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Killer whales more than one species, study shows
They may all look similar, but new genetic evidence shows that killer whales, also known as orcas, include several distinct species.
Tissue samples from 139 killer whales from around the world point to at least three distinct species, say researchers in the journal Genome Research.
Researchers had suspected this may be the case. The distinctive black-and-white or grey-and-white mammals have subtle differences in their markings and also in feeding behaviour.
Orcas as a group are not considered an endangered species, but some designated populations of the predators are. A new species designation could change this and affect conservation efforts.
One of the newly designated species preys on seals in the Antarctic while another eats fish, said Phillip Morin of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) South-west Fisheries Science Centre in La Jolla, California, who led the research.
His team sequenced the DNA from the whales' mitochondria, a part of the cell that holds just a portion of the DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is passed down with very few changes from mother to offspring.
New sequencing methods finally made it possible to do so, Dr Morin said in a statement.
"The genetic make-up of mitochondria in killer whales, like other cetaceans, changes very little over time, which makes it difficult to detect any differentiation in recently evolved species without looking at the entire genome," he said.
"But by using a relatively new method called highly
Tiger Got Out Of Cage At Local Wild Animal Sanctuary
Leticia Ford and her 7-year-old son, Prince Jr., spent Friday morning at the nonprofit Tiger World reserve in Rockwell for a class field trip.
While the rest of the first graders left, Ford said she and one other family stayed around for lunch.
Ford said that is when a Tiger World employee offered to let them watch two tigers being loaded into this trailer for a training exercise.
Ford said after the trainers put the tigers in the cage, “One of the tigers charged at the plexiglass and his head busted through, so I was like, 'Oh my God, he’s going to eat us.'”
Ford said she and the other family ran and hid behind a cash register area as the tiger came out of the cage wearing a leash, without a trainer for several moments. But Tiger World owner Lea Jaunakais said that was not the case.
She said the tiger cub came out of the cage but was on a leash being controlled by a trainer the entire time. Jaunakais said although the cubs are involved in daily training exercises, that was the first time the two 100-pound cubs had ever been put into the cage and they were a bit skittish.
Ford said if that was the case, the trainers should have taken extra safety measures before inviting them to watch.
Ford said, “If you don’t have something in place then you need to not take those animals out when others are around.” When asked if they would do anything differently, Jaunakais said, “The next
Behind the scenes, the zoo is a whole different animal
Spider monkeys like to gaze at themselves in mirrors. Nothing makes an elephant happier than a six-foot pile of barrels to knock over and destroy. Roll a couple of balls toward a rhinoceros, and he'll kick them with his friends for the rest of the day.
For all the wonder that visitors experience on a trip to the Montgomery Zoo as they observe wild animals from all over the planet -- and with a giraffe feeding station in the works that will put zoo-goers face-to-face with the residents -- there is a world behind the world.
There, the care, enrichment and conservation of each species living in the zoo's habitats are the foremost concerns.
As one of the Montgomery Zoo's 18 full-time zookeepers, Richard Collins has learned all this and more.
"The life of a zookeeper is never dull," Collins said. "It's pretty tough work."
It's a mixture of the mundane -- day-to-day cleaning, feeding, habitat upkeep, interaction with visitors -- and the innovative.
Zookeepers continually devise ways to keep the animals as active, engaged and happy as they would be in their natural habitats, a crucial part of maintaining the well-being of every species on exhibit.
Hence the mirrors, the balls, the piles of barrels.
The zoo's residents need this kind of non-stop stimulation; without it, they could develop a kind of captivity-generated neurosis. Re-creating the feel of the wild for some 500 animals over 40 acres in Montgomery, however, can be hit-or-miss.
"A lot of things they love," Collins said of the various contraptions offered to animals to keep their lives interesting -- particularly the elephant habitat, where he works.
"A lot of things they kick into the moat and are never seen again."
It's certainly not all fun and games. The unexpected always looms.
"We've had keepers stay here 17 straight days before with animals that are sick," Collins said.
Some incidents do not end well; in 2008, an elephant calf fell ill following his mother's death, shortly after she gave birth to him. Even with bottle-feeding and perpetual care from staff, the calf died.
Most recently, one of the zoo's two African black-footed penguin chicks became sick and died, the zoo's deputy director Marcia Woodard said.
"Typically, when two eggs hatch (in the wild), there ends up being one survivor," Woodard said.
An inevitable loss is always hard on the staff, particularly after trying so hard to prevent it, Collins said.
"You can't help letting it affect you," he said of such situations. "You just do your best to not let it affect you. You put the animals first, and you just move on."
Still, Woodard and Zoo Director Doug Goode report that the majority of the zoo's animals live beyond their life expectancies.
And plenty of endings are happy. Recently, when a baby chimp's troop rejected her, a zoo manager and a few keepers "basically were taking care of her like a child," Collins said, and the chimp thrived.
Those who care for the animals often make small discoveries that result in huge differences. Elephants like to swim when they're tired of being on land. At night, the zoo elephants had been kept inside. But one warm night, Collins and his fellow keepers let them stay out in their habitat.
"Their overall mood is 100 times better when they're allowed to be outside at night," he said of the elephants. "We just started doing this. and they've improved by leaps and bounds."
In the zoo world, he said, "There are so many positive stories you can tell."
