In summer 1998 a ♂ infant Western lowland gorilla Gorilla gorilla gorilla at Zoo Atlanta was hand-reared and integrated into a social group. Because the biological mother would not accept the infant, he was introduced to a non-lactating surrogate mother. Gorilla infants are usually ≥ 6 months old at the time of introduction but this infant was successfully introduced to the surrogate at only 11 weeks of age. Behavioural observations made during the first year of development indicate that this infant's behaviour is similar to that of mother-reared gorillas and he shows no signs of abnormal or stereotyped behaviour. The choice of surrogate mother, the training of both the surrogate and infant for bottle feeding, and the dedication of the nursery-care staff who worked long hours to provide the infant with a stimulating nursery environment, all contributed to the success of the introduction.
This paper provides information on the culture of the Medicinal leech Hirudo medicinalis, including housing and environmental requirements, husbandry protocols and captive breeding. The conservation status of the Medicinal leech and issues surrounding its preservation, and also uses for this species in medicine and as an educational-display subject, are discussed. This species has been maintained at Bristol Zoo Gardens, UK, from May 1996 to the present and has been bred successfully since 2001. The Medicinal leeches that are used in both the husbandry trials and educational display at Bristol Zoo Gardens originated from Turkish stock and were obtained from Biopharm UK Ltd, Dyfed, UK.
Since 1829 the African Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus has been exhibited in over 373 zoological facilities. As at 31 December 1994 the international captive population was 1218 animals of which 880 (72%) were captive-bred and 338 (28%) were wild-caught. The steady increase in the captive population is a result of captive breeding, co-operative captive-management programmes and importation from the wild. Of facilities holding Cheetah 26%. (96) have bred the species, 15% of which have bred continuously producing 63%> (n= 1580) of all cubs born in captivity. Although the number of facilities breeding Cheetah has increased, in 1994 only 10%) of them reported successful reproduction. The Ne has increased gradually and in 1994 was equivalent to 17% of the captive population. Of 1564 animals that have been imported, c. 20% (n= 308) have reproduced and in 1994 155 have living descendants in the captive population. Except for a few East African Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus raineyi all of the imported animals are the southern African subspecies Acinonyx jubatus jubatus. There has been an increase in the number of subspecific hybrids in the captive population and between 1990 and 1994 28 hybrids produced 24%, (190) of cubs. The captive population is not yet self-sustaining and is maintained by the importation of wild-caught animals. Continued progress can be achieved by implication of a co-ordinated global management programme.
The Komodo dragon Varanus komodoensis is the world's largest living lizard. Despite numerous collections exhibiting these animals, only a small number of institutions worldwide have managed to breed them. Here, we discuss the new, purpose-built breeding facility at ZSL London Zoo and recent husbandry changes that resulted in the oviposition of two fertile clutches of eggs and five hatchling Komodo dragons for the first time in the United Kingdom. Four of the Komodo dragons were produced parthenogenetically, which is the first time this has been documented in this species.
Since 1966 Blue-eyed cockatoos Cacatua ophthalmica have been maintained at Chester Zoo and 38 young have been reared to independence, 27 of which were hand-reared. In October 1997 EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) approved a European studbook for C. ophthalmica, to be managed from Chester Zoo. Twenty-four of the Blue-eyed cockatoos bred at Chester Zoo have been placed in nine of the co-operating European institutions. As at 31 December 1998 the studbook listed 72 Blue-eyed cockatoos, 42 of which were living and maintained at nine institutions in Europe. Husbandry at Chester Zoo, natural breeding and techniques for artificial incubation, hand-rearing and enrichment are described. Data are also presented on chick development, age at first breeding and longevity. Chester Zoo, in collaboration with Manchester Metro University, supports in situ research on the biology and status of Blue-eyed cockatoos and other parrot species on the island of New Britain.
The Maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus is the largest canid of South America and is considered Near Threatened by IUCN. Annual studbook questionnaires were sent to 62 institutions in Brazil, and data were obtained for 932 animals (422.406.104) from 1969 to 2006. The historical trend has shown that the Brazilian captive population has progressed towards a maximum size plateau of 140 individuals; several demographic parameters indicated a poor overall breeding success in the population (only 14% of all the potential founders have effectively bred, mean breeding population each year was 18%), low gene flow (only 22% of the animals were transferred between institutions), high infant mortality (79% of all captive-born cubs die within their first year) and poor management of over-represented individuals (20% of the breeding animals had ten or more cubs). A high influx of wild-caught animals was noted (median 12 captures year−1), with most being captured in the economically developed south-eastern region. It is concluded that the captive population is demographically unstable and highly dependent on the influx of wild-caught animals. Broader collaborations with field conservationists and paired research programmes are advised to maximize future ex situ contribution to the conservation of Maned wolf in Brazil.
In 1989 the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for the Hyacinth macaw Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus was founded following concerns about the status of the wild population and the lack of breeding success in captivity. In 1993 management guidelines were developed and published, and these were revised in 1996 to bring them into line with EEP guidelines for other species. Problematic aspects of breeding, hand-rearing and diet are discussed, and several detailed guidelines to facilitate successful breeding in captivity are given.
Penguins have been exhibited at Edinburgh Zoo since 1914 and the Zoo is well-known for its expertise in keeping and breeding these birds, in particular the King penguin Aptenodvtes patagonica and Gentoo penguin Pygoscelis papua. Remodelling and extension of the existing penguin enclosure was completed in 1992 and a young group of Macaroni penguins Eudyptes chrysolophus has been added to the exhibit. The new enclosure is believed to be the largest penguin enclosure in existence and the larger and deeper pool has allowed the birds greater opportunity for swimming. The condition of King and Gentoo penguins has visibly improved and both species have produced young in the two breeding seasons since the reopening. In this paper the planning and design of the enclosure and water filtration is described, together with brief notes on the management of the birds.
