International Zoo News Vol. 50/3 (No. 324)    April/May 2003

 

                                   CONTENTS

 

OBITUARY – Ulysses S. Seal

 

EDITORIAL

 

FEATURE ARTICLES

 

Preliminary Observations on a Bachelor          Guillaume Romano and Jan Vermeer

Group of Ruffed Lemurs at La Vallιe des Singes

 

Reintroducing Persian Fallow Deer in Israel     Elliot Handrus, David Saltz and Shirli Bar-David

 

Marwell – the First Thirty Years                John Tuson

 

DNA Sexing in Birds of Paradise           Sven Hammer, Simon Jensen,

and Bowerbirds                            Jφrg Balzer and Dieter Sandow

 

Non-invasive Sex Recognition              Ilya A. Volodin, Elena V. Volodina

in the White-faced Whistling Duck         and Anna V. Klenova

 

Letter to the Editor

 

Book Reviews

 

International Zoo News

 

Recent Articles

 

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OBITUARY

Ulysses S. Seal, 1929–2003

 

On 19 March 2003 the global zoo and wildlife community lost its most dynamic personality to cancer. Dr Ulysses Samuel Seal, `Ulie' to everyone who met him, passed away surrounded by his close family members in Bloomington, Minnesota. Family life was one of the few things that Ulie Seal was old-fashioned about, and he managed to stay close to his family in spite of his global roaming for conservation.

 

Ulie was my mentor, guide, colleague and friend for the last two decades for both in situ and ex situ conservation. Many people in the zoo, wildlife and academic community all over the world could make a similar statement, for Ulie had a positive and lasting impact on almost everyone he met. He was very well-liked as he had a special way of making people feel good about themselves, a quality which has nothing to do with flattery or praise and everything to do with communicating trust. Those who did not like him, he usually managed to bring into cooperation, at least, and even they wanted his good opinion. Ulie inspired respect as well as affection with his unique combination of intellect, practicality, flexibility, patience, tolerance and wisdom, as well as his long list of achievements. He had immense insight into people, professions, politics, problems – he could see the future of wildlife and zoo management as interactive strategies, and he could make it happen.

 

Born in 1929, Ulie was 73 years young when he passed away – a silly phrase that has real meaning when applied to him, for his attitudes and behaviour belied his age. He was forever reading, listening, and experimenting, with an open mind, more like a young student than a senior scientist. He was not set in any of his ways, and was always willing to consider another person's point of view and change his methods if he found something that worked better. This way of life permeated his work in developing new tools, techniques and strategies for the zoo and wildlife community. It kept his much younger colleagues on their toes.

 

Ulie parlayed his background in biochemistry into a highly successful career and later avocation in small populations and conservation biology, risk analysis and crisis management in conservation. Over his 40-year career he was a research scientist at the Veterans Administration Medical Centre in Minneapolis, and later became Professor of Biochemistry, Fisheries and Wildlife and finally Ecology and Animal Behavior at the University of Minnesota.

 

He served as Chairman of the Conservation (originally Captive) Breeding Specialist Group from 1979 until the day he died. His term as Chairman of CBSG was characterized by innovation in this specialist group which influenced others. He inducted many members (over 800 to date) from all over the world. CBSG probably had more members from tropical countries than all the other IUCN specialist groups put together. Ulie was anything but ιlitist, and this quality created opportunities for many talented people to make a mark in conservation action.

 

His contributions to the zoo community are legion. His interest in zoos goes back to the 1970s, when he was one of the founders of Minnesota Zoo. He became interested in zoo records when, during a research project on inbreeding at the V.A. Hospital, he discovered that zoos didn't have sufficient records to enable him to conduct the project. In response, he originated the International Species Inventory System (ISIS – now International Species Information System), which was a vital step towards science-based zoo animal management.

 

Ulie Seal was a `seer' – a wise man who could see the future of zoos – but he was also a `doer' – his theories were backed up by practical methods to put them into action. He was instrumental in creating the AAZPA Species Survival Plan, and served as the first Species Coordinator of one of the six original SSPs, that for the Amur tiger. From 1985 to 1989 he was Advisor to the now famous Black‑footed Ferret Recovery Program, which established a model for participatory management and interactive recovery programs for conservation. He brought zoos in from the cold and demonstrated how they could be linked with genuine conservation projects.

 

I can best describe Ulie Seal by relating some of my experience with him and what an impact it had on my life. I had been volunteering in Mysore Zoo, India, for just two or three years when I visited Minnesota to meet the people who ran ISIS, one of the zoo services which I felt could be the salvation of Indian zoo conservation. I had not heard of Seal but, incredibly, he had heard of me, as he kept up with everything! A couple of years later I attended a meeting of CBSG in Copenhagen and asked Ulie to appoint me as a member. This was a very arrogant request for a `zoo girl', a volunteer at that, and particularly then, when there were not so many CBSG members. But Ulie was a risk-taker with people – so I got my membership. Two years later, in 1991, after Ulie commented at the annual CBSG meeting in Singapore (rather casually, it subsequently turned out) that more regional activity would be useful, I sent him a proposal which requested the use of CBSG's name, logo and reputation to start `CBSG, India'. Once again, he agreed, and then endured years of being called over to run difficult workshops in very difficult circumstances. Ulie always left much `lighter' than he came, for we never had enough money or equipment and he often parted with most of his travel money and a printer or some other computer component. In 1997 I decided we could run the workshops all by ourselves and again Seal completely turned over control, always remaining available for giving advice, help, reinforcement and praise. His confidence in me gave me immense confidence in myself, and I did things that were not even dreams before I knew him.

 

My experience was not unique. The same scenario was played out all over the world with many dozens and perhaps hundreds of people. Although I knew Ulie for years and was privileged to spend many hours and days in his company, many people were similarly affected and inspired by him in just one meeting. He had a way of infusing people with inspiration, self-confidence and courage.

 

Another of Ulie's qualities was a talent for bringing people together – physically and mentally. Indeed, conflict resolution in conservation was given a kick-start by Seal as he integrated biological science and social science to help people move forward on sticky conservation issues.

 

Linking zoos with field conservation was one of Ulie's major platforms. Sir Peter Scott asked him to find a way to prioritise zoo animals for captive breeding so as to make zoos more meaningful to conservation. Ulie, with his colleague Tom Foose, developed the Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (CAMP) workshop process, which is now used for planning wildlife legislation and biodiversity strategy in countries all over the world. CAMP workshops, which used the IUCN Red List categories to rank species' threat status, provided a means for Ulie to point out that the old categories, being subjective, were outdated in the light of the new conservation sciences. This led to an initiative by IUCN to develop the new Red List criteria based on numerical values which are used so effectively today.

 

Ulie and Tom also developed the Population and Habitat Viability Assessment (PHVA) workshop, which was an evolved version of the Population Viability Analysis, adding habitat information and human social dynamics. The PHVA is another conservation tool which has revolutionized conservation action in dozens of countries. Also, today zoos contribute large sums of money and in-kind talent to field conservation, an idea and concept introduced in early days by zoos sponsoring PHVA and CAMP workshops organized by CBSG.

 

One amazing characteristic of Ulie's conservation creations is their tendency to evolve and change – continuously. Almost every time a CAMP or PHVA was conducted, some innovation was added. The resilience of these tools is at least partly due to their flexibility as well as to their eclectic nature. Individuals from literally dozens of countries all over the world contributed to them.

 

The last decade of Ulie's life, particularly since the death of Marialice, his wife of many years, was spent traveling from workshop to workshop all over the globe. It was not unusual for him to spend two or three weeks on the road, visiting several countries to conduct workshops and processes, come home for one day and then take off again. Ulie's energy for conservation planning and action as well as for people was practically unlimited.

 

Ulie Seal has passed away but he has left an amazing legacy. His trust in people, his ability to spot genuine `actioners', his enthusiasm for sharing his knowledge and his incredible insight and intellect have created a `second string' who number in the dozens. Nothing will die with Ulie. All of us who were lucky enough to come into contact with him, or even into contact with his dynamic products (the conservation tools, techniques and processes) carry a big piece of him with us in our lives and our conservation work. Although there will probably never be another individual to match him in our lifetime, perhaps, if we stick to the principles of action, fair play, conservation ethics, sharing and science which he espoused and lived, we can carry on as a `Ulie Conservation Team'. He would like that.

 

Sally Walker, Convenor, CBSG, South Asia

 

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EDITORIAL

 

Two feature articles in this issue of IZN discuss different techniques of sexing birds. This is a field that has seen dramatic advances in recent years. Until comparatively recently all the sexing methods available to aviculturists had serious defects. Guesswork and intuition had the advantage of being totally non-invasive but were – except, perhaps, in the hands of a few experienced and inspired keepers – extremely hit-and-miss; vent inspection – used in the poultry industry for many years – demanded extremely skilled practitioners and was slightly invasive; the surgical method (which involved making an incision in the abdominal wall and inserting a laparoscope to inspect the gonads) was reliable but required the services of a professional veterinarian and was grossly invasive. All these methods have to some extent been superseded by chromosomal (DNA) and hormonal analysis using blood or faeces. Dr Hammer and his co-authors describe the use of DNA sampling to sex birds of paradise and bowerbirds at Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, Qatar. (No doubt some readers will be as surprised as I was to learn that sexing can be a problem even in such extravagantly dimorphic species as birds of paradise.)

 

Dr Volodin and his colleagues in Moscow have been working with a sexually monomorphic species, the white-faced whistling duck. The method they describe is still relatively unfamiliar but seems in some ways potentially preferable even to the DNA techniques. While the preliminary research requires moderately high-tech – though not prohibitively expensive – equipment to record and analyse the birds' calls, subsequent sex identification can be carried out by ear after a little training. Whereas DNA sexing requires a separate – and costly – laboratory test for each individual bird, call-based sexing could easily be carried out by trained keepers in the course of their day-to-day work. The technique has apparently been successfully used for some years with a number of species, including members of such conservationally important families as cranes and parrots. I would not be surprised if, within five or ten years, acoustic sexing has become a regular part of bird management in many zoos.

 

Nicholas Gould

 

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PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS ON A BACHELOR GROUP OF RUFFED LEMURS AT LA VALLΙE DES SINGES

 

BY GUILLAUME ROMANO AND JAN VERMEER

 

Introduction

 

Ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata) are listed as endangered in their natural habitat, but are fairly common in zoos. The species has been the subject of an EEP since 1989, and since then the population of the black-and-white subspecies (V. v. variegata) has increased from about 130 to more than 350 individuals, while the population of the red subspecies (V. v. rubra) has increased in the same time from about 60 animals to 261 in 2002 (Schwitzer and Kaumanns, 2001). The programme has been so successful that breeding has to be limited, as there is a lack of space in zoos. One of the methods of limiting breeding is the formation of bachelor groups. These groups not only offer a solution to the problem of the male surplus, but can also act as a genetic reservoir for the population. For these reasons, and because bachelor groups provide the opportunity to present both subspecies together in a large group, La Vallιe des Singes primate park in Romagne, France, decided in 1998 to initiate a bachelor group. As the number of conflicts between the members of the group decreased with the years, it was decided in 2002 to make this group the subject of a study that took place in the same year. A summary of the results is presented in this article.

 

The study group

 

The original group consisted at the end of 1998 of 12 animals (Table 1). For various reasons, two animals died and another was transferred in spring 2002 due to his aggressive behavior towards group members. This animal came from the bachelor group at Apenheul, the Netherlands, from which he was removed for the same reason. For the first two years the group lived together in perfect harmony. There were some small disputes at feeding time, but there was very little serious aggression. This situation changed when one animal (Chris) died in spring 2001 as a result of a viper bite. The group became unstable, and in particular the male from Apenheul became very dominant and aggressive towards the other males (JV, pers. obs.). The group calmed down after he was removed, but there was still some tension between some group members. It should be noted that there was rarely aggression in the inside enclosure, while outside the animals chased each other. To get a better understanding of the social dynamics of the group, a study was initiated in spring 2002 by GR.

 

Study site

 

The group at La Vallιe des Singes has access to a large wooded area of about 5000 m2. They share the area with a bachelor group of 17 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and a small family group of white-fronted lemurs (Eulemur fulvus albifrons). Visitors have free access to the area, but have to stay on the paths, a rule which is very well respected. The keepers feed the animals seven to nine times a day.

 

Table 1: Ruffed lemurs living at La Vallιe des Singes in the period 1998–2002.

 

Name        Date of birth           Origin            Subspecies  Remarks

Chris       25.03.93          Cologne     v. subcincta      died 14.04.01

Kees        18.04.93          Apenheul    variegata   transferred 18.02.02

Thoiry            19.04.93          Thoiry            variegata  

Echo        06.05.96          Belfast           variegata   brother of Fennel

Banny       27.07.96          Banham      variegata  

Fennel            23.05.97          Belfast           variegata   brother of Echo

Zurich            28.05.95          Zόrich            rubra       died 11.01.00

Doei        16.05.95          Fontaine    rubra

Claude            02.04.96          Cologne     rubra       brother of Fidy

Fidy        11.04.97          Cologne     rubra       brother of Claude

Mangoro     05.05.97          Peaugres    rubra       brother of Mangoky

Mangoky     05.05.97          Peaugres    rubra       brother of Mangoro

 

At the end of the day the ruffed lemurs are locked up separately from the other lemurs in their night enclosure, which consists of three cages with a total area of 20 m2. The temperature in this house is between 17°C and 19°C, the relative humidity about 60%. The study site was divided into 11 zones, divided by the visitors' paths.

 

Study methods

 

The group was studied over a period of three months, from 15 April to 15 July. The observations took place between 08.30 and 20.00, in order to study the animals inside as well as outside. Every 30 minutes, the individual distances between the animals were recorded. The distances were divided into four categories: 0–1 m; 1–5 m; 5–10 m; >10 m. At the same time the position of each animal in the area was recorded, using the division of the territory into the 11 zones, and the general activity was determined. For a period of 90 minutes in the morning and 90 minutes in the evening, all social interactions and marking behaviours were recorded in the building. The same was done in the outside enclosure for eight hours during the day. Not only the behaviour and the animal, but also the location in the enclosure where the behaviour took place, was recorded.

 

Additional short observations were made on the bachelor group at La Boissiθre du Dorι and the breeding groups at Douι la Fontaine and Paris Zoo.

 

Results

 

The results show that there is very little individual distance between the members of the group. The group is clearly divided into two subgroups, one consisting of the red ruffed lemurs, the others of the black-and-white ruffed lemurs. This segregation between the subspecies has also been observed in the bachelor groups at La Boissiθre du Dorι (GR) and Apenheul (JV). We could also observe clearly the close relationships between the brothers in the group. It was not possible to find a stable hierarchy in the group.

 

The three animals who showed most of the marking behaviour were Doei, Thoiry and Banny. These are the three `loners' who do not have a relative in the group. They are also the animals who displayed most of the agonistic behaviours. Most of the aggressive behaviour was observed between four animals, the three loners and Echo.

 

When we compare the locations of the marking of the different animals, we see that there are not only large differences in the amount of marking, but also in the size of marking locations. There is very little overlap in marking locations, except between the three loners. Very interestingly, there was virtually no marking behaviour in the inside enclosure. This may explain the lack of aggression during the night and winter time, when the animals spend most of their time inside.

 

Discussion

 

Although the three animals that show most of the agonistic behaviour have overlapping marking locations, the aggression does not seem to be a result of defending their marking locality. The agonistic behaviours take place randomly in the outside enclosure, whenever a loner meets another animal. It is also striking that there is rarely any marking behaviour in the building, while there is also an absence of agonistic behaviour. The animals seem to avoid any social behavior there, and just enter to eat and to lie down somewhere to sleep. In the building there are enough sleeping places for every animal to lie down without being in contact with another animal. Keeping this in mind, we have the impression that the size of the enclosure is correlated with the amount of aggression in the group. The smaller the enclosure, the less agonistic behaviour. This may explain why there was much more tension in the group in a year when we gave the animals free access to the outside enclosure at night, and why we observe less aggression during winter time, when space is restricted (JV, pers. obs.).

 

Conclusion

 

As breeding programmes for primates become more successful in terms of reproductive outcome, there will be higher needs for different and sometimes less natural group compositions to resolve the problem of surplus of one or both sexes. Bachelor groups are being formed for many different species, but more time and research will be needed to see if this is really a solution of the problem. While small bachelor groups seem to work for ruffed lemurs in some European zoos, collections that keep a larger group with both subspecies have encountered many problems with keeping the animals together. A large group has recently been initiated at La Boissiθre, but observation by GR showed a high amount of agonistic behaviours between the group members. Even though there is less aggression between the animals at La Vallιe des Singes when they are kept in a small area, we do not think that this is the best way to keep such a group. While it avoids aggression, the animals may be constantly under stress, which cannot be good for their well-being. Although the aggression between the animals at Romagne rarely results in wounds, it might be better for the animals to make some changes in the group. We hope to replace the three `loners' for two pairs of brothers, and to study the subsequent changes in the behaviour of the group members.

 

A large bachelor group of ruffed lemurs is not only very attractive for visitors, but can also be an important solution for the surplus male problem in the EEP. It is therefore important to achieve a better understanding of the behaviour of the members, in order to make this kind of group more successful.

 

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the directors of La Boissiθre du Dorι, Douι la Fontaine and Parc Zoologique de Vincennes for allowing us to study their groups. Many thank also to Christoph Schwitzer, Cologne Zoo, for his support. And we should not forget to thank the lemur keepers at La Vallιe des Singes for their cooperation, and the other students who were present and made valuable comments during the study.

 

References

Romano, G. (2002): Relations sociales et comportements agonistiques d'un groupe de lιmurs vari mβles (Varecia variegata variegata et Varecia variegata rubra) ΰ La Vallιe des Singes. (In French: report of a study.)

Schwitzer, C., and Kaumanns, W. (2001): European Regional Studbook 2000 for the Ruffed Lemur Varecia variegata.

 

Guillaume Romano and Jan Vermeer, La Vallιe des Singes, Le Gureau, 86700 Romagne, France. (E-mail for correspondence: j.vermeer@la-vallee-des-singes.fr).

 

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REINTRODUCING PERSIAN FALLOW DEER IN ISRAEL

 

BY ELLIOT HANDRUS, DAVID SALTZ AND SHIRLI BAR-DAVID

 

Prologue

 

December 8, 1978: Teheran, Iran, after midnight. In a few hours the sun would rise, and the streets would fill with rioting revolutionaries. The Shah's days were numbered. Inside the Israeli embassy, remaining personnel were racing against time to close down the embassy and evacuate the premises. Documents and equipment were being loaded onto a truck standing inside the compound. Finally, just before dawn, the task was nearly completed. Only one more thing was left to load – four large crates standing in a quiet corner of the courtyard. The crates loaded, the truck promptly departed for the airport. Entering the airfield via an unguarded side entrance, it traveled onto a runway apron. There it halted next to an El Al jetliner, ringed by Israeli security guards. The crates were hastily off loaded from the truck and onto the aircraft. Shortly, the aircraft was airborne and on its way back to Israel. It was the last plane to leave Iran for Israel to this day.

 

December 8, 1978: Tel Aviv, Israel, David Ben-Gurion Airport. Waiting impatiently for the plane to land was Major General Avraham Yoffe, Director General of the Nature Reserves Authority of Israel. Yoffe, who had dedicated the last twelve years of his life to the flora and fauna of Israel. Yoffe, who had dreamed of bringing extirpated animals back to the Israeli landscape. This night was to be the start of the crown jewel of reintroductions in Israel, for inside those four crates were Persian fallow deer (Dama dama mesopotamica), among the rarest deer in the world. The Shah had implemented a program to save the subspecies, but the imminent collapse of his regime would bring an end to the program – and the deer – so the Israel Nature Reserves Authority had decided to spirit four animals out of Iran. At last, the plane landed safely and the animals were transported to Hai-Bar Carmel, an endangered animal breeding facility near the town of Haifa. There, they joined a single pair purchased from a European zoo some months earlier. The six animals were the nucleus of a breeding group from which a number would be selected to be reintroduced to the wild forests of northern Galilee in Israel, once again becoming part of the Israeli landscape.

