International Zoo News Vol. 49/6 (No. 319) September 2002
|Leaving the Ark: Project Lobo-Guará(Maned Wolf) at Belo Horizonte Zoo, Brazil||M. Teresa V. Leite-Young, Carlyle M. Coelho and Robert J. Young|
|Breeding Greater Flamingos at Budapest Zoo||István Vidákovits and Ágnes Pintér|
|Notes on the Buildings of Amsterdam Zoo||A.C. van Bruggen|
|Immigrants Find Work Polish Ponies in a Conservation Grazing Project||David Barnaby|
|International Zoo News|
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Much comment, in the zoological press and elsewhere, was sparked by an article a couple of years ago in Conservation Biology (J.F. Oates et al., Vol. 14, No. 5, 15261532) stating that Miss Waldron's red colobus monkey (Procolobus badius waldroni) was probably extinct. Most reports in the media chose to ignore the word `probably', and categorically described this colobus as the first primate taxon to disappear in modern times. (Did others besides myself, I wonder, find the sadness of this news tempered by a mild astonishment that, among the many primates teetering on the brink, only one, apparently, had so far actually fallen over?) Now a report in the latest issue of Oryx, the journal of Fauna and Flora International (Vol. 36, No. 3, p. 223), suggests that the obituary notices may indeed have been premature. W. Scott McGraw and John F. Oates, two of the authors of the original article, describe how McGraw and a colleague last year met a hunter in Ivory Coast who had a skin from an adult Miss Waldron's red colobus which they estimated had been killed no more than three months earlier. P. b. waldroni, evidently, is not extinct yet.
This is not, of course, the first time that presumptions of an animal's extinction have later proved to be `exaggerated' (to borrow the word Mark Twain used to describe a report of his own death). Proving a negative statement is frequently difficult, and several species have reappeared even after more than a century with no reliable sightings. The Bermuda petrel (Pterodroma cahow) seems to hold the record in this category, having been believed extinct by 1621 and only rediscovered in the 20th century. Such reprieves fuel the arguments of the kind of enthusiast who has not yet given up all hope of seeing a living thylacine, or Caribbean monk seal, or pink-headed duck. When rediscoveries do occur, they give us and the animal concerned a second chance. Whether this chance will be taken in the case of Miss Waldron's colobus, however, is doubtful. `The prospects for its survival,' McGraw and Oates conclude, `are bleak unless immediate action is taken.'
Another article in the same issue of Oryx (see under Barnes in our Recent Articles section, below, p. 378) gives absolutely no cause for optimism over the likely future of the mammals of the West and Central African forests. The author, Richard Barnes, uses a simulation model to demonstrate the long-term effects of bushmeat hunting, and shows that large harvests can be obtained for many years, but that a population collapse can happen suddenly there is no period of gradually declining harvests. `No government wildlife agency or non-governmental organisation will be able to address the bushmeat problem during the phase of good harvests, because nobody will believe there is a problem. . . By the time the collapse is noticed, it may well be too late to do anything about it.' If this gloomy prediction is well-founded, ex situ conservation may be the only hope for many of the species involved. But how many West and Central African mammals currently have self-sustaining populations in Western zoos?
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LEAVING THE ARK: PROJECT LOBO-GUARÁ (MANED WOLF) AT BELO HORIZONTE ZOO, BRAZIL
BY M. TERESA V. LEITE-YOUNG, CARLYLE M. COELHO AND ROBERT J. YOUNG
On his famous voyage on the Beagle, Charles Darwin visited Brazil, and saw for the first time a maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus). No one is infallible, and Darwin wrote in his notebook that he had seen an antelope; no doubt he was misled by the animal's coloration (black legs and a reddish-brown body), its body shape (tall with long, thin legs) and, of course, the fact that he was viewing it from some distance, needless to say without the aid of binoculars.
The maned wolf is one of South America's most extraordinary looking animals, and one about which we know relatively little. A few papers have been written about the diet of the species (from the analyses of faeces Motta-Junior et al., 1996; Aragona and Setz, 2001) and on its ecology (Dietz, 1984), but other than this little information from the field exists. Currently, the maned wolf is listed by the IUCN/SSC in their Red List (2000) as `Lower Risk, near Threatened'. It is the subject of managed captive-breeding programmes in both the U.S.A. (SSP) and Europe (EEP).
Belo Horizonte Zoo has kept and bred maned wolves for almost 20 years. At one point the zoo housed three breeding pairs, all of which were producing litters, plus another seven animals. In fact, our breeding programme was so successful that we undertook and published one of the first studies on parental behaviour of maned wolves (Veado, 1997). In total the zoo has bred around 40 wolves, of which 11 survived until adulthood. Our breeding programme became so successful that we needed to stop breeding the animals. We have of course continued to send maned wolves on breeding loan to foreign zoos on request (most recently a pair to Frankfurt and another pair to Stuttgart in Germany). The question then arose as to what we were going to do next with this species. Of course, like many zoos, we dreamed of having a reintroduction programme, especially as we were able to produce sufficient numbers of animals for such a programme. However, we knew that knowledge about the maned wolf was insufficient to justify such a project at this point in time: what we needed first was more data about the ecology and behaviour of the species.
Taking our lead from Hutchins and Conway's argument (1995) that zoos must think of themselves as much more than Noah's Arks, we set out on a project that was to take us beyond captive breeding and beyond the boundaries of our zoo Project Lobo-Guará. The ultimate aim of this project is to provide information that will facilitate the conservation of the maned wolf in the wild.
At the outset we wanted a multi-disciplinary project that would foster all aspects of maned wolf conservation here in Brazil and specifically in our home state of Minas Gerais. Therefore, we developed three complementary projects: (1) A field project that would investigate ecology and behaviour, including vegetation characterisation of habitats and identification of plant species; (2) A semi-captive study to provide detailed behavioural data; and (3) A public education programme. An auxiliary goal of the project was to provide `hands-on' training in conservation biology for university students an important activity for the future of conservation in Brazil. We knew, of course, that such a project would be very expensive to conduct, especially as we anticipated that it would need to run for a minimum of three years to obtain meaningful results.
At the same time as we were formulating our project, CEMIG the energy generating company of Minas Gerais was interested in initiating a conservation programme about maned wolves. CEMIG has a large environment department that employs many biologists who co-ordinate and develop research, education and conservation projects. The company also maintains natural reserves and a fauna breeding centre, and undertakes fauna rescue operations. Thus, we had found the perfect partner for our project.
We will now discuss each of the aforementioned projects and their goals in turn.
The field project
The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais is blessed with possessing parts of the fourth and sixth most important biodiversity hotspots in the world, the Atlantic Rainforest and the Brazilian Cerrado, respectively (Myers et al., 2000). The maned wolf is a resident of the Cerrado (grassland, but also including some forest) and of Minas Gerais.
Only 90 minutes drive south-east from the city of Belo Horizonte, where our zoo is located, is a private park called Caraça. Locally, Caraça is very famous because it is the site of a monastery and hotel up in the mountains (the southern Espinhaço range). For the last 20 years or so, every night once it is dark, one of the priests goes to the steps of the church with a bowl of meat and shouts `Guará, guará, guará . . .' until the maned wolves appear. Normally, two wolves appear each night to be fed like this by the priest; sometimes they are seen to be accompanied by pups, and this process has become something of a tourist spectacle. Thus, we knew the ideal site in which to study maned wolves.
Caraça park covers an area of 11,233 hectares at 850 to 2,072 metres above sea level; its environment is composed of montane Atlantic Forest at lower altitudes, `campos rupestres' and `campos de altitude' (rocky grasslands and montane savanna) at higher altitudes (Vasconcelos and Júnior, 2001). Recent mammal surveys conducted there by PUC-Minas University in Belo Horizonte recorded 60 different species, including maned wolf, tapir, Guianan squirrel (Sciurus aestuans), masked titi monkey (Callicebus personatus), giant anteater, bats, and evidence of cats such as ocelot and jaguar. A recent avifauna survey recorded 264 species of birds (Vasconcelos and Júnior, 2001). Thus, the park is an important conservation area. It is also interesting historically, since it is home to some ancient cave paintings, which show the fauna of this area ten thousand or more years ago.
The only way to obtain any meaningful field information on the maned wolves would be to radio-track them, since they avoid human contact. However, to track them in this environment we needed more than standard radio collars, since the terrain and the potential distance over which the animals range can be very extensive. Therefore, we bought the latest in Global Positioning System (GPS) collars (supplied by Televilt, Sweden). These collars transmit a signal to the GPS satellite system that then sends their position back to the collars (2000 times every 12 months) according to a schedule determined by the human users. The data from the collars can then be downloaded directly to a receiver every month and then into a computer for analysis. These collars provide the exact position of the wearer plus date and time. They also contain a standard radio tracking system to allow continuous following of the animals if they are close.
We commenced our field project in July 2000 when we captured a pair of maned wolves using a wooden trap, locally called an `arataca'; this trap, which causes no physical harm to the animals, is based on the model used by Dietz (1984). Once caught, each wolf was anaesthetised by our veterinarians to allow the placement of the GPS collar around its neck, and at the same time they were given a quick health check.
The data from the GPS collars are used not only to map the home range and area usage of the wolves, but also to identify the types of habitat that they use most frequently. In this part of the project we work with a botanist from our sister institution, the Botanical Garden of Belo Horizonte (we share the same park in the city). Our botanist identifies the habitat and the plants where the maned wolves have been, while our two field biologists collect evidence about the wolves' behaviour in these areas. So far, more than 600 plant species have been identified, including two endemic endangered species of cactus (Cipocereus laniflorus and C. minensis), which are now the subject of a joint study on their ecology between our botanical garden and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew (U.K.). For several days each month our field biologists attempt to follow the wolves using the radio function of their collars, to record their behaviour directly. We are currently investigating the use of GIS (Geographic Information System) in combination with our GPS data to provide a clearer picture of maned wolf ecology and behaviour.
Data from this study will be published in academic journals, so we cannot say too much here about our results to date. However, we can say, for example, that maned wolves range over an area much greater than previously thought. We also were happy to discover that the wolves had given birth to a pup during our study.
We knew from the outset that detailed observations of maned wolf behaviour in the field would be very difficult. Therefore, we decided to have a behavioural study on a pair of captive-bred wolves released into a semi-captive environment. The Belo Horizonte Zoo covers an area of 144 hectares, of which 80 ha are a wildlife reserve area; the habitat in this area is principally cerrado forest. For the study we created a 3.2-ha enclosure within the reserve area.
Every two years we release a new pair of maned wolves into this area (the old pair having been previously removed), who are fitted with standard radio collars to permit tracking. Within this enclosure we have built an observation tower from which we can watch the wolves. The main goal of this study is to gain information about how captive-bred and previously zoo-housed maned wolves adapt to a wild-type environment. These wolves are also allowed to breed, as we feel it is important to understand reproductive and parental behaviour in more natural environments. We do offer the animals some food, but from our analyses of their faeces we have discovered that they have been successful at hunting within their environment. Previously, our fauna surveys of the reserve area had confirmed an abundance of potential food for maned wolves (e.g., small rodent and marsupial species).
Using the radio collar signal and a compass to triangulate (locate the wolves), we are able to make direct observations of their behaviour. Our observations are made over the complete 24-hour period of a day. We believe the data from this study will prove to be extremely useful in assessing the potential for reintroducing captive-bred and zoo-housed maned wolves in the future.
Foreign visitors to Brazil may often be amazed by the number of zoos that exist within our country (more than 140 are registered with the Brazilian Zoo Society). Unfortunately, despite the great wealth of wildlife that exists in Brazil, very few Brazilians ever go to see natural environments other than beaches. Therefore, Brazilian zoos perform a vital role in educating the people about the wildlife and environments that exist within their country. We know that one of the most important steps affecting the success of a conservation programme is public education.
The focus of our education programme as part of Project Lobo-Guará was the education of school children in the city of Belo Horizonte (which has two million inhabitants), since children are the future decision-makers and remarkably good at modifying the behaviour of their parents.
Our main education programme for this project is called `The Wolf Trail'. In a small section of our cerrado forest reserve we have created a 200-metre-long trail. On this trail the children can see cerrado plants, trees, insects and birds (the reserve is home to more than 100 species of wild birds). Along the trail we have placed footprints of cerrado animals (such as the maned wolf), constructed rheas' and curassows' nests with eggs inside (dead eggs from our own birds), and placed the very smelly faeces of the maned wolves.
We have advertised our Wolf Trail to all the schools in Belo Horizonte, and it has a high take-up from schools representing all social classes. When the children arrive at the zoo, they are given a short orientation talk by one of our education staff and a video on the Project Lobo-Guará is presented. Then the children are each given a mask of a maned wolf's face to wear. We then teach them a short song about the cerrado environment Brazilian children love to sing! Then, it is off to the maned wolf trail to see what we can find. At various points along the trail one of our education officers explains different things about the cerrado and its animals to the children. For most of the children it is the first time they have been in a natural environment. Walking the trail, the explanations, various renditions of the song and answering the children's questions takes about one hour.
After the trail has been completed, we walk the children over to the on-exhibit maned wolf enclosures in the zoo. At the enclosure we have one of the keepers and of course the education staff to answer questions and to explain further to the children about the need for conservation. At this point the children are also shown a range of objects, including the zoo diet and the fruit that maned wolves eat in the wild. These sessions are very productive at eliminating untrue folklore that the children have learnt. For example, many of the children have heard that maned wolves attack people, which is completely untrue. The children receive a leaflet with information about the maned wolf at the end of the activity.
Along with the children's activity we have developed a web-site about our project (see below for address), and we are currently looking at developing an education programme for visitors to Caraça and the surrounding communities the site of our field study. First we are conducting a survey to find out about the knowledge of the local people and also what information they would like to have about the maned wolf. Following this survey we are going to develop a programme of education activities to be run for visitors at Caraça and also at the local schools.
Project Lobo-Guará has caught the attention of the national and international media, in all its aspects. Recently, the BBC Natural History Unit has filmed parts of two documentaries that have specifically focused on the educational aspect of the project.
Leaving the `ark' has not only been excellent for maned wolf conservation but has been an extremely rewarding experience for everyone in our zoo, and we would encourage more zoos to do the same. Zoos can only really call themselves conservation centres when they look beyond captive breeding of endangered species to the conservation of species in the wild. We are hopeful that the data we are currently gathering can be used in the future to start a reintroduction programme for the maned wolf here in our home state.
First and foremost we would like to thank CEMIG, without whom this project would not have been possible. Our special thanks to Luiz Augusto Barcellos Almeida (Manager of the Environmental Department) and Maria Cristina Alves (Executive Assistant). We also thank the priests Célio Maria Dell'Amore (Head of Caraça's monastery) and Sebastião Carvalho (Administrative Manager of Caraça). Thanks to Mr Tom Alanko from Televilt, Sweden, for technical support with the GPS collars. We are very grateful to the technical and administrative staff of Fundação Zoo-Botânica, zoo keepers and maintenance staff involved with the activities of the Project Lobo-Guará.
We dedicate this article to the memory of the priest José Tobias Zico who first started feeding and habituating the maned wolves in Caraça.
Aragona, M., and Setz, E.Z.F. (2001): Diet of the maned wolf, Chrysocyon brachyurus (Mammalia: Canidae), during wet and dry seasons at Ibitipoca State Park, Brazil. Journal of Zoology 254: 131136.
Dietz, J.M. (1984): Ecology and social organization of the maned wolf. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 392: 151.
Hutchins, M., and Conway, W.G. (1995): Beyond Noah's Ark: the evolving role of modern zoological parks and aquariums in field conservation. International Zoo Yearbook 34: 117130.
IUCN/SSC (2000): 2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available on-line at www.redlist.org.
Motta-Junior, J.C., Talamoni, S.A., Lombardi, J.A., and Simokomaki, K. (1996): Diet of the maned wolf, Chrysocyon brachyurus, in Central Brazil. Journal of Zoology 240: 277284.
Myers, N., Mittermeier, R.A., Mittermeier, C.G., Fonseca G.A.B., and Kent, J. (2000): Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 853858.
Vasconcelos, M.F. de, and Júnior, T.A.M. (2001): An ornithological survey of Serra do Caraça, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Cotinga 15: 2131.
Veado, B.V. (1997): Parental behaviour in maned wolf at Belo Horizonte Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook 35: 279286.
[An excellent source of information on the maned wolf is the IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group's web-site: www.canids.org/SPPACCTS/manedwlf.htm . If you would like more information on Project Lobo-Guará, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the web-site about Project Lobo-Guará, www.cemig.com.br\loboguara .]
M. Teresa V. Leite-Young and Carlyle M. Coelho, Fundação Zoo-Botânica de Belo Horizonte, Av. Otacílio Negrão de Lima 8000 Pampulha, 31365450 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil (E-mail: email@example.com ); Robert J. Young, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, Mestrado em Zoologia de Vertebrados Prédio 41, Av. Dom José Gaspar 500 Coração Eucarístico, 30535610 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
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BREEDING GREATER FLAMINGOS AT BUDAPEST ZOO
BY ISTVÁN VIDÁKOVITS AND ÁGNES PINTÉR
Budapest Zoo has kept flamingos since 1966. From the beginning until 1999 we always kept a mixed group of Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis) and two subspecies of greater flamingos (P. ruber ruber and P. ruber roseus). During this period we never had any breeding results, except one infertile egg. Probably the two major reasons for this unproductive period were the unsuitable group size and the inadequate housing. The maximum size of our mixed group was 24 individuals. In the summertime they had a large, shady maybe too shady area near to the main gate, but during the winter they were housed in one of our bird houses with an area of 32 m2, of which the pool occupied 8 m2.
The first breeding results appeared after 1999, when we decided to keep only one subspecies of greater flamingo, P. r. roseus, but in a much bigger group and in a new enclosure.
Housing and accommodation
In 1999 the Chilean and Caribbean (P. r. ruber) flamingos were sent to other zoos. At the beginning of the summer a new outside area was built with an area of about 200 m2, of which the pool is 116 m2. In the same year we received 25 new individuals from the wild. The new group was successfully integrated with the remaining seven birds during the winter of 1999/2000, when they were housed in the old 'bull box' in our elephant house, which is about 40 m2 in total area including an approximately 10-m2 pool. The substrate in the house was sand.
In the spring of 2000 we received 20 more wild-caught birds, and these were introduced to the existing group in the late summer. During the winter of 2000/2001 the entire newly-formed group of 52 birds was housed in a free-standing house behind the outside enclosure, which is not accessible to visitors. The size of this house is about 64 m2 including a 16-m2 pool, and the substrate is again ordinary sand, as this has proved to be very good in the past.
Our flamingos are fed three times a day. The first feed is always dried sideswimmer (Gammarus fossarum), which is spread in the early morning into the pool so they can forage on it. The second and third feeds are the so-called `soft food' with raw spinach purée. They get this food in early and late afternoon. The soft food is composed of curd cheese, grated carrot, onion, boiled potatoes, boiled rice, boiled egg, corn grits, breadcrumbs, bran, salt, yeast, boiled minced meat, raw minced meat, minerals and vitamins.
