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A European fantasy zoo

Discussion in 'Fantasy Zoos' started by amur leopard, 11 May 2020.

  1. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    Essentially, I have wondered for a while why Europe is so poorly represented in Fantasy zoos. There might be a small side alley with a European brown bear, or a chamois or something, but almost never a fully-fledged exhibit, and certainly no entirely European zoos. So I'm going to make one!

    I will begin in Southeastern Europe and work my way up to the Northwest. I am including Turkey and Cyprus as well as the European area of Russia in this, just because these areas are sparsely represented as well.

    I will soon post my first exhibit focusing on Turkey. :)
     
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  2. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    The zoo is located in pristine Alpine forest near Morzine, France. The area has large expanses of sloped pine woodland, a larger ribbon lake and adjacent wetland area where the lake has flooded into reeds, a large portion of grassland, and around the top of a nearby mountain, an area of craggy rocks. The area therefore almost has all the different habitats required for a European exhibit.
     
  3. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    Crossroads between continents

    The first exhibit is split into two halves: an area devoted to the Western, Aegean region of Turkey, and another area for the Northern and Eastern more Caucasian region. The loop starts off with the Caucasian area. The visitors start on a limestone path, with colourful flowers planted either side of the path. Around the pathways of the Turkish exhibit are predominantly planted Leopard's bane, Crocus flavus, Pink primroses and Grape hyacinths. In between the more common alpine Bog pines are planted Turkish pines.

    The visitors start around the edge of the line where the pine trees begin. As they pass the tree line, they are plunged into relative darkness. They go up a steadily-climbing ramp, which takes them up the small mountain in steady increments. They find themselves on a boardwalk above the undergrowth soon, and enter a well-disguised aviary. It is similar to Plzen's Siberian aviary in the sense that it is essentially a large shed-like structure with a mesh roof to let in sunlight. The visitors walk in and are instantly greeted by a European green woodpecker. These birds have several holes in the pine trees to nest in them along with the other species of woodpecker in the enclosure - the White-backed woodpecker. Inside the aviary with them are the small Alpine accentor, the Isabelline whetear, the Red-fronted serin and the Krueper's nuthatch. A burst of red appears through the trees and two Common crossbills appear. And if the visitors are lucky, they can see a Short-toed treecreeper scuttling up a pine. On the floor, Chukar partridges scuttle around the aviary.

    The visitors leave the aviary and find themselves walking towards another aviary, this time made of mesh and quite a lot bigger. It encloses a natural lake set in the surrounding pine forests. Around the lake is a muddy bank and soft substrate beach. A few trees are planted around the edge of the clearing. Inside the aviary are large Dalmatian pelicans, tall Black storks, and the smaller Pygmy cormorants and Kentish plovers. Finally, a small flock of White-headed ducks paddle around in the centre of the lake and among the reeds. These birds live along the shores of the Mediterranean and in the Aegean region of Turkey.

    The path continues to climb up the mountain towards the rockier areas. They emerge from the tree line and find themselves on a rocky outcropping, looking down into a small, rounded valley covered over with mesh. They peer down from behind a barrier. Inside the aviary are Lammergeiers, or Bearded vultures. The vultures are free to soar in the ravine as they would in the wild. Right next to it, another aviary is home to Cinereous vultures, who can also soar in the ravine. The ravine ascends all the way up to the top of the mountain where a glacier slid down from the peak. The path turns sharply in order to keep the gradient of the path low and manageable without difficulty. To the left again is another bird of prey aviary for Lesser kestrels. It is a large mesh area with long reeds, a few wooden fences and a bit of forest.

    To the visitors' left is a medium sized-building and then a slightly larger one further along. They enter it and find that it is full of reptile and small mammal terrariums. They are all around 2 metres in height, giving the inhabitants lots of space to climb. All the reptiles and small mammals are endangered and in need of conservation programs so the facility holds multiple pairs of each species to facilitate mass breeding to boost population numbers. Many of these species are only found in one small area of Turkey and surrounding countries, so it is important that they are conserved in situ as well as out of it. The first terrarium is for the Van Lake lizard (Darevskia bendimahiensis), an Endangered species. Most of these species are also endemic to Turkey or Cyprus, meaning that their ranges are very restricted. The terrarium imitates a portion of a cliff in Turkey, with small tufts of grass, an overhang and a hidden nest as well as a lamp for basking. The lizards can run along a small tunnel which takes them to another exhibit in another section of the house, making it easy for lizards to run away from others of their kind if they don't get along. Because their habitats in the wild are often very mountainous, these animals are adapted to climb steep areas, which is why the exhibits are so tall. The tunnels are like a crack through a pile of rocks that leads to another cliff-face. The exhibits are not dangerous for the animals if they fall, and piles of hay are placed at the bottom of the cliff-like exhibits to soften their landing in the unlikely event that they do fall.
    The next terrarium is home to a species that hunts the other lizards in the neighbouring terraria. The Anatolian meadow viper has a multi-levelled exhibit as well as a tunnel. The tunnels provide enrichment by forcing the vipers to slide through them to get to their food. In order to make this work, the keepers place the food in alternating exhibits so that the snakes never know where it will come. Next to the meadow vipers are an equally-endangered species - the Central Turkish mountain viper. These vipers spend most of their time on the larger ledge in their exhibits under the lamp, and then retreat into the shadows when they have finished regulating their temperatures. Moving on, the next exhibit holds the Critically endangered Charnali lizard. They, and the next few exhibit for Wagner's vipers and Pontic adders have similar exhibits to previous set-ups in the house. The last two exhibits are for small mammals, both endemic to Turkey. A few juniper branches decorate an exhibit for Woolly dormice, who have the same tunnel system as the reptiles to get from one exhibit to another. The final exhibit is for Asia Minor spiny mice who have the largest terrarium of all which simulates a rocky outcropping. There are several dens and a tunnel system that the visitors can peer into. Just as the visitors leave, they can peer into the breeding centre built behind the reptile house. Large tupperwares used for transportation of the lizards and snakes from exhibit to exhibit are piled neatly on a metal shelf, and smaller exhibits are lined up behind the scenes for temporary isolation.

    The visitors exit the house and enter another neighbouring building for fish. It also acts as a sort of conservation house, with lots and lots of species. The exhibits are all similar, with the tanks depicting a small stretch of a Turkish stream, with pebbles and freshwater plants on the bottom and a small bank on the side. I will give the species list later.