The story of how the Montgomery Zoo's animals found their way here is based on careful analysis, said Montgomery Zoo Conservation and Enrichment Manager Ken Naugher.
As a zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, directors and staff abide by strict guidelines in terms of breeding, animal health and stimulation.
One of the AZA's primary aims is ensuring the survival of endangered or threatened species. Its Species Survival Program (SSP) aims not only to keep these species around, but to ensure that there are no genetic complications in breeding the animals.
AZA member zoos form a network through which facilities can exchange animals for breeding
Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort set to showcase unique leisure and learning destination at Cityscape 2010
The Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort (AWPR) will showcase its unique, multi-faceted leisure and learning destination at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2010 from April 18 to 21. Visitors to the stand will be able to view the park's master plan and other models designed to help exhibit goers learn more about the project and various initiatives being undertaken.
Construction of the 900 hectare park is already underway and will be completed in three phases. The project will be made up of several components; a crowning jewel is the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre which will focus on the desert living experience. The park will also include wildlife safaris, a world deserts zoo and botanical gardens, resort hotel, as well as residential areas. A conservation and breeding centre will also be integral to the park.
Among the first components to be delivered in phase one will be the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre, which is set to become a premiere example of Estidama's high environmental standards due to its combination of active and passive energy efficient systems. The centre will comprise a 10,000 square meter natural history museum focusing on the adaptation of life to the extreme climate of the desert environment. In addition, the geology, paleontology and anthropology of the UAE and arid land environments will be exhibited in an interactive and technologically advanced museum.
Once completed, the Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort will become an international
Rhino Conservation Video (Works in USA only)
Mountain View shifts focus to local species
They have names like tapir and fossa, and they came from the far reaches of the Earth all the way to Mountain View Conservation and Breeding Centre in Fort Langley to be saved from extinction.
For more than 20 years, founder Gord Blankstein has amassed a modern-day ark of exotic, strange animals, and some more known like zebras, giraffes, rhinos and leopards.
By the end of summer all those rare animals will be gone.
“Unfortunately we are moving away all our exotics,” said Malcolm Weatherstone, spokesperson for Mountain View.
“Like all close families, we will keep in touch.”
The mandate of Mountain View has always been to breed endangered species until their population is strong enough to be reintroduced back into their home habitat.
“With the addax we started with three to 30. We sent some to Senegal and now those are having their own offspring,” said Weatherstone.
However, the 350 animals from over 50 species, including hoof stock, primates and carnivores, currently living at the Fort
Bamboo flowering in Nehru Park concerns authorities
Bamboo flowering in Nehru Zoological Park here has triggered concern among the Zoo officials, prompting them to cut off the bushes to prevent the aftermath associated with it.
"There was bamboo flowering at some place in the 40-acre spread Lion Safari Park in the Zoo. We immediately ordered the bushes to cut to prevent the increase of rodent population associated with it," Zoo park director Gopal Reddy said.
Bamboo which flowers after 40 to 50 years dies after the flowering and the dried fruit of the flower serves as a rich protein diet for rodents.
Mizoram, which had been faced with three cycles of bamboo flowering so far since 1907, suffered famine after the first two flowering cycles. The State Government had to offer Rs 1 for every rat tail
Cameras capture secret life of the 'Highland tiger'
A new research project in the Highlands has provided a rare insight into the secret world of one of Britain's most endangered and elusive species.
Scottish wildcats are notoriously secretive, but conservationists are hoping to gain a more detailed understanding of their behaviour.
They have attached specialist camera equipment, known as photo-traps, to trees in the Cairngorms National Park.
The cameras have already provided images of wildcats and other animals.
Motion detectors and infra-red technology allow the devices to capture images of passing animals over a period of days, weeks or even months.
The project is still in its early stages but the cameras have already provided images of Scottish wildcat - popularly known as the Highland tiger - and other animals
Endangered: are Scotland's wildcats running out of lives?
Persecuted by man since prehistoric times, Britain's most elusive mammal is to be found only in the Highlands. Now the wildcat is under threat from loss of habitat, speeding traffic – and its domesticated cousins
Distinguishing between a hungry Scottish wildcat and a ray of sunshine is rarely difficult. Hamish, top feline at the Highland wildlife park in the Cairngorms, provides a perfect example. It is lunchtime and he is in a stroppy mood. His keeper is late with his dish of raw meat. Hence Hamish's display: a tail bristling like a Christmas tree, a set of snarling fangs and a barrage of hissing and yowling for the humans standing outside his enclosure. This is an animal with a grievance – and a temper.
Hamish is massive, as big as a medium-sized dog, and weighs almost 8kg, double the weight of an average household tomcat. This is a real muscled bruiser. "I have come out of that enclosure with blood dripping from my hands on many occasions," says Robbie Rankin, a keeper at the wildlife park.
A solitary hunter that kills rabbits, not to mention the occasional hare or young roe deer, the Scottish wildcat is ferocious, elusive – and endangered. Once widespread across the British Isles, the wildcat has disappeared from all but a few ecological niches in the Highlands. And numbers continue to tumble, an issue that
EU Grants Bulgaria, Romania Zoos Over EUR 1 M
The Bulgarian municipality of Dobrich and the Romanian municipal city of Constanta have received an EU grant of over EUR 1 M to boost their tourist infrastructure and revamp their zoos.