The first breeding results appeared in 2000. The group was in the winter area in the elephant house, when they started to build nests and lay eggs. Between 23.04.2000 and 21.06.2000 nine eggs were laid. Unfortunately only one chick hatched out and was reared by the parents. Three other chicks were drowned in the early stages of incubation. One egg was broken and the other four were infertile.
In the next breeding season, 2001, 36 eggs were laid between 6 January and 4 May. This number means that some of the pairs laid at least two eggs, although it is well known that in the wild flamingos have only one egg. Of these 36, 24 were infertile, one was broken, one was lost, one chick was drowned in the early stages of incubation, and only four were hatched and reared by their parents. One egg hatched in an incubator, but the chick died a few days later from stricture of the oesophagus.
Probably the most unexpected occurrence was that in the middle of August our flamingo group started to breed again. Everybody was very surprised when they started to build nests and lay eggs, because in the wild they have only one breeding season per year. Between 8 August and 9 September they laid 22 eggs. This time ten chicks hatched out and all of them were parent-reared. Of the remaining eggs, one was abnormally small, one was broken and ten were infertile. All the chicks were marked with microchips.
I think that finally we may say that our breeding results from 2001 were very good (14 chicks), even though the proportion of infertile eggs was quite high (66% in the first breeding period and 45% in the second). The major reason for the high infertility may be that some of the birds are still too young.
The present stock is 54 individuals, because besides the successful breeding, in the past few years we also lost a few adults, mainly due to leg problems. These problems mainly occurred when the animals were being kept in the elephant house, where the space was quite restricted. Since they have been in the new winter house these leg problems have never recurred.
It was good to see that during these few breeding periods our old birds have bred as well as the newcomers. All in all, our experience reinforces the earlier finding from other zoos, that a proper group size is one of the most important conditions for the successful breeding of flamingos.
We are looking forward to seeing the results this year. Our plan is to put some special identification rings on our flamingos so that we can observe them from a greater distance, and to see which pairs are breeding twice in one year.
István Vidákovits and Ágnes Pintér, Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden, Állatkerti krt. 612, 1146 Budapest, Hungary (E-mail: email@example.com ).
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NOTES ON THE BUILDINGS OF AMSTERDAM ZOO
BY A.C. VAN BRUGGEN
The history of the Amsterdam zoological garden Natura Artis Magistra (colloquially known as Artis) since its birth in 1838 has been long and eventful. The history of the zoo is closely linked to that of its buildings. A lot of building has gone on in its almost 165 years of existence. A succession of directors have always striven to keep animals in state-of-the-art buildings, as is so prominently shown by the revolutionary new complex for African animals opened a short time ago on the newly-acquired land at the north-eastern corner of the gardens.
Of course, all the buildings were designed according to the standards of the day, and they always purported to represent the finest value for money and for their prospective inhabitants. In nineteenth-century thinking safety was considered paramount, particularly when designing for strong and dangerous animals such as large carnivores and pachyderms. Not for nothing did the old `bear palace' look like a fortress!
In September 2001 the junior minister of culture, Rick van der Ploeg, came to the zoo in person to apprise the director, Dr M. Frankenhuis, of his decision to designate a number of zoo buildings as part of the cultural heritage of the Netherlands. Among these are the wolves' building, the giraffe house, the Volharding complex and the garden opposite the lion house, the so-called Dutch garden (originally 1863, major alteration 1891). These `listed' buildings have been entered on a national list of buildings representing the most characteristic architecture of various periods. Earlier (1972) a series of buildings (mainly those bordering the public road, the Plantage Middenlaan) had already been declared `monuments'.
Four categories of buildings
Many of the old buildings, including some designed by noted architects, have, of course, gone for ever. In our evaluation here four categories may be discerned, as follows: (a) buildings irretrievably lost by demolition; (b) old buildings repeatedly adapted, refurbished, renovated, restored and occasionally altered beyond recognition (some `new' buildings were even erected on old foundations); (c) new buildings still standing with some adaptation; and (d) recent developments.
Table 1 is an attempt to list the various buildings and their history. Of course, in addition there have always been numerous enclosures with minor buildings for various types of herbivores, etc. The table does not pretend to be complete, as I failed to obtain details on some of the buildings; also, the dates shown are those of the (official) opening at times building operations stretched over more than one year. Examples of the various categories are discussed below.
I have been unable to trace the origin of the famous pheasantry. This complex consists of two rows of aviaries with heated night quarters, separated by a rose garden, with the ibis house at its northern end. On the south the complex is open and in fact may be seen from the street outside. The pheasantry has always accommodated a rich collection of galliform birds in the widest sense, but also bustards, megapodes, waders, rails, etc., and at times even small mammals. The overgrown and sheltered aviaries (the heated night quarters formerly open to the public in winter) have always been quite successful as regards breeding of the inmates. The pheasantry is shown in old guidebooks (beginning of the 20th century) and must have existed at least since the last quarter of the 19th century. It is mentioned by Peel (1903: 44) who visited the zoo in early 1902.
Demolished historic buildings (category a)
Among the lost buildings are many that were already replaced in the 19th century or before World War I. The first monkey, carnivore and giraffe houses are only known from early published illustrations. The first monkey house (18521909) had an unusual structure on the roof containing a large water basin that was supposed to keep the temperature down during hot summer days. The first giraffe house (18561863) was a `temporary' building partly consisting of a large tent.
The massive bear house (called the `bear palace', but rather resembling a fortified castle), opened in 1897 and demolished in 1974, at one time housed a complete collection of bears (of course, bar the giant panda) with in addition hyenas, wolves and lynxes, and sometimes even jackals. I have visited Amsterdam Zoo fairly regularly since the end of World War II and I recall this imposing building with affection. Of course, by today's standards, the enclosures were far too small, but nevertheless, lots of bears were born here (including even polar bears), and the inmates enjoyed long and presumably happy lives.
Another more modest but nevertheless important building was the old small mammal house (from before World War I to 1977), a veritable treasure house containing lots of interesting species of monotremes, marsupials, bats, prosimians and small monkeys, edentates, rodents, carnivores, and at times even tiny antelope species. This building, with its long inside corridor with enclosures on both sides (most with their own outside enclosure), was for obvious reasons colloquially called the `Pullman car' or the `fox-corridor' (vossengang). In 1977 it was replaced by the new small mammal house. For the taxonomist the old building was always full of surprises; I well remember the anticipation of returning to this building after a period of absence. This house was partly preceded by the so-called `circular glasshouse' (ronde kas), which at one time housed the succession of long-beaked echidnas or spiny anteaters (Zaglossus sp.) from New Guinea studied by Kerbert (1913).
Another building whose replacement was long overdue was the old (but already second) hippopotamus house (18681963); initially a steam-powered rice-hulling factory, it was cleverly adapted for hippos, who appeared to thrive in this building and its roomy outside enclosure. Later (1950s) this house also held pygmy hippos.
What has also disappeared was a smallish but quite artistic penguin enclosure built in the 1930s by the staff to the design of a locally well-known sculptor, Jaap Kaas. Of course, there is a limit to what can be conserved for the future, but I think many regretted the demolition of this facility. In many respects the modern penguin complex is biologically and zootechnically a great improvement, although, again, this has needed alteration and adaptation.
A once famous crane gallery housing almost all known species of crane was situated more or less where the bird meadow is now, and disappeared around the late twenties of the last century. Until about the middle 1970s the ground floor of the Volharding complex housed an impressive series of wild and domestic cattle, including breeding groups of Cape buffalo on the eastern side. The indoor stables were accessible to the public in winter. In periods of severe weather this was a warm and quiet spot with its own characteristic atmosphere the cattle peacefully ruminating, the stillness at times interrupted by exotic bellows.
Old buildings still in use after alteration and improvement (category b)
As shown in the table, this is by far the largest category, ranging from (almost) new buildings on old foundations to completely overhauled pre-World War I houses. Some have undergone such changes that most of the original plan is no longer traceable. The aquarium, from the outside fortunately still the old imposing Victorian building, has changed inside to such an extent that only frequent visitors of yore still recognize it. Of course, aquarium technology has progressed to such a degree since the 1950s that simple restoration was out of the question. At the end of the 19th century the Artis aquarium was state-of-the-art, and it became so once again at the end of the 20th century.
Bird, monkey, lion and giraffe houses still show remnants of their past glory. The elephant house as such is no longer recognizable. The original building was a complex containing stables for horses and storehouses. The latest renovation has added a new front on the north, which also applies to the giraffe house.
Some buildings have a more mundane background. The ibis aviaries were originally built as a summer residence for a wealthy family. The wolves' house began life as a pub (the Eik en Linde, `Oak and Lime') and was adapted in 1928 for canids, hyenas, cheetahs, Malayan and sloth bears on the ground floor, with upstairs small mammal enclosures and the first animal behaviour laboratory in the Netherlands, occupied by the zoologist Dr J.A. Bierens de Haan. The first-floor small mammal enclosures (quiet and dark) once housed the famous long-lived aye-aye (19141937), whom I may have espied as a child before the war.
Another building worth recalling is the house between the present blackbuck (the blackbuck have recently been phased out) and lesser panda enclosures. The old house, a villa called `Laanzicht', was bought in 1853 and served the society as polar bear house, pigeon loft, manatee house, and incubator house for birds' eggs; at one time the additional wing sheltered an almost complete collection of ratites.
New buildings with some adaptation (category c) and completely new buildings (category d)
The main representative of category c is the new hippo house as the only one incorporating major changes. This important building was opened in 1967 and designed to house both species of hippo, but also two species of tapir, common seals, manatees, and a number of tropical birds flying free inside among the exotic vegetation. The first floor was destined for animal behaviour studies of the zoology department of Amsterdam University. This building has now been converted to a gorilla house, but still retains accommodation for Malayan tapirs the hippos and sirenians having been phased out altogether. The birds had already disappeared at an early stage. The conversion was rather radical both inside and outside, resulting in a modern gorilla facility. Personally, I regret the (temporary?) disappearance of the common hippopotamus for three reasons: (1) in our country this species will disappear except for the famous herd at Emmen; (2) the history of the Amsterdam zoological gardens is closely connected to the common hippopotamus, this animal being almost the icon of Artis; and (3) this hippo, although not as yet threatened in its existence, is an intrinsically interesting and charismatic species. Fortunately the (nearby) Antwerp Zoo is planning to build a new hippo house. Incidentally, the pygmy hippo (no longer represented in Amsterdam) does extremely well in captivity and may now be seen in more establishments than its larger cousin.
The 1977 small mammal house is little altered; many partitions have been removed, resulting in fewer but larger enclosures.
The most recent complex is that of the African savanna, mainly for white-tailed gnu, Grevy's zebra and scimitar-horned oryx (with some smaller mammals and also birds), combined with a new restaurant cum playground, a massive greenhouse and a yard with storage facilities, etc. This complex is indeed a revolutionary 21st-century development, with solar panels for green power, water purification plant, and an intricate buildings management system incorporating a computer-run climate and lighting control system. The technicians are even able to adjust these systems by logging in from home.
There is a profuse literature on Amsterdam Zoo, but unfortunately almost all is in Dutch. However, there is a dearth of literature on the buildings of the zoo. Of course, a lot of details are available in the general literature. There is one somewhat obscure title, namely Hasselman and Meijs (undated, but published in 1977). These two students of Delft University produced a joint master's thesis on the park, buildings and cages in the 19th century; this well-illustrated treatise in Dutch is highly informative and indeed is a little-known landmark in zoo architecture studies in the Netherlands (though unfortunately some data are not entirely accurate). As regards literature in English, the 2001 English edition of the guidebook contains a lot of data (also historical details), and already more than a decade ago I attempted to give a simple overview (van Bruggen, 1988).
Thanks are due to the director of Amsterdam Zoo and his staff (particularly Ms Charlotte Vermeulen and Ms Henriette Plantenga) for kindly supplying the accompanying photographs and commenting on the manuscript. Please note that any shortcomings are entirely due to the present author.
References and sources
Artis guide (2001). 80 pp., Amsterdam.
Hasselman, B., and Meijs, M. (1977): Natura Artis Magistra. Het park, de gebouwen en de kooien in de 19e eeuw. 64 pp., Mart. Spruijt Uitgever, Amsterdam.
Kerbert, C. (1913): Mitteilungen über Zaglossus. Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 19: 167184.
Peel, C.V.A. (1903): The Zoological Gardens of Europe: Their History and Chief Features. xiv + 256 pp. F.E. Robinson and Co., London.
van Bruggen, A.C. (1988): Amsterdam Zoological Gardens, 18381988. International Zoo News 35 (5): 38.
Table 1. The main buildings of the Amsterdam Zoological Gardens and their history traced from the literature. (The categories ad are explained in the text. Years separated by a slash (/) indicate year of opening and year of major refurbishment. A number of animal houses were built on the foundations of earlier buildings.)
Aquarium: 1882, most recently substantially renovated 1997 [b].
Bear House: 18971974 [a]. New bear terraces: 1974 [c].
Bird House: 1910/1960 [b].
Camel Enclosure: 1940 [b].
Cattle Enclosures (ground level, Volharding): before World War I1976 [a]. (European bison still accommodated in this area.)
Chimpanzee House: 1953 (designed as house for young apes, gorilla house 19631990), altered and connected to original (1971) chimpanzee enclosure mid-1990s [b].
Elephant House: 1897/1974, originally pachyderm house with, in addition, tapirs and later also rhinos [b].
Giraffe/Antelope House: 1863, repeatedly restored, latest renovation 1998 [b].
Hippopotamus House: 18601868 [a]. Second building 18681963 [a]. New hippopotamus house: 1967, major conversion as gorilla house: 1988/89 [c].
Ibex Rock: 1941 [b].
Ibis Aviaries: 1868, renovation early 1990s [b].
Lion House: 1859, enclosures enlarged 1930 (since repeatedly altered and improved) [b]. Lion terrace: 1929 [b].
Minangkabau House (small deer, antelope, anoa): 1916 [b].
First Monkey House: 18521909 [a]. Present monkey house: 1909 [b].
Monkey Rock: 19401966, rebuilt 1966 (since repeatedly altered and improved) [b].
Owl Ruins: 1922 [b].
Old Penguin Enclosure: 19351957 [a]. New penguin enclosures: 1961 (since repeatedly altered and improved) [b].
Reptile House: 1910, has undergone a series of adaptations including extensions 1975/1982 [b].
Seal Rock 18781978 [a]. New seal enclosures: 1980 (includes insect house and greenhouse).
Small Mammal House: 19th-century ronde kas (`round greenhouse') [a]. Vossengang (`foxes' corridor') or `Pullman car': before World War I1977 [a]. Present small mammal house: 1977 [b].
Volharding (`Perseverance') complex: 1888 (originally partly ethnographic museum; until seventies of last century with cattle enclosures, birds of prey aviaries; zoology department, University of Amsterdam), restored/adapted 1996 (now housing `Jungle by Night', European bison, birds of prey aviaries, with offices upstairs) [b].
Wolves House: 1928 [b]. Wolves Wood: 1999 [c].
(Old) Zebra house: 1920 [b].
Dr A.C. van Bruggen, c/o National Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 9517, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
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IMMIGRANTS FIND WORK POLISH PONIES IN A CONSERVATION GRAZING PROJECT
BY DAVID BARNABY
There have been some notable schemes recently where large grazing animals have been assigned tasks less directly associated with man's profit than with his culture and environment. Within the zoo community, the bachelor group of Przewalski horses `employed' to graze land on the Eelmoor Marsh project in the south of England is perhaps the best known probably because the horses themselves were provided by Marwell Zoological Park. We know about this scheme generally through the zoo community's own literature [see, e.g., I.Z.N. 43 (3), 190192 Ed.]. The horses themselves are seen by comparatively few people, as their place of work is on land with very restricted access, belonging to the Ministry of Defence.
There are aspects of immediate zoological interest in a scheme such as the one at Eelmoor. One: the animals are a non-British species. Two: these non-British animals are living in comparative freedom in Britain. Three: they are required to have a certain impact on the land they occupy.
The crisis caused by the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak of 2001 raised some awareness about herds of exotic ungulates existing outside zoological institutions unless we give the term `zoological institutions' a very wide meaning indeed. Mixed in with the daily news of mass cullings and bonfires of bodies, zoologically-oriented ears caught occasional references to such things as threatened herds of water buffalo living in farm-like conditions in the proximity of domestic cattle. I have not researched any British herds of water buffalo, but I know that some are employed in particular grazing schemes. There is one at Chippenham Fen, Cambridgeshire, and another in Wales. Supplies of Mozzarella cheese may also be in their debt.
In fact, herds of exotic, wild or independent-living ungulates are currently used in a variety of grazing schemes in many parts of Britain. In addition to Przewalski horses and water buffalo, there are Exmoor ponies in Lancashire. Exmoor Ponies may not be an exotic species in Britain but, as a group, they are exotic to Lancashire. Groups of Dartmoor ponies, New Forest ponies and Polish Konik ponies have also been employed, in their own right, in places remote from their assumed homeland.
The Polish word konik (plural koniki) simply means `small horse', but in English zoo language we use it to refer to a particular kind of Polish pony the Bilgoraj Konik. This is the mouse-grey, dorsal-striped, convex-fronted animal which carries genes from the extinct forest tarpan and which we associate with tarpan re-breeding experiments by such as Vetulani and Heck, and which, in turn, reminds us of other breeding/restoration projects such as those for the American bison, the European bison, the aurochs and the quagga. (The mammoth one day? Wouldn't that be a coup for a zoo!)
It was only recently, and coincidentally just after reading a rather startling little book about Lutz Heck's wartime activities concerning European bison and Konik ponies in Poland, that I learned that there were Konik ponies in Britain. Their existence was something of a surprise to me, and when I mentioned the fact to others in the zoo community, I saw that it was a surprise to them, too. Konik ponies, although not truly wild animals, are big, exotic creatures which have a history coloured with drama, dedication and skullduggery. Zoo community eyes lit up.
Being much drawn to wild equids myself, I hot-footed it to Suffolk, where I did indeed find Koniks and their keepers.
I have mentioned the term `zoo community' several times already, and I have done so deliberately because the working, wild-living Koniks in Britain are associated, not with the zoo community, but with the community of Wildlife Trusts, who share the working end, not the armchair end, of the British conservation community.
It is the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, and its reserve at Redgrave and Lopham Fen (one reserve, not two), which lie at the centre of management of the Suffolk Koniks. The main herd is at Redgrave and Lopham Fen (RLF) near Diss, and there is an off-shoot bachelor group of four at another reserve called Hen Reed Beds (HRB) near Southwold.
There are 20 Koniks at RLF. Three of them stick together and do not currently associate with the other 17. There is ample room for them to do this. The seventeen constitute an impressive herd. They are largely homogeneous in colour certainly compared to some of the re-bred tarpans I have seen although there are two colour strains just discernible within the herd. The famous mouse-grey shade is seen in the Polish strain from the original imported animals. A shade slightly more orange can be traced to a Konik stallion who came from the herd grazing the Oostvaardersplasses Reserve on South Flevoland in the Netherlands. The dorsal stripe was dark, distinctive and narrow.
