|The New Hannover Zoo||Herman Reichenbach|
|In the Name of the Tapir : Confusions and Conclusions||Stefan Seitz|
|Assiniboine Park Zoo, Winnipeg, Canada||Robert Wrigley and Philip King|
|The European Studbook for Black Howler Monkeys||John Partridge and Kirsten Pullen|
|Letters to the Editor|
|International Zoo News|
Having been an avid reader of science fiction in my youth, I have always had a mental picture of a universe lavishly populated with a delightful – or at least impressive – variety of life forms. Indeed, when more than usually depressed by reports of the continuing destruction of the earth's biodiversity, I have sometimes comforted myself with the thought that there are billions of other planets out there teeming with living creatures, some of them presided over by dominant species with a higher claim to be called `intelligent' than ourselves. But now, it seems, there are grounds to fear that even this small consolation may be baseless. Two American scientists, Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee, argue in a new book (Rare Earth, Copernicus/Springer) that complex life is an altogether scarcer commodity in the universe than most of us tend to assume. Living organisms, they concede, are probably common enough, but forget about little green men – typical extra-terrestrials are more likely to be bacteria or blue-green algae.
Exobiology, of course, is currently a scientific discipline in want of material to work on. It is, however, a legitimate subject for speculation. Estimating the likelihood of life existing elsewhere in the universe typically takes the form of multiplying together a series of probabilities. Its classic exposition in statistical terms comes in the form of an equation devised in 1961 by the astronomer Frank Drake, with the more restricted aim of estimating the likely number of advanced technical civilisations in our galaxy. The Drake Equation is based on a series of educated guesses about the number of stars in the galaxy, the fraction of stars that have planetary systems, the proportion of the planets in each system that are suitable for life, and so on. Slightly modified, the equation can be used to assess the frequency of complex life-forms in the universe as a whole. The snag is, of course, that the first stage – the number of stars in the universe – is the only one to which we can attach even a very rough numerical value (around 10,000 billion billion, or 1022, stars is one current estimate): from then on it's all guesswork.
Until now, with so many stars to start from, it was possible to give every probability in the series a very low value, yet still end up with an impressive number of planets carrying complex life-forms. Ward and Brownlee, however, argue that even the lowest guesses have seriously overestimated the probabilities. The sun, contrary to common belief, is not an ordinary star, but shows a highly unusual combination of size and stability; the earth's orbit is in just the right position to favour life; there is a giant planet, Jupiter, nicely placed to catch comets and other debris which might otherwise collide with the earth. Looking further afield, even our position in the galaxy, in the less crowded outer suburbs 25,000 light years from the centre, reduces the risk of annihilation by a supernova or a black hole. Nearer home, the moon helps to stabilise the earth's orbit, preventing dangerous wobbles. Even geology is in our favour – plate tectonics (a process unique in the solar system) preserve the mosaic of land and water, mountains and plains and islands, that fills the earth with varied habitats for life to exploit.
What has all this got to do with zoos? Quite simply, it should make us even more aware of the preciousness of the earth's fauna and flora. If there is even a remote possibility that this is the only planet anywhere which has such a wealth of marvellously complex living creatures on it, mankind's current ravaging of the biosphere becomes an even more senseless vandalism than we had realised. Whenever a species is driven to extinction, it may not be just the earth that is robbed of an irreplaceable treasure – it might be the universe.
THE NEW HANNOVER ZOO
BY HERMAN REICHENBACH
The Millennium World's Fair will be held later this year in Hannover. Hannover?
The capital of Lower Saxony in north-west Germany is reasonably well known in Britain: the Electorate, later Kingdom, of Hannover and the United Kingdom shared a sovereign for over a century. The four Georges and William IV left their scents on hundreds of Hanover Streets and Squares across the U.K. Outside Britain and Germany, however, Hannover is largely known, if known at all, as the site of Europe's premier industrial trade fair. As Germany had never staged a world's fair before, the international authority that awards the title gave the newly reunited nation the privilege of holding Expo 2000. In the post-reunification horse-trading that let Berlin get parliament and the government back from Bonn, and let Frankfurt keep the Bundesbank, Hannover (pronounced han-nó-fer) got the Fair.
The spotlights on Expo 2000 shine brightly on the Hannover Zoo as well. In what is surely the most expansive and expensive reconstruction of a German zoo since the Second World War, the local menagerie has taken the unique opportunity of Hannover's year in the sun to stock its own coffers. By opening time of the World's Fair this summer, the zoo will have spent over a hundred million marks, something like £35 million pounds or $50 million, within half a decade. Even today a visitor of only five years ago will hardly recognize the place. Since the establishment of the Tierpark Hagenbeck over 90 years ago, no zoo in Germany has shown such a revolutionary profile. Not everyone is awed.
The zoo itself is old, the fourth-oldest in Germany, inaugurated in 1865. Hannover was the capital of a kingdom, but for only another year. His Highness, no longer King of Great Britain and Ireland as well, picked the wrong side in the Austro-Prussian War, and Hannover thereafter found itself capital of a Prussian province. The zoo did as well as any in a large, provincial German town over the decades, and suffered as most others did during the First World War, the post-war years of inflation, and the Great Depression. In 1931 it was leased to the wild-animal traders of L. Ruhe in nearby Alfeld. Ruhe, founded in 1860 and thus older than the zoo, had established itself during the inter-war years as the premier animal dealership in Europe. The lease would hold until 197, and gave visitors to Hannover Zoo over the years an opportunity to see rare and unusual animals that would otherwise seldom make it into a provincial menagerie. When the zoo reverted to municipal control three decades ago, the Director of Science, Lothar Dittrich, was retained as General Director. Dittrich had initiated what until then could be considered Hannover Zoo's sole contribution to zoo biology: the principle of territoriality. During Dittrich's day, the zoo was best known for its remarkable collection of antelopes and other hoofed stock held in paddocks separated from the public by very small moats indeed. Dittrich recognised, even more than either Hagenbeck or Hediger, that animals considered their paddocks to be their own, unique territory, and although physically able to leave their enclosures easily enough, always preferred to remain on their own grounds.
By the beginning of the 1990s, Hannover's antelope collection was considered by many both inside and outside the zoo to be not a jewel but a burden, if not a shame. Even some of the keepers had difficulty telling one subspecies from another, and admittedly many of the enclosures really were quite small. More importantly for the perspective of the institution, Hannover, never among the wealthiest of German cities, had failed to provide the 21-hectare (52-acre) zoo with adequate financial support to keep up the standards one would expect of a modern wild animal park. The municipal zoo was transformed into a limited-liability company (a GmbH in German) in 1993; since 1994 ownership has been shared between the city of Hannover and the regional authority (Kommunalverband) for Greater Hannover. As an albeit non-profit-making company, the zoo has henceforth been expected to be run as a business, not as a bureaucracy. Professor Dittrich, certainly no bureaucrat, but considered representative of the old-fashioned school of scientifically-oriented zoo directors concerned most with public enlightenment and least with pinching pennies, was shepherded into early retirement. He was succeeded by Klaus-Michael Machens, a business lawyer and deputy director of the Kommunalverband. A zoo director with no qualifications in either biology or veterinary medicine would prove to be only the first innovation at Hannover Zoo.
Machens, 53, took over a zoo attracting less than 650,000 visitors annually in a conurbation of over a million. As he told the news weekly Focus in an interview last year, his immediate task was to create a new master plan that would relieve Hannover of having to pay subsidies in the future. The chairman of the German Zoo Directors Association, Dieter Jauch of the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, said in the same issue of the magazine that he `was not of the opinion that a zoo must carry its own weight.' Zoos have, Jauch believes, a social as well as educational responsibility, and not just one of sparing taxpayers. To be fair to Machens, however, Stuttgart is a very wealthy city, and Baden-Württemberg, the Land of which it is capital, is considerably more prosperous than Lower Saxony.
The `new, improved' Hannover Zoo would have fewer animals in larger and more attractive enclosures. Visitors would be expected to pay more to get into the zoo, and certainly spend more money while in it, but the product they would get would not be comparable to the local zoo in the next town down the Autobahn. Machens hired as his chief adviser Heinz Rico Scherrieb, a name that will presumably draw a blank expression from zoo people. Scherrieb is a big name, however, in the world of leisure parks. Machens, Scherrieb and the architectural team of HJW & Partners of Hannover went off to next-door Holland and overseas America for their inspiration. They did not envision a modem Tierpark, but rather an Erlebnispark, an `adventure park'. Although only two of the five major projects of the new master plan were completed by 1997, the zoo was honoured as one of the three best in the world that year – by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.
The 7,200-m2 Gorilla Mountain (Gorillaberg) was the first of the new enclosures designed by HJW & Partners. The artificial rock-work was done by Atelier Artistique of France, who gained their fame working for Disney. That's what it looks like. On the path up to the `mountain' one passes a stranded jeep in the mud – apparently Indiana Jones had just popped into the bushes for a moment of relief. Further along the path one comes to the empty camp of a naturalist, and then to a palaeoanthropologists' field site, complete with nicely cleaned skulls on a work bench. A cave with a family of Neandertalers puts one briefly in a time machine. At the top of the path is the new enclosure for, yes, live gorillas. Machens does not object to the comparison with Disney at all: the big difference, he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung of Munich in an interview last year, is that his animals are real. `But we also take our visitors on a journey of the imagination.'
The Gorilla Mountain cost 5.5 million marks. North-west Germany has been extremely lucky this year with an unusually long and warm summer, and the gorillas have shared our good fortune. Unfortunately, large and attractive as the new `mountain' may be, for most of the year the gorillas are indoors – and the money wasn't there to fix up their small and sterile cages. Behind the chic façade is the same old ape house. In an interview this year for the Berlin Tagesspiegel, Machens was scathing about the old Hannover Zoo: `It was horrible.' Yet his priority is obviously the front shown to the paying customer. `We still know more about the animals than about what concerns the people who visit us,' he explained. `Zoos must learn to create illusions, just as the theatre does.'
The next project of the master plan to be completed was indeed a stage: the 16,000-m2 Jungle Palace (Dschungelpalast) devoted to the fauna of India. It cost over 20 million marks, but did include a new elephant house – albeit one not open to the public. That is just as well: behind the scenes the elephants really are no better off than the gorillas, and although they obviously spend most of the long, cold and wet North German winters in there, even a bath is lacking. The Jungle Palace is actually a throw-back to the pre-war days of exotic architecture, and as I've never been to India (unfortunately), I too assume that that's what an Indian palace looks like. In addition to a 4,200-m2 paddock for elephant cows and a 1,400-m2 one for the bull, the complex includes enclosures for hanuman langurs and barasinghas, which share 1,150 square metres, tigers, leopards and an Indian python. The tigers are Siberian and not Bengal, but being zoo-bred in the umpteenth generation anyway, perhaps it really doesn't make much of a difference.
As befitting a stage, elephant shows amuse the public in the summer months. The centre of the `palace' is dominated by a large restaurant terrace with German fast food given Indian-sounding names (I can recommend Currywurst Bombay, grilled sausage with curry ketchup) and a gift shop with mostly `made in China' items. What every visitor really should make use of is the WC in the Jungle Palace: when I do go to India, I certainly hope that the public toilets there look like the one here!
The third big, new project was one devoted almost exclusively to Homo sapiens: Meyers Hof, the recreation of a Lower Saxon farm complete with rare domestic stock, but more importantly with open-air and indoor restaurants and a large beer garden. Meyers Hof has its own entrance and exit, and is open to the public long after the zoo is closed. That makes it an additional money-maker, which is only appropriate as it cost 11 million marks to build. The farm buildings are attractively renovated, original half-timbered ones from the various regions of Lower Saxony.
A fifth of the zoo grounds is devoted to the Sambesi (which is, obviously, German for Zambezi). By the time it is (hopefully) completed when the World's Fair opens, it will have cost almost 50 million marks. It is home to what few antelope have survived Dittrich's departure, and the sole Hagenbeckian panorama in the zoo: giraffe, other hoofed stock and hornbills up front, separated by an invisible moat from the lions at the back – when seen from a simulated African observation tower. The lions, of course, can be seen up close as well, and hippopotamuses under water. Small boats, reminding one of the African Queen, chug along the `Zambezi' circling through the complex.
Sambesi was originally scheduled to be completed in 1998, and Arktica in time for the World's Fair. To date, money has only been allotted for a model of the new Polar complex. When completed, a make-believe Polar research ship will be the anchor for a series of pools housing penguins, polar bears, sea lions and – if they're still there after a quarter of a century now in their tiny pond – the pair of walruses. In the mean time, as could be expected, virtually nothing has been spent on the maintenance of the older structures in the zoo – which are all still there, if not buried under the Jungle Palace or Sambesi.
The zoo is certainly more popular now than when Machens took over. In 1999 almost a million visitors will have passed through its gates – an increase of almost a third. Polls taken at the gates indicate that in 1998 93.1% of the visitors thought the zoo now was good to very good – up from 78.1% in 1997 and only 59.9% in 1996. Only 65% of the senior citizens polled last year, however, thought the zoo was really good. Machens promised the local newspaper that he would put up an additional 50 park benches as an immediate response to their needs.
Only 84.8% of the visitors last year thought the zoo was informative, down from 93% the year before. The zoo has adopted a strategy from the United States in putting up signs and labels to the side of an exhibit, rather than immediately in front of it. This forces those visitors who do want some information to make more of an effort to get it, and indeed people are reading the labelling. Another Americanisation (also a British habit, unfortunately) is to give the animals' names solely in the local language – in Hannover's case, of course, in German only, not English only. In many if not most instances, scientific names are also missing. Much of the information given is inaccurate. The label at the leopard enclosure, for example, advises one that there are three species of leopards – the common leopard, the snow leopard and the black panther. One really does wish that a zoologist would look at the graphics before they're put up.
Machens has made a remarkable achievement in coaxing so much money out of empty public coffers. The zoo is in debt for over 75 million marks, guaranteed by the local savings banks. Ten million marks came from the Kommunalverband and 3.5 million from the Expo 2000 organisation. Greater Hannover still subsidises the zoo with 3.5 million marks annually, from which the interest rates, 3.2 million this year, have to be paid. Will the Hannover Zoo ever recoup its investments? It is now on a par with the Tierpark Hagenbeck as Germany's most expensive. Adults pay 21 marks, about £7 or $11, to get in; children from four to 17 pay 17 marks. But the zoo really does need every Pfennig it can get, and perhaps it's only fair that animals too have to pay their share: dogs nine marks, 70 marks for an annual pass.
Anon. (1981): Ein Patentrezept für den Zoo gibt es bisher nicht. Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 9 December 1981, p. 19.
Anon. (1988): Auch Verwaltung denkt über Veränderungen im Zoo nach. Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 17 February 1988, p. 17.
Anon. (1990): Nichts über Bären, aber viel über Geld. Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 3 January 1990, p. 13.
Anon. (1992): Autoritärer Führungsstil lähmt die Einsatzfreude. Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 24 January 1992, p. 19.
Anon. (1996): Der Zoo Hannover als EXPOnat – Realisierungskonzept bis zum Jahr 2000. Zoo Hannover GmbH, Hannover.
Anon. (1999): Blendende Noten für den Zoo. Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 8 April 1999, p. 14.
Anon. (1999): Das Geld wird knapp. Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 21 July 1999, p. 17.
Bauch, S. (1993): Elefantöse Panne trübt den Erfolg. Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 4 May 1993, p. 19.
Bauch, S. (1995): Ausflug in die Arktis. Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 3 June 1995, p. 28.
Bauch, S. (1995): Gräber ersetzen Gitterstäbe. Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 4 November 1995, p. 15.