    Now directly in front of the visitors as they exit the building is a massive aviary they goes up the mountain until it reaches the path (which winds around again to a point directly above of where the visitors are now. It holds a pair of Eastern imperial eagles. These massive birds of prey have an exhibit full of fir and pine trees, making it hard to see the eagles although exhibit can be seen from almost ever angle. A small treehouse-like structure allows visitors to climb up to the eagles' level and observe them more easily.
    The limestone path continues to climb and to turn. Along the curve are a number of bird of prey exhibits. The first is home to Long-legged buzzard, the next two are home to two pairs of Greater spotted eagles and the last is home to Pallid harriers. The buzzard and harrier exhibits are more grass-orientated than the eagle exhibit, which is concentrated on woodland. The path has now fully curved around to be almost directly above the fish house. There is a smaller Barred owl exhibit with lots of birch and fir trees to simulate their habitat and next to a large prairie-like exhibit housing Caspian snowcocks and Caucasian grouse. These birds share an area of land where the tree line stops and the grass sets in before the rocky ground nearer to the top of the mountain. Once again, the visitors can peer into the Eastern imperial eagle aviary where it touches the higher path. The birds' shelter is at the top of the exhibit so visitors are more likely to see them from the higher ground.

    Now, the exhibits for larger mammals start to set in. Another large mesh structure looms up ahead, but this time it is not for birds - it houses one of the two pairs of Persian leopards in the zoo's care. There are four exhibits, of which 2 are easily viewable for the visitors. Multiple glass panes inlaid into the mesh provide an opportunity to observe the leopards at close quarters. No landscaping was required to make the exhibits - the areas were just fenced off. The terrain is rocky and interspersed with tufts of grass peering out from between the boulders. A large cliff in the second exhibit provides an area to climb for the leopards. The cats are rotated and breeding is encouraged because the subspecies is Endangered. The two off-show exhibits are for breeding and isolation purposes so that the cats are safe, but most of the time both pairs will be on-show. The visitors can follow the path around to a building on their right to see the leopards from a closer perspective. Here, there are the leopards' indoor quarters and the shelter for easier viewing. The visitors can also view the leopards from a higher level on the second floor of the indoor housing for a better view over the whole exhibits. The heated rock for the leopards is right next to the glass, which encourages the leopards to come nearer to the visitors. There are keeper talks and feedings of the leopards every day. Both exhibits have pools.

    To the left of the path is a much smaller but very similar exhibit under a mesh canopy for Asiatic Caracals. The viewing is again on two levels, although the second level is closed most of the time and only used for keeper demonstrations to show how high the caracal can jump whilst catching a piece of meat on a stick held by the keeper from the second level. The exhibit is even steeper than the leopard exhibit, which in turn allows the caracals to show off their agility and athletic ability.

    Further along, the visitors come across the ravine from the vulture and lammergeier exhibits down below. This time, the exhibit houses three pairs of the Critically Endangered population of Griffon vultures found in Cyprus. There are two exhibits on-show and a third behind the scenes. This allows for breeding, which is gravely needed for the population to have pure genetics given they have slightly different morphological features to other Griffon vulture subspecies. The vultures can soar in the ravine, which is covered over with mesh which serves the double purpose of also breaking somebody's fall if they were to climb over the wooden railing that separates the visitors and the ravine.
    Another large rocky enclosure appears to the visitors' right. Here, Striped hyenas are exhibited. The visitors, for the most part, view the hyenas from the path, which is much higher than the exhibit. However, as the exhibit is sloped, at the end of the exhibit, the hyenas are at the same level as the visitors, who can observe them through a window pane. The hyenas have extensive and spacious indoor housing given they spend a good amount of time in there in the winter. The same goes for the caracals.

    The final large mammal exhibit of the joint Turkish and Cypriot exhibit is a massive, sloping and rocky exhibit for Cypriot mouflon. This distinct subspecies of the familiar caprid is Endangered in Cyprus due to competition with the almost equally endangered feral goats and hunting for their horns, meat and hides. The exhibit is full of immense boulders for these agile mountain-dwellers to climb over and starts at the very peak of the mountain, descending almost as far as the tree line. As the visitors follow it down, they see another exhibit to their right. A large, sweeping grass and dirt exhibit is home to a massive flock of Demoiselle cranes. Underneath a massive mesh canopy, they can fly around. In the middle of the exhibit is a large corrie (mountain lake) where the cranes can drink. Signage around the exhibit tells the visitors how these cranes migrate from the Middle East down to Asia and how they face many challenges on their way from the arid lands they pass through.

    The mouflon exhibit ends as the tree line begins and to the left is a small outdoor terrarium for Cyprus whip snakes. These Endangered snakes are bred at the zoo to bolster their numbers in the wild, where they are only found over a small area in the Troodos mountains. To the right is another, smaller aviary for Laughing doves, Western black francolins and Calandra larks, all of which are found in Cyprus despite being mainly Asian species.
    A small building to the left is the final building in this area of the exhibit. It is entirely devoted to Long-eared hedgehogs. Multiple glass-fronted exhibits linked with tunnels that the visitors can see into. A blackboard to one side tells visitors about recent births as the hedgehogs breed frequently due to their large exhibits and the high numbers the zoo holds. A window offers visitors a brief view into the off-show breeding area. All the exhibits simulate the Cypriot mountainous desert environment in the centre of the island.

    Finally, the last exhibit represents the marine bird-life off the shores of Cyprus and in the Aegean Sea. Large flocks of Audouin's gulls crowd a cliff-face on the edge of the large ribbon lake the zoo is situated around. Scopoli's and Yelkouan shearwaters circle over the water.

    And so ends all 2400 words of the 'Crossroads between continents' exhibit! Next up, Greece! :)

    This is just a sneak peek into the biodiverse paradise that is the European continent (just joking, I'm not going to go that far :D)
     
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  4. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    One thing I've noticed is that a very high percentage of European freshwater fish which are endemic to a particular country are either Endangered or Critically Endangered. Furthermore, I noticed at least 20 European endemic freshwater fish species that were extinct as a result of human development. At first glance, it seems obvious that this would be the case - European countries are relatively small, and so endemic fish species must only be found in a very small number of rivers, streams or lakes in that country, so they can't be anything but endangered. However, having thought about it more carefully, I don't think it matters how large the range of the animal is, they can be Endangered even if they can be found over immense tracts of land (e.g the snow leopard). So this endangerment of our freshwater fish is a key issue we need to tackle before we start to worry about other countries and their native species in a 'holier than thou' manner. I imagine this high level of endangerment is not only brought about by endemicism - more like exacerbated by it when these rivers and lakes that European countries depended on so heavily to built their empires through trade and accumulation of resources and so the fish who were endemic to these lakes and rivers could do nothing but decrease in numbers. Hopefully, as Europe deindustrializes and moves away from primary and secondary sectors (farming, fishing and the industry) it will once again leave these rivers free for endemic fish to resume their migratory patterns and reproduce without the stress of large ships and machinery passing through their habitat. Sadly, it is already too late for some, but I feel it is important that we protect those that are on the brink of departing this Earth for what will most likely be forever. After all, DNA techniques will not be applied to less charismatic yet debatably more important species such as freshwater fish even if it could.