This investigation evaluates the feeding and growth of 14 Spix's macaw Cyanopsitta spixii at the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation from 2005 to 2007. The follow-up period lasted for up to c. 6 months. The average weight of the chicks, the mean brooder temperature, the number of feedings per day, the formula fed, the ratio of the total amount fed per body weight and the number of regurgitating chicks per day were analysed. Four different feeding strategies (differences in feeding formula and amount fed) are compared with regard to the weight gain. Group 2, Group 3 and Group 4 were fed more restrictively than Group 1 and, therefore, reached a lower peak weight, although all four groups finally reached the same weight level around day 100. An association between non-restrictive feeding and the number of regurgitations is suggested in the data set. All chicks survived and were weaned successfully. The investigation indicates the importance of a restrictive feeding strategy and individual control.
The world's amphibians are disappearing. More than 100 species may have already gone Extinct and thousands more are threatened with extinction. Many of the threatened species cannot be safeguarded in the wild and require ex situ management if they are to persist. The Amphibian Ark (AArk) draws together diverse stakeholders to save select species until in situ threats can be mitigated. AArk work includes species prioritization, husbandry training, capacity building, fostering partnerships, fundraising and education. A campaign entitled 2008 Year of the Frog is helping to raise awareness among governments, media, educators and the general public, and to support a capital campaign to fund amphibian conservation programmes worldwide.
At the start of the 21st century modern zoos and aquariums are expected to contribute to the survival of the species they display, to educate the public, and to maintain the physical and psychological well-being of the animals in their care. For the future, however, zoos and aquariums will have to be extraordinary in both quality and accomplishments. In this article the characteristics of a world-class zoo or aquarium are described, ranging from organizational structure and philosophy, and staff recruitment and training, to animal care and husbandry, research, conservation, education and exhibit design. The importance of inter-institutional co-operation, technology, government affairs, marketing and development, and public relations are also discussed. In the future managers will have to take a more holistic approach to all these characteristics in order to achieve their core mission without losing sight of the primary objectives of the zoo or aquarium.
Zoos have been overtaken by the rapidity of wildlife extinction and most of their conservation programmes are unresponsive. To fulfil their obligations to society, and to survive, zoos must become proactive conservation organizations, applying their popularity to win support for wildlife protection and their expertise to help sustain reduced numbers of wildlife in marginal habitats.
Perth Zoo released a sub-adult ♀ Sumatran orang-utan Pongo abelii in November 2006 into the protected Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in Jambi, Sumatra, where the Sumatran Orang-utan Conservation Programme (SOCP) is trying to re-establish an orang-utan population. This was the first release of a captive-born orang-utan into the wild. Temara is being closely tracked and monitored by Perth Zoo and SOCP staff. The aim is that she will be followed for at least 2 years. This paper describes: the pre-release preparation, the release process, the benefits of the programme, the monitoring process and the post-release results.
A user-friendly database, captive, was developed to store and manipulate veterinary and aviculture records for the bustard captive-breeding programme at the National Avian Research Center, Abu Dhabi. The system was based on access version 2.0 (Microsoft Corporation) which is a comparatively inexpensive commercial database program, for use on microcomputers. captive was designed as a management tool, producing standard aviculture and veterinary reports from a scheduled input of data, and as a versatile research tool to answer ad hoc enquiries about the data. Paper forms were designed to allow aviculture and veterinary personnel to record the data, and non-technical staff to input the information into the computer program. Standard reports were designed so that staff who are unfamiliar with the database program can retrieve a menu of routine records. An additional series of ‘attached’ databases were linked to the main database, allowing personnel who are more familiar with the program to retrieve and manipulate complex data sets. The advantages and disadvantages of customizing a system in-house are discussed.
The National Avian Research Center is a scientific and conservation organization based in Abu Dhabi. The flagship species for the organization are the Houbara bustard Chlamydotis undulata macqueenii and the Saker falcon Falco cherrug. To minimize the risk of infectious diseases being introduced into the Center a quarantine station was built to facilitate the screening of all incoming birds. This paper describes the design of the quarantine station, technical systems, water supply and drainage, and the maintenance and husbandry practices implemented at the station.
In many zoos, the area separating the enclosures of zoo animals harbours highly diverse communities of free-living animals and plants. These organisms have received little attention so far. Using an all-taxa-biodiversity-inventory approach, a team of 46 zoologists and botanists carried out a 3 year study to assess the free-living organisms (plants, fungi, animals) occurring in the areas between the enclosures of zoo animals at Basel Zoo. A total of 3110 free-living species could be documented in this relatively small city zoo. However, not all taxonomical groups could be considered, mainly owing to the lack of experts. It was estimated that the actual richness of free-living species in Basel Zoo may exceed 5500. Thus, the number of free-living species is approximately eight to ten times higher than the 646 species of zoo animals maintained at Basel. The findings are important for preserving both the valuable remnants of natural and semi-natural habitats and threatened free-living species at the Zoo. The project combines research and outreach, which can improve the understanding of native biodiversity while simultaneously raising the awareness of the threats to it. The success of sustainable garden management in protecting native biodiversity may motivate the public to aspire to their own ‘wildlife-friendly’ gardening activities.