Dietrich, S. (1997): Leoparden dösen in halbverfallenen Gemächern. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 1 October 1997, p. 11.
Dittrich, L., and Rieke-Müller, A. (1990): Ein Garten für Menschen und Tiere: 125 Jahre Zoo Hannover. Grütter, Hannover.
Gerbert, F. (1998): Erster deutscher Profitier-Park. Focus (Munich), 8 June 1998, pp. 206–210.
Hildebrandt-Heene, S. (1997): Indiana Jones zwischen den Elefanten. Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 27 September 1997, p. 15.
Nobel-Sagolla, S. (1998): Der Zoo Hannover wurde zum Erlebnispark. Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich), 14 April 1998, p. 27.
Precht, R.D. (1997): Der Elefant im Palastgarten. Die Zeit (Hamburg), 15 August 1997, p. 56.
Ruhe, H. (1960): Wilde Tiere frei Haus. Copress, Munich.
Schwarze, M. (1996): Wenn Herr Nielsson nicht will, bleibt er auf dem Baum. Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 23 March 1996, p. 13.
Weidenfeld, U. (1999): Versuche wider den tierischen Ernst. Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin), 23 May 1999, p. 33.
Herman Reichenbach, Paul-Sorge-Strasse 74, 22459 Hamburg, Germany. E-mail: email@example.com
ASSINIBOINE PARK ZOO, WINNIPEG, CANADA
BY ROBERT WRIGLEY AND PHILIP KING
Founded in 1904, the Assiniboine Park Zoo is now Canada's oldest zoo. It covers 45 hectares (111 acres) of riparian forest along the bank of the Assiniboine River, within the City of Winnipeg (population 670,000) in the Province of Manitoba. While the zoo is currently a municipal operation, a joint partnership is being developed between the City and the Zoological Society of Manitoba. The staff consists of 52 full-time and 15 seasonal members. The zoo has been a founding and accredited member of the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) since the latter's inception in 1975. In 1997, the zoo hosted the CAZA annual meeting and again passed an accreditation review. This year the zoo joined the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA).
Annual attendance averaged 473,000 during the past decade, with 165,000 coming from special events such as `Boo-at-the-Zoo' (Halloween activities and displays), and `Lights of the Wild' (animal light sculptures at Christmas). An educational program, `Animal Encounters', is run each summer, featuring demonstrations of animals not normally displayed at the zoo, such as Indian elephant and birds of prey.
Due to its long history, the zoo is a blend of taxonomic and zoogeographic groupings, with a proposed master plan defining the latter regional arrangement. A major factor in the zoo's operation is the severe climate – seasonal fluctuations from -45° to +35° C, and snow cover for at least five months of the year. Consequently, the collection has traditionally centred on cold-hardy animals. Special effort has also been directed at displaying and breeding Manitoba's fauna, such as arctic fox (Alopex lagopus), polar bear, elk (Cervus elaphus manitobensis), mule and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus and O. virginianus dacotensis), musk ox, American prairie bison (Bison b. bison), pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), cougar (Felis concolor), wolverine (Gulo gulo), woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), snowy owl and bald and golden eagles. One of the most popular and active exhibits is the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony. The fences of many of the large-animal enclosures are hidden from view by moats.
Several buildings offer the opportunity to display wildlife of warm regions. The Tropical House (largely neotropical), with a large free-flight aviary, hosts 41 species of birds, including scarlet ibis and toco toucan, an American alligator, a coral reef display, red piranhas (Pygocentrus nattereri), and an exhibit with tamandua, two-toed sloth and orange-rumped agouti. Five adult Aldabra tortoises were displayed here over a 26-year period, but several were shipped to other breeding facilities. Additional locations with neotropical exhibits at the zoo show colonies of 34 Caribbean flamingo, 22 compatible white-fronted marmosets (Callithrix geoffroyi), 12 cotton-topped tamarins, and groups of red-bellied tamarin (Saguinus labiatus), common squirrel monkey and bush dog (Speothos venaticus).
A `Down-Under' area displays Australasian fauna such as Matschie's tree kangaroos, who have produced two young, parma and Bennett's wallabies, parrots such as galah (Eolophus roseicapillus) and lorikeets (Trichoglossus and Glossopsitta spp.), and also finches. A pair of kookaburra is maintained nearby. Four additional parma wallabies were acquired recently during a rescue operation in New Zealand, where this endangered species is being eradicated by trappers under licence from the New Zealand government.
The zoo's African fauna has few traditional large mammals due to long winter confinement and the high maintenance costs of heated quarters. However, seven types of lemurs have been maintained – ring-tailed, black (Lemur m. macaco), red-fronted (L. m. rufus), mongoose (L. mongoz), black-and-white ruffed, red ruffed, and brown (L. fulvus). All but the latter species have produced offspring. Also represented are Chapman's zebra, brown hyaena, Cape hyrax, marabou stork, African crowned crane (Balearica regulorum), Abyssinian lovebird (Agapornis taranta), Cape thick-knee (Burhinus capensis), numerous species of finches, and African spotted lungfish (Protopterus dollei).
The Eurasian region is represented by Persian gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa), Afghanistan markhor (Capra falconeri), alpine ibex (Capra ibex), European bison, lesser panda, grey and white-handed gibbons (Hylobates moloch and H. lar), and lion-tailed macaque, of which 32 were held in three groups (probably the world's largest zoo population) until many were shipped to other zoos recently. Sarus crane, common crane and white stork are kept in enclosures with hoofed stock. The Pheasantry shows eight species including Himalayan impeyan pheasant and satyr tragopan. Adjacent is an owl section with nine winter-hardy species, including Turkmenian eagle owl (Bubo bubo turcomanus) and Ural owl (Strix uralensis).
Eurasian cats are represented by snow leopard, Amur and Persian leopards, Siberian tiger, Amur leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilura), and Irkutsk lynx (Lynx lynx kozlovi). Seven young star tortoises (Geochelone elegans), an endangered species from India, were among an illegal shipment confiscated by wildlife authorities. From Oceania are blue-crowned and collared lories (Vini australis and Phigys solitarius), obtained during a joint 1991 expedition to Fiji with San Diego Zoo. Their offspring are being exchanged with San Diego and other zoos.
Four species of bears are maintained – polar, grizzly, American black and spectacled; all have bred here. The first pair of grizzlies bred six times, beginning in 1953 – the first for this species in a Canadian zoo. A hoofed stock area displays all six camelids (the only North American zoo to do so), and we are in the process of importing new vicuna stock from four European zoos (Frankfurt, Dortmund, Hannover and Belfast), since this endangered species is otherwise not represented in North America. Several waterfowl ponds are home to a variety of native and exotic species, such as black-necked swan (Cygnus melanocoryphus), Cape Barren goose (Cereopsis novaehollandiae), and Hawaiian goose (Branta sandvicensis). A joint native-waterfowl collection is being planned with the nearby Fort Whyte Centre, allowing for the display of a wide selection of ducks at the zoo in summer, and a complementary winter display at the Centre. This flock is augmented during migration periods by hundreds of wild ducks and geese.
The Kinsmen Discovery Centre is a large indoor (including a large barn) and outdoor facility dedicated to families, where children can touch or be close to farm animals, reindeer and llama. In a separate area are exhibits of short-tailed fruit bat (Carollia perspicillata), six kinds of rat snakes (Elaphe spp.), tortoises (Geochelone spp.), lungfish, and red-tailed catfish (Phractocephalus hemiolopterus). A number of handleable animals – e.g. plains hognose snake (Heterodon nasicus) – are also maintained here, and at the Education Centre and at other locations, for use in on-site, extension, and promotional activities.
The 1998 animal inventory totalled 1,700 individual animals of 328 species, consisting of 445 mammals of 71 species, 855 birds of 164 species, 61 reptiles of 20 species, 12 amphibians of 8 species, 127 fish of 41 species, and 200 invertebrates of 24 species. The Assiniboine Park Zoo continues a policy of breeding most of its large species, since reproduction is a vital part of an animal's well-being and quality of life. This practice also helps ensure the continuation of managed populations within a Canadian Collection Plan, since health, CITES, and other regulations make it increasingly difficult and expensive to import animals from zoos around the world. However, considerable effort is also required to ensure that surplus animals reach appropriate destinations.
A total of 197 individuals of 59 species of birds and mammals was born in 1998, including two snow leopards, one Arabian camel, one Bactrian camel, six pronghorns, one musk ox, six white-fronted marmosets, three cotton-topped tamarins, one black lemur, two lion-tailed macaques, ten rock hyrax, three snowy owls, two white storks, two blue-crowned lories and a bald eagle. Other recent births have been recorded for two golden eagles, two wolverines, four orange-rumped agoutis, a two-toed sloth and a litter of four black-and-white ruffed lemurs (two survivors had to be hand-raised). The Abyssinian lovebirds (Agapornis taranta) produced three offspring recently, probably the first record for captive colonial breeding. Thirty-one individuals of 14 species are on loan to other zoos, including five grey gibbons, one white-handed gibbon, and two spectacled bears. We have recently imported crested screamers (Chauna torquata) and common crowned pigeons (Goura cristata) which are unrelated to current North American stocks.
Many of the zoo's animals have reached advanced ages – a number setting longevity records greater than those recorded by Marvin Jones (1993). At 14 years 8 months, a male pronghorn appears to be the oldest captive or wild individual on record (11y 10m, Jones), and he continued to sire offspring in 1999. An alpine ibex is 20.7 (18.9, Jones), an Afghanistan markhor 17.7 (8.0), and a Stone's sheep (Ovis dalli stonei) 20.1 (13.10), and are all still living. Other records of now-deceased individuals are Cape thick-knee 26.10, alpaca 21.4 (18.2), white-tailed deer 18.5 (13.8), Manitoba elk 19.7 (subspecies not listed in Jones), and woodland caribou 15.7 (2.4). Ages of senior animals that died recently are polar bear 34 years 7 months, brown hyaena 22.1, California bighorn (Ovis canadensis californiana) 16.5 (15.7 for this species, Jones), and a female golden eagle (a rehabilitated bird) 38+ years; this eagle produced two offspring in 1997 with a new mate only five years old.
From its inception, Assiniboine Park Zoo has assisted in placing appropriate orphaned or rehabilitated local wildlife, such as moose (Alces alces), river otter (Lutra canadensis), raccoon, American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) and pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus), in its own displays or those of other facilities. Consequently, inventory records for some species reveal a remarkably large series of individuals – 506 white-tailed deer, 436 black bear, 228 reindeer, 216 elk, 185 porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), 177 mule deer, 83 pronghorn, 59 moose, and 55 polar bear. Exotic species donated by the public include Burmese python, savannah monitor and blue-and-yellow macaw.
The zoo hosts 26 species listed on CITES Appendix I and 63 species on CITES II, as well as assisting the Canadian CITES Authority with identification of exotic wildlife and products. It also participates in 50 species' studbooks, SSPs and EEPs, and in the new Canadian Collection Plan. Zoo Director Doug Ross is spearheading the development of the zoo's new Master Plan, is formalizing husbandry standards for all sections of the zoo, and has recently been elected a member of the CAZA Board. Zoo Veterinarian Dr Gordon Glover chaired the CAZA accreditation commission for six years, and recently co-chaired the medical team dealing with health issues related to the equestrian events of the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. Curator Dr Robert Wrigley is a member of the Manitoba Government Endangered Species and Ecological Reserves committees and of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and is also writing a CAZA report on science and conservation activities in Canadian zoos and aquariums. Both the Curator and Foreman Phil King assisted the Manitoba Government to develop facility guidelines for zoos applying for orphaned wild polar bear cubs. The Foreman is also a major contributor in the development of Canada's first zookeeping program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, in cooperation with the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
As the Assiniboine Park Zoo approaches its 100th year, priorities of the Master Plan are replacement of the aging primate facility and renovation of the bear exhibits. The Curator hopes to increase representation of invertebrates and lower vertebrates in the collection. Proposals have been prepared for major new exhibits on `Minibeasts [arthropods] of the Tropical Rainforest', Chinese alligator, Arctic gray wolf, blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur szechuanensis), and mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus).
Jones, M.L. (1993): Longevity of ungulates in captivity. International Zoo Yearbook 32: 159–169.
Dr Robert Wrigley, Curator, and Philip King, Foreman, Assiniboine Park Zoo, 2355 Corydon Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3P 0R5.
THE EUROPEAN STUDBOOK FOR BLACK HOWLER MONKEYS
BY JOHN PARTRIDGE AND KIRSTEN PULLEN
The black howler monkey (Alouatta caraya) European studbook was approved in October 1994 and is administered by Bristol Zoo Gardens, U.K. By the end of 1998 the total living population in European zoos was 45 (22.22.1) animals (Partridge, 1999), and the population has shown a gradual but steady increase in the past four years. Table 1 shows the changes in the population during 1998.
The genus Alouatta includes six currently recognised species (Corbett and Hill, 1991; Webster, 1995), but A. caraya is the only species kept in any significant numbers in captivity worldwide, with 156 (75.76.5) listed at the end of 1998 (ISIS, 1998). Although it is not as yet recognised as a threatened species (IUCN, 1996), husbandry data collected from this species may become a useful tool for the captive management of a more endangered howler species in the future (Webster, 1995). For example, the brown howler (A. fusca) is listed as Endangered by IUCN (1996), although there are no known specimens in captivity at the present time.
In 1998 we issued a short husbandry questionnaire to the eight European zoos involved. A summary of the analysis of the results is given below.
1. All eight zoos provide both inside and outside accommodation for their animals. Of the indoor areas, the maximum size is 36 square metres of floor space; the minimum is six. Enclosure height varies between 2.15 and 3.25 metres.
2. Six institutions provide outside housing with wire-mesh enclosures; one uses a moated island and one other an area surrounded by an electric fence. All three types of enclosure have proved to be successful for the monkeys. The moated area covers 400 m2 of ground space and includes natural vegetation within the enclosure. The area surrounded by an electric fence covers 800 m2. The meshed enclosures range in size from 18.4 m2 to over 100 m2.
3. Temperatures indoors are maintained at a minimum of 13° C to a maximum of 23° C (average 18° C). Two zoos use under-floor convection heating; four use air convection and two use radiators. The two zoos using radiators also show the lowest temperature ranges. Humidity levels: three zoos maintain levels over 50%, four lower than 50%, and one zoo does not monitor humidity levels.
4. A range of substrates are used, including wood shavings, straw and bark chips.
All eight zoos contacted showed a trend towards vegetables and leafy produce, with less of an emphasis on fruits. Frequency of feeding varied from twice to four times daily, and scatter items in the form of sunflower seeds, maize and pelleted foods were also included in the feeding regime.
Browse given on a daily basis formed an important part of the diet, with bramble, hawthorn, willow, hazel and rose species being the ones most often given. There is a suggestion that bramble will help firm up any loose faeces being produced.
Breeding and group composition
Most groups are kept in 1.1 adult pairs with offspring. One zoo keeps 1.2 together with no successful breeding so far (October, 1999), but a new male introduced recently to those two females may alter that situation soon. There is very little information available at the moment to tell us for how long offspring may stay in the family group, and this is something that the studbook keeper would like to investigate in the future. There is some suggestion that the adult pair will suppress breeding from the young, but there is no evidence to prove or disprove this theory at the present time.
It is interesting to note that the two adult males which are in a potential breeding situation with a mature female but are not breeding are both wild-caught animals and were removed from their family group at a young age. Neither of them had the opportunity to see reproductive activity and the rearing of young in their natal group. One of these pairs lived next to another adult pair of A. caraya in the same zoo, and it was thought that the other pair was suppressing sexual activity. However, since the non-breeding animals were removed to another zoo, breeding has still not taken place.