    A species like those I have mentioned above that is especially close to me is Cottus rondeleti, le Chabot de L'Herault in French. Its habitat is not far from where I visit my family in the South of France during the holidays. Once, we came across a group of volunteers combing the nearby stream, looking for specimens for controlled breeding to boost the population, which is currently Critically endangered. We talked with them for a while. Several of them had never even seen any of the fish despite their work every weekend and yet continued with unending devotion. This volunteering is part of a very small and local scheme to save the fish. The fish's main habitat is in the shallow areas of the estuary of the Rhone river in L'Herault region, Southern France. The population is centred around a small stretch of estuary but it is thought that there are specimens elsewhere in what is a very wide delta.

    I am thinking of volunteering next time I come down to the region. After all, this is the time that the survival of this species sits on a fence and decides on which side it will fall. I just hope this species, nor the hundreds of other Critically endangered European freshwater fish species, are not left to perish in the whirlwind of extinction.
     
    Last edited: 15 May 2020
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  5. German Zoo World

    German Zoo World Well-Known Member

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    This is a cool Idea for a Fantasy zoo
     
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  6. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    I chose to include the countries along the Aegean and Adriatic seas together (Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece) since they have relatively similar fauna.

    Aegean to Adriatic

    The visitors, having watched the shearwaters and gulls soar over the cliff, move on along the path. A small sign tells them they are entering the 'Aegean to Adriatic' exhibit. The path moves away from the ribbon lake and through some olive groves. These groves represent the importance of olives in Greek culture and agriculture. There are many varieties of Greek olives (Kalamata, Chalkidiki, Athenolia etc.) and the Greek countryside is littered with olive trees adorning the slopes and plains with their dry leaves and parched-looking branches. A sign tells the passing visitors about the cultivation of the olives.

    The landscape does not change as they enter a large aviary. The visitors can walk all around the olive trees as they watch small birds flit around their exhibit. Small signs tell the visitors what species to watch out for and their tell-tale songs or features. A small pond to the left of the exhibit is home to a flotilla of lily pads with their bright white and yellow flowers. A small group of reeds stand in the shallower water to one side of the pond. It is here that the visitors see their first species of the exhibit - a White-throated dipper, slenderly making its way across the raft of lily pads towards the reeds, flapping from time to time as a pad sinks under its weight. Attracted by the splashing, a Mistle thrush settles on the bank and dips its head into the water quickly to take measured sips, while behind it a couple of Lesser whitethroats twirl around the base of a nearby olive tree. A trio of colourful Cretzschmar's buntings flutter from tree to tree as a robin-like Red-breasted flycatcher watches them contemptuously from the tallest olive tree in the grove. Finally, the visitors spot a reclusive Eastern black-eared whetear and a solitary Eastern Bonelli's warbler.

    As the path curves away, visitors find themselves once again on the bank of the ribbon lake. The lake is very large and underwater viewing is impossible, so the zoo's pod of Bottlenose dolphins inhabits the areas not taken by seabirds around the edge near the cliffs. Though there is no underwater viewing apart from in the indoor housing which is generally only used for enrichment and feeding, the dolphins can be seen speeding through the large lake at full speed over a large area, making it a very nice exhibit. A platform around the lake in the Scottish exhibit is very the dolphins are fed in front of visitors outdoors. The dolphins are trained to leap up and catch the food so that the visitors can see them better. They are mentioned in this exhibit because dolphins are a key component of Greek mythology and many legends reference them even though they are relatively rare.

    The path continues along the coast of the lake and enters a few overhanging caves along the bank. The first cave is home to a large colony of Savi's pipistrelles. The lake leaks into the floor of the cave and submerges the stalagmites at the bottom. The pipistrelles dive low over the water and lick up the water as they would in the wild. A few dim lights illuminate the surroundings but otherwise the cave is plunged in darkness. The bats are fed insects and larvae. The next cave is for the Common bent-wing bat and is very similar to the first.

    Past the caves is one of the largest series of aquatic exhibits the visitors have ever seen. A series of 4 different large exhibits hold 6 pairs of the Critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal. These have all been rescued from Mediterranean shores having been injured. The visitors enter a wooden building resembling a lifeguard's hut. Inside is a wide range of information on the seals, all displayed in an interactive and visual way to make it easier for the visitors to interpret. Charts show the major breeding colonies, large signs in bold remind the visitors of the extent to which the seals are endangered and their numbers remaining in the wild, and how many of the Mediterranean islands are a last stronghold for the species. A blackboard tells the visitors of the zoo's breeding success - pups are born relatively frequently. The visitors emerge from the hut and find themselves on a wooden walkway around 12 metres above the seals. Wooden railings made to look as if they are old and rotten stop the visitors from falling into the exhibit down below. The 4 exhibits are all similar in size and fitted together to make a circular shape around a much smaller circle in the middle where the visitors can observe the seals. The 4 exhibits are separated by boulders which are too difficult for the seals to climb over and rock walls underwater. In order to stop the seals from leaping over the rocky underwater wall, rotten pieces of wood form a fence above the water which resembles a submerged beach fence. Along the edge of the circle is a relatively thin strip of beach and rocks, and then the rest of the circle (i.e. closer to the centre of the circle) is the pool. The deepest point of the pool is where the pool stops in the centre of the circle, which is a viewing area for the visitors. The pools at their deepest are around 3 and a half metres deep and full of algae and kelp for the seals to weave through. Importantly, the seals share their exhibits with Loggerhead turtles, which the zoo also rescues and breeds. The visitors leave the exhibit by the walkway which meets with the hillside after a hundred metres.

    The path starts to steepen and climb up another small mountain. The path passes the olive grove and reaches a platform from which the visitors can admire the view over the ribbon lake, spot the occasional dolphin emerge from the water and observe the vastness of the zoo. They now enter thicker woods, simulating the Adriatic coast, covered with Aleppo and European black pine trees and European beech trees. The path starts to wind as the relief gets steeper. A row of five large bird of prey aviaries hold: Egyptian vultures, Eleonora's falcons, Short-toed snake eagles, Booted eagles and Levant sparrowhawks. They all have large nest-boxes and lots of room to fly. A couple of them have off-show aviaries for breeding purposes, especially the vultures, who have a total of 5 exhibits, 4 off-show to breed this endangered species. Signage tells the visitors how and why the vultures are endangered and what we can do to help.

    Perched on the side of the mountain, a massive building with a number of outdoor pools draws the visitors in. They enter and are met with a plethora of terrariums and vivariums for various different species from all over the animal kingdom. This is one of the largest buildings in the whole zoo and is the world's most important breeding centre for freshwater fish. This building deals primarily with fish species endemic to Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Albania or Montenegro and holds a total of 42 different species of freshwater fish, small mammal, reptile and amphibian, all of which are either Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically endangered. Being highly specialised yet an import redoubt for these threatened species, the building is immense and large tracts of it are off-show for breeding and file holding.