The funds are provided by the EU Romania-Bulgaria Trans Border Cooperation Program and are aimed at increasing the popularity of zoos in the Bulgarian municipality of Dobrich and the Romanian city of Constanta.
The two municipal cities will work on a project for increasing the development potential of the cross-border region by improving its tourist infrastructure.
The Bulgarian city of Dobrich will cooperate with the Museum Complex for Nature and Science in Constanta, Constanta's municipal council and the ProZoo association in Dobrich.
In 18 months the tourist services in the two cities will be given a substantial boost. The Center for the Protection of Nature and Animals in Dobrich will be equipped with a new shelter for brown bears as well as a veterinary clinic and a warehouse.
Cages for birds and small rodents and a small lake will also be provided. An information center will also be set up in the Dobrich zoo and a special tourist bus line will transport visitors to both Dobrich and Constanta.
The infrastructure of the Constanta Museum Complex for Science and Nature will also be improved, new shelters for ponies, deer, pelicans, swans
This book is the first to integrate scientific knowledge and principles to show how environmental enrichment can be used on different types of animal. Filling a major gap, it considers the history of animal keeping, legal issues and ethics, right through to a detailed exploration of whether environmental enrichment actually works, the methods involved, and how to design and manage programmes.
Waldo the grizzly bear dies at age 36 at Winnipeg zoo
Staff and zoo visitors are mourning the passing of Waldo the grizzly bear who died at the Assiniboine Park Zoo at the age of 36, said officials.
The grizzly bear and his sister Hilda were orphaned in 1974 near Banff and came to Winnipeg from the Calgary Zoo later that year.
Waldo's sister passed away three years ago.
Waldo died in his sleep last week and few bears reach the age he lived to, said zoo staff.
Officials said the grizzly bear will be missed
Elephant in zoo program found killed in Africa
San Diego Zoo officials expressed dismay Wednesday that an elephant being tracked in Africa as part of a multicountry conservation program had been shot and killed.
The elephant, named Kachikau, is one of three highlighted in the zoo’s Project Elephant Footprint program that raises funds for conservation efforts.
Zoo scientist Dr. Michael Chase, who is in Africa, has been leading a study on elephant herd movements between the southern African countries of Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. He had attached a GPS collar on Kachikau, a 30-year-old elephant with a 2-year-old calf who served as matriarch of her eight-member herd.
The herds move in and out of national parks into areas where they are in danger of being killed for damaging crops and property.
Chase and his researchers found Kachikau’s body four days
Endangered species 'may be breeding'
Hopes that the endangered Sumatran rhinoceros is breeding in the wild have been raised by Malaysian conservationists, who caught film footage of a pregnant rhino on Borneo island.
Raymond Alfred of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said a remote camera set up in a forest near Sabah state had captured stills of the animal, numbers of which have dwindled to around 30.
While acknowledging that it was difficult to be certain about its condition, he said: "The size is quite extraordinary. Based on the shape and the size of the body and stomach it would appear that the rhino is pregnant."
A picture released by the WWF shows the creature, a subspecies of the bristly, snub-nosed rhino native to Indonesia's
Freaky frogs, but can you spot them?
A GROUP of rare Vietnamese mossy frogs has gone on display in the Lothians.
The bizarre-looking frogs, which measure just 7cm in length, were bred at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust on Jersey last year.
The frogs are renowned for their camouflage – they have green and black bodies covered with bumps and spines.
They have gone on show at Deep Sea World in North Queensferry, and once mature it is hoped
From Dung to Coffee Brew With No Aftertaste
Goad Sibayan went prospecting recently in the remote Philippine highlands here known as the Cordillera. He clambered up and then down a narrow, rocky footpath that snaked around some hills, paying no heed to coffins that, in keeping with a local funeral tradition, hung very conspicuously from the surrounding sheer cliffs.
Reaching a valley where coffee trees were growing abundantly, he scanned the undergrowth where he knew the animals would relax after picking the most delicious coffee cherries with their claws and feasting on them with their fangs. His eyes settled on a light, brownish clump atop a rock. He held it in his right palm and, gently slipping it into a little black pouch, whispered:
Not quite. But Mr. Sibayan’s prize was the equivalent in the world of rarefied coffees: dung containing the world’s most expensive coffee beans.
Costing hundreds of dollars a pound, these beans are found in the droppings of the civet, a nocturnal, furry, long-tailed catlike animal that prowls Southeast Asia’s coffee-growing lands for the tastiest, ripest coffee cherries. The civet eventually excretes the hard, indigestible innards of the fruit — essentially, incipient coffee beans — though only after they have been fermented in the animal’s stomach acids and enzymes to produce a brew described as smooth, chocolaty and devoid of any bitter aftertaste.
As connoisseurs in the United States, Europe and East Asia have discovered civet coffee in recent years, growing demand is fueling a gold rush in the Philippines and Indonesia, the countries with the largest civet populations. Harvesters are scouring forest floors in the Philippines, where civet coffee has emerged as a new business. In Indonesia, where the coffee has a long history, enterprising individuals are capturing civets and setting up minifarms, often in their backyards.
Neither the Indonesian government nor the Association of Indonesia Coffee Exporters breaks down civet coffee’s tiny share of Indonesia’s overall coffee production. The Association of Indonesian Coffee Luwak Farmers, created in 2009 to handle the rising demand for civet coffee, or kopi luwak, as it is called in Indonesian, said most civet producers were small-time businessmen who exported directly overseas.