 

Persian fallow deer history

 

The Persian fallow deer is one of two subspecies, the other being the common European fallow deer (Dama d. dama). The Persian subspecies is one of the rarest deer taxa in the world, and is currently listed in the IUCN Red Data Book as Endangered. Yet this deer was once abundant throughout western Asia. It is mentioned in the Bible (Deuteronomy 14: 5) as one of the animals fit to eat. Many portrayals of the Persian fallow deer, dating from about 100 BC to the early centuries AD, have been found across the Fertile Crescent (Chapman and Chapman, 1975). It declined throughout its range in recent centuries due to human expansion. The researcher von Schubert reported sighting a fallow deer in 1837 in the Mount Tabor region of Palestine (Paz, 1980), and Tristram (1884) reported sighting fallow deer in the same region in 1866, as well as along the Litani River in southern Lebanon. However, by the mid-20th century the Persian fallow deer was thought to be extinct (Chapman and Chapman, 1980). Then, in 1957 two small populations, of about a dozen animals each, were found along the Dez and Karkeh rivers, in Khuzestan province, south-western Iran (Pepper, 1974). Because these habitats were threatened by human activity, trapping wild animals to initiate a captive-breeding program was the only way to ensure the survival of the species (Reed, 1965). In 1958 such a program was initiated at the Opel Zoo in Kronberg, Germany, with two deer (Jantschke, 1991). This was the basis of the present-day world zoo population.

 

The 1995 issue of the world studbook (Rudloff, 1995) listed a total of 60 animals living in zoos other than Hai-Bar Carmel, Israel, and outside Iran. The situation in Iran is less clear, Heidman (1994) reports a herd of no more than 15 animals that still exists in its original habitat along the Dez river. There are approximately 250 deer in captivity in various places in Iran. Some have good survival and reproduction, but most are poorly managed.

 

The breeding core in Israel – Hai-Bar Carmel

 

The Hai-Bar Carmel breeding facility was established for breeding endangered animals for the purpose of reintroduction. It specializes in animals that were found in the Mediterranean zones of Israel. By 1996 there were more than 150 Persian fallow deer in Hai-Bar Carmel and the Israel Nature Reserves Authority began reintroducing the deer into a nature reserve at Nahal Kziv in Galilee, northern Israel.

 

The Persian fallow deer reintroduction program in Israel

 

A major component of reintroductions in populated areas is the education of the people living in that area. In the area around Nahal Kziv are many villages representing many cultures. All these people had to be educated about the deer and the program. This was done by the staff of the Nature Reserves Authority, and has proven to be an invaluable asset to the project. These people have assisted the deer and the workers, instead of shooting the deer, which was a likely possibility if there had been no conservation education.

 

Release site

 

The area selected for release was the Kziv River Nature Reserve in Galilee, (Saltz, 1994). This is a narrow (1 km wide and about 15 km long) reserve running along the Kziv river. Free water is available around the year in several stretches along the river bed.

 

Once or twice a year, since May 1996, about 12 deer have been transferred from the breeding core at Hai-Bar to the habituation enclosure. The selection of individuals is based on age and sex in terms of projected reproductive success (Saltz, 1996). The 12-hectare habituation enclosure has been constructed to allow the deer to adapt to their new habitat and its natural vegetation before the release. The enclosure is located in a ravine near a natural spring. Vegetation in the enclosure is representative of the vegetation in the release area.

 

During the first few days after transport from the reserve the deer are closely monitored. Supplemental food is provided initially, and gradually reduced. During their stay in the habituation enclosure, the animals are observed for any deterioration in their condition, and their behavior patterns are monitored in order to make sure that they have adjusted to their new environment. To minimize interference, the observations are conducted from a distance, without actual contact. The translocated deer settle in well. They change their diet to the natural growth in the enclosure, such as the leaves of the common oak and Palestine pistachio and the fruits of the carob, preferring these to the supplemental food. In the evenings they are observed leaving the dense brushwood and grazing in the open pastureland. During the rut, typical rutting behavior has been observed and during the fawning season fawns have been born in the enclosure.

 

The release

 

After about three months in the enclosure the animals are released to the wild. The release is carried out by opening part of the fence during daylight. Supplemental food and carob fruits are provided outside the enclosure to encourage the deer to leave it. The minimum interference policy is adhered to during the release as well.

 

Post-release monitoring by direct observations and radio-telemetry began immediately after the first release in September 1996 and is regularly performed three times a week. Monitoring is providing data on the ecology and population dynamics of the herd: reproductive success, survival, behavior, movement patterns, feeding habits and preferred habitat. In addition, the impact of the deer on the vegetation, such as the opening up of the dense Mediterranean scrub, is evaluated.

 

The reintroduced wild population – survival and reproduction

 

To date, there have been 12 releases since 1996, and there are now around 100 animals in the wild. From the data obtained from the radio-collared deer (about half of the released individuals), we estimate the survival rate to be about 80%. There have been six fawning seasons since the first release, during which fawns have been sighted in the wild. The exact number of fawns born is unknown; however, based on direct sightings and female home ranges, we estimate the reproductive success to be at least 30%.

 

Epilogue

 

Avraham Yoffe died in 1983. He never got to see the last chapter of his dream come true. The reintroduced population appear to have adapted well to their habitat. However, the real indication of success of the reintroduction will be the natural growth of the population through time.

 

The reintroduction project is presently continuing. Monitoring the released population is critical to increase the probability of success and improve the methodology in future reintroductions. Avraham Yoffe would be happy with the way this project is progressing. The deer are well on their way to becoming a self-sustaining population.

 

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank our colleagues from the Israel Nature Reserves Authority (NRA) for their invaluable help and support in this project: D. Meir (Tap), A. Ali, S. Maklade, Y. Maklade, A. Laurie. The reintroduction programs in Israel are funded by the Israel Nature Reserves Authority, the Zoological Society of San Diego, the Schussheim Foundation and the Keren Kayemet Le'Israel.

 

References

Bar-David, S., Dolev, A., Dayan, T., and Saltz, D. (1998): Behavioral and ecological aspects of reintroduced Persian fallow deer (Dama dama mesopotamica). In Advances in Deer Biology: Proceedings of the 4th International Deer Biology Congress (Pannon Agricultural University, Kaposvαr, Hungary), pp. 41–44.

Chapman, D., and Chapman, N. (1975): Fallow Deer; Their History, Distribution and Biology. Terence Dalton, Lavenham, Suffolk, U.K.

Chapman, D., and Chapman, N. (1980): The distribution of fallow deer: a worldwide review. Mammal Review 10: 61–138.

De Vos, A., Manville, R.H., and Van Gelder, G. (1956): Introduced mammals and their influence on native biota. Zoologica 41: 163–194.

Dolev, A., Bar-David, S., Yom-Tov, Y., and Saltz, D. (1998): Home range establishment in reintroduced Persian fallow deer (Dama dama mesopotamica). In Advances in Deer Biology: Proceedings of the 4th International Deer Biology Congress (Pannon Agricultural University, Kaposvαr, Hungary), pp. 187–189.

Heidmann, G. (1994): Situation of Persian fallow deer (Cervus dama mesopotamica) in Iran 1994. Internal report of Institut fόr Haustierkunde, Christian-Albrechts-Universitδt, Kiel, Germany.

IUCN (1987): The IUCN Position Statement on Translocation of Living Organisms: Introductions, Re-introductions and Re-stocking. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Jantschke, F. (1991): Persian fallow deer (Dama dama mesopotamica) at the Opel-Zoo Kronberg – a history and critical evaluation. In International Studbook of the Persian Fallow Deer No. 1 (ed. K. Rudloff), pp. 15–19.

Pepper, H.J. (1974): The Persian fallow deer. Oryx 7: 291–294.

Reed, C.A. (1965): Imperial Sassanian hunting of pig and fallow deer, and problems of survival of these animals today in Iran. Postilla 92: 1–23.

Rudloff, K. (1995): International Studbook of the Persian Fallow Deer No. 5. Tierpark Berlin, Germany.

Saltz, D. (1994): Ecological and genetic aspects of reintroduction programs. Ecology and Environment 1: 71–76. (Hebrew with English abstract.)

Saltz, D. (1996): Minimizing extinction probability due to demographic stochasticity in a reintroduced herd of Persian fallow deer. Biological Conservation 75: 27–33.

Saltz, D. (1998): A long-term systematic approach to planning reintroductions: the Persian fallow deer and the Arabian oryx in Israel. Animal Conservation 1: 245–252.

Saltz, D., and Rubenstein, D.I. (1995): Population dynamics of a reintroduced Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus) herd. Ecological Applications 5: 327–335.

Saltz, D., Rowen, M., and Rubenstein, D.I. (2000): The impact of space use patterns of reintroduced Asiatic wild ass on effective population size. Conservation Biology 14: 1852–1862.

Tristram, H.B. (1884): The Fauna and Flora of Palestine. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London.

 

Elliot Handrus, San Diego Wild Animal Park, 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, California 92027, U.S.A. (E-mail: ehandrus@sandiegozoo.org); David Saltz and Shirli Bar-David, Science Division, Nature and Parks Authority, 3 Am Ve'Olamo Street, Jerusalem 95463, Israel.

 

                                   *   *   *

 

MARWELL – THE FIRST THIRTY YEARS

 

BY JOHN TUSON

 

On 22 May 1972, Marwell Zoological Park opened its gates to the public for the first time. It was, according to accounts of the event by the park's founder, John Knowles, and long-term zoo supporter John Adams, a fairly inauspicious beginning: the British weather did what it does best, half-completed pathways were transformed into quagmires, and many visitors struggled to appreciate the groups of hitherto unknown beasts, many of which were to be seen at no other British zoo.

 

Since those days, the growth of Marwell has been inexorable. In 2002 the zoo celebrated the 30th anniversary of its opening. It is now firmly established, and if it is not quite in the premier league of European zoos, then it is certainly very close to gaining promotion. Recent years have seen the animal collection expand and a number of new exhibits open up. Visitor numbers have reached previously unimagined levels, nudging 400,000 a year. The zoo which was once something of a maverick has now become a pillar of the establishment.

 

At its genesis, Marwell's emphasis was on ungulates and large carnivores. Throughout its history it has displayed all three species of zebra, large groups of giraffe, waterbuck, scimitar-horned oryx (the zoo's emblem animal) and nyala. Amur tiger, cheetah and jaguar have been there from the very beginning as well. Over the past three decades these species have been joined by many others, some of them from the original Marwell constituency (okapi, bongo, Somali wild ass, snow leopard), while others have seen the zoo expand into previously unrepresented areas: a range of primate species is now to be seen, while an extraordinary collection of rodents is also maintained (though not always displayed).

 

Impressive as the list of species maintained at the zoo is, it is perhaps more impressive to see the numbers of each species which are held here in Hampshire. The 2001 Annual Report lists – amongst many others - 11 waterbuck, 11 addax, 14 sitatunga, 16 bongo, 16 sable antelope, 17 nyala, 18 scimitar-horned oryx, 18 dama gazelle, 18 greater kudu, 23 roan antelope and 26 zebra. Only Dvur Krαlovι in the Czech Republic can improve upon this as a collection of African ungulates.

 

Recent development at Marwell has seen a number of superb new areas open up within the zoo. Despite the problems it has faced with the health of its residents, Penguin World is an outstanding facility (even if it looks a little awkward, tucked into a corner of one of Marwell's signature massive paddocks); the World of Lemurs – now a decade old – is maturing into a marvellous display (helped by the arrival of species more remarkable than the initial ring-tailed and ruffed); recently opened accommodation for fossas and sand cats is world-class. A house which sees giraffes housed alongside gazelles, hyrax and – in a wonderfully capacious area – two species of African monkey is of the highest quality. The rest of the park has few problems that an inspired landscape architect couldn't resolve – for the moment there are a few too many ugly and obtrusive fences, a few too many utilitarian structures whose aesthetic values are low (the siamang cage is quite possibly the ugliest `good' enclosure you will find in a zoological garden). There's something not altogether convincing about one or two of the smaller displays at Marwell, as well: a recent group of four owl aviaries seems perfunctory, a bat house is shed-like, the zoo seems unsure what to do with all those rodents. But these are relatively minor quibbles. The Marwell collection is one of the best in Great Britain; at its best that collection is displayed with flair and panache; the interpretive material around the zoo is of a very high standard; with a society which is 10,000-strong, the zoo is enormously well supported by the local population. Furthermore, Marwell is a zoo for which conservation is more than a platitudinous marketing device: healthy links with various African projects and a dedicated Department of Conservation and Wildlife Management are to be admired.

 

In its three decades Marwell has had many successes and rather fewer failures. The following list of species maintained at the zoo over the past thirty years tells its own story. Some – the impala, the wildebeest, the duikers – never fully established themselves in Hampshire. Others have been abandoned as priorities and the emphasis of the collection have changed: 70% of the zoo's one-time deer species are now gone, as are the vast majority of a once-large pheasant collection.

 

Mammals at Marwell, 1972–2002

1.    Kowari Dasyuroides byrnei 1997– (still present)

2.    Bennett's wallaby Macropus rufogriseus 1972– (still present)

3.    Parma wallaby Macropus parma 1989– (still present)

4.    Eastern grey kangaroo Macropus giganteus 1980– (still present)

5.    Wallaroo Macropus robustus 1975–1985

6.    Common wombat Vombatus ursinus hirsutus 1981–1985

7.    Short-eared elephant shrew Macroscelides proboscideus 2000– (still present)

8.    Rodrigues fruit bat Pteropus rodricensis 2001– (still present)

9.    Seba's short-tailed bat Carollia perspicillata 2001– (still present)

10.   Coquerel's mouse lemur Microcebus coquereli 1991– (still present)

11.   Alaotran gentle lemur Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis 2001– (still present)

12.   Ring-tailed lemur Lemur catta 1991– (still present)

13.   Red ruffed lemur Varecia variegata rubra 1991– (still present)

14.   Black-and-white ruffed lemur Varecia variegata variegata 1991– (still present)

15.   Senegal bushbaby Galago senegalensis 1998–2000

16.   Pygmy marmoset Callithrix pygmaea 1987–1992; 1996– (still present)

17.   White-fronted marmoset Callithrix geoffroyi 1994–1996; 1998– (still present)

18.   Cotton-topped tamarin Saguinus oedipus 1980– (still present)

19.   Red-mantled tamarin Saguinus fuscicollis illigeri 1979– (still present)

20.   Geoffroy's tamarin Saguinus geoffroyi 1983–1992

21.   Emperor tamarin Saguinus imperator 1983–1991; 1993– (still present)

22.   Golden lion tamarin Leontopithecus rosalia rosalia 1984– (still present)

23.   Golden-headed lion tamarin Leontopithecus chrysomelas 1990– (still present)

24.   Goeldi's monkey Callimico goeldii 1981– (still present)

25.   Squirrel monkey Samiri sciureus 1983–1999

26.   Sulawesi macaque Macaca nigra 1974– (still present)

27.   Patas monkey Erythrocebus patas 1988–1991

28.   De Brazza's monkey Cercopithecus neglectus 1977–1988; 1990–2000

29.   Hamlyn's monkey Cercopithecus hamlyni 1999– (still present)

30.   King colobus Colobus polykomos polykomos 1999– (still present)

31.   Siamang Hylobates syndactylus 1984– (still present)

32.   Crested porcupine Hystrix cristata 1973– (still present)

33.   Mara Dolichotis patagona 1974– (still present)

34.   Orange-rumped agouti Dasyprocta leporina 1989– (still present)

35.   Degu Octodon degus 2001– (still present)

36.   Wild cavy Cavia aperea 2000– (still present)

37.   Capybara Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris 1975–1983; 1986– (still present)

38.   Red-bellied squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus 2000– (still present)

39.   Prιvost's squirrel Callosciurus prevosti 1997– (still present)

40.   Guayaquil squirrel Sciurus stramineus nebouxi 1998–2001

41.   Red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris 1997–1998

42.   Siberian chipmunk Tamias sibiricus 1978–1986; 1997– (still present)

43.   Iranian mouse-like hamster Calomyscus mystax 1998– (still present)

44.   European hamster Cricetus cricetus 1998– (still present)

45.   Roborovski's dwarf hamster Phodopus roborovskii 1998– (still present)

46.   Steppe lemming Lagurus lagurus 2001– (still present)

47.   Madagascar giant jumping rat Hypogeomys antimena 1998– (still present)

48.   Mongolian silver mountain vole Alticola semicanus alleni 1998–2000

49.   Reed vole Microtus fortis 1998– (still present)

50.   Gunther's vole Microtus guentheri 1998– (still present)

51.   Water vole Arvicola terrestris 1999; 2000

52.   Fat-tailed gerbil Pachyuromys duprasi 1998–1999

53.   Persian jird Meriones persicus 1998– (still present)

54.   Bushy-tailed jird Sekeetamys calurus 1998– (still present)

55.   Shaw's jird Meriones shawi 2000– (still present)

56.   Indian naked-soled gerbil Tatera indica 1998–2000

57.   Striped grass mouse Lemniscomys barbarus 1998–2001

58.   Turkish spiny mouse Acomys cilicius 2000– (still present)

59.   Multimammate mouse Mastomys natalensis 1998

60.   Tunisian house mouse Mus domesticus praetextus 1998–1999

61.   African pygmy mouse Mus minutoides 1999–2000

62.   Long-footed rat Malacomys edwardsi 2000– (still present)

63.   African dormouse Graphiurus murinus 2001– (still present)

64.   Fennec fox Fennecus zerda 1998

65.   Maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus 1975; 1981–1998

66.   Bush dog Speothos venaticus 1996– (still present)

67.   Cape hunting dog Lycaon pictus 1972–1990

68.   Malayan sun bear Helarctos malayanus 1972–1973

69.   Ring-tailed coati Nasua nasua 1973– (still present)

70.   Striped skunk Mephitis mephitis 1989–1994

71.   Red panda Ailurus fulgens 1975– (still present)

72.   Asian short-clawed otter Amblonyx cinereus 1974–1978; 1979–1996

73.   Meerkat Suricata suricatta 1981–1983; 1987– (still present)

74.   Dwarf mongoose Helogale parvula 1987–2000

75.   Banded mongoose Mungos mungo 2000– (still present)

76.   Fossa Cryptoprocta ferox 1999– (still present)

77.   Arabian sand cat Felis margarita harrisoni 2001– (still present)

78.   Ocelot Leopardus pardalis 2001– (still present)

79.   Caracal Caracal caracal 1980– (still present)

80.   Serval Leptailurus serval 1973– (still present)

81.   European lynx Lynx lynx 1972–2001

82.   Snow leopard Panthera uncia 1977– (still present)

83.   Siberian tiger Panthera tigris altaica 1972– (still present)

84.   Sumatran tiger Panthera tigris sumatrae 1972–1983

85.   Asiatic lion Panthera leo persicus 1978–2001

86.   Leopard (subspecific hybrid) Panthera pardus 1972–1989

87.   Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor 1981– (still present)

88.   Jaguar Panthera onca 1972– (still present)

89.   Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus 1972– (still present)