    The larger freshwater fish tanks are generally around 5 metres x 2 metres with a depth of 1.5 metres. The smaller freshwater fish tanks for gobies or minnows are all around the same size (2 metres x 1 metre, with a depth of 80 cm) and all represent the ecosystem whence these fish came. Most of the tanks therefore contain almost perfectly clear water, with a small wind machine pushing the water from side to side to simulate a stream running down a mountainside. Pebbles are strewn across the bottom and water plants such as pondweed rise between the cracks in the sand and rock bottom. Each sign gives visitors a clue as to where to find each fish species, along with a photo of the species and information on why they are so rare.

    Freshwater fish species list inside breeding facility: Mostar Minnow (Phoxinellus pseudalepidotus), Illyrian chub (Squalius illyricus), Zrmanja chub (Squalius zrmanjae), Ukliva dace (Telestes ukliva), Croatian pijor (Telestes croaticus), Croatian dace (Telestes polylepis), Spring pijor (Telestes fontinalis), Tursky dace (Telestes turskyi), Visovac goby (Knipowitschia mrakovcici), Dalmatian minnow, (Phoxinellus dalmaticus), Krbava minnow (Delminicthys krbavaensis), Jadova minnow (Delminicthys jadovensis), Evia barbel (Barbus euboicus), Macedonian shad (Alosa macedonica), Thracian shad (Alosa vistonica), Vistonis shemaja (Alburnus vistonicus), Yelartza shemaja (Alburnus volviticus), Corfu toothcarp (Valencia letourneuxi), Greek lamprey (Caspiomyzon hellenicus), Thessaly goby (Knipowitschia thessala), Acheron spring goby (Knipowitschia milleri), Trichonis dwarf goby (Economidicthys trichonis), Greek ninespine stickleback (Pungitius hellenicus), Paskoviza (Telestes beoticus), Evrotas chub (Squalius keadicus), Greek rudd (Scardinius graecus), Evrotas minnow (Pelasgus laconicus), Tsima (Pelasgus epiroticus), Greek barbel (Luciobarbus graecus), Yliki roach (Leucos ylikiensis), Dalmatian barbelgudgeon (Aulopyge huegelii).

    The reptile terrariums are also similar in their different ways. The snake exhibits are similar to those in the Turkish exhibit in that they have small tunnels to neighbouring exhibits which can be peered into by the visitors. The lizards have similar terrariums. The exhibits themselves are quite tall and large, allowing lots of space for these agile reptiles to climb or slither. Intermittent vegetation is planted around all the exhibits, but only tough dry plants. Amphibian exhibits have small ponds, reeds and a few lily pads and are quite deep, allowing visitors to view them underwater.

    The species of reptile and amphibian in the breeding facility: Orsini's viper (Vipera ursinii), Greek algyroides (Algyroides moreoticus), Cretan wall lizard (Podarcis cretensis), Skyros wall lizard (Podarcis gaigeae), Pori wall lizard (Podarcis levendis), Milos wall lizard (Podarcis milensis), Milos viper (Macrovipera schweizeri), Cretan water frog (Pelophylax cretensis), Karpathos frog (Pelophylax cerigensis), Karpathos salamander (Lyciasalamandra helverseni).

    Finally, the last few exhibits are home to 4 pairs of the endangered Cretan shrew. They are held in large exhibits with connecting tunnels just like the snake exhibits. The exhibits are predominantly rocky.

    In the last wooded exhibit of the 'Aegean to Adriatic' area, a trio of Golden jackals share a large enclosure, The visitors can observe them from two levels inside a Greek house, suggesting that the jackals are relatively common around the cities. There are also a couple of bins outside the building which act as enrichment. The visitors can watch the jackals through a glass viewing inside the building and share the garage with the jackals so that the jackals have one side of the car and the visitors have the other.

    Finally, the last exhibit is home to the endangered Cretan wild goat. the rocky mountainside is home two large groups, one for bachelor males and the other for a flock. The visitors walk through the exhibit on an elevated walkway. Eventually, having crossed the exhibit, which is many hectares in size allowing large tracts of land to browse on (and multiple trees to climb on), the visitors exit the Aegean to Adriatic exhibit and find themselves on the mountainside, approaching a new sign...

    The next exhibit will be called 'Balkans and Carpathians' due to their similar fauna. :)
     
  7. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    My next post may either be a map of the Turkish exhibit or a description of 'Balkans and Carpathians'. I have written 4300 words so far detailing the zoo :)

    The map will be made on a software called Corel Painter Essentials 6 and include the terrain type and drawings of the animals involved.
     
  8. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    I have posted a couple of snippets of my Turkey map in the gallery (the Persian leopard and Eastern imperial eagle drawings. I will try and finish the map as soon as possible. The exhibits will (almost) all have one of the animals exhibited illustrated over it as well as the landscape of course. There are no clear exhibit delineations to make it as natural as possible. Hopefully, by the end of all the map making, I will have a complete map of all the European exhibits put together around the ribbon lake. I might post some more illustrations tomorrow.

    I am also thinking of doing more continents after Europe. Perhaps Oceania would be next on my list since they are the second most underrepresented continent (excluding Antarctica of course).
     
  9. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    The map is complete!

    Here it is:

    Turkey Map.PNG

    A few snippets:

    Anatolian Mountains.PNG
    Raptor woods.PNG
    Salt pans of Anatolia.PNG
    Vulture heights.PNG
    Wetlands of Turkey.PNG

    A few more detailed images coming next.
     
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  10. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    A few more detailed images:

    Eastern imperial eagle map.PNG
    Lammergeier map.PNG
    Laughing dove map.PNG

    Persian leopard map.PNG
    Striped hyena map.PNG
    I will do a map for all the exhibits, then copy and paste them into the same document around the ribbon lake to put together the whole zoo. Obviously it will be hard to see what the animals are given they are so small compared to the whole map put together, making the detail I put into each animal pretty worthless, but...
     
  11. Jarne

    Jarne Well-Known Member

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    Looks very nice, wish I had the talent to do such things.
     
  12. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    Right, here is the next instalment of the European fantasy zoo.

    Balkans and Carpathians

    Visitors continue where they left off on the desolate, now misty mountainside. The path's material is getting coarser and coarser, almost pebble-sized. The path's gradient remains shallow as the visitors walk towards the first exhibit. It is a large aviary, a bit like most of the bird of prey enclosures in previous exhibits. They are correct - it is for a pair of Hobbies. The exhibit is to the visitors' left, so up the mountainside. This gives them a better view of the exhibit and hopefully the birds. A small and rather crude hide stands to the left for a better view, and inside a battered pair of binoculars allow visitors to peer into the mist. The hobbies are more active than most might think; lots of voles and mice are found around the area, and the mesh is large enough for them to crawl in unwittingly. This means that the female hobby is often circling above the exhibit, waiting.