Given the money at stake, fake and low-grade civet coffee beans are also flooding the market.
“Because of its increasing popularity, there is more civet coffee than ever, but I don’t trust the quality,” said Rudy Widjaja, 68, whose 131-year-old family-owned coffee store in Jakarta, Warung Tinggi, is considered Indonesia’s oldest.
Competition is touching off fierce debates. What is real civet coffee, anyway? Does the civet’s choice of beans make the coffee? Or is it the beans’ journey through the animal’s digestive tract? Can the aroma, fragrance and taste of beans from the droppings of a caged civet ever be as tasty as those from its wild cousin?
Vie Reyes, whose Manila-based company, Bote Central, entered the civet coffee business five years ago, said she bought only from harvesters of the wild kind. Ms. Reyes exports to distributors overseas — Japan and South Korea are her biggest markets — and also directly sells 2.2-pound bags for $500, or about $227 a pound.
Maintaining quality was a constant challenge because distinguishing the real stuff from the fake was never easy. One time, harvesters sold her regular beans glued to unidentified dung.
“I washed it,” she said. “But the glue wouldn’t come off.”
One of her suppliers, Mr. Sibayan, 37, buys beans from collectors throughout the Cordillera, a mountainous region in the north that can be reached only after a punishing 12-hour drive from Manila. On a recent day, he dropped by to see the Pat-ogs, who own a 1.7-acre lot just outside this town.
Until Mr. Sibayan began buying their civet coffee four years ago, the Pat-ogs had never given much thought to the droppings left behind by the civets that came to munch on the family’s coffee trees at night. They discarded the beans or mixed them with regular beans they sold
Panthers in danger of becoming ‘best-documented extinction ever'
State's big cats may already be beyond saving
On a quiet spring morning two years ago, a sheriff's deputy cruised along a dark suburban street near Fort Myers. The deputy heard a thump, slammed on the brakes. Too late. A tawny body lay cooling by the roadside.
The deputy had hit a 2-year-old, 85-pound, male Florida panther. When a veterinarian dissected the cat, he found signs that the endangered Florida panther is in deeper trouble than ever before.
In his May 2008 report, Dr. Mark Cunningham listed three genetic defects: a badly kinked tail, an undescended testicle and, most troubling, a quarter-inch hole in the big cat's heart.
Such defects were supposed to be gone from the panther population, vanquished by a bold experiment 15 years ago that involved crossbreeding with Texas cougars.
But now they have resurfaced. And because of a series of decisions made by federal officials, panther experts say fixing the problem this time will be nearly impossible. In short, the Florida panther is a dead cat walking.
“It's going to be the best-documented extinction ever, unless they do something,” said Laurie Wilkins of the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Over the past 15 years, the federal agency in charge of protecting the habitat where panthers roam, hunt and mate has given developers, miners and farmers permission to destroy more than 40,000 acres of it.
The panther is Florida's state animal. It's a license-plate icon, the namesake of Miami's pro hockey team and the mascot of schools around the state. Yet it hasn't received the protection promised by the Endangered Species Act. Here's why:
• The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which spends more than $1.2 million a year on panther protection, has not blocked a single development that altered panther habitat. Former agency employees say every time they tried, “we were told that, politically, it would be a disaster,” said Linda Ferrell, who retired from the agency in 2005.
• To bolster the case for allowing development, agency officials have used flawed science. They even manipulated figures to make it appear at one point as if there were surplus panthers.
• Agency officials say they've required developers and others to make up for destroying the habitat. But their own figures show those efforts have fallen short, and
Iran receives Siberian tigers
Two Siberian tigers from Russia were presented to Iran Friday. The animals will live in a nature reserve in north Iran. Iranians plan to restore tiger population and Siberian tiger is the closest to the species which got extinct in Iran because of poaching. Russia got two Asian leopards in exchange. They are also endangered. The animals will live in
Levines donate $1M endowment to Palm Beach Zoo Animal Care Complex
No matter how you celebrated Earth Day, Melvin and Claire Levine may have you beat.
The Palm Beach couple gave a $1 million endowment to fund operations of the Palm Beach Zoo’s Animal Care Complex.
The center, which bears their name, opened a year ago on Earth Day.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified property features drought-tolerant landscaping, building materials and adhesives that emit low amounts of volatile organic compounds, and 80 energy-producing solar panels on the complex’s roof, among other green features.
The complex demonstrates the zoo’s efforts to become one of the most environmentally friendly zoos in the nation, according to Terry Maple, zoo president.
Altogether, the Levines have contributed $4 million to the zoo. A matching grant from the couple allowed the zoo to bring in $500,000 from another source, Maple said.
“When we talked to them about the endowment, they realized that this was a commitment they had made to the advancement of (wildlife) conservation and medicine,” Maple said. “There aren’t many zoos that have this combination. And because of their gift, we were able to recruit one of the top veterinarians
Miami Metrozoo gets major honor
Miami Metrozoo is celebrating another five years of accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. AZA accreditation is recognized as the benchmark for the finest animal care institutions in North America and Miami Metrozoo is the only animal attraction in Miami-Dade County to hold this accreditation. Metrozoo, which has been renamed Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens, is consistently rated one of America's Top 10 zoos.