More research is needed on social bonding behaviour within groups (Jones, 1983). It is interesting to note that as breeding pairs increase their numbers, so the inter-birth period between offspring gradually decreases and the older baby/babies spend a lot of time playing with and carrying around their younger siblings. This activity appears to play an important part in an individual's development.
There is a tendency towards inactivity and a lack of use of the prehensile tail. Feeding through enrichment activities by varying the way in which the food is presented makes a big difference and encourages activity and use of the tail.
High levels of scratching amongst individuals suggests low humidity levels in their environment. At least one zoo uses evening primrose (Oenothera) oil in the diet to improve skin condition.
There is more work to be done. The reasons for non-breeding in certain animals needs to be investigated further and research is needed into the role of howling by both sexes. At least one male begins to call (howl) in response to machinery – e.g. grass-cutting machinery – being used near his enclosure. Literature sources do cite examples of howlers calling (Altmann, 1959; Sekulic, 1982) in reply to rainstorms, chain-saws and other external influences.
The European population of the black howler monkey is doing quite well at the moment. More new holders will be needed before too long, and new blood will be required and forthcoming, I hope, from North American zoos.
We look forward to continuing the development of this programme in the coming months.
Altmann, S.A. (1959): Field observations on a howling monkey society. Journal of Mammalogy 40: 317–330.
Corbett, G.B., and Hill, J.E. (1991): A World List of Mammalian Species. Oxford University Press, U.K..
ISIS (1998): Mammal Abstract 1998. ISIS, Apple Valley, Minnesota, U.S.A.
IUCN (1996): 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals (eds. J. Baillie and B. Groombridge). IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Jones, C.B. (1983): Social organization of captive black howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya): `social competition' and the use of non-damaging behavior. Primates 24: 25–39.
Partridge, J. (1999): European Studbook for Black Howler Monkeys (No. 5). Bristol Zoo Gardens, U.K.
Sekulic, R. (1982): The function of howling in red howler monkeys. Behaviour 81: 38–54.
Webster, D. (1995): European Studbook for Black Howler Monkeys (No. 1). Bristol Zoo Gardens, U.K.
John Partridge (Head of Mammals) and Kirsten Pullen (Overseer of Primates), Bristol Zoo Gardens, U.K.
Table 1. Black howler monkey (Alouatta caraya): status of European population in 1998.
Transfersbetween Status ESB zoos Status
Participants 1st Jan. Births (DNS) in out 31st Dec.
Apeldoorn/NL 1.2 – – – 1.2
Banham/GB 1.1 0.1 – – 1.2
Bekesbourne/GB 3.2 1.0 – 4.2 0
Berlin Zoo/D 1.1 – – – 1.1
Bristol/GB 2.3 1.0 – 1.1 2.2
Kassel Univ./D 0 – – – 0
*Lympne/GB 0 0.0.1 4.2 – 4.2.1
*Paignton/GB 0 – 1.1 – 1.1
*Tisch/Israel 0 – 1.1 – 1.1
Szeged/H 1.1 – – – 1.1
Twycross/GB 11.7.1 0.3.1 (0.0.1) – 1.1 10.10
Totals 20.17.1 2.4.2 (0.0.1) 6.4 6.4 22.22.1
* = new participant.
During 1998 there were no deaths (other than the infant noted above), and no transfers to or from non-ESB zoos.
European Studbook Keeper: John Partridge, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Bristol BS8 3HA, U.K.
International Studbook Keeper: Kristin LaHue, Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden, Columbia, South Carolina 29202–1060, U.S.A.
Announcement – Towards an Encyclopedia of the Rhinoceros
There are five species of rhinoceros still alive in parts of Africa and Asia, all endangered, most of them critically so. Of course, both professional and amateur scientists have observed and studied these animals in the field, as well as in zoological institutions around the world. The range of these studies is actually quite perplexing, covering subjects like taxonomy, distribution and status, husbandry in zoos and in semi-wild conditions, physiology, morphology, anatomy, veterinary care, and this list could go on for at least a page more. Many results have appeared in books and a wide variety of journals. In 1983, when compiling a Bibliography of the Rhinoceros, I could list 3,100 references to papers on the recent rhinoceroses. In the years that followed, many additional studies have been published and some older reports have been recovered, and at present over 5,500 items relating to the rhinoceros have been identified and documented.
This statistic is both amazing and worrying. It worries me, because how many people can actually find and read all this literature? Sure, there is repetition of basic facts, but most authors have at least something new to add. The older studies provide a valuable background, while more recent studies deepen our understanding with a range of important new insights. It is a raging battle to actually preserve the five forms of rhinoceros in most parts of their ranges. We cannot allow ourselves to forget the results of past and current research. They help us to write guidelines for future management, and they give us a better idea of the animals that we are actually wanting to keep alive.
It is with this background that the idea was born to compile a comprehensive Encyclopedia of the Rhinoceros, covering all aspects of their biology and a wide array of related topics. It is obvious that no single author can ever do justice to all the material that needs to be covered. While I hope to digest the available literature into chapters and paragraphs, a board of advisors will help with any specific questions. There are many people who have studied the rhinoceros in one way or another, and many of these have been approached and have indicated their willingness to participate.
The hope is that this project will take about three years to complete, which would mean that we have a comprehensive manual on all matters rhinocerotic by the end of 2002. It will be decided later if publication will be on paper and/or in electronic form. The Encyclopedia of the Rhinoceros may in the end not contain anything not published earlier, but it will certainly become a work of reference for anybody even vaguely interested in these splendid creatures. I am happy to report that support has been pledged by the Anna Merz Trust, the International Rhino Foundation and SOS Rhino. Part of the funds still have to be found from other sources. I would like to encourage anybody to contact me if they can help, by finding pieces of information which are likely to be overlooked (newspaper clippings, zoo magazines, subjects poorly covered in the usual sources, unpublished observations). Any support, either financial or moral, will also be very welcome throughout the duration of the project.
Dr Kees Rookmaaker, P.O. Box 124, North Riding 2162, South Africa (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I very much enjoyed Ken Kawata's wide-ranging article `Who was Belle Benchley?' (I.Z.N. 47:1, pp. 4–11). Mr Kawata's plea for the history of zoos to be respected suggested that the past contains many lessons still of great relevance today, and, in addition to this, argued that history is worth knowing for its own sake. To these two undeniable conclusions, I would like to add a further reason why history should be celebrated rather than denied.
I was intrigued by Mr Kawata's claim that baseball `is inseparable from . . . historical perspective.' The same is certainly true of the game which I avidly follow: football, a sport in which history and tradition are everything. Knowing this to be the case, clubs play upon their pasts, and those which have glorious histories attain kudos as a consequence. As an example, the team I support – Portsmouth – are, by any contemporary gauge, a fairly unimpressive outfit: their results are poor, their stadium is shabby, their trophy cabinet is bare. And yet, because of their historical success (in the years before and after the Second World War they were one of England's best teams) they are still regarded as a `big' club.
If a football club can be thought to be in some way `better' because of events which happened long, long ago – and because of the way those historical events are `sold' to the public – then why shouldn't the same be true of zoos? Indeed, I think there is evidence that it is true of zoos. When London Zoo faced oblivion in the early 1990s, the general public rallied to its rescue. Was this because the zoo as it then stood was a wonderful place, or because its heritage was such that people felt it, somehow, mattered in a way that other newer and possibly better zoos didn't?
Other zoos have – wisely – realised that their heritage is a valuable marketing tool. Philadelphia Zoo proudly proclaims itself to be `America's first', and its current guidebook contains five pages of historical information and pictures; it is impossible to visit Berlin Zoo without being made aware of a past which is celebrated with pride; the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust's inclusion of its founder's name in its new title indicates that roots will not be forgotten in Jersey. These three great zoos have realised that the past should be celebrated for its own sake, and they have also realised that an historical context strengthens any organisation, be it a zoo or a football team. Put simply, heritage and history sell – an additional reason why Ken Kawata's call for history to be remembered should be heeded by zoos across the world.
P.O. Box 139,
I nominate Ken Kawata's article `Who was Belle Benchley?' (I.Z.N. 47:1, pp. 4–11) as one of the most perceptive and thought-provoking to appear in I.Z.N. for many years now – and that's against some stiff competition!
In effect he draws our attention to a situation I've been concerned about for over a decade now – i.e. that a significant, and increasing, number of directors, superintendents and curators of collections open to the public, while unquestionably zoologically minded, are not zoological garden minded. They'd be just as happy, if not happier, in the field, or in research – and it could be highly noteworthy that this far-from-ideal situation has coincided with the virtual `take-over' of zoological gardens by the conservationists. Many of the latter have assured me that their hearts are not really in wild animal husbandry, that they regard zoological gardens and parks as `necessary evils', but that they are the only means by which they can fulfil their true vocations.
Until relatively recently zoological gardens were very much entities in their own right – places where, in exchange for a small sum of money, the visitor could obtain some slight idea of the enormous range and variety of animal life sharing this planet by admiring the wide spectrum of species before him. People, in the main, were thrilled and delighted with what they saw. Eyes, minds and horizons were opened, while more than a few enriched their lives considerably by becoming interested in natural history per se as a result of such a visit. Now all is rapidly changing. In many, if not most, instances zoological gardens have become means to an end, namely the Great God Conservation in all its yet-to-be-proved efficacy. Small wonder, then, that confinement is `. . . shameful, embarrassing and politically incorrect' in the eyes of so many of its present-day practitioners! Hardly surprising, either, that they do not think of the histories of the places that provide their work from one year's end to the next.
To be fair, though, to some extent this almost inexplicable lack of interest or even just curiosity in the origins and history of such institutions predates the present day by a considerable margin. For example, during two consecutive years – 1864 and 1865 – cassowaries bred at the London Zoological Garden, although there's still uncertainty as to how long the young lived, while between 1902 and 1906 these birds successfully bred annually – the progeny being reared to maturity – in the zoological garden at Trivandrum, in India's extreme south. Yet when a cassowary was hatched and reared in the late 1960s at the Edinburgh Zoological Park an incredible song and dance was raised in honour of it being the first-ever captive breeding of any of these birds! I was the only one who sought to correct this erroneous assertion (and it didn't go down at all well) – that was the direct result of (a) ignorance on the part of certain people concerning their chosen profession, and (b) their complete lack of desire or notion to check by flicking through a couple of books (c.f. the African proverb quoted by Ken Kawata, p. 5). On not dissimilar lines, in May 1963, while on a visit to Manchester's Belle Vue to meet the late Raymond Legge, its new superintendent, I mentioned how much better the place had done in the past with the Indian than the black rhinoceros (which in fact was once the norm everywhere), and commented that one of the former there had died in 1917 as a result of swallowing a tennis ball. He forcibly expressed utter, and perfectly genuine, astonishment that anyone could possibly have been interested in an animal no longer alive. . .
It was in 1984 that I established the Bartlett Society, which researches and records the history of wild animal husbandry in general and that of zoological collections in particular. Membership is open to any interested person, yet in five countries we currently have just 167 members, so it could justly be said that we zoological historians are endangered/threatened/vulnerable – and I'm rather surprised that the conservationists are not more interested in us!
Ken Kawata quotes 'Without the past there can be no present.' I prefer to say that tomorrow is made up of a myriad of yesterdays, but we're saying the same thing – and if some of our colleagues are ashamed of the standard of yesterday's animal care, what of the medieval barber-surgeons who, with their filthy knives and probes, paved the way for our present-day cardiac and neurological units?
Zoological gardens are very special places: ergo, they should be operated by very special people.
13 Pound Place,
Surrey GU4 8HH,
I am moved to respond to your Editorial in I.Z.N. 47:1 and Ken Kawata's article in the same issue, in which reference is made to the potentially valuable amount of zoo history and (pre-computer) records which is held by `dedicated amateurs [a rather demeaning term, I fear] or freelancers.' I suppose that these terms would be applied to me, since I gave up a career in zoos to achieve my zoological ambitions in a different way. But how often have I had it said to me by zoo `professionals' that they do not have my interest because zoos are not their hobby, but their job? There can be disadvantages, other than political ones, in being on the inside; those are not the hurdles that I face!
But there are hurdles in obtaining information from zoos. I frequently read in such publications as this that insiders and researchers have difficulty obtaining information – for compiling studbooks, etc. – from other zoos, probably owing to apathy rather than pure secrecy. However, in these days of anti-zoo groups there is a degree of paranoia in many zoo administrations, and most particularly in the largest, oldest-established zoos, which should have less to fear. `What is this information to be used for? To be used against us?' Can they not realise that some people are just avid collectors of information? Despite my letters being accompanied by stamped addressed envelopes or International Reply Coupons, approximately 35% of them go unanswered.
In fairness, I have to say that most British zoos are sympathetic and their reply rate is excellent. However, I have found it impossible to obtain information from Latin American zoos – perhaps because of language problems – so Richard Weigl's articles were most enlightening. Indian and Chinese zoo results are similarly disappointing, but then, I note, so are their submissions to the International Zoo Yearbook.
I would remind zoo directors that disseminating information, or educating, is among their obligations. Just exhibiting animals for the public does not necessarily accomplish this, even though their exhibits may be lavishly and excellently labelled. The zoo enthusiast requires more than this – the provision of specific information on the zoo's own animals in response to a written query. The snag is, of course, that this costs money. I still have a letter I received from Ken Kawata in response to a query I sent to him on 17 December 1985, when he was curator of Milwaukee County Zoo, in which he points out that `. . . we are willing to share information, [but] it does take staff time to compile data.'
I have accumulated much information, mainly concerning primates, in over 40 years of involvement with zoos, mainly from the `outside', and I am extremely grateful to the zoo personnel who have given and continue to give me their time. And since transfer of information should be a two-way affair, I have happily submitted data to assist with the background details of several primate studbooks. But I am not high-profile – I do it for love, not ambition! Zoo professionals, as well as private enthusiasts, have a lot to gain by free interchange of information. So zoos would be wise to accept that the cost of allocating staff time for this purpose will prove, in the long term, to be money well spent.
133 Aldenham Road,
Cleveland TS14 8LB,
I was surprised by the tone of Douglas Richardson's comments (I.Z.N. 47:1, pp. 37–38) about my previous `abstracts' of local newspaper articles concerning the situation of the Bioparco in Rome. I had chosen purposely to quote from newspapers, adding only short notes, to give an idea of the situation as viewed by lay people, not necessarily reflecting all the complex reality or my personal opinion. I did not intend to attack, or attribute any responsibility to, the recently appointed zoological director.
Now, however, I feel a response to Mr Richardson's letter is appropriate. Misinformation on zoo issues has been regular in Rome for at least two decades, yet the peak was reached when, from April 1998, the Bioparco presented itself in a leaflet with the slogan `From zoo to Bioparco: after so much cruelty, finally some kindness,' explicitly claiming that the former management was cruel towards the animals, and so offending many people who had worked there with some very good results in a very difficult situation. Just to quote one fact, the single female Asian elephant Richardson saw in 1997 had arrived in 1996 against the wishes of the zoo management, solely for the propagandist reasons of a well-known `animalist' town council member (the same person who gave birth to the Bioparco project!). So I judge that it is not correct to compare the present situation with that of the terribly long intermediate period before the privatisation. Yet the suffering of animals and the losses were limited, even if there were `far too many animals'. I therefore suggest that Mr Richardson should be more cautious about easy judgements on the former management.