    The visitors move on having seen the female and the more reclusive male and walk on. Up ahead, the tree line awaits the visitors. As they enter the forest for the second time in their visit, they spot two aviaries, one on either side of the path. They go right first. They push open two heavy wooden doors and enter an even thicker area of forest. Pines are scattered around the exhibit, their fallen branches and small thickets forming a thick undergrowth making the exhibit impenetrable but for the small trail cleared through it. The trail is softened with a coat of slender pine needles and a few leaves from the occasional deciduous tree. Not exactly sure what they are meant to be looking at, the visitors peer upwards. The songs of varied birds call out through the mountain air, but still the visitors don't spot anyway. They reach a small round clearing, where the individual signs for each of the many birds found in the exhibit are located. the signs are all large and well-illustrated, with lots of information, and some even have small wooden sculptures of the bird in question attached to the top. Small interactive activities are scattered around the clearing, including a small wooden climbing frame, bird call emitters for each species and many more.

    The visitors finally spot their first bird, a small Lesser woodpecker darting through the understory. They watch it hammer away at a tree and eventually pull out a grub from its depths. They move on and spot a colourful Yellow wagtail hopping across the ground in front of them. The trail has many offshoots, so the visitors spread out into the forest to see what they can find. Two European serins and a European siskin dart around the pine trees playfully. One of the trees in the dead centre of the exhibit is especially popular among the birds. At least 3 Sombre tits and 2 Coal tits tweet at the top of the tree, while further down a Middle spotted woodpecker flutters away and lands in the undergrowth off the trail, tired of the constant twittering above. A Tree pipit sits along the branch from a pair of Wood warblers, who are also singing loudly. The visitors climb a small wooden staircase to a platform which let's them view birds a bit higher in the trees, giving them better views of the minuscule tits. It is from this vantage point that one of them spots a camouflaged Common treecreeper furtively scuttling up the deeply scored trunk of a large pine. The smallest bird of all, a tiny Goldcrest sings heartily on the same tree. The visitors descend from the platform and head back towards the main path out of the aviary. As if to see them off, a large flock of Eurasian tree sparrows and a few Long-tailed tits are crowded on the path just in front of the exit. As soon as the visitors approach, they take off and shoot into the trees, where they sit, invisible, watching the visitors as they leave through a pair of double doors again.

    Opposite them now is a smaller aviary for larger woodland birds. This one isn't walkthrough, but visitors quickly find all the species displayed. A Red-backed shrike is sharing a large branch with a striking Black woodpecker with its distinct red forehead. Another shrike species, the Great gray shrike, is perched on another tree, while a Syrian woodpecker loudly hops along a branch to reach a fresh branch full of pine cones. The visitors turn away from it and walk on. The path curves downwards, plunging deeper into more shaded woodland. The mist has cleared around the area and the sun is beaming through the leaves, creating a dappled effect on the pine needle-littered floor. The much larger woodland aviary for small birds ends to their left and is replaced with an even taller one. Embedded into the aviary is a large Balkan-style cottage. The building has three floors, each with a spacious balcony and lots of signs and information on the forests in the Balkans and Carpathians, including interesting signage about tales such as Dracula and the like that emerge from the eerie darkness of the forest. The visitors climb to the first floor. From this vantage point, they can peer into the understory of taller pines and the canopy of squatter ones. A large, thick branch has sprouted right across part of the aviary and acts as a kind of perch for the inhabitants.

    After a short while peering in the gloom of the pines, the visitors spot a small movement to the left of the aviary and an immense Lesser spotted eagle soars towards them and lands onto the overhanging branch in front of the balcony. The visitors are separated from the eagles by a thin, almost clear mesh to allow for less obstructed viewing and to make it feel as if they are in with the eagle. The visitors, after observing the female eagle for a while, climb to the next floor, where they instantly spot the male eagle, who is circling above the trees.

    They are about to turn and go downstairs when they notice that there is a different exit to the building; an elevated boardwalk takes them out of the building, two stories up. They take the walkway around the curve in the path until they reach another building of the same kind of style. It overlooks a large, wooded exhibit without any netting this time. The trees are significantly further back from the balcony this time, so the visitors peer over the balcony. They can't see anything, so descend both flights of stairs to view the exhibit at a ground level. There, they spot a large shadow curled up amongst the undergrowth. As they watch, it picks itself up and stretches. It then turns towards the visitors and walks up from beneath the shadow of the trees. it is a large male Balkan lynx. It purrs softly as it trudges around the exhibit. A couple of well-worn boughs lie lop-sided on the floor nearby and the lynx begins to toss them about like toys.

    After a long period of playing with the branches and leaves, the lynx climbs up a large mound of soft substrate. The visitors rush to climb up to the floor above to observe it better. They enter the room and the lynx is crossing it to their left! After an instant of fear, they realise a large glass panel separates them and the lynx as it crosses the room. It takes a corridor through the room and passed the staircase, then goes onto an enclosed walkway that crosses above the main path and goes into another exhibit opposite. The visitors go across to the second exhibit, where the male lynx has now appeared, and see the female there as well.

    Eventually, the visitors move on. The path dips and then bends again so it is parallel to the original path but going in the opposite direction. A low wooden fence acts as a safety barrier between the visitors and the steep hillside crammed with pines descending to the paths below. The visitors reach an intriguing rock formation that has carved the hillside into a overhang. In some areas, the overhang has come right over to form a sort of tunnel, while in others the space is covered over with fine mesh. the visitors enter through a pair of plastic curtains, making sure that the animals inside do not escape. Once they have entered, the visitors can see very little but for eerie lights bouncing around the caves. The different caves are separated by walls or by another set of plastic curtains in the case of the visitor pathway.

    The inhabitants of the first exhibit, a lit up sign tells the visitors, is the Brandt's bat. Metal pipes are stuck into the walls of the caves to act as perches for them. The visitors peer over the railing and down into the darkness and realise that they are on an elevated walkway, and that the cave descends below until it reaches a shallow pool at the bottom. The visitors move on from the smelly cave quite quickly and proceed to the next one. Similar caves house Steppe Whiskered bats, Greater horseshoe bats, Alcathoe bats and finally Blasius's horseshoe bats.

    But, expecting to be met with the brightness of the path again, the visitors are surprised that they enter a darkened exhibit. Here, they are inside a small hut-like building. It contains number of small terrariums with dim infra-red lights shining into the water that half fills up each glass-fronted exhibit. Inside, they see a truly unique animal. An Olm sits underwater on a rock, its ghostly bleach-like colour contrasting starkly with the gloom elsewhere. Its eyeless face turns and it slowly propels itself towards a new perch, passing out of the light and into the deep gloom of the pool. From time to time it is momentarily visible as it swims into a beam of light, but it predominantly stays in the deep shadow of the pool.