"Your Miami Metrozoo now joins a world community of 221 other accreditated zoos and aquariums, most of them in the United States but we also have members in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Bermuda, Bahamas and Hong Kong, which all meet the highest standards in zoos and aquariums in the world," said AZA Executive Director Kris Vehrs during Tuesday's Miami-Dade Commission meeting.
"Your Miami Metrozoo is a community asset and a treasure," said Vehrs. "It's a place where people can connect to nature and where we take that next step and inspire our
Lion cub born in Sussex County zoo is part of species extinct in wild
At the Sussex County zoo that was once home to the world’s largest bear, the latest attraction is a 25-pound ball of feline fur named Siren.
The 10-week-old African lion cub was recently born at Space Farms Zoo & Museum in Wantage, which opened today for the season.
Currently the size of a large housecat, the cub looks like a plush toy come-to-life, but her constant pacing, piercing glare and menacing growls reveal her true nature.
The family-owned zoo has had lions for nearly 40 years. But because cub births only occur occasionally, the arrival of a new lion gives Space Farms something to crow about. Siren is the zoo’s fifth-generation of Atlas lions, also known as Barbary lions, which are extinct in the wild.
"We haven’t had a lion cub since 2002, so that’s why it’s a special occasion," said zoologist Lori Space Day. "We don’t
Safari park to be created outside Baku
Azerbaijan is building a new, open zoo at Guzdek, just to the northwest of Baku.
Azerbaijan's minister of ecology and natural resources, Huseyn Bagirov, told a press conference today that the project would be completed in two stages.
'I think that the animals will be held in as natural conditions as possible. The new zoo will have these conditions,' Bagirov said.
He said that specialists from Holland would be involved in creating the safari park.
The first part of the project is
[Ant Control] Sensitive Account: Ant Control at the Zoo
The Caribbean crazy ant is an emerging pest ant in the southeastern United States. So after an infestation was discovered at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in Jacksonville, Fla., University of Florida researchers put their IPM skills to the test.
Lions, tigers and giraffes are exotic animals one expects to see when visiting the zoo. Visitors to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in Jacksonville, Fla., however may encounter another exotic animal, the Caribbean crazy ant.
The Caribbean crazy ant, Paratrechina pubens (Forel), also known as the brown crazy ant and the hairy crazy ant, is an emerging pest ant in the southeastern U.S., especially in Florida and Texas. Reports describe infestations of enormous numbers of ants foraging in dense trails.
In 2005, an infestation of Caribbean crazy ants was discovered around the administration building at the Jacksonville Zoo. It is believed the ants were introduced to the zoo via potted shrubs brought in for a landscape project. Two years post-introduction, the ants infest more than 140 acres of the zoo. Caribbean crazy ants are a concern to patrons of the zoo who often mistake them for red imported fire ants, another introduced species known for their very painful sting. Although Caribbean crazy ants do not sting, they do infest animal feed and forage, invade buildings becoming a nuisance for occupants, nest in electrical switch boxes causing shorts and service interruptions and have even brought the zoo’s train to a halt due to the density of trailing ants on the tracks.
Little is known about the biology and behavior of these ants and there are no comprehensive control methods. Researchers from the University of Florida (UF) have been invited by the Jacksonville Zoo to investigate the biology, behavior, habitat and diet of the Caribbean crazy ant with the goal of developing an effective Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy.
THE PLAN. The first task was to map the distribution of the ants at the zoo and establish a baseline population to determine success of future control efforts. Mapping the location and relative numbers of ants over time will also provide information about patterns of movement and effects of adverse weather events.
In previously conducted macronutrient preference studies, Caribbean crazy ants at the zoo had demonstrated a preference for proteinacous foods. During the mapping studies, UF researchers placed slices of Vienna sausage at 136 preselected waypoints marked by GPS in 12 separate sampling sites at the zoo. After five minutes, the numbers of ants foraging on the bait were counted and recorded. The bait counts were conducted approximately every six weeks from June 2008 through June 2009.
Weather data were also recorded (visit www.pctonline.com to see a table that summarizes the data collected from these counts). From the study start, the highest numbers of ants foraging on baits were found at sampling sites 1, 2, 3, 11 and 12. Although there were fluctuations due to weather, the counts remained consistent through the length of the study. Most of the sampling sites with heavy infestation are on the perimeter of the zoo. These sampling sites are adjacent to
Rare tiger drowns in Norfolk zoo
A rare tiger, which played an integral role in a breeding programme ensuring the survival of the endangered species, has drowned in her enclosure at Banham Zoo.
Malyshka, a female Amur (Siberian) tiger, was found lifeless in her territory paddock by her keepers early Sunday morning.
Martin Goymour, zoo director, said an extensive post mortem examination has identified the cause of death to be drowning, but how this occurred to an apparently healthy tigress remains a mystery.
More tragically the post mortem also revealed that Malyshka, who was in the top five most important breeding females in Europe, was pregnant with three cubs which would have been of great importance to the international effort to bolster the Am
St. Louis Zoo worker brews Wild Ass Ale to benefit animal causes
Jim Lovins, a longtime St. Louis Zoo employee and Florissant home brewer, has created a beer recipe that will be contract-brewed at O’Fallon Brewery next month and available for sale at area stores by Memorial Day.
Wild Ass Amber Ale — named for the African Wild Ass, an endangered, zebra-like donkey – is dry-hopped with Willamette hops and oak-aged. It contains
White bengal tigers roar in to Pouakai Zoo
A trio of white tigers have arrived in Taranaki and are ready to roar for the public.