Now, something about the present. Negative criticism about the first year of the Bioparco has been made by a commission composed not only of animal rights people, but also of zoo people and veterinarians. The appointment of a zoological director (evidently not seen as fundamental by the new board) was first asked for by this commission, so, ironically, Mr Richardson owes his newly created position in part to an `ill-informed animal rights faction'. The importance of Rome residents' opinion lies in the fact that Bioparco SpA is one of the few private companies in the world totally financed by municipal funds, at least for the first four years of operations, yet entrance fees increased recently by 35% while animal numbers declined by at least 20%. Furthermore, the colossal publicity campaign promoted by the Bioparco promised `free animals' by the year 2000, admittedly an impossible task for zoo experts, for which neither I nor Mr Richardson is responsible, but of which he should at least be aware if he wants to understand the present public criticism. It is sad to note that, as usual in these months, the illness and deaths of Bioparco animals have been almost invariably attributed to external factors (the former management, age or public feeding), never to internal ones such as `altered diets', hazardous transfers or motivated, yet inexperienced, personnel.
As to elephants, I frankly fail to understand why Douglas Richardson wants to breed from animals past their breeding age (I can confirm that the two Asian females are 30 years old at least, having arrived in 1972), and send away the only individual, the African bull Calimero, in prime breeding condition, except for security reasons that should be honestly declared by the management, and also for the sake of the welfare of the animal concerned.
A last word about `individuals who hark back to a golden age.' If Mr Richardson was referring to myself, I suggest that he consults my paper in I.Z.N. No. 248 (1993) for a discussion about the problems of the then municipal Rome Zoo.
Viale Liegi 48A,
THE PHEASANTS OF THE WORLD: BIOLOGY AND NATURAL HISTORY by Paul A. Johnsgard. Second edition, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1999. xviii + 398 pp., 32 pp. of colour plates, numerous drawings and maps, hardback. ISBN 1–56098–839–8. £29.95 or US$50.00.
The Pheasants of the World is an extensively revised and updated second edition of a work originally published by Oxford University Press in 1986. In his preface, Professor Johnsgard provides ample evidence to persuade any doubters that a new edition was needed. For example, the bibliography now includes over 500 references as opposed to about 300, indicating how much work has been done on the pheasants in recent years. More specifically, the author draws attention to `the very welcome recent surge in field research being done in China'. Information on the status and distribution of the rarer species is now far more detailed, so nearly all the range maps have had to be modified. Sadly, too, much more is now known of the increasingly perilous status of many members of this family – at the species level, two-thirds of all pheasants are now regarded as in some danger.
The book falls into two parts. The scope of the first, Comparative Biology, is briefly indicated by its chapter headings – Relationships and Classification, Hybridization and Zoogeographic Patterns, Growth and Behavioral Development, General and Social Behavior, Ecology and Population Biology, Comparative Mating Systems and Social Signaling Devices, Reproductive Biology, and Aviculture and Conservation. In the second part are detailed species accounts, covering such topics as evolutionary history and relationships, social behaviour, habitats and population densities, food and foraging behaviour, movements and migrations, and reproductive biology. The text is supplemented by clear range maps and attractive line drawings, principally illustrating the various species-specific display postures. Each species is illustrated in colour, either with a photograph or, in eight cases, by reproductions of the hand-coloured lithographs done by Joseph Wolf for D.J. Elliot's 1872 Monograph of the Phasianidae, one of the supreme classics of natural history illustration.
Prof. Johnsgard does not devote much space to the subject of pheasants in aviculture, pointing out that many excellent books on it are already available. He does, though, include brief summaries of the captive status of 21 endangered or rare species. While recognising the conservation value of captive breeding, he is pessimistic about its long-term prospects, asserting that `captive-bred pheasants . . . have essentially no chance of being successfully returned to the wild' (though elsewhere he mentions some moderately encouraging reintroduction attempts with Swinhoe's, mikado and cheer pheasants). He sees the main value of zoo stock as stemming from their use for educational and research purposes; and certainly it is noticeable from his text how much of our knowledge of these birds' biology and behaviour derives from captive observations. Many zoo and private pheasant breeders may feel that he is unduly gloomy about the prospects for saving some species by captive breeding; but a list he publishes, based on a World Pheasant Association survey, is not reassuring. It certainly illustrates a gross imbalance in the captive numbers – of the 49 species, eight are not represented at all, seven have fewer than 100 captive individuals, 29 number in the hundreds, and only four in the thousands, with the final species, the (all too) common pheasant, numbering `millions'. If a hundredth of the effort and expense lavished on this species, largely for `sporting' purposes, could be transferred to the ex and in situ conservation of the rest, this entire family of beautiful and fascinating birds could probably be preserved for posterity to enjoy.
CONSERVATION CENTRES FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM: PROCEEDINGS OF THE 5TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ZOO DESIGN edited by A.B. Plowman and P.M.C. Stevens. Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, 1999. v + 181 pp., paperback. ISBN 0–9509294–3–3. Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, Paignton, Devon, U.K.
The first International Symposium on Zoo Design was held at Paignton in 1975. Two more followed fairly rapidly (in 1976 and 1980), but since then the series seems to have settled into a nine-yearly timetable, with the fourth in 1989 and the fifth, attended by 116 delegates from 20 countries, in 1998. Thirty-one papers were presented at the fifth symposium, and 29 of them are published here, together with an edited transcript of a lively and wide-ranging final discussion session. Zoo design is an enormously wide topic, and the papers range from consideration of exhibits featuring particular taxa – monkeys, geladas, rodents and insectivores – or habitats – rainforest, swamp, subterranean – to descriptions of differing approaches to the design process itself. The overall title, `Conservation Centres for the New Millennium', gives some indication of the common message, but animal welfare and education rival conservation as major themes of the whole symposium.
Inevitably, most of the contributors are from Britain and the United States, but seven other countries – Australia, Austria, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Russia and Singapore – are represented once or more. The reader is left with an overriding impression of what an exciting field zoos are to work in, with a worldwide community full of intelligent, dedicated colleagues fizzing with ideas.
As editor of a magazine for zoos, perhaps the best comment I can make on the papers collected here is that I repeatedly found myself thinking `I wish I could have published that.' (Admittedly, about a quarter of the authors have contributed feature articles to I.Z.N. in the past.) A detailed review would take more time and space than I can spare, and it would be unfair to select a few items for detailed comment. So as a not entirely adequate substitute, all the papers, with brief summaries, are listed below in the Recent Articles section. I hope many readers will be persuaded to order a copy of the book for themselves; it give an excellent picture of where the zoo world is `at' on the threshold of a new century.
UNTERWEGS MIT WILDEN TIEREN – WANDERMENAGERIEN ZWISCHEN BELEHRUNG UND KOMMERZ 1750–1850 by Annelore Rieke-Müller and Lothar Dittrich. Basilisken-Presse, Marburg, 1999 (Acta Biohistorica 5). 171 pp., 40 illus., hardback. ISBN 3–925347–
52–6. DM 69.00 (c. £23 or US$35).
As a child I didn't always have the privilege of living in or near a town with a zoo. Thus when the circus came to town, I was as keen to visit the circus menagerie as the show itself. One could usually get right up to the animals behind bars in their painted waggons, and the thrill of seeing, hearing and smelling the exotic beasts up so close that one could feel their (usually bad) breath helped impress on me the fascination for animals that I've always retained. Later on, with hindsight, of course, I realized that those menageries were quite horrible homes for animals in captivity, and that the lions and sea lions and hippos and apes who spent most of their presumably miserable lives in quarters as small as a lift cage would be for us, paid a high price for making people like me fond of animals. Nowadays travelling menageries – at least in the countries I know – are a thing of the past, and I believe no one regrets this. Yet 150, 250 years ago few people interested in exotic animals had any alternative but to visit a travelling menagerie.
Over the years, the historian Annelore Rieke-Müller and the former director of Hannover Zoo, Lothar Dittrich, have written – both jointly and individually – many books and articles on the history of animals in captivity, including a history of early zoological gardens in mid-nineteenth-century Germany and the animal dealer Carl Hagenbeck (reviewed in I.Z.N. 46:2, pp. 102–105). Their latest cooperative venture has produced a marvellous book on a fascinating aspect of zoo history on which virtually nothing has been published in book form until now. The century from 1750 to 1850 was the heyday of the travelling menagerie not only in Germany but in Europe in general. Wild animals suffered the indignity of a life on wheels before then, of course, but with rare exceptions each was alone with his or her Tierführer, the owner who would lead (führen) his charge from one town to the next. In German one spoke of Königstiere, `animals meant for kings' that the public too could now admire – for a small fee, of course. Even today there are inns across Central Europe named for an elephant or lion or ostrich that `stayed' at that establishment for a week or two, two or three centuries ago. Most Tierführer in Germany were not Germans at all, but Dutch or Britons profiting from their nations' colonial connections. The Netherlanders Anton and Bartel Verhagen were among the first to organize a travelling menagerie with more than just one or two animals. In 1692 the brothers travelled through Germany with an Asiatic elephant, a leopard, parrots and (presumably) a mandrill and other trained monkeys. Later Italians and Frenchmen, many of them originally comedians and stuntmen, would come to dominate the travelling menagerie circuit in Central and Western Europe, whereas British menagerists seldom left their island for a tour of the Continent.
Rieke-Müller and Dittrich not only cover well the development, the rise and fall of the travelling menagerie as an institution in Central Europe, but also look at specific aspects usually ignored or at best only touched upon in histories of zoological gardens: entrance fees, for example, and the publication of guide-books. A very useful appendix, both for reference and trivial pursuit, is a glossary of now obsolete menagerie names for animals. In order to coax visitors to their collection, menagerists would frequently give their animals promising appellatives. The llama was known as the `(West) Indian giraffe', for example, the emu as the `New Holland ostrich', the mandrill and occasionally the chimpanzee as the `satyr', the rhesus as the `Chinese monkey' and the spider monkey as the `monkey-snake'. The illustrations, particularly the reproductions of menagerists' flyers and broadsheets, are delightful. What Rieke-Müller and Dittrich's book really lacks is an index. I found myself making my own while reading the book, to be able to make better use of it as a work of reference in the future, but one really could expect an index in a scholarly publication so full of useful, well-researched information.
Considering the commercial value of exotic wild animals, one might have expected menagerists to have been as considerate towards their charges as possible. Untimely deaths could bring ruin to a travelling menagerie. But of course two centuries ago people had different ideas of what was `possible' from what we have today. Nevertheless, many animals lived in travelling menageries as long as – or even longer than – in mid-nineteenth-century zoos. An Asiatic elephant belonging to the travelling menagerie of Jacques Tourniaire apparently survived for at least 23 years. For 27 years Tourniaire travelled through Central and Western Europe with a Javan rhinoceros, and Huguet likewise exhibited a Javan rhinoceros for 13 years before selling it to the Marseilles Zoo in 1860. L.C. Rookmaaker, it should be noted, in The Rhinoceros in Captivity (SPB Academic Publishing, 1998), has identified both these specimens as great Indian rhinoceroses on the basis of illustrations said to have been made of them, but Rieke-Müller and Dittrich accept the contemporary descriptions of one-horned rhinoceroses from the Great Sundas, assuming apparently that the pictures in question, if really drawn after those two animals, were idealized drawings made to resemble those of the more impressive Indian species. Rieke-Müller and Dittrich also give lifespans slightly different from Rookmaaker's, and identify the Marseilles rhinoceros as that originally belonging to Huguet, which Rookmaaker does not. When it comes to rhinoceroses, one is usually well advised to defer to Rookmaaker. But as Unterwegs mit Wilden Tieren was published after The Rhinoceros in Captivity, of which Rieke-Müller and Dittrich did make use, and as they had access to archival material in the Museum of Natural History in Berlin which Rookmaaker does not refer to, they may well be onto something. As both Rieke-Müller and Dittrich, and Rookmaaker, deplore, Marseilles acquired a cripple kept far too long in a narrow waggon-cage. But before we condemn that heyday of the travelling menagerie too harshly, perhaps we should bear in mind under what appalling conditions to this very day cattle, horses and swine are transported across Europe.
THE KOALA: NATURAL HISTORY, CONSERVATION, AND MANAGEMENT by Roger Martin and Kathrine Handasyde. Krieger Publishing Co., 1999. xi + 132 pp., paperback. ISBN 1–57524–136–6. $28.50.
Like the giant panda, the koala is one of those animals that everyone recognises and everyone loves. In their introduction, the authors of this book interestingly analyse the reasons for this popularity, which they trace back to the work of the early 20th century Australian cartoonist and children's writer, Norman Lindsay. They also mention the well-known theory of the `innate releasing mechanism' whereby animals sharing certain characteristics of the human infant automatically trigger in us an affectionate response. Consequently, any zoo which acquires koalas is guaranteed a massive increase in gate money. Whether this is entirely justified by the koala's performance as an exhibit animal is more doubtful. When London Zoo had a pair some years ago, most visitors – myself included – were rewarded by little more than the sight of a furry ball in the crook of a branch. But this actually gives a fairly accurate picture of everyday koala behaviour. Some wild animals sleep more in zoo conditions than in the wild; but Martin and Handasyde point out that wild koalas are just as laid-back as captive ones. The typical koala has a life-style that makes a domestic cat seem hyperactive – 20 hours' sleep every day is about average.
Koalas' `laziness', however, is a result not of a lack of moral fibre, but of an excess of dietary fibre. Plant leaves are a poor source of nutrients, and the smaller a herbivore's body size, the more difficult it is for it to obtain enough energy to survive. The minimum weight for a `normal' herbivore is believed to be about 20 kilograms. Koalas, at less than 15 kg, clearly have a problem. Like sloths, which they resemble in many respects, they get round it by reducing energy use as far as possible. Another less obvious consequence of their diet, the authors explain, is the koala's low intelligence. Energy-wise, brains are very expensive organs to run, so the koala balances the energy budget by having a brain which is surprisingly small when compared with, for example, that of its closest relative, the wombat. One consequence of this is that koalas have a fairly limited behavioural repertoire. But the shortage of grey matter has evidently been no great handicap; every species is presumably as intelligent as its life-style requires it to be, and koala-like animals have been around for at least 25 million years, so they can hardly be reckoned an evolutionary failure.
The first edition of this book was published in 1988. Since then there has been a great deal of research into koalas, as the present, second edition's bibliography indicates. So, as the authors – themselves in the forefront of this research – explain, `the earlier volume no longer provides an adequate summary of current knowledge.' Obviously The Koala: Natural History, Conservation, and Management will be required reading in every zoo which holds the species. But since only about 20 zoos outside Australia are currently in that favoured category, the publishers must count on its finding a wide sale among other readers whose interest in koalas is largely academic. Certainly, as one such reader, I found the book a fascinating and most informative account of a species of which I previously knew little.
THE RHINOCEROS BROWSE SURVEY by John Frost. North of England Zoological Society, 2000. 24 pp., ringbound A4 booklet. £5.50 plus £1.00 (U.K.) or £2.50 (overseas) postage and packing, from North of England Zoological Society, Chester Zoo, Upton, Cheshire CH2 1LK, U.K.
Ever since 1967, when a black rhinoceros at Chester Zoo was apparently cured of a life-threatening condition by the feeding of oak branches, browse – either donated or gathered from the zoo's own land – has formed an important part of the diet of Chester's rhinos. But trees which have been regularly cropped for years may have to be rested, so the zoo needs to look for other sources. Some available trees are of species which have not previously been used there because of uncertainty whether they are suitable for rhinos. With this in mind, Chester decided to conduct a survey to find out which species are regarded as safe by other collections. A questionnaire was compiled and handed out at the Rhinoceros Workshop at Whipsnade in July, 1998, and information was also collected from zoos which have kept rhinos in the past. The Rhinoceros Browse Survey publishes the findings, with additional relevant information.