In February, when I saw them, the animals' coats were woolly. The lower legs, like those of a Przewalski horse, were quite dark. The dark leg areas sometimes break up into stripes, but these were hardly discernible on the wet, muddy legs of the RLF herd such was the weather. On the stallion Nord at HRB, the leg stripes were more obvious. I saw him on a different day.
The hoofs of the Koniks are quite large, compared to the delicate-looking hoofs of wild equids, although they are equally tough and durable. The size may be an advantage in negotiating wetland. It may also have some connection with the domestic-horse genes which they carry.
The manes varied from animal to animal. They were not stiff and brush-like as in the wild equids that we know, but neither were they long and luxurious. In several cases, they grew upwards first and then turned over.
Members of the herd sometimes moved around at full gallop. The horses are, however, easily seen by visitors (the reserve is open all the year round). To say that they are approachable may be an understatement. In several equid enclosures where I have been with the animals' keeper, the zebras, onagers etc. showed the usual equid curiosity by approaching at a steady walking pace, then usually forming a group or circle around us, but leaving a certain flight distance most of the time. The Koniks at both RLF and HRB hurried over to us, left no flight distance, and explored us by chewing on our various body parts and clothes. The behaviour was sometimes boisterous but not hostile. When it got too boisterous by human standards, one simply had to retreat. At one point, in the midst of the HRB bachelors, I tried to take a step forward and found that I could not. A Konik was grazing on the hair at the back of my head. Until I tried to move I was unaware of this companionship. Our accompanying Field Officer adopted the time-honoured laconic approach of keepers, and simply said, `He likes it.' Another good bar-room story, like the time a German tarpan leaned over the fence and bit me on the belly.
The Suffolk Koniks live out all the year round and support themselves almost totally. They are given occasional mineral licks and periodic wormings, and a few bales of hay in very severe weather. Sometimes not all of the hay is eaten. In these conditions, too, they have bred without problems. At least once in the Suffolk literature I have seen the phrase `breeding herd' used. It is, of course, true, but the herd is not a breeding herd at the moment. Several of the males are geldings, and the principal stallion currently lives in the bachelor group. One has to remember that this is not primarily a breeding project, but a grazing project. The optimum number of animals is one which will be arrived at by experience and observation. Certainly, the herd has the potential to breed whenever the management consider it desirable. Koniks may be fascinating animals with extremely significant ancestors, and rarely seen in Britain, but they do not constitute an endangered species.
At RLF, a large reserve, the Koniks share the year-round grazing with 62 Hebridean sheep, and from May to December with 34 Sussex cattle. The latter look like the traditional brown cow. The grazing schemes are part of a major conservation and restoration project for this significant area of fenland. At one point it was drying out, losing its own species and producing far too much scrub and low bush. The overall scheme is, of course, closely tied to local water supplies and has involved the construction of a new borehole by the water authorities. The naturalist David Bellamy played his part when he wrote his Ph.D. thesis about this very reserve. The fenland could be maintained by machines, but the grazing is more thorough and ongoing, season-sensitive, less sudden and variously specialised to the advantage of different areas, e.g. scrub edge, water edge, reed bed, deep water etc. The Koniks maintain and open up narrow tracks through the reed beds. The 19th-century acclimatisation societies probably did not think about that kind of usefulness, but I expect they would have been pleased anyway, especially as the animals look so good.
Since the grazing/restoration project has been active, conditions for fen plants and creatures have much improved. At RLF the butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris) has returned and the bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris) has increased its numbers. The fen raft spider (Dolomedes plantarius), too, has a more assured existence; RLF is one of only two known British sites for this species. The same applies to the bearded tits, redshanks, water rails and lapwings at HRB. An occasional marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) used to be seen there now there are three recorded pairs. Where there was a single pair of bitterns (Botaurus stellaris) at HRB, there are now many.
In the early days the Trust experimented with native breeds of pony, but none were truly wetland animals. Exmoor, Highland, Shetland and New Forest ponies achieved varying degrees of project success. A friendship between Suffolk Wildlife director Derek Moore (who had seen Koniks in Poland) and Marek Borkowski in Poland resulted in the adoption of Koniks for the fen restoration project. The wetland environment was no problem at all to the Koniks.
In November 1995, five Koniks, a stallion and four mares, arrived at RLF from Poland. The stallion, Nord, was not immediately used for breeding. In fact, a stallion from the Netherlands was used first for breeding a little later, and this accounts for those of the herd genes which give the more orange tinge. Nord, now more mature (and the one showing the more distinctive stripes on the lower leg), currently lives at HRB but is available for breeding.
The Koniks have individual names, mainly Polish in origin, but the RLF Field Officer expressed some reluctance to use these names. But naming remains the most convenient way of referring to them. Naming, after all, goes back to Adam and the very depths of language and philosophy. What the officer wants to avoid is any sentimental relationship growing up between a named animal and a (presumably named) member of the public. Such things can sometimes cause obstacles. Each of the animals also has a freeze-branded number.
The ponies seem to like contact with people, but the public is instructed not to feed them. The job of the Koniks, after all, is to eat what the fen provides. Public treats would also modify their behaviour, encouraging them to congregate too often by the car-park fence instead of penetrating the reserve. `. . . so please no carrots or there will be no bitterns booming in spring,' are the last words of a public notice at HRB.
There are other Koniks in East Anglia. How could one not have known this? Recently the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) first borrowed and then bought eight Koniks from the Suffolk Trust. These eight are now resident at the well-known Minsmere bird reserve. In fact, it was a press item about the Minsmere Koniks which led me to the main herd at RLF. The RSPB an organisation wholly expert in publicity and self-congratulation would not let this pass, but did acknowledge the role of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. I suppose even the RSPB could not produce eight Polish ponies out of the blue.
Yet more: the Norfolk Broads authority has a number of Koniks grazing its water-filled lands. I have not seen these animals but understand that the Broads Koniks carry more genes from the Dutch herd and have slightly more variation in colour. In the Broads, the Koniks have even more space and hiding places, and they often go unnoticed by the public.
It is the forbears of the Koniks, the fabled and extinct tarpans, who add a touch of glamour and drama to their name. Tarpans lived in central and eastern Europe until the middle of the 19th century. They were the truly wild horses of Europe and elsewhere. Among the Lascaux cave paintings, in addition to the horse with the Przewalski-like colouring, there is a darker one which might have been a tarpan. The Konik ponies of Suffolk are several times referred to as tarpans in the Suffolk literature. It is fascinating enough to see this word used unselfconsciously, and its use may symbolise some aspect of a belief in the project, as well as bestowing the magic which is the ponies' due. The exact difference between Koniks especially these, bred for their tarpan-like characteristics and tarpans may not be measurable. What is thankfully immeasurable is the cultural, ethical and aesthetic effects which they can work on humans.
The recorded history of the tarpan is an exciting story. I must restrict myself here to a few details concerning the Konik ponies. As has often been the case, the tarpan aroused scientific interest when it was already on the verge of extinction. A few were kept on reserves or in captivity, but the few remaining forest tarpans in Poland were allowed to be absorbed by the domestic ponies of the peasants in the various regions where they survived. The domestic ponies of these remote regions were probably already carrying a certain proportion of tarpan genes through generations of contact. Eventually it was noticed that certain Konik ponies had characteristics known to be those of the pure tarpan. Apart from the mouse-grey colouring, dorsal stripe, shape etc., there was also a tendency to turn partly white in winter.
Before the Second World War, two people in particular took a special interest in the tarpan-like characteristics of the Bilgoraj Konik. One was Polish and one was German. The Pole was Tadeusz Vetulani of Poznan University, who began selecting Koniks for a tarpan re-breeding project in the Bialowieza Forest. Two of his Koniks, a male and a female, had the tendency to turn whitish in winter, always retaining the dark points. The project was successful and another herd was established in the Popielno Forest. Attempts were made to regenerate the European bison, also, at this time.
The other person interested in re-breeding the tarpan was clearly from the zoo community. Lutz Heck was the director of Berlin Zoo. He and his brother Heinz, director of Munich Zoo, both started tarpan re-breeding projects using a variety of equids. The brothers, both interested in German forest and hunting culture, established independent breeding groups. Both claimed success. Lutz's herd was wiped out by the war, but there is no reason to doubt the physical characteristics that both claimed for the re-bred tarpans.
The Hecks were middle-class, educated pre-war Germans. Along with other creative people living in the humiliated Germany after the First World War, Lutz, at least, supported the Nazi party, presumably seeing it as a gleam of hope for the country. I have no idea whether the brothers were aware of the unspeakable side of Nazi policy. According to Nazi propaganda, the Germans were the master race and the Poles were somewhat lower in the supposed scale of humanity. Vetulani was a Pole. Heck was not only a German, but seems to have risen in the ranks and held an important position in the department or ministry responsible for nature, forests and the associated animals. Germany overran Poland. Poland, the scene of many Nazi crimes, held the Konik ponies. Lutz Heck was interested in tarpan re-breeding. The ponies were there for the taking by Heck.
Why am I making these unpleasant allegations? I am quoting from the little book I mentioned earlier in this article. It was published, in French, in 1999 and is called Aurochs, Le Retour d'une Supercherie Nazie, which roughly translates as `The aurochs, the return of a Nazi con-trick'. The book is published by what looks like a political publisher, but at least one of its co-authors is not unknown in zoological literature. The book gives all the appearance of being well researched, but it has an angry and unambiguous message. The translated dedication is `to the naturalist victims of Heck and the victims of Nazism'.
The title clearly tells us that the book is about Lutz Heck's experiments in the re-breeding of the aurochs, but it makes several statements and offers quotations concerning his treatment of the Polish Koniks. The book has an `Abstract' in English, from which I quote here:
`The authors of this work had access to little-known documents concerning Heck's experiments, but also to the fact that he organised the pillaging of naturalist collections in German-occupied countries: he personally commanded and supervised the theft of herds of small primitive horses from the Bialowieza National Park in Poland . . .'
Other parts of the main text refer to Koniks as food and as providers of fur hat-bands.
The RLF, HRB and Minsmere Koniks come from Poland; from the private herd started by Marek Borkowski at the Biebzra National Park, which is a breeding herd from Popielno and Bialowieza stock, using tarpan features as selective criteria. I have heard the figure `98 per cent tarpan' quoted. Their looks do not belie this.
The Suffolk Wildlife Trust Koniks do carry a lot of history with them, often sad, but currently full of hope and real usefulness. They are spectacular in their own right. They have that marvellous prehistoric look, especially in their winter coats. I came away from the herd with the feeling of privilege that one experiences after a close encounter with remarkable animals.
Thanks to Isobel Cullingworth, Andrew Excell, Alan Miller and Helen Smith. The two Field Officers of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust were immensely helpful; I had hours of their time, hospitality at the Visitor Centre, and one came in from his holiday.
Anon. (2002): Munch management at Minsmere. Birds (Spring issue). Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Chelminski, Rudolph (n.d.): Polish forest, a time machine. Article with photos in a magazine whose details I have failed to trace, possibly Smithsonian.
Daszkiewicz, Piotr, and Aikhenbaum, Jean (1999): Aurochs, Le Retour d'une Supercherie Nazie. Histoire, Sciences, Totalitarisme, Éthique, et Société (HSTES), Paris.
Heck, Heinz (c. 1951): The re-breeding of the tarpan. Oryx (Fauna and Flora Preservation Society, London).
Suffolk Wildlife Trust: Information sheets about the tarpan and the Trust's own Koniks.
Wright, Jonathan (1995): Recreating the tarpan. The Mane No. 2 (Wild Equid Society, London).
David Barnaby, 189 Stockport Road, Timperley, WA15 7SF, U.K.
* * *
A breakthrough in giant panda captive breeding
For the past seven years I've spent a few months each year conducting behavioral research at the panda breeding center in the Wolong Nature Reserve in the mountains of Sichuan, China. During my tenure there I have been fortunate to witness a remarkable rise in the rate of natural matings, births, and cub survival. Why these recent successes? Without doubt, a variety of factors have come into play, including the increased expertise of the Wolong staff, along with collaborations with nutritionists, endocrinologists, keepers, veterinarians, and other members of San Diego Zoo's panda team. But I will concentrate on the contributions of San Diego' behavioral research team.
The giant panda is notorious for its reluctance to mate and rear offspring in captivity, so we set out to address these major obstacles. We looked to nature for guidance and sought to mimic the behavioral environment experienced by wild pandas. Pandas are solitary in the wild and come together for mating purposes during a brief period each spring, relying on scent signals to find one another at the proper time. They use communal scent stations, much like community bulletin boards, where individuals come to read `messages' left by other pandas and leave a message of their own. But what do these messages mean and what role do they play in reproduction?
Through a series of experiments we learned that not only can pandas determine age, sex, and reproductive condition from scent, but they also recognize individuals and can determine how long ago the scent was left. They can detect three-month-old scent deposited from the anal gland, and urine signals last about two weeks, giving pandas enough time to find them before they degrade. One of our most interesting findings was that male pandas up-end themselves to deposit urine in a handstand position, apparently to communicate size, fighting ability, and territory ownership. But most significantly, we found that pandas' libido increases when they smell the scent of the opposite sex, and males get especially aroused by the scent of an estrous female. Outside of the mating season, pandas avoid or respond aggressively to each other, so olfactory communication may be essential for switching to friendly, sexual behavior. The Wolong staff ensures that channels for olfactory communication remain open during the mating season by repeatedly exposing the male and female to each other's odors before attempting a mating introduction.
In addition to these studies of pandas' odoriferous attributes, detailed observations of female behavior have given us a much better understanding of the estrous cycle and enabled us to predict when females were approaching their fertile period, which led us to improve behavioral management. We are currently focusing on male reproductive behavior and hope to develop additional remedial measures for poor breeding performance. Also, we record the details of all mating introductions to determine why sometimes things go awry. Pandas occasionally show preferences for particular mating partners, so if one pair does not copulate, we allow them to choose another mate.
Management for optimal reproductive performance does not take place just during the mating season. Many pandas have developed abnormal behaviors such as pacing, indicating suboptimal psychological health that may hinder breeding performance. To address this problem, we changed several husbandry practices and developed an environmental enrichment program to stave off boredom, stress, and abnormal behaviors. We increased the complexity of smaller pens by adding climbing structures logs, stumps, rocks, and other natural materials and built several large naturalistic enclosures. Since pandas in the wild spend about 14 hours a day eating bamboo, we go to great lengths to increase the amount of time captive pandas spend eating, both bamboo and other food items for example, pandas must work to extract food from a puzzle feeder or ice block. We also give them a variety of novel objects to play with and investigate. As a result, we have found a significant decline in the amount of abnormal behaviors seen at the center.
Even after a panda mates successfully, our job is far from over. We keep females in a secluded environment, guard against any stress, and carefully document potential signs of pregnancy. Another major research project focuses on maternal care. Most panda mothers are exceptionally diligent in the amount of care they provide, but a few abandon their cubs. When one female rejected her cub, apparently because she feared this strange new creature, we habituated her to cub `stimuli' by playing back her cub's cries and giving her a stuffed toy panda doused in her cub's urine. She began to treat the toy cub as if it were real, and eventually we were able to return her cub for mother-rearing. Another major leap forward is the increased survival of twins. Panda mothers always rear only one cub, rejecting the second cub if they give birth to twins. In an ingenious technique, Wolong staff routinely swap twins back and forth from the nursery to the mother, always leaving only one cub with her.
A final lesson we have learned is that a `one-size-fits-all' approach to panda management doesn't always work. Each animal has its own unique temperament and needs that must be addressed with creative, knowledge-based problem solving, as exemplified in the case study of maternal rejection. We also found that the more timid females appeared more susceptible to stress, and we suspect that making special efforts to reduce stress in the three most timid females at the center led to their first successful births after years of failure.
These and other efforts have brought about a windfall for panda conservation efforts in captivity. Today at Wolong, nearly all females and two-thirds of males will mate naturally, and most cubs survive. A few years ago, one surviving cub was considered a good year. In recent years, they have produced on average more than six surviving cubs each year, and the facility is bursting at the seams. It is now poised to take a leading role in efforts to reintroduce pandas into the wild.
Abridged from Ronald R. Swaisgood in CRES Report (Summer 2002)
Philippines Hornbills Conservation Programme
For such a small country, the Philippines supports an astonishing diversity of hornbills. At least nine species (of four genera) and ten subspecies are generally recognised. All are endemic and all have relatively small (in some cases minuscule) ranges, with particular forms occurring only on particular islands or groups of islands that were formerly connected by land bridges.
Unfortunately, given the gross extent of destruction of native forests, coupled with rampant hunting of these birds for food (hornbills are still regarded as a delicacy in some places, best eaten as finger-food or `pulutan' during beer-drinking parties) and the live bird trade, all Philippine hornbills are now regarded as threatened, some critically so. Indeed, the Philippines not only has more threatened hornbills than any other country in the world, but the regrettable distinction of recording the first known hornbill extinction, namely the Ticao tarictic (P. p. ticaensis) which was known only from Ticao Island, off Masbate.
In recognition of this situation, a new, tripartite Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), formally signifying the establishment of a Philippines Hornbills Conservation Programme (PHCP), has just been signed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR, Government of the Philippines), Vogelpark Avifauna (VA, the Netherlands) and the North of England Zoological Society (NEZS, Chester Zoo, U.K.). Although this is a most welcome development, it has taken some time to accomplish as the original proposal and first draft of the covering MOA were submitted to the DENR in 1998. Moreover, these documents were not only intended to enable formal recognition of this programme, but to facilitate development of a range of interrelated conservation activities, many of which had been initiated several years earlier. To date, these activities, which are being developed and coordinated under the auspices of the Fauna and Flora International (FFI) Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Programme, include:
(a) field status surveys in e.g. southern Luzon and offshore islands, Mindoro, West Visayas (Negros, Panay, Masbate and Ticao), and the Sulu Islands;
(b) habitat protection and restoration i.e. local community forest wardening schemes, assisting relevant local agencies (GOs and NGOs) in advocacy and development of management plans for development of protected areas, development of mixed native species tree nurseries, etc.;
(c) development of properly structured conservation breeding and research programmes currently confined to developing founder programmes for two species, namely the `Critically Endangered' Visayan writhed (Aceros waldeni) and the `Endangered' Visayan tarictic (Penelopides p. panini) hornbills, but possibly to be extended to include the Polillo tarictic (P. manillae subniger) and other, most threatened taxa;
(d) production and distribution of public awareness/education materials e.g. `Only in the Philippines. . .' and other posters, leaflets, teaching briefs, etc.;
(e) organisation of local biodiversity conservation workshops and teachers' training programmes e.g. on Polillo Island, Mindoro, Negros and Panay; and
(f) personnel training both locally (field research and captive management) and internationally (captive management and biodiversity conservation theory and practice).
