Ray Pawley's article in this issue draws attention to the wide implications for zoos of a new piece of technological wizardry, the infra-red temperature-reading instrument. In a few years' time, perhaps, the routine use of these gadgets will be taken for granted by zoo people. But it is seldom easy to predict which of the incessant stream of scientific and technological discoveries will turn out to revolutionise life, in zoos or anywhere else. Two items I have noted recently in the press seem to me to have possible implications for zoos. Will one or both of them be as familiar to I.Z.N. readers in 2010 as, say, the transponder or DNA finger-printing are today? Perhaps but someone who studied the scientific press more assiduously than I do could probably come up with a hundred such items, only a few of which will, in the event, prove to have had far-reaching practical consequences.
It is now known that birds like many insects have ultraviolet vision. In a recent issue of Nature (Vol. 392, 30 April 1998), Tim Guilford and Paul H. Harvey report on two recent studies which show that blue tits (Parus caeruleus) a species in which the sexes are indistinguishable to the human eye are, in fact, sexually dichromatic. The reason that this was not known many years ago is that the newly-recognized colour differences are in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum, and therefore perfectly obvious to the birds themselves but not to us. This is the first instance in which it has been shown that a colourful bird species is clearly sexually dichromatic only in a part of the spectrum that is invisible to humans. Guilford and Harvey go on to discuss this finding with reference to evolutionary biology. But it also raises an intriguing possibility for captive management. How many apparently monochromatic bird species have sexual differences visible in the ultraviolet waveband? Will there one day be a totally non-invasive method of sexing these species simply by viewing their ultraviolet patterning? (If it ever happens, remember you read about it first in I.Z.N.!)
The second item which caught my attention described a new system to prevent livestock from wandering, being patented by Agritech Electronics of Kansas, U.S.A. Under this system, each animal in effect carries its own electric fencing it wears a collar that contains a battery and a receiver for signals from the Global Positioning System satellites. The GPS receiver determines the animal's position. A chip in the collar is pre-programmed with the area the animal is allowed to graze, and delivers a mild electric shock if it strays outside these boundaries. In tomorrow's zoos, will lions and tigers, elephants and rhinos, gorillas and bears fitted with these collars or perhaps with less obtrusive subcutaneous versions roam apparently unconfined? Fencing of some sort would still be needed, of course, to keep the visitors away from the animals; but even so, the financial and aesthetic benefits to the zoos would be enormous.
SOME IMPRESSIONS OF BRAZILIAN ZOOS
BY CHRISTOPH SCHWITZER
According to the latest zoo census of the International Zoo Yearbook, there are nine replying zoological collections in Brazil (Olney and Fisken, 1995). For a country measuring more than 8.5 million square kilometres (that is about 35 times the size of Great Britain) and counting about 160 million inhabitants, that does not seem to be very many.
But, as the experienced zoo visitor knows, it is the smaller zoos, not listed in the Yearbook's census, that are sometimes the most interesting. The 1993 `census', published by the Sociedade de Zoológicos do Brasil (Society of Brazilian Zoological Gardens), lists 86 replying zoos, housing altogether 34,413 animals. During September/October of 1996 I was able to visit eight of these collections in the company of Dierk Wanke (University of Cologne, Dept. of Botany/Ecology) and Stephan Gantner (University of Tübingen, Dept. of Microbiology) on an expedition that was primarily dedicated to the search for extremely rare water-plants of the genus Echinodorus (Wanke et al., in press).
Thinking about this South American country's zoos, the first one most people have in mind is the Fundação Parque Zoológico de São Paulo, which is definitely one of the most striking and beautiful zoological gardens I have ever been able to visit. Set in a state reserve of coastal rainforest not far from the centre of what is, with about 20 million citizens, one of the three biggest cities in the world (Mexico City and Tokyo being the other two), it presents about 2,700 animals of 366 species (Saliba, 1995) in an area of approximately 204 acres (82 ha). Founded in 1957, São Paulo Zoo does not have to cope with old buildings protected by law. In fact, with the exception of two small houses for reptiles and one for birds, as well as a house presenting the zoo's leaf-cutter ant colony, it does not have to cope with any buildings accessible for visitors at all, as the temperature seldom falls below 0° C. So, compared to e.g. a German or British zoo, it is obvious that the money that is available can largely be spent on outdoor enclosures. Most of the animals are kept in relatively large open paddocks, shaded by the trees of the surrounding forest. Many of the smaller mammals and birds live in exhibits reminding the visitor of rainforest clearings. As the soil of all the enclosures consists of red laterite, which is so typical of Brazil, both the animals and the enclosures have a slightly reddish tinge. Of the larger animals, both African and Asian elephants, a male Indian rhino which has a blue-tiled outdoor pool to bathe in, a pair of common hippos with offspring, as well as Malayan and Brazilian tapirs, are worth mentioning. The hoofstock also include a fine group of Nubian giraffes (Giraffa c. camelopardalis) in a for giraffes unusually muddy enclosure, and a herd of red brocket (Mazama americana).
From the primatologist's point of view, the park seems to be a little
A row of bird aviaries at São Paulo Zoo. (Photo: D. Wanke)
disappointing at first sight. This is because one might expect lots of unusual South American species in this section, but, except for three species of lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia, L. chrysomelas and L. chrysopygus), one is confronted only with rather ordinary brown capuchins (Cebus apella), woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha) and different species of spider monkey (Ateles spp.). Also, there are lar gibbons and three species of great ape. Nevertheless, the beauty of some of the monkeys' island homes clearly compensates for their lack of unusual inmates.
There is much more to see behind the scenes, but unfortunately this is not accessible to the normal visitor. The zoo's staff includes 70 keepers, 11 biologists and six veterinarians (Saliba, 1995). Every department (mammals, birds and reptiles) has its own house with offices for the section heads as well as quarantine cages and holding areas for surplus animals etc. Here, in the buildings of the mammalian section, are some more unusual primate species a white-shouldered marmoset (Callithrix humeralifer), black tufted-eared marmosets of two different subspecies (Callithrix p. penicillata and C. p. kuhlii) and moustached tamarins (Saguinus m. mystax), to name just a few kept alongside a row of portable cages with equally fascinating inhabitants: about ten individuals of the southern tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla) live in them, both adults and juveniles born at the zoo, very active and as interested in the occasional visitor as he is in them.
As I am rather pampered by the zoo of my home town, Cologne, which has had all three species of uakari (Cacajao spp.) during the last decade, with a pair of white uakaris (Cacajao calvus) still remaining, it was a tragedy to hear that São Paulo Zoo gave away their last red uakari (C. rubicundus) to a private collection in southern Brazil some years ago. An even greater disappointment was with the red cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruviana), which is extremely rare now in captivity, as, unfortunately, São Paulo's last remaining individual died only one day before our visit, so that we were only able to see two stuffed specimens kept in a cupboard in the bird section.
The São Paulo Zoo was visited by 2.3 million people in 1994 (Saliba, 1995), and as there is nothing indicating a zoo's quality better than its visitor numbers, in a city with a huge percentage of its population living in or near extreme poverty, this figure speaks for itself.
The second zoo on our trip, and the first one that was not listed in the Yearbook, was the Parque Zoológico Sargento Prata, the zoo of the city of Fortaleza (population: two million), capital of the state of Ceará in north-eastern Brazil. Built on only eleven acres (4.5 ha) some miles outside the city boundaries, this small zoo presents about 220 animals of 55 different species. It was founded in 1954, is owned by the city, and admission is free. All the animals shown are rather small species native to South America, the largest being a Brazilian tapir. Interesting is a group of four pale-throated three-toed sloths (Bradypus tridactylus), who have a yellowish coat with darker spots, with the male having a bright black colouring in the shape of an escutcheon on its back. Though these animals are said to be solitary, all four are being kept together in one cage. The primates are represented by a pair of black spider monkeys (Ateles p. paniscus), as well as a group of brown capuchins. A notable bird species is the white-browed guan (Penelope jacucaca), a member of the Cracidae family which comprises the chachalacas, guans and curassows. Nearly all the animals are housed in medium-sized cages, many of which are circular and can be looked into from all sides. The furniture is simple and there is not much behavioural enrichment, but the cages are very clean and it is obvious that someone cares.
Although it is situated not too far out of the city, the zoo does not seem to be very well known by the inhabitants of Fortaleza. There are no signs nor advertisements, and only the staff of the University of Ceará's Institute of Zoology were able to show us the way.
Also not listed in the Yearbook is the Zoo of the University of Mato Grosso in Cuiabá, a large city in western-central Brazil, situated at the northern edge of the Pantanal, the world's largest continuous area of freshwater swamp. Cuiabá, the capital of the state of Mato Grosso, was established by gold-diggers when they found what they were searching for in the Cuiabá and Coxipó rivers. In the city's centre, a big stone marks the exact middle of South America.
The small zoo, admission to which is free, is situated on the University campus, close to the city centre, and is certainly a big surprise to any visitor who did not previously even know of its existence. It houses a variety of really striking species native to Brazil, many of them housed in natural-looking open paddocks. Furthermore, great attention seems to have been given to the information signs in front of the enclosures. Each sign gives the species' name in Portuguese, as well as the scientific name and some information about the animals, which is not always seen even in large European or North American collections. Cuiabá Zoo is directed by a biologist and has a few employed keepers. All the other staff are students from the Institute for Veterinary Medicine (and, surprisingly, not the Institute for Zoology), doing their research and helping voluntarily at the zoo, where they seem to be doing a very good job. Unfortunately, there is one important thing that no one responsible for this zoo seems to care about: the management of the captive populations. Many of the animals are either single or of the same sex, and there is not much apparent interest in forming pairs and breeding, nor in exchanging animals with other collections. So, for example, the visitor can see 1.0 giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), 1.0 black howler monkey (Alouatta caraya), 0.l white-faced saki (Pithecia p. pithecia), 2.0 silvery marmosets (Callithrix argentata melanura), 0.3 giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) and 1.0 six-banded armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus). Most of the animals live together in very interesting mixed-species exhibits: for example 1.2 tamanduas, the giant anteater and the silvery marmosets together in one enclosure, or the giant otters living in a lake, with a group of spider monkeys on an island and a family of Brazilian tapirs as well as some capybaras on the shore. The otherwise lonely six-banded armadillo shares its home with a large group of white-nosed coatis (Nasua narica) who do not seem to be very interested in their strange companion.
A tamandua at Cuiabá Zoo poses on top of its own enclosure sign. (Photo: D. Wanke)
Tayra enclosure at Cuiabá Zoo. (Photo: S. Gantner)
Interesting reptiles that can be seen here are apart from many smaller species living free in the zoo a pair of red anacondas (Eunectes murinus), as well as at least 15 Pantanal caimans (Caiman crocodilus yacare), the latter living in a small lake.
Not much thought has been put into a new building for big cats, which is not yet occupied by the animals. It provides no security at all for the keepers and, in its present state, could not cope with the needs of its future inhabitants. But, as is so often the case, the staff are fully aware of these problems and will make the best of the situation.
So, with a few reservations, this is an excellent small zoo that, contrary to what one might expect because of its being owned by the university, has not got the atmosphere of a research facility at all, but satisfies the demands of its visitors at least as well as any of the country's bigger zoos.
As in New York City, a great proportion of the population of Curitiba, capital of the state of Paraná, consists of immigrants (mainly Slavonian, German and Italian). And, again like New York City (or Paris or Berlin), Curitiba has two zoos. The larger one, called simply Curitiba Zoo, is situated about fifteen minutes outside the city centre in a suburban area with the river Iguaçú running through (here it is tiny compared with its width at the Iguaçú Falls, several hundred miles west of Curitiba).
The zoo, which is owned by the city and thus free of admission, occupies an area of about 140 acres (57 ha), which is partly forested but mainly consists of open land. It was founded as recently as 1982 and, according to the International Zoo Yearbook, employs 94 staff and houses 284 animal species (Olney and Fisken, 1995). The latter include beasts from all over the world, as there are giraffes, hippos, lions, leopards, pumas and tigers, to name just a few. But here, too, many species are native to South
Aviary for plush-crested jay, Curitiba Zoo. (Photo: S. Gantner)
America, and there are a few as interesting as the giant anteater, the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) and the red brocket. Except for the carnivores, which can be seen in relatively small outdoor cages of a building that is not accessible to the public, most of the animals are housed in large paddocks, fenced in by what looks like the border demarcation of the former GDR: definitely adequate for the hoofstock, but not very appealing to visitors! The zoo's groups of brown capuchins, woolly monkeys and black spider monkeys live on islands which, though they provide some bushes and ropes for the animals to climb on, lack larger trees that would give some shade and, overall, look a bit bare and dreary.
In contrast to the other collections that I saw in this country, here is a zoo that, though it is certainly not bad, does not seem to specialise in anything and provides its visitors with rather a messy accumulation of different animals, that does not contain many rarities for the interested or professional and is not of much educational value for the amateur. Much could be gained here by giving away some species in favour of others and by more imaginative enclosure design for those remaining.
Completely different is the second zoo of Curitiba, the so-called Passeio Publico. Situated in a park in the middle of the city, it is in many features comparable to the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes in Paris or the old zoo in Poznan, Poland. Though I have no information about when it was founded (the park was established in 1886, but the zoo must be younger), it seems to be at least coming to the end of its first century. Despite its relatively small site less than ten acres (4 ha) it houses a fair number of animals, ranging from spiders, fish, amphibians and reptiles in an aquarium building (which is the only zoo building accessible to visitors in either of Curitiba's zoos) over a good collection of native birds to smaller mammals, including a single yellow baboon (Papio cynocephalus). The aquarium, which I unfortunately wasn't able to visit myself, shows mostly indigenous species, housed in four rows of clean and well decorated tanks that are arranged in a circular shape, as well as in four large terrariums which stand in the middle of the building surrounded by the tanks (D. Wanke, pers. comm.). In the zoo, the enclosures are small and many are old-fashioned cages, but the bird cages in particular are well furnished, providing more than adequate homes for their inhabitants. Here too admission is free, and so this small zoo is a lively place, with its visitors as interesting and colourful as its animals.
With almost no educational labelling and only very limited space for, e.g., participation in breeding programmes for endangered species, one could think that the Passeio Publico does not serve any purpose, as there is a much larger zoo in the same city that could easily house all its animals. But this is far from the truth, as, in an ideal symbiosis of both zoos with a wisely-chosen animal collection for each of them, it could provide a home (as it already to some extent does) for many of the smaller species which can be exhibited in a spectacular way even when there is not much space available. To achieve this goal, a great deal of work still needs to be done, but, for the citizens of Curitiba, the most apparent function of the Passeio Publico is to serve as a meeting place, a little oasis in the middle of one of Brazil's big cities, where children can go even without their parents to encounter some of their country's native (and some exotic) animals, and pensioners can take a rest while trying to teach some amazon parrots the Portuguese language. Given that the animals are kept in adequate conditions, there is nothing wrong even with this raison d'être, which is often forgotten in discussions about the need for zoos in our time.
In the same state, Paraná, there is another city with two zoological collections. Foz do Iguaçú, located in the border area where Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil meet, is a well-known tourist attraction, as it is home to the overwhelmingly beautiful Iguaçú falls, which are, in terms of the volume of water coming down (an annual average of 1,756 m3 per second), among the five greatest waterfalls in the world. Here, 14 miles (22.5 km) above its confluence with Rio Paraná, the Iguaçú river plunges down 82 m in about 275 single cataracts over a width of 2.5 miles (4 km).
Beside the road leading from the city to this natural prodigy, there is the Parque das Aves Foz Tropicana, a bird park built on nine acres (3.6 ha) of the subtropical forest native to this part of Brazil. It houses about 500 birds of both native and exotic species in very natural, up to about eight metres high aviaries, some of them accessible to visitors. One of these aviaries contains a lake spanned by a wooden bridge from which the visitor can spy the birds. Again, there are no houses with visitor access, except for the restaurant, which also includes a small gift-shop. Specialities of the park include a variety of amazons and other parrots, as well as an interesting collection of members of the cracid family.
Apart from the Iguaçú falls (and the bird park), the other `must-see' for everyone visiting Foz do Iguaçú is the unbelievably impressive Itaipú dam, built between 1975 and 1984 by the two countries Brazil and Paraguay in their border region as a hydroelectric power plant, damming up 29 billion cubic metres of the water of the 3,700 km long Rio Paraná and thus being the largest dam in the world (Christ, 1996). The dam supersedes another spectacular sight, as its construction completely destroyed the Salto das Sete Quedas or Guaíra falls of the upper Paraná river, with, in 18 cataracts, what was probably the greatest volume of falling water in the world (this record is now held by the Khone falls of the Mekong river at Laos's border with Cambodia).
Close to the power plant, which serves the whole of Paraguay and one-third of Brazil with power, there are two zoos: the Criadouro de Animais Silvestres da Itaipú Binacional (CASIB) on the Brazilian side and the Centro de Investigacion de Animales Silvestres de Itaipú (CIASI) on the Paraguayan side. Both these institutions belong to the `Itaipú Binacional' project and were set up to keep and propagate animal species native to the biological reserves situated around the 1,350 km2 artificial Lake Itaipú. Whilst the Paraguayan CIASI (which we did not have time to visit) in the town of Hernandarias was built as a real zoo accessible to visitors, its Brazilian counterpart in Foz do Iguaçú looks as if it was originally intended solely for the breeding of endangered species. The majority of the centre consists of breeding and quarantine buildings and cages not open to the public, where several individuals of the brown howler monkey (Alouatta fusca) are kept, as well as margays (Leopardus w. wiedi), oncillas (L. tigrinus) and ocelots (L. pardalis mitis), to name the most interesting species. Only a tiny `zoo area' is attached to this, providing access mainly for school parties on just one day of the week. The enclosures here are all more or less open, moated paddocks with peccaries and other small hoofstock as inhabitants. They lie on both sides of a long, straight path with a dead end, and this is virtually all that the public part of the centre consists of. At the entrance to the park there are several veterinarian and biological laboratories, where studies on animal parasites in particular are carried out. So, for the ordinary tourist, the small zoo area might be worth including in a visit to the Itaipú dam with its visitor centre and museum, but the professional should make an appointment to see the rest of CASIB as well.
The last zoo we visited on this journey was the Jardim Zoológico do Rio de Janeiro, the oldest zoo in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro, the `River of January' (so named because Amerigo Vespucci, when he landed in Guanabara Bay on 1 January 1502, believed he had found the mouth of a big river and, as it was New Year's Day, named the place after the month), was Brazil's capital from 1763, when it succeeded Salvador, until 1960, when President Juscelino Kubitschek declared Brasília, a new city built within a thousand days, as the new capital (Marggraf, 1996).
