sumatran rhinoceros captive management in Sungai Dusun Rhino Centre, Selangor. Zoos' Print Vol. 17, No. 7 (2002), pp. 17–19. [The Centre, in peninsular Malaysia, currently houses six (1.5) rhinos.]

Pohle, C.: Takins (Budorcas taxicolor) in Tiergärten – Haltung und Zucht von Beginn bis zum Jahr 2001. (Takins in zoos – husbandry and breeding from the beginning to 2001.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 5 (2002), pp. 333–349. [German, no English summary (but much of the information about e.g. locations and dates will be accessible even to readers with little or no German).]

Pyritz, L., Schmitz, S., and Schwitzer, C.: Rote Brüllaffen (Alouatta seniculus Linnaeus, 1766) im Kölner Zoo. (Red howler monkeys at Cologne Zoo.) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 45, No. 3 (2002), pp. 137–144. [German, with English summary. In Germany, red howler monkeys are kept only at Frankfurt and Cologne Zoos. Little is known about the social structure of the groups. The Cologne group was established with two adult and two juvenile non-related animals in April 2001. A study carried out during August 2001 revealed that their diet at the zoo had a low fibre content, which could negatively influence microbial fermentation and digestion. The energy intake of the animals was low with relation to their estimated body weights. The results further showed that a stable social structure was soon established in the group, which was characterized by sociopositive interactions and reciprocal, non-hierarchical relationships among the individuals. Most of the sexual interactions were observed between the adult male and juvenile female. The monkeys spent on average more than 50% of the day resting inactively, most of the time in body contact with one or more members of the group. The adult male was observed to initiate most of the howling, and in most cases one or more group members joined in immediately. All the animals preferred the upper parts of the enclosures, the adults only coming to the ground to forage, the juveniles also to play and manipulate. In the future it will be important to follow the development of the social relationships among these animals, especially as they are influenced by the growing-up of the juveniles.]

Robertia, J.: Freemartinism: a report in southern lesser kudu. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 8 (2002), pp. 335–338. [A more detailed account of the abnormality reported in I.Z.N. 48 (8), pp. 523–524.]

Rudloff, K., and Wensing, J.: Ein Weissbauch-Schuppentier in Arnheim und einige Anmerkungen zur Haltung von Schuppentieren in Europa. (A tree pangolin in Arnhem and some notes on pangolin-keeping in Europe.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 5 (2002), pp. 350–359. [German, no English summary.]

Schofield, P.: The mandarin duck. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 2 (2002), pp. 52–58. [Aix galericulata.]

Schürer, U.: Völkerschauen im Zoologischen Garten Elberfeld. (Ethnic displays at Elberfeld Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 5 (2002), pp. 274–287. [German, with very brief English summary. A report about shows of foreign people at Elberfeld (as Wuppertal Zoo was previously called). The author discusses the significance of these shows for zoos in general and survivals of the `Völkerschau mentality' up to the present day.]

Schwitzer, C., Dunkel, V., and Lork, A.: Nahrungsaufnahme und -verwertung bei Lemuren. (Food intake and utilisation in lemurs.) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 45, No. 3 (2002), pp. 119–126. [German, with English summary. The different lemur species kept at Cologne Zoo differ in terms of their feeding ecology, with some species being strongly frugivorous and some being almost entirely folivorous. The authors describe three studies on different aspects of lemur feeding ecology currently being carried out at the zoo. These deal with the energy intake of black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia v. variegata) and blue-eyed black lemurs (Eulemur macaco flavifrons) with reference to obesity, food choice in the greater bamboo lemur (Hapalemur simus), and food manipulation in all three species.]

Smith, C.: Von der Decken's hornbill Tockus deckeni at the Oklahoma City Zoological Park. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 2 (2002), pp. 69–74. [In 2001, two inexpensive `security' cameras attached to a nest-box provided views throughout the female's incubation and rearing of chicks, entertaining and educating visitors and allowing zoo staff to document the nesting cycle of the species.]

Strauss, G.: Polydaktylie und Arthrogryposis als Ursache einer Dystokie bei einem Vikunja (Lama vicugna). (Polydactyly and arthrogryposis as causes of a difficult birth in a vicuna.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 5 (2002), pp. 372–377. [German, with English summary. A vicuna foetus at Tierpark Berlin had the deformities arthrogryposis (fixation of the limb joints) and polydactyly (extra toes) of both the hind legs. Extraction of the foetus was only possible after the fracture of an abnormal metatarsus, and the foal had to be euthanised due to the gravity of the deformities, presumed to be genetic in origin. This is the first description of these anomalies in a non-domestic New World camelid, though similar cases are recorded in lamas and alpacas.]

Tscherner, W.: `Der Zoologische Garten' von 1859–1909 und die Parasitologie. (Der Zool. Garten and parasitology.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 5 (2002), pp. 378–389. [German, no English summary.]

Veenhuizen, R.: EEP's in dierentuinland: Afrikaanse wilde honded: gevlekt en sociaal. (EEPs in zooland: African wild dogs: spotted and social.) De Harpij Vol. 21, No. 3 (2002), pp. 2–6. [Dutch, with English summary. See pp. 422–423, above.]

Vyas, R.: Breeding of oriental pied hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) in captivity at Sayaji Baug Zoo, Vadodara, Gujarat. Zoos' Print Journal Vol. 17, No. 9 (2002), pp. 871–874. [A total of four chicks were hatched and parent-reared between 1996 and 2000. Average days of incubation and confinement of female were 37 days and 96 days respectively.]

Walker, S.: Opinion. Zoos' Print Vol. 17, No. 10 (2002), pp. 4–5. [Some notes on the seizure in Singapore and return to India of about 1,800 smuggled star tortoises (see I.Z.N. 49 (6), pp. 354–355). The author praises the Singapore authorities for their handling of the crisis, and defends them against unfair allegations by some Indian journalists.]

Publishers of the periodicals listed:

African Study Monographs, Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University, 46 Shimoadachi-cho, Yoshida, Sukyo-ku, Kyoto 606–8501, Japan.

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.

Avicultural Magazine, Hon. Secretary, Avicultural Society, P.O. Box 47, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7WP, U.K.

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

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

Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo, Zoologischer Garten, Riehler Strasse 173, D-50735 Köln, Germany.

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

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