The rare white bengals come from Zion Wildlife Gardens in Northland and will live at New Plymouth's Pouakai Zoo for the next year.
Azra, Anila and Kahli, all young females, are three of only 120 white tigers in the world.
They were bred at the wildlife park for their pale fur and light blue eyes, using parents who also had the recessive white gene.
Zookeeper Bart Hartley, who went to Whangarei to pick up the tigers in a truck on Wednesday, said the girls were settling in well at their new home.
Mr Hartley said the trio spent Thursday in their den and were let out into the enclosure for the first time yesterday, to the displeasure of their fellow inhabitants.
"The lions got a bit fired up; they're a bit snarly about the tigers being on their turf," Mr Hartley said, as Aslan the male lion paced up and down his enclosure.
"But the tigers didn't take any notice, they've grown up around lions."
Vervet the monkey was also a bit put out, and barked his thoughts loudly from
Zoo Atlanta Gets New Rhino; Hopes For More
Andazi Will Be Quarantined 30 Days
Andazi, a 3-year-old female eastern black rhinoceros, is settling into her new home at Zoo Atlanta Thursday.
She made the trip by trailer from Miami Metrozoo, arriving at Zoo Atlanta on Wednesday. She will be quarantined for 30 days before going on view to the public, according to Zoo Atlanta officials.
Andazi is a potential mate for Boma, a 23-year-old rhino who has been at Zoo Atlanta for more than 20 years without producing any offspring.
Boma’s longtime companion, 19-year-old female Rosie, was sent to the Columbus Zoo in November 2009.
Now found only in zoos and on wildlife preserves in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and South Africa, black rhinos are among Earth’s rarest mammals. Hunted
'Zoo guards did nothing to stop securitymen with Lalu'
A probe into RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav's recent visit to a zoo here with gun-totting securitymen in tow, has revealed that the park guards did nothing to stop them.
Director of the Park Abhay Kumar today said instructions have been issued to disallow securitymen with arms to enter the zoo, and added that "the rule has to be adhered to."
"The probe has revealed that the guards at the gate of the zoo didn't muster courage to stop securitymen accompanying Prasad during his visit to the temple," he said.
Lalu Prasad visited the Sanjay Gandhi Zoological Park here last week to offer prayers at a temple inside the park premises with his security guards carrying sophisticated weapons. The visit had sparked controversy with the zoo authorities
Gaza's only zoo up for sale
Marah Land, Gaza's only zoo, is in danger of closing down.
During Israel's three-week war with Gaza in 2009, almost 90 per cent of the animals in the impoverished zoo were killed.
Since then, securing food, medicine and care for the few that survived has been a daily struggle for the zookeepers.
So, along with its fatigued and
Arabian Center gets groovy with pet animals this Earth Day
The mall houses a live mini zoo in an effort to bring nature closer to its customers
The heat of the summer does not have to deprive you of natures beauty. For the first time, you can experience an indoor pet animal sanctuary at the Arabian Center Mini Zoo. The mall, the latest hotspot for shopping, leisure and entertainment located on Al Khawaneej Road, Dubai, is housing this unique concept from April 22, 2010 as part of its Earth Day celebrations. The zoo will be housed at the Arabian Center for two weeks. Entry to the zoo is free for all.
Commenting on the Arabian Center Mini Zoo, Mr. Tim Jones, COO, Arabian Center, said, We are delighted to host this exceptional display at Arabian Center. Through the live mini zoo concept, we
Noah's Ark farm zoo attracts praise and protests
ANIMAL rights activists say they intend to picket Noah’s Ark at Wraxall every weekend until it closes.
This is despite an inspection of the zoo farm by North Somerset Council giving it a clean bill of health.
Last weekend more than 10 animal rights protesters waving placards stood at the entrance gates of the zoo farm handing out leaflets calling for a boycott of the farm.
Noah’s Ark houses several important species classified as ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
But it is the big cats and some of the more exotic breeds which are causing conflict between the zoo farm and the animal rights groups.
While one says it is cruel to keep animals in captivity the other says it is helping to save animals on the IUCN Red List like tamarins, rhinos, tapirs and gibbons.
Last year an undercover operation by the Captive Animals Protection Society discovered a dead tiger carcass buried on the farmland and complained sickly animals were being put on display.
Its findings were made into a television documentary for BBC Inside Out West and broadcast last October.
But the inspector called 16 allegations against the zoo farm 'grossly unfair' and exonerated its working practises.
Bristol Animal Rights Collection spokesman Jo Penny said: “Animals don’t belong in captivity and in our view the owners of Noah’s Ark are unable to look after animals.”
Zoo owner Anthony Bush invited the animal rights demonstrators to come and look around for themselves.
Jo said: “Every time he asks us we are always there on a demonstration…it is not appropriate.
“Animals don’t belong in captivity and we don’t agree with its breeding programme and connections with the Great British Circus.
“At the end of an afternoon the animals don’t get to go home, this is their life.”
Given the stalemate I went with my family last weekend to see for myself.
It was the best day of the year so far so with the sun shinning and I even though I lived down the road it was the first time I have visited.
We wandered around the meandering Moat House Farm and its many acres.
All seemed peaceful, clean and well organised and I took the photos which are posted in the Nailsea People gallery.