    The visitors exit the building and are met with the bright sunlight once more. The path is slightly wider and curves yet again. On the corner, to their left, is a large caged exhibit with a few squat pine trees and thick undergrowth. The visitors spot its inhabitant immediately - a bold Least Weasel is weaving through the branches near the top of the exhibit in front of the visitors. A similar exhibit, but larger, holds an energetic pair of the beautiful Marbled polecat, a small carnivore for which the Balkans are the Westernmost area of their range. The polecats are very active, which means that visitors often can see and appreciate them. To encourage increased activity, the zoo places small treats around the exhibit for the polecats to find. They also have hollow trunks to scuttle through as they would through underground snow tunnels in the wild to find voles and lemmings.

    Having passed the curve in the path, the visitors are now walking along the lake, but a good 10 metres up from it - a steep embankment separates them from it. The path ahead veers away from the edge of the lake as the embankment's gradient gets shallower until it is essentially marshland, like a river's estuary. However, where they are, the land is still dry and pines still dominate the area. As the visitors turn around, they spot a large netted enclosure to their right. The exhibit is full of pine trees. glass panel viewing area under a shelter. Just when they are wondering what the exhibit holds and starting to walk towards the signage, a pair of young Raccoon dogs shoot out of the woodland, one chasing the other. They tear across the clearing in front of the visitors and into the thick woodland once more. Soon, a larger Raccoon dog emerges from the tree cover with the two pups in tow, pulling along a sizeable chunk of meat. The visitors shift along to read the signage. They are told that the raccoon dogs in fact come from the Russian Far East originally and are in fact invasive species, though they have not had much of a negative impact on the local ecosystem given the decline in numbers of local carnivores. They have been introduced to all of the Eastern Europe.

    At this point, all the exhibits are on the right because the embankment is too steep to house anything to their left. As they walk along, they spot the next exhibit. A large clearing the woods makes way for a two small exhibits covered in colourful flowers of all shapes and sizes. Interspersed around the exhibit are rocks and logs, but the flowers dominate the area. The visitors enter a building with glass viewing and spot the inhabitant of the enclosure. A large Romanian hamster rockets out of a small tuft of grass and through its habitat, stopping at a particularly colourful patch of flowers to nibble off one of them. These hyper-energetic mammals have been known to visit graveyards to eat the flowers there. Two exhibits house 2.3 of them together, while the building tells the visitors all about them.

    A very similar format holds two different species in the next area. A building offers viewing into a couple of exhibits for European ground squirrels (or sousliks) on the left and Little ground squirrels on the right. the visitors turn out of the exhibit and see the first exhibit on the left in a while. The embankment is relatively flat and marshy now, and two large aviaries can be found on the left. The first is for Red-footed falcons and includes a few trees, but other than that just a couple of bushes and marshland. The adjacent and slightly larger aviary is home to a pair of Marsh harriers. Their exhibit is more like a wetland, with long reeds and grasses. Most of the reeds and grasses are Phragmites australis, but some are specimens of Typha latifolia, or the smaller Stratiotes aloides.

    Next is a small walkthrough aviary with similar plant species. It focuses mainly on the reed habitat near the Danube Delta. Only 5 specie can be found in the aviary. The visitors walk on an elevated boardwalk over the slightly marshy and wet habitat. There are wooden railings to prevent people from falling in. The load Bearded tits are instantly visible with their striking facial markings, while nearby a duller Northern wheatear twitters loudly. The visitors continue through the exhibit until they spot two more tit species: A small crowd of Penduline tits busy among the reeds and a lonely Willow tit. Finally, they exit the aviary, but not before getting a glimpse of the well-camouflaged Spotted flycatcher.

    The path turns towards the ribbon lake and into the marsh, and now becomes a wide, elevated boardwalk. A path to the right takes the visitors over a bridge, but they continue straight on. Again, another path to the right beckons, but they continue. Soon, they are on a sort of jetty. They arrive at a platform with viewing into an immense aviary that reaches quite far into the ribbon lake. It holds large colonies of seabirds, with mudbanks and short cliffs for nesting and a large beach crammed with washed up sediment. Visitors spot Black, White-winged, Whiskered, Gull-billed and Caspian terns, as well as Mediterranean and Little gulls. Having watched the seabirds circling and paddling along in the water for a while, the visitors move back up the way they cam, back to the offshoots they passed earlier. They turn left at the first opportunity. A little further down the path they meet a massive wetland exhibit, with no netting. Here lives the zoo's group of Eurasian otters. The exhibit has around ten pools but the largest, deepest and the only one with clear water has underwater viewing so that the visitors can observe the otters underwater. The upper part of the exhibit is meant to resemble a river, which slowly morphs into the sea, carrying lots of sediment and going through bogs and marshes. The otters spend a lot of their time on land, and can be observed from a bridge than can be reached from taking the next offshoot of the main path. The visitors can now see an underwater viewing area for the otters in the clear lagoon area.

    Having watched the otters for a while, the visitors walk on and spot another massive aviary to their left. This one is further inland than the seabird one but still very marshy, covered with long reeds and swaying grass. Long stretches of sand reach out into the ribbon lake. The visitors walk in on an elevated boardwalk and immediately see the first inhabitant of the marsh: the Little egret. Three dozen of them pick their way through the marsh and bicker in the lake. Nearby, an aggrieved Purple heron moves away from the crowd of egrets, seeking peace. The visitors watch this beautiful species for a while until they spot another heron species, the Squacco heron, in the long reeds. Then the most resplendent species in the aviary shows itself. A flotilla of Red-breasted geese and Greylag geese shoot out of the reeds in a formation and across the exhibit. Finally, thee last inhabitant of the aviary peers out from between the grass, camouflaged: a Little bittern. The visitors exit the loop around the aviary through double doors once more and get back to the main path. Opposite them is still the immense otter exhibit, so they turn left. The path curves up ahead and to their left is the largest aviary in the exhibit by far.

    They reach the edge of the curve and to their right is a small wetland exhibit viewable from a small platform. Down below is a small area of marshland. Turtles swim around in it. Visitors spot Balkan pond turtles and Caspian turtles. Some of them rest in a line on an overhanging branch and visitors watch as one of the turtles on the branch is shoved off and lands with a splash I the water, quickly swimming away.