John Frost points out that very little is known about the rhino's digestive system; so he includes a summary of that of the horse, which it is thought to fairly closely resemble. Browse species are listed in order of popularity among the contributing zoos, and the data are then broken down by rhino species. Obviously the number of collections and animals involved is relatively small, and the plant species used will be dependent on availability at each zoo, so not too much reliance should be placed on the detailed findings; but the general picture is clear. Thirty plant species are listed, 23 of them used by two or more collections, and the author concludes that most zoos could safely extend the species of browse they feed. There is – perhaps fortunately – little or no experience in British zoos of plants being poisonous to rhinos; but a useful supplement lists common species known to be dangerous to horses. An imaginative addition is a couple of pages on setting up a tree plantation to be cropped for browse. Willow and poplar are the recommended species for the British climate: both are palatable and quick-growing, and willow, in particular, has the additional advantage of being exceptionally easy to propagate from cuttings. I have long felt that browse should play a bigger part in the diet of many zoo animals besides rhinos; so I hope this survey will help to stimulate a wider interest in the subject.
Sebeka Cheetah Vitamin and Mineral Supplement
The Hoedspruit Research and Breeding Centre for Endangered Species started off as the Hoedspruit Cheetah Project in 1988. The main aim of the Project was to breed cheetahs in captivity, primarily for reintroduction into the wild. The breeding program was very successful for the first four years, but from then on the success rate rapidly declined until 1994, when cub mortality was 90 per cent plus, and those that survived showed physical abnormalities such as eye and skeleton defects.
In order to try and rectify this problem, the Project appointed a full-time veterinarian in 1995. An advisory panel consisting of veterinary specialists in the fields of nutrition, microbiology, pathology, medicine and wildlife diseases at the Onderstepoort Faculty of Veterinary Science was appointed at the same time, and together with the help and expertise of the owner of the Centre, Lente Roode, this team set out to try and solve this major problem. It was not long before a female gave birth to three cubs, which died. Fortunately, the veterinarian was able to take them away before they were eaten by the mother. The cubs were put on ice and flown up to Onderstepoort. The post-mortem showed the classic signs of a severe vitamin E deficiency, as well as a septicaemia that turned out to be due to Salmonella typhimurium.
The assumption was made that the cubs were born in a weak state due to the vitamin E deficiency, and that the Salmonella then came in as an opportunistic pathogen. The source of the Salmonella turned out to be the meat supply, and this problem was soon rectified. Plasma samples were then taken from a cross-section of all the cheetahs at the Project and sent to Switzerland for analysis. All the samples were severely deficient in vitamin E and marginally deficient in vitamin A. Next a typical sample of what the cheetahs were being fed was sent up to Onderstepoort for analysis, and the results were compared with what the animals actually required. The vitamin E, although it was the major problem, was not the only one, and so the Sebeka Cheetah Vitamin and Mineral Supplement was formulated taking all the deficiencies into account.
The efforts of the team soon bore fruit, when a litter of four cheetah cubs was born in December 1995. These cubs all survived to adulthood. Since then, the Centre has enjoyed great success. There have been cubs lost from time to time, but none due to nutritional or disease problems. Factors such as poor mothering, cold spells and other problems have played a role here.
Sebeka Cheetah Vitamin and Mineral Supplement is suitable for all captive cheetahs and also for other carnivores. To order, or for further information, contact: Hoedspruit Research and Breeding Centre for Endangered Species, 294 Canopus Street, Waterkloof Ridge 0181, South Africa (Tel: +27–(0)–1246–9997/80; Fax: +27–(0)–1246–7377; E-mail: email@example.com; Internet: www.cheetahresearch.co.za).
A new park for a rare amazon
In January, the small island nation of Dominica, West Indies, declared the world's first new national park of 2000 in a bid to save the last habitat of the rarest amazon parrot on earth, the imperial amazon or sisserou (A. imperialis). A consortium led by the Dominican government and the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation in Florida has spearheaded a two-year drive to establish the new Morne Diablotin National Park on the island. With the help of financial contributions from Graeme Hall Bird Sanctuary on Barbados and from U.S. and Canadian donors, the project purchased 1,300 acres (526 ha) of privately-owned land which was added to government land to form a park covering over 8,000 acres (3,240 ha), over 5% of the island's land mass. It is thought to be the first park ever established for protection of a parrot, and preserves some of the most pristine old-growth rainforest in the region.
The new park is the only known nesting area for the critically endangered parrot, which, probably numbering fewer than 200, is the rarest amazon parrot in the world. The amazon, the national bird of Dominica, is a flagship species for wildlife conservation on the island, which has some of the most unspoilt habitat in the Caribbean. The island's mountainous rainforests boast some of the most impressive trees in the region, with gommiers (Dacryodes excelsa) exceeding eight feet (2.45 m) in diameter. Animal biodiversity is similarly impressive, represented by 162 bird species, a myriad of small mammals, amphibians and reptiles, including the Dominican iguana (I. delicatissima), and a suite of spectacular invertebrates, highlighted by 55 species of butterflies and the goliath beetle. In terms of species diversity per unit area, degree of species endemism, and degree of threat, Dominica is regarded by many conservation biologists as one of the hottest biological `hotspots' on the planet.
Abridged from a Rare Species Conservatory Foundation press release
The ivory trade – a new survey
As I.Z.N. goes to press, the latest CITES conference is under way in Nairobi. One hotly-contested issue there is bound to be the question of whether to permit the resumption of international trade in ivory. In April 1999, after a nine-year ban, CITES approved one-off sales of government stocks of raw ivory in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia, in which 50 tonnes were bought by Japanese traders. At the present conference, these three countries, together with South Africa, are proposing that they be allowed to resume a limited trade in elephant products, while Kenya and India are co-sponsoring a resolution to put all countries back on Appendix I.
Up till now, no hard evidence has been available from which to assess the likely effects of resumed trading. But a new report The Ivory Markets of Africa, published by the charity Save the Elephants, presents detailed findings of a survey carried out in mid-1999 in 13 countries of sub-Saharan Africa by Esmond Martin and Daniel Stiles, with additional earlier findings from Egypt and Sudan. The authors recommend that a similar survey should be carried out a year or two from now, which will enable any changes in the trade following the 1999 sale to be accurately assessed (if no other legal trade has been authorised in the interim). With this information, attempts can then be made to find out whether the one-off sales of legal ivory have caused ivory prices to increase, thus encouraging more elephant poaching.
The authors estimate that there are over 100,000 ivory items available for retail sale in the main cities in Africa where the trade is notable. On the whole, however, retail sales are slow. There was a significant drop in demand for ivory souvenirs throughout most of Africa in the early 1990s, and this has remained the case in most of the cities surveyed. There has also been a major reduction in the number of ivory craftsmen. The price of raw ivory has fallen in most countries since the CITES ban came into effect in 1990. There appears, however, to be a moderate movement of tusks, especially from Central Africa to the west of the continent. Hundreds of tusks have also been smuggled annually off the continent in the 1990s to go to end markets in eastern Asia.
There have been many incidents of corruption, including customs officials being bribed. Diplomats and personnel from the military and from international organizations are much more heavily involved in illegally exporting raw and worked ivory from Africa, using their diplomatic immunity, than previously thought. North Korean diplomats have been large buyers of ivory in Africa over the last ten years, and South Korean businessmen are keen buyers of worked ivory. The other main buyers today are tourists from France, Italy and Spain. In Central and West Africa the retail ivory trade crashed in 1990 and has remained low except in Lagos and Abidjan. Vendors and craftsmen in these areas have now heard that there have been ivory sales in southern Africa and think this is very good news, as it may be the beginning of the ban being lifted for the whole of Africa.
The report's general conclusion is that there has been only a little increase in the demand for ivory items in the 1990s, and that sales have remained poor on most of the continent. But if the African ivory industry were to grow significantly once more in the coming years, this would have a negative effect on some elephant populations, as the main source of raw ivory is from poached elephants.
The Ivory Markets of Africa is available from Save the Elephants, 7 New Square, Lincoln's Inn, London WC2A 3RA, U.K., price ***.
Captive-bred Bali starlings stolen
In December last year, nearly all the 39 breeding stock of Bali starlings at the captive-breeding facility at Labuhan Lalang in West Bali National Park were stolen by an armed gag. The raid on the high-security site took place a day after a visit to the facility by senior army officers, leading to suspicions that they were involved. Since the raid, several of the birds are said to have reappeared on the black market. The official in charge of the project is also reported to have disappeared, as, allegedly, has a sizeable sum in Western donations.
There are up to 3,000 Bali starlings in captivity, many held illegally, and about 1,000 in zoos as part of a cooperative breeding programme, but genuinely wild birds may now number only a dozen. The Bali breeding project was launched in 1987 by the Indonesian government, with help from outside organisations such as BirdLife International and the AZA. Numbers began to recover in the mid-1990s, and the starling was adopted as the Indonesian national conservation symbol, but corruption and indifference within the ruling élite have hampered its prospects of survival. Possession of a starling, despite a ban on trade and collecting, is regarded as a status symbol. One Western conservationist involved with the programme recently commented that, as late as last year, there was a chance that the starling might have been saved in the wild, but he believes this is now a `vain hope.'
Abridged from David Nicholson-Lord in BBC Wildlife Vol. 18, No. 3 (March 2000)
A Philippine conservation centre
A Memorandum of Agreement was signed in November 1999 between Melbourne Zoo and the West Visayas State University in Iloilo, the Philippines. This formalises the support that Melbourne Zoo has been providing to the Mari-it Conservation Centre over the past five years. Mari-it is located on the university's College of Agriculture and Forestry campus at Lambunao, about 70 km from Iloilo on the island of Panay. The centre covers two hectares and borders a 500-ha area of mountain rainforest that leads into the proposed West Panay Mountains National Park, which is the only piece of original forest left on the whole island.
Mari-it's primary roles are to act as: a rescue and breeding centre for selected threatened endemic species, including the Philippine spotted deer, Visayan warty pig, Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat (Crateromys heaneyi) and writhed-billed hornbill (Aceros waldeni); a research centre for the investigation and generation of information on the ecology, behaviour and management of the species held; and an education centre for local people, students and other visitors.
Indeed, the centre is currently the only hope for many of these species, as they are Visayan or Panay endemics and this is the only facility of its kind on the island. It is part of a chain of rescue and conservation centres underway in the West Visayan region, with particularly strong support from Fauna and Flora International in the U.K. and the Munich-based Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations.
Chris Banks in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 45 (February 2000)
Survey in Cuba discovers new species
Dr John Fa, head of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust's International Training Centre (ITC), visited Cuba to help a team of fieldworkers prepare a five-year plan of action to save some of the island's unique wildlife from extinction. John has visited Cuba several times in recent years at the invitation of ITC graduate trainees. With their help, he put together a proposal to study the Cuban solenodon (S. cubanus), a primitive insectivore which is endemic to Cuba and found in primary montane and pine forests in the east of the island. The current status of the species is unknown, but it is suspected to be rare. Since the 1800s only 21 specimens have been found. Its survival is believed to be threatened largely by deforestation, although introduced exotics (cats, dogs, rats) may have contributed to its rarity.
`Cuba is still largely unknown to the rest of the world due to its past political isolation,' says John. `It has the highest species diversity and the highest degree of endemism in the West Indies. Over 50% of the flora and 32% of the vertebrate fauna are found only in Cuba. The island has an estimated 6,200 species of flowering plants, 450 vertebrates and 7,500 insects and spiders.' These impressive statistics have been recognised worldwide and have helped to generate support for Cuba in protecting its natural heritage.
The Trust is at the forefront of this initiative, providing funds and resources for a survey of the endemic fauna in the eastern highlands of Cuba. The work was coordinated from Jersey and executed in the field by ITC graduate Juan Soy, who is responsible for endangered mammals in the Cuban equivalent of the Nature Conservancy. The aims of the project were threefold: to take a broad survey of the animal species and the state of the habitat in the forests within two mountain ranges, the Sierra Cristal and the Sierra Purial; to train personnel in wildlife conservation evaluation techniques; and to put forward practical management policies. The survey team spent two months in the field collecting data, and John is delighted with the results. In addition to achieving the first ever live-trap capture of a Cuban solenodon (which was examined and then quickly released), the researchers discovered species new to science – a lizard, a frog, a slug, a spider and several plants. Now John has recommended that more work should be carried out to investigate the effects that introduced species – dogs and pigs – may have on the Cuban solenodon and other wildlife living in the region.
Abridged from On the Edge No. 86 (February 2000)
Tracking migrating trumpeter swans
Before the initiation of the Wisconsin Trumpeter Swan Recovery Plan, the species – once a common breeding bird in the region – had not reproduced in the wild in Wisconsin in over 100 years. The Plan had a specific goal of restoring a breeding/migrating population of at least 20 breeding pairs to Wisconsin by the year 2000. This goal was exceeded in the 1999 season, when 30 pairs nested successfully in the state.
However, the restored population still faces serious threats from illegal shooting (largely during migration) and lead poisoning. Now, a collaborative project led by Riverbanks Zoo, South Carolina, hopes to mitigate these threats – and expand knowledge of the species' behavior – by using satellite telemetry to determine the migratory movements and specific stop-over sites of the swans constituting this restored population. Enhanced hunter education along migratory routes and manipulation of utilized habitat will help ensure the population's survival.
In July and August 1999, ten of the swans were fitted with 40-gram collar-mounted satellite transmitters. These relay the birds' locations to over-flying satellites programmed to transmit every other day during the southward migration, every fourth day while the birds are on their wintering grounds, every third day during return migration and every tenth day on the breeding grounds. The satellite units will provide locations for each bird to within 150–1000 meters of the bird's actual location on the ground. A website allowing schools and zoo education departments to track the birds' daily movements may be accessed at http://www.wildtracks.org.
Abridged from Ed Diebold in AZA Communiqué (January 2000)
INTERNATIONAL ZOO NEWS
Bristol Zoo, U.K.
For the last two years the zoo has been giving financial and operational support to a primate rescue centre at Yaounde Zoo, Cameroon. The centre, run by the Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund, was created to care for young gorillas, chimpanzees and monkeys orphaned and traumatised as a result of the bushmeat trade. Bristol Zoo also acts as a focus for public donations for the centre. Over 100 people have already `adopted an ape' to help the work in Cameroon. In addition to the centre, an education programme for schools and visitors is being developed at Yaounde Zoo. The programme aims to raise awareness amongst the local people of the effects of the bushmeat trade and the need to protect the environment and the animals in it.
Bristol Zoo press release
Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio, U.S.A.
In May, as part of the its 125th birthday celebration, the zoo is opening its newest immersion exhibit, `Schott-Unnewehr Vanishing Giants'. The 4.3-acre (1.75 ha) exhibit allows visitors to follow winding trails through the `wild-like' habitats of Asian elephants, okapi and Maasai giraffe. Vanishing Giants involved a $6 million renovation of the existing 1906 elephant house. The exhibit features a 60,000-gallon (225,000 liter) pool for the elephants, large shade trees, a new half-acre (2,000 m2) exterior habitat for the elephants to roam and exercise, an elephant performance area with shaded seating for 420 visitors, dense forest plantings for the new 6,300-square-foot (585 m2) exterior okapi habitat, a new 9,000-square-foot (840 m2) exterior giraffe habitat, and many viewing opportunities across hidden moats.
The interior of the historic elephant house has been reconfigured to allow four times more space for the animals than ever before. Visitors now enter one side of the exhibit to get an up-close view of the elephants. At the opposite end of the building, giraffe and okapi are housed side-by-side. Separating the two displays is a wide corridor and large rooms, referred to as `holding areas'. The exhibit also includes information and activities emphasizing world conditions challenging these large mammals in the wild.