So Rio's zoo, which was founded in 1888, is definitely the country's `capital zoo'. After a delightful walk through the Parque da Quinta da Boa Vista, one approaches its impressive main entrance, with a row of columns on each side leading to a great arch in the middle through which visitors can go: it is comparable in grace only to the greatest of its counterparts, for example the main entrance of Budapest Zoo or the elephant-gate of Berlin Zoo. It was given by an English aristocrat as a wedding present to the first emperor of Brazil, Pedro I, and his wife Leopoldina.
Having passed the gate, one is no less impressed by the botanical display surrounding the animal enclosures. An avenue of royal palms (Roystonea regia), which can grow up to 25 metres high, casts its shade upon the main axis of the zoo. The zoo is encompassed by light forest, mainly consisting of huge old trees that alone would make the park well worth a visit, with clumps of flowers like red heliconia (H. rostrata) or bird-of-paradise flower (Strelitzia reginae) between them.
On almost 30 acres (12 ha) can be seen about 2,100 animals (reptiles, birds and mammals) of 350 species. Most interesting, as in all the other Brazilian zoos, are the rarely-seen native species, and of these Rio Zoo shows at least two for which a search in any European collection would be absolutely fruitless: a single female red-backed saki (Chiropotes satanas chiropotes), which belongs to the genus of the bearded sakis, members of which (but of different species/subspecies) are housed only at Cologne and Mulhouse Zoos, as well as a pair of dusky titis (Callicebus moloch ssp.), a species related to the red titi (Callicebus cupreus) of which a trio lives at Berlin Zoo. Rio's primate collection also includes a group of the yellow-throated capuchin (Cebus apella xanthosternos), a very rare subspecies of the ordinary brown capuchin, for which a captive-breeding project was initiated by the Rio de Janeiro Primate Centre. From there animals have already been sent to Mulhouse, Zürich and Chester Zoos. Among the Callitrichidae, noteworthy species are pied tamarins (Saguinus b. bicolor), black red-handed tamarins (Saguinus midas niger) and moustached tamarins of the subspecies S. m. pileatus. All these animals are kept in suitable, but rather unappealing, enclosures of the cage type, except for the capuchins, which live on a rock descending below the visitors' level into a dry moat. The homes for the two ape species, though, look quite different. Orang-utans and chimpanzees are housed in a row of dry-moated, meadow-like enclosures, and, judging by the crowds of visitors gathering in front of them, are the greatest attraction for the people of Rio.
As is the case in many good zoos, not all of Rio's animals are kept in a modern and adequate style, and there are certainly some species that need rehousing. A single female Asian elephant is among them, as well as some larger carnivores occupying a menagerie-style row of cages. But nobody has the money to do everything which needs to be done at once, and as the rest of the zoo looks very promising, one can be sure that it is only a matter of time before these relics are replaced.
Carnivore cages at Rio Zoo. (Photo: C. Schwitzer)
Nothing is as obvious in Rio Zoo as their participation in the breeding projects for golden and golden-headed lion tamarins, as groups of these two species are scattered through the whole zoo. But spectacled bears, the already mentioned yellow-throated capuchins, and some bird species are also held in cooperation with breeding programmes.
The zoo features no buildings providing visitor access, except for a semi-covered building (one side open) for reptiles and fish and, again, the gift-shop and restaurant. The latter, in great contrast to many of its European and North American counterparts, offers a large variety of not only edible, but actually tasty and well-prepared foods, which the hungry zoo visitor can accumulate on his plate in self-service before being billed by weight.
All in all, Brazil's zoos in the range of their quality are comparable to German, British and North American facilities. There are good and not-so-good zoos, with some excellent enclosures as well as some designed without much imagination. The standard of behavioural enrichment is high (not least due to the very natural enclosures, which sometimes look like a fenced-in piece of rainforest), and breeding of those species kept in pairs or groups is successful.
The collections often comprise a large proportion of native species, which, considering Brazil's uniquely rich fauna and flora, is understandable and definitely of great educational value. Unfortunately, there is usually only very little or even no educational material available, such as e.g. guidebooks, magazines, teacher-packs or even leaflets with maps. Also, in many cases the enclosure labelling is not too informative, but there are laudable exceptions.
A great deal of research is apparently being carried out in many of the institutions I was able to visit, in particular at Cuiabá Zoo, CASIB and São Paulo Zoo (which maintains pathological and clinical laboratories, as well as a zoological library accessible to the visitors).
Attendances, which largely reflect the recreational value of a zoo, are uniformly high for those Brazilian zoos replying to the International Zoo Yearbook (which does not mean that they are low for all the others, simply that there are no data readily available). In 1993, the best-visited were Rio de Janeiro (2.2 million), São Paulo (2.1 million), Belo Horizonte (1.1 million) and Brasilia (0.6 million) (Olney and Fisken, 1995). These figures indicate the Brazilian people's high degree of satisfaction with their zoos, which is definitely justified by their quality. They also show that, even in a country with a fauna of such great diversity as Brazil's, zoos are very popular places to go, and taking into account the fact that not many people are able to see the animals in their natural homes, zoos offer the best chance to create among the public an awareness of the wildlife in their own country.
I would like to thank Mara Cristina Marques of São Paulo Zoo, Otilia Vieira Breitwieser and Ana Paula Rocha Vieira of Fortaleza, as well as Franziska Huber and Marcos Roberto Ferramosca Cardoso from the University of Mato Grosso, Cuiabá, for their helpfulness and hospitality, and John Tuson for reviewing the manuscript. Especially I would like to thank Stephan Gantner and Dierk Wanke for their company and their discussions.
Christ, W. (1996): Rio-Itaipú-Iguaçú-São Paulo. In Brasilien (C. Naundorf, R. Marggraf and W. Christ), pp. 168193. Reich Verlag AG, Luzern.
Marggraf, R. (1996): Geschichte. In Brasilien (C. Naundorf, R. Marggraf and W. Christ), pp. 6290. Reich Verlag AG, Luzern.
Olney, P.J.S., and Fisken, F.A. (1995): Zoos and aquariums of the world Brazil. In International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 34, pp. 254255. Zoological Society of London, London.
Saliba, A.M. (1995): The São Paulo Zoo, among the best in the world. Fundação Parque Zoológico de São Paulo, São Paulo.
Wanke, D., Gantner, S., and Schwitzer, C. (in press): Drei südbrasilianische Echinodorus-Arten vom Aussterben bedroht. Deutsche Aquarien- und Terrarien-Zeitschrift.
Christoph Schwitzer, Am Botanischen Garten 61, D-50735 Köln, Germany.
THE ENDANGERED PRIMATE RESCUE CENTER, CUC PHUONG, VIETNAM AN UPDATE
BY H. JÖRG ADLER, ROLAND WIRTH AND
Much has happened in the Cuc Phuong National Park (CPNP) since the beginning of our efforts to rescue the Delacour's langur (Adler, 1991) and to establish a primate rescue center (Wirth, 1995; Adler and Wirth, 1997). The successful work of many different partners active at CPNP has been largely due to the support of the Zoological Society of Frankfurt 1858, which has financed a project for the protection of the National Park since 1991, and for the conservation of the Delacour's langur since 1993 (Adler, 1992). The earliest achievements of the Endangered Primate Rescue Center (EPRC) have been reported upon sporadically in I.Z.N. [see especially 42:4 (1995), pp. 236240; 43:4 (1996), p. 257 Ed.], as well as elsewhere. These reports have included articles about new species of primates (Wirth and Adler, 1991; Nadler, 1996a) and the first successful breeding of Delacour's and Hatinh langurs (Nadler, 1996b). We feel, however, that we have long owed our readers a comprehensive project overview. This is what we would like to provide with the following article.
We reported about the first two enclosure complexes, each of which comprised an area of about 26 by 6 metres, just after these had been completed in 1995. They are now surrounded by a lush growth of trees, bushes, and bamboos. Not only have these two enclosures taken on a more `homely' aspect, but another two have been built. One of these has, at considerable cost, been equipped with a heatable shelter. Winters in the north of Vietnam can sometimes be very cold. This type of weather poses no threat to the various langurs and gibbons that are native to the region, but is problematic for the douc langurs (Pygathrix nemaeus ssp.) which originate from the southern part of the country. An increasing number of douc langurs has been confiscated during the past couple of years due to intensified scrutiny of the illegal animal trade on the part of the Vietnamese authorities. These animals have been brought to our station because of a lack of accommodation for them elsewhere. As a result, we have had no choice but to expand to accommodate all of them, although it has meant diverting over $9,000 away from the primate project's scarce resources.
The quarters for the douc langurs were by no means the most expensive of the building projects undertaken during the years 19951997. This period also saw the completion of a house with two apartments in the grounds of the station. These living quarters allow the station to be staffed day and night, providing improved security and a quick response in case of emergencies. The house also features an animal-feed kitchen, a veterinary room with a pharmacy, and sanitary facilities.
Another extremely expensive and urgently-needed building was also completed in 1997: the quarantine station. With more than 50 primates at the station (among them several species which are not kept anywhere else at present, and which are among the most critically endangered species on earth), we had become greatly concerned about the risk of some disease being introduced into the station by one of the regular new arrivals. Our anxiety about this situation had been magnified by the way in which the illegal wildlife trade is carried on, where animals may have come in contact with any number of disease-causing agents. So guaranteeing the new arrivals the maximum level of warmth, hygiene etc., while minimizing the risk of infection to the animals already at the station, was a matter of rising to meet the needs of the moment in spite of limited financial resources.
The living quarters and the quarantine station each cost about $20,000. That's an impressive sum of money. If you consider the cost of comparable building projects in Europe or North America, however, it becomes an impressive return on investment!
The last of the recent achievements is the establishment of the large enclosure which we first mentioned in 1995. We were finally able to surround a wooded hill of over one hectare in area with wire mesh and electric fencing. It is located directly behind the station. One of the primate groups will have the run of this tract, beginning in 1998. This is probably the only such large-scale enclosure in all South-east Asia. It was made possible by a generous and, it must be said, decisive donation by the Rotary Club of Münster-Himmelreich, as well as by the Gallagher Company, which not only donated the entire electrical system (including environment-friendly solar panels), but also assumed all transport costs from its factory in New Zealand to Vietnam.
Despite all the recent building activity, the station is once again threatening to burst at the seams. The reason for this problem is not only the aforementioned increase in confiscations by the Vietnamese authorities, but also something of a baby boom. In addition to the Delacour's langur and the two Hatinh langurs mentioned by Nadler (1996b), two more Hatinh langurs, another Delacour's langur and several pygmy lorises were born in 1997. A few more douc and Hatinh langurs were pregnant as this article was being written.
So further enclosures are urgently needed. Unfortunately, we do not at present have the financial means to undertake this type of project. Building activities have taken an increasingly large bite out of our scant funding. Another growing financial burden has been the cost of caring for the burgeoning number of animals at the station. The largest part of this budget sector has not been animal feed, but the expense of the staff, which has had to be enlarged to meet the station's growing needs. A staff of ten one German animal keeper (currently, either Manuela Klöden or Roland Männel, both from Leipzig Zoo, who alternate from year to year), and nine Vietnamese employees are needed to tend all the animals and to keep the station in good repair.
Figure 1. Site plan of the Endangered Primate Rescue Center.
1. Station house.
2. Cages 1/2: Hatinh langurs.
3. Cages 3/4: Delacour's langurs.
4. Cages 5/6: Gibbons.
5. Cages 7/8 and house: Douc langurs.
6. Cage 9: Slow loris.
7. Cage 10: Pygmy loris.
8. Cage 11: feeding and treatment of monkeys in semi-free facility.
9. Generator station.
10. Quarantine station.
11. Planned cages (under construction).
The `monkey-proof' fence around the large, semi-free enclosure, Endangered Primate Rescue Center, Cuc Phuong, Vietnam. (Photo: Jörg Adler)
One of the enclosure complexes at the Endangered Primate Rescue Center. (Photo: Jörg Adler)
At present, the maintenance of animals at the EPRC is made possible only through permanent financing by the Allwetterzoo Münster (by both the collection of donations at elephant feedings and the establishment of a budget item for in situ species conservation in the zoo's yearly budget), as well as through a considerable amount of financial support on the part of the Deutsche Tierhilfswerk. Regular monetary aid has also come from other sources, such as Leipzig Zoo, Rotterdam Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Mulhouse Zoo, Philadelphia Zoo, Portland Zoo, the visitors' guides at Apenheul Primate Park, and private contributors such as Dr W. Salzert, Director of Rheine Zoo in Germany. Jens-Ove Heckel, a veterinarian with experience at zoological facilities, carried out a medical examination of all the animals in 1996 at his own cost. Mulhouse Zoo has financed the efforts of its in-house veterinarian, Pierre Moisson, as Veterinary Advisor to the EPRC since 1997.
Does this mean nothing but smooth sailing for the station? Not a chance! The donations mentioned above did not just fall out the sky they usually had to be actively raised. And the rapid growth of the station also tells a dark and troubling story: that of the illegal animal trade. The increased confiscation of animals which then end up at Cuc Phuong is certainly due to increased activity and vigilance on the part of the Vietnamese authorities. But it is also, unfortunately, a partial reflection of intensified hunting pressure on the last vestiges of these primate species. The confiscations are probably only the tip of the iceberg. We can do no more than speculate on the total volume of illegal trade, but that volume is without a doubt high too high, when we take into account how few members of these species, which are also threatened by habitat destruction, remain.
The primate conservation project which we have described is the only one of its kind in the whole of Indo-China. As such it is probably playing a key role in rescuing and preserving certain species in the area. The only way in which the EPRC can secure its mid- to long-term existence, and the urgently needed extensive expansion of building, conservation outreach etc., is by way of massive fund-raising activities of the sort mentioned in this article. But the EPRC is not the only project we support, and we have reached the very limit of our capacity. Therefore, we urgently seek supporters and partners in our fight to preserve some of the most spectacular primate species on earth!
[Those who are interested can find further information in the EPRC Newsletter (in English) (Nadler, 1997b). It can be ordered from the Allwetterzoo, Münster, for a minimum contribution of DM 15 (including postage).]
References and further reading
Adler, H.J. (1991): On the situation of the Delacour's langur (Trachypithecus f. delacouri) in the north of Vietnam proposal for a survey and conservation project. (Abstracts of the 2nd Congress of the GfP.) Primate Report 31, 67. (German Primate Centre, Göttingen.)
Adler, H.J. (1992): Cuc Phuong Nationalpark, Nordvietnam / Projekt 1129-91 der Zoologischen Gesellschaft Frankfurt von 1858. Mitteilungen der Zoologische Gesellschaft für Arten- und Populationsschutz 8:1, 16.
Adler, H.J., and Wirth, R. (1997): Memorandum of Agreement of the Endangered Primate Rescue Center. Hanoi/Münster, 2 pp.
Nadler, T. (1996a): Kleideraffe und Tonkinlangur mit fraglichem taxonomischen Status im `Endangered Primate Rescue Center'. Mitteilungen der Zoologische Gesellschaft für Arten- und Populationsschutz 12:1, 13.
Nadler, T. (1996b) Delacour- und Hatinhlangur erstmals in einer Haltung geboren. Mitteilungen der Zoologische Gesellschaft für Arten- und Populationsschutz 12:2, 67.
Nadler, T. (1997a): A new subspecies of douc langur, Pygathrix nemaeus cinereus ssp. nov. Der Zoologische Garten 67:4, 165176.
Nadler, T. (1997b): Endangered Primate Rescue Center Newsletter 2.
Wirth, R., and Adler, H.J. (1991): Douc langurs: how many species are there? Zoonooz 64:6, 1213.
Wirth, R. (1995): Das Primatenprojekt in Vietnam. Mitteilungen der Zoologische Gesellschaft für Arten- und Populationsschutz 11:1, 14.
Table 1. Current Register of Primates at the EPRC (as of 13.2.1998)
Species or subspecies No. of animals
Delacour's langur (Trachypithecus delacouri)* 7
Hatinh langur (Trachypithecus francoisi hatinhensis)* 13
Laos langur (Trachypithecus francoisi laotum)* 1
Black langur (Trachypithecus francoisi ebenus)* 1
Phayre's langur (Trachypithecus phayrei) 2
Red-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus nemaeus) 8
Grey-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus cinereus)* 5
Black-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus nigripes) 1
White-cheeked gibbon (Hylobates leucogenys leucogenys) 2
Southern white-cheeked gibbon (Hylobates leucogenys siki) 5
Gabriella's crested gibbon (Hylobates gabriellae) 2
Slow loris (Nycticebus coucang) 2
Pygmy loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) 6
* = species or subspecies found in captivity only at the EPRC.
H. Jörg Adler, Zoological Director, Allwetterzoo Münster, Sentruper Strasse 315, 48161 Münster, Germany; Roland Wirth, Zoologische Gesellschaft für Arten- und Populationsschutz, Franz-Senn-Strasse 14, 81377 München, Germany; Thomas Speck, Allwetterzoo Münster.
THE FORMATION OF A BACHELOR GROUP OF GORILLAS AT LORO PARQUE
BY MIKE DOWNMAN
Loro Parque, Tenerife, has housed western lowland gorillas since 1992. Initially we were to have two groups. One was to contain animals from an under-represented bloodline in Europe, which we were to house on a temporary basis. The other group was to contain selected males to form a bachelor group. What follows is a history of the gorillas at Loro Parque from 1992 to the present time.
Our first gorillas came from the former East Berlin Zoo, Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, on 12 November 1992, and consisted of 1.1 animals. The male, Bondo, was born in Gabon in c. 1969, and the female, Bianka, in Cameroon in c. 1972. A third animal, a silverbacked male, joined us from Amsterdam, but had been born in Wassenaar on 21 November 1983. After a while it was felt that this new silverback, called Yaoundé, was probably better suited as a potential mate for Bianka, and so permission was obtained to introduce the two animals. Bondo was placed in an adjoining area, but maintained contact by auditory and visual means. This new pairing seemed to work, and although Bianka was not completely at ease initially, she soon became accustomed to Yaoundé.
On 14 November 1992 the founders of the bachelor group arrived from Munich. Ivo was born there on 29 January 1988, and was hand-reared when his mother died shortly after giving birth. Noël was born on 28 December 1986 at La Palmyre, France. During his first three years of life he was housed with two orang-utans and one chimpanzee, which somewhat affected his behaviour. Happily, since his introduction to other gorillas he has progressed well and learned much.
The following 14 months saw no growth in the group, but on 27 February 1994 we suffered a loss. Bondo suddenly died. He had had a slight cold, but had appeared fine up until 17:00 hrs, when his keeper failed to get a response from him. The veterinarian at Loro Parque attended to him and administered drugs, but sadly he died at about 19:00 hrs. The cause of death was bilateral bronchopneumonia and septic shock. It transpired that Bondo had been suffering from a long-term bacterial infection which had colonised the respiratory epithelium. When he then suffered a viral bronchitis infection, the virus caused lesions in the epithelium, which were then invaded by the bacteria of the previous infection. This led to an extremely rapid spread of bacteria through the bloodstream and resulted in septicaemia, with cardiovascular effects, causing a rapid state of endotoxic shock.