90.   Rock hyrax Procavia capensis 1987– (still present)

91.   Chapman's zebra Equus burchelli chapmani 1972– (still present)

92.   Grevy's zebra Equus grevyi 1972– (still present)

93.   Hartmann's mountain zebra Equus zebra hartmannae 1972– (still present)

94.   Kulan Equus hemionus kulan 1972–1999

95.   Onager Equus hemionus onager 1972–1977

96.   Somali wild ass Equus africanus somalicus 1993– (still present)

97.   Przewalski's wild horse Equus przewalskii 1972– (still present)

98.   Black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis 1981–1986

99.   White rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum simum 1986– (still present)

100.  Brazilian tapir Tapirus terrestris 1972–1997

101.  Malayan tapir Tapirus indicus 1981–1995; 1997– (still present)

102.  Babirusa Babyrousa babyrussa 1992– (still present)

103.  European wild boar Sus scrofa 1972–1983

104.  Warthog Phacochoerus africanus 1999– (still present)

105.  Collared peccary Pecari tajacu 1974– (still present)

106.  Pygmy hippo Hexaprotodon liberiensis 1983– (still present)

107.  Guanaco Lama guanicoe 1972–1985

108.  Vicuρa Vicugna vicugna 1986– (still present)

109.  Bactrian camel Camelus bactrianus 1973– (still present)

110.  Lesser Malay chevrotain Tragulus javanicus 1996– (still present)

111.  Formosan sika deer Cervus nippon taiouanus 1972–1986

112.  Hog deer Axis porcinus 1972–1997

113.  Fallow deer Dama dama 1972–1981

114.  Barasingha Cervus duvauceli 1974–1997

115.  Timor deer Cervus timorensis 1974–1976

116.  Axis deer Axis axis 1972–1997

117.  Reindeer Rangifer tarandus 1991– (still present)

118.  Pθre David's deer Elaphurus davidianus 1974–1986

119.  Reeves' muntjac Muntiacus reevesi 1978– (still present)

120.  Chilean pudu Pudu pudu 1984– (still present)

121.  Giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis 1972– (still present)

122.  Okapi Okapia johnstoni 1984– (still present)

123.  Blackbuck Antilope cervicapra 1972–1986

124.  Arabian gazelle Gazella gazella arabica 1978– (still present)

125.  Dama gazelle Gazella dama ruficollis 1980– (still present)

126.  Thomson's gazelle Gazella thomsonii 1984–1986

127.  Blue duiker Cephalophus monticola 1984–1986

128.  Maxwell's duiker Cephalophus maxwelli 1985–1987

129.  Scimitar-horned oryx Oryx dammah 1972– (still present)

130.  Arabian oryx Oryx leucoryx 1983– (still present)

131.  Gemsbok Oryx gazella gazella 1974– (still present)

132.  Roan antelope Hippotragus equinus 1981– (still present)

133.  Sable antelope Hippotragus niger 1974– (still present)

134.  Common waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus 1972– (still present)

135.  Nyala Tragelaphus angasi 1972– (still present)

136.  Greater kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros 1976– (still present)

137.  Sitatunga Tragelaphus spekei 1983– (still present)

138.  Bongo Tragelaphus euryceros 1990–1992; 1993– (still present)

139.  Addax Addax nasomaculatus 1975– (still present)

140.  Impala Aepyceros melampus 1972–1979

141.  Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus 1972–1988

142.  Eland Taurotragus oryx 1978–1981

143.  White-tailed gnu Connochaetes gnou 1972–1979

144.  Lowland anoa Bubalus depressicornis 1994– (still present)

145.  European bison Bison bonasus 1973–1983

146.  Congo buffalo Syncerus caffer nanus 1979– (still present)

147.  Takin Budorcas taxicolor taxicolor 2000

148.  Goral (subspecific hybrid) Naemorhedus goral 1972–1975

 

Birds at Marwell, 1972–2002

1.    Ostrich Struthio camelus 1972– (still present)

2.    Common rhea Rhea americana 1972– (still present)

3.    Darwin's rhea Pterocnemia pennata 1974–<1978

4.    Double-wattled cassowary Casuarius casuarius 1972–1985

5.    Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae 1972–1984

6.    Macaroni penguin Eudyptes chrysolophus 1996–1999

7.    African penguin Spheniscus demersus 1996–1999

8.    Humboldt's penguin Spheniscus humboldti 2000– (still present)

9.    Black-crowned night heron Nycticorax nycticorax 2001– (still present)

10.   White stork Ciconia ciconia 1973–1979

11.   Woolly-necked stork Ciconia episcopus 1973–1974 (?)

12.   Marabou stork Leptoptilos crumeniferus 1981– (still present)

13.   Waldrapp ibis Geronticus eremita 2000– (still present)

14.   African spoonbill Platalea alba 2000– (still present)

15.   Greater flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber roseus 1972–

16.   Caribbean flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber ruber 1972–

17.   Crested screamer Chauna torquata 1974–1975

18.   Fulvous whistling duck Dendrocygna bicolor 1976–1980; 1991– (still present)

19.   White-faced whistling duck Dendrocygna viduata 2001– (still present)

20.   Black swan Cygnus atratus 1973– (still present)

21.   Emperor goose Anser canagicus 1976–1983

22.   White-fronted goose Anser albifrons 1976–1983

23.   Snow goose Anser caerulescens 1976–1991

24.   Greylag goose Anser anser 1972– (still present)

25.   Canada goose Branta canadensis 1972– <1978

26.   Hawaiian goose Branta sandvicensis 1990–1991

27.   Greater Magellan goose Chloephaga picta leucoptera 1998– (still present)

28.   Australian shelduck Tadorna tadornoides 1984–1995

29.   Ringed teal Callonetta leucophrys <1978–1984; 1988– (still present)

30.   Carolina wood duck Aix sponsa <1975–1988

31.   Mandarin duck Aix galericulata <1978–1995; 1998– (still present)

32.   Maned duck Chenonetta jubata <1978–1984

33.   Lesser Brazilian teal Amazonetta brasiliensis 1976–1992

34.   Patagonian crested duck Anas specularioides specularioides 1976–1980

35.   Argentine red shoveler Anas platalea 1976–1981

36.   Common shoveler Anas clypeata 1980–1983

37.   Chiloe wigeon Anas sibilatrix 1976–1983

38.   Madagascar teal Anas bernieri 2001– (still present)

39.   European wigeon Anas penelope <1978–1980

40.   Northern pintail Anas acuta <1975–1997

41.   Falcated teal Anas falcata <1978–1995

42.   Red-crested pochard Netta rufina <1975–1987; 1992– (still present)

43.   Rosybill Netta peposaca 1980–1984

44.   Australian white-eyed duck Aythya australis 1976–1995

45.   European eider Somateria mollissima mollissima 1980– (still present)

46.   Common caracara Polyborus plancus 1976–1998

47.   Secretary bird Sagittarius serpentarius 1977– (still present)

48.   Crested guan Penelope purpurascens 1980– (still present)

49.   Gambel's quail Lophortyx gambelii 1983–1986

50.   Erckel's francolin Francolinus erckeli 1984–1987

51.   Temminck's tragopan Tragopan temmincki 1988–1993

52.   Satyr tragopan Tragopan satyra 1983– (still present)

53.   Himalayan monal Lophophorus impeyanus 1976–1981; 1985– (still present)

54.   Red junglefowl Gallus gallus 1979–1991

55.   Sonnerat's junglefowl Gallus sonnerati 1998– (still present)

56.   Brown eared pheasant Crossoptilon mantchuricum 1977–2001

57.   White eared pheasant Crossoptilon crossoptilon 1977–2001

58.   Blue eared pheasant Crossoptilon auritum <1978–1981

59.   Cheer pheasant Catreus wallichi 1973–1997

60.   Bornean crested fireback Lophura ignita 1981–1993

61.   Vieillot's crested fireback Lophura ignita rufa 1980–1981

62.   Malayan crestless fireback Lophura erythrophthalma erythropthalma 1994–1997

63.   Silver pheasant Lophura nycthemera<1976– <1978; 1983

64.   Edwards' pheasant Lophura edwardsi 1980– 1985

65.   Copper pheasant Syrmaticus soemmerringi 1983–1990

66.   Reeves' pheasant Syrmaticus reevesi <1976–1978

67.   Elliot's pheasant Syrmaticus ellioti 1977–1981

68.   Golden pheasant Chrysolophus pictus 1973–1983

69.   Lady Amherst's pheasant Chrysolophus amherstiae 1973–1980

70.   Grey peacock pheasant Polyplectron bicalcaratum 1983–1987; 1990–2001

71.   Helmeted guinea fowl Numida meleagris <1979–1984; 1998– (still present)

72.   West African crowned crane Balearica pavonina 1972–1981

73.East African crowned crane Balearica regulorum gibbericeps 1972–1991; 1996– (still present)

74.   Red-crowned crane Grus japonensis 1984– (still present)

75.   Lilford's crane Grus grus lilfordi 1972–1980

76.   Sarus crane Grus antigone 1972– (still present)

77.   Demoiselle crane Anthropoides virgo 1972–1984; 2001– (still present)

78.   Stanley crane Anthropoides paradisea 1978– (still present)

79.   Kori bustard Ardeotis kori 1972–1981

80.   Blue crowned pigeon Goura cristata 1973–1983

81.   Diamond dove Geopelia cuneata 1983–1985

82.   Moluccan cockatoo Cacatua moluccensis 1973–1980; 1986–1990

83.   Lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo Cacatua sulphurea 1973–1979

84.   Sulphur-crested cockatoo Cacatua galerita 1991–1998

85.   Goffin's cockatoo Cacatua goffini 1973–1980

86.   Umbrella cockatoo Cacatua alba 1974–1980

87.   Fischer's lovebird Agapornis fischeri 1986–1987

88.   Black-cheeked lovebird Agapornis nigrigenis 2000– (still present)

89.   Peach-faced lovebird Agapornis roseicollis 2000– (still present)

90.   Yellow-streaked lory Chalcopsitta scintillata <1978–1984

91.   Bourke's parrot Neopsephotus bourkii 1975–1978

92.   Lineolated parakeet Bolborhynchus lineola lineola 1975–1978

93.   Ring-necked parakeet Psittacula krameri <1976–1987

94.   Plum-headed parakeet Psittacula cyanocephala <1978–1978

95.   Quaker parakeet Myiopsitta monachus <1978–1978

96.   Jardine's parrot Poicephalus gulielmi <1975–1975

97.   African grey parrot Psittacus erithacus <1978–1980; 1986–1993

98.   Vasa parrot Coracopsis vasa 1985–1992

99.   Turquoise parrot Neophema pulchella 1981–1987

100.  Blue-fronted amazon Amazona aestiva 1981–2000

101.  Red-lored amazon Amazona autumnalis 1981–1993

102.  Orange-winged amazon Amazona amazonica 1985–1994

103.  Yellow-fronted amazon Amazona ochrocephala 1985–1986; 1994–2000

104.  Eastern rosella Platycercus eximius 1983

105.  Slender-billed conure Enicognathus leptorhynchus 1984– (still present)

106.  Lesser Patagonian conure Cyanoliseus patagonus patagonus 1986–1994

107.  Blue-throated conure Pyrrhura cruentata 1993– (still present)

108.  Sun conure Aratinga solstitialis 1998– (still present)

109.  Severe macaw Ara severa 1975–1996

110.  Yellow-naped macaw Ara auricollis 1980–1990

111.  Blue-and-yellow macaw Ara ararauna <1978–1999

112.  Scarlet macaw Ara macao 1987–2000

113.  White-cheeked turaco Tauraco leucotis 1983–1993; 1998–1999

114.  Mackinder's eagle owl Bubo capensis mackinderi 1974–1977

115.  European eagle owl Bubo bubo 1977–1990

116.  Snowy owl Nyctea scandiaca 1976–1998

117.  Little owl Athene noctua <1976–<1978

118.  Tawny owl Strix aluco <1976–<1978

119.  Woodford's owl Strix woodfordii 1978–1995

120.  Great grey owl Strix nebulosa 1999– (still present)

121.  Ural owl Strix uralensis 1999– (still present)

122.  Barn owl Tyto alba alba <1976–1981

123.  White-faced scops owl Otus leucotis 1998– (still present)

124.  Spectacled owl Pulsatrix perspicillata 1998– (still present)

125.  Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae 1986– (still present)

126.  Great Indian hornbill Buceros bicornis 1973–1987

127.  Red-billed hornbill Tockus erythrorhynchus 1977–1980

128.  Splendid glossy starling Lamprotornis splendidus 1974– <1978

129.  Greater hill mynah Gracula religiosa 1981–1989

130.  Red-billed blue pie Urocissa erythrorhyncha 1993– (still present)

131.  Azure-winged magpie Cyanopica cyana 1993– (still present)

 

Notes

·     This list has been compiled by drawing on Marwell's annual reports – published since 1978 – and, for the years before that, the zoo's newsletter. The information in this latter publication isn't always fully comprehensive, hence the occasional vagueness, especially with details of the bird collection in the zoo's early years.

·     This list includes only those species maintained at the zoo from the date of its opening to the public. The collection was obviously started prior to this date – the first animals to arrive were two Amur tigers in February 1970 – and some species brought in had left the collection before the official opening (clouded leopard and leopard cat are both mentioned by Adams, 1993).

·     The cut-off point for the compilation of this list was 31.12.01. Those animals listed as `still present' were in Marwell's collection at that date. However, animal collections are constantly changing: at the time of writing, the last bush dog has left Marwell, for example, while dorcas gazelle, cusimanse and tree shrew have all arrived in the collection for the first time.

·     Domestic animals, including llama and Ankole cattle, have not been included in this list (although Bactrian camel and reindeer have).

 

Sources

Adams, John (1993): Marwell – The Story So Far.

Marwell Preservation Trust Annual Reports, 1978–2001.

Marwell Preservation Trust magazine, variously titled Marwell Zoo's Paper and Marwell Zoo News.

 

John Tuson, 44 Cowper Street, Hove, East Sussex BN3 5BN, U.K. (E-mail: johnnytuson@hotmail.com)

 

                                   *   *   *

 

DNA SEXING IN BIRDS OF PARADISE AND BOWERBIRDS

 

BY SVEN HAMMER, SIMON JENSEN, JΦRG BALZER AND DIETER SANDOW

 

Introduction

 

A reliable attribution of gender is one of the most important prerogatives for the successful management of captive bird populations. This is particularly so in species which remain monomorphic throughout their life, but also in species in which the development of the mature male plumage can be delayed significantly due to reasons not yet understood, and therefore uncontrollable.

 

To date, no reports on the sexing of birds of paradise have been published. They were not included in the survey investigations of Ellegren (1996) and Griffiths et al. (1996). In birds of paradise, the development of the typical adult male plumage can be delayed, and the birds remain in the so-called `female plumage' for several years of life (Frith and Beehler, 1998; Hammer and Jensen, in prep.). There is evidence that female-plumed males can even sire viable offspring (Laska et al., 1992; Hammer and Jensen, in prep.). In general, birds of paradise are caught in the wild at leks, where most males, both fully-plumed and female-plumed, but only a few females, are present for longer periods of time (Frith and Beehler, 1998); the risk of having a high proportion of males in a shipment of wild-caught birds is therefore substantial, and the difficulty of obtaining female specimens has been a source of frustration for many collections (e.g. Frost, 1930). Therefore, sexing of the individuals at hand is important. However, the invasive endoscope technique is seldom warranted, as it involves health risks for these valuable animals and should therefore be kept to a minimum.

 

Female birds are heterozygotic (ZW) and male birds are homozygotic (ZZ). The molecular identification of gender is therefore possible through the detection of W-specific DNA sequences or the detection of a polymorphism of a Z-specific DNA sequence that indicates the presence of two Z chromosomes in males as, to date, no sex determining gene has been described for birds. This is generally done using Southern blot techniques (Griffiths and Holland, 1990; Quinn et al., 1990; Rabenold et al., 1991) or polymerase chain reactions (PCR) (Griffiths et al., 1992; Griffiths and Tiwari, 1993, 1995). One disadvantage of this approach is that it can only be applied to those species for which probes or primers have been developed with birds of known gender. This problem was potentially solved by Ellegren (1996) and Griffiths et al. (1996), who found that the CHD gene is highly conserved and W-chromosome linked in several diverse bird species (except the ratites). This gene could therefore be used as a standard gender identification locus, but a confirmation of this finding is still lacking in many bird species.

 

Methods

 

In the present study, sexing techniques as described by Griffiths et al. (1996) were adapted for real-time PCR using a LightCycler (Balzer et al., in prep.) and were applied to feather samples. Feathers were either plucked actively, or naturally moulted feathers were used. Five species of bird of paradise and one bowerbird species were investigated (Table 1).

 

The sexing method was established by using material from animals whose gender had been confirmed either by fully-developed male plumage, by egg-laying, or by visual inspection of the gonads at necropsy.

 

Table 1. Results of DNA tests performed on several bird of paradise species and flame bowerbirds, in relation to the status of gender attribution prior to DNA sexing.

 

Species                                   No of       Unsexed     Visual      New result

                                    DNA tests   animals     sexing      in contrast

                                    performed   tested            con-  to visual

                                                            firmed      sexing

Greater BOP (Paradisaea apoda)            13          13          –     –

King BOP (Cicinnurus regius)              16          9           5     2

Lesser BOP (Paradisaea minor)             1           1           –     –

Red BOP (Paradisaea rubra)                2           –           2     –

Twelve-wired BOP (Seleucidis melanoleuca) 8           –           7     1

Flame Bowerbird (Sericulus aureus ardens) 7           –           6     1

 

Results

 

In all the species investigated, the same polymorphism pattern was confirmed: there was no Dde I-polymorphism and a Mbo II-polymorphism was positive in male animals only. However the Hae III-polymorphism as well as the new LightCycler hybridization probe did positively discriminate between males and females.

 

In total, 40 DNA tests were performed on birds of paradise and seven on flame bowerbirds. The majority of tests in the birds of paradise were performed on animals of unknown gender. From among 17 birds of paradise with visually determined gender, it was revealed that this had led to a wrong gender attribution in three cases (18%). Among the bowerbirds, all of whom had been sexed visually prior to DNA testing, one animal had been classified wrongly (14%).

 

Discussion

 

In general, the method of gender determination using real-time PCR and moulted feathers worked very well in the species investigated. Among the passerines, polymorphisms in the three classical gene loci used in gender determination – Dde I, Mbo II, Hae III – often do not occur in all three loci (Balzer, pers. obs.). For a polymorphism in Dde I, Griffiths et al. (1996) remarked that this form of discrimination appeared unlikely to be conserved in all bird species, just as it isn't in the species we investigated. The same authors demonstrated the presence of an Hae III-polymorphism in a series of species, underlining that a polymorphism in this locus is probably a very stable characteristic in Aves.

 

The relatively high incidence of wrong gender attribution by means of visual inspection only – up to 18% in the birds of paradise – underlines the importance of a reliable sexing technique. As long as the conditions under which, in these birds, the development of a fully mature male plumage occurs are unknown, the formation of breeding pairs must be based on DNA sexing.

 

References

Ellegren, H. (1996): First gene on the avian W chromosome (CHD) provides a tag for universal sexing in non-ratite birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (Series B) 263: 1635–1641.

Frith, C.B., and Beehler, B.M. (1998): The Birds of Paradise. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Frost, W.J.C. (1930): The nesting habits of the king bird of paradise. Avicultural Magazine 8: 33–35.

Griffiths, R., and Holland, W.H. (1990): A novel avian W chromosome DNA repeat sequence in the lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus). Chromosoma 99: 243–250.

Griffiths, R., and Tiwari, B. (1993): The isolation of molecular genetic markers for the identification of sex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 90: 8324–8326.

Griffiths, R., and Tiwari, B. (1995): Sex of the last wild Spix's macaw. Nature 375: 454.

Griffiths, R., Daan, S., and Dijkstra, C. (1996): Sex identification in birds using CHD genes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (Series B) 263: 1251–1256.

Griffiths, R., Tiwari, B., and Becher, S.A. (1992): The identification of sex in the starling Sturnus vulgaris using a molecular DNA technique. Molecular Ecology 1: 191–194.

Laska, M., Hutchins, M., Sheppard, C., Worth, W., Hundgen, K., and Bruning, D. (1992): Successful reproduction by unplumed male lesser bird of paradise: evidence for an alternative mating strategy. Emu 92: 108–111.

Quinn, T.W., Cooke, F., and Whiter, B.N. (1990): Molecular sexing of geese using a cloned Z chromosomal sequence with homology to the W chromosome. Auk 107: 199–202.

Rabenold, P.R., Piper, W.H., Decker, M.D., and Minchella, D.J. (1991): Polymorphic minisatellite amplified on avian W chromosome. Genome 34: 489–493.

 

Sven Hammer and Simon Jensen, Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, Qatar; Jφrg Balzer and Dieter Sandow, Institut fόr klinische Prόfung Ludwigsburg GmbH, Veterinδrmedizinisches Labor, Ludwigsburg, Germany. Corresponding author: Sven Hammer, Dr.med.vet., Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, Sheikh Saoud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al Thani, P.O. Box 7935, Al Wabra, Doha, State of Qatar (E-mail: alwabra@qatar.net.qa).