All of these activities have been and are being conducted by, or in close collaboration with, various local `partner' agencies, notably: University of the Philippines in Los Banos, West Visayas State University, Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation, Silliman University Center for Studies in Tropical Conservation and the Cebu Biodiversity Conservation Foundation. Funding support has been kindly provided by a variety of local and international agencies and `partners' mostly zoos and zoological societies in Europe, the U.S.A. and Australia and annual core funding support provided by VA and NEZS.
William Oliver, Director, Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Programme, Fauna and Flora International
Poached tortoises returned to India
After two major seizures by Singapore CITES officials in July, more than 1,800 illegally traded Indian star tortoises (Geochelone elegans) have been flown to India to be reintroduced into their natural habitat. Prior to their repatriation the tortoises were cared for by Singapore Zoo. Funding for the flight was provided by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). Initially, the tortoises will be cared for by Hyderabad Zoo's Rescue Centre, which is one of the best-equipped animal rehabilitation facilities in India.
`It was due to the intervention of Sally Walker of the Coimbatore-based Zoo Outreach Organisation that such a repatriation, involving the governments and NGOs of two countries, could take place. We hope these tortoises, which are small babies, will be able to go back to the wild,' said Vivek Menon, WTI's Executive Director. Dr B.C. Chowdhury of the Wildlife Institute of India will supervise the animals' upkeep in Hyderabad and their reintroduction into the wild. Before their release, the tortoises will be tested by staff of the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular Molecular Biology, the only institution in India that has undertaken DNA studies in wildlife, to ascertain their geographical origins. The tortoises will then be released into the wild accordingly.
Indian Times (23 August 2002)
Ten years of work for drills in Nigeria
The highly restricted distribution of the drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus), reduced by habitat loss or fragmentation and intense hunting, has caused its numbers to decline in all known areas. Perhaps as few as 3,000 animals, isolated in 12 or more habitat islands, remain, and it is the highest-priority African primate for conservation action.
Work has gone on since 1991 to develop an in situ captive-breeding facility for drills in Nigeria. Five ecologically functional, medically screened, natural-sized, reproducing drill groups have been created from orphaned animals and are ready for release to restock depleted habitat where the extant drill population may be non-viable. The project evolved as a conservation initiative with concomitant education, professional training, economic benefits for habitat-area communities, and a release site protection program. Adequate protection from hunting is the last goal to be realized before reintroduction will occur.
By 1991 national parks in Cameroon and Nigeria encompassed nearly 5,000 km2 of drill habitat. However, survey results indicated drills urgently required protection. Low total numbers, population fragmentation, decline in group size and density, and suspected breakdown of super-grouping behavior suggested that wild drills could soon face inbreeding and viability loss, even if hunting was controlled.
How could we justify a captive-breeding/reintroduction project when real protection should be enough to safeguard the species? It was uncertain how soon protection would occur, and we were unable to affect park policies, despite our interest and intent. With a declining captive population and very low conservation profile, the opportunity to promote the species in situ while establishing a viable captive population seemed adequate justification. The project was thus conceived as a component of a species recovery strategy, using the intervening years before reintroduction to raise the drill's profile, protect habitat, establish a viable captive population, and produce basic biological data. We could not assume that the parks would deliver sufficient protection in time. Ten years later hunting indeed continues in the parks.
The Drill Rehabilitation and Breeding Center (DRBC) was designed with reintroduction as its logical conclusion. Rather than create a program to meet the needs of existing captive animals, we purpose-built a program to address the needs of the species. At project inception there were 52 drills in EEP and SSP institutions. With few breeding animals, a viable, genetically diverse captive population did not exist. During fieldwork we saw drills in villages, captured as infants when their nursing mothers were shot for the commercial meat trade. These orphans were an exceptional genetic and educational resource, and led to government collaboration in 1991 to found the DRBC. Funding was independently sourced from external donors.
In contrast to zoos, the DRBC has had tremendous breeding success. Since 1994 we have recorded 85 (31.54) live births to 19 wild-born and 15 captive-born mothers, and 11 wild-born fathers. Thirty wild-born founders are currently represented in a total population of 125 drills. Survival of full-term births is 87% and 100% are mother-reared. The Center still recovers about four wild-born founders per year by donation or after confiscation by authorities. No animals are purchased or removed from the wild. Wild-born founders are given priority and non-intervention for captive-bred infants is strict policy.
Why did we succeed in breeding drills when those with resources and experience faltered? Using what little is known of drill ecology, we attempted to simulate the drills' complex, multi-storeyed, dynamic, and mobile environment, feeding patterns, and demography (particularly multi-male and not harem group composition). We sought to preserve behaviors by providing the drills with sexual, social, and behavioral choices often managed against in captivity. In our favor were the species' native climate, seasonal variation, and founder diversity.
After five years the first drill group was moved to the Afi Mountain facility, where four groups now live in individual, multi-hectare, solar-powered electric fence enclosures of high forest with natural water sources. The drills adapted readily, sleeping in trees at night, foraging, utilizing all vegetation storeys, and avoiding poisonous plants and hostile interactions with animals. They are provisioned with farm produce, wild fruits and nuts purchased from villagers. Presently, the largest group enclosure is of about nine hectares. The drills become `wilder' with each generation: wild-born orphans are hand-reared and remain `manageable', while most F1 and F2 animals have never been handled, avoid humans, and have lived entirely in a forest environment.
Release can occur by opening the enclosure fence and passively herding the drills, over days or weeks, the few hundred meters to the wildlife sanctuary. Each group has at least one keeper who is virtually accepted as a group member and who would lead the animals gradually in a set direction. While perhaps imprecise and open to mishap, this is considered less risky than capturing 30+ drills and physically carrying them to a desired location. Release should coincide with optimal food and water availability and a trough in the annual parturition curve.
The success of drill protection and reintroduction will depend largely on the cooperation of people living around the release site. Our public awareness message highlights that the captive project and wildlife sanctuary have brought economic benefits and positive interest. The recent visit of Nigerian President Obasanjo to see the drills in their forest enclosures is such an example: people recognized it was wildlife that brought the head of state to visit their tribal area for the first time in history. An insular program, which focused only on captive breeding and reintroduction rather than an open project that functions as a conservation initiative with high visibility; could not have achieved this measure of worth in people's minds, nor contributed to conservation beyond the value of the reintroduced animals themselves.
Despite what it has accomplished, the project is not the solution for the survival of drills as a species it is but one tool in the box. Sustainable protection of drills and other wildlife remains the most important action.
Abridged from Elizabeth L. Gadsby in Re-introduction News No. 21 (June 2002)
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CHESTER ZOO, U.K.
Extracts from the North of England Zoological Society (NEZS) Zoo Review 2001
A year that began with great promise was abruptly changed with the tragic death of senior keeper Richard Hughes on 17 February, following an incident nine days earlier with female Asian elephant Kumara. Richard was an exceptionally talented member of staff who described his post in the elephant section as his `dream job'. To honour his memory an annual zoo scholarship will bear his name. Subsequent veterinary investigations of Kumara revealed that she had a deep-seated and untreatable bone infection, so she was humanely put down.
The nation-wide foot and mouth disease epidemic came as another major blow, with an infected area dangerously close to the zoo. On 26 February we closed as a precaution, with only key personnel remaining on site. Our magnificent staff rose to the challenge, coping admirably with the burden of biosecurity. To conserve zoo funds, staff also selflessly volunteered a wage cut and worked extra hours unpaid. We engaged in a programme of strict economies and deferred capital spending to keep the zoo afloat.
With the FMD epidemic receding, we were able to re-open just before Easter. After six weeks of closure, the zoo had lost £1.2 million, our capital projects were in disarray and public confidence in visiting zoos and other attractions had been severely dented. Local suppliers gave us free food for the animals and, quite spontaneously, individuals and organisations held fund-raising events and sent in cash. With the help of this heart-warming support, we gradually overcame the initial losses and turned in an excellent performance by the year's end. Visitor numbers far exceeded our best projections for recovery, with record figures from September through to December. We remain the leading wildlife attraction in the U.K., outperforming our nearest rival by 65,000 visits.
Following the completion of the state-of-the-art Spirit of the Jaguar exhibit built thanks to a very generous donation from Jaguar Cars we brought in three magnificent jaguars, two from Rome Zoo and one from Poznan Zoo, Poland. These animals and the tremendous exhibit have become the `Jewels in the Crown' of our collection. The wealth of interpretation certainly stimulates the mind; it addresses some of the problems these magnificent cats face and highlights their importance in ethnic folklore.
We were also delighted to bring the highly endangered red-billed curassow (Crax blumenbachii) to Chester after many years of planning. Other threatened species that came into the collection in 2001 included Malayan peacock pheasant, great argus pheasant, Victoria crowned pigeon and Egyptian tortoise, all species managed under national, European or international breeding programmes. The most significant births of managed threatened species included Rodrigues fruit bat, buffy-headed capuchin, lion-tailed macaque, yellow-throated laughing thrush, yellow-backed chattering lory, tarictic hornbill, mountain peacock pheasant, waldrapp ibis, Vietnamese pheasant, Bali starling, red-tailed amazon parrot, Mount Apo lorikeet, Congo peafowl, pink pigeon, sand lizard and Banggai cardinal fish.
Other notable bird breeding successes included white stork, Chilean and Caribbean flamingo, roulroul partridge, satyr tragopan, Duyvenbode's lory, great grey owl, blue-winged kookaburra, and a large number of waterfowl including falcated teal, northern shoveller, garganey, smew, hooded merganser, Laysan teal, and white-headed and ferruginous ducks. Both our female great Indian hornbills were mudded into their nest boxes and sitting on eggs early in the year. Unfortunately they failed to hatch but, using infra-red cameras, we observed that the females were not sitting on the eggs properly. With this information, we have modified the nest boxes in the hope of successful breeding next year. In January we acquired a second pair of red-tailed amazon parrots. Shortly after they were installed in their new aviary, they produced three chicks, two of which fledged successfully. With the wild population in the low thousands, this is a very significant breeding. In total, 23 Humboldt's penguin chicks were reared 17 by the keepers and six by the parents. The majority of these have been transferred to Emmen Zoo in the Netherlands to start a new breeding colony.
Among the hoofstock, there were two more giraffe births, making a total of four in two years. However, despite the efforts of all involved, we lost our female giraffe, Geraldine, after sedating her to trim her hoofs. Ten Arabian gazelles were born, seven of them in July alone. Our first Philippine spotted deer infant failed to survive a real disappointment. Other successful births included a female babirusa, a Grant's zebra and a Bactrian camel, as well as Burmese brow-antlered deer, blackbuck, scimitar-horned oryx, gemsbok and sitatunga.
Our oldest chimpanzee, Meg, died early in the year at an estimated age of 54; she had been at Chester since 1950. She was a great-great-grandmother, and almost certainly the oldest chimpanzee in Europe. Primate breeding successes included ring-tailed lemurs and mandrills.
The herpetology department now has many new species to cater for, such as lace, mangrove and pygmy monitor lizards. Due to the exploitation of all Asian turtle species, the Malayan box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) has been reclassified as Vulnerable in the Wild. This is a species that we have been breeding for many years., and in view of their increased conservational value we will certainly continue to do so in order to establish crucial reserve populations. After the successful hatching of 20 sand lizards, we went ahead with the release of these and the remainder of the young from last year. A total of 26 animals were reintroduced to the wild at two different sites on the North Wales coast. We achieved good results with two species of poison-arrow frog, sunbeam snake (Xenopeltis unicolor) and red-legged tortoise. The Mallorcan midwife toad tadpoles successfully metamorphosed.
Over 1,100 spotted seahorses (Hippocampus kuda) and 300 Knysna seahorses (H. capensis) bred in the aquarium were sent to other collections! This is an important conservation effort, given the global decline in seahorses. Our young group of freshwater stingrays (Potamotrygon motoro) produced seven young in July. Unfortunately this was from a brother/sister mating; we have since rectified this problem by exchanging males with another collection. Our Lake Victoria cichlids and Lake Barombi Mbo cichlids (six species of each) continue to do well, as do our Banggai cardinal fish, with many young going to other collections.
Botany and horticulture
Early in the year we focused on the landscaping and planting of the new Spirit of the Jaguar exhibit. We wanted our visitors to experience the jaguars' different habitats, and for the cats to feel at ease with their surroundings. We created both savannah and rainforest habitats for the animals' internal areas, and an adjoining rainforest immersion area for the public. The display in the borders and beds surrounding the exhibit highlights some economically important South American plants including (inside) vanilla, rubber, guava, chewing gum tree, paw-paw and passion fruit, and (outside) tomatoes, peppers, tobacco, maize and potatoes.
We are gradually increasing the scientific value of the zoo's plant collection and acquiring plants that are threatened in the wild. Staff member Sarah Bird chairs the local Biodiversity Action Plan for the black poplar, Britain's most endangered native timber tree. In the nursery we continue to look for ways to be more environmentally friendly in our day-to-day operations. We are composting green waste, recycling plastic pots, using fewer chemicals for pest control and growing most of our nursery plants in peat-free composts.
Conservation outreach worldwide
The zoo continued its support for major conservation and research programmes, with work in 48 countries around the world. One of our major commitments is to the Philippines, where Chester assists Fauna and Flora International's Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Programme. In 2001 we helped with the development of the Philippines Hornbills Conservation Programme [see above, pp. 353354 Ed.], the operational costs of the threatened species rescue and breeding centres on Negros and Panay Islands, and a faunal survey of the last remaining forest patches on Siquijor Island. We also gave full support to two critically important forest protection and wardening schemes on Cebu and in the Polillo Islands. Our new Philippine Conservation Biology Scholarship Scheme was extended in 2001 to enable completion of a Cave Fauna Survey in south-west Negros, and to facilitate important new field and taxonomic research on three threatened (but as yet scientifically undescribed) sailfin lizards in the West Visayas [see I.Z.N. 48 (5), pp. 319320 Ed.], and a field study of the ecological dynamics of forest fragments on Cebu.
All larger grant assistance was suspended during the zoo's closure and immediately following reopening. After normal trading resumed, several projects that needed immediate assistance received funds, including an exploratory visit to Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base, China, by Liverpool University geneticist Phil Watts and the behavioural element of chief curator Mark Pilgrim's Ph.D. project on Amazona parrots at Loro Parque, Tenerife. Conservation officer Alexandra Zimmerman participated in a Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Jaguar/Rancher Conflict workshop in Brazil. Links with WCS were enhanced by the development of a formal Memorandum of Understanding that NEZS and WCS will work together on a jaguar conservation and research programme effective until 2004.
Other overseas projects given financial support included the Gashaka Gumti primate and hunting dog research programmes in Nigeria, Tsavo black rhino protection (Kenya), black crowned crane conservation research (Senegal), New Guinea forest birds (palm cockatoo, crowned pigeons, birds of paradise) research, Zoo Outreach Organisation activities (India), fieldwork on yellow-throated laughing thrushes (China), field research on buffy-headed capuchins (Brazil), and various aquatic conservation projects including Mexican live-bearing fish, Himalayan mahseer (Tor putitora), sharks and rays. An important new development was the Asian Elephant in Crisis campaign, which has already begun to establish a fund that will be available to assist elephant conservation and research in the wild.
DENVER ZOO, COLORADO, U.S.A.
Extracts from the Annual Report 2001
Reptiles/Fishes Division (by Rick Haeffner)
Interesting species bred in 2001 included Surinam toads (Pipa pipa), a species in which the young develop within the female's back, and `pop out' as fully-formed miniature replicas of their parents. We attempted to reproduce our Komodo dragons, Castor and Odoe, but due to his inexperience only one egg was fertilized and this died shortly after the start of incubation. We were surprised by the reproduction of another large lizard, the crocodile monitor. After several weeks of exhibit modification we introduced a very young pair together and, in spite of their age, they laid fertile eggs. We are crossing our fingers for a 2002 hatch after a nine-month incubation.
A first-time breeding in a U.S. zoo was the hatching of three aurora house snakes (Lamprophis aurora). Our conservation and breeding program for freshwater fishes from Madagascar continued and expanded, with several new species being bred and reared.
Notable additions to the collection included Australian frilled lizards, pancake tortoises, yellow-blotched map turtles, orange frog fish and Philippine pit vipers.
Large Mammal Division (by Dale Leeds)
The highlight of the year in this division was the completion and opening of the African wild dog exhibit. This species is in serious jeopardy in the wild and we hope to contribute to a self-sustaining population in American zoos. Our trio was imported from South Africa and includes two brothers and an unrelated female. The animals did very well during their first summer in Denver. Training has been a focus with these animals since their arrival and will be particularly beneficial as we manage this species for future breeding.
We debuted our revamped sea lion show that mimicked a visit from the veterinary staff. This show allows us to entertain zoo guests while providing good educational information and showing the importance of operant conditioning in the care of these animals.
A most significant event was the birth on 27 November 2001 of our newest polar bear cub, Cranbeary (named by the keeper staff in honor of her Thanksgiving eve birth). We learned a great deal from this infant, as she was a single birth and we are used to dealing with twins. Our female polar bears do not like to be fasted when they are raising cubs, so we offer them some dry food and fish daily, which means that they foul the bedding in the den with urine and feces. In order to minimize the build-up of ammonia and other toxic gases which might damage the cubs, we have developed a protocol in which the female is lured out of the den with food and then locked out. While the den is being cleaned veterinary staff have the opportunity to evaluate the cubs' development. Cranbeary was weighed and measured every two weeks and was found to be significantly heavier and bigger than any of the other six cubs we have evaluated at the same age. Her accelerated growth rate was almost certainly related to lack of competition for food. We also took blood samples from her at four and eight weeks of age, adding another data point to our ongoing polar bear vitamin D study; this information has helped to confirm that our famous duo of Klondike and Snow indeed had vitamin D deficiency rickets as cubs.
Other significant births included 2.0 Bactrian camels, 2.0 Cape buffalo, 2.0 bongo, five lesser kudu, three bison, and the 28th hippopotamus calf fathered by Bertie, our 45-year-old male. One important event of 2001 was the transfer of our female Asian elephant Dolly to Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri, to attempt breeding with one of their bulls. Dickerson Park has a very successful elephant breeding program, having produced ten calves in the last ten years. We are hopeful that Dolly will return to Denver pregnant in 2002.
Primate Division (by John Wortman)
This division consists of the century-old, but recently renovated, Old Monkey House and the 7.2-acre [2.9-ha] exhibit complex, Primate Panorama. The only element of the older building that is viewable by the public are three outdoor primate enclosures and the adjacent Monkey Island, complete with decades-old towering cottonwood trees. After five years the summer outdoor experience of Primate Panorama is one of forest immersion, surrounded by a stunning array of tropical-looking trees, shrubs and grasses complemented by a series of indoor habitats that are fun to explore in any season.
We were happy to continue for the fourth year the free-ranging golden lion tamarin summer program. These radio-collared small monkeys roamed unconfined in the woods of Primate Panorama's entry plaza. Meanwhile, our prolific family group in the Emerald Forest building saw two more offspring arrive.