After recovering from the sudden loss, we started to prepare for the next arrival. On 14 October 1994 a new male, a 22-year-old silverback called Schorsch, arrived from Nuremberg. He had been hand-reared after being rejected by his mother following his birth on 3 March 1972. Initially Schorsch came to us on a temporary basis, as the ape house at Nuremberg was being renovated. However, it was felt that he might be suitable for the bachelor project, and we were asked to keep him.
Three new animals arrived in 1995. On 13 July a young male called Pole Pole arrived from Munich. He had been born in Zürich on 28 December 1989, and had been hand-reared. The following day the last two arrived from Stuttgart. The youngest of the three was Rafiki, who is Pole Pole's brother, and was born in Zürich on 25 May 1991. Like his brother, he was hand-reared. The third animal was Maayabu, who was born in Stuttgart on 28 July 1988, and was raised by his mother.
Shortly after Rafiki's arrival he was introduced to Pole Pole under the supervision of their former keepers, who had travelled with them. Maayabu was introduced to Ivo and Noël just a few days later. There was an immediate rapport between all three, so much so that it proved difficult to separate Maayabu at night. He is a very sociable animal, and very confident as well, but he did not like being separated from his new companions. He showed signs of stress and refused to eat, so after a day or two we decided to leave all three together, including night-times. This resulted in a much more relaxed and stress-free situation.
After almost two months of limited contact, it was decided to start the group introduction process. This took place in an off-exhibit area that is open to the elements. The first introduction was between Maayabu, Pole Pole and Rafiki. While there were no immediate problems, once again Maayabu became stressed by his separation from his two companions, and after two hours he was back with Ivo and Noël. The following day Noël was introduced to the youngsters, and this time it seemed to work well. He was very relaxed and showed great interest in his new playmates. They, on the other hand, seemed overwhelmed at first, and tried to keep their distance. This arrangement lasted two days, and we then reintroduced Maayabu, this time with success. Three days later it was the turn of Ivo to come into the group. He is without doubt the most intelligent gorilla at Loro Parque, and is also quite energetic and boisterous. Despite these last two characteristics he behaved well, and we were able to keep all five together all day.
The sixth member of the group, Schorsch, is a very solitary animal, and despite his size and silverback status is something of a `gentle giant'. We were therefore fairly confident that he could be introduced safely, and this was achieved with no problems, save for Schorsch maintaining zero contact with everybody.
Understandably, any introduction programme is inevitably going to cause some disruption to an animal's daily routine, and with our gorillas it also made them nervous and excitable. When we were sure that they had calmed down they were allowed out into the exhibition terraces. The two terraces, with roughly a 60/40 split, form a multi-level exhibit with an area of 3,000 m2. They contain free-access planted areas, protected areas (hot-wired), a large waterfall and stream (west terrace), large fallen tree trunks one of which bridges the stream, rock-work, climbing trees, small caves, and a grass/soil floor. The terraces were separated by a large rock wall.
Loro Parque's silverback, Schorsch, using a tree-trunk to cross the stream.
All the gorillas had previously been given access to the terraces on an individual basis. Schorsch was the only one to have problems with this. He tried to avoid all contact with the grass at first, preferring to stay on the rocks or concrete at the bases of the walls. It was clear that he had not had experience of a natural floor surface before, and he did not like it. But with the aid of a little gentle coercion the keepers managed to get Schorsch to accept the grass, until it no longer bothered him.
When the six gorillas were first let out as a group, there were a few minor skirmishes in the first hour, but then they settled down. Rafiki was probably the most affected by this, and tried to maintain contact with the others, even if it meant having to chase after them.
At this point our two groups totalled eight animals (1.1 and 6.0), and they remained so until 17 April 1997, when Bianka and Yaoundé were sent to Nuremberg. Prior to this they had occupied the smaller east terrace. After their departure the dividing wall was knocked down, giving the bachelor group access to the full 2,000 m2. They soon utilised this space; some individuals found their `own' spot, and could be located simply by checking these areas first. Bonds had also started to be formed, and it came as no surprise to see the two younger ones, Pole Pole and Rafiki, become very close. All the others, with again the notable exception of Schorsch, became very sociable, and could often be seen playing together. Schorsch has always remained distant from the others, but has on occasions been `persuaded' to play by Maayabu!
With all families, things are not always rosy, and so it was with our `family'. Ivo has always had a reputation as a bit of a trouble-maker, and because of his boisterous nature he does like to throw his weight around. This has caused some problems for us, but with keeper supervision nothing serious has occurred. Generally the group have settled well, and have adapted well to bachelorhood. We seem to have got a good combination of animals, and are very pleased with our first group.
Much has been said on the pros and cons of the formation of bachelor groups of gorillas, for example in International Zoo News (Gould, 1997; Greenwood, 1997; Moiser, 1997). Personally I believe that there is a place within a captive-breeding programme for such groups as ours. The reasoning behind this belief is based on the needs of the individual males, and the long-term requirements of the species. As males mature they are exposed to stress-inducing situations as they attempt to improve their positions within the group, mainly to gain breeding rights, and thus expose themselves to acts of aggression from the dominant silverbacks. In captive situations this can be remedied by removing the younger male, and transferring him to another group or collection. If that male is then kept in a solitary state, this may lead to him becoming desocialised, which could be counter-productive should he later be brought back into a breeding situation (Johnstone-Scott, 1988). Also, it seems a retrograde step for such animals to be removed permanently from the gene pool. By creating a bachelor group, all these problems can be addressed. The animal can be with conspecifics of similar age, normal social skills can develop, and the individual will be available, if needed, to create new bloodlines. There is also the benefit of having well-adjusted males `on standby' should another collection suffer the loss of one of its breeding animals. Bachelor groups are, I believe, a logical step to take in the captive management of gorillas.
When Loro Parque first decided to go into gorillas it seemed certain that we would be asked to form a bachelor group. This we have done, and it has been a success. A lot of credit must go to the gorilla staff for the way they have dealt with various problems. In a future article I shall give an update on our group, and report on their reaction to our attempts to naturalise the terraces.
Gould, N. (1997): Editorial. International Zoo News 44 (6): 326.
Greenwood, A.G. (1997): Letter to the editor. International Zoo News 44 (8): 480.
Johnstone-Scott, R.A. (1988): The potential for establishing bachelor groups of western lowland gorillas Gorilla g. gorilla. Dodo, Journal of the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust 25: 6166.
Moiser, C.M. (1997): Letter to the editor. International Zoo News 44 (8): 480481.
Mike Downman, Assistant Curator, Loro Parque, Punta Brava, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
IT'S NEW, IT'S HIGH-TECH, IT'S A THERMOMETER GUN
BY RAY PAWLEY
A critical animal management consideration is temperature. Although the concept is basic and familiar, it is also very complex. Whether a species is mammal, bird, reptile or microbe, each has its own ideal optimal thermal range (OTR). Beyond that, there are step-down limits to an animal's tolerance against heat and cold. Endotherms (the `warm-blooded' mammals and birds) have internal heat-generating engines to keep their bodies at their proper temperatures. They are more temperature-tolerant. To avoid extremes, they have mechanisms that help them either to cool off (e.g. panting) or to warm up (e.g. shivering). Yet, most warm-blooded creatures begin life as ectotherms (`cold-blooded'), and need some outside heat-boost usually provided by the mother to stay warm until their bodies begin generating heat internally. Moreover, many endotherm species will bask if given a chance, to jump-start or maintain appropriate internal temperatures in order to properly digest food, or fight an infection, and to keep internal organs functioning at peak efficiency.
Just as humans need to maintain an internal temperature of 98.6° F (37° C), every other species has a specific optimal thermal level, regardless of whether it is warm- or cold-blooded. Ectotherms (reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates), unlike endotherms, must seek out external sources of heat or cold to meet their species-specific thermal needs. To maintain healthy reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates and microbes (and plants as well), close attention must be given to the need to meet species-specific thermal levels and clines. Otherwise, animals will develop maladies, chronic or acute, that compromise their ability to thrive or even survive.
The complexities in managing ectotherms in captivity are far more varied and extensive than maintaining endotherms. In the old days, there was a presumption that herps would fare better in captivity if given a stable, unvarying temperature (i.e. endotherm-like), so that they could escape the thermal fluctuations they are subjected to in nature. It came as a surprise to many, to learn that certain herps preferred cooler temperatures. Moreover, herps appeared to do better with daily or seasonal thermal gradients and fluctuations. Now we know that each species may have several optimal thermal ranges (OTRs). A species-specific temperature for digesting a meal may differ from what is optimal for basking, shedding, or hibernating. How are these needs addressed? The most productive method is to give ectotherms a gradient, and let them move about to fine-tune their own temperature needs.
To accomplish this, a broad array of heat-generating equipment (both standardized and specialized) is available, to provide suitable ectotherm temperature gradients and levels. These include hot rocks and sub-surface electrical or tempered-water heating systems of all sizes, often situated in hard-to-reach or impossible-to-see locations. Temperatures of all heat, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment, heat lamps, closed water systems, hibernation cells, holding enclosures, misting systems and incubators must be accurately and closely monitored. Normally, thermostats are depended on for proper temperature control. However, these are often expected to maintain a more finely-tuned thermal range than they can provide. For example, a thermostat is only as reliable as (a) its location in a thermal zone, (b) its sensitivity, and (c) its operational life. When a thermostat malfunctions there is no indication of break-down unless (a) an alarm is installed and (b) the alarm is operational regardless of electrical power outages (i.e. battery-powered). When thermostats malfunction, heat levels may soar out of control or cool down completely. Either scenario can prove stressful, even fatal, to an animal.
To complicate matters further, floor or wall areas in animal-holding rooms may undergo major temperature shifts between winter and summer when ambient heating or cooling equipment is turned on or off. And/or, sunlight may penetrate a window or heat up a wall for a brief period, depending on the season, causing crisis-level overheating for an animal in a nearby or portable enclosure.
All captive-managed animals, especially ectotherms, must be provided with sources of dependable, and carefully controlled, thermal clines. Animal care-givers and collection managers need convenient, reliable, and quick-response means for assuring the dependability of these thermal levels. Until recently, the only option available has been thermometers, which come in a wide range of sizes, configurations, and mechanism types. In all cases, however, a reading can be obtained only by (1) immersing the thermometer directly into the environmental zone and (2) waiting out a time delay for an accurate reading. Of course, in many locations this kind of reading may be very difficult, if not hazardous, to obtain. One very crude alternative has been to use one's own body (wrist, fingertips) to obtain, at best, a highly unreliable reading. To insure the continued good health of the animals being worked with, it is absolutely essential to be able to read, reliably and promptly, temperature fluctuations that exist when or where a problem is suspected. When a thermometer, large or small, is inserted into the zone, the herp occupant may react unpredictably, and in some cases damage an unshielded thermometer. Some specimens that are large and/or dangerous must be moved (which creates more stress) before an appropriate thermometer can be properly positioned. Once positioned, additional delays in time are required in order to obtain an accurate reading.
Enter the remote temperature sensor
In the early 1990s a new device appeared on the market: a hand-held, portable, infra-red temperature-reading instrument which was designed to meet specific industrial needs. The Bio-Temp Ray Gun (BTRG) is one such device, which is manufactured by Raytek, a leader in the thermal recording industry. The BTRG is the ideal zoological/biological tool to meet temperature-measuring needs. It is pistol-shaped, and is activated by a switch (trigger). The unit is pointed at the target, the trigger depressed, and the reflected temperature of that target is measured and recorded on a read-out LCD screen on the rear of the `barrel'. This is accomplished at a safe and convenient distance from the target site, without the need for conventional thermometers, and uses a self-contained battery. The latest models feature a laser beam for sighting accuracy. By pointing the beam's red dot at the target, read-out accuracy is assured.
Originally intended for the industrial market, its purpose was to remotely check over-heating problems associated with electrical circuits, ovens, rolling stock, pipeline liquids, and heating/cooling systems. As technology improved, these instruments became functional in the biological temperature range (between freezing and boiling points), which extends their application to zoological and botanical management needs. More recently, advancing technology has enabled price reductions that now make these instruments available to a broader audience. For the biologist, they offer three broad advantages: (1) a vast improvement in time and accuracy over using thermometers to meet spot-check needs, (2) an opportunity to extend their use into new biological management and research arenas, and (3) the opportunity to use them, as originally intended, as a back-up for electrical/mechanical trouble-shooting.
It was in the mid-90s that I was able to purchase our first unit for the Department of Herpetology at Brookfield Zoo. Although (at that time) costly, this instrument was perceived as a herp management boon in several ways. Keepers quickly learned the art and science of using the hand-held unit to track and monitor temperatures remotely. We could minimize stress on the animals and keepers by reading temperatures without intruding into creature spaces, or resorting to shifting nervous specimens to other locations. Much time was saved when the care-giver could simply `point and read' to get the thermal answers needed. In short, animal comfort and health management were elevated, while at the same time stress levels were minimized for both keepers and kept. Moreover, the unit was frequently borrowed by the zoo's engineering department to be used for the purposes for which it had been originally designed.
With the unit in one's hand and pointed at a target, the read-out screen is clear and obvious. There are several options. One button provides a choice of readings, in either Celsius or Fahrenheit. Another button provides backlighting for the read-out screen (in darkness) and switches the laser sight on or off. The large numerals on the screen give the temperature of the target in one second or less. Sweeping the reader across the target field will cause the numbers to rapidly change, as temperature fluctuations are scanned. The icon at the top left of the screen is displayed when the laser sight is activated. Next to it is a `scan/hold' indicator. The maximum temperature read is displayed at the bottom of the screen. An advanced unit allows calculations to be made based on multiple readings. On the right of the screen, from top to bottom, are three indicators consisting of one for backlight, another for C/F, and a third for low battery. The trigger, when pulled, activates the unit and displays the print-out on the rear screen. (Caution: the laser should never be aimed at a person's eyes.) Altogether it is light, very portable, and highly accurate.
Trying it out
When the unit arrives, unpack it and read the directions. Equip it with a battery and try it out. Then read the directions again and learn how to use its many features. Develop a familiarity with the unit. One way to begin is to set up several thermometers in various locations and take readings with the gun at different times for several days. There will occasionally be differences in readings between the traditional thermometer and the remote sensor. Both kinds of recording device (the BTRG and the thermometer) are complementary, and not intended to exclude each other. Keep a log of the readings from both the gun and the thermometers to develop an understanding of how reflected temperatures (as read by the unit) differ from immersion temperatures (as registered by the thermometers). It is very important, for example, to recognize the limitations as well as the advantages that BTRGs offer. For example, they cannot be expected (nor were they intended) to remotely read internal body temperatures of animals!
If your BTRG is laser-pointer equipped, your readings will be much more accurate. Like a hand-gun, pointing the unit at a small target is often an inaccurate art. The red laser dot assures you of the most accurate reading possible. Keep in mind, however, that as distance increases between you and your target, the size of the target field increases gradually. Or, put another way, the BTRG will always read a surface area that is larger than the size of the dot! The field scanned and read at six inches (150 mm) distance will be one inch (25 mm) across, while the field scanned and read at five feet (150 cm) will be eight inches (20 cm) across. While the temperatures within this larger field will be averaged, a thermal spike within the field will make its presence immediately known.
Firstly, familiarize yourself with the BTRG and the thermal profiles of your facility. Begin taking readings throughout the area where your animals are housed. This includes floors (each square foot (30 cm) or so), each of the room's walls (at three levels), peripheral rooms, and the larger enclosures. There are likely to be surprises. For example, a refrigerator may be dissipating more heat into a zone than anticipated. Or, holding enclosures for herps and other animals positioned near a wall, or on the floor, may be receiving excessive heat or cold due to equipment, weather or other (invisible) causes. Heating equipment in a basement below may cause thermal problems for animals kept in a room above. For more revelations, repeat the process seasonally. A year's worth of baseline data will provide one with a ready reference (and map) of thermal levels and fluctuations by season. Herp enclosures and/or equipment can then be arranged and managed with assurance.
Next, take readings of equipment. Incubators, hibernation chambers, electrical circuit boxes, water heaters, aquariums or holding tanks, valves, HVAC equipment, fan bearings, and refrigerators (inside and out) should be read to double-check against unexpected surprises. For example, a circuit may be tripping, and with the BTRG locating the appropriate breaker is quick and simple. I have used it in the field to check for a suspected radiator blockage in my car. I can also do a quick check of the sofa for residual body heat if I suspect my dog has been recently reclining on the furniture!
To summarize, it is very helpful to have two layers of thermal profiles one consisting of macro-, and the other of micro-environments in your facility. Using these as a reference, one can quickly eliminate possibilities in the event of any unpleasant temperature surprises. Just as we, who are concerned with animal collection management, carry a general mental profile of feeding schedules, breeding protocols, and other logistical patterns in our heads, it is extremely helpful to have an accurate basic thermal profile of your facility in your memory bank.
Indoor (artificial) environments
[Important: Uninterrupted line-of-sight is necessary for accurate thermal readings. Glass and, to some extent, screens between the sensor and the target act as a thermal barrier, and can provide an erroneous reading.]
1. Checking subsurface heating units remotely.
(a) A lizard or snake, by force of habit, may continue to use a basking site in spite of the fact that the sub-surface heating element may have failed. Scan the site. The BTRG will immediately provide a reading as to whether the hidden heating element is functioning or not.
(b) Venomous or dangerous reptiles may resent intrusions into their spaces, and shifting them to another site can be stressful for both the keeper and the kept. With the BTRG the heat output at the basking site can be immediately confirmed. Caution: do not aim the laser at the animal's eyes or heatpits.
2. Some overhead heating elements (ceramic, cable) are non-illuminating, which provides a basking advantage for light-sensitive species. The problem is, the absence of visible light makes the detection of malfunctions difficult. Visualizing deeply-recessed heat lamps can also be a problem. With the BTRG, a quick scan will confirm if there is a malfunction.
3. What are optimal thermal levels for herps? Not only does each species have its specific needs, but individuals have specific needs of their own. By scanning and logging the temperatures of basking herps (and their adjacent substrate) in nature, the husbandry of a species can be more accurately managed in captivity.
4. Although the BTRG does not reflect the temperature of water, one can get the reflected temperature of the opaque bottom or pool side, or pipes of water entering/leaving a pool or aquarium, to identify the temperature of the aquatic environment.
5. By reading and logging the reflected temperature of brooding pythons, and their adjacent substrates, a profile (based on the individual animal's needs) can be created, which can be a valuable reference tool when compared with hatch successes/failures. Accurate environmental adjustments can then be made for the following season.
6. Scanning the body of a reptile can reveal if it is, or recently was, basking, remaining in a cool portion of its environment, or starting a fever, or can make other metabolism-related deductions. This information helps eliminate guesswork in animal management decision-making.