 

                                   *   *   *

 

NON-INVASIVE SEX RECOGNITION IN THE WHITE-FACED WHISTLING DUCK

 

BY ILYA A. VOLODIN, ELENA V. VOLODINA AND ANNA V. KLENOVA

 

Introduction

 

The problem of sex determination in birds without external sexual differences arises repeatedly both in captive management and during field observations (Volodina and Volodin, 1999). Behavioural data do not always provide reliable indicators, because many species without sexual dimorphism readily form homosexual pairs, and the behaviour of the `mates' in these pairs is often indistinguishable from that seen in heterosexual pairs (Lorenz, 1966; Fabricius, 1981; Conover and Hunt, 1984; Hunt et al., 1984; Conover, 1989; Volodin, 1990). Sex determination based on laparoscopy, cloacal inspection or DNA analysis demands that the bird is captured and subjected to relatively unpleasant treatments, making it undesirable (especially for rare species) or impossible (in the wild). So recent decades have seen the development of an alternative approach, based on call structure, which is non-invasive and non-traumatic (Tikhonov et al., 1988; Volodina and Volodin, 1999). The background to intersexual differences in bird vocalisations lies in the complexity of avian vocal organs and in the sex-specific occurrence of extensions to the vocal tract (Fitch, 1999). Data on different bird taxa have shown that the reliability of sex determination by this method is no lower than that obtained by using the traumatic procedures (Tikhonov et al., 1988; Eakle et al., 1989; Carlson and Trost, 1992; Venuto et al., 2001).

 

The white-faced whistling duck (Dendrocygna viduata) is a beautifully ornamental species and one of the favourite waterfowl kept in zoos (Bolen, 1973). It is one of eight species of the tribe Dendrocygnini – a compact group with entire absence of any sexual dimorphism in size, coloration or behaviour (Johnsgard, 1965). Male and female share the incubation of eggs and the care of ducklings. After hatching, the parents together lead the ducklings to the nearest pool. One adult will often fly ahead of the brood to scout for possible danger (C. Wintle and P. Ginn, pers. comm.). There are no peculiarities, in either adult or young individuals, which allow sex to be identified from a distance, except observations of copulation (Clark, 1978). Some differences in mates before egg-laying – in comfort behaviour (higher in females) and alertness (higher in males) – may not serve as fast and reliable indicators of sex (Petrie and Rogers, 1997).

 

Whistling ducks received their name because of their characteristic species-specific loud whistling calls (Johnsgard, 1965). Birds usually produce these calls during foraging and flight in the flocks that they form after breeding. Individuals stimulate each other to call, and sometimes all the members of a flock begin to call together (Clark, 1978). Besides the loud whistles, the vocal repertoire of whistling ducks involves a few other types of call, significantly less intensive and audible only at close range (Clark, 1978; Volodina and Volodin, 2003). A comparison between the calls of individually marked fulvous whistling ducks (D. bicolor) has shown that the structure of these quiet calls did not differ between the sexes, and that only the loud whistles have the potential to be indicators of sex (Volodina and Volodin, 2003). An aim of this research was to reveal sexual differences in the structure of the loud whistles in the white-faced whistling duck.

 

Methods

 

Eleven (9.2) adult, sexually mature white-faced whistling ducks born in 1998 were used as study animals. All of them were individually marked with coloured leg rings. Sex was determined before the beginning of the study using cloacal inspection. The ducks were housed in a flock, together with other waterfowl, in an outdoor enclosure of about 100 m2 at Moscow Zoo. The enclosure has a small pond with running water, bushes and large stones. All the white-faced ducks used all the enclosure territory, without preferences for particular parts; no individual or pair home ranges were identified.

 

The ducks' loud whistles were recorded from 10 June to 17 September 2001 in the evening after the zoo was closed to visitors. We used an Agidel-302C tape recorder with a Tesla-AMD-411N dynamic microphone attached to the enclosure netting. In total we had 14 recording sessions of from 25 to 60 minutes each (total – 615 min.). During the sessions two observers, who stood outside the enclosure, determined the individuals responsible for the whistles. The distance from bird to microphone varied from two to ten metres.

 

The loud whistles were often produced by birds who had lost visual contact with their conspecifics, and this in turn evoked loud whistles in response from other birds. The calls were usually produced in series. We did not find any other factors influencing loud whistle production in this species.

 

For sonographic analysis we used Avisoft-SAS Lab Pro version 3.4e (© R. Specht). We used sampling rate 22 kHz, Hamming window, FFT-length 512 points, frame 50%, overlap 87.5%. Correspondingly, these settings provided bandwidth 111 Hz, time resolution 2.9 ms and frequency resolution 43 Hz.

 

We selected for analysis only calls of good quality from individual birds who were identified by both observers. For each bird we randomly selected from 18 to 22 calls, except with two males who provided only five and seven calls with precise individual identification. In total, we analysed 194 calls.

 

The loud whistles of white-faced ducks have a specific three-part structure (Fig. 1). In the course of a call three maxima and two minima of fundamental frequency are clearly distinguishable. For each call we measured seven frequency and five temporal parameters (Fig. 1).

 

We used stepwise discriminate analysis on seven frequency and five temporal parameters to assign individuals to a certain sex. The analysis was made in STATISTICA, version 5.0.

 

Results

 

Figure 2 shows differences in values of frequency and temporal parameters in loud whistles of white-faced whistling duck males and females. It is evident that values for all fundamental frequency parameters are much higher in females. Moreover, six out of seven frequency parameters (Fig. 2, two upper rows) did not show any overlapping between male and female samples, that is, for these parameters differences were perfect, not statistical. Initial frequencies (fbeg) were below 2.65 kHz in males, and above this magnitude in females. Similarly, the first maximum frequency (fmax1) was below 4.5 kHz in males and above 5.0 kHz in females; the first minimum (fmin1) below 2.4 kHz in males and above 2.6 kHz in females; fmax2 below 4.2 kHz in males and above 5.0 kHz in females; fmin2 below 2.7 kHz in males and above 2.7 kHz in females; fmax3 below 3.9 kHz in males and above 4.1 kHz in females (Fig. 2). There is some overlapping of final frequency (fend) values among males and females. However, fend was also significantly lower in males than in females (Mann-Whitney U-test, U = 13, p < 0.001). Therefore, male loud whistles were significantly lower in frequency in comparison with female ones (Fig. 3).

 

Sexual differences in temporal parameters were more complex (Fig. 2). First (dur1) and second (dur2) call parts were significantly longer in males than in females (U = 121, p < 0.001 and U = 127.5, p < 0.001 respectively). Third call part (dur3), in contrast, was significantly longer in females (U = 1798, p < 0.001). Duration between first and second frequency maxima (dur4) was significantly longer in males (U = 811.5, p < 0.001), whereas duration between second and third maxima (dur5) did not differ between the sexes (U = 2601.5, ns).

 

Percentages of correct assignment of calls to a particular sex, counted using discriminate function analysis, are shown in Table 1. All calls without exception were correctly assigned to a sex. Stepwise discriminate analysis has shown that the primary contribution in distinguishing between the sexes was provided by the frequency of first maximum (fmax1) and duration of second call part (dur2), and these two parameters were able on their own to guarantee 100% of correct assignment to a sex. In general, frequency parameters contribute more to discrimination between the sexes. However, taken separately, both frequency and temporal parameters provided 100% correct assignment to a certain sex.

 

Table 1. Assignment of loud whistles to a certain sex in the white-faced whistling duck on the basis of stepwise discriminate function analysis.

 

Sex         Assignment to a predicted group     Total Percentage of correct assignment

 

            Males       Females

Males       152                           152         100.0

Females                 42                42          100.0

Total       152         42                194         100.0

 

Discussion

 

The data obtained in this study show that in white-faced whistling ducks – a species in which the sexes cannot be distinguished either by coloration or by behaviour – sex may be accurately determined even by a single loud whistle produced by a bird. Male calls are much lower in frequency than female calls, and these differences are great enough to allow sex estimation by ear alone after brief training, without the use of tape recording equipment.

 

Such significant differences in male and female call structures are most probably related to sexual differences in vocal tract morphology. The male trachea in white-faced whistling ducks has a symmetrical extension in its lower part. Females do not have such an extension, but they do have a membranous area at the point where the bronchi diverge (Johnsgard, 1965; 1971). However, more research will be needed to determine the role of each of these morphological structures in the production of the fairly different loud whistles in this species, especially since in a morphologically related species – the fulvous whistling duck – sexual differences appear in the duration, not the frequency, of the loud whistles (Volodina and Volodin, 2003). However, the practical use of vocal cues for sex determination, both in captive management and in observations in the wild, is already possible.

 

The call-based method of sex determination is not yet widespread, but there is already much evidence of its usefulness for a few bird taxa. First of all, intersexual differences in calls may be found in species with morphological differences in the vocal tract between the sexes. These differences are present in some Gruiformes (limpkin, Aramus guarauna), Ciconiformes (yellow-billed stork, Mycteria ibis), Galliformes (nocturnal curassow, Nothocrax urumutum, and all nine species of Ortalis) and Passeriformes (trumpet bird, Phonygammus keraudrenii, and three species of Manucodia). Males and females of all the three Manucodia species are similar in their coloration, but only males have a tracheal elongation, which results in significant voice lowering in males in comparison with females (Fitch, 1999). Sexual differences in call structure may also occur also in species which do not differ in their tracheal anatomy. For example, in adult whooping cranes (Grus americana) the accuracy of sex identification by guard call frequency reaches 98.8% (Carlson and Trost, 1992). Over a number of years visual analysis of spectral differences in the calls of common cranes (Grus grus) from the European population was used for testing of sexual and individual identity (Wessling, 2000). Besides this, there are preliminary data on the existence of sexual differences in stress calls of six species of Poicephalus parrots (Venuto et al., 2001), noisy calls of eastern screech owl (Otus asio) (Cavanagh and Ritchison, 1987) and alarm calls of black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) chicks (Koschmianova et al., 1984).

 

Call-based sex identification has potential practical value in the domestic poultry industry as a method of sexing day-old chicks and goslings (Tikhonov et al., 1988). The technique has also been tested on game species, for example Canada goose (Branta canadensis) (Phokin, 1985). However, most of these data were based on limited samples and further testing will be necessary.

 

Modern computer technology allows us not only to listen to sounds, but also to look at them. Cheaply (or even freely) available software for sound analysis and playing provides a good basis for progress in research into call-based sex recognition in sexually monomorphic bird species and for applying this approach in zoos' and breeders' practice.

 

Acknowledgements

We are sincerely grateful to Nicolay Skuratov for his help with this work; to John Dini, Scott Petrie and Kathleen Calf, who sent us necessary literature; and to Colin Wintle and Peter Ginn, who told us about their observations on the behaviour of white-faced whistling ducks in the wild and in captivity. Many thanks to the ornithological brotherhood in Russia, the United Kingdom and South Africa for encouragement and support.

 

References

Bolen, E.G. (1973): Breeding whistling ducks Dendrocygna spp. in captivity. International Zoo Yearbook 13: 32–37.

Carlson, G., and Trost, C.H. (1992): Sex determination of the whooping crane by analysis of vocalizations. Condor 94: 532–536.

Cavanagh, P.M., and Ritchison, G. (1987): Variation in the bounce and whinny songs of the eastern screech-owl. Wilson Bulletin 99: 620–627.

Clark, A. (1978): Some aspects of the behavior of whistling ducks in South Africa. Ostrich 49: 31–39.

Conover, M.R. (1989): Parental care by male–female and female–female pairs of ring-billed gulls. Colonial Waterbirds 12: 148–152.

Conover, M.R., and Hunt, G.L. (1984): Experimental evidence that female–female pairs in gulls result from a shortage of breeding males. Condor 86: 472–476.

Eakle, W.L., Manan, R.W., and Grubb, T.G. (1989): Identification of individual breeding bald eagles by voice analysis. Journal of Wildlife Management 53: 450–455.

Fabricius, E. (1981): Homosexuality in male greylag geese Anser anser. Vεr Fεgelvδrld 40: 427–446. (In Swedish.)

Fitch, W.T. (1999): Acoustic exaggeration of size in birds via tracheal elongation: comparative and theoretical analyses. Journal of Zoology (London) 248: 31–48.

Hunt, G.L., Newman, A.L., Warner, M.H., Wingfield, J.C., and Kaiwi, J. (1984): Comparative behavior of male–female and female–female pairs among western gulls prior to egg-laying. Condor 86: 157–162.

Johnsgard, P.A. (1965): Handbook of Waterfowl Behavior. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York.

Johnsgard, P.A. (1971): Observations on sound production in the Anatidae. Wildfowl 22: 46–59.

Koschmianova, N.V., Tikhonov, A.V., and Kharitonov, S.P. (1984): Spectrally-temporal structure of alarm-calls and sexual differences in chicks of black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus L.). Scientific Report of Higher Schools: Biological Sciences 6: 30–33. (In Russian.)

Lorenz, K. (1966): On Aggression. Bantam Books, New York.

Petrie, S.A., and Rogers, K.H. (1997): Activity budget of breeding white-faced whistling ducks Dendrocygna viduata on stock-ponds in semi-arid South Africa, and a comparison with north-temperate waterfowl. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 27: 79–85.

Phokin, S.J. (1985): Behaviour and acoustical signalisation in geese under captive breeding. In Game Bird Breeding, Moscow, pp. 108–120. (In Russian.)

Tikhonov, A.V., Morenkov, E.D., and Phokin, S.J. (1988): Behaviour and Bioacoustics in Birds. Moscow University Press, Moscow. (In Russian.)

Venuto, V., Ferraiuolo, V., Bottoni, L., and Massa, R. (2001): Distress call in six species of African Poicephalus parrots. Ethology, Ecology and Evolution 13: 49–68.

Volodin, I.A. (1990): Establishment and maintenance of social relations in captive red-breasted goose groups. Bulletin of Moscow Society of Naturalists: Biological Series 95: 42–50. (In Russian.)

Volodina, E.V., and Volodin, I.A. (1999): Bioacoustics in zoos: a review of applications and perspectives. International Zoo News 46 (4): 208–213.

Volodina, E.V., and Volodin, I.A. (2003): Individual and sexual variability in sounds of fulvous whistling duck (Dendrocygna bicolor) – a species without visible sexual differences. Casarka 9: accepted. (In Russian.)

Wessling, B. (2000): Individual recognition of cranes, monitoring and vocal communication analysis by sonography. In Proceedings, IV European Crane Workshop, Verdun, France.

 

Ilya A. Volodin, Ph.D., Moscow Zoo, Elena V. Volodina, Ph.D., Moscow Zoo, and Anna V. Klenova, Lomonosov Moscow State University. Address for correspondence: Ilya A. Volodin, Scientific Research Department, Moscow Zoo, B. Gruzinskaya str., 1, Moscow 123242, Russia (E-mail: popovsv@orc.ru).

 

Figure 1.  Measured parameters in loud whistles of white-faced whistling ducks. On the sonogram, points of measurements for initial frequency (fbeg), end frequency (fend), three maxima (fmax1, fmax2, fmax3) and two minima (fmin1, fmin2) of fundamental frequency are shown. Sections illustrate measurements of temporal parameters: durations of first, second and third parts of a call (dur1, dur2 and dur3 respectively), and durations between first and second (dur4) and second and third (dur5) frequency maxima.

 

Figure 2. Values of frequency and temporal parameters of male and female loud whistles in white-faced whistling duck. Light square = mean, dark rectangle = mean ± SD, vertical lines illustrate range from minimum to maximum value.

 

Figure 3. Sonograms of male (left) and female (right) loud whistles of white-faced whistling duck. Notice meaningful differences in fundamental frequency of the whistles.

 

                                   *   *   *

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Dear Sir,

 

I think it's safe to say that no two people would share the same definition of `a fool'; there could even be those who opine `A fool is someone who does not agree with me'! But having pondered long on the matter I'm inclined to the view that a fool is someone who does not know his limitations. Consequently the appellation could justly be imposed, collectively, on the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

 

Founded, somewhat ironically, in the same year (1828) that saw the launch of the Zoological Society of London, the RSPCA originally – and for long – did laudable work with and for domestic pets and farm animals, and in the suppression of cruelty per se – i.e. the deliberate inflicting of suffering. But over recent decades it has so exceeded its brief, by interfering in matters of which it's entirely ignorant, besides adopting the role of a self-appointed police force, that it's rapidly becoming one of the most cordially detested charities – because that's all it really is – in the country. I do not have to remind readers that what was once interest in and concern about animals has been replaced by near-hysteria about them – which creates an all-too-fertile field in which the RSPCA (which openly admits it has recently been infiltrated by animal-rights extremists) currently over-operates. Its current quest for a political position, with unlimited power, has prompted many organisations to cry `enough' – one, for instance, is challenging its charitable status, and another is even calling for its prefix `Royal' to be removed. Interestingly, its new Director General is on record as saying that although she likes animals she knows little about them – an assertion well borne out by her stating in The Times that in her view all non-domestic animals in confinement should be returned to the wild!

 

It appears that the main thrust of the RSPCA's elephant review [see IZN 50 (2), pp. 70–71 and 86–90] is based on the claim that many of these animals die prematurely in confinement, and that they rarely breed under such conditions. This brings up an interesting and highly relevant point. Had these folk been wielding the power they currently enjoy, say, seventy or eighty years ago, they would have gleefully fastened on one particular species which was then notoriously `difficult'. The few which did come into zoological collections rarely lived more than months or even weeks, while a year was considered to be exceptionally good going. In fact William Hornaday, the highly respected Director of the New York Zoological Park, dogmatically declared that never, ever, would an adult of the species be seen in confinement: breeding was absolutely out of the question – or, more likely, in the realms of fantasy. It's fortunate that the likes of the RSPCA, the Born Free Foundation and others were not pontificating then, or there's a strong chance that nowadays a certain animal species wouldn't be nearing a possible state of something approaching domestication, due entirely to humane and compassionate perseverance plus learning from mistakes.

 

I'm sure you've heard of this animal – it's called the gorilla!

 

Yours faithfully,

Clinton Keeling,

13 Pound Place,

Shalford,

Guildford,

Surrey GU4 8HH,

U.K.

 

                                   *   *   *

 

BOOK REVIEWS

 

ORANGUTANS AND THEIR BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL by Leif Cocks. University of Western Australia Press, 2002. 80 pp., numerous colour photos, paperback (280 ΄ 240 mm). ISBN 1–876268–80–8. A$29.95 [c. £10.50 or Euros/US$16].

 

Perth Zoo has kept Sumatran orang-utans continuously since 1968, when four animals were imported from a collection in Malaysia. One of these, a wild-born female named Puan, was the founder of the zoo's present colony; she has produced 11 offspring (the last at the age of 40), and is now one of the oldest known members of her species. Despite its title, Orangutans and their Battle for Survival has little to say about these animals in the wild; indeed, Leif Cocks takes a very gloomy view of the wild populations' prospects, arguing that `for the orangutan to have any chance of survival, all the remaining populations, both in the wild and in captivity, need to be actively managed as one megapopulation.' Given the vital role of zoos in this `battle for survival', Mr Cocks, formerly Perth's head orang-utan keeper and now its curator of exotic mammals, has written a brief account of the management techniques which have made the zoo probably the most successful in the world at maintaining a healthy and successful breeding colony of these apes.

 

To promote orangs' physical health and fight the obesity to which they are so liable in zoos, it is essential to encourage climbing. Given these animals' notorious propensity to wreck anything that can be wrecked, Perth has abandoned any attempt to create a naturalistic enclosure, going instead for what could be called the `Aspinall solution' of unashamedly artificial climbing structures which are functionally, though not aesthetically, similar to rainforest trees. In this way, problems of lethargy and obesity are minimised, and visitors can appreciate the beauty and agility of the animals while they move around as evolution designed them to.

 

A successful zoo environment must also meet the animals' social needs. Orangs are primarily solitary animals (or, more precisely, have a `dispersed' social structure), and traditional zoo housing is almost bound to bring them to a state of permanent stress. Perth avoids this by reducing group size; the zoo's orang-utan housing consists of a series of separate enclosures in each of which an adult female lives with one or two offspring, while adult males are kept singly except when required for breeding. This system gives the animals the option of visual contact, while providing them with their own territories, a scaled-down version of their adjacent ranges in the wild.

 

Leif Cocks provides a concise but fascinating summary of orang-utan husbandry in a world-class zoo colony, and the love and admiration he feels for these great apes shines through in every page of his text. Orang fans will also appreciate the numerous large-format colour photos, the finest I can recall ever seeing of this species. Indeed, other collections which house orang-utans might find the book, with its immediate visual appeal, worth a space on the shelves in the zoo shop.