Outdoors, more than 300 varieties of plant were used to portray the character of the exhibit's three habitats – the East African savannah and thornbush of the giraffes, the African rainforest of the okapi, and the tropical forests and wetlands of the Asian elephants. Many of these plants are hardy species that are either related to, or resemble, exotic species. For example, catalpa trees, natives of the American Midwest, have been planted in the elephant area to represent the tropical Asian teak trees which they resemble. Hardy bamboo grows throughout the exhibit, simulating the tropical bamboos which are vital elephant food plants during the dry season, when many other plants are dormant and lose their leaves. Exotic-looking, but hardy, parasol trees from China simulate the musangas of tropical Africa, a favorite okapi browse plant. And the typical thorny acacias of the East African savannah are represented by native honey locusts.
Abridged from Cincinnati Zoo press releases
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jersey, U.K.
Months spent watching the secret lives of Bali starlings in their nest-boxes has led to positive changes to diet and feeding regimes in an effort to increase the number of chicks reared naturally by their parents. Although breeding these birds in captivity is not new – at Jersey Zoo the first Bali starlings were bred in 1972 – success has been variable. The opportunity to view the starlings within the nest-box, by using closed-circuit TV systems, has been fascinating. Visitors to the zoo have been able to observe tiny chicks being cared for by their parents, as live pictures have been displayed on the viewing monitor linked to a nest-box in a nearby aviary. Perhaps more importantly, zoo staff have been able to watch and learn about the roles the male and female birds play in rearing their young.
After two years of research, we now know a lot more about these birds and the causes of chick rearing problems. A diet lacking in variety and in stimulation has led to adult birds with dietary deficiencies and feather-plucking habits. The plucking, poor nutrition and fluctuating temperatures have meant that the chicks are undernourished, weak and unable to fend off infection. As a result of behavioural and nutritional studies, chicks now receive a balanced and varied diet. Medicated insect food should improve overall health of chicks from an early age. Zoo staff have also adjusted feeding times to ensure that food is available when the birds need it most. Progress made in 1999 resulted in lower chick mortality and increased parent-rearing. We look forward to more success in the future.
Abridged from Tracé Williams in On the Edge No. 86 (February 2000)
Edinburgh Zoo, U.K.
In November 1999, the zoo received a pair of lowland anoas (Bubalus depressicornis). Found only in the swamp forests of Sulawesi, the lowland anoa is one of the smallest species of wild cattle, with an average shoulder height of around one metre. In the past, it was thought difficult to classify, but it is now grouped in one genus with the water buffalo and tamarau. Two species are recognised, the lowland and the mountain anoa (B. quarlesi).
Very little is known about anoas' ecology and behaviour, as they have rarely been studied in their natural habitat. Though the species is listed as endangered, there is currently too little information on its numbers in the wild, and an island-wide survey is urgently needed to assess the precise status of the current population. Measures also need to be taken to keep the captive population stable. The most important of these is to ensure that all captive anoas are identifiable and careful records are kept of each animal, so that it is possible to match up the most suitable individuals for breeding. Inter-zoo co-operation is essential, and in particular links need to be created between Indonesian and Western zoos.
Our female, aged one-and-a-half, came from Rotterdam Zoo, and the male was born at London Zoo just over four years ago. A few days after they arrived, they were introduced, and all went well at first. But in the next few days we noticed that the male was licking and chewing at the female's coat. Although it did not seem to bother her, he was actually removing her hair, though luckily her skin did not appear to be irritated. At this stage we thought this behaviour was due to their recent introduction and the fact that both had recently moved to a new home. The first preventive measure we tried was spraying the female's coat with a bitter-tasting spray which we normally use on parrots who pluck their own feathers. This was unsuccessful, as the male began to lick the female's coat immediately after it was applied. We also had problems separating the pair at night, as the male did not like to be without the female. On a few occasions we had to leave them together overnight, and when this happened the female's coat was always slightly worse the next day. So we tried keeping them apart for longer periods by letting out only one animal at a time into the enclosure; but we found that the male became very stressed when separated from the female, even though he could still see her.
We are currently trying different feeding methods and enrichment items to keep both animals occupied. Their daily diet consists of a mixture of dairy and horse/pony pellets which they receive as they are put in for the night. They also have hay, and access to fresh water at all times. We also give them fruit and vegetables a few times a week. Wild anoas do eat fallen fruit, and so far we have found that our pair prefer fruit to vegetables. When they are out in the enclosure they can eat any leaves, roots etc. that they find. They especially like beech leaves and bramble, so we also put some beech branches into the house at night for them, to keep them busy. We plan to try hanging up different foods from the trees in the enclosure, which will encourage them to stretch and work hard to reach them. Another form of enrichment we plan to try is a mud wallow – in the wild anoas live in swampy areas, so they like water and mud. Hopefully with continued enrichment of their enclosure, and careful management of their diet, our pair will eventually breed and contribute to the conservation programme for this interesting species.
Adapted and abridged from Roslin Talbot in Arkfile Vol. 9, No. 1 (Spring 2000)
Fort Worth Zoo, Texas, U.S.A.
Three species of Asian forest monitors hatched at Fort Worth during 1999. For the second time since 1997, New Guinea crocodile monitors (Varanus salvadorii), reproduced successfully at the zoo. Between 3 and 15 May, four emerged from a clutch of five eggs laid on 19 September 1999. Three U.S. zoos have successfully bred this monitor, and there are currently 48 (21.11.16) in 16 North American zoos. Crocodile monitors pose a number of management problems due to spatial demands. An updated Taxon Management Account for this species is now available from Fort Worth Zoo.
Four green tree monitors (V. prasinus) hatched from two clutches in 1999; two emerged on 28 May and 3 June from eggs laid on 18 November 1998, and the other two emerged on 9 and 12 June from three eggs laid on 2 December 1998. The second breeding was from an F1 female, hatched at Forth Worth in 1993, who was bred with a male on loan from Sedgwick County Zoo, Kansas. This breeding represents a new bloodline for this small, captive population. There are currently 37 (19.12.6) V. prasinus in 16 North American zoos, and captive breeding has occurred in only four, due in part to a shortage of females. This is the fourth time the species has reproduced at Fort Worth since 1993; other fertile eggs are currently incubating.
Two Dumeril's monitors (V. dumerili) hatched on 26–27 December from a clutch of nine laid on 7 June; the incubation period was 203–204 days. This is significant because it is a full F1 breeding and both parents were hatched in captivity. This species has previously bred successfully in at least three other U.S. zoos, but this is a first for Fort Worth.
A fourth species, the black tree monitor (V. beccari), laid fertile eggs in April, two of which went to full-term but died in the egg in September. This species bred for the first time in captivity at Fort Worth Zoo in 1991.
Six taxa of Asian forest monitors have been targeted for captive management by the AZA Lizard TAG and are managed through a regional studbook. Captive reproduction is increasing and some captive populations are approaching self-sustainability. However, research is needed on these species' reproductive physiology, social interactions and environmental factors influencing breeding. Especially problematic is the rough-necked monitor (V. rudicollis). Currently there are only 5.5.10 held in nine U.S. institutions, and captive breeding has occurred only at Nashville Zoo, Tennessee. Efforts to better understand this poorly-known species will only improve with increased institutional participation.
AZA Communiqué (March 2000)
Kansas City Zoo, Missouri, U.S.A.
A total hip replacement was recently carried out on both hips of Pasha, a nine-year-old male snow leopard. Both hips demonstrated severe hip dysplasia, a degenerative joint disease commonly seen in dogs and occasionally reported in snow leopards. Pasha was transferred to the University of Missouri Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine in May 1999. Dr Kirk Suedmeyer, Senior Staff Veterinarian at the zoo, coordinated the effort, while two veterinary orthopedic surgeons performed the two-hour procedure in which portions of one femur and hip were replaced with synthetic implants.
Pasha recovered uneventfully and recuperated at the zoo's Animal Health Center for six weeks, whereupon he was placed back on exhibit. Six months later, the second hip was replaced in a similar procedure. Pasha has gained weight since the surgery and his attitude has markedly improved. It is hoped that he will successfully sire offspring with the zoo's female snow leopard, Fisher. While there is a chance that offspring could inherit this disease, not breeding from Pasha would guarantee the loss of his genetic line. It is believed that he is the first snow leopard in the world to have both hips replaced with this technique.
AZA Communiqué (January 2000)
Marwell Zoological Park, U.K.
In January 1999, our first penguin chick, an African, hatched. It had developed well, reaching one-third of adult weight, when in early April it was found dead in the nest tunnel at nine weeks old. The post-mortem revealed an empty stomach. The chick had failed to eat properly when it should have begun to feed itself on fish presented by its parent. We put the problem down to parental inexperience which, with a helping hand from keepers, could be overcome.
On 29 April the chick's mother became unwell. Her symptoms (weak on legs, wings drooping, lethargy) would become all too familiar during the summer. We put her in the isolation and treatment room for observation. When she failed to improve she was put on an antibiotic, but she died nine days after the onset of her symptoms. The post-mortem (following a protocol laid down by the U.K. Penguin TAG) revealed very little – distended gall bladder, bacterial activity in the liver and spleen, good body weight – and nothing to indicate cause of death. We thought her death was related to the stress of rearing a chick.
On 30 May another bird was unsteady on its legs, and we began to wonder if there was a link between the deaths. Avian malaria had to be considered as one of many possibilities. It is known to cause penguin losses and is a difficult disease to confirm. In June, 12 birds were showing some symptoms similar to those of the chick's mother, and of these seven died, including one macaroni. The other five birds were put back in the enclosure several weeks later, apparently quite well.
By now treatment and investigation methods were well advanced. Treatment included antibiotic therapy and drugs to combat avian malaria – Chloroquine and Primaquine, both drugs also used in human medicine. Blood samples had been taken from some birds, and several pathologists performed post-mortems on those which died. Avian malaria parasites were found in most birds, showing up in spleen, liver and lungs. However, not all experts are certain that the presence of parasites is significant in determining the causes of the birds' mortality.
In early July we treated all the African penguins with anti-malarial drugs as a prevention. July saw four new cases, of which two died, and August two new cases, of which one died; in addition, four birds, taken ill in the previous month, died. These figures were bad but, compared to June, showed a definite slowing of new cases. If avian malaria was a primary factor, then perhaps the treatment and the weather were factors in this. The weather was windy and wet, and mosquitoes – which transfer the malaria parasite to the penguins from host species such as sparrows, robins and blackbirds – do not like to fly in high winds.
Hot weather returned in September, and there was an increase in mosquito larvae in our pool and new cases of illness. In addition, some of the penguins which had been treated earlier in the summer showed the symptoms again. Treatment was resumed, and new treatments tried, but all to no avail – nothing could turn the tide, and the last bird died on 18 September.
Since then we have continued to investigate the disease. Tissue samples from our birds will be sent to Baltimore Zoo, U.S.A., where we hope DNA analysis will confirm the significance of the malaria parasites and the species involved. Baltimore Zoo has been using a vaccine for several years, which they believe gives some protection to birds not previously exposed to the parasite, and we hope to follow their lead. Knowledge gained from this tragic episode will benefit birds at Marwell in the future. Many months have passed since that mother penguin hatched her chick on the cold January morning. With the planned arrival of eight Humboldt's penguins in early March this year, perhaps we can again look forward to the arrival of penguin chicks at Marwell.
Abridged from Gordon Campbell in Marwell Zoo News No. 102 (Winter/Spring 2000)
National Zoological Park Conservation and Research Center, Front Royal, Virginia, U.S.A.
In May 1999, a male foal was born in the Center's herd of Przewalski horses. The father, a fairly old stallion, had never before sired a foal. With the health of this stallion steadily declining, staff had become concerned that he would not have a chance to breed and pass on his genes. On the recommendation of the Przewalski Horse SSP coordinator, the stallion was placed with three mares, and one of them became pregnant.
Unfortunately, this mare developed mastitis, and when the foal was born, he was unable to feed from her. For a short time, his grandmother tried to step in, but another mare was needed to serve as a surrogate mother and nurse the foal. Luckily, the answer was just down the road – a lactating mare was found at a local farm. Although this mare was a domestic horse, she accepted the Przewalski foal as one of her own and provided the necessary nourishment. The young male remained at the farm for four months before returning to the herd, and despite his difficult beginning, he is now healthy and strong.
CRC Safari Club News (Winter 1999)
Riverbanks Zoological Park, Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.A.
The following births and hatchings took place during the period January to March 2000: 0.1 black rhinoceros, 10 Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko, 4 giant leaf-tailed gecko, 22 yellow-banded poison dart frog, 1 crocodile skink.
The following were acquired: 2.3 ring-tailed lemur, 1.0 sun bittern, 1.1 green aracari, 0.2 masked plover, 1.1 snowy-headed robin chat, 1.2 blue-winged leafbird, 7 butterfly goodeid, 3 pygmy Everglades sunfish, 2 diamond goby, 2 antennata lionfish, 1 Fu Man Chu lionfish, 2 volitans lionfish, 1 stonefish, 1 valentine puffer, 2 dragon wrasse, 16 coral catfish, 2 blue boxfish, 9 scarlet hermit crab.
Alan H. Shoemaker
Seattle Aquarium, Washington, U.S.A.
The aquarium is pursuing the goal of displaying the largest octopus in captivity in its newest exhibit all about the giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini), which opened in October 1999. The octopus is displayed in a triangular 3,500-gallon (13,250-liter) tank that has 85 square feet (8 m2) of viewing windows. It is sited under an artificial pier created inside the aquarium using aged wood timbers and pilings. A life-size image of an octopus changing color projected onto the floor and a hands-on interactive of synthetic octopus arms and suckers help visitors learn about this native Puget Sound species. Staff and volunteers actively interpret the exhibit with feeding talks and during public weekly weigh-ins that chart the growth of the octopus. The current display animal is gaining about 1% of its body weight each day and may reach 100 pounds (45 kg) or more to become the largest octopus in captivity.
AZA Communiqué (January 2000)
Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, Kansas, U.S.A.
The zoo has worked with the Guam Rail (Gallirallus owstoni) SSP since 1988 and, in that time, five of the rare birds have been hatched and raised here. The latest hatching occurred on 7 December 1999. The parents abandoned the egg after it was laid, so keepers placed it in an incubator. Twenty-one days later the tiny chick emerged covered in black down feathers. The chick was placed in a temperature-controlled brooder box, with a plastic shower curtain placed in front to isolate the bird. Keepers wore gray cotton gloves which were painted with the markings of an adult Guam rail. Slits in the shower curtain allowed them to work with the chick without being seen. A small mirror was placed inside so that the chick could see itself. It was fed by the glove puppet using forceps, and was eating on its own at nine days of age. On 21 December, the chick was relocated to a holding area. An adult Guam rail was placed on each side in adjacent holding cages in hopes that the chick would make an association between itself and the adult birds.
At present 15 facilities, including Sedgwick County Zoo, are working with approximately 200 rails, most of them held in the breeding facility on the island of Guam.
AZA Communiqué (February 2000)
West Midland Safari and Leisure Park, Bewdley, U.K.
The park now has the largest group of white Bengal tigers in the U.K. The original pair, Tahas and Tikua, who arrived from Junsele Zoo in Sweden in December 1998, have now been joined by another pair. Eighteen-month-old Harlem and Queens arrived last November from Parken Zoo, Eskilstuna, near Stockholm, and went into quarantine. They have settled well, mixed with Tahas and Tikua, and will be on show daily in the park's newly developed `Tiger World' exhibit, which is the country's only drive-through quarantine facility.