7. For breeding cycles, as well as management of new species, a `free choice' thermal gradient can be provided, and the reptile's temperature regularly scanned/logged. This information is essential when preparing a new enclosure, constructing a new exhibit, or housing the animal in temporary quarters.
8. When a reptile dies, the temperature of the animal and its immediate substrate can be documented. The animal may have selected a relatively cool or warm site prior to its demise. A subsurface heating element may be implicated if it has malfunctioned and caused heat levels to soar.
9. In some holding areas, large heat mats are used to warm enclosures. It is advisable to check their function frequently. This is particularly important in the breeding of insect species for animal food supply purposes. A malfunction may otherwise go unnoticed until productivity has sagged.
10.Some reptiles are large enough to allow the taking of body readings.
This can be especially helpful for proper maintenance of some of the larger chameleons, for example. By taking a reading of the enclosure at three levels (floor, mid-range wall, ceiling) and comparing these with a body reading of the lizard and noting its preferred location in its enclosure, one can build a thermal preference profile for the animal, taking into account digesting, basking, resting, etc.
11.The same `thermal shock' avoidance rule as in transferring tropical
fish also applies to herps. Scanning the animal beforehand, and then scanning the destination site water-filled tank or substrate will reveal whether the micro-environment is too cold or hot. Ideally, temperatures of the animal and the destination enclosure should be the same.
12.Purely for the sake of curiosity, one can find endless topics to investigate. For example, scanning the body of a basking crocodilian to locate the highest and lowest thermal points. With this information, husbandry enhancement and animal exhibit corrections can be confidently made (e.g. size of area to be heated, location, etc.).
13.When visiting other facilities, a question about temperature protocols
of any species, incubation chamber, or room can be quickly answered by `point and read' (with the host's permission, of course).
In the field
1. Using the BTRG to locate herps in the field reduces guesswork. The temperature of the substrate can be checked and microsites evaluated to determine the likelihood of specimen presence. Or, microhabitats can be scanned and compared with known optimal temperature ranges of the target species.
2. The tool can be used to search for `within-reach' arboreal sites (e.g. for bromeliad dwellers, etc.) in forests.
3. The need to temporarily hold specimens in field stations presents special thermal problems. Scanning the animal holding site, and the examination/processing area, will help eliminate costly animal health stress, especially during handling procedures and recovery.
Wildlife control: locating escaped herps
Although the BTRG is not a `herp-seeking' device, it can be used as an aid to eliminate hide-out options for herps. Scan a room or area to determine those sites most likely to harbor the animal (ceiling, floor, behind a heat-emitting refrigeration unit, etc.). Herps may sometimes be found coiled next to malfunctioning (i.e. over-heating) circuit boxes or hot-water pipes.
Because of the transient nature of herps and other animals passing through a veterinary facility, temperature stability and predictability of holding quarters is critical. Frequent scanning of ectotherm quarters should be routine. Thermal levels that are ideal for mammals and many avian species are seldom suitable for herp patients.
1. To guard against thermal shock during examination, surgical procedures and recovery, uniformity of appropriate temperatures is critical. Holding enclosures, table-tops, fluids for therapy, and life support systems should be checked with a BTRG, and tempered if harmful thermal stress is to be avoided.
2. Incubation temperatures can be confirmed, and microbe environments properly managed with the use of a BTRG.
3. Although the BTRG does not enable the reading of internal temperatures of animals, it can be a fever-detector among some species that are too large and/or dangerous to handle or anesthetize. For example, a snout of a wet-nosed carnivore can be scanned, between bars from a safe distance of several inches, to confirm the presence of fever without stressing the animal.
In the field and lab, temperature management is essential, whether for long-term ectotherm management or temporary holding. This is necessary for both the health of the animals and the integrity of the study. BTRGs are easy to operate and help to eliminate costly errors.
1. BTRG units can be used to detect problems with HVAC and incubator systems.
2. These units, being highly portable and accurate, can be conveniently carried into the field or to remote laboratory sites, to record differences/similarities of environments.
4. For thermal environment studies, gradients and rates of thermal change can be recorded both in the lab and in the field.
Mammal and bird management
1. Evidence is mounting which suggests the use of sub-surface basking areas for many species of mammals and birds, particularly those that are more stenothermic (unable to tolerate a wide range of temperatures). In these instances, a remote means for detecting thermal equipment malfunction is essential.
2. For mammal and bird breeding programs, it is particularly critical to safeguard the health of neonates, whether mother- or hand-reared. BTRG use can confirm proper thermal levels of nest sites and equipment.
3. In the event of a need to confirm the bedding site of a large mammal, a prompt BTRG scan of the floor of a stall or enclosure will confirm if and where the animal had recently bedded down.
Ray Pawley, P.O. Box 218, Hinsdale, Illinois 60522, U.S.A.
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SURPLUS AND WANTED STOCK
THE SONG OF THE DODO: ISLAND BIOGEOGRAPHY IN AN AGE OF EXTINCTIONS by David Quammen. Scribner, 1996. 702 pp., hardback. ISBN 0684800837. $32.50 or £20.00.
ENDEMIC BIRD AREAS OF THE WORLD: PRIORITIES FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION by Alison J. Stattersfield, Michael J. Crosby, Adrian J. Long and David C. Wege. BirdLife International, 1998. 846 pp., paperback. ISBN 0946888337. £37.00 or US$60.00. [Distributor for all countries except the Americas: NHBS Ltd, 23 Wills Road, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5XN, U.K. (Tel: +44 (0)1803 865913; Fax: +44 (0)1803 865280; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Distributor for the Americas: Smithsonian Institution Press, P.O. Box 960, Harndon, Virginia 201720960, U.S.A. (Tel: +1 703 661 1599; Fax: +1 703 661 1501).]
These two books, though dissimilar in almost every respect, go well together, for they share the same theme the loss of biodiversity and what we can do to prevent it though approaching it in very different ways.
David Quammen's previous publications include two collections of scientific essays and four novels. The combination is an unusual one; but I shall be looking out for his novels, for on the evidence of Song of the Dodo Quammen is a born story-teller. Not many novels, though, can tell as enthralling and moving a story as this book. Or perhaps two stories; for he traces the history of our understanding of biogeography from Alfred Wallace an under-rated figure, in his opinion to such present-day masters as Jared Diamond and Michael Soulé, but interweaves with it an account of his own travels to threatened habitats around the world. The reminiscences of this eight-year Odyssey to Komodo, Madagascar, Tasmania, Guam, Aru, Mauritius. . . reveal Quammen as a rival of today's greatest travel writers; like, for example, Paul Theroux, he has the happy, serendipitous knack of finding congenial company in the most out-of-the-way spots. And he knows how to write (a gift possessed by fewer professional writers than you might think). I began by putting in a marker whenever I came to a passage which seemed especially wise, or witty, or well-crafted; but I had to give up, for there seemed little point in marking practically every page of the book. Let me give just one sample has anyone ever written a neater, more appropriate description of the greater bird of paradise than `It looks like a crow dressed for coronation'?
I happened by chance to start reading The Song of the Dodo on the ferry between the Orkney Islands and the Scottish mainland, with one eye on the distant seabirds wheeling and soaring about the stupendous cliffs of Hoy. Though a mere seven miles of sea separate them, Orkney has a noticeably different and in general more restricted range of plant and animal species than mainland Britain; so thoughts of island biogeography were already close to my mind. Islands are different even a few miles of water can prevent colonisation by many species from a nearby mainland, and a few hundred miles form a barrier whose effects may endure for millions of years. So the species which are there when an island breaks away as in Madagascar or manage to become established on a newly-formed island as in the Galapagos tend to be free to go their own way in evolutionary terms, diversifying to fill the niches left vacant by the absence of the specialists who would occupy them on the mainland. Hence a great many islands have each their own unique assemblage of life forms. Quammen takes the opportunity to correct a common misconception about the Galapagos they are not uniquely strange, but representative. `What made them instructive to Charles Darwin, and what makes them instructive to us, is that they are strange in precisely the same ways that other islands tend to be strange. Islands in general are biologically anomalous. The Galapagos, being anomalous, conform to pattern. They are unique and therefore they are normal.'
But the isolation which generates the biodiversity of islands also makes island species especially vulnerable. `Islands are where species go to die.' And the smaller the island, the greater the risk, from a multitude of causes, many of them the result of pure chance volcanoes, typhoons, disease, inbreeding. . . The advent of Homo sapiens, though, really loaded the dice. We all know some details of the tragic story that is symbolised for us in the ungainly, endearing figure of the dodo. Since 1600, according to one count, 171 species and subspecies of bird are known to have gone extinct. Of these, 155 more than 90% lived on islands. Yet only 20% of the world's bird species are confined to islands. A simple calculation indicates that an island bird is about 50 times as likely to go extinct as a mainland bird.
Bad news for island species, then. But in recent years the argument has moved centre-stage with the realisation that islands don't have to be surrounded by water. A tiger in a forest reserve surrounded by densely populated farmland is just as isolated as the dodo was on Mauritius. We are fast approaching a time when almost every species except the most unfussy and adaptable will be effectively an island species. The theoretical models drawn up by biologists to cover the special case of island habitats will increasingly be the models we must use to manage the dwindling refuges of wildlife everywhere in the world. Nothing I have read has brought this message home to me as forcefully as The Song of the Dodo.
Though David Quammen's travels took him to see a few of the people who are trying to deal with the problem, he admits that `This is a book of diagnosis, not of prescription.' Endemic Bird Areas of the World gives a diagnosis too; but this is the sort of highly detailed, meticulously researched diagnosis without which a reliable prescription would be impossible. A summary of the book's contents was published in I.Z.N. 45:1, pp. 3738, and I shall not try to repeat it here. It makes a compelling case for the book's central contentions, that bird distribution is our best available guide to priority areas for biodiversity conservation, and that we will make the most effective use of limited resources by directing most of our conservation efforts towards a relatively small number of exceptionally rich and diverse habitats.
In the remainder of this review, then, I will confine myself to saying what an immensely useful work Endemic Bird Areas of the World will be for anyone with a professional or private interest in the world's wildlife. The bulk of the book consists of a gazetteer of 218 Endemic Bird Areas, with notes for each under the headings General characteristics, Restricted-range species and Threats and conservation. The numerous clear maps should prove a blessing to anyone who has ever searched an ordinary atlas in vain for the location of Banggai or the precise extent of Brazil's Atlantic forest region. The EBAs do indeed include a high proportion of the areas most of us not just the ornithologically inclined keep coming across in our reading. I shall keep my copy near to hand, for I can foresee that it will be one of the most frequently consulted volumes on my reference shelves.
DIE NASHÖRNER BEGEGNUNG MIT URZEITLICHEN KOLOSSEN. Filander, Fürth, 1997. 258 pp., illus., paperback. ISBN 3930831066. DM 68.00.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A lot of zoo visitors seem to enjoy beholding the rhinoceros, and my experience has been that an unusual proportion of zoo directors are especially fond of them too. I'll skip over what psychologists have had to say of people for whom the rhinoceros is a favourite animal, especially as Die Nashörner doesn't touch on the subject either. But that is about the only aspect of the rhinoceros that this new book has overlooked. Unlike the English-language market, where my last visit to a bookshop exposed me to half a dozen titles in print, German-language books on the rhinoceros have been few and far between. Anyone who thinks the rhinoceros a beautiful or otherwise interesting animal will find this fine if expensive item a valuable addition to the literature.
Die Nashörner was written by 16 authorities and I mean authorities from eight countries and four continents. I can think of no one more competent to write on the history of man's relations with the rhinoceros than Kees Rookmaaker, on the rhinoceroses' relations with each other than Colin Groves, on the Javan rhinoceros than Rudolf Schenkel, or on the Sumatran rhinoceros than Nico van Strien. The other species are equally well represented with monographic chapters. Zoo staff will find a chapter on the management of rhinoceroses in captivity, and conservation biologists exhaustive chapters on various aspects of rhinoceros conservation. The book is chock-full of statistics and graphs to satisfy any rhinocerologist, yet written in a style that any educated reader can follow.
The editor or editors yes, who is he or she or they? I wish the publishers could have told us that is (or are) perhaps not quite clear on whom the book should be primarily directed at. However competent the various authors are, one could wish for references to the many facts and figures they quote. Many of the statistics stem from their own research, of course, but few zoologists will be happy with the one bibliography listing only eight titles even if three of them are bibliographies. Most readers, presumably, will wonder with me what dates are actually meant on the maps showing the species' `previous' distributions 1950? 1900? 1500? Lay readers may miss the red thread that could lead them through the mass of information and might have hoped for a better reproduction of better pictures at the price demanded. All these, however, are only minor irritants in a book that certainly satisfied the curiosity of this armchair rhinocerologist. The majority of the chapters were apparently originally written in English. They were excellently translated by Udo Ganslosser, a reader in zoology at Erlangen University, who, suspicion tells me, was probably editor of the whole volume. Fans of the rhinoceros who prefer to read English can look forward to an English edition about the time this review reaches its readers.
Giant panda reintroduction workshop
Improvements in captive breeding, especially at the Wolong Nature Reserve's Giant Panda Breeding Center, and the addition of animals obtained by a panda rescue program (in which wild pandas thought to be dying are brought into captivity) have resulted in a growing captive population at Wolong. Fear of future over-crowding at the facility prompted researchers at the Wolong Conservation and Research Center to request support for the initiation of pilot reintroduction projects in the reserve. In response, a Reintroduction Feasibility Workshop was held at Wolong on 2529 September 1997, and was attended by approximately 45 Chinese and five international experts on pandas or reintroduction.
Workshop participants identified a number of important areas which required elucidation prior to more serious consideration of panda reintroduction. Importantly, although a National Conservation Plan for the Giant Panda and its Habitat has been developed, no specific recovery goals for panda populations have been determined. Conservationists want to increase panda numbers and the amount of panda habitat under protection, but have not determined more specific objectives for either, nor assessed the probable contribution of additional activities (such as reintroduction) to panda recovery or prioritized activities considered beneficial. Thus, it remains unclear if reintroduction is even desirable, let alone feasible. Nevertheless, workshop presentations indicated that significant progress toward understanding panda biology and ecology, increasing panda numbers in captivity, and enlarging and improving the panda reserve network have been realized.
Good data on panda populations and their habitat are available for a few study sites; however, in general the current status and trends of pandas and their habitat remain unclear. It has been over a decade since the last complete panda census, and the amount of remaining panda habitat is unknown, especially in regions of China where pandas might be locally extinct. Workshop participants were unable to identify areas which would benefit from augmentation or reintroduction. If such areas are found to exist, participants urged consideration and assessment of translocating wild pandas between sites, rather than reintroduction from captivity, because of the higher probability of success. Potential source populations for translocations of wild pandas may exist (i.e. areas producing more young than available habitat can accommodate and without migration possibilities); however, few populations of pandas have been studied in sufficient detail. Chinese officials and conservationists have successfully reduced many of the causes of panda decline, but have not eliminated them completely. Further reducing the causes of panda mortality before considering reintroduction may enable wild populations to expand into unoccupied habitat without the expense and risk associated with reintroduction or translocation.
Knowledge of panda biology and ecology has increased substantially, but is not yet sufficient to develop adequate reintroduction protocols. For example, optimal panda densities in the wild are unknown, as are mechanisms for behavioral learning, if captive-bred animals are to be used. Similarly, significant progress has been achieved in captive propagation, but the captive population continues to reproduce slowly and it remains unclear if it is self-sustaining. The continuing development and improvement of assisted reproductive and rearing technologies promises to facilitate future captive propagation. Still, a growing captive population should not be the driving force behind reintroduction programs. Instead, an identified need for reintroduction should be demonstrated first. This need is not clear for giant pandas.
The workshop participants concluded that reintroduction of pandas cannot be justified at this time. A large number of recommended action steps were proposed, including possible reintroduction pilot studies involving captive-bred pandas, and continued focus on field conservation, especially the creation and improved management of panda reserves. A workbook will be produced and made available for a modest fee (to cover production and mailing costs) from WWF-China; it will include most of the papers presented, as well as synopses of workshop discussions and a list of recommended action items.
Abridged from Richard P. Reading, Susan Mainka, Lu Zhi and Gus Mills in Reintroduction News No. 15 (March 1998)
Release of prairie chickens
Populations of Attwater's prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri) received a boost by the release in 1996 in Texas, U.S.A., of nearly 70 captive-bred birds at the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge near Eagle Lake and the Nature Conservancy's Galveston Bay Prairie Preserve. At least 40% of the birds survived until the 1997 breeding season; biologists found ten nests built by released birds and six hens successfully hatched chicks. Fewer than 100 individuals of the subspecies remain in the wild in three geographically separated subpopulations. [See further I.Z.N. 38:1, p. 45. Ed.]
Endangered Species Bulletin Vol. 22, No. 5 (September/October 1997), reported in Oryx Vol. 32, No. 2 (April 1998)
The second greatest threat to Indian rhinos
As for rhinoceroses elsewhere, poaching is a major threat to the Indian rhinos in Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India. Conservation efforts in recent years have reduced this threat, and during 1997 only 12 rhinos were killed by poachers in the park. However, data collected from 1985 to 1995 has revealed that tiger predation is the second largest threat to the rhino population after poaching. In the 11-year period 178 rhinos were killed by tigers in the park, 149 of them calves. Studies on tiger predation are continuing.
Bibhab Kumar Talukdar and Nilom Bora in Oryx Vol. 32, No. 2 (April 1998)
High-density tadpole rearing a promising conservation strategy
In the future, captive-breeding programs are likely to become increasingly important in the management of endangered amphibian species. Such programs are likely to be a source of animals to guard against extinction in the wild, and also to supply animals for repopulating areas which have lost or experienced substantial reductions in populations. One imperative on such programs will be a requirement to be as cost-effective and efficient as possible with the husbandry procedures employed. Bearing this in mind, we have conducted a preliminary study using eggs and tadpoles from the spotted grass frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis), to determine whether it is feasible to raise tadpoles to metamorphosis at very high densities. The fundamental strategy utilised a regime of high water exchange rate (to prevent build-up of toxic metabolic products) and saturated feeding. The results of the preliminary trial are very promising, with densities of tadpoles as high as 52 per litre achieving metamorphosis in four weeks (at 2025° C), whilst maintaining high growth rates with no mortality in metamorphs (high-density treatment growth rates were as high as low-density controls). The results suggest that many of the approaches employed in fish aquaculture should be successfully applied to intensive husbandry of endangered amphibians.