    The visitors turn around. They spot the door to enter the massive aviary opposite the turtles. They enter, and are greeted with an almost identical scene to the aviary before with the geese, herons and egrets, but larger and with more of a variety of plant life. Myriophyllum, Ceratophyllum, Vullineria, Nymphaea alba, Nuphar lutea, Trapa nutans, Alioma plantago, Salcinia natans, Carex stricta and Mentha aquatica also grow here. They immediately see large flocks of ducks of varied colours here: Ferruginous ducks and Common pochards stick out, while a couple of Northern shovelers infiltrate the area and a pair of Ruddy shelducks stand out from the whole crowd. Further out into the lake are Spotted redshanks and Green sandpipers, while a reclusive Wood sandpiper holds back from the mudbanks. Now the visitors start to spot more camouflaged and elusive species. They see a Snipe picking its way through the marsh and a Curlew just behind it, seeing if it can find any marine invertebrates kicked up by the bird in front. The spot the final duck species, a Garganey, just next to a large tuft of reeds and another one a few metres away. A Little stint walks into the crowd of redshanks alone. The visitors arrive at the last lagoon in the aviary and spot the most beautiful birds of all there - Great crested grebes and Black-necked grebes glide over the soft surface of the water effortlessly, while a Water rail follows in their wake. They watch the grebes for a while but their attention is diverted when the final bird species walks out of the reeds for an instant - a Spotted crake. Having seen all the species in the aviary, the visitors finally turn and walk out through the heavy double doors.

    They are met with a large building split into two sections. It is about half the size of the breeding centre in the 'Aegean to Adriatic' exhibit but still immense. The first area of the building is for fish. Visitors start at the mouth of the Danube, seeing large groups of immense Wels Catfish and Sterlet swim around a massive tank, around 3 metres in depth. The visitors move on into the estuary, where they spot a single species, the Northern pike. Then finally they reach the marshlands, where the water is much shallower and interspersed with tufts of reeds and grass, and they see Tench, Common bream and Prussian carp.

    The visitors move into the next area of the building, for amphibians. They see 14 species in similar tanks, always quite large, with lots of water, sediment and grass. In here visitors can see Balkan frogs, Albanian water frogs, Alpine salamanders, Balkan crested newts, Macedonian crested newts, Carpathian newts, Eastern spadefoots, Southern smooth newts, European green toads, Danube crested newts, Balkan water frog, Greek newts and European fire-billed toads.

    Finally, the visitors move onto the last area of the building for reptiles. Most of these exhibits are dry, but some have streams running through them. Some of them are connected by the tunnels between the exhibits. The first few exhibits are for lizards and mainly comprised of large rocks and soft substrate as well as a coat of pine needles and a small area of water. Balkan green lizards, Mosor rock lizard, Horvath's rock lizard, Meadow lizard, Balkan wall lizard, European snake-eyed skink, Dalmatian wall lizard, Sharp-snouted rock lizard and Sheltopusik. The next few exhibits are for snake species, and include on-show tunnels to get from exhibit to exhibit. The exhibits are around 2 metres tall, 3 metres across and 1.2 metres deep each. They are home to European blind snakes, Caspian whipsnakes, Balkan whipsnakes, Dahl's whipsnake, Four-lined snake, Blotched snake, Leopard snake, European cat snake, Eastern Montpellier snake and Nose horned-vipers. Finally, there are two indoor tortoise exhibits for Hermann's tortoises and Marginated tortoises. The exhibits are quite large, around 8 metres by 2 metres by 2 metres.

    The visitors finally exit the building. In front of them is another exhibit a bit like the otter exhibit but a fair bit smaller. It holds Muskrats, a species that is invasive to the area. The signage around the exhibit highlights this, as well as the damage they have done to the area (unlike the Raccoon dog). The exhibit is viewable from the main path but is considerably lower than the path, so the visitors can see the whole exhibit.

    The path curves for the last time in this exhibit, bending off to the right. To their left is a final aviary. The visitors cannot enter this one, but the path is above the area so the visitors can look over the marshland of the exhibit. The inhabitants are instantly recognisable. An immense flock of Great white pelicans is paddling on a large wetland. As a buzzard flies over the exhibit, the pelicans leap into action, all taking off in fright. This last bird spectacle of the exhibit enchants the visitors as they stand there, mesmerised.

    Eventually, the visitors move on towards the last building in the exhibit, a complex about the size of the herp and fish building. This building is for small mammals. 16 species are kept in the building, all of subtly varied shapes and sizes. The first few exhibits are glass fronted, with lots of grass and reeds. The roof of the building is made of glass to let natural light in and allow the plants to grow. The first few exhibits house Striped field mice, Steppe voles, Western broad-toothed field mice, Pygmy field mice, East European voles and Balkan snow voles. The next few exhibits are for species that dig burrows and spend time underground. The first of these exhibits is for the Balkan mole-rat, who have a burrow visible to the visitors in parts, and then a smaller exhibit above that. The next two are for species that spend even more time underground and so have an even larger underground network of tunnels. Levant and Balkan moles are visible only to the visitors when they emerge from their burrows or when they rest in their tunnels only faintly visible due to dim lighting. Signs around the exhibit tell visitors not to take photos of the moles because of their sensitivity. The moles also have an above-groun exhibit, though it is even smaller than the mole rat one.

    Finally, the last 7 exhibits are forest exhibits. They consist of thickly planted terrariums depicting the undergrowth of the forest, with thickets, tree trucks, hollow logs, pine needles everywhere, dead leaves and sticks. They hold Hungarian birch mice, Southern voles, Southern birch mice, Macedonian mice, Felten's voles, Bicolored shrews and Forest dormice. Having peered into all the exhibits to try and find the frolicking rodents, the visitors leave the building and walk towards the final enclosures of the 'Balkans and Carpathians' area.

    They are faced with a couple of grassland exhibits, with rocks and the occasional thicket. Here are the outdoor exhibits for the tortoise species seen in the reptile building. In fact, because of the curve in the path, the tortoise outdoor exhibit connect directly to their indoor exhibits behind the exhibit in the herp house.

    And there it is! About 4300 words, taking the total words so far up to 8600!
     
    Last edited: 19 Jun 2020
  13. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    Europe will comprise of 14 exhibits, 8 of which I have made species lists for, 3 of which I have fully described for you and 1 of which I have made a map for. I'm not sure what I'll do after that (whether I'll move on on this thread, whether I'll start another thread for a new continent or whether I'll do another continent at all), but I need to finish Europe for now so I guess I'll decide later. :)

    I think the maps for Aegean to Adriatic and Balkans and Carpathians will be combined.
     