There are about 150 white tigers in the world, 14 of them in Britain. They are not albinos (their eyes are blue rather than pink), but the offspring of parents both of whom carry a recessive mutant gene. They occur very rarely in the wild – only a dozen sightings have been recorded in the last 100 years, and none since 1951. The world's current white tiger population originate from that last sighting in the former state of Madhya Pradesh in central India. A hunting party organised by the local maharaja shot dead a tigress and her litter of three cubs. Fortuitously a fourth cub survived and was subsequently trapped – it was white. In October 1958, this male, now named Mohan, sired the first litter of white tigers (4) born in captivity, and by the time of his death in 1969 he had sired a further 30 cubs, 21 of them white.
Adapted from a West Midland Safari Park press release
[Readers wishing to follow up the topic of white tigers may like to refer to an article by Sally Walker, `White tigers – the Indian viewpoint', in I.Z.N. 38:6, pp. 9–11 – Ed.]
News in Brief
Staff at Drusillas Zoo, Alfriston, U.K., agreed to become `blood donors' when a dozen medicinal leeches (Hirudo medicinalis) arrived at the zoo in urgent need of a meal. One volunteer reported, `I was told the leech would probably feed for about ten minutes, but it kept going for well over an hour. It grew to about three times its size and then fell off.'
* * * * *
Conservationists from Taiwan and Israel joined forces to donate eight captive-bred scimitar-horned oryx to the Guembeul Wildlife Protection Area in Senegal, for release into the wild in the 4,000-km2 Ferlo National Park. It is believed that Senegal's native oryx became extinct around 150 years ago as a result of hunting.
International Conservation Newsletter 7:2 (1999), 1–2
Amato, G., Wharton, D., Baker, R., and Ruvolo, M.: Molecular systematics for taxonomic placement of a gorilla of uncertain origin. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 5 (1999), pp. 429–432. [Ivan, an adult male gorilla, was donated from private ownership in 1994 to Zoo Atlanta and became part of the AZA's Gorilla SSP. This animal was captured as an infant in Africa in 1964. Doubts about his geographic origin and subspecific status were resolved by analyzing a mitochondrial gene shown by previous research to contain eight diagnostic sites for gorilla subspecies. Ivan was found to have the diagnostic profile that characterizes the western lowland gorilla. The quantity and quality of data on the molecular genetics of gorillas suggest that questions of this nature are readily resolvable. The example demonstrates the value of molecular characters for taxonomic placement, and suggests that straightforward methodologies for addressing mysteries of origin and/or taxonomic placement of potential founders could be applied to other species.]
Becker, S.E., Enright, W.J., and Katz, L.S.: Active immunization against gonadotropin-releasing hormone in female white-tailed deer. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 5 (1999), pp. 385–396. [The antigen used in the study proved unsuitable for use as a contraceptive in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).]
Bemment, N.: The Marie le Fevre Ape Centre at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 90–94. [This 1997 exhibit provides spacious and stimulating enclosures for 1.4 Bornean orang-utans and 5.0 gorillas, including three densely vegetated island habitats.]
Bertram, B., Carroll, B., Dow, S., and Greed, G.: Bristol Zoo's development programme. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 141–146. [In 1995 Bristol Zoo embarked on a development programme after a decade of relative inactivity in terms of new construction. Reasons for this development included the perceived likely competition that the zoo would face from large lottery-funded facilities in the region, the realisation that declining attendances were likely to be linked to the lack of major new attractions in recent years, and the less-than-satisfactory existing facilities for some animals and visitors.]
Boinski, S., Gross, T.S., and Davis, J.K.: Terrestrial predator alarm vocalizations are a valid monitor of stress in captive brown capuchins (Cebus apella). Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 4 (1999), pp. 295–312. [The vocal behavior of captive animals is increasingly exploited as an index of well-being. The authors show that the terrestrial predator alarm (TPA) vocalization, a robust and acoustically distinctive vocal response present in many mammal and bird species, offers useful information on the relative well-being and stress levels of captive animals. In a 16-week experiment, the average rate at which eight singly-housed male capuchins produced TPA calls varied significantly across levels of environmental enrichment, with TPAs emitted at lower rates in the enriched relative to the unenriched environments. TPA production rate was positively related both to the proportion of samples in which the monkeys exhibited abnormal or undesirable behaviors and to relative levels of fecal cortisol. So TPA emission patterns seem to be a reliable index of relative well-being and stress in captive capuchins. These vocalizations are acoustically distinctive and production rates are readily and accurately monitored with little training and no special equipment. Similar vocal responses could profitably be exploited in protocols to monitor well-being and stress in other species in captivity.]
Bukojemsky, A., and Markowitz, H.: Environmental enrichment and exhibit design: the possibilities of integration. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 73–76. [Environmental enrichment should be considered an important ingredient of exhibit design at the planning stage. This will not only reduce the cost (both immediate and long-term) but also assist the marriage of function and aesthetics.]
Cairns, M.G.: Polygamous breeding of the grey peacock-pheasant. WPA News No. 61 (2000), pp. 20–21. [A male Polyplectrum bicalcaratum mated concurrently with four females housed in three interconnecting pens. His fertility was not compromised, as overall fertility for all eggs laid was 88%. This mating system may have important applications in breeding for conservation purposes.]
Clark, S.T., and Odell, D.K.: Nursing parameters in captive killer whales (Orcinus orca). Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 5 (1999), pp. 373–384. [A detailed analysis of nursing (suckling) behaviors for a population of 3.4 captive-born killer whales at SeaWorld parks, U.S.A., from birth until 90 days of age.]
Correia, J.P.: Tooth loss rate from two captive sandtiger sharks (Carcharias taurus). Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 4 (1999), pp. 313–317. [For six months, from February to July 1995, two sharks were kept together in a small tank at Lisbon Zoo. During that period, the gravel was monitored daily for teeth shed by the animals. At the end of their stay, the number of teeth divided by the number of days yielded a tooth loss rate of 1.06 teeth per day per shark. The plotting of mean monthly values for tooth loss rate against mean monthly temperatures showed that these two variables increased with time, suggesting that the animals' metabolism was influenced by the seasonal increase in water temperature.]
Davydov, P., and Shargin, V.: Landscape design in a megalopolis: reconstruction of Moscow Zoo. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 168–170. [In 1994 the Moscow government agreed to provide funds for much-needed renovation of Moscow Zoo. The authors describe some of the problems, including the tight timetable imposed and the lack of experience within Russia of modern landscape construction technologies. Despite the difficulties, after three years of redevelopment they are confident that a firm foundation now exists for a truly modern zoo in Moscow.]
Dolan, J.D.: The mammal collection of the Zoological Society of San Diego: a historical perspective. Part XVI: Aplodontidae to Heteromyidae. Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 70, No. 2 (2000), pp. 122–136.
Drake, B.M., Goto, R.M., Miller, M.M., Gee, G.F., and Briles, W.E.: Molecular and immunogenetic analysis of major histocompatibility haplotypes in northern bobwhite enable direct identification of corresponding haplotypes in an endangered subspecies, the masked bobwhite. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 4 (1999), pp. 279–294. [Colinus virginianus ridgwayi, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Maryland, U.S.A.]
Draper, J.: A South East Asian rainforest in Adelaide. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 45–47. [In 1995 Adelaide Zoo opened a series of enclosures in what is collectively known as the South East Asian Rainforest. As the zoo is very limited for space, it was a major challenge to exhibit five species of mammal and 30 species of bird in a rainforest-type habitat and still provide the maximum level of public amenities.]
Fischbacher, M., and Schmid, H.: Feeding enrichment and stereotypic behavior in spectacled bears. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 5 (1999), pp. 363–371. [In a large, physically enriched enclosure at Zürich Zoo, Switzerland, feeding enrichment devices extended the time three (1.2) Tremarctos ornatus foraged directly after their release into the exhibit, but had no long-term or delayed effect on their behaviour during the day. In the new, complex enclosure, the frequency of stereotypic behaviours performed by an old female and a young adult male was not influenced outside the morning feeding period; the young female, on the other hand, had not acquired any stereotypies when the study ended. The old female performed stereotypic behaviour when she did not find an appropriate resting site; acceptability of her preferred resting site seemed to depend on weather. The male's stereotypic behaviour was most likely released by social frustration, in the presence of attractive females who were unwilling to interact; when the females were willing to mate or play, he did not pace.]
Gottschalk, C., Thielebein, J., Prange, H., Pfeifer, F., and Spretke, T.: Ergebnisse eines Endoparasiten-Monitorings im Zoologischen Garten Halle. (Results of parasite monitoring at Halle Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 70, No. 2 (2000), pp. 93–121. [German, with English summary. In 1996 and 1997 the animal stock (90 mammal spp., 118 bird spp.) of Halle Zoo, Germany, was subjected to a coprologic study. In a total of 1,536 samples (918 and 618 respectively), approximately 75 parasite species (37–39 and 34–36 resp.), especially helminths and protozoans, were detected, including several so far unknown coccidial species. These were derived from mountain viscacha, maned wolf, hippopotamus, emu, Humboldt's penguin, waldrapp, herons, flamingos, blue-winged goose (Cyanochen cyanopterus), common trumpeter (Psophia crepitans) and emerald glossy starling (Lamprotornis iris). The authors describe the hygienic and veterinary measures taken by the zoo to control parasite infection in the future.]
Graetz, M., and Corder, S.: Night Safari four years after: a post occupancy review. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 26–35. [Singapore's Night Safari is 40 ha of nocturnal animal exhibits displayed in habitat zones, at night, in simulated moonlight. Candle light or firelight in visitor areas creates atmosphere and contrasts with the habitat lighting. Though operated by Singapore Zoo, it is a separate, self-contained entity, and is thus the first totally nocturnal animal attraction anywhere in the world. The author discusses some problems and benefits of displaying nocturnal animals at night, and outlines plans for the project's future development.]
Hamilton, E.C., Hunter, D.B., Smith, D.A., and Michel, P.: Artificial incubation of trumpeter swan eggs: selected factors affecting hatchability. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 5 (1999), pp. 403–414. [Eggs collected from captive trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator) were artificially incubated with careful monitoring to identify factors contributing to earlier low hatch success rates. Necropsy of non-viable eggs indicated a high incidence of embryonic mortality during early and late incubation. Early embryonic mortality was associated with egg storage times exceeding seven days and bacterial contamination of eggs. Late mortality was associated with increased weight loss during incubation, and may have resulted from incubator temperature and humidity fluctuations. The authors conclude that (1) Artificial incubation requires prompt collection and careful handling, sanitation, and storage of eggs; (2) Incubator environment should be stable and door opening limited to prevent fluctuations in temperature and humidity; (3) Eggs should be set on the same day of the week to synchronize candling and weighing; (4) Weekly weighing is a useful measure of water loss during incubation; (5) If facilities allow, eggs losing abnormal amounts of water could be placed in a separate incubator at a different humidity to correct the rate of water loss; (6) Spraying or misting eggs with water, particularly during the second half of incubation, would help to prevent dehydration of embryos; and (7) Moving eggs to a hatcher two to three days before hatch, lowering the temperature by 0.5–1° C and raising the humidity will improve hatch success by preventing dehydration of the embryo and drying of the shell membranes.]
Hanson, B., and Aldrich, P.: Growing together with nature: new approaches to meeting the needs of young children in zoos. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 97–100. [The authors illustrate their theme by focusing on the new children's zoo, which they designed, at Dallas Zoo, Texas.]
Hulyer, D.: The Wetland Centre: London's best kept secret. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 15–21. [The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust is developing its ninth centre on the site of a redundant reservoir just four miles from central London. The Wetland Centre, due to open in spring 2000, will be the first of its kind in the world designed specifically for the role of heightening public awareness of wetland values and functions, and a supreme example of how inner city `brown field' space can be developed in a sustainable way for the benefit of both wildlife and people.]
Iles, R.: Meso-America: Jaguar Jungle. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 115–117. [Audubon Zoo's 1998 Jaguar Jungle exhibit highlights both the human culture and the wildlife of the Meso-American region. The theme is based on the explorations of this area by Frederick Catherwood and John Lloyd Stephens from 1839 to 1842; played by actors, these two characters engage visitors along the trail with accounts of their exploits.]
Johann, A., and Salzert, W.: The new enclosure for gelada baboons at Rheine Zoo: bringing together species-specific needs and visitor demands. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 77–81. [Rheine Zoo has kept Theropithecus gelada since 1981. Practical experience and active husbandry research have shown that this primate is more delicate and difficult to maintain in captivity than previously realised. Species-specific feeding, management and housing are essential for long-term propagation of the gelada. The authors describe Rheine's a new house and outdoor enclosure, which they believe achieves the correct balance between the needs of the animals and the demands of visitors.]
Jones, M.L.: Some memories of Roland Lindemann – a giant among zoo men. Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 70, No. 2 (2000), pp. 137–140. [Lindemann (1906–1998) was the founder of the Catskill Game Farm in New York state, which played a central role in building up viable North American captive populations of many animal species.]
Jordan, M.: The potential for exhibition and interpretation of small mammal displays. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 118–126. [The exhibition of rodents and insectivores has traditionally played a minor role in most zoos, yet these two groups comprise over 50% of all mammal species. From an educational viewpoint, they occupy a massive diversity of ecological niches; they have incredibly diverse habits, represent a wide array of ecological specialisations and have a wider geographic distribution than any other mammalian group. From a conservation viewpoint, there are more species of rodent currently listed as threatened by the IUCN (330) than of any other mammalian order. Within the insectivores there are 152 threatened species, including 66 species of white-toothed shrew (Crocidura), more than for any other single mammalian genus. Many species are very restricted in distribution and particularly vulnerable to natural disaster or habitat loss, yet their normally high reproductive rate makes them ideal candidates for captive propagation programmes. The husbandry requirements of many species are very modest, and it can be relatively easy and cost-effective to accommodate and interpret a number of displays across different areas of a collection. Our knowledge of many of the species remains exceedingly poor; even basic information such as reproductive cycles, litter size, age of weaning etc. is uncertain, and there is still much valuable research that could be conducted on captive rodents and insectivores. In short, these groups offer first-class opportunities for display and education, whilst making real contributions to research and conservation. As ever-increasing standards are demanded of zoos, they should strive to make increasing use of these excellent opportunities.]
Kearns, K.S., Swenson, B., and Ramsay, E.C.: Dosage trials with transmucosal carfentanil citrate in non-human primates. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 5 (1999), pp. 397–402. [The traditional method of immobilizing primates involves remote delivery injection of anesthetic agents. Orally delivered, transmucosally absorbed opioids have been shown to be a non-stressful alternative method of pre-anesthetic drug administration in humans, and the authors describe tests of carfentanil as a safe, less stressful, and reversible method of sedation in chimpanzees, bonobos, capuchin monkeys and gibbons. Oral droperidol followed by transmucosal carfentanil also provided a humane method of euthanasia for a developmentally disabled young gorilla and a severely debilitated geriatric gorilla.]
Kemp, Y.M.: Growth and development in captive Bornean bearded pigs, Sus barbatus barbatus, at the San Diego Zoo. Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 70, No. 2 (2000), pp. 73–92. [Despite their decrease in population, Bornean bearded pigs have rarely been studied in the wild or in captivity. San Diego is one of only five zoos worldwide maintaining this species, and by September 1998 the population there had grown to 17.13. Piglets have been regularly monitored, measured and weighed. It was been noted that their weight tended to increase at approximately 1 kg per week, with males averaging slightly higher than females. At four weeks of age, the piglets had increased their birth weight over five times, weighing an average of 4.21 kg compared to 0.7 kg at birth. Not only was there a rapid increase in weight, but developmental changes were clearly visible, including independence from the natal group, eating of solid foods, and various physical aspects.]