Abstract (published in On the Brink! No. 10) of a paper by R.K. Browne, J. Clulow and M. Mahony, presented at the National Threatened Frog Workshop in Canberra, Australia, in November 1997
Rescue plan for Caribbean wildlife
The Montserrat oriole (Icterus dominicensis oberi), which is endemic to the Caribbean island of Montserrat and is its national bird, is the subject of an emergency rescue plan being prepared by the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the World Wide Fund For Nature. The bird is under threat from the effects of the Soufriere volcano, which has been active for more than two years. Eruptions have damaged valuable wildlife habitat, including large areas of forest used by orioles. In the more sheltered Centre Hills the habitat is less damaged and 100200 orioles may remain there. A plan of action has been agreed by the Montserrat Government. It recommends that veterinary advice is sought, plans are made to establish captive populations of orioles and `mountain chickens' (a large frog that is found quite commonly on Montserrat), and assessment and monitoring of the oriole population and the forest in the Centre Hills is carried out. Several other species were also identified as at risk, including three lizards and a snake.
John Hartley in Oryx Vol. 32, No. 2 (April 1998)
Echo parakeets released
In 1997 three young echo parakeets (Psittacula echo) were released into the wild in Mauritius, two reared from wild-collected eggs and one captive-bred. The 199697 breeding season was the most productive of recent years for the wild population, which reached its highest numbers since 1972, with a total of 7687 individuals. Unfortunately, of 21 chicks produced, only three fledged naturally and the other 18 had to be taken into captivity. The captive population was thus increased to 23 birds, enough to try a release. The three birds selected were surplus to the genetic requirements of the captive population; they have established well in the wild, venturing one kilometre away from the release sites within three months.
PsittaScene Vol. 9, No. 4 (November 1997)
Action plan for Caprinae
Most wild Caprinae live in mountains, but some inhabit desert grasslands, tropical forest or Arctic tundra. They range in size from the 30-kg goral to the 350-kg musk ox, and show a tremendous range of horn shapes and sizes, as well as coloration. Despite the importance of their domestic relatives, the sheep and goats, most wild Caprinae are poorly understood and in danger of being lost. Over 70% of taxa are threatened, with more than 30% endangered or critical. Many live in environments that are of relatively low productivity and so are naturally not very numerous. But with increasing human pressure on these areas, wild caprins face over-harvesting, habitat loss and competition from livestock. Appropriate conservation legislation is either absent or ineffectively enforced, while protected areas are generally inadequate in number, size or both. Many of the most threatened Caprinae face an additional threat because trophy hunters are willing to pay large sums to shoot them. The result is that some governments are tempted to exploit them without adequate biological information or trained personnel to do so sustainably.
If Caprinae are to be conserved, reliable and accurate data on their demographics and distributions need to be gathered immediately, and adequately trained field and management personnel will be required to oversee their conservation and management. A key factor in the success of any conservation programme is involvement of local people, who stand to lose the most, because it is their livestock, their energy requirements and their other resource needs that will be lost if restrictive measures are required to conserve wild Caprinae and their habitats.
While general and country-specific conservation actions are recommended in the new action plan (see below), there are four overall concerns:
(1) The overall goal of Caprinae conservation must be maintenance of maximum genetic diversity.
(2) Many countries with wild Caprinae will require financial and technical support from international conservation agencies to train staff, carry out censuses, and develop and implement management plans. The limited use of sustainable hunting programmes may be considered where population data indicate that they are appropriate and if they will create conservation actions that benefit the caprin and its habitat.
(3) For many Caprinae, the number and size of protected areas should be increased, together with significant strengthening of conservation legislation and its enforcement.
(4) Effective legislation to control national and international trade in Caprinae requires a workable taxonomy. The taxonomy is in need of revision and the IUCN/SSC Caprinae Specialist Group should establish and co-ordinate a Taxonomy Group to carry this out.
Abridged from D.M. Shackleton in Oryx Vol. 32, No. 2 (April 1998)
Wild Sheep and Goats, and their Relatives: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan for Caprinae compiled and edited by D.M. Shackleton, 390 pp., IUCN, 1997, is available from IUCN Publications Services Unit, 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, U.K., price £26.75 or US$40.00 (please add postage and packing as follows: + 20% overseas surface, + 30% Europe air, + 40% outside Europe air).
New insect journal
The newly launched Journal of Insect Conservation is published in association with the British Butterfly Conservation Society and edited by Dr Andrew Pullin, chair of the Invertebrate Section of the IUCN/SSC Reintroduction Specialist Group. To submit papers or for more information, contact (in North and South America): Subscriptions Dept. RSP, Chapman and Hall, Suite 750, Philadelphia, PA 19106, U.S.A. (Tel.: +12155742300; Fax: +12155742292; E-mail: email@example.com). In the rest of the world, contact: Subscriptions Dept., Chapman and Hall, ITPS Ltd., Cheriton House, North Way, Andover, Hants. SP10 5BE, U.K. (Tel.: +441264342713; Fax: +441264342807; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Old World primates new species and subspecies
Several new taxa of Old World primates have been discovered recently. Two species of bushbaby, or galago, were named by Paul Honess in 1996, and are described and illustrated in The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals [see I.Z.N. 44:7, pp. 41718]. The small Rondo galago (Galagoides rondoensis) was found in remnant forest patches on the seaward rim of the Rondo plateau in eastern Tanzania. The Matundu galago (G. udzungwensis) comes from low-lying secondary-growth forest below the Uzungwa Mountains in Tanzania. The two species were described by their distinct morphology (cranial and penile), pelage, hair structure and calls. Honess also revalidated two other species, Grant's galago (G. granti) and the mountain galago (G. orinus), both also from Tanzania.
A talk given by Simon Bearder at a meeting of the Primate Society of Great Britain in December 1997 discussed the probability that many more nocturnal primate species will be discovered in the near future. Galagos and other lorisoid primates may contain numerous cryptic species identifiable only by characteristics such as hair structure, penile morphology, calls and molecular genetics. Also reported at this meeting was a new species of mouse lemur, Microcebus ravelobensis, which was discovered in the dry deciduous forest around Ampijoroa, north-western Madagascar.
Controversy continues over the description of one or even two new species of slow loris. Nycticebus intermedius was described from the forest of Hoa Binh, north-west Vietnam, but its validity has been questioned, and it may correspond to another form described from central Laos.
A new subspecies of leaf monkey, Wulsin's ebony leaf monkey (Semnopithecus auratus ebenus) was described in 1995 from a skin collected in 1924 and preserved in the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C. It is known only from its type locality, believed to be in north-western Vietnam.
Finally, Tilo Nadler has described a new subspecies of douc langur, the grey-shanked (Pygathrix nemaeus cinereus), from the south-eastern part of the central highlands of Vietnam. [See pp. 202207 and the front cover of this issue of I.Z.N. Ed.]
Abridged and adapted from Anthony B. Rylands in Oryx Vol. 32, No. 2 (April 1998) [q.v. for full references to the literature]
Benefits of eating dirt
Some parrots derive clear health benefits from eating soil, said the zoologist Jared Diamond, speaking at the British Ornithologists' Union annual conference in Edinburgh in April [as reported by Stuart Blackman in New Scientist, 18 April 1998]. Professor Diamond, of the University of California at Los Angeles, has found that chemicals in the soil mop up toxins in the coatings of seeds the birds eat. He has seen many birds, especially parrots, feeding on soil exposed by landslides in the dense forests of New Guinea.
Some other animals are already known to eat soil, which is thought to provide them with vital minerals. However, the soil the parrots eat contains smaller amounts of essential minerals than the fruit that makes up most of their diet. Also, the particles in the soil were too small to be put to use grinding food in the birds' gizzards, and it was ineffective in buffering the acids that cause indigestion. So Diamond suggests that soil may help the birds to tolerate a diet of seeds. Plants often encase their seeds in hard, indigestible coatings and lace them with toxic quinines and tannins to protect them from fruit eaters tempted by the nutrients within. Parrots can breach the physical defences with their strong, dextrous bills, but could still be vulnerable to the toxins. Diamond found that the soil binds to quinines and tannins in the same way that milk proteins bind to tannins in tea. This renders harmless the chemicals in the seed coating, allowing parrots to feed on seeds without being poisoned. Taking weight into account, he says, parrots can consume 100 times as much quinine as humans before it is detectable in the bloodstream.
Black rhinos have unusual red blood cells
Dr Donald E. Paglia of the University of California, Los Angeles, reports that normal black rhino red blood cells (RBCs) have a marked sensitivity to oxidant stress. He believes that this sensitivity can be attributed to very low concentrations of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) within the erythrocytes. His research found that ATP concentrations in black rhino RBCs were approximately 25% of the amount normally found in humans and most other mammals. Amazingly, it appears that such low ATP levels are probably normal for the black rhino.
Due to the fact that ATP is responsible for providing cellular energy for neutralizing oxidizing agents, black rhino RBCs would clearly be highly susceptible to oxidant stress. It appears likely that this situation is a main contributing factor in haemolytic anaemia and perhaps other diseases seen in the black rhinoceros. Dr Paglia compares haemolytic episodes in rhinos to similar haemolysis in humans which is induced by an enzyme deficiency acted upon by oxidizing agents. On this basis, he advises that it would be prudent to treat all rhinos in the same manner as these deficient humans. With humans, rigid precautions are taken to protect them from `potential initiators of haemolysis'.
Dr Paglia recommends that special precautions should be taken to avoid exposing rhinos to the following:
Pharmaceuticals indicted in the induction of haemolysis in humans: Antimalarials, sulfonamides, sulfones, nitrofurans, acetanilid, chloramphenicol, and some Vitamin K analogues.
Drugs associated with haemolysis, but role unknown: aspirin, phenacetin, aminopyrine, acetaminophen, probenecid, Vitamin C, dimercaprol, p-aminosalicylic acid and L-DOPA. (NB: some of these products are used, as they are in some cases reasonable for use with rhinos or may be the only available option for treatment.)
Food: Fava beans, certain oak and red maple leaves, wild onions, and feed or browse contaminated with insecticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers.
Chemical agents: wood preservatives (especially creosote), rodent control poisons or other pesticides, strong cleansers (esp. those containing naphthalene).
Infections: Viral (esp. leptospirosis), bacterial and rickettsial infections. (NB: To the best of our knowledge, there has not been an episode of haemolytic anaemia in black rhinos since vaccination for leptospirosis began.)
Reported by Christine Bobko and Megan Phillips of Denver Zoo in Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 3 (March 1998)
Breeding heloderms in Europe
The Heloderm EEP has existed for seven years, but the programme has developed rather slowly. The beaded lizard (Heloderma horridum) EEP population is highly inadequate at present. Some 13 specimens are unevenly, often individually, distributed in seven institutions. Breeding success has been reported by two European zoos, Zürich and Glasgow. Most animals are of unknown age, and some are of unknown sex, subspecific determination and origin. The situation with the Gila monster (H. suspectum) is better: 61 animals are kept by 17 institutions, 14 of which participate in the EEP. Captive management problems are the same as in H. horridum regarding sex, subspecific status, age and origin. No breeding success has been reported by zoos with one exception (Glasgow in 1991). However, the starting position is more optimistic, as only two institutions keep single specimens, while seven zoos keep three or more lizards. Five zoos keep animals of known age and origin that were bred by a private breeder in the Czech Republic.
The information from private breeders indicates that sporadic successful breeding of the beaded lizard has occurred in Germany. Regular breeding of the Gila monster is reported from the Czech Republic. What is the reason for the different results between private breeders and public institutions? The problem is surely more complex, but we can say that breeding of heloderms is not a priority in zoo captive-breeding efforts. Heloderms are not critically endangered in the wild, although they are slightly less widespread and less abundant then they formerly were, due to environmental destruction, collecting, and killing by humans and natural predators. Heloderms are protected by law in Arizona and California. Their market value is not very high in contrast to their exhibit value.
Heloderm exhibits are favoured by visitors because of the coloration and contrasting patterns of these animals and their status as the only known poisonous lizards. This popularity works to their disadvantage: zoos are often reluctant to take them off exhibit to let them hibernate for several months, as the heated pavilions in which they are usually housed attract visitors during cold and unpleasant times of the year. Unfortunately, this hibernation is an essential prerequisite for successful breeding. The low breeding priority means that zoos do not determine the sex of the animals held to create prospective breeding groups. No special husbandry attention is given to them, and feeding practices regularly result in overfeeding and obesity. I have mentioned only a few, very serious mistakes in husbandry management that prevent any chances of reproduction. Changing the heloderm management practices of EEP participants is unavoidable if more success is to be achieved.
The Heloderm EEP has to stimulate the creation of self-sustaining populations of both species. There is a slim possibility of importing new specimens from the U.S.A., where captive breeding of this group is more advanced. Some institutions (e.g. Arnhem and Usti nad Labem) are trying to do this. It will be necessary to replace some old specimens in the EEP very soon. The recommendation is to import new animals to institutions capable of ensuring proper accommodation for larger groups and proper husbandry according to the species' requirements (e.g. Vienna and Arnhem).
Maintenance of heloderms is not very complicated, as their demands are very few. Essential requirements are proper hibernation, a relatively low temperature throughout the year, proper feeding and a suitable enclosure with a substrate deep enough to allow burrowing. There are no crucial technical problems in providing a suitable light cycle, or with artificial incubation, but there is still much delicate and time-consuming work to be done in solving problems regarding provision of proper humidity and temperature, prevention of egg-eating and so on. We believe that the positive attitude of many people involved in the programme and the establishment of new exhibits in London, Cologne and other zoos bode well for heloderm breeding.
Abridged from Jaroslav Zima, Usti nad Labem Zoo, Czech Republic, in EAZA News No. 22 (AprilJune 1998)
Primate welfare workshop
From 16 to 18 April 1998, the Station Biologique de Paimpont of the University of Rennes I hosted the 1998 workshop of the European Federation for Primatology, which focused on `Diet, foraging behaviour and time-budgets in non-human primates: how may field studies help improve the welfare of captive primates?' Although the term `captive primates' in the subtitle refers in the first instance to laboratory animals, many of the presented talks and posters were also relevant for improving the welfare of primates kept in zoos.
Dr Bertrand L. Deputte (University of Rennes I), chair of the organization committee, opened the workshop with a talk on dialectical aspects between field and captive studies for improving the welfare of primates used in biomedical or other experimental research. The other speakers were mainly field biologists, who gave talks on the different aspects of nutritional ecology for a wide range of wild primates, but papers on captive primates were also presented: Dr Anna Feistner (Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust) spoke about the nutrition of wild and captive Alaotran gentle lemurs, Dr Jef Dupain (Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp) presented a comparison of time-budgets between wild and captive bonobos, and Dr Werner Kaumanns (German Primate Center, Göttingen) talked about nutrition in captive primates. The latter talk in particular focused on the problem of feeding primates adequately in zoos with regard to their feeding ecology in the wild. A comparison of 206 diets for 59 primate species in 25 zoos revealed that diets for the same primate species in different zoos in many cases differ significantly, whereas diets for different species in a single zoo are sometimes very similar to each other. This reflects the fact that many zoos tend to base the diets for their primates on personal experience and the availability of foodstuffs, rather than on scientific knowledge about the nutritional needs of the animals.
The perceptual, mechanical and physiological features of feeding behaviour were also the subject of various talks. Dr Fabienne Hübener (Institute for Clinical Psychology, University of Munich) presented a study on the olfactory discrimination ability in squirrel monkeys, which showed that this ability is very well developed, as the animals can discriminate, for example, between fatty acids differing by just one in their number of carbon atoms. They also have an ability to discriminate between the urine of conspecifics and non-conspecifics, which suggests that the distinction has at least some informational value to them. This finding indicates that inappropriate cleaning of enclosures might impose `olfactory stress' on the animals.
A study on the ability of the molar teeth of several primate species to induce failure stress in different food stuffs was presented by Dr Robin Crompton (Dept. of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Liverpool). He studied the procedure of food reduction by the molar teeth of Tarsius, Gorilla, Pongo, Pan, Homo and Macaca. His models showed that gorillas can chew leaves very effectively, whereas orang-utans are unable to propagate failure stress through them until tooth-tooth contact. On the other hand, orang-utan teeth are very good at reducing seeds, whereas gorilla teeth, although they can deform seeds, are repetitively subjected to failure stress in extensive areas. The implications for feeding these primates in zoos are obvious, and it would be interesting to test other species and other foodstuffs.
In the last talk of the workshop, Prof R. McNeill Alexander (Dept. of Pure and Applied Biology, University of Leeds) presented a mathematical model for predicting optimal gut designs for specified diets, which is based on chemical engineering theory. This model also makes possible the development of an optimal diet for a given gut structure.
After the general discussion under the chairmanship of Dr Deputte, the participants worked out recommendations for improving the welfare of laboratory primates with specific regard to diet, foraging behaviour and time-budgets. The recommendations suggest a `Four Cs Approach', according to which the captive environments should emphasize in a species-specific manner Complexity (diversity of the environment, in particular content, structure and spatial distribution of food), Change (variability in food, feeding and foraging conditions which balances predictability and unpredictability for the animals), Choice (opportunity to select from a variety of food presented simultaneously; caging systems which offer the opportunity to use a three-dimensional environment and to realize social options) and Control (opportunities to affect features of the environment such as presentation of food and other stimuli).
Christoph Schwitzer and Werner Kaumanns
Wild dogs avoid lions
African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) appear to be adversely affected by the large populations of lions and spotted hyaenas in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Dogs are found at their lowest densities where their prey species are most abundant, because the areas also attract lions. Lions are a major cause of dog mortality, accounting for about 39% of natural pup deaths and 43% of natural adult deaths. Wild dogs avoid areas with high densities of lions and spotted hyaenas, potential competitors, although they appear to be more of an irritant than a limiting factor. The park has been managed to favour lions and spotted hyaenas, mainly through the provision of artificial sources of water, which has built up unnatural numbers of prey species. Under natural water distribution the area may have supported greater populations of wild dogs and cheetahs, and the policy may have led to the extinction of the brown hyaena as a breeding species in the Kruger through competition with spotted hyaenas. Scientists recommend a more natural water distribution to benefit smaller, less dominant carnivores, and suggest that wild dog reintroductions may be more successful in areas with few lions and spotted hyaenas.
Conservation Biology Vol. 11, No. 6 (December 1997), reported in Oryx Vol. 32, No. 2 (April 1998)
MARWELL ZOOLOGICAL PARK, U.K.
Extracts from the Annual Report 1997
The major event in the animal collection was, without doubt, the birth of our long-awaited first okapi baby. Every precaution had been taken to ensure a safe, happy event, including a remote-control video camera, with a viewing facility in a keepers' rest room. Birth began in the morning of 25 March, watched by an anxious group of staff. The birth was easy, taking no more than 40 minutes; but then, to our horror, Bibi, the new mother, attacked her calf, with an unmistakable intent to kill. The life of Elila (as the new baby was later called) was saved, firstly by the good fortune of an inaccurate kick from Bibi and secondly by the courage of head keeper Simon Hawker, who saved the precious new-born female from certain death. The successful hand-rearing of Elila represents a tribute to the skills and hard work of our staff, and the encouragement and advice received from the okapi breeding centres of Brookfield and Antwerp Zoos.