After the tour Anthony asked the two grandchildren I had in tow what they liked best.
The guinea pigs, chicks and lambs, they enthused.
He said: “Do you mean I go to all this expense to bring in exotic species and you like the domestic animals best?”
My biggest complaint was the entrance cost.
Earlier in the week we went to the Cotswold Wildlife Park at Burford.
This cost £11.50 for adults and £8 for children.
Noah’s Ark is £11 for adults and £9 for children – although on this occasion I did have a complimentary ticket for myself from Christina Bush who is a fellow member of Nailsea and District Chamber of Trade & Commerce.
In my opinion the couple – who are committed creationists – are kind, well-meaning and sincere.
The issue is should animals be kept in cages for captive breeding purposes? What do you think?
Anthony told the children they were hoping for baby rhinos but the pair they had spent more time fighting than canoodling.
However, all this pushing and shoving is for a purpose, he explained.
The female will only breed with a male when he is heavier and at the moment the lady was winning.
On Tuesday, April 27, the zoo farm is to hold a special day to mark Troy the Brazilian Tapir's first birthday on World Tapir Day which will be go global via a webcam.
Tapir keeper Emma Godsell said the threat to the survival of tapirs is indicative of the ecosystems in which they live – and of the many other species that share their forest homes.
She said: “Habitat destruction is the largest threat that they face, but poaching has now become an ever-increasing problem.
“The three Brazilian tapirs we have at Noah’s Ark are hugely popular with both our visitors and webcam viewers throughout the world.
“They have witnessed Troy’s birth and followed his progress since last year and feel a big part of the tapir’s lives.
“We wanted to allow all tapir fans to be included in Troy’s first birthday celebrations”.
The award-winning Noah’s Ark was begun in the late 1990s and attracts more than 130,000 visitors annually.
It is one of the most popular
Two snakes at zoo lost, then found
A Calgary Zoo employee is taking responsibility for two snakes that went missing from their enclosure Monday afternoon.
Zookeeper Garth Irvine, who has worked at the zoo for 23 years, said he left the drain open while cleaning their enclosure. The reptiles were on their own for four hours and when he returned, two Malagasy giant hognosed snakes vanished and a search began immediately.
Zoo officials said Tuesday the reptiles have been found and are being looked after by veterinarians
Irvine said had been worried the reptiles might perish because of his mistake.
"I also deeply regret the fact that I have tarnished the zoo, a place that truly is my home. The people and animals here are part of my family," Irvine said. "I made mistakes yesterday. I should not have left that drain uncovered in spite of the fact that there was a 200-pound python sitting on top of it. I should have got help or waited for her to leave so I could return the drain cover.
The snakes, which are brother and sister, are non-venomous and zoo officials said there was no chance they could have made it into the city's sewer system. The snakes were found Tuesday afternoon just below the drain in the snake enclosure.
The zoo is being reviewed by the A
PM GRUEVSKI PAYS A VISIT TO SKOPJE ZOO
Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski visited Skopje Zoo yesterday to introduce with its reconstruction, taking into consideration the fact that the government provided funds amounting to Denar 42 million two years ago.
"What I have seen is very impressive. A huge progress was made in the past several months. Zoo garden receives another dimension. The zoo’s ambitions is becoming one of the best zoo gardens in South East Europe for one to two years, which will attract visitors not only from Skopje and Macedonia but from the neighbouring countries," Gruevski said.
Zoo director Dane Kuzmanovski said that the zoo was built in 1926 covering an area of 12 hectares. Over 30 new animals of seven new species were brought and 18 new living areas are built and 85% of the current ones are renovated. At the moment there are 500 animals of 40 species and education centre and botanical garden are established.
Skopje Mayor Koce Trajanovski said that the Skopje city will finance two new area for the elephant and the giraffe. At the next meeting of the coordination body also other mayors of Skopje’s municipality will be asked to donate animal and space for them because this zoo does not belong to Skopje but to all municipalities.
PM Gruevski commended the work of the City of Skopje not only in the reconstruction of the Zoo but also in other projects, which will make Skopje
An Amazing and Slightly Frightening Video (MUST WATCH)
How to cuddle with an elephant seal
A Competition to Save the Sumatran Tiger
Listen up. If you are between 18 and 25 years of age, are concerned about saving the Sumatran tiger from extinction and live in Indonesia or Germany, then there is a competition that is just for you. Forest Friends, a joint program launched this month by the Indonesian and German chapters of the environmental group World Wildlife Fund, is seeking people to blog about Sumatran tigers and the Sumatran forest.
“This program’s goal is to facilitate the development of creative ideas from young people for saving the environment,” said Annisa Ruzuar, WWF Indonesia’s communications officer for the forest, species and fresh-water program.
Annisa said the group chose to focus on the Sumatran tiger in conjunction with WWF’s Year of the Tiger campaign, which was launched this year.
WWF is an international nongovernmental organization that works on issues regarding conservation, research and the restoration of the environment. The organization is the largest of its kind in the world, with more than five million supporters.
Until May 15, participants can create a blog with articles that discuss the competition’s theme, “Real action to conserve the forest and
New animal species discovered in Borneo
Wildlife researchers said on Thursday they have discovered around 120 new species on Borneo island, including a lungless frog, the world's longest insect and a slug that fires "love darts" at its mate.
Conservation group WWF listed the new finds in a report on a remote area of dense, tropical rainforest that borders Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei on Borneo.