 

Nicholas Gould

 

A PASSION FOR NATURAL HISTORY: THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF THE 13th EARL OF DERBY edited by Clemency Thorne Fisher. National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, 2002. 240 pp., 330 illustrations (mostly colour), paperback (220 ΄ 170 mm). ISBN 1–902700–14–7. Available from the publishers (The Publication Stockroom, NMGM Enterprises Ltd, P.O. Box 33, 127 Dale Street, Liverpool L69 3LA, U.K., Phone 0151 478 4685, Fax 0151 478 4024), price £25.00 plus postage and packing (U.K. and Europe £4.00, rest of world £5.00 surface or £10.00 airmail).

 

The great estate of Knowsley, near Liverpool, is today the home of one of Britain's largest safari parks, founded in 1971 by the 18th Earl of Derby in partnership with Jimmy Chipperfield. Though perhaps not in the very first rank of British zoos, the park has a respectable stocklist and a good breeding record (births this year already include an African elephant – see below, p. 178 – and a white rhino). Long before 1971, however, there was a menagerie at Knowsley which has a leading place in zoo history; for it was here that Edward Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby, built up, between 1834 and his death in 1851, an animal collection which far surpassed that of the Zoological Society of London in Regent's Park. Knowsley in 1851 had 345 mammals of 94 species, and 1,272 birds of 318 species: if such a collection existed today, it would outclass any other zoo in Britain, and would have few equals elsewhere in the world.

 

When the 13th Earl died, his large collection of stuffed mammals and birds was bequeathed to the city of Liverpool, and a museum to house them was quickly established. A Passion for Natural History is the catalogue published by the Liverpool Museum to accompany an exhibition celebrating the 150th anniversary of this bequest. The exhibition covered all aspects of the Earl's life and interests, with materials assembled from around Britain; this extremely handsomely produced catalogue, with colour on almost every page, preserves much of the exhibition's content in a permanent form.

 

`Catalogue', indeed, is an inadequate word to describe A Passion for Natural History. It includes scholarly essays on the Earl's various interests – as landowner, equestrian, politician, scientist, art collector, social and cultural figure. The core of the book, however, is provided by his activities as a collector and sponsor of zoological and botanical books, prints and paintings. All the great names of 19th-century natural history art are represented here – Audubon, Gould, Wolf, Richter. . . Above all, though, the Earl is remembered as the patron of Edward Lear, who made extended visits to Knowsley over a number of years to sketch and paint the animals from life. (He also, of course, amused the children of the household by producing the illustrated nonsense verses which were to ensure him a permanent place in English popular culture, and which inspired the title of the museum's exhibition, `The Earl and the Pussycat'.) Despite the superb artistry of his animal portraits, however, it was as a landscape painter that Lear wished to be remembered, and Derby generously promoted this ambition by financing the painter's eleven-year sojourn in Italy – a selfless act of pure friendship on the Earl's part, since he was not especially interested in landscapes and the move ended Lear's career as an animal artist. (His landscapes never achieved much fame in his lifetime, or indeed for many years thereafter, but today the pendulum of fashion has swung in his favour and major examples change hands at five-figure prices; enthusiasts will find a good selection reproduced in this book.)

 

It is for its contribution to zoo history that the book will be most relevant to readers of IZN. The variety of species that lived – and in many cases bred – in Lord Derby's collection is remarkable. Can highland guan, eastern quoll, brush-tailed bettong, blesbok or greater Malay chevrotain be seen today in any British zoo? The giant eland (Taurotragus derbianus), though illustrated in the book, seems unfortunately never to have been kept at Knowsley, but another species named in the Earl's honour, the Stanley crane, lived and bred there (and was one of Lear's especial favourites). Not all of Knowsley's animals would be a great draw for today's zoo-goers, of course: in the light of the subsequent exponential growth of the world budgerigar population, it is amusing to read a letter from the Earl to John Gould proudly announcing the first captive breeding of the species. A melancholy interest, naturally, attaches to the species in the collection which have subsequently become extinct, such as the quagga. Passenger pigeons actually bred at Knowsley in such numbers that they were allowed to fly free (though they seem not to have spread beyond the boundaries of the estate), and 70 were sold when the collection was dispersed in 1851. Unfortunately no artist painted them – possibly, as suggested here, because `such attention was not merited by a bird so extraordinarily common!'

 

A Passion for Natural History is a beautiful and meticulously researched book. Its high quality is greatly to the Liverpool Museum's credit, as is the fact that its price is reasonably low. It deserves to have a wide sale among aficionados of zoos and natural history.

 

Nicholas Gould

 

POLAR BEAR ENCOUNTERS AT CHURCHILL edited by Robert E. Wrigley. Hyperion Press, Winnipeg, Canada, 2001. 96 pp., paperback. ISBN 1–895569–68–0. $29.95.

 

Robert E. Wrigley is curator of Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada, and has contributed several feature articles to IZN in recent years. Assiniboine Park has kept and bred polar bears for decades, and the zoo's hospital acts as a stopping-off place for orphaned cubs rescued from certain death in the Canadian Arctic, who are later sent to other zoos around the world. In Polar Bear Encounters at Churchill, Dr Wrigley has assembled accounts by various writers of their personal experiences with the bears who gather in the summer and autumn around the town of Churchill on Hudson Bay.

 

The polar bears of Churchill must rank with the gorillas of the Virunga Volcanoes and the dolphins of Shark Bay, Western Australia, among wild communities of great mammals who have developed an especially close relationship with humankind. Today's comfortable symbiosis, however, took time to develop. In the 1960s and 1970s the bears were seen as a problem for which trapping and translocating, or as a last resort shooting, were the approved solutions. Now, however, Churchill's residents have learned to live with the bears, and the tourist trade they generate has become a major local industry. The bears aren't given an entirely free hand: Campbell Elliott, a regional wildlife manager, contributes an interesting account of the town's Polar Bear Alert Program, whose main job is to `escort' or `encourage to move out' any bears who wander into prohibited areas – in particular the garbage dump. Those identified as problem animals are transferred to a holding facility until the Bay freezes in November, when they can be released onto the ice to resume their natural activity of hunting ringed seals.

 

Contributions to Polar Bear Encounters include articles on the animals' hunting techniques and denning and cubbing behaviour, notes on photographing and sketching bears, accounts of bear attacks and suggestions on how to avoid them, and discussions of research projects and of the implications of climate change for the future of the species. But for zoos, perhaps the most important lesson to be learned from the Churchill bears concerns enclosure design. It was her observations in this region that led Alison Ames to advocate a `soft' zoo environment as preferable to the barren concrete and water of traditional exhibits [see IZN 48 (5), pp. 313–314]. As the photos in this book show, grass, shrubs and trees are as much a part of the polar bear's natural habitat as snow and ice-floes.

 

Nicholas Gould

 

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INTERNATIONAL ZOO NEWS

 

Auckland Zoo, New Zealand

 

The zoo houses two female Asian elephants, Kashin (32 years old) and Burma (18). They are handled in a free contact management program. Emphasis is placed on behavioural enrichment and training to enhance the physical and psychological wellbeing of the animals. One of the greatest advantages of the free contact system is the freedom of being able to walk the elephants around the zoo grounds. It provides them with mental stimulus and exercise, and gives visitors a unique experience and a new appreciation of the elephants.

 

The walks occur once or twice a day for an hour to an hour and a half per walk. Each elephant is walked by a keeper with one or two zoo volunteers as offsiders to help manage the public and to pick up what the elephants may leave behind. During a walk, the animals pass over many different types of surface and go up and down a range of steep gradients. They can also access unoccupied exhibits, unused areas, and even the larger public viewing shelters. During walks, other animals are stimulated by the presence of the elephants, and they in turn take advantage of their immediate surroundings. The public enjoy watching the scene and generally use the opportunity to stand by and appreciate the elephants.

 

Even though the zoo is in a city and just 40 acres [16 ha] in size, the many pathways, service roads, exhibits, lawns and unused bush land provide a large range of different areas to use. The walking benefits both elephants tremendously, especially Kashin, who suffers from arthritis and foot problems which would surely be more difficult to manage otherwise.

 

During a walk, the elephants may be taken into the lion exhibit public viewing shelter, which has five large windows separating the lions from the public. The lions often approach the windows when the elephants are there. Sometimes it is uncertain who is actually looking at whom; but each species seems to have a healthy respect for the other, while still appearing rather curious and interested. On occasion, the lions are shut away so that the elephants can be taken into the exhibit to kick up the mulch substrate, push logs and rocks around, do some pruning and, as an added benefit, leave behind some interesting scents for the lions. The exhibit has a water moat surrounding it deep enough for the elephants to swim in. One of the viewing windows on the inside of the exhibit is inaccessible for cleaning due to the deep moat, but it can be reached from atop an elephant and is cleaned upon request in this way.

 

When a new exhibit is opened, it offers the keepers the opportunity to expose the elephants to a new experience. The recently opened Sealion Shores exhibit has a large underwater viewing window set in a cave-like grotto at the end of a narrow winding path. The elephants, when taken into this new area, used all of their senses to explore it thoroughly. The sea lions merely glanced at the elephants as they swam by the window. The initial reaction of the elephants to the `flying sea lions', however, seemed to be one of disbelief. But after a few minutes the bark hanging from the wooden poles in the roofing became way more interesting than the upside-down sea lions gliding past in the new multi-million-dollar exhibit.

 

The elephants' services are often called upon to move the larger furnishings within other species' exhibits. They are employed to push, pull and drag large logs, stumps and rocks, kick up the substrate, and generally move things around `elephant style'. Ropes and tandem logging techniques are used to perform the more difficult tasks such as dragging a large forked tree limb up a steep, uneven slope. Usually, the elephants only need to get their weight and strength behind something to move it, so it is challenging and rewarding to move something more complicated. After the exhibit has been altered sufficiently, the elephants are given time to explore the area and to graze for a while. When let back into their exhibit, the other animals tend to be stimulated and will spend a good deal of time exploring the changed environment and smells. This is especially so with primate species. The baboons, for example, will investigate the changes made and forage in the upturned mulch, in the areas of the overturned logs and rocks, and generally begin reclaiming the highest points of the exhibit in accordance with the social structure of the group.

 

Other exhibits commonly changed by the elephants include giraffe/zebra/ostrich, white rhinoceros/springbok, hippopotamus, lion, and llama. Utilising the elephants to provide exhibit alterations and behavioural enrichment in this way is considered to be a valuable asset to animal management, with many indirect benefits.

 

To provide new stimulating experiences, other suitable species can be brought into the elephant holding facility. Llamas, in this case, have been led through the barn and out onto the exhibit for a controlled encounter with the elephants. This event was the result of a gradual process of familiarisation which began with walking the elephants past the llama exhibit, and vice versa, allowing the elephants to smell and touch wool from the llamas, walking the elephants past the llamas when both elephants and llamas were out walking, and taking the llamas into the elephant facility when the elephants were out in the grounds. Both species benefit from the stimulus of controlled interaction, with the added advantage of desensitising both groups to new and unusual experiences which, in turn, broadens the range of activities they may be engaged in within the zoo setting of education, recreation and conservation.

 

Free contact management flexibility allows free grazing time in a heavily vegetated, non-public area of the zoo grounds where the elephants, under the watchful eye of their keepers, browse, graze and move around undisturbed. This free time can range from sliding down muddy paths on their knees to reach the lush vegetation at the bottom of a gully, to kicking up dirt for a dust bath while stripping bark from a tree. But often the sound of the gardening staff vehicle approaching will send the keepers and their elephants scurrying into thicker bush to hide until the gardeners pass. Not even an elephant wants to face the wrath of a haughty horticulturist in full vegetation protection mode!

 

Abridged from Linda Gardiner in Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 4 (2002)

 

Beekse Bergen Safari Park, the Netherlands

 

In an agreement with the Gambian government, some European zoos contribute a specified monetary sum to a fund for nature protection and education in Gambia in exchange for the acquisition of surplus hyenas and wart hogs. Contributions are also made to the fund for offspring born to these animals after transport to the acquiring European zoo. Under this agreement, Beekse Bergen was offered two spotted hyenas born at the Abuko Nature Reserve Rescue Centre. Their mother was kept at the centre because she was a nuisance to local people, but the centre did not have the resources to take care of her offspring as well.

 

The approximately seven‑month-old hyenas arrived at Beekse Bergen on 10 April 2000. Mates and females of this species have no reliable external morphological differences, but it was found using DNA sex determination that they were two females. Linda and Sophie had to be separated soon after arrival because they began injuring each other, presumably because of stress. Their new enclosure was ready in August 2002. It has a large indoor night area, a large outdoor area (c. 3,000 m2) and two smaller outdoor areas (35 m2 and 80 m2), one of which offers possibilities to introduce animals and watch them closely. The two females adapted quickly to their new enclosure.

 

An additional two sibling hyena orphans were offered to Beekse Bergen by the Gambian government in July 2000, and Beekse Bergen agreed to send a young male lion to Abuko as company for a lioness whose mate had recently died, so an exchange was made. The two hyenas arrived on 13 November at approximately six months of age. They were also sexed as females. Ndirande and Mulanje were held temporarily in the large indoor area of the enclosure, but also soon needed to be separated from each other for a while. Because they had hookworms upon arrival, they were only allowed outdoors after 20 days into a small enclosure where they could make contact with the other two females through the fencing.

 

Introduction of the two pairs of females began in March 2001, but was not entirely successful. Linda eventually accepted the two new females, but Sophie did not and had to be separated from the group. Abo, a male born at Perth Zoo in Australia, arrived here on 29 March 2001, via Amersfoort Zoo where he and his brother had been placed in a group. Abo had been ostracized from this group, but integrated well with our trio of females. (Further attempts to introduce Sophie into the group were unsuccessful, and she was eventually sent to Safari de Peaugres, France, where she was successfully introduced to a male.) All went well at Beekse Bergen until autumn, when the females began keeping Abo on one side of the large enclosure, and Abo, Ndirande and Mulanje all had wounds. The cause of this unrest became clearer in April 2002, when the now two-year-old Ndirande appeared to be pregnant. According to the literature hyenas are not reproductively mature until three or four years of age; nevertheless, Ndirande proved to be an excellent mother to her single pup, born on 10 June. Together with Mulanje, she guarded the inside area and it was a week before the father was allowed to meet his offspring.

 

English summary of article in Dutch by Rolf Veenhuizen and Peggy van den Broek in De Harpij Vol. 22, No. 1 (2003)

 

Brevard Zoo, Melbourne, Florida, U.S.A.

 

Six years ago the zoo began a unique Zoo School program: for nine weeks of their school year, all fifth-grade students from nearby Sherwood Elementary School began spending their entire school day in a portable classroom at Brevard Zoo. All lessons took on a real-world twist as the students wrote poetry while watching the Florida panther, learned about biology while participating in a kayaking eco-tour of the zoo's restored wetlands, and honed their math skills by pricing items in the gift shop. School administrators quickly saw positive results: attendance problems became a thing of the past as the new learning environment kept students' interest and attention. Standardized test scores for the participating students who had been classified as `at risk' improved dramatically for years after the students resumed normal classes.

 

In 2000, the program's success caught the attention of the Eckerd Family Foundation, who awarded the zoo $500,000 to build three permanent individually-themed classrooms to house the current Zoo School and to expand. The concept for these unique classrooms included a tree house, a cave and a wetlands swamp house. The designs were brought to life by zoo staff and Roger Naumann of Naumann Naturescapes, who has themed such attractions as the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas and Disney's Animal Kingdom.

 

 On 17 January 2003, the three new themed classrooms opened to an excited crowd. More than 300 guests arrived to view firsthand the tree house classroom, which sits atop two realistic concrete trees detailed down to the moss on the bark. Other wonders include the cave classroom's realistic stalactites, stalagmites and over 300 fossils embedded into the interior walls. Yet to be build is a waterway under the wetlands swamp classroom, where staff from the St John's Water Management District office will teach students how to manage the water quality. Students will be able to view living organisms through a plexi-glass window on the floor. During school breaks, the classrooms will be available for special programs such as themed overnight camps, spring and summer camps, lecture series and more. A portion of all revenue brought in by the supplemental programs will be used to support the zoo's programs for `at risk' students in Brevard. The new classrooms complete the first phase of the zoo's planned 7,000-square-foot [650-m2] education complex.

 

Communiquι (American Zoo and Aquarium Association), March 2003

 

Disney's Animal Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, U.S.A.

 

Thanks to collaborative efforts between Disney's Animal Kingdom's Avian Research Center (ARC) and San Diego's Avian Propagation Center (APC), a total of 18 long-tailed broadbills (Psarisomus dalhousiae) were successfully hand-reared in 2002. There are 15 species of broadbill found in Asia and Africa, though the only ones to be occasionally kept in captivity are the lesser green (Calyptomena viridis) and the long-tailed. Broadbills in general have small global ranges and are increasingly threatened by loss of habitat. Cooperation began in 2001 with the hatching of chicks at both the ARC and the APC, but unfortunately, neither institution was successful in parent-rearing the clutches of up to eight chicks per nest. Hand-rearing success in the first year was also dismal: and out of 26 hatched chicks, only seven survived, and those were in poor health. Careful and meticulous collection of rearing and developmental data was shared between the two departments, as was veterinary and nutrition advice, throughout 2002. The program resulted in a banner breeding year for the two institutions. A template for future hand-rearing by other institutions can be acquired by contacting Chelle Plasse at Chelle.Plasse@disney.

com.

 

Communiquι (American Zoo and Aquarium Association), February 2003

 

Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana, U.S.A.

 

The zoo is pleased to announce the hatching of five Grand Cayman Island blue iguanas (Cyclura nubila lewisi), a success for Project Iguana, a conservation initiative at the zoo involving several species of rock iguana from the Caribbean that are critically endangered. Fewer than 20 Grand Cayman blue iguanas remain in the wild, according to a census completed by the Blue Iguana Conservation Project of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands [see IZN 49 (7), p. 424 – Ed.]. Including all captive populations, there are less than 120 specimens left in the world. The five latest hatchlings came from one of the zoo's two breeding pairs, and make a welcome addition to the total of seven blue iguana hatchlings at the zoo, and in the United States, in 2002.

 

Communiquι (American Zoo and Aquarium Association), February 2003

 

John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

 

Ten Barbour's map turtles (Graptemys barbouri) hatched at the aquarium in September and October 2002, our first success with this species. Two adult pairs live in an off-exhibit habitat that features a sand-filled nest box. Aquarists discovered two clutches of eggs in July and another in August. The eggs were removed to an incubator, and the half-dollar-sized babies hatched between 12 September and 12 October.

 

Shedd's ringed map turtles (G. oculifera) also bred, with one tiny turtle successfully hatching. Lead senior aquarist Jim Watson says that the ringed species is more difficult to get through the critical hatchling stage than the robust Barbour's maps. `Two years ago we had a pretty good year, when six ringed maps hatched.' Those turtles, which grew into hardy juveniles, are now on exhibit.

 

Watson notes that only a few aquariums and zoos breed these species, which are native to the south-eastern United States. `That's a shame,' he says, `because these turtles are worth concentrating on.'

 

Barbour's map turtles are a big-river species native to the Chipola, Apalachicola and Flint Rivers in the Florida panhandle and south-western Georgia. Ringed maps are restricted to an extremely small range in the Pearl and Boque Chitto Rivers in southern Mississippi and eastern Louisiana. Populations of both species have declined seriously in the last few decades because of pollution, siltation and damming of their rivers, as well as the loss of nesting habitat on banks and sandbars. Motorboat traffic increasingly accounts for mortalities. The ringed maps, with their bold markings, were also over-collected for the pet trade. Ringed map turtles have been classified as state and federally threatened since 1986. Barbour's maps are protected in Florida.

 

Karen Furnweger in WaterShedd Vol. 24, No. 1 (Winter 2003)

 

Knowsley Safari Park, Prescot, U.K.

 

We have one of the largest groups of African elephants in Britain, with two bulls and eight cows. Chota and Adega, our two oldest cows, have been at the park since 1971. Kruger, our mature bull, and five females arrived from Windsor Safari Park in August 1993, and a young male, Nissim, and female, Beauty, arrived in December 1998 from Israel, where they were both captive-bred.