Allowing for age-related deaths, the steady growth of our hoofstock herds, whilst less dramatic, remains a source of pleasure and encouragement, though causing some pressure on housing space. This limitation has caused us temporarily to cease keeping Brazilian tapirs, in order to concentrate on the more threatened Malayan species, of which three have joined us during the year. The female is a Marwell-bred animal returned from Port Lympne.
Unfortunately, the shortage of quality zoo spaces worldwide means that we limit reproduction with a number of carnivores. Nevertheless, the birth and rearing of a litter of bush dogs, Marwell's first, was most welcome.
During 1997, the general curator, Peter Bircher, continued his involvement with the Department of Zoology at London Zoo in setting up a research facility at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park to study the reproductive biology of the red panda. This facility will also develop non-invasive techniques for monitoring the reproductive status of female red pandas, both in captivity and in the wild. In September, he arranged and supervised the visit of two Indian zoo officials from Darjeeling and Sikkim for three weeks' management training as part of Marwell's long-term technical support commitment to the Indian Central Zoo Authority. This important programme also supports the captive breeding and long-term conservation of red pandas in the Himalayas.
Collection planning is central to good zoo and aquarium management. Marwell took the first steps towards developing a collection plan, using the new computer software developed by the Australasian Regional Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums. REGASP (Regional Animal Species Collection Plan) is designed to integrate both global and regional recommendations for particular species with the individual wishes of participating zoos, and has been adopted by ISIS as their chosen collection planning
Head keeper Simon Hawker with Elila the baby okapi. (Photo: Gaynor Worman)
tool. Each zoo using REGASP is able to look at the preferences of every other participating collection, thus offering a very efficient means to communicate institutional collection planning decisions to other collections holding the same species. It will also be an invaluable tool to those developing regional or global strategies for particular taxonomic groups.
The reddish buff moths unfortunately failed to repeat last year's production of large numbers of larvae for release, as cold weather in late May and early June halted the emergence of many of the moths. However, a total of 200 larvae hatched and pupated, and these will be used as the breeding stock for May 1998. No release took place this year, as the cold weather had a bad effect on all captive-bred stock, but we are hoping for better results in 1998.
No sand lizards were bred at Marwell during 1997, as the breeding colony had to be temporarily rehoused in other vivaria, where most did actually breed, with the 14 adult females producing a total of 147 hatchlings. Of these, 122 survived and were released into the wild at three sites. The natterjack toads had a very good year, producing four large, healthy spawn strings and an estimated 16,000 tadpoles, all of which were released at two existing heathland reintroduction sites. Both sites are grazed by cattle, which seems to be a crucial factor for a successful natterjack colony.
EEP programmes (by Simon Wakefield, Chair, EEP Equid Tag, and Co-ordinator, Scimitar-horned Oryx and Grevy's Zebra EEPs)
At the sixth meeting of the EEP Equid TAG in October, reports were presented on continued efforts to resolve the taxonomic status of onager and kulan, the updated survey of equid space in European collections, and the first use of criteria designed to identify the priority taxa which the TAG should recommend for ex situ breeding programmes.
A large number of kulan and onager samples have been analysed, all from zoo animals, using DNA microsatellite analysis. However, as yet there are no exclusive qualitative markers to distinguish them, which suggests that they are probably not full subspecies. We also know from the release programme in Israel that kulan/onager hybrids have shown no problems in adapting to free-living conditions. A final presentation of the results and a discussion of their implications for the management of the captive populations of these asses will be an important part of the next TAG meeting.
The space survey conducted in 1994 was repeated in 1997, with a much higher response (more than 150 zoos). An initial summary shows that 37% of equids reported are plains zebra, 35% are Przewalski's horses and the remainder are made up from kulan, onager, Grevy's zebra, Hartmann's mountain zebra and Somali wild ass. It was also noted that certain combinations of equid species have been shown to work well, e.g. Cologne Zoo maintain a mixed bachelor group of Przewalski's horses and onagers. A summary of the management problems and successes of mixed exhibits involving equid species is being prepared.
One of the most important roles of the TAG will be to recommend which taxa are most in need of captive breeding. Various selection criteria have been developed by different TAGs, based on a range of considerations. Using one assessment system, a trial evaluation for Europe was done by the TAG co-chairs, with the following outcome (in order from highest to lowest priority): Przewalski's horse, Somali wild ass, Grevy's zebra, Hartmann's mountain zebra, onager, kulan, eastern kiang, plains zebra (individual subspecies were not addressed). Przewalski's horse was particularly favoured under this system, because of the links with reintroduction projects. The development of a valid set of selection criteria for use by the Equid TAG will be one of the next steps to be taken.
An important contribution to the keeping of oryx was the completion by Jürgen Engel of his Ph.D. thesis on `The importance of bachelor groups for the management of scimitar-horned oryx in zoos. He had examined the dynamics of bachelor groups held in captivity and some of the problems experienced. Out of this research have come some useful recommendations for maintaining such groups with the minimum of aggression. One of the continuing problems with the programme for this species is that, for many individuals, all or part of their ancestry is unknown. In some cases, this is because animals are being born and not being assigned parentage, and it is recommended that every new-born individual should be marked and the parents identified correctly. A proposal has been discussed whereby the population should be separated into two separately-managed groups animals with almost completely known genetic background and those with little or no known history.
The Grevy's Zebra EEP is also fortunate in having a recent Ph.D. thesis based on observations of captive animals. Ulrike Rademacher's thesis on `Social behaviour of Grevy's zebra in zoos' makes possible a greater awareness of the behavioural requirements of the species and provides a valuable guide to the most appropriate group composition when planning transfers or establishing new groups. For example, observations show that, when kept as a pair, the female will try to be close to the male, whereas males generally maintain a greater distance where possible, resulting in undesirable tension between the two animals. It is recommended that, wherever possible, Grevy's zebras should no longer be kept as pairs if there is only room for two animals, then a single-sex group (preferably males) is more appropriate. There have been exchanges of over half of the original males who established the bachelor group at Cologne Zoo, without serious problems. A much older male (eight years) who was introduced took four months to integrate, as he had been separated for a long time and lacked social competence. It was also possible to introduce a male of just over one year without mishap; he was, in fact, `adopted' by one of the older males. The new bachelor group at Edinburgh with three males from two different zoos has also proved easy to manage.
Report from Tunisia (by Simon Wakefield)
Following on from a request to identify scimitar-horned oryx for further releases in Tunisia, I had the opportunity to go there in June and visit both existing (Bou Hedma National Park) and proposed (Sidi Toui National Park, Djebil National Park) release/reintroduction sites for Sahelo-Saharan antelope and gazelle. I accompanied Dr Tommy Smith, who is working on behalf of the Convention on Migratory Species, and Dr Koen de Smet of the IUCN/SSC Reintroduction Specialist Group. Our brief was to report on the present situation at each site and recommend the actions necessary for the projects to meet the internationally-recognised guidelines for reintroductions. Financial and technical support could then be identified and donor organisations approached.
Bou Hedma was initially designated as a national park for the relict population of Acacia tortillis, a once-widespread tree species. The park consists of five sections, of which sections one and three are fenced. Section one is the largest fenced area (2,000 ha) and demonstrates very well the ability of desert vegetation to recover when protected from over-use by domestic livestock. The species introduced in this section are scimitar-horned oryx, addax, mhorr gazelle and ostrich. Dorcas gazelle and Barbary sheep also occur naturally in the area. Overall, of the released species, the oryx have shown the greatest increase, growing from a group of ten (5.5) imported from the U.K. in 1985 to 81 in June 1997. Addax have also increased, but more slowly, and now number 51. In the early years, there were problems of interspecific aggression between oryx and addax, and the birth of a number of hybrids, known as `orydax'. Four (2.2) orydax have been born to date; two males remain and are housed in small enclosures by the administrative buildings. They look very much like a scimitar-horned oryx, but are paler in colour and more heavily built. This hybridisation resulted in some addax being transferred to section three of the park.
Sidi Toui National Park was fenced five years ago to keep out livestock, and the vegetation cover is good. There is also a ready-built acclimatisation area, with a five-hectare enclosure and an adjacent smaller holding area with four pens. With some modifications, this could be used to socialise a group of oryx coming from different zoos before their release into the park. We saw a young male slender-horned gazelle, about three months old, who is being hand-reared. Hair samples from this animal could provide a valuable DNA profile for this species, which is believed to have two subspecies, as he is from a known wild location. Djebil National Park is another extremely important potential reintroduction site. Its total area is 1,500 km2 (150,000 ha), of which 6,000 ha are desert steppe; the rest is erg (dunes). The habitat is suitable for oryx, addax and slender-horned gazelle (the latter are known to occur in the erg zone). Even within the erg there is vegetation between the largest dune complexes.
Nutritional research (by Tim Woodfine)
The Marwell Preservation Trust is supporting research into the vitamin E requirements of two endangered perissodactyls, black rhino and Przewalski's horse. During 1997, preliminary fieldwork was completed, developing suitable methods of studying diet selection and monitoring the dietary intake of these animals. Trial vegetation sampling and laboratory procedures were also completed, resulting in successful determination of vitamin E in natural forages.
The Eelmoor Marsh project facilitates the dietary studies of semi-free-ranging Przewalski's horses. The aim of fieldwork throughout 1998 is to use the methods developed over the last year to monitor vitamin E intake by these animals. This will yield valuable baseline information about naturally-occurring levels of the nutrient and produce a model of seasonal variation. However, it is not simply a case of monitoring vitamin E levels in grass. Studies at Eelmoor Marsh have revealed that the horses' diet selection changes during the year, both spatially (i.e. different areas are grazed preferentially at different times) and at the level of the individual food item (i.e. different plants, and even parts of those plants, are utilised at different times). There are other factors that further complicate the model and need to be investigated. For example, the level of grazing pressure may improve the vitamin E status of the vegetation by promoting photosynthetic activity or even have a negative effect by damaging the plants in the sward. Because of the (relative!) ease of observing the animals, Eelmoor Marsh provides a unique opportunity to test a number of hypotheses regarding the patterns of vegetation use and the effects on vitamin E intake. However, unimproved grasslands in the U.K. are not the historical natural habitat of the wild horse, and comparative data with vegetation from the Eurasian steppe is required. The opportunity to obtain such data has been provided by Marwell's involvement in the release of horses into the Pentzug Puszta Steppe Reserve in Hungary during 1998. A visit to Hungary is planned at the end of May, to collect vegetation samples following the release of Makan (from Eelmoor Marsh) and his harem.
Simon Wakefield's Equid TAG Space Survey provided an opportunity to question around 200 European zoos that hold wild equids about dietary regimes and possible cases of vitamin E deficiency. The response has been excellent to date over 110 zoos have replied, providing an invaluable database. Reports of possible vitamin E deficiency problems have not been confined to Przewalski's horses; disorders have been reported in other wild equids, including Somali wild ass. The exercise has proved so successful that a second questionnaire aimed at rhino is in preparation.
Black rhino dietary studies have been carried out during two visits to the Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage in Zimbabwe. Studying black rhino diet in the wild is a tricky business. Their shy nature and habitat preference for dense thickets, which provide both food and shelter, mean that information on diet for this species cannot be based purely on direct observations and must rely heavily on evidence of browsing. In some cases (e.g. where herbs are selected), the entire plant may be eaten, leaving no evidence of feeding. These problems are overcome when working with the Chipangali rhinos. Studies are carried out under controlled conditions, where direct observation of diet selection is possible. This is also important for estimating total dietary intake. Once the diet and total intake are known, appropriate vegetation samples can be collected and analysed to determine daily intake of specific nutrients. Fieldwork methods developed in 1997 and the results of diet selection studies will now be applied to determine vitamin E intake for the Chipangali rhinos. Both wet and dry season studies are planned to account for natural seasonal variations in nutritional status.
A second advantage of working with the Chipangali rhinos is the potential for taking blood samples without the need for immobilisation of the animals. To date, physiological parameters for black rhinos consuming natural forages have been gained on an opportunistic basis, i.e. during capture/translocation operations. The process of chasing and immobilising the animal will induce oxidative stresses that will use up antioxidants like vitamin E in the body. Determining physiological norms in unstressed animals as a direct comparison to known dietary intake will help in evaluating the nutritional status of black rhino. A research permit from the Zimbabwean National Parks Board is expected to enable this further work to go forward in 1998.
One of the original objectives of this research was to evaluate the current nutritional status of zoo animals and to look for any significant differences between them and their counterparts consuming natural forages. A preliminary diet and food intake assessment of black rhino was undertaken at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park in 1997. Follow-up studies are planned for 1998, with laboratory analysis of forages, to determine vitamin E intake. It is hoped that blood samples from routine clinical tests can be used to evaluate vitamin E status in these animals.
Unlike wild equids, which are primarily grazers and can be maintained successfully on pasture, black rhinos derive their natural diet from browsing trees and shrubs. Many of their nutritional requirements cannot be supplied through traditional zoo diets, which are often based on the requirements of domestic horses. Some work has been carried out in North America and Australia, looking at the nutritional composition of local browse species to test their suitability for feeding black rhinos. To date, no such studies have been carried out in Europe. Last year a small number of plants native to the U.K. were identified as potentially suitable candidates and chemical analysis is planned.
Black rhino nutrition is a major concern of all organisations involved in the conservation and captive breeding of the species. To complement the vitamin E studies, collaborative work has now begun with the Department of Nutrition at the Wildlife Conservation Society, New York. The aim of this additional research is to determine black rhino requirements for other vitamins, essential minerals and fatty acids. Vegetation and blood samples will be processed initially in the Dambari Field Station laboratory, Zimbabwe, before export to New York for chemical analysis.
We are also issuing a plea for rhino blood and tissue samples (of any species) from European zoos to be sent to the Wildlife Conservation Society for analysis, to help build a better all-round picture of nutritional parameters.
INTERNATIONAL ZOO NEWS
Adelaide Zoo, South Australia
A non-breeding group of 0.3 cotton-top tamarins has been given access to the outside world through a slide in their enclosure. This is the first time this has been attempted in Australia, although it has been done successfully in Auckland and several European and U.S. zoos. The principle of management has not changed: the animals have really just been provided with a larger `outside' area. They are fed as usual in the tamarin house, and are locked in for the night in the late afternoon. Initially, they are being watched at all times during the day by volunteers.
In the first two weeks the animals slowly explored their surroundings. They were particularly interested in exploring the top of the tamarin house and a large tree at the opposite end of their night enclosure. The closest tree was initially explored but is now ignored. In the third week, the tamarins extended their range rapidly within a day to encompass the pheasantry (some 30 metres distant) and the grape vine covering it. They took great delight in the ripening grapes, which dramatically reduced their intake of provided primate cake; this in turn reduced their desire to return `back to base' in the late afternoon. Removal of the grapes means that they are now returning to the house and can be locked in as desired.
The size of their territory stabilised between the third and fourth weeks. It now encompasses three large trees, many smaller ones, and the whole top of the pheasantry, including the wide expanse of grape vine covering the visitor path and some of the enclosures. The animals have also been seen walking on the fence around the tree kangaroo exhibit. They are rarely seen on the ground and have at no stage shown any interest in the picnic tables on the central lawn.
We are encouraged by the first weeks' results and hope that free-ranging tamarins can be a permanent feature of the zoo's attractions, as they have proved very popular with visitors.
Gert Skipper in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 36 (February 1998)
Baku Zoo, Azerbaijan
[A visitor's report by Phillippa Birchenough]
First impressions of Baku Zoo were a pleasant surprise. Built about 55 years ago in an era of wealth and culture, it is well laid out for the visitor, having wide walkways, viewing benches and planted areas. It spans about two-and-a-half hectares and currently holds 77 species with over 300 specimens.
The collection includes several indigenous species such as Caucasian brown bear (Ursus arctos), grey wolf (Canis lupus), Persian squirrel (Sciurus anomalus), goitred gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa), spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca), European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis), Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus), European black vulture (Aegypius monachus) and imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca). All of these species are threatened in the wild, so the zoo is justly proud of having had some success in breeding, notably the European black vulture for the second year running. All their breeding birds are on exhibit but are provided privacy in the form of camouflage netting in the nesting areas of their enclosures.
The majority of enclosures are in good repair and are apparently hygienically maintained. Many are quite large, with natural soil substrate, trees and rocks, in particular those of the emus, Bactrian camels (who have a new baby), mouflons and other hoofstock. The various ducks, geese, swans, storks and pelicans enjoy a substantial natural pond, while the raptors are kept in a series of large and high aviaries, with mounds of rocks and twigs available for nest-building. Even the primates' enclosures are good-sized and full of trees, although the one rhesus macaque and three hamadryas baboons appear to be habitually sitting at the bars awaiting food from visitors.
Unfortunately there are also the traditional concrete dens that house the more `wild' animals, i.e. bears, wolves, foxes, jackals and one lone female Bengal tiger who has been without a mate for her 25 years in captivity. The bears live separately, as the cages are too small to facilitate a safe shared environment. On the other hand the seven jackals are crammed in together and cannot escape any aggression that occurs. The same goes for the foxes. Two of the five bears have a pool, but that is the extent of enrichment for these animals.
The zoo director is aware of these shortcomings and, together with the government, wishes to increase the size of the zoo and improve the living standards of the animals, particularly those held in the concrete cages. Funds are low and, with attendance figures of about 100,000 annually paying a nominal entrance fee of 1000 manat (about 20 pence or 30 cents) each, they are currently looking elsewhere for sponsorship.
Future plans include acquiring more indigenous species such as East Caucasian tur (Capra cylindricornis), building an aviary for the four Cuban amazon parrots (Amazona leucocephalus), two of which were received from Cuba during the communist era, and renovating the reptile house, which is at present in total disrepair.
With forward thinking and financial aid Baku Zoo has potential to be both interesting and educational for both the people of Azerbaijan and visitors to Baku, and most importantly to create a brighter future for its captive inhabitants.
Denver Zoo, Colorado, U.S.A.
Mshindi, a five-year-old male black rhino born at the zoo, is making quite an impression on Denver Zoo staff as the world's only rhinoceros known to paint with a brush. His new hobby is not just a stroke of genius. The painting process is part of an extensive behavioral enrichment program developed in part and administered by his primary keeper, Christine Bobko. She has trained him through operant conditioning to conduct a variety of behaviors, including sitting on command, fetching a stick, standing still, backing up, sitting on a boomer ball, presenting his foot, and even presenting his ear for veterinary and keeper staff to draw blood. (Drawing blood from a rhino is relatively painless, but prior to the development of this variety of training, rhinos have sometimes had to be anaesthetized prior to drawing blood, which can be stressful for the animal.)
This behavioral process takes place daily, in a non-public exhibit area. The purpose is to stimulate Mshindi psychologically and acclimate him to interaction with his keeper in order to better observe his health. The conditioning is also instrumental in a dietary study involving a new pellet-food formulated with aspen leaves. Mshindi's proclivity for presenting his ear has allowed for accurate analysis of his blood.