A female golden-cheeked gibbon (Hylobates gabriellae) arrived from San Diego Zoo to pair with the male we obtained from Los Angeles Zoo a few years ago. This is one of the rarest gibbon species in captivity, numbering about 80 in zoos worldwide and fewer than 20 in the U.S.A.
Primate Panorama also displays several other species of birds and mammals. One of the year's high points was the successful birth of three (1.2) red river hogs in September, the first offspring born to a sow on loan from San Diego Zoo and a boar imported last year from South Africa. Red river hogs are still very rare in North American zoos, so this addition to the overall population was a significant achievement.
Bird Division (by John Azúa)
A pair of spangled cotingas (Cotinga cayana) successfully reproduced after our staff had experimented with various nests and nesting materials to stimulate them into breeding. This South American species has historically been a challenge to breed in captivity although, surprisingly, two other institutions also successfully bred them in 2001. A pair of beautiful fruit doves (Ptilinopus pulchellus) produced one squab. Considering that Indonesian fruit doves are notorious for countless nest failures and sporadic reproductive successes, this was an especially exciting accomplishment. A blue-gray tanager (Thraupis episcopus) pair successfully nested twice this year; they chose an open wicker basket nest in a large Ficus tree, and a total of three chicks were hatched and fledged. Blue-crowned motmots, Temminck's tragopans, African penguins and Chilean flamingos also successfully produced chicks in 2001.
The Avian Propagation Center once again had several species flourish and produce chicks this year. Turquoise tanagers, palm cockatoos and green aracaris were a sample of species that successfully bred at this specialized off-exhibit facility. Especially of note was the green aracari breeding pair, who nested three times during the year and successfully fledged five juveniles.
We were fortunate to receive three (1.2) rhinoceros hornbills; these birds ranged from one to two years of age, and staff members are monitoring adolescent behaviors and their relationship to eventual mate selection. Other new arrivals were Anna's hummingbird, African pygmy falcon, hooded pitta, wattled crane and red-breasted goose.
Animal Health Department (by David E. Kenny, Jeff Baier and Felicia Knightly)
We finished performing wellness exams on our gorillas and moved on to the orang-utans. Sadly, our first exam ended in tragedy. Penari was immobilized in the great ape building utilizing operant conditioning techniques, but when she got to the hospital we realized that she was cyanotic and not breathing effectively. We immediately attempted to intubate her and found she had severe pulmonary edema, probably from an upper airway obstruction that may have occurred while she was being transported. The unique respiratory system anatomy of the orang-utan predisposes them to this type of problem during anesthesia, especially if they are overweight. We kept Penari on a mechanical ventilator for three days and cleared the edema, but shortly after being extubated she succumbed from acute respiratory disease syndrome. During the summer, Penari's daughter Allie suddenly became ill with an unknown neurological problem. The primary visible signs were unsteadiness and difficulty reaching for hand or foot holds. We immobilized her twice and performed a battery of tests but were unable to discover the cause of her problem. Fortunately she slowly recovered and several months later seems back to normal. Finally, we performed a wellness exam on Mias, our future breeding male Sumatran orang-utan. His examination went well. He weighs 360 lb [163 kg], is five feet six inches [1.68 m] tall, and has an arm span of nine and a half feet [2.9 m].
Monty the Abyssinian ground hornbill is one of the stars of the show in our Conoco Wildlife Theatre. Unfortunately, during a training session for his role as an avian predator, he ingested a large plastic tarantula. Because of its size and indigestibility the fake spider could not be passed in either direction and occupied so much space that Monty stopped eating. A ventriculotomy (a surgical procedure involving opening up a bird's gizzard) was performed and the spider extracted along with several small metal objects. Monty is obviously a very indiscriminate eater! Happily, he recovered from his surgery, but was presented once again five months later with trouble breathing. Radiographs revealed a stricture (an abnormal narrowing) of the trachea which reduced its diameter by about 70%, severely restricting air flow. Medical treatment of this condition is generally unsatisfactory and usually results in the bird's death. Once again Monty was prepared for surgery. A tracheal resection and anastomosis requires identifying and removing the entire affected section, plus a little of the normal trachea for good measure, and then reconnecting the two ends. Again Monty recovered uneventfully from surgery and to date remains healthy and ready to reclaim his role as one of the stars at the Wildlife Theatre.
Conservation and Research (by Richard P. Reading and Brian J. Miller)
The Department of Conservation Biology continued to narrow and focus its activities. As a result of this two-year process, we have developed a smaller number of more `core' projects upon which we focus staff time and our financial resources. During 2001, the zoo was involved in 46 field conservation and research projects in 17 countries and four states of the U.S.A. Our projects focus primarily on island and arid ecological systems (both are highly vulnerable), and species that have impacts over large geographic and temporal scales, such as keystone species. Keystone species are important because they have effects on ecosystem integrity that are disproportionate to their numerical abundance for example, large carnivores, desert elephants and prairie dogs. Geographically, our focal regions largely reflecting the expertise and interests of zoo staff include the western U.S.A., Mexico, and Mongolia and north-central China, and species involved include wild Bactrian camel and argali sheep in Mongolia, prairie dog in Colorado, saiga in Russia, puma and jaguar in Mexico, wolf in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, Turks and Caicos iguana (Cyclura carinata), ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata) in Colorado, Humboldt penguin in Chile, elephant in Namibia, macaws in Peru and peregrine falcon in Australia.
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INTERNATIONAL ZOO NEWS
Bronx Zoo (Wildlife Conservation Park), New York, U.S.A.
Two pristine, uninhabited South Atlantic islands home to three species of penguin, elephant seals and some of the rarest birds in the world have been given to the Wildlife Conservation Society by trustee Michael Steinhardt. In addition to the islands, Steinhardt donated $425,000 to build a research station, which he will also finance for its first three years of operation.
The two islands Steeple Jason and Grand Jason are part of the Falkland Islands. Though they were never settled, the Jason islands were used to graze cattle and sheep in the early 20th century, and were a major source of penguin oil in the late 1800s. The islands' ecological treasures include possibly the largest assemblage of black-browed albatrosses (Diomedea melanophris) on the planet, a colony boasting 300,000 birds and stretching four miles along the coast. Sixty-five per cent of the global population of striated caracaras (Phalcoboenus australis) one of the world's rarest birds of prey live on those two islands, making their preservation even more important. It is estimated that as many as two million rockhopper penguins were slaughtered for their oil on the Jasons between 1864 and 1866. And most animals on the islands depend on some of the most heavily fished waters in the world for food.
There are no plans to take animals from the Jason islands to add to the Bronx Zoo's collection; but as the society's study of the islands progresses, there will be exhibits at the organization's New York facilities highlighting the society's work there.
Abridged from New York Daily News (6 March 2000)
[As many readers will remember, these are the islands bought (for £5,500!) in 1970 by Len Hill of Birdland, Bourton-on-the-Water, U.K., as commemorated in the title of his book Penguin Millionaire (David and Charles, 1976). It is good to know that the islands are to be preserved as a wildlife sanctuary in perpetuity, as was Mr Hill's original intention Ed.]
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Ohio, U.S.A.
Andalas, Cincinnati's Sumatran rhino calf, was born on 13 September 2001, and this September the zoo is staging a three-day birthday celebration in his honor, with scavenger hunts, special children's entertainment, a raffle, interactive sessions with the keepers, vets and scientists, and a birthday cake especially made for a rhino! Most importantly, guests will be able to view the entire family. Andalas can be seen alongside his mother, Emi, at their newly-renovated exhibit. This includes many features that simulate the wild environment of Sumatran rhinos, such as a 20-foot waterfall, pool, mud wallow and shade. Mud wallows are utilized by all rhino species, but especially the Sumatran, to protect their skin from insects and keep their bodies cool. A shade cloth over the enclosure provides the sense of a dense forest canopy layer, blocking out sunlight and protecting the animals' sensitive eyes. Ipuh, Andalas's father, can be viewed in the adjacent exhibit.
During Emi's carefully monitored pregnancy, zoo staff had to consider the possibility that the calf might need assistance or could even have to be hand-reared if not cared for properly by his inexperienced mother. It was an ominous challenge to consider, since no information was available regarding the care and development of a newborn Sumatran rhino. Fortunately, Emi proved to be a wonderful mother, and Andalas was strong and healthy at birth. So our scientists turned the event into an opportunity to expand the database on the species by learning all about the growing calf and the care provided by his mother. By studying Andalas and Emi over the past 12 months, we have obtained new information that we hope will help guide us through future pregnancies, deliveries and the rearing of additional calves.
Analysis of Emi's milk, measurements of Andalas's footprints and detailed behavioral records are just some of the highpoints of the research that has been conducted during the past year. Because Emi is conditioned to allow hands-on procedures, it was relatively easy to collect milk samples from her. Analysis revealed that her milk is similar to that of other rhino species and of their domestic relative, the horse. In contrast to cow's milk, Sumatran rhino milk is very low in fat. This information will be critical if a calf ever needs to be supplemented with a bottle feeding a newborn mammal the wrong milk formula can result in illness and even death. With a detailed analysis of Sumatran rhino milk composition now in hand, we can develop a formula that mimics that of the mother. Another key in hand-rearing or supplementing a calf is knowing just how often the newborn should nurse. Round-the-clock monitoring of Andalas during the first week of his life, and one day each month since, has resulted in a comprehensive database on nursing frequency and duration that will serve as an invaluable reference when monitoring future newborns. In fact, the frequency of nursing sessions has changed little since birth, and he still nurses every two and a half hours, though his diet also now includes over ten species of Ficus, orchard grass, alfalfa, sweet potatoes, apples and bananas. It is expected that he will be weaned shortly after his first birthday. He currently (16 August 2002) weighs 870 pounds [395 kg], about 12 times his birth weight of 72.6 pounds [33 kg].
Getting a spirited calf like Andalas to cooperate for castings of his feet was challenging, but on several occasions and with a lot of rubbing and attention, he was persuaded to lie still long enough for a good mold of his foot to be obtained. These plaster molds enabled zoo scientists to obtain accurate measurements of his feet matched with known ages. These data are very important to our colleagues in South-East Asia who are trying to protect and monitor wild populations. Because Sumatran rhinos are very rarely seen in their dense forest habitat, footprints in the mud often provide the only source of information regarding the demographics and reproductive success of these remaining wild populations. Now, for the first time, rangers can assign accurate ages to animals who have left their footprints behind in the soft mud of the forest. We will continue to collect these data until Andalas stops growing. With the mud wallow in the new enclosure, castings can now be made from the footprints left in the mud, a task much easier than trying to convince Andalas to lie still while the plaster hardens on his foot.
We also continue to learn from Emi. Periodic ultrasound examinations have revealed that her reproductive cycle resumed within five months of Andalas's birth. Thus, it appears that female Sumatran rhinos could breed relatively soon after giving birth, and the interval between calves could be as short as two years. However, studies on wild populations suggest a three- to four-year interval between calves. If accurate, this lengthy interval may be the result of females avoiding males while rearing their offspring. As for Emi, plans are in place to attempt mating her again in the fall of 2002, after Andalas is weaned.
Abridged and adapted from Cincinnati Zoo press releases
Endangered Species Breeding Unit, c/o Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Martin Mere, Lancashire, U.K.
New arrivals included giant water bugs (Abedus herberti) (from Bristol Zoo), horse-faced katydids (Prosarthria teretrivostris), whip scorpions (Damon variegatus), 36 mandarin newts (Tylototriton verrucosus), additional specimens of southern crested newt (Triturus karelinii) and Danube crested newt (T. dobrogicus), giant fire-bellied toad (Bombina maxima), Brongersma's toad (Bufo brongersmai) and a single Bufo raddei. Amongst breeding successes were giant water bug, central Spanish salamander (Salamandra s. almanzoris), southern crested newt, Bosnian alpine newt (Triturus alpestris reiseri), Spanish midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans almogavarii), yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata kolombatavici) and Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni boettgeri).
Work continues with the nationally endangered hazel pot beetle (Cryptocephalus coryli), with approximately 600 larvae produced, and with the mud snail (Lymnaea glabra). Advice on the latter has been given to biodiversity officers producing Species Action Plans.
Several species of fish have been successfully bred, including the very shy ornate paradise fish (Malpulutta kretseri), a threatened species from Sri Lanka, and the Rio Choy swordtail (Xiphophorus multilineatus). Breeding also occurred in the commoner blue limia (Limia melanogaster) and mosquito fish (Heterandria formosa).
The two species of Frégate Island invertebrates on loan from the Zoological Society of London, the snail Pachnodus fregatensis and the giant millipede Seychelleptus seychellarum, also reproduced.
The group of Mallorcan midwife toads (Alytes muletensis) on loan from Jersey Zoo were moved to the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, Canterbury.
Patrick J. Wisniewski
Johannesburg Zoo, South Africa
In autumn, leaves drop in their millions onto the park areas, pathways and roads. Our horticultural team collects about 500 trashcan bags of leaves each week for the duration of the three-month fall period. We do not let these leaves go to waste. They are all sorted to remove any rubbish, and then used in animal enclosures. Our wild pigs spend hours rooting through piles of oak leaves snuffling out acorns, while our group of orphaned chimpanzee youngsters love playing in the piles of leaves in which we hide their food. Leaves can be used for virtually any species. Our carnivores get leaf stashes to play with or as an alternative to the usual bedding material. Bear and baboon mulch pits contain a mixture of leaves and wood chips with food hidden in them, and are ideal for adding quick, challenging scatter feeds to the enclosure. Even our hippos and white rhinos cannot resist a snuffle in the piles of leaves that we place in their enclosures. What is also great about leaves is that they are completely naturalistic, and in many enclosures they don't have to be cleaned up at some stage they break down and add compost to the enclosure. (This also scores points with the horticulture team.) Leaf collection probably occurs in your zoo anyway, and with some coordination it is easy and fun to enrich your animals with the supply. Two things to remember, though: check for any rubbish, and make sure that the leaves you are using come from non-toxic plants, and plants that are appropriate for the species acorns, for instance, are fine for pigs, but not for all animals.
Mathew van Lierop in The Shape of Enrichment Vol. 11, No. 2 (May 2002)
John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
A penguin develops a foot infection. A seahorse with a swim bladder problem must be X-rayed. Or maybe it's just time for the sloth's annual physical. With more than 8,000 animals at Shedd Aquarium, the 11 members of the Veterinary Services Department veterinarians, animal-healthcare technicians, water-quality technicians, a microbiologist and a chemist keep busy. To provide the best care to an increasingly diverse collection, Vet Services recently moved into a new $1.5 million animal healthcare center. The 3,000-square-foot [280-m2] complex includes a hospital and pathology laboratory. An adjacent 2,600-square-foot [240-m2] microbiology and water-quality lab will be completed later this year.
`As plans for Amazon Rising shaped up, and we decided to exhibit terrestrial animals such as birds, marmosets and sloths, it became evident that we needed a more sophisticated healthcare facility,' explains Dr Marty Greenwell, director of veterinary services and one of the center's designers. For years, he says, a portion of the water-quality lab was set aside for examinations, treatments and necropsies workable when vets were dealing only with fishes and other small aquatic animals. But larger vertebrates have more complicated healthcare needs and present the potential for infectious diseases. `To maintain a high standard of healthcare,' Greenwell says, `we needed something more akin to a small-animal hospital.'
Only a few aquariums in the country have full-scale animal hospitals, and Shedd's state-of-the-art facility is one of the largest. The busiest area is the spacious examination room, which includes a pharmacy. On a table that accommodates both aquatic and terrestrial animals, vets can examine and treat patients. `We do regular physical exams on all the animal groups except the fishes and invertebrates,' says Greenwell. `That includes the mammals, the reptiles and amphibians, and the birds.' From river otters to river turtles, the schedule of preventive care spans the year. `When we do the penguins,' Greenwell says, `we have to spread it over two to three weeks.'
X-rays are taken almost daily, for routine exams to have a baseline, and for injuries or illnesses to pinpoint the problem. They are especially useful for diagnosing fish ailments. `We have small film that we use on the little ones, like seahorses,' Greenwell says. Why X-ray seahorses? `They tend to have hyperinflation of the swim bladder, which makes them buoyant, and they can't move down from the surface. To confirm that and to direct the needle to remove excess gas, we take X-rays.'
The new hospital includes a gleaming surgical suite, enabling the medical staff to perform operations on site for the first time. `Historically, we would schedule a procedure and transport an animal to one of the neighboring zoos or to a private animal hospital. Now we have a sterile operating room, and either our staff vets or a specialist can come in and do a surgical procedure. We don't have to worry about wound contamination, the logistics of transporting an animal, or fitting the procedure into another facility's schedule.'
Greenwell is especially proud of two new high-tech pieces of equipment. The video endoscopy unit enables the medical team to observe a presurgical exploration together `rather than taking turns to peer through an eyepiece,' he says. `We can all see what's going on and discuss it to achieve consensus on the spot.' A new anesthesia machine features a vaporizer for sevoflurane, `the newest and safest veterinary anesthetic to date,' he points out.
Happily, there have been no major operations since Vet Services moved into the new hospital. Greenwell recently did minor surgery on a foot-long Amazon river turtle with a shell problem. With the anesthetized turtle on the treatment table, Greenwell peeled away a thin layer of shell to clean out a pocket of infection. After a week recovering in the warm, humidified microclimate of an incubator, the turtle was returned to his Amazon Rising habitat. Soon aquatic patients will recuperate in a `wet ward' containing tanks of different sizes. A dry ward for birds, small mammals and terrestrial reptiles and amphibians is already in use.
Across the hall from the hospital is the pathology area where, on a recent visit, a technician was performing a necropsy on a batfish. This is a controlled area, with a pass room between the common corridor and the area where work with blood and tissue samples takes place. Fixtures, equipment and walls can easily be disinfected, and the pass room features a shower where staff members can wash after a procedure. The nearby microbiology lab, still under construction, will also include staff offices. `This hospital is the answer to our need for more appropriate and sophisticated facilities', says Dr Jeff Boehm, vice president of conservation and veterinary services. `We are able to treat animals in a facility where radiology, surgery, diagnostics and treatment are all adjacent, but each has a well-designed, dedicated space.'
Abridged from Karen Furnweger in WaterShedd Vol. 23, No. 3 (Summer 2002)
Loro Parque, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
The breeding season is progressing very successfully, with a total of 834 chicks ringed by the end of July, an increase of around 15% compared to the same time last year. The best news this month is definitely the first-ever captive breeding of the Tuipara parakeet (Brotogeris chrysopterus tuipara), a subspecies of the golden-winged parakeet (B. chrysopterus), which is very rare in captivity. In order to stimulate the pair and make them reproduce, we provided them with additional food items, e.g. feeding them fresh flowers such as hibiscus every day. These are very much enjoyed by the parakeets, who open them immediately to consume the fresh nectar. On 28 May, the pair eventually laid their first egg, followed by two more shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, only one was fertile, but the chick which hatched is being perfectly looked after by the parents. After one and a half weeks, it was ringed, and we trust that it will continue to develop successfully until it reaches the stage of independence. Since there are no descriptions in the literature about prior successful breedings of this subspecies, we presume that this hatching represents a world first.