 

Until recently, Knowsley's herd of elephants had never bred, but we were hopeful for the future now that Kruger was maturing. As part of the keeping routine urine samples are taken from the females every fortnight, and sent to Germany for analysis to see if they are cycling or pregnant. However, the foot-and-mouth outbreak in 2001/02 brought this to a temporary halt. Once the restrictions were lifted, samples were sent off, and to the delight of keepers and management, the results showed that Shaba and Tana were indeed pregnant.

 

Shaba gave birth to Knowsley's first ever baby elephant in January 2003. Despite it being her first baby, and never having seen other elephant births, she has turned out to be a most attentive mother. Everyone at the park is thrilled with this and we can look forward to Tana giving birth in March or April 2003. With our expanding elephant population, we are currently extending the existing elephant house, and the yards and fields too. When finished, the elephant facilities will be amongst the largest in the U.K.

 

Knowsley Safari Park News No. 1 (2003)

 

Loro Parque, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

 

January and February are the least busy months of the year as far as the parrots' breeding activity is concerned, though our team has plenty to do to fulfil the necessary conditions for a successful start to the new breeding year. In this context, we are currently building new breeding pairs among the young parrots who hatched last year, re-pairing old pairs to optimise breeding results, and installing new nest boxes as alternative breeding facilities in most of the aviaries.

 

Also, by mid-February, we will be changing the diet of our birds. Since last October the majority of the parrots have been fed on a basic maintenance diet of traditional food items such as fresh fruits, vegetables and dry seeds; they will now be offered an additional cooked mixture with a considerably increased protein content – just one of the measures used to encourage a breeding mood in our parrots.

 

In our last report, we mentioned that our most reliable and experienced pair of keas had already produced a clutch early this year; three chicks have now hatched and are being cared for by their parents. Among the few other parrots which are currently breeding, we mainly find African species such as Cape parrot (Poicephalus robustus fuscicollis), Senegal parrot (P. senegalus) and orange-bellied parrot (P. s. mesotypus), who are raising one, three and four chicks respectively. Moreover, some of the lovebird species such as black-winged (Agapornis taranta), peach-faced (A. roseicollis) and Nyasa (A. lilianae) are also raising young in their nests.

 

From over 50 different lory species and subspecies which Loro Parque houses, there is always at least one breeding or hatching offspring; at present, this is the case for blue-crowned lory (Vini australis), Forsten's lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus forsteni), Mitchell's lorikeet (T. h. mitchelli), Goldie's lorikeet (T. goldiei) and Meyer's lorikeet (T. flavoviridis meyeri). Other `winter breeders' are the golden conures (Guarouba guarouba), two pairs of whom already have young in their nests.

 

We have finally managed to obtain a pair of yellow-tailed cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus f. funereus). We have had two males for some time, and during the 5th International Parrot Convention last September we made contact with a Portuguese breeder who was holding two females. At the beginning of February an exchange was concluded to form two pairs. Once our new hen has undergone quarantine, she will join the male after the necessary socializing period.

 

Abridged from the report for February 2003 compiled by Matthias Reinschmidt, Curator, Loro Parque

 

Los Angeles Zoo, California, U.S.A.

 

Los Angeles has become one of only a handful of institutions to have successfully bred both the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) and the Mexican beaded lizard (H. horridum). Keepers hatched Gila monsters a couple of years ago, and this year hatched a single beaded lizard. It sounds simple enough, but it isn't.

 

The process starts around Thanksgiving [late November], when keepers put the lizards in a cooling area to inspire the dormancy they experience during winter. Because the reptile house is kept at a consistent 85°F [30°C], keepers move the lizards to a closet that is cooler, and regulate the temperature by opening or closing the door into the reptile house as needed.

 

Sometime around Valentine's Day [14 February], keepers gradually warm the lizards up and move them back into the main house; then they put the group together and see what happens. Because it's virtually impossible to differentiate between the sexes of either beaded lizards or Gila monsters, it's difficult to make sure you're putting males with females the first time you put them together. So the keepers put them all together and hope they see breeding activity. With the Gila monsters two years ago, the female displayed her sex organs and the males fought around her, so the keepers figured out pretty quickly who was who.

 

There was no such luck with the beaded lizards. But one day, Curator of Reptiles Russ Smith noticed that one of the lizards looked big. Hoping it was a pregnant female and not just an over-indulging lizard, keepers separated the animal and prepared a nest box. This is where trial and error really takes over. `Nobody's ever found a beaded lizard nest in the wild, but we suspect they hang out in a subterranean retreat,' says senior keeper Ian Recchio. So keepers put a plastic tub in the cage and filled it with about six inches [150 mm] of vermiculite.

 

After a while, the lizard laid five eggs on top of the vermiculite. In the wild, she would lay them and leave; at the zoo, keepers moved them to an incubator, nestling them in a bed of vermiculite which they tried to keep sufficiently humid and moist. Two of the eggs died fairly quickly, but three developed for more than six months. In late January, one lizard hatched. The other two died in the eggs. `When we opened them, we found they were a little bit dry,' Recchio says, `so we think the incubation technique needs to be adjusted a little bit.'

 

They'll use that knowledge when they try to reproduce more Gila monsters and beaded lizards. `We're going to try to breed both species next time,' says Recchio. `It will be a little easier because we know their sexes now.'

 

Zooscape Vol. 26, No. 9 (April 2003)

 

Melbourne Zoo, Victoria, Australia

 

When a gorilla needs specialist medical help, sometimes this means referral to a human specialist rather than to a veterinarian. Last year cardiologist Dr Neil Strathmore was asked if he could help the veterinarians with one of the zoo's gorillas. He was pleased to help as he has been visiting the zoo for years.

 

The veterinarians were concerned that one of our gorillas might have heart failure, as she had some swelling around her legs and back. Other zoos around the world have looked at cardiac problems in gorillas and have found a disease called cardiomyopathy (a weakness of the heart muscle), which also occurs in humans. The best test for diagnosing this is the echocardiogram.

 

An echocardiogram machine is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and is the size of a filing cabinet. Fortunately the General Electric company provided one free of charge. On the same day, four (1.3) gorillas were anaesthetised for a variety of medical reasons, and the cardiology team took the opportunity to do the same cardiac measurements on each one to allow for comparison. On each gorilla they measured the blood pressure, listened to the heart and performed an ECG and echocardiogram.

 

The first gorilla to have these tests was an adult male weighing 180 kg. The first impression for Dr Strathmore was that the animal dwarfed the veterinary examination table, but was `all muscle'. His blood pressure was similar to that of a normal-sized human being. His heart examination, ECG and echocardiogram were also very similar to those of a human, even though he was so much larger. The blood pressure and heart test findings on two normal female gorillas were also just like those of humans.

 

The female the veterinarians were concerned about had very high blood pressure in comparison to the others. Her echocardiogram showed that she had developed hypertrophy, a thickening of the muscular walls of the heart. This is very similar to a human condition that may develop in response to high blood pressure over a prolonged period of time. It is a form of cardiomyopathy.

 

Having identified the problem, the veterinarians and Dr Strathmore began a course of medication to treat it, using the same blood pressure tablets that humans take. Future tests will be needed to see whether she responds. Since this first appointment. more cardiac tests have been undertaken on healthy gorillas to build up a reference bank of information about the gorillas at Melbourne Zoo, which may be helpful in preventing or identifying disease at an earlier stage in the future.

 

Abridged from Cathy Ward in Zoo News Vol. 22, No. 3 (September 2002)

 

Monterey Bay Aquarium, California, U.S.A.

 

Monterey Bay recently became the first aquarium worldwide to display approximately one dozen spotted comb jellies (Leucothea pulchra). These delicate animals are a shallow-water species found only in the Pacific Ocean between central California and the Sea of Cortez. They can grow to over a foot [30 cm] long and possess distinctive brownish-orange spots covering their translucent bodies. Scientists are as yet unsure of the spots' function. As with all comb jellies, the animals generate flashing patterns of rainbow light as white light passes through the pulsing ctene-rows, the hair-like appendages that help them to move through the water. Marine scientists have also long been fascinated by the spotted jelly's complex feeding and propulsion behaviors. Staff aquarists, who are thrilled to be able to exhibit these never-before-seen animals, hope to have them on exhibit for several months.

 

Additionally, Monterey Bay recently added the only two giant Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) on exhibit outside of Japan to their million-gallon [3.8-million-liter] Outer Bay exhibit. Weighing in excess of 300 pounds [136 kg] each, the benchmark weight for a tuna to qualify as `giant', the tuna are sharing their exhibit with the largest collection of open-ocean animals in the world, including the only oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) on exhibit in the world, two species of dolphinfish, black (or Pacific green) sea turtles (Chelonia [mydas] agassizii), pelagic stingrays, soupfin sharks and a number of 200-pound [90-kg] yellowfin tuna. The bluefins will continue to grow, adding about 50 pounds [22 kg] a year, and could eventually tip the scales at 1,000 pounds [450 kg]. Eleven other bluefin tuna in the exhibit could become giants sometime in the next three years.

 

Communiquι (American Zoo and Aquarium Association), February 2003

 

North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro, North Carolina, U.S.A.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced initial success in an attempt to foster captive-born red wolf (Canis rufus) pups into the wild. Two (1.1) pups donated in May by North Carolina Zoo were placed into a wild wolf den and were successfully adopted by an adult female who was already raising 2.0 wild-born pups. Throughout the summer, biologists monitored the pack from a distance using radio telemetry. Recently, all four pups were captured and found to be in excellent health. They were all large enough to be fitted with radio telemetry collars, and were also given vaccinations against parvovirus, distemper and rabies before being released back to their family group.

 

This success marks new potential for fostering as an effective tool in red wolf recovery. Though wolves have previously been released into the wild successfully, they have thus far been young adults, often coming from island propagation sites in South Carolina and Florida. This is the first time that very young pups have been captive-bred and successfully placed in the wild. Fostering ultimately enhances the genetic diversity of the wild red wolf population, and release at a young age allows for a better chance of survival due to the fostered wolves being raised by a wild mother.

 

Communiquι (American Zoo and Aquarium Association), February 2003

 

Osaka Municipal Tennoji Zoological Gardens, Japan

 

Susie, a female chimpanzee at the zoo, died of pneumonia on 4 January 2003 at the age of 53. She was the oldest chimpanzee in Japan. Susie arrived in our zoo from Hagenbeck Zoo, Germany, on 31 May 1951, when she was two years old. Since there were only a few unusual animals in Japanese zoos at that time, she was welcomed very much by Osaka citizens. She was also a great performer who could walk on stilts and ride on a bicycle very well. Susie was very popular among local people. After her retirement from performing, she enjoyed the rest of her life unrestrained and was prized for her longevity record in Japan.

 

A memorial service was held in front of the cenotaph for animals [see IZN 50 (1), p. 50 – Ed.] in our zoo on 12 January and was attended by many people.

 

Susie's residence in the zoo, which lasted 51 years, 7 months and 4 days, is said to be the second longest record in the world.

 

Dr Ken Nagase, Curator, Osaka Municipal Tennoji Zoological Gardens

 

Rιserve Africaine de Sigean, France

 

Our outdoor exhibit for lar gibbons officially opened in March 2000. This enclosure consists of a large limestone rock with 20-metre-tall pine trees growing on it, partly surrounded by a flat area that the gibbons must cross to reach the pines. The flat area has some palm trees (Chamaerops humilis and Phoenix sp.) and a system of tree trunks holding ropes for brachiation. The trunks will be removed when the plane and eucalyptus trees planted in winter 1999 are big enough to hold the weight of a gibbon. Some red currant bushes were also planted.

 

Three one-metre-square shelters are placed about two metres from the ground and ten metres from each other under the pine trees. Each shelter has a sloping roof, a 50-cm-square platform in front of the entrance and a 50-cm-wide entrance facing away from the prevailing winds, which are frequent and violent in this area. Three other 50 cm ΄ 50 cm platforms are also placed one or two metres from the ground.

 

The island is inhabited by a group of four gibbons, an adult pair and two young. The adults and 1.0 young arrived from the Primate Preservation and Education Centre (Bergeijk, Netherlands) in June 1999. A second son was born in November 1999. The gibbons had to wait for a while in their inside enclosure until the island was finished. As soon as the outside door was opened, the family began discovering the 5000-m island. The adult male was the first to explore what the new exhibit had to offer, though he initially remained within ten metres of the indoor enclosure, and stayed outside for less than five minutes. It took a while before the gibbons were completely at ease in their new exhibit, but now they use the enrichment tools and sing as never before. Previously unobserved behaviours, e.g. calling by the elder son and eating leaves and olives by the mother, have been seen since the family went outside. They usually move from one tree to another by brachiation, using ropes and branches, but in the case of small ash trees where, possibly, they do not find large enough branches for brachiation, they sometimes come down and walk to another tree.

 

If the weather is warm enough the gibbons are allowed outside at around 9.00 a.m. They first brachiate to the shelters to eat apples, carrots and bananas, placed on the platforms in such a way that there are more feeding stations than individuals. Salad or sticks of celery are provided at midday. The gibbons go in and out all day long when the doors are open, spending long hours in the ash and olive trees, and resting in the pines or on the platforms in front of the shelters during hot summer afternoons. However, the group does not use all the space provided; they have never been seen on the flat part of the island. They are kept inside at night, where their main meal is provided and they are protected against predation, as eagle owls are often flying around and might be a danger to the youngest male.

 

The large outdoor area permits the expression of natural behaviours such as brachiation. The main problem, for a curious ethologist, is to observe the gibbons, as they are often hidden in the tree boughs.

 

Marianne Bilbaut in EAZA News No. 41 (January–March 2003)

 

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

 

Births and hatchings during the period September to December 2002 were as follows: 2 blue-crowned motmot, 2 curl-crested aracari, 9 hooded pitta, 1 superb starling, 3 troupial, 41 chuckwalla, 1 crocodile skink, 10 giant leaf-tailed gecko, 3 Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko, 2 lined leaf-tailed gecko. The following were acquired during the same period: 1 African elephant, 1 red-necked wallaby, 3 Kimberley rock monitor (Varanus glauerti), 1 anaconda, 1 shingle-back skink, 3 bearded dragon, 1 black vulture, 11 green-naped lorikeet, 14 Swainson's lorikeet.

 

Susan Reno, Registrar

 

Rotterdam Zoo, the Netherlands

 

The jaguarundi, sometimes called the `otter cat', does somewhat resemble an otter or a member of the marten family. Recent molecular research has indicated that it is more closely related to the puma than to other small South American cats. Several colour phases are described that appear unrelated to distribution or phylogeny. The recent range of the species extends from the south-west of the U.S.A. to Argentina and encompasses almost the entire Amazon area. The jaguarundi, an unusually diurnal member of its family, lives in a diversity of habitats and is flexible in its menu; it is therefore faring better than most cats, but nonetheless habitat loss has probably caused its extirpation within U.S. borders.

 

Jagarundis have been kept at Rotterdam Zoo since 1971, and two pairs have been regularly held since 1991, resulting in the production of a total of 38 young. Despite the fact that the jaguarundi is categorized as `Phase Out' by the EAZA Feline TAG on the grounds that it is occupying space needed for threatened species, its suitability for the Mexican Sonoran Desert habitat exhibited in the zoo's new Oceanium led to the decision to continue to hold the species. Jaguarundis are held in only a few European zoos and even fewer North American ones. But it is hoped that, despite the absence of a studbook, zoos working with this species will make the effort to keep the population as genetically healthy as possible. Rotterdam Zoo is currently hoping to acquire unrelated jaguarundis from a zoo in Brazil.

 

English summary of article in Dutch by Harald Schmidt in De Harpij Vol. 22, No. 1 (2003)

 

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

 

Because so little is known about bush dogs (Speothos venaticus), either in the wild or in captivity, when we acquired this species for the new River's Edge exhibit, we also brought in four additional pairs for a research study. In my role as a graduate student at St Louis University, under the supervision of the zoo's Director of Research Dr Cheryl Asa, I am studying the reproductive physiology and behavior of this fascinating species.

 

As among other canids, it was known that males could be very much involved in family life, helping care for and protect the young. It was also suspected that bush dogs were monogamous, but there was almost no other information about their mating system. So the study is focusing on the basic reproductive cycle and possible influences that the male may have on his partner's breeding condition.

 

The females in the study have been trained to stand for vulva measurements (indicative of estrus), and mating behavior is monitored by 24-hour time-lapse video (over 1,500 videotapes!). Fecal samples are collected daily (over 3,500 samples!) and analyzed using radio-immunoassay for estradiol and progesterone, the major female hormones. Only half the two-year study has been completed, but preliminary analysis shows that females do ovulate when they aren't yet placed with their male partners, but they seem to ovulate more often when the male is with them – indeed, more frequently than we have seen with any other canid species.

 

In addition to the laboratory research, I have spent two summers in the field in Paraguay, working to develop a census technique for bush dogs, so that studies in the wild can be initiated to complement the work being done with the captive population. By combining information from both field and captive studies, a much more complete picture of the species' biology can be constructed, which will also provide the basis of effective conservation and management plans.

 

Karen Dematteo in stlzoo (formerly Zudus) Vol. 18, No. 1 (January/February 2003)

 

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

 

The zoo's orang-utans are living in temporary quarters there and at the Wild Animal Park until their new exhibit is ready. Meanwhile, enrichment is keeping them all active and occupied. The keepers give them things like rolls of paper towels to unroll and pull around; cardboard boxes to climb into and tear up; palm sheaths to pick apart; scattered food treats such as sunflower seeds and raisins; ropes for climbing; burlap sacks to put on their heads; and brightly-colored balls for tossing and bouncing. The five orangs at the Wild Animal Park have been particularly active, inquisitive, and amusing. Although they have experienced a change in their surroundings and the weather, their familiar keepers from the zoo are caring for them, with keeper Cherie Davis spending most of the time with them.

 

On some days the orangs receive magazines to browse through and tear up. Sixteen-year-old Indah especially loves photos of horses and dogs. She carefully tears out the pages that feature them, rolls them up, and carries them with her. When the others aren't in the immediate vicinity, she unfurls her pictures and spreads them out in front of her so she can gaze at the images.

 

Janey, who was a family pet in Indonesia prior to life in a zoo, is extremely inventive and creative in her daily activities. Often, Cherie gives the animals non-toxic finger paints and edible, colored chalk, which bring out their `artistic' side. They select an `interesting' palette of colors and draw on paper or decorate the walls. Janey often uses the chalk as lipstick, which she paints impeccably on her lips. She also uses it as nail polish, and is adept at painting her fingernails and toenails to perfection with purple, pink, or red. She has even taught her friend Indah to do the same. Recently, Cherie provided Janey and Indah with a variety of chalk colors and left the bedroom area to work elsewhere. When she returned, Janey was wearing green eye shadow and pink lipstick – in the exact shades that Cherie herself was wearing! Janey was a bit creative with her blush, though, and wore blue `blush' on her cheeks.

 

The orangs really do have color preferences, even when it comes to objects other than paint and chalk. Cherie brought in five T-shirts for enrichment, one per orang-utan. The only thing she hadn't considered was that four shirts were white and one was bright pink. Of course, each animal wanted the pink shirt. Once they had sorted out who got which T-shirt, Clyde used his as a pillow and Josephine, Karen and Indah played with their shirts, tugged on them, and looked through the armholes. Predictably, smart Janey knew exactly what to do with hers: she tried it on with her head and arms through the correct openings and with the design properly in front.

 

Janey is also a master weaver and is an expert at weaving ropes out of her excelsior (wood shaving) bedding material. One night, she wove a ten-foot-long [3-m] rope and tried to lasso a variety of tools that were sitting on a nearby desk. Keepers thought these items were out of the orang-utans' reach, but Janey proved otherwise. Another time, she lassoed a folding chair that was about five feet [1.5 m] away in the hall-way, pulled it toward the bedroom, folded it so it would fit through the bars, and then dismantled it with help from Karen and Indah.

 

Janey is quite the mechanic, too: she stripped a branch of its leaves and used it to pry open a light fixture. And because she hates the yams that are a part of her diet, she likes to wedge them in her automated drinker, pressing down the lever and creating a steady stream of water in which she can play. The other orangs are mechanically inclined as well. Every so often, Cherie finds a screw or bolt on the floor that they have unscrewed from somewhere. Once, matriarch Josephine actually pulled a drain cover up and over the screws that bolted it to the floor. Cherie arrived at work to find Josephine and the others using the circular cover as a `frisbee'!