Painting was first introduced to the rhino as an enrichment activity about a year ago. His keeper says she was amazed at how rapidly he mastered his behavioral training and needed to find something exciting, challenging, and fun for him to do. Painting seemed to be just the thing. Mshindi `mastered his art' in no time at all. Using brightly-colored tempera paints and a big brush he holds in his mouth, the unlikely artist usually paints twice a month. The zoo's Adopt-An-Animal Program is now offering a full-color poster reproduction of one of Mshindi's works of art as part of a $75 adoption package.
On the Wild Side No. 20 (May/June 1998)
Melbourne Zoo, Victoria, Australia
Three striped legless lizards (Delma impar) hatched at the zoo on 27 January 1998, marking a world-first for this species and achieving a significant goal in the conservation program.
This small pygopodid is restricted to native temperate grasslands in south-east Australia and is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN, as well as by state and national Australian wildlife agencies. The conservation program is managed by the National Striped Legless Lizard Recovery Team and two regional working groups. The lizard's biology, including a number of its reproductive parameters, is poorly known, a knowledge gap which has been identified in the Draft National Recovery Plan.
Melbourne Zoo has successfully incubated eggs in the past from wild-mated females, and reared the young lizards. However, these are the first specimens to hatch in captivity from captive matings. Four eggs were laid by two females in the same nest chamber on 17 December. Their average dimensions were 21.9 mm by 8.5 mm and 0.86 g, and they were incubated in a vermiculite-water mixture at 1:1 by weight, at 2930° C. The eggs all hatched after 42 days and the neonates averaged 40 mm snout-vent length, 112 mm total length and 0.71 g.
Chris Banks in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 36 (February 1998)
Nagoya Higashiyama Zoo, Japan
The zoo began keeping poison-arrow frogs in 1989. It had its first breeding success with the green-and-black poison-arrow frog (Dendrobates auratus) in 1995, and has been breeding this species every year since then. On the basis of this experience, the zoo was also able, in 1997, to breed D. ventrimaculatus, the Amazonian poison-arrow frog. Several factors are believed to have contributed to this success:
(1) The frogs' natural habitat was simulated in the cages through the use of gravel, driftwood and plants, providing plenty of hiding places so that the frogs could feel at home.
(2) Since breeding in the wild takes place during the rainy season, an artificial rainy season was created inside the cages by controlling temperature and humidity. Water temperature had been held at 20° C since the end of September 1996, and this was raised in January 1997 to 23° C, while relative humidity was also raised from 70% to above 80%. As a result, at the end of January the males began calling and following the females about. Then egg-laying occurred 20 times between March and September.
(3) Each clutch was removed to a plastic case with adequate moisture and placed in a room kept at 2023° C. Of 120 eggs, 83 hatched in 1015 days.
(4) The tadpoles were placed in separate cases and fed on tropical fish food and live bloodworms. After metamorphosis, they were fed springtails, fruit flies and pinhead crickets. Thirty-one of the babies survived to maturity.
English summary of article in Japanese by T. Fujitani, K. Nishio and H. Hashikawa, published in Animals and Zoos Vol. 50, No. 3 (March 1998)
New England Aquarium, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
On 10 January 1998, the aquarium opened its new West Wing, and with it, unveiled the `Coastal Rhythms: Creatures on the Edge' exhibit. This is an exciting era of expansion for us that will eventually triple the size of the current facility on Boston's Central Wharf. When the aquarium opened in 1969, we helped usher in a new awareness of the importance and beauty of aquatic ecosystems. In the nearly 30 years since, the stresses on the world's natural systems have increased to an extent never imagined. The New England Aquarium, like many zoos and aquariums worldwide, is dedicated to strengthening the connection between people and nature in an effort to reduce these stresses.
The new exhibit was created to display the beauty, diversity, and importance of coastal ecosystems, and to explore the critical problems facing them. Because coastal habitats are so diverse, and often so misunderstood, it is difficult to build the kind of conservation constituency that has rallied in support of the world's rainforests. We hope that through this exhibit, our visitors will be well on their way to becoming the core of a constituency the world's imperiled coasts need so desperately. In Coastal Rhythms, we exhibit a mixture of the wildly exotic, the pleasantly familiar and a few downright alien creatures that our visitors would be hard-pressed to see anywhere else. And we have many colleagues to thank for that without the help of the Dallas World Aquarium, the Montreal Biodome, and Gatorland of Orlando, Florida, this exhibit would not have been possible.
The exhibit brings many coastal habitats to life. New England plovers and sandpipers dart along the shoreline as fiddler crabs salute the day in their tank next door. Stout Atlantic puffins swim and preen in their rocky shore habitat, and nearby, ornate leafy and weedy sea dragons from southern Australia lurk in underwater jungles. Striking baby saltwater crocodiles roam through a mangrove swamp, and garden eels from the Sea of Cortez sway gently from their sandy burrows. Large and lanky spider crabs from Japan's south-eastern coast amble along the ocean floor, and in a neighboring tank, lagoon jellies from the Islands of Palau pulsate quietly. A high-definition television theater and four computer `smart stations' allow visitors to delve deeper into complex issues.
All of these animals and habitats illustrate the beauty and diversity of life on the edge. We hope our new exhibit inspires awe and respect and provides an incentive to want to learn more and do more. I believe the future of zoos and aquariums points toward increasing advocacy through live-animal, conservation-themed exhibits and programs. It's not revolutionary thinking in our field, but it is the key to helping conserve our planet by reaching millions of our collective visitors.
Jerry R. Schubel, President, New England Aquarium, in AZA Communiqué (May 1998)
Paignton Zoo (Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust), Devon, U.K.
With the opening of our new 50 m ´ 15 m ´ 7 m high Desert House, we had the problem of keeping the birds busy, but mirrors and leafy branches in a barren desert setting were definitely out of the question. Since all the birds love mealworms, we decided to construct a natural-looking termite mound that would occasionally release mealworms throughout the day. This was achieved by connecting a series of outlet pipes to a plastic bowl, all held within a wooden framework which was then wrapped in a chicken-wire mesh and covered with cement. Sand glued to the outside gave the mound a more natural look. Mealworms are placed in a bowl twice daily, emerging from the mound at a rate of approximately three a minute.
Hooded parrots (Psephotus chrysopterygius dissimilis) occur in the Northern Territory of Australia and are declining in numbers due to illegal trapping and agricultural activities. The nest is a hole which they excavate in a termite mound; four to six eggs are laid and incubated for 19 days. Like many Australian birds kept in this country, they are inclined to breed during our winter months. Towards the end of September our pair of hooded parrots housed in the Desert exhibit began to show a lot of interest in the artificial termite mound, but it would have been impossible for them to break the cement, so we hastily set about making a new mound.
This time we incorporated two nesting boxes instead of pipework. A small tunnel entrance leading to each box was formed in the cement. A keeper was left on guard while the adhesive used to hold the sand covering was drying, as the parrots had no intention of wasting any time moving into their new home.
The mound was ready for use by the end of October and the female began incubating on 24 November 1997. After 20 days had passed one or more chicks could sometimes be heard inside the mound. The first chick fledged on 7 January 1998, and three more followed over the next five days. Within a few days they were flying strongly and keeping up with the parent birds in this large desert display.
Abridged from Jo Gregson, Senior Bird Keeper, in Paignton Zoo News No. 35 (Spring 1998)
Quistococha Zoo, Iquitos, Peru
In far northern Peru lies the bustling river town of Iquitos. Encompassed by the green sea of the Amazon forest, access is only possible by boat from the surrounding tributaries or via the somewhat out-of-place international airport, specifically designed to accommodate military aircraft. A short ride out of town takes you past sprawling shanty towns to the Quistococha Zoo on the shores of Lake Quistococha. This is the home of Antony Taggart, a 30-year-old Australian horticulturist turned conservationist and acting zoo director.
Following a term with the American wildlife rescue organisation WSPA, Antony found himself at a loose end and in Iquitos, where he discovered the derelict zoo. The next four years were spent volunteering his skills and enthusiasm in an attempt to increase the quality of life for its 350 inhabitants. In 1997 the regional government of Loreto turned control of the zoo over to Antony and Zoo Peru Incorporated, the non-profit organisation registered in Peru and the United States to administer funds for the zoo.
Quistococha Zoo is located on 900 acres (365 ha) of secondary rainforest and even has its own 125-acre (50 ha) lake. Some areas of the forest are dissected by walking trails and boardwalks over the shallow sections of the lake. However, wet-season floods, termites and regrowth often destroy these assets in a fraction of the time it takes to construct them. The forest houses a myriad of plant and animal species endemic to that region of the Amazon Basin. Anacondas lie in the shadows along the lake shore, while woolly monkeys and pygmy marmosets feed in the canopy. Parrots screech through the understorey, and giant forest snails come out in the humid night to browse in relative safety.
It all sounds idyllic, doesn't it? Of course the potential for turning this opportunity into a powerful conservation tool was recognised early on, as evidenced by the large telephone bills Antony and I ran up. But reality is often a far more difficult rock to hew than it first appears. Conditions in the zoo are primitive. Running water is absent and has to be bucketed from underground springs in the zoo grounds, or up from the lake for cleaning and drinking. Roofs are palm-thatched where safe to do so, and in the traditional manner, but this provides little resistance to local poachers. They can often be seen patrolling the grounds during the day `window-shopping' for items for the local bush meat or souvenir market. Even locks on the exhibits are stolen, although sometimes the thieves have been kind enough to tie the door closed with a piece of wire. This at least helped prevent the jaguars from having their neighbours, the white-lipped peccaries, over for dinner! One employee was even found with a `feather duster' he'd made by cutting the tail off a titi monkey while working at the zoo. Animals that had been confiscated from poachers were being resold to them by a director of the zoo (who has now, thankfully, resigned).
This all sounds like doom and gloom, and yes, things are tough, but not impossible. Most of the stock is confiscated from poachers who come into the zoo hoping to sell their hapless prey. Even if funds were available to buy the animals, and they are not, it would not happen, as this would only generate further demand. Instead the specimens are seized under the Peruvian anti-poaching laws, in the hope of captive breeding or re-release if all the necessary criteria are met.
There has been considerable interest from major zoos in the U.S.A. regarding the acquisition of genetically-valuable animals for SSPs, and one jaguar has already found a new home in Florida. Rare species in the zoo's collection, such as giant otter and yellow-footed tortoise, may one day help to establish breeding programs, both in situ and ex situ.
Quistococha Zoo will continue to base its efforts on species indigenous to the region, rather than importing animals from around the world. There already exists a strong sense of interest within the local community about the zoo and its inhabitants. It is hoped that through education programs a greater awareness of and appreciation for the environment can be created. It is possible that so much can be achieved with this project, but it needs support. Should it fail, the government will probably close the zoo and sell the animals off. Enclosures need to be built and maintained, locks purchased and food supplied. Security systems are a very high priority, as is moving animals off wooden-floored cages and into exhibits built into the 900 acres of forest. In the last month alone, 47 animals have been confiscated from poachers, ranging from giant otters to toucans.
If anyone would like to make a donation, please feel free to do so via Zoo Peru Incorporated. Even small amounts can make a difference for example, $10.00 will pay a local fisherman to catch fish for the zoo. In addition to helping the zoo, this type of activity strengthens the value of the zoo to the local community. Donations can be sent directly to: Gary Sauvarin, Honorary Consul, Consulate of the Republic of Peru, P.O. Box 84, Carnegie, Victoria 3163, Australia.
Abridged from Jason Edwards in Zoo News (Melbourne) Vol. 18, No. 1 (March 1998)
Riverbanks Zoological Park, Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.A.
The following births and hatchings took place during the period January to March 1998: 2 black-footed cat, 1.1 golden lion tamarin (DNS), 2 white-crested turaco, 1 pancake tortoise, 11 star tortoise, 1 giant leaf-tailed gecko, 4 Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko, 4 Madagascar giant day gecko, 1 white-spotted bamboo shark. The following were acquired: 0.1 wart hog, 1.0 pygmy marmoset, 0.1 pink-necked fruit dove, 1.1 Bali mynah, 2.2 blue dacnis, 1.1 gold-fronted leafbird, 0.1 Boehlen's python, 1 snowflake moray eel, 4 diamond goby, 4 skunk clownfish, 1 stone fish, 6 coral catfish, 6 shrimp fish, 2 fuzzy lionfish, 2 radiated lionfish, 1 dwarf lionfish, 1 rusty angelfish, 1 lemonpeel angelfish, 1 flame angelfish, 2 turbo snail, 3 fire shrimp, 1 marine starfish, 2 African starfish, 2 tile starfish, 2 white sand starfish, 2 pencil urchin, 2 carnation coral.
Alan H. Shoemaker,
Taronga Zoo, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
On 14 January 1998, 1,400 green-and-golden bell frog (Litoria aurea) tadpoles were released into ponds at the Long Reef Golf Course on Sydney's Northern Beaches. The genetically unique tadpoles are second-generation Taronga-bred animals, originally from a now-extinct population at Rosebury, a suburb in western Sydney. Dr Graeme Pyke, principal research scientist in the Australian Museum's Frog Ecology and Behaviour group, began investigations into the introduction of the tadpoles at the golf course nine months ago and has overseen the development of ideal conditions for the release. The site has been well prepared, having a total of 14 individual ponds around the course, which can be individually maintained if need be. Water quality tests are done weekly and several members of ground staff on the course are extremely enthusiastic and will be helping with the post-release monitoring of the tadpoles. A check of the tadpoles two weeks later showed them doing well, with many metamorphosing.
Trent Russell in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 36 (February 1998)
Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, Germany
Quintuplets were born to the black-and-white ruffed lemurs on 5 April 1998; they are all being reared by their mother. Twins (1.1) born to the black lemurs (Lemur m. macaco) on 4 April were the first births of this species at the Tierpark. The striped hyaenas are rearing male twins born in March.
At Easter we opened a new enclosure for snow leopards which has an area of 220 m2 and a separate cage of 25 m2. Four feeding and overnight boxes are also incorporated. A young pair of snow leopards arrived to be the first occupants; the female was born at Edinburgh Zoo in 1996, and the male at Basle in 1997.
Dr Bernhard Blaszkiewitz
Alraun, R., and Hewston, N.: Breeding the lesser flamingo Phoeniconaias minor. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 103, No. 4 (1998), pp. 175181. [Describes the successful breeding in a private collection in Germany in 1992 (believed to be a European first), and summarises more recent successes in other German collections. It is suggested that weather is an important limiting factor in breeding this species in northern Europe.]
Andra, K.: Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) husbandry at White Oak Conservation Center. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 124132. [At the time of writing (October 1997) the Center in Yulee, Florida, held 6.8 okapi; two adult males have bred, four females have successfully raised young, and ten calves have been born since 1991. The Center has been closely involved with the capture and breeding station at Epulu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). During the recent civil war, the station was looted, most equipment was stolen and the buildings damaged. Luckily, the 14 okapi being held there were left unharmed and staff continued to feed and care for the animals. The author is hopeful that the political unrest will subside, and that the station can be rebuilt and conservation efforts resumed. Once the area is secure, White Oak intend to export additional captive-bred animals from Epulu to boost the genetic base of the global captive population.]
Atink, R., and Price, S.: Ecological habitats on a budget. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 122123. [Wildlife West Nature Park, Edgewood, New Mexico; a low-cost raccoon enclosure using mainly recycled materials and young, unskilled labour.]
Baker, W.K.: How can I stay focused on my job when personal issues intrude at work? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 2 (1998), pp. 6162.
Baker, W.K.: How do you prepare for the unforeseen crisis management situation? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 3 (1998), pp. 100102.
Baker, W.K.: Why are feral animals such a concern for zoological institutions? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 4 (1998), pp. 139140.
Bartow, S.T., and Bocian, D.: Benefits of urine collection in determining cyclic behavior and predicting reproductive success in owl-faced monkeys (Cercopithecus hamlyni). Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 190196. [Philadelphia and San Francisco Zoos.]
Billin, K.M.: Coral propagation and exhibition at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 4749. [The zoo established a coral propagation facility in 1996. The initial goal was to provide coral and `live rock' to other facilities to help limit wild collection, but many possibilities for related work exist. (1) Although advances have been made, there are still many species of coral and sponges that cannot be maintained in captivity. The zoo hopes to conduct research and expand the number of species that can be propagated. (2) Many species of butterfly fish feed exclusively on coral polyps, and therefore cannot be maintained in captivity. The zoo intends to grow sufficient amounts of coral so that these fish can be exhibited and fed a natural diet. (3) The medical industry is showing an increasing interest in corals and the practical application of some of the substances they produce. Facilities like Pittsburgh's could provide easy access to corals for such research. Already a number of skin care products, including a line of sun screen, have been derived from coral research. (4) Most of the reference material concerning corals is new, and much of it is also inaccurate or misleading. Classification of coral species is often debated, as well as husbandry techniques. The zoo will develop a visual database from photographs submitted by other AZA institutions in an attempt to establish some consistency in the discipline.]
Blaszkiewitz, B.: Zu einer Seekuh-Totgeburt im Tierpark Berlin. (A manatee stillbirth at Berlin Tierpark.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 68, No. 2 (1998), p. 134. [German, no English summary.]
Blount, J.D., and Gamble, J.: Curtailed by a carapace: function and form in tortoise enclosures at Newquay Zoo. Ratel Vol. 25, No. 2 (1998), pp. 4447. [Two outdoor enclosures are protected by barriers (one of them tortoise-shaped) incorporating electric wire (against thieves) and visually unobtrusive polythene netting (against avian predators).]
Bocian, D., and Carter, A.: Introduction of a female Francois langur (Presbytis f. francoisi) to an existing group. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 110. [A detailed account of the successful, SSP-recommended introduction of a potential breeding female to San Francisco Zoo's established breeding group of six animals (including 1.2 adults). Behavioral data are also documented on all three adult females for several months after the introduction, including changes in rank following the births of two infants.]
Boon, B., Hawes, J., Kier, R., Lieras, M., Ogden, J., Olow, P., Senecal, R., Shaw, K., and Weibel, K.: Early socialization of hand-reared neonates at the San Diego Zoo. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 5662. [Various primate and ungulate species. `The neonatal period is brief when compared to the life span of a captive animal, and the care given these animals during the critical early period can profoundly affect the rest of their lives. . . Early reintroductions require additional time, communication, and consideration; weaning within nursery confines would be considerably more time-efficient and less complex, and risks such as cross-contamination and injury would be minimized with conventional hand-rearing methods. However, we believe that the added investment of time and a potential increase in risks will be worthwhile in the long run. It is our hope that, with early socialization, we are able to provide each neonate with the physical, psychological, and social equipment necessary to be a successful group member and to contribute to the creation of self-sustaining populations.']
Boyd, N.: The other panda. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 2425. [San Diego Zoo; use of training to reduce stress from husbandry procedures in red pandas (Ailurus fulgens).]