Kirkwood, J.K.: Accommodation for wild animals in captivity: how do we know when we've got it right? Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 51–62. [Accommodation is a major factor in the welfare of all captive wild animals. It sets the size, shape and quality of their space, determines their thermal environment, constrains their behaviour, and influences their risk of injuries and diseases. But how do we know what animals need and want, whether what they want is good for them, and when we have got enclosure design right? There is now a move, particularly in farm and laboratory animal husbandry, towards `asking' the animals themselves by preference testing; but although useful, such studies require considerable resources, and are likely to be scant for most species for the foreseeable future. The paucity of information on animals' specific environmental requirements can, to a considerable extent, be compensated for in zoos through very close monitoring of individual behaviour and health, and making prompt adjustments where indicated.]
Klima, F., Rohleder, M., Dehnhard, M., and Meyer, H.H.D.: Identification of progesterone and 5
Lee, J., Tell, L., and Lasley, B.: A comparison of sex steroid hormone excretion and metabolism by psittacine species. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 4 (1999), pp. 247–260. [Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) and orange-winged amazon (Amazona amazonica).]
Lindburg, D.G.: Zoos and the rights of animals. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 5 (1999), pp. 433–448.
Lücker, H.: The new `Underground Zoo' in Zoo Dresden. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 112–114. [Dresden, founded in 1861, is the fourth oldest zoo in Germany. Before World War II it had a high reputation for its architecture and science. After destruction during the war, it was rebuilt quickly but poorly, and complete renovation was urgently needed by the time of reunification. This presented a great challenge, but the lack of any need to maintain protected buildings was helpful in the generation of new ideas. In 1995 the zoo decided to present native animals that many people know exist, but have never seen or know very little about. This decision led to the construction of the Underground Zoo, which – housing rats, European moles, bumblebees, mole-crickets, earthworms, ants, African cave crickets and Mexican cave fish – teaches visitors about life underground, the sensory capabilities, behaviour and social systems of the animals that live there.]
McCann, C.M., and Rothman, J.M.: Changes in nearest-neighbor associations in a captive group of western lowland gorillas after the introduction of five hand-reared infants. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 4 (1999), pp. 261–278. [At the Bronx Zoo, five (3.2) hand-reared infant gorillas were successfully reintroduced into a group consisting of a silverback, three adult females and two sub-adult females. (Two of the infants were offspring of females in the group, and the other three were all sired by the silverback.) A study of the animals' social interactions indicated that the silverback played a pivotal role in the successful integration of the infants into the group. Although some studies have reported that adult males can respond aggressively toward hand-reared infants, in this case the male facilitated the introduction process by providing protection to the infants and cohesiveness among the group. The adult females showed no change in behavior patterns, suggesting their general acceptance of the addition of infants into the group. One sub-adult female benefited from the addition of infants into the group by gaining parental experience, increasing her chances of becoming a competent mother. The five infants associated with one another significantly more often than with an adult; being raised in a peer group seems to have given them a strong sense of security and companionship. Infants interacted significantly more with related infants than with unrelated infants; and when adults interacted with an infant, it was usually a related infant. The study demonstrates that an individual's age, sex, kin relatedness, and similarities in behavioral profiles are important variables influencing patterns of association in gorillas and should, therefore, be taken into consideration when introducing infants into groups of conspecifics.]
McGill, P.: Staff involvement and the exhibit design process: integrating outcomes for animals, visitors and conservation. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 157–162. [The author describes Brookfield Zoo's use of project teams, typically of six people from different departments and levels within the organisation, who play the major role in the zoo's planning process.]
McGuire, D.F.: Thinking globally, acting locally at the river's edge. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 40–44. [In St Louis Zoo's projected River's Edge exhibit, visitors will experience a diverse group of animals linked by a common element, water. The design aims to create an exhibit area that effectively communicates the zoo's conservation message while facilitating ongoing research projects.]
Mooney, J.C., and Lee, P.C.: Reproductive parameters in captive woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha). Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 5 (1999), pp. 421–427. [The authors present data from five different colonies and the North American studbook. Few females (37.5%) were reproductively active for more than two birth events. The most successful females tended to be those who had been born in captivity, having younger ages at first reproduction (median = 6 years) and shorter interbirth intervals (median = 25 months) compared with their wild-caught counterparts (medians = 9 years and 30 months respectively). Females reproduced for between three and six years only, and died at approximately 13 years of age. Infant survival and rearing with the mother doubled the length of the interbirth interval.]
Murphy, J., and Fritz, J.: Forage `shooter': a means to widely distribute forage materials. The Newsletter Vol. 10, No. 4 (1999), pp. 1–3.
Murphy, J.C., and Curry, R.M.: A case of parthenogenesis in the plains garter snake, Thamnophis radix. Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society Vol. 35, No. 2 (2000), pp. 17–19.
O'Brien, S.: New Monkey Islands concept. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 82–89. [The author describes Chester Zoo's 1997 Monkey Island complex. The 1963 monkey house, satisfactory by the standards of its time, had housed 26 species in small enclosures. The new project, with greatly increased emphasis on animal and staff welfare, conservation, public education, interpretation and general visitor use and perception, involved the complete refurbishment and redesign of the existing house, together with the construction of extensive, open islands around the building, each separated by a water-filled moat system. Six species are now housed in larger groups.]
Pechlaner, H.: 246 years of zoo design at Schönbrunn. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 36–39. [Schönbrunn, founded in 1752, is the world's oldest zoo still in operation. The original design, in the baroque style, is still a fine example of the architecture of that period. The author traces subsequent developments and shows how animal welfare requirements have been successfully reconciled with the need to conserve an architectural environment of the highest quality.]
Peterkin, D.: A role for community partners in zoo exhibit design. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 152–156. [The author describes the use of an advisory task force in the design process for the Northern Forest exhibit at Calgary Zoo, Alberta, Canada. While such an approach is not ideally suited for all projects, it was instrumental in securing corporate financial support, and helped the zoo to refine early plans and make the exhibit more effective and targeted in its educational message. Expertise was brought to the planning process at no cost to the zoo, and new relationships have been created in the community that will be valuable in the future.]
Porter, J.D.: Toward a state of welfare. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 63–68. [Animal welfare may turn out to be one of the most important issues facing zoos as they move into the 21st century. Zoo visitors and supporters express strong feelings about the way animals are treated in captivity, and if high welfare standards are not met, public support for zoo programmes might be in jeopardy.]
Post, H.: Comprehensive design. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 147–151. [The method of exhibit design at Rotterdam Zoo, the Netherlands, is becoming increasingly comprehensive. The design team is responsible for designing on several levels: not only at the masterplan level, but also at the level of individual exhibits and even down to minor elements such as litter bins and benches. The aim is to present to the public the zoo as a whole, not a collection of unconnected attractions.]
Richardson, D.M.: Staged scene or quality space. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 69–72. [Because of space limitations in most zoos, it is generally not possible to make available the necessary area to create exhibits for larger mammals which resemble the species' natural environment but also give the animals an interesting home. Some of the more elaborate enclosures, particularly those seen in some larger American zoos, can generally fool zoo visitors, but they rarely offer the occupants a challenging lifestyle. When designing a new exhibit, the priority must be animal welfare. Enclosures must provide the inhabitants with a complex and challenging environment which stimulates activity – active animals hold visitors' interest far better than inactive ones which, due to poor exhibit design, have a limited ability to interact with their environment. A further danger which these expensive `stage settings' create is that they set an inappropriate example for the vast majority of world zoos, which have not been part of the advances of the last 30 years. If we want to help improve standards of husbandry and quality of presentation in these zoos, we must set targets that are within their available budgets and skills base. Design briefs that mainly concentrate on the needs of the animals will not only be more financially viable, but will satisfy zoo educators and visitors through the presentation of active animals in stimulating environments.]
Robinson, M.H.: The optimal and the possible: 10 years of building the BioPark. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 129–137. [The author discusses the Biopark concept, as it has evolved over the last ten years, and illustrate this theme from exhibits at the U.S. National Zoo. He examines reasons for the differences between the optimal – what the zoo management wanted – and the possible – what they got.]
Rosenthal, M.: The changing image of a city zoo. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 22–25. [Lincoln Park Zoo, established in 1868, followed the traditional taxonomic structure of displaying animals. In 1997 the zoo built a combined house for reptiles and small mammals, not only to display specimens, but to try and immerse the visitor in a natural environment that would emphasise the various forests of the world. This type of display technique was new to the zoo, and has been done with a heavy emphasis on educational opportunities and extensive use of computers to control a complex environment. Throughout the building there is a huge commitment to education, with graphics, models, various artefacts, audio equipment, a video theatre and a large group of volunteers who interact personally with the visitors.]
Savage, A., Leong, K.M., Grobler, D., Lehnhardt, J., Dierenfeld, E.S., Stevens, E.F., and Aebischer, C.P.: Circulating levels ofα-tocopherol and retinol in free-ranging African elephants (Loxodonta africana). Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 4 (1999), pp. 319–323. [Elephants appear to normally have low circulating levels of both these nutrients compared with domestic herbivore species; values from healthy, free-ranging elephant populations may provide an important measure for examining efficacy of dietary supplementation and assessing nutrient status of captive animals.]
Stevens, P.: Zoos for the 21st century. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium pp. 3–6. [In recent times public awareness of both environmental and animal welfare issues has grown. Zoos have a role to play in solving some of these problems, but if we are to succeed with our objectives of education and conservation, we need public support, which will only be acquired if we ensure our animal exhibits satisfy public opinion on welfare. Animal exhibits are our shop window, and determine our credibility, which will only be maintained if we ensure we use good design throughout our zoos.]
van Vliet, E.: The art of telling a different story. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 138–140. [Amersfoort Zoo, in the heart of the Netherlands, has 11 other zoological attractions nearby. Increasingly, instead of simply going to their nearest one, visitors are tending to make a deliberate choice as to which of these zoos to visit. In a situation such as this cooperation, rather than competition, between zoos should be the norm; zoos in close proximity should aim to be complementary, each developing a clear individual profile. In this region zoo visitors already have a choice of zoos with cutting-edge biogeographical themes. Instead of copying their neighbours, Amersfoort have opted for a multi-theme approach in which the zoo will be divided into ten areas, each with its own identity, atmosphere and storyline. Some areas will have a traditional taxonomic theme, others will be based on the relationships between man and animals. The first of these areas will be the Ancient City, an historical urban setting in which the exhibits will illustrate the roles animals played in ancient civilisations. Cultural settings, even more than natural ones, are suited for the use of landscape immersion techniques to blur the barriers of animal presentations. In the Ancient City the visitors will be immersed in a complete educational experience and learn how entwined the lives of man and animals really are.]
Velte, F.: Bemerkenswerte Herbstgeburten beim Himalaya-Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus). (Noteworthy autumn births of Himalayan tahr.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 70, No. 2 (2000), p. 141. [German, with English summary; Opel-Zoo, Kronberg, Germany.]
Venables, A., and Lucas, C.: Electric fencing in zoo enclosure design. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 165–167. [Use of electric fencing as secondary barriers is often the result of oversights or miscalculations in matching architecture, landscape, animal management needs and specifications. Electric fencing added as an afterthought is often visually unattractive and a further expense after a great deal of money has already been spent on physical barriers. The innovative use of electric fencing in primary barriers, instead of comparatively massive and expensive traditional physical fences, walls, or dry and wet moats, can be cost-effective and visually unobtrusive. The authors give examples of the use of primary electric fences in the control of chimpanzees, bears (polar and spectacled) and Celebes macaques.]
Vernon, C., and Saunders, C.D.: What good is `The Swamp'? Motivating visitors for conservation through an exhibit. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 108–111. [Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, has designed an exhibit to show that healthy ecosystems provide a surprising number of benefits to humans. The chosen ecosystems were two wetlands: a southern hardwood cypress swamp and an Illinois riverine wetland. The exhibit brings to life the animals, plants and people of some of the most productive and beneficial, yet misunderstood and misused, natural systems in the world. One goal is that visitors will be changed by the experience, not only in terms of an increased appreciation of the value of swamps, but also by becoming more motivated to take action on their behalf.]
Volf, J.: Zwillinge und hohes Lebensalter bei Goralen (Genus Nemorhaedus Smith, 1827). (Twins and longevity in gorals.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 70, No. 2 (2000), pp. 142–143. [German, with English summary. In 1968 a six-year-old goral at Prague Zoo gave birth to twins, the only verified case known in this species. Three individuals born in Prague have lived for more than 17 years; one, a male who died at 20 years and 4 months, holds the longevity record for the genus.]
Walker, S., Ashraf, N.V.K., Rathinasabapathy, B., Gupta, B.K., and Pal, A.: The Nilgiri Biosphere Conservation Park: biodiversity conservation for the 21st century. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 9–14. [The authors describe the evolution of an Indian zoo plan from menagerie to zoological park and finally to what they believe will be a genuine conservation centre. The overall plan is to construct sections replicating different forest types from the local Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats. The first part to be constructed will exhibit only local species of invertebrates, amphibians, small reptiles, small mammals and endangered plants from the immediate surrounding area. This will be the first zoo in India to exhibit invertebrates and amphibians.]
Wielebnowski, N.C.: Behavioral differences as predictors of breeding status in captive cheetahs. Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 4 (1999), pp. 335–349. [From a study of 44 adult captive-born cheetahs, keeper/observer questionnaires, in combination with direct behavioral observations, appear to provide a useful tool for investigating breeding problems and behavioral idiosyncrasies in captive-held species. Individual behavioral variation was assessed by means of ratings on a variety of behavioral attributes, and analysis of the ratings identified three major components labeled tense-fearful, excitable-vocal, and aggressive, which together accounted for 69% of the observed variation. Females scored significantly higher than males, and non-breeders than breeders, for the component tense-fearful. Such assessments may provide a simple and non-invasive tool for predicting an individual's ability to adjust to the constraints of certain husbandry regimens and to reproduce in captivity. Simple measures of behavioral attributes may offer new insights for solving breeding problems and improving conservation management of endangered species in captivity.]
Woollard, S.P.: Designing for education and educating design at Bristol Zoo Gardens. Conservation Centres for the New Millennium (1999), pp. 101–107. [The author describes the emphasis placed on education in the development of new exhibits at Bristol Zoo, such as Bug World, Twilight World and the new elephant, gorilla and bird facilities.]
Zapico, T.A.: First documentation of flehmen in a common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius). Zoo Biology Vol. 18, No. 5 (1999), pp. 415–420. [A male hippo at Denver Zoo was observed giving a flehmen grimace on 14 occasions in July and August of 1998. Twelve instances of flehmen occurred after anogenital investigation of the female as she was leaving the pool. The two other instances occurred in the terrestrial portion of the enclosure after the male examined samples of the female's freshly voided urine. The frequency of flehmen increased as the female approached estrus. The author suggests that flehmen in common hippos may be an evolutionary remnant, rendered largely obsolete as they became more aquatic and developed the ability to close their nostrils. (Flehmen is already documented for the more terrestrial – and `primitive' – pygmy hippo.)]
Publishers of the periodicals listed:
Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society, 2060 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60614, U.S.A.
Conservation Centres for the New Millennium: Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Zoo Design, Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, Totnes Road, Paignton, Devon TQ4 7EU, U.K. [See review above]
The Newsletter, Primate Foundation of Arizona, P.O. Box 20027, Mesa, Arizona 85277–0027, U.S.A.
WPA News, World Pheasant Association, P.O. Box 5, Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire RG8 9PF, U.K.
Zoo Biology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158, U.S.A.
Der Zoologische Garten, Urban & Fischer Verlag GmbH, P.O. Box 100537, D-07705 Jena, Germany.