 

Abridged from Georgeanne Irvine in Zoonooz Vol. 76, No. 4 (April 2003)

 

Sea World, Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia

 

Sea World now offers the Dolphin Dive Encounter, which is the only program in Australia where guests can interact with dolphins in a controlled underwater environment utilising a clear perspex-fronted helmet device. No dive qualifications are required to take the `underwater walk' in the Blue Lagoon. This is a great way for our guests to gain a deeper appreciation of these marine animals and see their grace and power from an underwater perspective.

 

Over the past ten years we have conducted dolphin interactive programs from the surface of the water. Whilst the animals can work with the trainers in the water, for the most part, the trainers have predominantly been on the surface of the water when working with the dolphins. Enabling the trainers to wear the underwater headgear allows them to fully work with the dolphins in this deep location, which is of great benefit to our animals, as they are offered a very different environmental stimulus from that which they are familiar with.

 

Initially, the Dolphin Dive Encounter presented the trainers with the challenge of teaching dolphins a new variety of behaviours based on the requirements of the dive – or so the trainers thought. Much to their surprise, the dolphins demonstrated their versatility by responding to the `surface' hand cues as efficiently underwater as they had previously done on the surface.

 

One of the big advantages in hosting this new program, aside from the opportunity for our guests to meet the dolphins in their underwater home, has been the chance for us to add a new dimension to the behavioural enrichment we offer the animals in our care.

 

Thylacinus Vol. 27, No. 1 (2003)

 

Taipei Zoo, Taiwan

 

In the last issue [IZN 50 (2), p. 126] I asked for information about the aged bull elephant at Taipei Zoo. Ironically, I subsequently learned that the animal in question had died shortly before the issue was published. The details that follow were gleaned from www.taiwanheadlines.gov.tw (27 February), one of a number of websites carrying the story.

 

`Grandpa' Lin Wang, as he was known, who was believed to be the world's oldest Asian elephant living in captivity, died of heart and lung failure in the early hours of 26 February 2003 at the age of 86. The zoo plans to send the body to a taxidermist as well as displaying a reconstruction of his skeleton, an undertaking estimated to cost the equivalent of around US$145,000. Lin died just five months after his mate Ma Lan, with whom he had been living for nearly 50 years.

 

A war veteran, Lin had survived many battles during World War II and the Chinese civil war. In his youth, he dragged Japanese army cannons and supplies through the jungles of Burma, until in 1943 he was captured by troops of the Republic of China. At that time, he was about 26 years old. He was transported to Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan in 1947, and transferred to Taipei City Zoo in 1954.

 

Nicholas Gould

 

[The statement that Lin was already 26 in 1943 is likely to prove difficult to verify. Certainly, his 48 or 49 years in the same zoo are no sort of record – the champion here still seems to be an Asian cow who lived at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, from 1882 to 1939. Many working elephants in South-east Asia seem to have reached 60 years old or more.]

 

News in brief

 

Two Komodo dragons hatched at Denver Zoo on 2 November 2002, the first known hatching at high altitude and only the sixth successful hatching in North America. The captive-hatched ten-year-old parents have laid several clutches of eggs at the zoo since 1994, but only a few were fertile and none survived. Denver's high altitude [1,600 m above sea level] and semi-arid climate may have contributed to these previous difficulties, so humidity and ventilation parameters were regularly monitored and adjusted. The hatchlings are being raised together, something done only once before at Honolulu Zoo.

                               *   *   *   *   *

After years of financial problems, Ocean Journey, an aquarium in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A., has a new owner, Landry's Restaurants – ironically, a chain that specializes in seafood. Landry's president and chief executive says his company has big plans for the aquarium, which opened in 1999 but has suffered from growing debts and failing attendance.

                               *   *   *   *   *

Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia is celebrating the breeding of twin `puggles', as baby platypuses are known. The babies – both females – are the first for Taronga's breeding programme and among only a handful of platypuses ever bred in captivity. They are believed to have hatched in early October, but it was not until early February that one emerged from its custom-built burrow. It was only when another puggle eventually appeared on 28 March that zoo staff realised the first baby had a twin which had been hiding in another part of the exhibit.

 

Sydney Morning Herald (29 March 2003)

                               *   *   *   *   *

Construction of a $6.2 million project that will let keepers rotate animals between different exhibits – giving predators the scent of their prey – is beginning in April at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Tacoma, Washington, U.S.A. The three-acre [1.2-ha] Asia Forest Sanctuary will be only the second U.S. example (after Louisville Zoo, Kentucky) of what is known as `active animal exhibitry', in which animals swap enclosures. When completed by summer 2004, the area will feature Sumatran tigers, Malayan tapirs, small-clawed otters, two species of primate and other Asian animals. Staff at Louisville Zoo say different sights and smells keep predators active and more entertaining for visitors. There are no reports of adverse reactions from prey animals when they enter an exhibit and detect a predator's scent.

                               *   *   *   *   *

In cooperation with the Ground Hornbill Research and Conservation Project, the National Zoo, Pretoria, South Africa, is hand-rearing four ground hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) chicks for a release programme undertaken by the Project. The birds are being reared with a minimum of human contact, to prevent imprinting and ensure that they retain as many of their natural instincts as possible. All four are second chicks who would normally die of starvation, so they were removed from the nests to ensure their survival. On leaving the zoo they will be further reared at Mabula Game Lodge before being released.

 

National Zoo media release, 4 February 2003

                               *   *   *   *   *

There are hundreds of pandas in captivity in China, but so far the only reliable way of getting them to produce babies (230 so far) has been through artificial insemination. Now, the Beijing Star Daily reports that new computer software has been developed that will help scientists select the likeliest breeding partners, weeding out pandas that aren't in the best health and also avoiding close relatives.

                               *   *   *   *   *

Keepers at Denver Zoo, Colorado, were excited and surprised when 14 (7.7) African hunting dog puppies were born on 30 January. Although zoo staff had been monitoring the expectant mother, no one anticipated so many babies. The delivery is one of the largest on record for a U.S. zoo. The puppies have been doing well under the protective care of their mother Daisy, father Judd, and five sisters born from a previous litter. There are approximately 60 hunting dogs in North American zoos; Denver is home to 21, and has three more on loan to another zoo.

 

Denver Zoo website (www.denverzoo.org)

                               *   *   *   *   *

In March, two (2.0) banteng (Bos javanicus) calves were born to dairy cows on an Iowa farm. Oliver Ryder and his colleagues in the genetics department of San Diego's Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species sent frozen skin cells from a long-dead banteng to a cloning company in Massachusetts. There the cells were fused with 30 cow eggs that had their genetic material removed. Another biotechnology company then implanted the cloned eggs into cows, and 16 pregnancies resulted. Of these, only two came to term, and one of the calves weighed 80 pounds [36 kg], about twice the normal birth weight for the species. If they survive, the bantengs will be transferred to San Diego Wild Animal Park.

 

                                   *   *   *

 

RECENT ARTICLES

 

Adloff, A.: Die Werbeplakate des Tierparks Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. VIII. (Tierpark Berlin's advertising posters.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 6 (2002), pp. 660–672. [German, no English summary; includes ten full-page plates of posters.]

Baker, W.K.: How do I decide when it's appropriate to use a net versus a dart gun? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 10 (2002), pp. 401–402.

Baker, W.K.: What do you prefer and recommend in regards to transportation in a crisis situation, vehicle or on foot? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 11 (2002), pp. 444–445.

Beranger, J.: The International Congress of Zookeeping: working together to improve animal care and welfare in zoological settings. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 30–31.

Binney, A.C., and Johannes, L.: Use of operant conditioning to prepare tigers for an emergency recall. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 224–233. [Disney's Animal Kingdom.]

Blaszkiewitz, B.: Lob dem Gitter. (In praise of wire mesh.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 6 (2002), pp. 611–615. [German, no English summary.]

Blaszkiewitz, B.: Prδsentierungsbeispiele aus britischen Tiergδrten. (Examples of presentation in British zoos.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 6 (2002), pp. 654–659. [German, no English summary.]

Blum, P., and Barberis, L.: Training a pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) for animal shows. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 108–112. [Florida Aquarium, Tampa.]

Bockheim, G.: Raising ostrich chicks at Potawatomi Zoo. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 3 (2002), pp. 127–135.

Bolton, D., and Barham, P.: Incubation of birds' eggs – how do they do it? Ratel Vol. 29, No. 5 (2002), pp. 170–172. [Artificial incubation of birds' eggs is based on the data gained from domesticated species. It is generally assumed that other species' eggs will require similar conditions. Exceptions are found through trial and error, with no knowledge of the natural incubation parameters, resulting in lower hatch rates than might be desirable. The authors made instrumented eggs to monitor the temperature (and in some eggs the orientation) during incubation, and collected data for African penguins at Bristol Zoo and in the wild, and also for flamingos, Barbary doves and pheasant pigeons at Bristol Zoo. They have also designed a versatile incubator that can reproduce the temperature and rotation used by the birds themselves.]

Bostwick, M.: New Indian gharial exhibit at the San Diego Zoo. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 181–185. [Pays special attention to the horticultural aspect of the exhibit.]

Bousquet, J.L.: Behavior-based animal care program. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 12 (2002), pp. 489–499.

Branvold, H.A., Biggins, D.E., and Wimsatt, J.H.: Photoperiod manipulation to increase the productivity of black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) and Siberian polecats (M. eversmanni). Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No. 1 (2003), pp. 1–14. [The endangered black-footed ferret reproduces naturally in the spring. The recovery program would benefit from increased productivity in the captive population by manipulating photoperiod and temperature to create three artificial cycles in 1½ years. In this study the photoperiod was set at 8 hr light: 16 hr dark for 1–2 months, then switched to 16 hr light:8 hr dark for 4–5 months. The males' light was switched one month before the females' light. Three cycles were performed in two years. During the first cycle, none of the males mated; 17% of the females came into estrus and were artificially inseminated, but none whelped. In the second cycle, all the females came into estrus and were mated naturally, and 77% whelped. In the third cycle, all males showed testicular recrudescence but none mated; all females showed signs of estrus, 40% were artificially inseminated, but none whelped. Siberian polecats, the black-footed ferret's closest living relative, were also put on an artificial photoperiod, coinciding with the black-footed ferrets' third cycle. All female polecats came into estrus and were mated naturally, and 33% whelped. All males showed testicular recrudescence, and 22% produced sperm and mated. The low rate of success in breeding and whelping suggests that multiple cues may be needed to induce estrus in ferrets and polecats.]

Buckley, C.: Captive orang-utans (Pongo pygmaeus) and environmental enrichment. Ratel Vol. 30, No. 1 (2003), pp. 11–22.

Burke, J., and Wall, V.: Sustainable zoo horticulture operations – the North Carolina Zoo model. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 32–39.

Byrne, N.: Wandering Wildlife at Australia Zoo. Thylacinus Vol. 27, No. 1 (2003), pp. 9–10. [Giving visitors a hands-on experience with 20 species of animal.]

Cairns, A.: Management and breeding of black-footed cats at Belfast Zoo. Ratel Vol. 29, No. 6 (2002), pp. 175–181.

Carney, T.: Captive management and breeding of the striated grasswren Amytornis striatus striatus at Taronga Zoo. Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 4 (2002), pp. 2–5. [As a short-term measure to ensure survival of the very small captive population, the zoo bred from a sibling mating.]

Carr, B.L.: Share the vision: respect the differences – collaboration and networking among AAZK, AZH and AZA. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 6–10. [AZH is the Association of Zoo Horticulturalists.]

Chastain, B., and Schubert, D.: The Butterfly Experience at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 40–46.

Collins, V.: Southern hairy-nosed wombat conditioning. Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 3 (2002), pp. 23–26. [Melbourne Zoo.]

Congdon, S.: Parent reared African jacanas Actophilornis africana at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 4 (2002), pp. 152–153.

Congdon, S., Stevens, S., Sutcliffe, L., and Kasielke, S.: Raising Bigfoot: hand-rearing African jacanas at Disney's Animal Kingdom. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, p. 218. [Actophilornis africana.]

Conradie, C.: The Addams family – news from AfriCat. Ratel Vol. 29, No. 5 (2002), pp. 158–161. [Four cheetah cubs were delivered after their mother was shot, and were successfully hand-reared at AfriCat (P.O. Box 1889, Otjiwarongo, Namibia, www.africat.org).]

Culhane, T.H.: The International Conservation Trail – extending the methodology: the role of Los Angeles Zoo's GPS/GIS/database and mapping system in real world conservation initiatives. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 47–50.

Dathe, F.: Bemerkenswertes Alter einer Nackendorn-Weichschildkrφte, Trionyx steindachneri (Siebenrock, 1906). (Notable longevity of a wattle-necked softshell turtle.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 6 (2002), pp. 635–642. [German, no English summary. The animal, a male at Tierpark Berlin, died in December 2001 at 41 years old.]

de Azevedo, C.S., Faggioli, A.B., and Ferraz, J.B.: Breeding the scarlet ibis Eudocimus ruber at Belo Horizonte Zoo, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 4 (2002), pp. 165–169.

Dixon, A.: Target training as a management tool for oriental small-clawed otters. Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 4 (2002), p. 15. [Auckland Zoo.]

Dorfman, L.: Interaction with wild animals: good or bad? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 12 (2002), pp. 514–517. [Philadelphia Zoo, Pennsylvania; Saguinus bicolor and Leontopithecus chrysomelas.]

Dosch, A.: The Blanding's turtle recovery program. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 105–107. [Breeding Emydoidea blandingii at Cosley Zoo, Wheaton, Illinois.]

Ellis, B., and McCaskill, L.: Training of a black rhino calf from birth through one year of age at Disney's Animal Kingdom. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 159–166.

Ellis, J.A.: London Zoo review 2001. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 1 (2002), pp. 32–34.

Faust, L.J., Thompson, S.D., Earnhardt, J.M., Brown, E., Ryan, S., Sherman, M., and Yurenka, M.: Using stage-based system dynamics modeling for demographic management of captive populations. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No. 1 (2003), pp. 45–64.

Finnigan, M.: Tragedy to triumph for Taronga's troglodytes. Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 4 (2002), pp. 6–11. [Recent history of the zoo's chimpanzee colony.]

Fitch-Snyder, H., and Jurke, M.: Reproductive patterns in pygmy lorises (Nycticebus pygmaeus): behavioral and physiological correlates of gonadal activity. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No. 1 (2003), pp. 15–32. [The purpose of this study was to evaluate behavioral and physiological parameters of reproduction in a breeding colony of pygmy lorises at San Diego Zoo. To this end, 9.8 adults were kept under natural lighting conditions and monitored through five consecutive breeding seasons. Behavioral data were collected continuously throughout the year on all pairs. Behaviors associated with estrogen peaks in females included approaching, leaving and lunging by females. Whistles were more frequent during estrus, but there was high interindividual variability. Males responded to estrous females by persistent following. There was a higher percentage of births in pairs that were together for more than 30 days before onset of estrus, compared with pairs that were put together when females came into estrus. However, these results may have been influenced by factors such as previous familiarity and social compatibility. Fecal testosterone levels were measured using radioimmunoassays and correlated with estrogen peaks and labial swelling of the females. The data showed an annual rhythm in testosterone that was consistent with a July–August mating season. Captive births were significantly higher during January–April than they were in any other months. The earliest testosterone peak in a juvenile male was detected at 58 weeks, while the youngest male to sire offspring was 73 weeks of age at the time of conception.]

Frιzard, A., and Le Pape, G.: Contribution to the welfare of captive wolves (Canis lupus lupus): a behavioral comparison of six wolf packs. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No. 1 (2003), pp. 33–44. [The authors performed ten observations of six wolf enclosures with quite different living and social conditions, in order to analyze the behavioral differences between animals living in very restrictive conditions and those enjoying more permissive ones. The rest/activity balance, behavioral diversity, and use of available space were used as welfare criteria. It is generally assumed that animals in a big enclosure have many things to do, and resting animals are considered as being bored. On the contrary, results in this study indicated that wolves spend more time resting in big enclosures than they do in small ones. This suggests a reappraisal of the pertinence of the rest/activity balance as a welfare criterion. In a large enclosure, animals have more opportunities to choose their resting periods because they are less disturbed by visitors and keepers. The authors conclude that, when they can, wolves choose to spend a lot of time resting. In every case, animals used only a part of the available space, the proportion being lower in large enclosures. Behavioral diversity was little affected by the size of the enclosure, but highly related to the composition of the pack. It was greatly reduced in the pack that contained only females, but no link was found between the quality of the enclosure and the range of the behavioral repertoire. The total diversity of behavior observed in the wild seems not to be essential to the welfare of wolves in captivity. Most of the agonistic behaviors observed were related to aggression directed toward a `pariah' animal. These attacks were highly localized in a corner of the enclosure where the victim was confined, generally near fences or visitors. It is likely that in the wild these repeated aggressions cause the hurt wolf to leave the pack, or to die. In the enclosures, the welfare of these wolves was improved by providing narrow shelters at these particular places, in which they could protect themselves from attack.]

Friedlund, M., Skidmore, M., Summer, C., and Ross, S.R.: Behavioral effects of alternative feeding methods for Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea). AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 124–130. [Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago.]

Gardiner, L.: Auckland Zoo's elephant management program overview. Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 4 (2002), pp. 12–14. [See above, pp. 174–175.]

Gershenz, N.: Wildlands of Hope – oh, the places you'll go. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 11–14. [The Center for Ecosystem Survival, San Francisco (see IZN 43 (5), 359–366).]

Graham, J.: Hand-rearing the black-faced ibis at the Cotswold Wildlife Park. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 3 (2002), pp. 110–112. [Theristicus melanopis.]

Gripper, J.: Is there a future for black rhino in Zimbabwe? Ratel Vol. 29, No. 5 (2002), pp. 146–148.

Guerrero, D.: Can you tell me how to structure an ethogram or where to find a good source for them? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 12 (2002), pp. 487–488.

Guerrero, D.: We cannot get our bobcat to cooperate. What do you recommend? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 11 (2002), pp. 447–448.

Haigh, H., and Lachowicz, A.: Comparison of activity levels and methods of introduction between a juvenile and adult pair of North American river otters (Lutra canadensis). AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 131–140. [Nashville Zoo, Tennessee.]

Haynes, N.J.: Breeding the silvery-cheeked hornbill (Ceratogymna brevis). AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 113–116. [Kansas City Zoo, Missouri.]

Hinze, I.: The black-rumped waxbill Estrilda troglodytes. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 4 (2002), pp. 145–151.

Hnath, P.T., and Yannessa, M.N.: Effects of facility modifications on elephant activity levels. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 10 (2002), pp. 421–427. [Reid Park Zoo, Tucson, Arizona.]

Hodges, N., and Fischer, R.: The story of a wedge-tailed eagle. Thylacinus Vol. 27, No. 1 (2003), pp. 10–13. [Rehabilitating an ex-pet Aquila audax.]

Houts, L.: Helping Ursula: incorporating compatible alternative therapies to support traditional Western veterinary medicine. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 95–104. [Treating an aged American black bear at Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, California.]

Irby, L.: Zoo collections of state listed endangered and threatened species. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 23–29.

Johnson, P.M., Hawkes, M., and Sullivan, S.: Predation by Lumholtz's tree kangaroos Dendrolagus lumholtzi in captivity. Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 3 (2002), pp. 6–7. [Kangaroos at the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service's captive breeding centre have been observed hunting and eating a number of vertebrate species (carpet python, peaceful dove, brush turkey and striped burrowing frog). Actual killing has only been observed in the case of a dove, but is strongly suggested by circumstantial evidence in the other cases. The authors are uncertain whether this behaviour is normal or stimulated in captivity by boredom or a dietary deficiency.]

Kaiser, M.: Zur Haltung und Zucht des Gelbschnabeltokos im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. (Husbandry and breeding of southern yellow-billed hornbills at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 6 (2002), pp. 635–642. [German, no English summary.]

Kehl, N., and Ross, M.R.: The breeding behaviour of a pair of cinereous vultures at Lincoln Park Zoo. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 1 (2002), pp. 3–7. [Aegypius monachus.]