At present, two young gang-gang cockatoos (Callocephalon fimbriatum) are being hand-reared at our baby station, and another two are being raised by their parents at our breeding centre of La Vera. Another pair has laid the first egg of their second clutch, so we are expecting this year to be rather successful as to the breeding of this species. At the same time, the breeding season has gradually set in for our blue-throated macaws (Ara glaucogularis), with five pairs having produced clutches or already raising young. A new pair has so far not demonstrated reproductive behaviour.
We have finally succeeded in breeding our greater plum-faced lorikeets (Oreopsittacus arfaki major), who are given very special care at our installations. After the first successful clutch of two chicks, the first pair to reproduce laid a second clutch which resulted in another two young, and a second pair has also started breeding and is currently raising offspring. We are also very happy about the reproductive success of our double-eyed fig parrots (Opopsitta [Cyclopsitta] diophthalma), which have raised two chicks, after the first offspring hatched earlier this year regrettably did not survive. The fledglings are already independent and accompany their parents around the aviary.
Abridged from the report for July 2002 compiled by Matthias Reinschmidt, Curator, Loro Parque
Los Angeles Zoo, California, U.S.A.
With the possible exception of a few South American zoos, Los Angeles is, we believe, the only zoo in the world to exhibit red uakari monkeys (Cacajao calvus rubicundus). These New World primates are distinguished by their bright red faces. Though the rest of their bodies is covered with medium-length dusty red hair, the skin of their bare red faces becomes even redder when the animals are angry or excited.
For many years, the zoo exhibited Cheyenne and FloJo, two females who were the offspring of a breeding group assembled by former director Dr Warren Thomas in the late 1970s and early 1980s. (In addition to being the only U.S. zoo to currently exhibit uakaris, Los Angeles is one of the few facilities where they have successfully bred in captivity.)
We are hoping for more of that success. Moving forward with a process begun by Thomas and former director Manuel A. Mollinedo back in 1998, a pair of uakaris arrived here from the Rio Primate Center, Brazil, in January of this year. After a month-long introduction, Cheyenne, FloJo, new female Mama Kilya and new male Inti are living together in their roundhouse exhibit in the South American section of the zoo. And Inti has been observed mating with Cheyenne, a pairing that staff are cautiously hopeful about. All four animals are of breeding age.
`We plan on running an entire reproductive work-up on both new uakaris in the near future,' says Curator of Mammals Jennie McNary. `The pair did not successfully breed at the Rio Primate Center where they lived for many years; part of the reason the center decided to send them to us is because we could perform a more comprehensive exam, reproductive and otherwise, at our new Animal Health and Conservation Center.'
Abridged from Zooscape (August/September 2002)
Marwell Zoo, U.K.
A situation with logistical difficulties confronted us when our female ostrich, Henrietta, broke her toe. (We believe she stubbed it against a fence.) To make the situation worse the fracture became infected and a large abscess formed at the fracture site. Our only option was to amputate the infected end of the toe. It was our good fortune that the fracture was of the end bone.
This presented a problem, because ostriches only have two toes on each foot. One is very small and claw-like; the other is extremely large and does most of the weight-bearing. Our bird had broken her main toe. So we had to remove all the infected tissue, but leave her enough toe to walk on.
The next major problem was anaesthesia. Normally bird anaesthesia is very simple; you hold the bird's head in a mask and blow an anaesthetic gas (isoflurane) at it until it falls asleep in less than a minute. This is easy unless your bird weighs over 100 kg and can hurt you badly with a single kick!
To overcome this we used a combination of four different anaesthetic agents. The first was given into a muscle. After 15 minutes, when she was slightly sleepy, we gave a second drug into her jugular vein. We could then complete the induction process with isoflurane gas by mask. The first drug was then reversed with an antidote and anaesthesia maintained with isoflurane via a tube into her windpipe. One of the big dangers with recovery from anaesthesia is that birds will thrash around, so to prevent her from doing this and harming herself we gave her some valium shortly before we turned off the isoflurane.
The surgery itself was fairly simple; the last bone was removed at the joint, infected tissue scraped away, and the skin sutured over. A cast was applied to the toe so that Henrietta couldn't put too much pressure on the wound; this was moulded into shape and extended an inch or two beyond the end of the toe so she couldn't knock it. This cast was removed after a week and the wound was healing well. Throughout her recovery time she has been walking well on the toe, and we have been giving her antibiotics and painkillers.
Earlier I mentioned our good fortune in the position of the break; but our real luck has been Henrietta's temperament. She is a very calm bird, so we have been able to examine and clean the wound, as well as change dressings and take X-rays while she's conscious; without this aspect the whole procedure would have been impossible.
Abridged from John Chitty in Marwell Zoo News No. 112 (Autumn 2002)
Melbourne Zoo, Victoria, Australia
Arguably the most important recent arrivals were three southern corroboree frogs (Pseudophryne corroboree) and four tadpoles, which were received from the Amphibian Research Centre in November 2001. The arrival of these specimens of Australia's most endangered frog attracted significant media attention. They have all settled in very well in their specially designed air-conditioned exhibits (burrow temperature for the adults sits at about 11° C). Three of the tadpoles have since metamorphosed and are growing fast.
Other important herpetological arrivals were two further golden coin turtles (Cuora trifasciata) from Rotterdam Zoo and a pair of crested basilisks (Basiliscus plumifrons) from Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, Germany. The female basilisks arrived gravid and laid 12 eggs soon after arrival. These were incubated at two different temperatures; three of the eggs incubated at 2932° C hatched after 59 days, and five of those incubated at 2627° C hatched after 77 days.
The Gila monsters have produced another two healthy young. Five eggs were laid by one of the females and two neonates hatched after 118 days. The zoo now has an ultrasound machine, which is proving invaluable in helping to monitor the reproductive status of the females and provide early sexing of young lizards. A further five broad-headed snakes (Hoplocephalus bungaroides) were born on 16 February, with all of them now taking pink mice voluntarily. The female was mated in autumn, when the pair was held in an outdoor enclosure. One of three Fijian crested iguana eggs hatched, and a further clutch of four eggs are now incubating.
Funding has been obtained for field surveys in search of stuttering frogs (Mixophyes balbus) in eastern Gippsland. One trip has been possible to date, but the weather conditions have made further trips of little value these will be pursued when the conditions are appropriate. The captive-raised frogs at the zoo continue to thrive. Visitor access to the frog breeding programs is being enhanced through conversion of one of the adjoining rooms previously used for insect rearing into a room dedicated to frog research and breeding projects, which visitors will be able to observe through a large viewing window.
The original male grassland earless dragon (Tympanocryptis pinguicolla) died in February, after being at the zoo for six years. This suggested that he was at least seven years old a significant longevity for this species. Two western massasaugas (Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus) also died, leaving a single male specimen in the collection.
Two groups of striped legless lizards (Delma impar), 12 in each, were soft-released in grassland sites close to Melbourne in January and March 2002. Unlike the previous releases, these were into low-profile field enclosures, as part of the long-term field release monitoring program.
Further progress has been achieved with the Asian Turtle Conservation Program, particularly with the formation of a community support group, PACT (Positive Actions for Conservation Team), which is developing a colour poster and children's story book to raise awareness of the threats to Asian turtles in China and Vietnam. These will be produced in Chinese, Vietnamese and English, and distributed through Vietnam, China and Hong Kong.
Abridged from Jon Birkett and Sonya Prosser in Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 2 (2002)
Nanning Zoo, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
The zoo has made a breakthrough by breeding two oriental pied hornbills (Anthracoceros a. albirostris) in artificial nests. Zhi Bingsheng, the staff member in charge of the breeding project, says that the male birds are very choosy about their mating partners, which means there must be a group of females for them to choose from. The zoo has 40 (6.34) birds, the only group in captivity in China. The subspecies is found in the wild in Guangxi, Yunnan and Tibet, as well as in parts of the Indian subcontinent and South-East Asia. To create a good environment for breeding, the zoo put the birds in a 9,000-m2, 25-metre-high enclosure with various subtropical and tropical plants, artificial hillocks, ponds and streams.
People's Daily Online (http://english.peopledaily.com.cn ), 4 August 2002 [where the birds are inaccurately described as Malabar pied hornbills Ed.]
Orana Wildlife Park, Christchurch, New Zealand
A state-of-the-art nocturnal house displaying North Island brown kiwi has opened at Southern Encounter in Christchurch's Cathedral Square. A pair of kiwis have settled well into their city home and are enjoying their new environment, making an exciting addition to this attraction which provides a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the best of New Zealand, both on land and in the water, right in the heart of the city.
The new display features the sounds and smells of the bush where kiwis can be seen naturally foraging, with a waterfall, extensive plantings of native flora and subtle simulated moonlight.
Education and conservation advocacy are the major reasons behind the new addition. Visitors from New Zealand and overseas alike will get to see and learn about the plight of our very special national icon, the kiwi. Each year thousands of school children will have the opportunity to experience this fantastic new facility when taking part in formal curriculum-linked educational programmes. In addition, personal guided tours will be offered to all visitors and extensive interpretative materials are under development.
The birds on display will change from time to time as the incumbents are paired and move on to play their part in the nation's captive-breeding programme.
Abridged from Call of the Wild (Autumn 2002)
Pearcedale Conservation Park, Victoria, Australia
[Visitor's report by Leigh Fennell, reprinted from Zoo News (Melbourne) Vol. 22, No. 2 (June 2002)]
An old dairy farm about an hour's drive south-east of Melbourne has been converted to an animal sanctuary with a difference. The Pearcedale Conservation Park opens at midday and closes after the last tour, well into the night. Visitors arriving at the park for a `Moonlit Sanctuary' evening tour are drawn to a wall of windows overlooking the wetlands. The bird life to be seen is prolific and, as dusk approaches, very active. Binoculars and reference books are available to assist in identifying the birds on view. Five species of frog have been heard and identified so far, with a sixth heard on one or two nights but not yet confirmed.
The tour begins as the sky darkens enough for the lights to come on over a display case within the entry building, drawing attention away from the sunset and focusing it on a pair of Victorian carpet pythons. We met the male python and heard about the species and its current status as he inspected my partner and clambered up and over his shoulders to settle peacefully around his neck.
The park aims to preserve the biodiversity of Australia's native fauna by means of research, breeding and education programs. Breeding of endangered species for eventual release is underway off-limits, research programs are up and running as part of the breeding schemes, and education on many fronts has begun. Students from several Victorian tertiary institutions gain practical experience as part of their training. There are also volunteers from around the world who are training to be biologists and veterinarians. The general public see some of the benefits of this behind-the-scenes work as they tour the park.
Tamar wallabies and brush-tailed bettongs have been introduced into the nearby scrub and venture out to forage in the grassy surrounds of the wetlands after dark. Some of the causes for the disappearance of these macropods were explained while we watched two emerge and hop up to our feet. Foxes, cats and dogs are lethal when uncontrolled near such little creatures. Standing by the fox proof fence we learnt of- its construction and why it is a vital part of the security for the animals within.
The bush beside the wetlands has thick, impenetrable stands of melaleuca interspersed with some black wattles and a few remnants of even older tall trees that are now long dead. These provide highly prized homes for the free-range possums and birds that thrive here. Exhibits have been constructed with the minimum of clearing, leaving the melaleuca to shelter the animals naturally. Narrow trails for the public weave in and out of the tree trunks. Eastern bettongs, potoroos, pademelons and wallabies that once were plentiful in this area, but vanished as settlement occurred, can be found in these exhibits. The breed-to-release plans underway for these small macropods were explained as they hopped at our feet. Extra overhead cover is provided for the eastern quolls, squirrel gliders, feathertail gliders and visitors at these exhibits. Two aviaries house masked owls, as part of a rehabilitation program, and tawny frogmouths, with more aviaries under construction.
Our tour took about one and a half hours. Booked tours continue irrespective of the weather and only the departure time varies between summer and winter. On some nights a later tour is run when there is the opportunity to see the animals being fed. Good walking shoes are essential as the tracks are uneven in places and not paved. Mosquito repellant may be needed at times, too. Pre-booking is necessary to ensure there are sufficient guides to manage the tours, but the park will open whether for two or two hundred, with the fees charged for entry helping to fund the park's work.
[Further information can be found on the park's website at www.pearcedale.com .]
Prague Zoo, Czech Republic
In the disastrous August floods which affected large parts of the Danube and Elbe/Vltava river catchments, the lower parts of the zoo were completely submerged, to the extent that even the roofs of some buildings were no longer visible. The new exhibits for gorillas and giant tortoises, the pachyderm and large cat houses, the children's zoo and many smaller buildings and enclosures, technical infrastructure and visitor amenities were destroyed.
The zoo staff, led by director Petr Fejk, worked extremely hard, risking their own safety and lives, to evacuate more than 1,000 animals. About 90 animals drowned, a few, including two fur seals, escaped, and an adult male Asian elephant and a hippopotamus had to be destroyed because rescue was technically impossible. Subsequently, some media and well-meaning animal lovers, who obviously do not understand how dangerous elephant bulls and adult hippos are and how difficult it could be to transport such animals even under normal circumstances, blamed the zoo director for having `murdered' these animals. However, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and the Union of Czech and Slovak Zoological Gardens (UCSZ) unanimously agreed that these attacks were not justified, and that Mr Fejk acted responsibly and made the right decision. They also praised the efforts made by the zoo to rescue all the other animals.
Members of UCSZ were quick to provide technical assistance, and a number of animals were transferred to other Czech zoos. Contributions from the zoo community and the general public to help with rebuilding Prague Zoo are now being collected by the WAZA Executive Office, P.O. Box 23, 3097 Liebefeld-Berne, Switzerland (E-mail: email@example.com ).
Abridged from a WAZA media release, 23.08.2002
Riga Zoo, Latvia
Approximately 15 species of exotic amphibians have bred in the zoo's Laboratory of Ecology since 1999 [see I.Z.N. 47 (7), pp. 470471]. Most of them are bred in zoos quite commonly (Dendrobates, Dyscophus, etc.), but some species are true pearls in our collection, for example Theloderma corticale. [For this species, now given the English name `Tonkin bug-eyed frog', see I.Z.N. 46 (6), pp. 347352 Ed.] We obtained our first specimens of this species from the Laboratory of Herpetology at Vsevolozsk Zoo, Russia, in 1998.
Theloderma frogs are popular with zoo visitors. Because of their colouring and shape they resemble pieces of moss, and it takes some time for people to find them. Usually children are more successful, and that is great fun for them.
Our T. corticale laid their first eggs on 15 December 1998, most of which developed into tadpoles successfully. The two pairs have spawned 99 times since then, and we have reared a total of about 200 froglets. However, a problem quickly surfaced: all the froglets are males. In the following two years, we undertook many experiments with water temperature and quality to identify the problem, but without results. Since frogs of the same stock as ours breed continuously in Vsevolozsk, and the sex ratio of young produced there is close to 1:1, it is unlikely that the cause of our phenomenon is associated with the adults; the explanation must lie in our tadpole rearing methods. This is even more mysterious as, according to the literature, sex is genetically determined for all amphibian species. However, environmentally dependent sex determination is widely known for fishes and reptiles, which are much better-studied animal classes. We are continuing to breed these frogs, rearing tadpoles in various conditions and trying to identify any differences between our rearing methods and those used in Vsevolozsk. All factors must be carefully considered, as our aim is not only to rear females but also to find the reason for our exclusively male offspring.
It would be interesting to learn whether other facilities breeding amphibians have met such problems. Our knowledge of general amphibian biology would be altered should it prove that environmental conditions in the spawn or tadpole stage can influence sex.
Ilze Dunce in EAZA News No. 39 (JulySeptember 2002)
Rolling Hills Refuge, Salina, Kansas, U.S.A.
Our giraffe exhibit is less than two years old and, being so new, has no established trees. The only installation in the yard is a man-made shade structure and feed basket that stands approximately 25 feet [7.6 m] tall. The walking surface around the bottom is raked concrete, which does an excellent job of keeping the giraffes' hooves trimmed. The basket itself is used mainly to hold alfalfa for feeding. At the top is a giant umbrella intended for shade.
We started using the basket to place small two-inch (5-cm) diameter branches of browse (elm, hackberry, willow, and cottonwood), which worked well but was eaten so quickly that it wasn't lasting through the day. The time consumption of cutting the small branches and tying them to the feeding basket was becoming a problem. We knew we had to develop a better, longer-lasting solution until we were able to establish tree growth in the yard. What we came up with was a design for three eight-inch [20-cm] diameter steel tubes to be welded around the base of the structure, leaning slightly outwards. We are now able to place branches of almost any size in the tubes, turning what was just a big iron umbrella into an instant giant `tree' that is as pleasing to look at for the guests as it is functional for the animals. Our two giraffes usually take about five days to strip off all the edible material, and we have the option of placing three more tubes on the structure so that the enrichment will last even longer.
Adapted from Rich Wassenberg in Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 3 (March 2002)
Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri, U.S.A.
Before the zoo opened the new Penguin/Puffin Coast exhibit, in which horned puffins (Fratercula corniculata) would be exhibited here for the first time, three keepers from the bird department each spent 12 days over the course of a month training with North Carolina (NC) Zoo staff in their alcid (auk) exhibit. NC Zoo opened this exhibit in 1995, and proved to be a fantastic training ground for us. Its experienced staff made learning an easy and fun experience. The exhibit houses not only 25 horned puffins, but also 27 parakeet auklets (Cyclorrhynchus psittacula) and seven common murres (Uria aalge) [see I.Z.N. 46 (4), p. 244, and 48 (8), p. 525 Ed.]. NC Zoo is one of only two institutions breeding these unique and comical-looking birds. The five youngsters that are being raised this year will be coming to St Louis for our new exhibit. Although NC Zoo's exhibit space is limited, their birds were allowed to breed as they normally would in the wild, providing our exhibit with captive-born, rather than wild-caught, birds.
However, raising these chicks can be very time-consuming. Therefore, we agreed with the stipulation NC Zoo made by sending some of our keepers there to assist its four-person staff in the hand-rearing process. Chick rearing can take up to as much as three to four hours a day. And hand-rearing was only one aspect of care we learned.
Along with raising the chicks, we were also trained in cleaning the exhibit. There were pathways and rocks to be scrubbed and hosed, windows to be cleaned, leftovers from the previous evening's dinner to be picked up, and the distribution of morning feed trays. Enrichment items are given as often as possible, Puffins and auklets are, as we discovered, very curious birds and watched everything we did, seeming to think that everything we had was a toy. If you laid your scrub brush down even for a second, they were there pulling and tugging on it. And when we brought in the assortment of enrichment items for the day, including things like rubber or plastic floating squids, colored ping-pong balls and rubber sea anemones, their curiosity and love of play became extremely apparent. But perhaps the most challenging duty was washing windows, which required slipping into a wet suit, and attempting to scrub and squeegee the windows while bobbing in the 50° F [10° C] water with the puffins.
