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Zoo Map, 1981

From the 1981 Guidebook

Zoo Map, 1981
Hix, 17 Feb 2014
    • Hix
      From the 1981 Guidebook
    • zooboy28
      It seems to me, and I could be wrong about this (let me know), that Durrell tends to display mostly endangered species, and that once species are no longer endangered, or at least are at a lesser risk, then these animals are removed from the collection. I'm not sure why I think this is the case, I can't think of many examples except Parma Wallaby, off the top of my head. How many species have been lost from Durrell, can anyone give some examples?

      If this is the case though, its a bit sad in a way, as it means that the zoo can't celebrate or show-off its successes as much, and that people who know of their successes can't go and visit them! I realise it frees up space for new species to enter the collection, but in some cases it seems a bit harsh almost. What do others think about this?
    • DavidBrown
      Does the guidebook and/or your memory mention what species of tenrecs they had, Hix?

      Also, did they not have gorillas prior to 1981 or were they just temporarily absent from the collection for some reason when this map was made?
    • Hix
      David - my memory is saying Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec, but I'll have to check that when I get home.

      Prior to 1981 the gorillas were in the Brian Park Ape Complex - No.14 on the map. The new Gorilla Enclosure would not be on this map, just below the bottom of it.

      Zooboy28 - Jersey also gets out of species if they can't breed them or - in some rare cases - successful keep them. Durrell's vision was to have a zoo breeding endangered species only, ignoring a lot of the more common zoo species.

      In many cases Jersey was either the only zoo with a species, or one of only a handful of zoos. Many of theior successes are now being returned to the wild, but insurance populations are still kept at jersey - species like Pink Pigeons, Telfair's Skink, Guenther's Gecko, White-eared Pheasants, Mountain Chickens etc.

      I'm sure RickJ will have more detailed and recent examples to offer!


    • dean
      In fact the zoo only has a lease on the animals in alot of case's they remain the property of the nation usually an island that they are native to. but they do send alot of the offspring to other zoos on loan as it were.
      You are probably to young to remember most of Gerry Durrells TV shows etc if they ever showed them down under, But his books such as The stationary Ark are still reprinted from time to time and Ebay usually has a good selection of them. Some of the things he did when Animal catching may jar with some people but they were of there time and you can't despite the modern trend to do like wise re write history. I would still recommend Gerry,s books to any one interested in animals and zoo's thoughespecially if you have a sense of humour as he will tickle it for you.
    • zooboy28
      Ah ok, I hadn't thought about loan/lease type arrangements.

      I don't think I've ever seen any of his TV shows, but I have read most of his (amazing, brilliant, etc.) books. But they are all back in NZ, so I haven't read them for a while.
    • Pertinax
    • gentle lemur
      This is the map in use when I first visited Jersey, so it has special memories for me (I have this guide book in my big box of miscellanies). The tenrecs at Jersey were Setifer setosus and Echinops telfairii. They were kept in the Mammal House under red light, where the Jamaican hutias were also kept.
      The special feature of Jersey at that time was that several pairs or groups were kept for most species, including these small mammals. The labels on the ranges of aviaries in the map show this accurately. The only exceptions were the large species - spectacled bears, cheetah, snow leopard, tapirs and apes.

    • Rick J
      Such a good observation! There's a little more to it than meets the eye, strategically speaking. Here's some 'behind-the-scenes' thinking (it's all actually undergoing a rethink at the moment, too).

      One thing that mustn't be overlooked, is the importance that the Trust places on our trainees, and Durrell Conservation Academy (formerly the International Training Centre). It was Gerry's biggest wish that we kept this 'pillar' at the forefront, and as such, our collection is always to contain 'model' species that allow experience to be built in taxa that our field scientists predict will require captive breeding, ex-situ or otherwise in the near or not-so-near future.

      Often, it's not the species itself that will be kept here (especially if they are critically endangered and subject to all the CITIES and political legislation when it comes to moving them out of range countries), and husbandry should not be experimented with when animals are at critically low numbers. If we get a new species here, we try as much as possible to have everything ready for stress-free transition.

      As a 'zoo', we are tiny... and we also 'live' in a valley. Space is at a premium, and in some cases husbandry developments dictate that our geography or available space isn't suitable for certain species. We are also mindful of keeping viable genetic groups for breeding and research these days... ever wondered why we have gentle lemurs(H. aloatraensis near the Visitor Centre, at 'Lemur Lake' and down near the 'Madagascar Wetlands', and the latter ones practically 'off display'? Well, it's because we need groups for behavioral/breeding research, with varying degrees of 'visitor traffic' (as well as many other variables).

      There are species that could be considered our greatest success stories from a conservation standpoint – the most obvious example being the Mauritius kestrel – where the team didn't feel captivity was appropriate beyond the recovery process, and so we don't have them here any more. There are many more species that aren't here any more, from tenrecs to owls, tuatara to snow leopards.

      It's likely that you'll see huge changes in our bird and reptile collections coming up, to make the park more of a 'window' on our field work, and, perhaps sadly, less of a 'zoo'.
    • TeaLovingDave
      Tis a damned shame that neither the hutias or the greater hedgehog tenrec are doing anywhere near as well as some of the other species mentioned within this thread.....

      In point of fact, these are now not kept in captivity whatsoever! Which from one point of view is a shame, as I missed the last ones in the UK - which were at Kirkleatham Owl Sanctuary only a few miles down the road from me - due to not knowing they were there. But from another point of view I'd much rather have never seen the species because the breeding programme had gone as well as it did, as opposed to having never seen the species because the programme failed and the species was lost.
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