The three governments in 2007 designated the 220,000-square-kilometre (88,000-square-mile) area as the "Heart of Borneo" in a bid to conserve the rainforest.
"We have been finding on average three new species a month and about 123 over the last three years, with at least 600 new species found in the last 15 years," Adam Tomasek, head of WWF's Heart of Borneo initiative told AFP from Brunei.
"The new discoveries just show the wealth of biodiversity on Borneo island and the promise of many more future discoveries that could eventually help cure illnesses like cancer and AIDS and contribute to our daily lives," he said.
The "Heart of Borneo" region is home to 10 species of primate, more than 350 birds, 150 reptiles and amphibians
World grabs more and more toilet paper
NEXT time you reach for the toilet roll, consider this: 60 million rolls of toilet paper are flushed away in Europe every day. And the average American gets though 57 sheets a day, six times the global average.
In a report last week, the Worldwatch Institute in Washington DC highlighted the wastage of paper in rich and rapidly developing nations. In the US, 14.5 million tonnes of office paper and newspaper will be dumped this decade, despite being ideal for recycling as toilet paper.
Zoos want to know why they're excluded from stimulus funds
Zoos and other recreational facilities are ineligible to apply for Federal Stimulus money. But zoo directors say they offer a valuable service to the community, and want to know why they were left out.
When the Federal Stimulus package was approved in March many organizations and programs were looking forward to those dollars to provide much needed funding. But almost all zoos, aquariums, pools, golf courses and casinos are barred from applying for that money. And now they want to know why.
Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville serves 20 counties in Texas and Oklahoma, mostly as an educational venue.
"Our annual visitation is about 65,000, a lot of that is the school groups that come through in the spring and on into the summer,” said Suzan Kleven, Frank Buck Zoo Director.
While they are seen as a recreational facility, Frank Buck provides a valuable service to the community.
"In the classroom is really important, but just to get out in nature and learn about animals is really important,” said Tammy Neese, a counselor at Bowie Elementary School.
And Kleven said they provide extra activities and programs that are even designed around theachers’ curriculums.
"We've got all sorts of packages to help bring to life their studies and their interests, so we really do bring a lot to the community,” said Kleven.
And it shows as teachers and students were all smiles at school trips
Save The Frogs Day events are currently planned in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, India, Italy, Nepal, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the USA. Get your country involved!
Please sign up for the SAVE THE FROGS! mailing list so that we can keep you informed of important Save The Frogs Day news, events and announcements.
Look to the right within the blog and see and click on blog postings. Some of these have not been mailed out by email. Most will have been posted on the Facebook Page however.
Celebrating Plants and the Planet:
Taking "National Chemistry Week" international - it's in October but, I have to plan ahead - this month's links at http://www.zooplantman.com/ (NEWS/Botanical News) are about the odd uses to which plants around the world put chemicals:
· Finnish scientists have discovered that Mountain Birch absorbs toxic chemicals from nearby rhododendrons to use as a pest control. It takes a plant community to raise a birch, I guess.
· Watch out enemies of India! Military scientists there have perfected a chili-based weapon.
· An orchid in China recreates the alarm scent bees use as a way of attracting predatory wasps as pollinators.
· How do Amazonian plants get themselves planted in an ant garden? Their seeds send a chemical message to ants that cannot be refused.
· Is it any wonder that humans have found a way to exploit this wonderful plant chemistry? Is it any wonder that 10,000 species of medicinal plants face extinction?
A recent study from Yale University is a must read for anyone involved with conservation education. Featured on NPR, the study demonstrated that whether one accepts ideas like Global Warming has far less to do with the science and more to do with who's making the case and how it is made. Yes, it's personal, and zoos and aquariums can learn important lessons about how to speak to the public if they want to be effective: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124008307 (includes links to original study)
Please share these stories with associates, staff, docents and -- most importantly -- visitors! You can even follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/PlantWorldNews
ZOOS' PRINT MAGAZINE
Volume XXV, Number 5
ISSN 0971-6378 (Print edition); 0973-2543 (Online edition); RNI 11:8
Date of publication 21 April 2010
List of Individual Articles
Anniversary mail and news
-- Sally Walker, R. Marimuthu, Manju Siliwal, Lala A.K. Singh, N. Raveendran, Pp. 1-4
Eastern Himalaya and High ARCS Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment Evaluation Workshop, 22-26 March 2010, Kolkata, India
-- Sanjay Molur and B.A. Daniel, P. 7
ZOO Lex - London Zoo’s Blackburn Pavilion
World’s 25 Most Endangered Primate Species
Zoo Education Material - The importance of localization
-- T. Kalaichelvan and T.C. Chhatri, Pp. 15-16
-- Nagappa, K., Prakash Bhat, Arup Kumar Das, Bhaskar Chaudhury and J.L. Singh, Pravin Jadhav, Kapil Jadhav, Prashant Chavan, Bahar Baviskar and D.K. Maske, Amol Patwardhan, K.S. Subramanian and S. Ranjani, Pp. 17-22
“This month-That age” - ZOOS’ PRINT 25 years ago -May 1986
-- Sally Walker, Pp. 23-28
Celebrating World Enviornment Day (WED) with WAZA
Consrvation Education and Zoos : a CZA workshop report
-- R. Marimuthu, Pp. 31-32
Access all articles from HERE