Since the three of us were coming separately for twelve-day periods, we were able to see the chicks at many different stages of development, from newly hatched, a ball of black fluff that could fit in the palm of your hand, to a gangly 30-day-old chick testing out his first pool of water. By the time Lisa went for training (she was the last to go), the chicks were old enough to spend a good part of a day out of their pseudo nest tunnels (kennels) to play and socialize with each other on a makeshift playground the keepers had set up for them. Here there were tunnels to hide in, a variety of rubber sea life to pull and tug on, rocks and things to climb on. The chicks seemed to enjoy their new-found freedom. They pecked and pulled at things and exercised their wings. By the end of Lisa's second week there, the chicks' pool was filled with several inches of water, in which they immediately began to bathe. Watching their progression of growth, not only physical but also intellectual, was very interesting and rewarding. Each day brought a new discovery for them and for us.
The NC Zoo staff kindly answered our (seemingly) millions of questions, provided us with lots of written material, stood waiting patiently as we snapped roll after roll of film, and gladly shared their knowledge and experiences with us. Both management and keeper staff made us feel as if we were part of their team. Learning how to manage a new species is exciting and fulfilling, and partnering with experienced professionals from another zoological institution was extremely rewarding. We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to work side by side with experienced puffin keepers, learning about puffin management in preparation for caring for our own collection of these `ocean parrots' in the future.
Anne Tieber, Frank Fischer and Lisa Baker in Zudus Vol. 17, No. 1 (January/February 2002)
Saitama Children's Zoo, Japan
The zoo has successfully bred four species of hedgehog and the lesser hedgehog tenrec. We chose to breed these species because they are popular with children as hands-on educational animals.
Manchurian hedgehog (Erinaceus amurensis). If kept together in too narrow quarters, these animals will fight and injure their limbs, and the stronger animals will hog all the food. With this in mind, the animals were set loose in a 30-m2 enclosure with rabbits and guinea pigs. The rabbits and guinea pigs are taken indoors at night, so the hedgehogs then have the free run of the enclosure. They enjoy using holes that the rabbits have dug during the day. One female set a longevity record of 7 years, 2 months and 2 days.
Long-eared desert hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus). This is a desert species, so the animals were kept in a 7.5-m2 room with a sand substrate. A nest box was provided containing wood chips and hay, but the babies became covered with wood chips and died. The mother made attempts to push the nesting material out of the box, so it was all removed, and the mother successfully gave birth and reared her next litter on the bare sand.
Four-toed hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris). This species was kept in a simple plastic cage with a wood-chip substrate and a nest box. The female had no trouble giving birth, but ate several litters in a row, so it was a year before she successfully raised a litter. This species becomes very tame, so it is a good educational animal.
Brandt's hedgehog (Paraechinus hypomelas). A male and female were put together in a 3.3-m2 cage for a week at a time. The female became aggressive towards the male, so she was put into an aquarium with nesting material as a substrate. This species is closely related to the long-eared desert hedgehog, but made no attempts to remove the nesting material, and the female raised her babies successfully.
Lesser hedgehog tenrec (Echinops telfairi). For several reasons, this is an interesting species. When the temperature drops, the animals immediately stop eating and go to sleep. In the breeding season, the male secretes a gooey white substance from around its eyes. It was intended to hibernate the animals to induce breeding, but when autumn came the male began to secrete the white substance, so he was immediately put together with the female. Sixty-nine days later she gave birth to nine babies.
English summary of article in Japanese by Tomoki Ito, Yoshio Koyama and Kazuaki Nippashi, published in Animals and Zoos Vol. 54, No. 7 (July 2002)
Sapporo Maruyama Zoo, Japan
The zoo has had a pair of Chinese alligators (now aged 14) since 1994. They are kept in an enclosure of 30 m2, of which two-thirds is land and one-third a pool 55 cm deep. Air temperature is kept at 2428° C and water temperature at 2327° C. Chinese alligators hibernate in nature, and this behaviour is thought to have a strong influence on their reproduction. Indoor life is apt to be very boring for the animals, but by providing the following environmental enrichment factors, we succeeded in breeding the species for the first time in Japan.
(1) Changing their food according to the seasons. Beginning in June 2000, a cyclic feeding schedule was instituted, consisting of a `maintenance period', a `first satiation period', a `fasting period', and a `second satiation period'. During the maintenance period, only small quantities of low-calorie food were provided. During the satiation periods large quantities of high-calorie food were given.
(2) Providing stimuli to encourage breeding activity. Two weeks into the second satiation period beginning in February 2001, both male and female began to call to each other, and mounting behaviour was observed. Since mating takes place in the water, the alligators were encouraged to enter the water often by frequently making changes of water and by running warm water into the pool at night. Other stimuli were provided by sudden douses of cold water and by raising and lowering the water level in the pool. The alligators responded by calling and showing other reproductive behaviours even in the daytime. At times the male would respond to tapping on the glass front of the enclosure and begin a series of courtship behaviours, and this could be used as an indicator of reproductive readiness.
In April 2001, the female's abdomen was distended, and early in the morning of 14 May a mound was discovered in the enclosure with 20 eggs in it. The eggs were put in an incubator, and two hatched after 64 days and a third after 66 days. Immediately after hatching the babies measured 21 cm and weighed 30 grams. By April 2002, they had grown to 33 cm and 110 g. The same schedule is being followed this year, and it is expected that the adults will breed again.
English summary of article in Japanese by Naoya Honda, published in Animals and Zoos Vol. 54, No. 6 (June 2002)
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Martin Mere, Lancashire, U.K.
A successful breeding season was achieved in 2002. Of particular note was the production of nine Madagascar teal (Anas bernieri), who, after last year's false start, seem now to have established themselves. Six young comb ducks (Sarkidiornis melanotos) were hatched, the first for over a decade here. It is possible that the female was successful because she was able to escape from the larger drake into an adjoining pen! Other successes were achieved with fulvous and white-faced whistling ducks, coscoroba, black-necked swan, radjah shelduck (the first ever bred here), cereopsis, Patagonian crested duck, chestnut teal, marbled teal, sharp-winged teal, Cape teal, white-winged duck, European eider, New Zealand scaup, smew and goosander. Our East African crowned cranes laid eggs but these failed to hatch, as did those of our magpie geese. Chilean flamingos produced seven chicks, but our greater flamingos built a new nest site on a gravel track, laid eggs and then abandoned them. New arrivals were a pair of demoiselle cranes.
Generous support from the Countryside Agency enabled us to carry out renovations to our car-park and install new interpretation, whilst Cory Environmental Trust Ltd funded resurfacing of paths in the Waterfowl Gardens. The W.G. Harvey Settlement part-funded a new pumping station.
Patrick J. Wisniewski
News in brief
The Persian leopard pair at Santago Rare Leopard Project, Welwyn, U.K., produced a female cub in April who was abandoned by her mother and is being hand-reared. To raise funds for an enclosure to house the cub when she grows up, this private collection is offering its supporters a half-hour session with the cub, and a one-hour private viewing of all the other cats, at a cost of £65 for a party of up to six people. (In 2000, as reported in I.Z.N. 48:2, pp. 136137, Santago bred clouded leopards for the first time, and they are now hoping for further births of this species.)
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In July, Toledo Zoo, Ohio, announced their first birth of a Françoiss langur. Toledo is one of only a dozen U.S. zoos to exhibit and breed this species. The baby is the first offspring for the parents, the zoo's six-year-old male Dong Puong and the five-year-old mother, Ashes, who is on breeding loan from Cleveland. Both adults arrived at the zoo in May 2000 on SSP recommendation.
Abridged from a Toledo Zoo press release
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The Rainforest and Tropical Butterfly Centre in Yvoir, Belgium, staged an exhibition of a type most of us assumed had fallen from favour in the zoo world early in the 20th century. Eight pygmies from Cameroon were brought in to build a village and perform traditional dances. The show, intended to help fund schools, wells and health centres in the pygmies' homeland, was severely criticised by immigrant groups and human rights activists. Only 3,500 people attended instead of an expected 20,000, and takings did not even cover the costs of the venture.
Expatica News (www.expatica.com ) 23 August 2002
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Woburn Safari Park, U.K., has a new product on sale which is very popular with visitors to its zoo shop. The Safari Poo Planter is a gift box filled with specially-prepared manure from the parks three Asian elephants, together with foil-wrapped seeds of the banana palm (Musa velutina) and full growing instructions.
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Andera, M.: The Zoological Department of the National Museum and Prague Zoo 70 years of partnership. Gazella Vol. 28 (2001), pp. 255257. [English summary of article in Czech.]
Anderson, S.J., and Deeming, D.C.: Dimensions and composition of eggs from captive bustards (Gruiformes: Otididae): houbara (Chlamydotis undulata), rufous-crested (Eupodotis ruficrista), and kori (Ardeotis kori). Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 4 (2002), pp. 337346. [This study at the National Avian Research Center, Abu Dhabi, sought to increase understanding of the size and composition of eggs from two subspecies of houbara bustard (C. u. macqueenii and C. u. undulata). Eggs from the rufous-crested bustard and kori bustard were also examined for comparison. Infertile eggs were collected from captive birds; egg mass and linear dimensions were recorded, and egg component masses were determined wet and dry. Significant differences were observed in the composition of the eggs from the two houbara subspecies. Despite being smaller in size, macqueenii eggs had a relatively larger yolk (and relatively less albumen) than undulata eggs. The relative composition of the rufous-crested and kori bustard eggs showed patterns similar to that of the undulata eggs. For the houbara bustards, changes in initial egg mass were associated with changes in egg length more than egg breadth, and changes in egg length and breadth appeared to be due more to increases in albumen mass than to increases in yolk mass. Further research is required to determine the influence of dietary differences on the observed differences in relative egg composition for the two subspecies of houbara and the other bustard species.]
Andrews, L.: The use of acupuncture to relieve pain in an eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus) suffering arthritis of the spine. Ratel Vol. 29, No. 4 (2002), pp. 123125. [Healesville Sanctuary. (Reprinted from Thylacinus Vol. 25, No. 1 (2001), pp. 67.)]
Baker, W.K.: Advancements in shipping container design, fabrication, and application. Ratel Vol. 29, No. 4 (2002), pp. 107112. [Reprinted from Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 6 (2002), pp. 254262.]
Ballestrasse, C., Kiser, J., and Roach, R.: Early development of an Asian elephant calf at Woodland Park Zoo. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 13, No. 1 (2002), pp. 3541.
Barbut, R.: Rainbow bee-eater (Merops ornatus) successfully breeding one of the most challenging species of birds in captivity at Perth Zoo (January 2000). Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 2 (2002), pp. 1618.
Barnes, R.F.W.: The bushmeat boom and bust in West and Central Africa. Oryx Vol. 36, No. 3 (2002), pp. 236242. [Poor soils and high rainfall mean that the high productivity of African forests, an assumption that drives the development of the forest zone, is an illusion. The potential of the forests to produce meat, from wild or domestic herbivores, is limited. Growing human populations and shrinking forests accelerate pressures on forest resources faster than national statistics indicate. A simulation model demonstrates the effects of growing hunting pressure on one monkey and two duiker species. A version of this model that includes random variation shows that large harvests can be obtained for many years, but that a population collapse can happen suddenly; there is no period of gradually declining harvests. The accelerating hunting pressure in a zone of low productivity, shrinking habitat for monkeys and antelopes, the dynamics of non-linear systems, and natural environmental variation that affects reproduction and survival, will lead to a collapse of hunted populations across the forest zone. We are now seeing the bushmeat boom and soon we will see the bushmeat bust.]
Becker, W.: Reptile enrichment: a rewarding experience. The Shape of Enrichment Vol. 11, No. 2 (2002), pp. 78. [Turtles, snakes and lizards, New Jersey State Aquarium.]
Blaszkiewitz, B.: Lebensalter und Reproduktionsrate bei einem Palmenflughund (Eidolon helvum) im Tierpark Berlin. (Longevity and reproductive rate of a straw-coloured fruit bat at Tierpark Berlin.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 4 (2002), p. 268. [German, no English summary. The female bat arrived at the zoo in December 1980 as a pregnant, wild-born adult. She died in May 2001, having given birth to 13 offspring at the zoo.]
Blaszkiewitz, B.: Zu Besuch bei Schnabeltieren (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in australischen Tiergärten. (Visits to platypuses in Australian zoos.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 5 (2002), pp. 511517. [German, no English summary.]
Bloom, P.: Sea lion enrichment toys. The Shape of Enrichment Vol. 11, No. 1 (2002), pp. 910. [Zalophus californianus, Flamingo Land, Malton, U.K. Use of ball-shaped plastic floats manufactured for the fishing industry.]
Brandl, P.: Big cats in Prague Zoo history and prospects of breeding. Gazella Vol. 28 (2001), pp. 5558. [English summary of article in Czech.]
Brandl, P., Cápová, B., and Kucera, J.: Brown hyenas (Parahyaena brunnea) in Prague Zoo a short recapitulation on the occasion of 33 years of breeding. Gazella Vol. 28 (2001), pp. 3941. [English summary of article in Czech.]
Brown, J.L., Graham, L.H., Wu, J.M., Collins, D., and Swanson, W.F.: Reproductive endocrine responses to photoperiod and exogenous gonadotropins in the Pallas' cat (Otocolobus manul). Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 4 (2002), pp. 347364. [Pallas' cats maintained under natural photoperiod are highly seasonal, exhibiting gonadal activity for only a few months in late winter/early spring. Gonadal activation in females appears to be triggered by a transition from short-day to long-day photoperiods, and may be induced by manipulating artificial day length. Compared to natural estrus and mating, exogenous gonadotropins can stimulate normal ovarian responses; however, to date successful AI has not been achieved in this species.]
Casares, M., Arévalo, M.-A., and Fernández, E.: Notes on the husbandry of the arapaima, Arapaima gigas, at `Faunia', Madrid. Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 4 (2002), pp. 238244. [The arapaima is the largest of the strictly freshwater fishes. Though it is now successfully kept and bred at aquaculture facilities in Latin America, it is rare in zoos and aquariums (ISIS lists only 25 individuals). A group of 40 small (2035 cm in length) and eight medium-sized (106134 cm) arapaimas arrived in June and July 2001 at Faunis, Madrid, Spain (a newly-opened zoo originally called `Parque Biológico de Madrid'). The small fishes were kept in two 4,000-litre tanks, and the larger were introduced to the main display pool of 620 m3. Three months after their arrival the 20 surviving arapaimas (six large and 14 small) were kept together in the large pool. At the time of writing (March 2002), nine months after their arrival, all these fishes are growing and eating very well. The arapaima is a graceful swimmer, and is considered a good display fish for aquariums. It needs to be kept in pools of an adequate water capacity, since the size of the pool appears to be a major limiting factor for its growth and welfare. Once established, it is a very robust fish, which withstands manipulation and changes in water quality, takes several kinds of food, and is not aggressive towards other fishes.]
Dash, S., and Mohanty, P.K.: A study on the avian fauna in captivity at Nandankanan Zoological Park, Orissa. Zoos' Print Vol. 17, No. 4 (2002), pp. 1319.
De Vleeschouwer, K., Leus, K., and Van Elsacker, L.: Reply to DeMatteo et al. Animal Welfare Vol. 11, No. 3 (2002), pp. 349350. [See under DeMatteo et al., below.]
DeMatteo, K.E., Porton, I.J., and Asa, C.S.: Comments from the AZA Contraception Advisory Group on evaluating the suitability of contraceptive methods in golden-headed lion tamarins (Leontopithecus chrysomelas). Animal Welfare Vol. 11, No. 3 (2002), pp. 343348. [Reversible contraceptives, such as melengestrol acetate (MGA) implants, have become an invaluable tool that captive-animal managers use to maintain various species in social groupings while avoiding unwanted pregnancies. The AZA Contraception Advisory Group (CAG) monitors the efficacy, reversibility, and safety of contraceptives used in captive exotic mammals worldwide. Because so few data exist on contraceptive efficacy and safety in exotic species, it is critical that evaluations reflect an understanding of the mechanism of action of the active ingredient as well as of the delivery system. The authors address the concerns of the CAG over the manner in which De Vleeschouwer et al. (Animal Welfare, 2000, 9: 251271) analysed MGA implant reversibility data in golden-headed lion tamarins. The article is followed by a reply from the original authors (see under De Vleeschouwer et al., above).]
Dressen, W.: Folgebruten beim Krokodilwächter (Pluvianus aegyptius) unter Gehegebedingungen. (Multiple clutching by Egyptian plovers in captivity.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 4 (2002), pp. 222224. [German, with English summary. A study of wild Egyptian plovers noted that only pairs who lost eggs early in the breeding cycle laid second clutches. Though second broods seemed to be possible in terms of time available, it was assumed that the prolonged high parental investment makes a second nesting doubtful. Since 1998 a pair of Egyptian plovers have successfully reared young in an aviary of the tropical bird house at Krefeld Zoo. Independently of their success in raising a chick, the pair have laid up to three clutches in one season lasting from February until July. However, no more than one young has been successfully raised per season. Where breedings overlapped, both parents shared the work, with one sex still bringing food to the fledged juvenile, and the other incubating the next clutch. In captivity, where ideal conditions of constant temperature, humidity and availability of food can artificially be prolonged, Egyptian plovers apparently adopt to these favourable conditions by producing multiple clutches in one season.]
Felix, J.: An outline of the history of the Prague Zoological Garden. Gazella Vol. 28 (2001), pp. 2532. [English translation of article in Czech.]
Fritz, J.: The history of the Primate Foundation of Arizona. The Newsletter Vol. 13, No. 3 (2002), pp. 12. [The Foundation has existed since 1968 as a sanctuary for `surplus' laboratory chimps.]
Graham, L.H., Bolling, J., Miller, G., Pratt-Hawkes, N., and Joseph, S.: Enzyme-immunoassay for the measurement of luteinizing hormone in the serum of African elephants (Loxodonta africana). Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 4 (2002), pp. 403408. [Disney's Animal Kingdom, Florida.]
Gusset, M., Burgener, N., and Schmid, H.: Wirkung einer aktiven Futterbeschaffung mittels Futterkisten auf das stereotype Gehen und den Glukokortikoidspiegel von Margays, Leopardus wiedii, im Zoo Zürich. (Effects of active food provision by means of feeding boxes on stereotypic pacing and glucocorticoid levels in margays at Zürich Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 4 (2002), pp. 245262. [German, with brief English summary. The stereotypic pacing shown by the zoo's margays was hypothesized as being caused by permanently frustrated appetitive foraging behaviour. The effects of a new kind of active foraging device by means of electronically controlled feeding boxes on the cats' pacing and faecal glucocorticoid level were tested. Behavioural observations and non-invasive stress hormone measurements, however, showed no significant differences compared to a control feeding regime without boxes. The most likely explanation for these results is the sit-and-wait hunting strategy of many small cats in the wild, which could not be adequately simulated in this experiment. It is recommended to further improve the box-feeding system in a way to allow the margays to show natural hunting behaviour.]
Hackler, C.: Browse is beautiful. Journal of the Elephant Managers Association Vol. 13, No. 1 (2002), pp. 3133. [Oakland Zoo, California.]