Brickell, N.: Breeding the vinaceous firefinch Lagonosticta larvata vinacea. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 103, No. 4 (1998), pp. 145146.
Byles, B.: The International Fund for Avian Research. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 103, No. 4 (1998), pp. 170174. [The Fund awards grants to research projects concerning both captive and wild birds, especially in the field of health problems.]
Byrd, J.: Prehensile-tailed skink birth at Lion Country Safari, October 1997. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 3 (1998), p. 111. [Corucia zebrata.]
Callaway, D.: A cooperative recovery program for a vanishing species: the Wyoming toad (Bufo hemiophrys baxteri). Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 3036. [A successful captive-breeding and reintroduction programme which provides a model for amphibian conservation.]
Casares, M., and Enders, F.: Erfahrungen bei der Handaufzucht von Hyazintharas (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) im Loro Parque. (Experiences of hand-rearing hyacinth macaws at Loro Parque.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 68, No. 2 (1998), pp. 6574. [German, with unusually long English summary.]
Chacón, G.S., and Janik, D.: Recommendations and guidelines for the use of soft release techniques: releasing native avifauna in La Garita, Costa Rica. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 133137.
Coakley, J.: Native wildlife veterinary care at the North Carolina Zoological Park. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 108110.
Collom, D.M., and Deroo, M.C.: Effects of sensory interventions (environmental enrichment) on the behaviour of captive African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) at Philadelphia Zoological Gardens. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 4 (1998), pp. 141148. [Four (3.1) dogs were introduced to olfactory and tactile stimulants. In Experiment 1, 20% solutions of either Jovan® musk or catnip were sprayed on three movable and three non-movable objects around the exhibit; olfactory exploration of the exhibit increased by almost 25% to intervention objects and increased 30% over baseline to the exhibit in general. In Experiment 2, three digging beds were constructed with different substrates (wood-wool, mulch, and sand); baseline time spent off-exhibit was 22%, but during the intervention, time spent off-exhibit decreased to 3%. Thus, sensory interventions increased the animals' interactions with their exhibit, or `territory'; and a side advantage of the intervention was increased attractiveness of the exhibit to the public by keeping the dogs active and visible.]
Corder, J.: It's all down to the hormones. WPA News No. 56 (May 1998), pp. 4243. [Gynandry (male plumage development) in female pheasants of post-reproductive age.]
Cram, P.L., Streeter, L.M., and Eck, K.A.: Semen collection in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) at the Kansas City Zoological Gardens. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 1114.
Crawford, D.L.: Displacement aggression in captive long-tailed green magpies (Cissa chinensis). Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 5055. [Over the past ten years, high infanticidal rates have been observed in Denver Zoo's two breeding populations of green magpies (C. chinensis) and (C. thalassina). In December 1994, it was observed that only the long-tailed green magpies in the public display (Pair B) were killing their young. A second pair (Pair A) was successfully rearing young in an off-exhibit facility. A hypothesis generated from these observations was that Pair B was exhibiting displacement aggression which resulted in low reproductive success. To test this hypothesis, Pair B was moved to the off-exhibit facility and Pair A was moved to the public display. Results of this study showed that successful rearing of young by wild-caught green magpies is a function of privacy and enclosure size. Pair B raised a clutch of chicks for the first time without infanticide occurring, while breeding from Pair A was unsuccessful following the relocation.]
de Ruiter, M.: Breeding the hawk-headed parrot. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 32, No. 5 (1998), p. 151. [Deroptyus accipitrinus.]
Dieringer, C.: How old was that pregnant elephant? Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 158161. [Kimba, an Asian elephant cow at Houston Zoo, set a new record by giving birth at five years and nine months old. Assuming the gestation was an average 22 months, this would have made her three years and eleven months old when impregnated. Kimba had been in contact with her father and elder brother, but staff had no idea she could get pregnant at that age. The calf, though inbred, was apparently normal, but was killed by Kimba's mother soon after birth. Subsequently, blood tests on the zoo's youngest cow showed that she was cycling when she was just over three years of age. To avoid the risk of further undesirable pregnancies, the two young cows are now no longer put in the same enclosure as the bulls.]
Fitzgerald, L., Piazza, J., Elam, C., and Smith, B.: Management of a rhinoceros medical problem without behavioral conditioning and the subsequent development of a conditioning program. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 7682. [Diceros bicornis minor, Dallas Zoo.]
Frädrich, H.: Das Siamesische Rinderhaus im Zoo Berlin. (Berlin Zoo's Siamese cattle house.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 68, No. 2 (1998), pp. 7579. [German, with very brief English summary. The new house, used for gaur and banteng, resembles an earlier (1907) one destroyed in World War II.]
Gregory, J., and Watkiss, V.: No more knockdowns: male rhino nail filing. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 144149. [Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, U.K.; training an Indian rhino to undergo regular three-monthly foot treatment without need for anaesthesia. As a bonus, both rhino and keepers have benefited from the increased social contact involved.]
Guerrero, D.: Limbo lingo: foreign zoo inquiry. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 4 (1998), pp. 136138. [Differences between the terms `training' and `conditioning'.]
Guerrero, D.: Sea lion (Zalophus californianus) evaluation, zoo. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 3 (1998), pp. 9799. [Dealing with problem behaviour during training.]
Guerrero, D.: Snow leopard (Uncia uncia) evaluation, zoo. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 2 (1998), pp. 5658. [Accustoming an isolate-reared cub to contact with strange humans.]
Hardy, D.F.: The World Wide Web and conservation a new role for AAZK. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 8388.
Heuer, A., and Rothe, H.: Habitatbereicherung bei vier subadulten Orang-Utans (Pongo pygmaeus abelii) im Zoologischen Garten Hannover. (Environmental enrichment for four subadult orang-utans at Hanover Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 68, No. 2 (1998), pp. 119133. [German, with brief English summary.]
Howell, S., Fritz, J., Murphy, J., and Schwandt, M.: Vertical poles with cow bells: an enrichment device for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). The Newsletter Vol. 9, No. 3/4 (1998), pp. 35.
Irven, P.M.: West African dwarf clawed frogs (Hymerochirus curtipes) breeding and husbandry in captivity. Ratel Vol. 25, No. 2 (1998), pp. 6168.
Kirchner, E.: Whose beach is it? Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 2629. [Report by a Fort Wayne Children's Zoo keeper on leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) protection in Costa Rica.]
Kuntze, A.M., and Arthur, J.: First class fostering: bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) conservation at the Salisbury Zoo. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 8991.
Lane, A., and Mitchell, M.: Successful reproduction in a small flock of Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis) at Dickerson Park Zoo. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 118121. [The authors suggest that the main reasons for the zoo's successful breeding (despite old age and a small flock) are (1) reduced keeper interactions, allowing the birds to relax and feel safe; (2) allowing the birds to choose their own nest sites; (3) the diet of Mazuri Flamingo Complete and Breeder; and (4) planted barriers for seclusion of the nesting site.]
Lanier, J.L., and Grandin, T.: The calming of American bison (Bison bison) during routine handling. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 138143. [Bison are normally calm and easy-going when at pasture, but become dangerously stressed when confined in corrals, chutes, squeezes etc. The authors offer guidelines for avoidance of stress in such circumstances.]
Leach, M.: Animal training a controversial form of enrichment. Ratel Vol. 25, No. 2 (1998), pp. 4957.
Lehn, C., and Kahumbu, P.: Our time is running out to `Save the Colobus'. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 115117. [The Colobus SSP is raising funds for the Wakuluzu Trust, a Kenyan organisation dedicated to conserving a critically endangered subspecies of Angolan colobus, C. angolensis palliatus.]
Low, R.: The purple-bellied parrot Triclaria malachitacea: its natural history and aviculture. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 103, No. 4 (1998), pp. 149158.
McFarland, N.: Mountain grown danfes an organic approach to raising Himalayan monals. WPA News No. 56 (May 1998), pp. 3441. [A successful breeding flock in Arizona. (Danfe `bird of nine colours' is the Nepalese name for Lophophorus impeyanus.)]
Morris, J., Howell, S., and Fritz, J.: A simple enrichment device for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): `Mr Sockie'. The Newsletter Vol. 9, No. 3/4 (1998), p. 1. [A food treat is knotted inside a sock, old trouser-leg or square of fabric.]
Nelson, B.: Two weeks at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (LWC), Kenya. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 6365. [Report by a Dallas Zoo staff member.]
Nicoll, L., and Fernandez, M.,: Injection training of a female western lowland gorilla (Gorilla g. gorilla). Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 3744. [Audubon Zoological Gardens.]
Odening, K., Aue, A., Ochs, A., and Stolte, M.: Emmonsia crescens (Ascomycotina) und Sarcocystis ochotonae n. sp. (Sporozoa) bei Pfeifhasen (Ochotona) aus China im Zoologischen Garten Berlin. (Fungal and protozoan infestation in pikas imported to Berlin Zoo from China.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 68, No. 2 (1998), pp. 8094. [German, with very brief English summary.]
Perret, K., Büchner, S., and Adler, H.J.: Beschäftigungsprogramme für Schimpansen (Pan troglodytes) im Zoo. (Enrichment programmes for zoo chimpanzees.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 68, No. 2 (1998), pp. 95111. [German, with brief English summary.]
Perry, J.J., and Atkins, V.: The weaning, socialization and breeding history of hand-reared Caribbean flamingos (Phoenicopterus r. ruber) at the San Antonio Zoo. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 1523. [Reports that `improved hand-rearing and socializing techniques produce flamingos that are fully integrated into the flock and are reproductively viable,' and speculates on the possible implications for captive management, shipping, importation, research both in captivity and in the field, and as a management/research tool in the wild.]
Phillips, M., and Turnbull, M.: Routine milk collection from crate-conditioned bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus) at the Denver Zoological Gardens. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 162167. [Milk samples were collected from two experienced bongo dams while the animals were confined within a handling crate. A mixture of chopped spinach, carrot, apple and banana was fed throughout the milk collecting sessions. Collection began on day 5 post-partum and continued throughout lactation (about 300 days). The only milk that could be collected without an oxytocin injection was `foremilk', milk already in the lower portions of the teat. Foremilk samples (a mean quantity of 3.8 ml) were collected weekly, and once a month a 0.5 ml oxytocin injection was administered, and a `complete milk sample' (mean quantity 110 ml) collected. The samples were sent to the National Zoo's nutrition lab and will be analyzed for basic composition.]
Piazza, J.J., Fitzgerald, L., Elam, C., and Smith, B.: Reintroduction of an infant southern black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis minor) 68 hours past the current standard limit (2448 hours). Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 168174. [Dallas Zoo. The authors employed operant conditioning techniques to manage the separation and reintroduction of the infant rhino, and succeeded in maintaining a strong mother-infant bond in both the dam and the calf during a protracted separation. Methods used included regular milking of the dam, supplying the calf with adequate amounts of mother's milk, and olfactory and tactile stimulation (by e.g. exchange of soiled bedding between the two animals).]
Poglayen-Neuwall, I.: Remarkable longevities of two captive North American rodents. Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 68, No. 2 (1998), p. 135. [White-throated wood rat (Neotoma a. albigula), 8 years 11 months; cliff chipmunk (Eutamias d. dorsalis), 12 years 7 months.]
Reason, R., Sevenich, M., Horvath, A., and Laird, E.: The use of physical devices for medical procedures on captive giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis). Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 68, No. 2 (1998), pp. 112118. [Brookfield Zoo; suggestions for avoiding the need to chemically immobilise giraffes (a procedure which involves an estimated mortality rate of 2535%).]
Robinson, M.H.: Enriching the lives of zoo animals, and their welfare: where research can be fundamental. Animal Welfare Vol. 7, No. 2 (1998), pp. 151175. [Author's abstract: `As zoos have evolved, conservation and conservation education have become primary tasks. To achieve the maximum educational impact, zoos are enriching animal habitats so that their occupants display a wide range of activities that are attractive to the visitor, and unattractive activities are eliminated and reduced. Because public perceptions of the attractiveness of animal behaviour may not coincide with welfare realities, there can be a tension between the requirements of desirable exhibits and those of maximally promoting animal welfare. Zoo animals differ from domesticated animals in human care in several respects. These differences are discussed and set in the context of the sometimes competing aims of enhancing welfare and promoting educational exhibits. An outline history of zoo enrichment programmes suggests that the subject is in need of systematization. The range of data available for improving zoo exhibit designs, and the lives of zoo animals, is reviewed. It is concluded that fundamental data on the environmental needs of many of the wild animals maintained in zoos are deficient in many important areas. Consequently, there is an urgent need to increase such research. Zoo habitats could be excellent places for such fundamental studies, which would feed back into field studies. At the same time, habitat enrichment in zoos cannot await such research and must proceed pragmatically using the range of insights described in this paper. In particular, functional substitution is advocated as a means of enrichment wherever this can be made acceptable to the broad public; its educational value in combating naive anthropomorphism is stressed. Naturalism in enrichment is criticized as reinforcing anthropomorphisms, but is desirable for promoting global habitat conservation.']
Sargent, E.L.: Something worthwhile that's easy: banking bird DNA. Penguin Conservation Vol. 11, No. 1 (1998), pp. 24. [`Every captive animal collection is a vast repository of genetic information, and this information is very easy to conserve. DNA samples from animals can be stored in the form of hair, feathers, scales, blood, or even feces. DNA can last for years at room temperature, and your high-tech genetic bank can consist of a shoe box filled with envelopes. The samples can be made available to scientists for a variety of studies, which may illuminate the evolutionary history of a species, or its historic migration patterns, or may answer questions about an individual's geographic origin or relatedness to others. They can also be used to answer broad questions about biodiversity and its loss. All of this work has the potential to positively affect conservation policies throughout the world.']
Sayers, B.: The laughing owl (Sceloglaux albifacies). Tyto Vol. 3, No. 1 (1998), pp. 623. [Includes notes on the captive history of this (probably extinct) New Zealand species.]
Schofield, P.: Waterfowl mutations, hybrids, plumage and the colour purple. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 103, No. 4 (1998), pp. 147148.
Shaffstall, W.: African hoofstock survey: results of husbandry questionnaire Part 1. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 3 (1998), pp. 114121. [Results of a survey of 77 North American zoos, with special reference to mixed exhibits.]
Shaffstall, W.: African hoofstock survey: results of husbandry questionnaire Part 2. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 4 (1998), pp. 159166.
Shelton, K.R.: The synthesis of zoos and aquariums. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 111114. [Florida Aquarium, Tampa.]
Sheppard, C., Dierenfeld, E., and Burnett, M.: Recommendations for diets of captive pheasants, based on information from diets of wild birds. WPA News No. 56 (May 1998), pp. 2733.
Shoemaker, P., and Schanberger, A.: Protected contact beyond elephants. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 104107. [Houston Zoo; describes training for husbandry procedures with white rhino, giraffe, pygmy hippo, kudu, nyala, tapir and giant anteater.]
Smith, G.A.: The red-capped parrot (Pionopsitta pileata). Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 32, No. 5 (1998), pp. 165167.
Smith, R.: Project Puffin: seabird restoration in Maine. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 150157. [An Audubon Society project supported by volunteers from Sea World of Florida and other zoological facilities.]
Steele, S.R.E., Hummel, H., Preddy, O., and Fitzgerald, L.: Exhibit use and social behavior of lemurs in a multi-species lemur exhibit. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 97103. [In 1997, Dallas Zoo became the first zoo in the U.S.A. to display four species of lemur in one exhibit; the 365 m2 enclosure contained 2.1 black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia v. variegata), 0.2 collared lemurs (Eulemur fulvus collaris), 3.0 ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and 2.1 black lemurs (Eulemur macaco). Observed levels of inter- and intra-species aggression were low. This may be the result of several factors: (1) the exhibit is large, with ample room for segregation and visual isolation; (2) food, often a cause of aggression among individuals, is dispersed throughout the exhibit and animals can forage without directly competing for food; (3) the introductions of new species to the group were conducted over several months, and this slow pace may have allowed for dissipation of aggression between unfamiliar animals before new individuals were introduced.]
Summers, J.: The partial hand-rearing of a wrinkled hornbill Aceros corrugatus at Paultons Park. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 103, No. 4 (1998), pp. 163169.
Sweeney, R.G.: Conservation benefits of keeping captive psittacine populations. Parrot Society Magazine Vol. 32, No. 5 (1998), pp. 154158.
Sweeney, R.G.: Some examples of the use of foster parents at Loro Parque. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 103, No. 4 (1998), pp. 159162.
Tardona, J.H., and Tardona, D.R.: Environmental enrichment for captive raptors in training. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 6675. [Jacksonville Zoo.]
Taylor, W.J.: Social development of an infant lowland gorilla raised without age mates. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 2 (1998), pp. 7077. [Denver Zoo. The male infant was in a group with his parents and an unrelated (infertile) adult female with whom he formed `a strong peer-like relationship'. His development does not appear to have been adversely affected by the absence of companions nearer to his own age.]
Tidmus, S.A.: Breeding and hand-raising blue-faced honeyeaters at the Sedgwick County Zoo. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 25, No. 2 (1998), pp. 6466. [Entomyzon cyanotis; believed to be the first hand-rearing of this species.]
Webb, D.: Physical therapy with a female African lion (Panthera leo). Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 9296. [Topeka Zoo; successful treatment for a fractured foreleg.]
Yordi, R.: Penguin water interaction for advanced Careers Camp at Sea World of Texas. Proceedings, 24th National Conference, A.A.Z.K. (1998), pp. 4546. [A work training programme for high school pupils.]
Publishers of the periodicals listed:
Animal Keepers' Forum, American Association of Zoo Keepers, 635 S.W. Gage Boulevard, Topeka, Kansas 666062066, U.S.A.
Animal Welfare, Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead, Herts. AL4 8AN, U.K.
Avicultural Magazine, Avicultural Society, c/o Bristol Zoo, Bristol BS8 3HA, U.K.
The Newsletter, Primate Foundation of Arizona, P.O. Box 86, Tempe, Arizona 85280, U.S.A.
Parrot Society Magazine, Parrot Society, 108b Fenlake Road, Bedford MK42 0EU, U.K.
Penguin Conservation, 8060 Upper Applegate Road, Jacksonville, Oregon 97530, U.S.A.
Proceedings of the 24th National Conference of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, Inc., A.A.Z.K., 635 S.W. Gage Boulevard, Topeka, Kansas 666062066, U.S.A.
Ratel, Association of British Wild Animal Keepers, 12 Tackley Road, Eastville, Bristol BS5 6UQ, U.K.
Tyto, International Owl Society, Sheraton Lodge, Station Road, Southminster, Essex CM0 7EW, U.K.
WPA News, World Pheasant Association, P.O. Box 5, Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire RG8 9PF, U.K.
Der Zoologische Garten, Gustav Fischer Verlag Jena GmbH, Villengang 2, D-07745 Jena, Germany.