Kondo, M., Kishi, H., Kojima, C., Jin, W., Suzuki, J., Shimizu, K., Itoh, M., Ohkura, S., Tsukamura, H., Maeda, K.-I., Watanabe, G., and Taya, K.: Lactation-associated infertility in Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata) during the breeding season. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No. 1 (2003), pp. 65–76.

Krussman, E.W.: Out of the zoo and into the field. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 62–63. [San Francisco Zoo keepers' involvement with field research.]

Liu, D., Wang, Z., Tian, H., Yu, C., Zhang, G., Wei, R., and Zhang, H.: Behavior of giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in captive conditions: gender differences and enclosure effects. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No. 1 (2003), pp. 77–82. [Under captive conditions, both male and female pandas spent similar amounts of time engaged in eating and locomotion. Males performed anogenital marking more but rested less than females, which suggests a sexually dimorphic pattern of behavior. Females housed in a semi-natural environment spent significantly less time engaged in stereotyped behavior than females housed in traditional enclosures.]

McGivern, L.: Digitally enhanced animal management. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 221–223. [Use of digital photography as a record-keeping tool in Dallas Zoo's bird department.]

Manning, B.: Notes on the captive breeding of the southern angle-headed dragon (Hypsilurus spinipes). Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 3 (2002), pp. 17–22. [Healesville Sanctuary.]

Matschei, C.: Kreishornschafe, Ovis orientalis cycloceros, im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde – ein Rόckblick auf 30 Jahre Haltung und Zucht. (Afghan urials at Tierpark Berlin – 30 years of husbandry and breeding.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 6 (2002), pp. 625–634. [German, with brief English summary. The author gives notes on sexual maturity, birth weights, longevity and management problems. The original breeding group of the 1970s consisted of 4.5 animals. Up until now, 137 births with 202 lambs have been recorded. Most births (62%) were of twins; in 1990 triplets (2.1) were born. The death rate of lambs, especially twins, was very high (50%).]

Mazzaro, L.M., Dunn, J.L., Furr, H.C., and Clark, R.M.: Serum retinol, alpha-tocopherol, and lipids in four species of adult captive pinnipeds. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No. 1 (2003), pp. 83–96. [Mystic Aquarium, Connecticut.]

Middleton, S., and Shelly, A.: Just browsing: how to preserve browse for lean times. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 191–193. [Columbus Zoo, Ohio.]

Miller, P.: Re-educating people's perceptions on the care of native injured and orphaned wildlife. Thylacinus Vol. 27, No. 1 (2003), pp. 14–15.

Moraton, D.A.L.S.: The grey parrot in aviculture. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 1 (2002), pp. 8–16.

Neptune, D.D.: Defining a standard of excellence – enrichment at the programmatic level. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 69–76. [Utah's Hogle Zoo, Salt Lake City.]

O'Hara, C.: The perfect Neophema nest box. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 36, No. 11 (2002), pp. 376–377.

Owen, N.: Breeding the yellow-breasted magpie Cissa hypoleuca. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 4 (2002), pp. 172–177.

Pasco, J., and King, B.: The capture and introduction of desert bighorn sheep at the Arizona-Sorora Desert Museum. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 11 (2002), pp. 450–455. [Ovis canadensis mexicana.]

Peat, L.: The great blue and other turacos. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 3 (2002), pp. 123–126. [Cotswold Wildlife Park, U.K. Corythaeola cristata, Crinifer piscator, Tauraco erythrolophus and T. leucotis.]

Platt, J.A., Brown-Palsgrove, M., and Ross, S.R.: Otter enrichment and the benefits of keeper involvement in behavioral research. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 11 (2002), pp. 457–460. [Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago; Amblonyx cinereus.]

Pohle, C.: Kaffernbόffel (Syncerus caffer caffer) im Tierpark Berlin – fast die letzten in deutschen Zoos. (Cape buffalo at Tierpark Berlin – almost the last in German zoos.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 6 (2002), pp. 616–624. [German, no English summary.]

Pukinskiy, Y.B.: Notes on Blakiston's fish owl. Tyto Vol. 7, No. 4 (2003), pp. 27–51. [Bubo blakistoni.]

Ray, J.M., and Walley, H.D.: A behavioral study on Shinisaurus crocodilurus. Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society Vol. 38, No. 1 (2003), pp. 7–11. [The Chinese crocodile lizard is noted for its sluggish behavior and tendency to bask above waterways until frightened or disturbed. During this study at Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, the senior author found that although S. crocodilurus is a rather sluggish animal, it exhibits many display tactics that are quite similar to, or the same as, those shown by more active iguanid lizards. Although the sexes of the zoo's four animals were not confirmed during this study, definite differences in behavioral activities were observed. Lizard 4 displayed more frequently, and was far more active than the other three. Lizard 2 was most often displayed against, and typically retreated when approached. This behavior gave every indication of its subordinate status. The other two lizards seemed less involved in these activities, but still showed display potential. Whether these activities are related to territoriality or mate selection is difficult to determine, but it can be stated that S. crocodilurus does display and exhibit dominance in much the same fashion as more active iguanids and other better-studied saurian species.]

Rees, P.A.: Asian elephants in zoos face global extinction: should zoos accept the inevitable? Oryx Vol. 37, No. 1 (2003), pp. 20–22. [Captive breeding programmes for the Asian elephant have failed to establish self-sustaining zoo populations. Birth rates are low and calf mortality rates are high. The zoo population is widely dispersed, with few animals being moved on breeding loan. New techniques may increase birth rates, but current predictions suggest demographic extinction within 50 years. It would be difficult to justify importing elephants from sustainable zoo reserves in Asia to participate in ex situ breeding programmes where reproductive success is low. Zoos should either urgently regroup animals to form breeding units, or accept that Asian elephants will die out in zoos and that funds should be diverted to in situ conservation projects. See further IZN 50 (2), 70–71.]

Rees, P.A.: The welfare and conservation of Asian elephants – a reply to Sukumar. Oryx Vol. 37, No. 1 (2003), p. 25. [See entry by Sukumar (below), and IZN 50 (2), 70–71.]

Riger, P.: Thailand clouded leopard and fishing cat breeding program. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 145–146. [The programme, based at Khao Kheow Open Zoo, is a collaboration with Nashville Zoo, Tennessee, the U.S. National Zoo, the Clouded Leopard and Fishing Cat SSPs, and Thailand's Zoological Parks Organization.]

Rinke, D., and Marcordes, B.: Breeding the blue-tailed or banded pitta Pitta guajana at Vogelpark Walsrode. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 3 (2002), pp. 113–122.

Salkeld, J.: Anaesthetics – caring for the unconscious patient. Thylacinus Vol. 27, No. 1 (2003), pp. 2–9.

Sawyer, R.C.J.: Some famous aviculturists I have known. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 3 (2002), pp. 100–109.

Scanlin, S.: Cooperation (and fun) for education. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 10 (2002), pp. 408–410. [Gladys Porter Zoo, Brownsville, Texas; animal footprints in modelling clay as an educational item.]

Schaftenaar, W.: Mond- en klauwzeer: bedreigde soorten bedreigen de economie. (Foot-and-mouth disease: threatened species threaten the economy.) De Harpij Vol. 22, No. 1 (2003), pp. 11–16. [Dutch, with English summary. The European Union (EU) decided in 1991 that vaccination against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) would no longer be allowed within EU member states. Various EU countries, including the Netherlands, argued against this, as vaccination clearly holds FMD in check. Economic considerations won out, however: some countries, including Canada, the U.S., Japan and Australia, will only purchase meat and live cattle from FMD-free countries. The `FMD-free' status is awarded by the International Office of Epizootics (OIE) to countries fulfilling the following criteria: no FMD cases in the last three months, all FMD-suspected animals have been culled, and no vaccinations have occurred in the last 12 months.

      FMD is a very contagious disease, particularly in humid conditions. The severity of its effects varies with the disease serotype and the species of animal infected. It is generally considered a disease of artiodactyls, though tapirs, Asian elephants and (wild) hedgehogs may also contract it. Its effects on domestic cattle include a low adult mortality (usually not higher than 10–20%), a higher calf mortality, reduced growth rate and lower milk production. Almost all Cape buffalo in Kruger Park and elsewhere in southern Africa carry the disease, but rarely show serious symptoms. They spread the disease to other more vulnerable ungulates such as impala, which often die from it directly or indirectly. The threat of infected antelope jumping over fences to graze outside Kruger Park led to a decision in 2000 to vaccinate all domestic cattle within 50 km of the park.

      FMD has appeared occasionally in European zoos, but mostly without serious consequences. Preventative vaccination has been practised in some zoos, particularly before 1991 and after 1961, when equipment became available to more easily anaesthetize animals. The outbreak among domestic stock in several European countries in 2001 resulted in a thorough re-examination of the current non-vaccination policy. As the law stood at the beginning of 2001, governments would have to destroy all vulnerable animals in a zoo should an FMD outbreak occur within a one-km radius of the zoo. Personnel in some zoos argued for the right to vaccinate susceptible animals for FMD on the grounds that many of these animals are held in zoos for the express purpose of saving their species. After a great deal of discussion the decision was made by the OIE and EU that zoos in EU countries may vaccinate their animals against FMD when there is an outbreak within 25 km of the zoo, without requesting special permission. The minister of agriculture of a member state can decide when susceptible zoo animals should be destroyed because a zoo chose not to vaccinate.

      This in reality leaves the decision up to member countries to decide whether to vaccinate zoo animals or not. As the law now stands, the economic consequences of vaccinating zoo animals are great, as the country would still lose its FMD-free status for one year following vaccination. The OIE and EU have been repeatedly asked to find a solution to this problem, but have not yet done so. Should another FMD outbreak occur, this lack of action could have tremendous political consequences, as it pits the legal and ethical rights of a zoo against the economic welfare of the country.]

Schmidt, H.: De jagoearoendi: niet aanbevolen, wel gewaardeerd. (The jaguarundi: not recommended but appreciated.) De Harpij Vol. 22, No. 1 (2003), pp. 2–4. [Dutch, with English summary (see above, p. 183).]

Schmidt, T.: Against all odds: a successful reintroduction of a male dwarf mongoose (Helogale parvula) into the River's Edge pack at the St Louis Zoo. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 147–149.

Schreuders, A.: Lesser vasa parrots (Coracopsis nigra). Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 37, No. 4 (2003), pp. 174–179.

Scott, L.: Aspergillosis in little penguins, Eudyptula minor, at Melbourne Zoo. Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 3 (2002), pp. 14–16.

Shaffstall, W., and Suedmeyer, W.K.: Gestational monitoring of eastern black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli) through ultrasonography, serum and urine hormone quantification, fetal assessments and girth measurements. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 167–176. [Kansas City Zoo, Missouri.]

Small, L., and Pepper-Edwards, D.: The breeding of fishing cats Prionailurus viverrinus at Taronga Zoo. . . Why has it taken so long? Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 3 (2002), pp. 8–13.

Sommer, S., Volahy, A.T., and Seal, U.S.: A population and habitat viability assessment for the highly endangered giant jumping rat (Hypogeomys antimena), the largest extant endemic rodent of Madagascar. Animal Conservation Vol. 5, No. 4 (2002), pp. 263–273. [A PHVA was carried out for this key species of the highly threatened dry deciduous forests on the western coast of Madagascar. The species is now confined to 200 km2 of fragmented but relatively undisturbed forest remnants, divided in northern and southern subpopulations. Since 1985 the habitat has declined by about 52%, and the annual rate of decline increased from 3.9% between 1985 and 1995 to 4.4% between 1995 and 2000. In a study area in the southern subpopulation, the H. antimena population collapsed during the decade 1990–2000, as well as over its remaining range. An ongoing population decline within the next 100 years is predicted even if further habitat decline can be stopped within the next five years and no additional mortality by roaming dogs is considered. Computer simulations indicate that if the actual annual rate of habitat loss continues, the species will be extinct in the wild within 24 years.]

Sontag, W.A.: How do two sturnids, Leucopsar rothschildi and Gracupica nigricollis, get along together in limited space? Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 4 (2002), pp. 154–164. [Institute for Comparative Ethology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna. The answer to the question in the title appears to be, surprisingly well.]

Stadler, F.: Educational treasure-troves: live invertebrate displays at the Biological Sciences Museum, Macquarie University. Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 3 (2002), pp. 2–5.

Stark, B.: Animal behavior management – it's not just for keepers: the role of the zoo veterinarian in an animal behavior management program. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 64–68.

Stevenson, M., and Walter, O.: Elephants in zoos. Ratel Vol. 30, No. 1 (2003), pp. 3–6.

Sukumar, R.: Asian elephants in zoos – a response to Rees. Oryx Vol. 37, No. 1 (2003), pp. 23–24. [See entries by Rees (above), and IZN 50 (2), 70–71.]

Taggart, D.A., Shimmin, G.A., Underwood, G., and Phillips, K.: Survival of very small macropod pouch young following short-term isolation from the pouch at various environmental temperatures. Animal Conservation Vol. 5, No. 4 (2002), pp. 275–282. [There is considerable interest in the use of assisted breeding techniques as a component of conservation programmes for a variety of macropods threatened with extinction. While cross-fostering is being conducted in some programmes in captivity, little is known about the best techniques for carrying this procedure out from wild populations. The authors compare the success of various procedures for isolating small tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) and brush-tailed rock wallaby (Petrogale penicillata) pouch young (0.4 g to 410 g) for short periods (6 hours) as a first step towards establishing a methodology for recruiting endangered macropod pouch young directly from the wild for foster-rearing in captivity. Pouch temperature and humidity were determined. Pouch young from females in experimental groups were weighed, measured and then isolated, at 30°C, 27°C or 23°C, and 100% humidity. After isolation the weight of pouch young maintained at 30°C and 27°C had declined significantly (2–17% of body weight), whereas those held at 23°C and 100% humidity lost less than 0.5% of body weight. All young were reattached to the active teat of their mother following pouch isolation and their survival and growth monitored. Pouch young from the control group and those isolated at 23°C and 100% humidity survived and grew at normal rates. Only the largest pouch young maintained in isolation at either 30°C or 27°C survived to day 7 following reattachment. Data indicated that the proportion of weight lost by pouch young as a result of isolation decreased with increasing size and age. These trials indicate that it would be possible to harvest very small macropod pouch young from a species in the wild with a very high probability that they would survive short-term isolation from the pouch and reattachment to the teat. The use of this procedure in combination with cross-fostering techniques will allow small pouch young from threatened macropod species to be recruited directly from the wild into captivity, for captive breeding or to improve genetic diversity in captive colonies. It should also act to reactivate diapause embryos in these animals and hence may accelerate breeding in wild-based mothers.]

Thomas, R., and Godfrey, A.: Passport to survival. Ratel Vol. 29, No. 6 (2002), pp. 182–184. [The process of inter-zoo transfers illustrated by the cases of a Siberian tiger and a white rhino, sent from Edinburgh Zoo to Norway and Denmark respectively.]

Tscherner, W.: Nematoden der Ordnung Spirurida aus Vφgeln des Tierparks Berlin. (Spirurida nematodes in birds at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 6 (2002), pp. 645–653. [German, no English summary.]

Unger, T., Swelstad, K., Pratt, M., Davis, B., Figlioli, A., and Duditch, T.: Opening the Arctic Ring of Life exhibit at the Detroit Zoo. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 117–123.

Veenhuizen, R., and van den Broek, P.: Gevlekte hyena's in Safari Beekse Bergen. (Spotted hyenas at Beekse Bergen Safari Park.) De Harpij Vol. 22, No. 1 (2003), pp. 22–27. [Dutch, with English summary (see above, p. 175–176).]

Virkaitis, V.: The effects of foraging bins on callitrichid behavior. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 12 (2002), pp. 505–509. [Philadelphia Zoo, Pennsylvania; Saguinus bicolor and Leontopithecus chrysomelas.]

Wachsberg, L.: The trade in bear parts: where have we been and where are we going? AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 19–22.

Wagner, D.C.: Development of a browse notebook for use by mammal keepers. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 77–84. [San Diego Wild Animal Park.]

Wangler, G.: Horticulture therapy in a zoo setting. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 51–52. [St Louis Zoo.]

Weitz, C., and Hudson-Dye, M.: Training sun bears (Helarctos malayanus) for pole-injection through operant conditioning. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 10 (2002), pp. 415–418. [Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago.]

Wentzel, I.: World of Birds review 2001/2002. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 3 (2002), pp. 97–99. [World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary, Cape Town, South Africa. (Also published in IZN 49 (5), pp. 302–303.)]

Wielebnowski, N.C., Ziegler, K., Wildt, D.E., Lukas, J., and Brown, J.L.: Impact of social management on reproductive, adrenal and behavioural activity in the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Animal Conservation Vol. 5, No. 4 (2002), pp. 291–301. [Cheetahs held ex situ can provide an important resource for obtaining new biological information that usually cannot be gleaned from free-living individuals. However, consistent captive propagation, a prerequisite for establishing a self-sustaining population, has not been accomplished so far. The authors examined the effect of a husbandry regimen commonly used on female cheetahs in ex situ facilities. Although generally solitary in the wild, zoo cheetahs are frequently housed in pairs or groups. Using non-invasive hormone monitoring and quantitative behavioural observations, the authors studied the impact of such enforced social conditions on behaviour and ovarian/adrenal activity. Eight females at White Oak Conservation Center, Yulee, Florida, were evaluated for two consecutive six-month periods, first while maintained in pairs and then as individuals. Subsequently four females were regrouped into two new pairs and monitored for another six months. Females in five of six pairings demonstrated prolonged anoestrus and displayed agonistic behaviours. After pair separation all females rapidly resumed oestrous cyclicity. Females in the sixth pair continued cycling throughout the year while consistently displaying affiliative grooming and no agonistic behaviours. Faecal corticoid patterns varied significantly among individuals, but appeared unrelated to behavioural or ovarian hormone patterns. Thus, data appear to indicate that same-sex pair-maintenance of behaviourally incompatible female cheetahs may lead to suppressed ovarian cyclicity. This suppression appears linked to agonistic behaviours but not to any particular adrenal hormone excretion pattern. Results clearly demonstrate the value of applying knowledge about in situ social behaviour to ex situ management practices. Conversely, however, non-invasive hormone monitoring conducted ex situ may help us to identify physiological phenomena of potential relevance for future in situ studies.]

Wilkinson, R.: Bird notes from Chester Zoo, 2001. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 1 (2002), pp. 24–31.

Wilkinson, R.: Birdwatching in Papua New Guinea and New Britain. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 1 (2002), pp. 17–23.

Windau, J., and Ramirez, M.: Hoofed stock management on the West Savannah Habitat of Disney's Animal Kingdom. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 150–158.

Wiseman, R.: My experiences breeding the Victoria crowned pigeon. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 108, No. 1 (2002), pp. 1–2. [A private breeder.]

Wookey, A.M.: Let's get together: the challenges of introducing Angolan colobus monkeys (Colobus angolensis). AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 89–93. [Columbus Zoo, Ohio.]

Wright, A.: An historical analysis of Edinburgh Zoo: how far have we come? Ratel Vol. 29, No. 6 (2002), pp. 189–203. [Includes analyses of mammal longevity and breeding success.]

Zirpolo, K., and Kent, D.L.: It's not just the quills that are sharp: the talents, skills and abilities of the South African crested porcupine. AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, pp. 85–88. [San Diego Wild Animal Park.]

 

Publishers of the periodicals listed:

AAZK 29th National Conference Proceedings, American Association of Zoo Keepers, 3601 S.W. 29th Street, Suite 133, Topeka, Kansas 66614, U.S.A.

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.

Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society, 2430 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60614, U.S.A.

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

Milu, Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, Am Tierpark 125, D-1136 Berlin, Germany.

Oryx, Cambridge University Press (for Fauna and Flora International), The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 2RU, U.K.

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

Ratel, Association of British Wild Animal Keepers, 110 Carrick Knowe Drive, Edinburgh EH12 7EL, U.K.

Thylacinus, Australasian Society of Zoo Keeping, P.O. Box 248, Healesville, Victoria 3777, Australia.

Tyto, International Owl Society, 5 Sorrel Close, Braiswick, Colchester, Essex CO4 5UL, U.K.

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