Hess, L., Vodicka, R., and Král, J.: Is opioid remifentanil suitable for primate immobilization? Gazella Vol. 28 (2001), pp. 211212. [English summary of article in Czech.]
Holden, S., Haynes-Lovell, K., and Spittall, D.: Operant conditioning with polar bears another form of enrichment. Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 2 (2002), pp. 27. [Sea World, Queensland, Australia.]
Hudson-Dye, M., Benaroya, M., and Dye, G.: Did you know, that's how we know? Ratel Vol. 29, No. 4 (2002), pp. 116122. [`Zoos and aquariums have made significant contributions to marine mammal science.' (Reprinted from Soundings, the publication of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association, Fourth Quarter 2001.)]
Hunter, S.A., Bay, M.S., Martin, M.L., and Hatfield, J.S.: Behavioral effects of environmental enrichment on harbor seals (Phoca vitulina concolor) and gray seals (Halichoerus grypus). Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 4 (2002), pp. 375387. [Most attempts to document the effects of enrichment on animal behavior have focused on terrestrial mammals. Staff at the National Aquarium in Baltimore conducted an investigation of the behavioral effects of enrichment on the seven harbor seals and two gray seals housed in the aquarium's outdoor seal exhibit. They expected that enrichment would change the amount of time the animals spent engaged in specific behaviors. The behaviors recorded were: resting in water, resting hauled out, maintenance, breeding display, breeding behavior, aggression, pattern swimming, random swimming, exploration, and out of sight. Activity levels (random swimming and exploration) were expected to increase, while stereotypic behaviors (pattern swimming) were expected to decrease. The frequency and duration of behaviors were documented for 90 hours in both the control phase (without enrichment) and the experimental phase (with enrichment). Statistically significant differences in the time spent in pattern swimming, random swimming, exploration, and out of sight were observed between the two phases. With enrichment, pattern swimming and out of sight decreased, while random swimming and exploration behavior increased. These findings demonstrate that enrichment can promote behaviors that are likely to be normal for phocids in the wild, and that may contribute to the behavioral complexity of these animals in captivity.]
Kaiser, M.: Die Haltung von Eulen (Strigiformes) im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde in den Jahren 1955 bis 2002. (Owls at Tierpark Berlin, 19552002.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 5 (2002), pp. 552582. [German, no English summary.]
Khadri, S.S.M.S., and Valandikar, S.C.: Hand-rearing of giraffe calves at Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore. Zoos' Print Vol. 17, No. 4 (2002), pp. 1012.
Lenzi, R.: Voluntary urine collection. Ratel Vol. 29, No. 4 (2002), pp. 141144. [Bottle-nosed dolphin, Dolphin Quest, Hawaii. (Reprinted from Soundings, the publication of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association, Fourth Quarter 2001.)]
Lücker, H.: Das Afrikahaus im Zoo Dresden. (Dresden Zoo's Africa House.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 4 (2002), pp. 197209. [German, with brief English summary. Indoors, the new house includes a huge enclosure for elephants, with provision for artificial insemination and breeding. The hall is also home to mandrills; the two species are separated by an African deciduous gallery forest planted with the help of the botanical garden of the University of Dresden. Additionally, both species can use very roomy outdoor enclosures. The house also has other functions: it is the new main entrance to the zoo, and houses the zoo school and the main restaurant. The plants and animals are developing well, and insect pests are controlled by birds, reptiles, and amphibians.]
McGowan, M.: Rain for raptors. The Shape of Enrichment Vol. 11, No. 1 (2002), pp. 46. [Live Animal Center, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Center houses 19 rehabilitated birds of prey, all unsuitable for release. The author describes the use of irrigation hoses to provide artificial rain. The method is cheap and simple to use, the birds enjoy it and their health benefits. Similar systems are planned for the Center's parrots and iguana. At additional cost, the system could be adapted to enable the animals to activate the rain themselves.]
Maki, T.: Adding zip to rhino enrichment. The Shape of Enrichment Vol. 11, No. 2 (2002), pp. 45. [Diceros bicornis, Zoo Atlanta, Georgia. `Zip lines' (horizontal steel cables) hung eight to ten feet (2.43 m) above the ground are used to suspend food buckets, browse and other items.]
Masopustová, R.: Birth of quadruplets and twins of the lesser slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) in Prague Zoo. Gazella Vol. 28 (2001), pp. 6871. [English summary of article in Czech.]
Matschei, C.: Kreta-Bezoarziegen, Capra aegagrus cretica, im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. (Cretan wild goats at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 5 (2002), pp. 545551. [German, no English summary. Up to 2001, 53 kids were born at the Tierpark, 26 of which were reared. The present group consists of 2.6 animals.]
Pauly, A., and Strauss, G.: Kaiserschnitt bei einem Goldkopflöwenäffchen (Leontopithecus chrysomelas) mit Entwicklung einer mumifizierten Frucht. (Caesarean section on a golden-headed lion tamarin and delivery of a mummified foetus.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 5 (2002), pp. 583587. [German, no English summary.]
Pavlásek, I., Vodicka, R., and Kus, E.: Parasitic fauna of the Przewalski horse (Equus przewalskii, Poliakov, 1881) in the keeping facilities of the Zoological Garden in Prague the first findings of coccidia of the genus Cryptosporidium and intestinal flagellate of the genus Giardia. Gazella Vol. 28 (2001), pp. 232242. [English translation of article in Czech.]
Pithart, K.: History of keeping and breeding the cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus) in Prague Zoo. Gazella Vol. 28 (2001), pp. 8871. [English translation of article in Czech.]
Pohle, C.: Notizen zu Fortpflanzung und Geweihzyklus beim Weisslippenhirsch (Cervus albirostris) im Tierpark Berlin. (Breeding and antler cycle in Thorold's deer.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 5 (2002), pp. 540544. [German, no English summary.]
Rehák, I.: Batrachological treasure of the Vietnamese fauna the Tam Dao newt, Paramesotriton deloustali. Gazella Vol. 28 (2001), pp. 116128. [English translation of article in Czech.]
Rehák, I., and Velenský, P.: The biology and breeding of the Cuban ground iguana (Cyclura nubila) in captivity. Gazella Vol. 28 (2001), pp. 174208. [English translation of article in Czech.]
Rudloff, K.: Im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde 2001 erstmalig gehaltene Tierformen. (Animals first kept at Tierpark Berlin in 2001.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 5 (2002), pp. 518539. [German, no English summary; includes 36 photos of the animals concerned.]
Ryan, S., Thompson, S.D., Roth, A.M., and Gold, K.C.: Effects of hand-rearing on the reproductive success of western lowland gorillas in North America. Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 4 (2002), pp. 389401. [The authors sought to assess the potential effects of hand-rearing by evaluating the relationships between rearing type and reproductive success in the AZA Gorilla SSP for western lowland gorillas. The study included data on 697 gorillas: 257 wild-born (WB) and 440 born at zoos or related facilities (ZB). No significant differences were found in the number of reproductive ZB and WB females. Male WB gorillas are more reproductively successful than ZB males; but this may be due to the breeding status of the older males, with higher representation of WB individuals. There is a positive trend toward an increased reproductive success of CB males. ZB males showed no difference in infants produced per reproductive year as compared to WB males, while ZB females produced more infants per reproductive year than did WB females. Mother-reared ZB females produced more offspring and used more reproductive opportunity than hand-reared females, whereas rearing had no effect on the reproductive success of ZB males. Moreover, mother-reared and partially hand-reared females were more likely to become nurturing mothers themselves. As mother-rearing positively impacts future reproductive success of gorilla offspring, the gorilla SSP is justified in placing a strong emphasis on management protocols that encourage maternal competence before and after the actual birth of an infant.]
Schaap, D.: Enriching the devil: the Tasmanian devil. The Shape of Enrichment Vol. 11, No. 1 (2002), pp. 14. [Sarcophilus harrisii, Taronga Zoo.]
Shaw, S.: Diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of a neurological disorder in kiwi. Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 2 (2002), pp. 1415. [Westshore Wildlife Reserve, Napier, New Zealand.]
Simeone, A., Wilson, R.P., Knauf, G., Knauf, W., and Schützendübe: Effects of attached data-loggers on the activity budgets of captive Humboldt penguins. Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 4 (2002), pp. 365373. [Although they can provide valuable information on at-sea ecology, data-loggers may adversely affect energetics, diving performance, and breeding success of equipped birds. With the aim of determining the effects of leg-attached data-loggers on the activity budgets of Humboldt penguins while on land, we equipped birds at Landau Zoo, Germany, with such devices. We followed them during sample periods and recorded the occurrence and length of behaviors. Birds quickly habituated to the devices within one day of deployment, and mean rates of device-pecking were low, with device-induced behaviors accounting for less than 1% of the mean daily activity budget. The method of device attachment appears behaviorally less stressful than the traditional tape-based system in which devices are normally attached to the penguin's back. By facilitating the testing of newly developed data-loggers on captive birds, or the development of methods for device attachment, zoos and aquaria may strengthen their role in animal conservation by helping research on free-ranging animals.]
Smith, B., Hutchins, M., Allard, R., and Warmolts, D.: Regional collection planning for speciose taxonomic groups. Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 4 (2002), pp. 313320. [Regional collection planning and implementation are essential if professional zoos and aquariums are to achieve their collective conservation and animal management goals. Several regional associations currently have taxon advisory groups (TAGs) in place whose primary role is to develop taxon-specific collection plans. During their planning process, TAGs review all known taxa of interest and evaluate them based on relevant criteria. TAGs also evaluate the total amount of captive space available to determine the number of priority taxa that can be maintained. In addition, some TAGs heighten their impact on conservation by producing an action plan of select conservation and research projects to be supported by participating institutions. Although current guidelines for regional collection plan (RCP) development are extremely useful for some TAGs, such as those for most mammalian taxa, they do not address the needs of other more speciose TAGs, such as those for fish, invertebrates, and amphibians. These TAGs, characterized by their numerous taxa and more flexible space requirements, still need to develop plans for the species they manage. The authors recommend that highly speciose TAGs make development of an action plan their highest priority and use it to direct the RCP process. This will limit the number of taxa they need to consider, while ensuring that their RCPs are directly relevant to conservation. Once their action plans have been developed, speciose TAGs can then determine which species are most important to zoological collections and at what level they should be managed. This strategy represents a departure from the current processes used to develop RCPs for many mammalian and avian species and, as such, has not yet been addressed. An action plan-driven approach will result in more practical and relevant planning for speciose TAGs.]
Splonskowski, S.: Bungee buckets. The Shape of Enrichment Vol. 11, No. 2 (2002), p. 6. [Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, Inc., Texas. Suspended feeding devices for primates.]
Srivastav, A., and Chakrabarty, B.: Seasonal distribution of deaths of tigers (Panthera tigris) in Indian zoos. Zoos' Print Journal Vol. 17, No. 3 (2002), pp. 741743. [In March 2000 there were 347 tigers living in 46 Indian zoos. The average mortality rate in 19952000 was 8.26%. The authors analysed causes of tiger deaths in 30 zoos. Maximum mortality occurred in winter, with respiratory diseases being the cause of 12 out of 56 deaths. During the monsoon, infant deaths (through cannibalism and maternal rejection) and diseases of the digestive system were the major factors.]
Standfield, M.: The power of live presentations in comparison to other educational tools used in the zoo environment. Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 2 (2002), pp. 810. [Healesville Sanctuary, Victoria, Australia.]
Stelvig, M.F., and Sargent, E.L.: Trading places: animal rotation as enrichment. The Shape of Enrichment Vol. 11, No. 2 (2002), pp. 913. [San Francisco Zoo, California. Two separately housed snow leopards were given access to a third area on alternate days. The authors analyse the resultant changes in the animals' behaviour.]
Stern, A.G.: Drosophila made easy. Ratel Vol. 29, No. 4 (2002), pp. 113114. [Miami Metrozoo, Florida; an easy way to breed fruit flies for use as animal food. (Reprinted from Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 3 (2002), p. 114.)]
Sírová, J., and Sír, S.: An outline of apprentice training in zoological gardens in the Czech Republic. Gazella Vol. 28 (2001), pp. 274275. [English summary of article in Czech.]
Sweeney, R.G.: Development of a management plan for a captive population of St Vincent amazon parrots in Barbados. Ratel Vol. 29, No. 4 (2002), pp. 126132. [Reprinted from I.Z.N. 48:7, pp. 430436.]
Takacs, R.: Providing enrichment for Louis the orang-utan. The Shape of Enrichment Vol. 11, No. 1 (2002), pp. 1011. [Budapest Zoo, Hungary.]
Tardona, D.R.: Evolutionary anthropology and psychology of animal conservation. Ratel Vol. 29, No. 4 (2002), pp. 133140. [Reprinted from Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 5 (2002), pp. 214219.]
Taylor, T.D.: Feeding enrichment for red-handed tamarins. The Shape of Enrichment Vol. 11, No. 2 (2002), pp. 13. [Saguinus midas, Cotswold Wildlife Park, U.K.]
Vilhumová, I.: Can you use your hands to see? Gazella Vol. 28 (2001), pp. 261262. [English summary of article in Czech; special programmes for blind and partially-sighted visitors at Prague Zoo.]
Volf, J.: Animal exhibition at Prague Castle and Prague Zoo in the 20th century. Gazella Vol. 28 (2001), p. 270. [English summary of article in Czech; animals mainly bears were kept at the castle from 1919 to about 1960.]
Vyas, R.: Breeding data on captive Indian rock python (Python m. molurus). Zoos' Print Journal Vol. 17, No. 4 (2002), pp. 752756. [Sayaji Baug Zoo, Vadodara, Gujarat, India. In an eight-year period, a female laid six clutches totalling 87 eggs, of which 56 were incubated for an average of 72 days and 24 (10.14) infants successfully hatched.]
Wacher, T., Baha el Din, S., Mikhail, G., and Baha el Din, M.: New observations of the `extinct' Barbary sheep Ammotragus lervia ornata in Egypt. Oryx Vol. 36, No. 3 (2002), pp. 301304. [The Barbary sheep or aoudad is widely distributed in the mountains of the Sahara and North Africa. The 2000 IUCN Red List assessment of the Egyptian subspecies A. l. ornata categorized this taxon as Extinct in the Wild. New evidence, collected during 19972000, indicates that it survives in both the extreme south-east and south-west of Egypt. The authors recommend that its Red List category be changed to Critically Endangered, that conservation of wild aoudad in Egypt be prioritized, and that the subspecific status of both the wild and captive stocks in Egypt be reassessed. They examined the aoudad on public display at Giza Zoo; the two groups numbered 33 and 35 in November 2000 and were composed of mixed sex groups with young. In appearance these animals conform to the description of A. l. ornata; but recent work on the taxonomy of other mountain ungulates, notably the species-level split between Nubian and Alpine ibex, indicates that caution is required when contemplating the use of captive aoudad for reintroduction or reinforcement of populations in Egypt. They authors advocate that the captive stock at Giza should be maintained carefully as a valuable conservation resource, but that their use for reintroduction must be avoided until their relationship to extant wild animals is clarified using modern techniques of genetic analysis.]
Walker, S.: Red Listing at the regional level a Conservation Assessment and Management Plan workshop for South Asian primates. Zoos' Print Vol. 17, No. 4 (2002), pp. 39.
Walker, S.L., Waddell, W.T., and Goodrowe, K.L.: Reproductive endocrine patterns in captive female and male red wolves (Canis rufus) assessed by fecal and serum hormone analysis. Zoo Biology Vol. 21, No. 4 (2002), pp. 321335. [Fecal steroid analysis is a useful tool for assessing the reproductive status of red wolves. In females, daily monitoring of fecal progestagens during the periovulatory period can be used as an alternative to blood progesterone analyses for timing AI. In males, the initial increase in fecal androgen precedes the female breeding season by four months, and peaks coincident with maximal sperm production and with estrus in the female.]
Wicker, R.: Kiwihaltung und Kiwizucht im Zoologischen Garten Frankfurt am Main. (Kiwi husbandry and breeding at Frankfurt Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 4 (2002), pp. 210221. [German, with very brief English summary. North Island brown kiwis (Apteryx mantelli) have been kept in Frankfurt since 1978 first in the nocturnal section of the Grzimek House, and later mainly in well-planted aviaries with natural light cycle. Altogether 27 kiwis have hatched in this period, of whom 15 are still alive.]
Yasynetska, N.I., Zharkikh, T.L., and Zvegintsova, N.S.: Conservation and breeding of the kulan in Ukraine. Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 4 (2002), pp. 225237. [The state of the wild population of the Turkmenian kulan (Equus hemionus kulan) is considered critical, so the breeding of kulans in captivity and the preservation of the populations established outside the species' natural range are of critical importance. Kulans are maintained in five zoos in Ukraine. Two large populations reside in the Biosphere Reserve Askania Nova and the Azovo-Syvasky National Nature Park. The Ukrainian population totalled 154 animals as at 1 January 2002. The first kulans were brought to Askania Nova in 1950; 372 foals were born between 1963 and 2001, and 71 kulans are now living there. The kulans graze freely in big steppe enclosures (2,300 ha) the whole year round, and they mate without any human management. Foals are born from March through August, and with most births occurring in May. Adults are about 120 cm high at the withers, and weigh from 200 to 230 kg. Territoriality is strongly pronounced in Askania Nova's kulans. There are three distinct social units: adult solitary males, dams' groups consisting of adult females and young, and groups of young bachelor males. No resident adult male is present in dams' groups. Territorial behaviour of adult males is determined by their reproductive potential. In 1982 a new kulan population was founded at the Azovo-Syvasky National Nature Park when 11 kulans were brought from Askania Nova to the Biryuchij Peninsula (7,735 ha) which is a part of the park. Now 1113 foals are born there every year, and the population currently numbers 57. The authors also describe the zoo groups and make recommendations for the management of the Ukrainian population.]
Publishers of the periodicals listed:
Animal Welfare, Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead, Herts. AL4 8AN, U.K.
Gazella, Prague Zoo, U trojského zámku 120/3, 171 00 Praha 7, Czech Republic.
Journal of the Elephant Managers Association, Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46222, U.S.A.
Milu, Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, Am Tierpark 125, D-1136 Berlin, Germany.
The Newsletter, Primate Foundation of Arizona, P.O. Box 20027, Mesa, Arizona 852770027, U.S.A.
Oryx, Cambridge University Press (for Fauna and Flora International), The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 2RU, U.K.
Ratel, Association of British Wild Animal Keepers, 110 Carrick Knowe Drive, Edinburgh EH12 7EL, U.K.
The Shape of Enrichment, 1650 Minden Drive, San Diego, California 921117124, U.S.A.
Thylacinus, Australasian Society of Zoo Keeping, P.O. Box 248, Healesville, Victoria 3777, Australia.
Zoo Biology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158, U.S.A.
Der Zoologische Garten, Urban & Fischer Verlag GmbH, P.O. Box 100537, D-07705 Jena, Germany.
Zoos' Print and Zoos' Print Journal, Zoo Outreach Organisation, Box 1683, Peelamedu, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641 004, India.