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  14. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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  15. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    Crossroads between continents dimensions:


    Small woodland aviary: 300 m2
    Large Wetland Aviary: 4,200 m2

    Lammergeier (main canyon aviary): 2000 m2
    Lammergeier breeding area + Keeper building (food purposes): 102 m2
    Separation aviary: 300 m2
    Cinereous vulture on-show aviary: 1056 m2
    Cinereous vulture on-show aviary winter housing: 22 m2
    Cinereous vulture off-show aviary (second pair): 740 m2
    Cinereous vulture off-show aviary winter housing: 21 m2
    Lesser kestrel: 424 m2
    Lesser kestrel winter housing: 8 m2
    Herp and Fish building: 616 m2
    Keeper area of the building: 876 m2

    Long-legged buzzard: 576 m2
    Long-legged buzzard winter housing: 10 m2
    Pallid harrier first aviary: 542 m2
    Pallid harrier first aviary winter housing: 14 m2
    Pallid harrier second aviary: 1025 m2
    Pallid harrier second aviary winter housing: 16 m2
    Greater spotted eagle main aviary: 1427 m2
    Greater spotted eagle Separation area: 300 m2
    Eastern imperial eagle Main aviary: 4500 m2
    Eastern imperial eagle indoor quarters: 42 m2
    Eastern imperial eagle separation aviary: 300 m2

    Snowcock and Grouse aviary: 320 m2
    Persian leopard first exhibit: 1270 m2
    Persian leopard second exhibit: 1154 m2
    Persian leopard indoor viewing and on-show indoor exhibit: 154 m2
    Persian leopard off-show indoor exhibit + breeding facility: 182 m2
    Persian leopard separation area: 252 m2
    Asiatic caracal: 340 m2
    Asiatic caracal indoor viewing: 10 m2
    Asiatic caracal indoor quarters: 10 m2
    Griffon vulture (Cypriot subpopulation) first breeding pair aviary: 1530 m2
    Griffon vulture (Cypriot subpopulation) second breeding pair aviary: 1450 m2
    Griffon vulture (Cypriot subpopulation) third breeding pair aviary (off-show): 1280 m2
    Striped hyena main exhibit: 1860 m2
    Striped hyena separation paddock: 330 m2
    Striped hyena indoor housing: 54 m2
    Mouflon Bachelor herd: 2010 m2
    Mouflon Main Breeding herd: 6750 m2
    Mouflon separation paddock: 1345 m2
    Mouflon indoor housing: 145 m2

    Demoiselle crane main aviary: 2140 m2
    Demoiselle crane indoor winter housing: 220 m2
    Demoiselle crane separation area: 330 m2
    Birds of Cyprus aviary: 576 m2
    Birds of Cyprus indoor: 34 m2
    Cyprus whip snake Terrarium 1: 12 m2
    Cyprus whip snake Terrarium 2: 12 m2
    Cyprus whip snake breeding facility: 54 m2
    Long-eared Hedgehog building: 140 m2
    Hedgehog exhibit size: 8 m2

    Large seabird aviary: 8100 m2
    Large seabird aviary jetty for visitors: 90 m2

    2.2 Krueper's nuthatch
    1.2 Red-fronted serin
    1.1 White-backed woodpecker
    3.4 Chukar partridges
    1.1 European green woodpecker
    2.1 Short-toed treecreeper
    3.3 Alpine accentor
    2.2 Isabelline wheatear
    2.2 Common crossbill

    3.4 Dalmatian pelican
    5.5 White-headed duck
    2.2 Black stork
    6.7 Kentish plover
    3.2 Pygmy cormorant

    1.1 Lammergeier
    2.2 Cinereous vulture
    1.1 Lesser kestrel

    2.3 Van Lake lizard
    2.2 Anatolian meadow viper
    1.2 Central Turkish mountain viper
    3.2 Charnali lizard
    2.2 Pontic adder
    1.1 Wagner's viper
    2.2 Woolly dormouse
    5.6 Asia Minor spiny mouse
    4.4 Turkish spined loach
    3.3 Cobitis bilseni
    5.5 Orontes bream
    4.3 Cappadocian chub
    2.2 Chocolate chub

    1.1 Long-legged buzzard
    2.2 Pallid harrier
    1.1 Greater spotted eagle
    1.1 Eastern imperial eagle
    1.1 Barred owl

    2.4 Caucasian grouse
    1.4 Caspian snowcock
    1.2 Persian leopard
    1.1 Asiatic caracal
    3.3 Griffon vultures
    1.1 Striped hyena
    4.7 Mouflon

    8.9 Demoiselle crane
    2.2 Cyrpus whip snake
    3.3 Long-eared hedgehog
    2.2 Laughing dove
    3.3 Western black francolin
    1.1 Calandra lark

    7.7 Audouin gull
    3.3 Yelkouan shearwater
    4.4 Scopoli's shearwater.

    And that is Crossroads between Continents entirely finished! Full description, illustrated visitor map, diagram, species list and exhibit dimensions completed.
     
    Last edited: 25 Jun 2020
  16. Gibbon05

    Gibbon05 Well-Known Member

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    Wow!!! @amur leopard you have truly gone above and beyond here, creating something truly special with a level of detail I havent seen before. Congratulations!
     
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  17. Jarne

    Jarne Well-Known Member

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    Certain amounts for certain species do seem a bit problematic, and as I already explained I believe having one big vulture aviary with all three couples of griffon vulture (possibly combined with a pair cinereous vulture and some smaller birds). Some sizes are also a bit improbable when converted to reality (most notably the enormous aviaries for single pairs of vultures and other birds of prey)

    On the other hand however, the amount of detail is fascinating and it's clearly that most things have been thought true carefully, most of you will know by now that I myself value a lot. For most species, these exhibits showcase what enclosures should look like for many of these animals. The species selection is also large and diverse but not that crazy that it would totally scare of non-zoo-freaks.
     
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  18. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! I'll try to keep it up, but I've already done the species lists for all of Europe and some of Oceania now, so I guess I have to carry on now.

    Yes, I think you are still right on the vultures count. I should probably have kept them all together. In my defense for the aviary sizes, in my description I said that the aviaries are over a sort of small canyon thing which wasn't useful for anything else in the area, but I take your point. Thanks for the feedback, I'll try and take it into account next time.
    Thanks for the compliments though :)
     
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  19. German Zoo World

    German Zoo World Well-Known Member

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    Great i Love the Idea of the leopards, karakals and hyenas.
    Great Work AmurLeopard ;)
     
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  20. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    Breeding programs in South-Eastern Europe

    The zoo is heavily invested into multiple breeding programs across South-Eastern Europe.
    • The zoo funds multiple initiatives to raise Mediterranean monk seal numbers in Morocco and Mauritania as well as around Greece and Turkey. The initiatives campaign to provide the seals with more protection, trying to limit boat traffic in the Mediterranean and surrounding waters. Tagging and tracking of the seals is also important as it allows data to be collected on seal routes and therefore allows these areas to be protected.
    • The zoo has also started its own initiatives relating to the following species:
      • Orlov's viper
      • Charnali lizard
      • Van Lake lizard
    • The zoo also supports many more low-key conservation initiatives pertaining to freshwater fish populations, especially around the Adriatic, having its own immense breeding centre in addition to funding local community programs that aim to get people interested and emotionally-invested in the fish. Many of these programs aim to discover new populations of severely endangered fish in the area and to breed them in captivity.
    • Finally, the zoo supports migratory birds in the area such as the Demoiselle crane and multiple bird of prey species who are targeted by hunters.
    • Finally, the zoo supports initiatives to reintroduce the Persian leopard to areas where they previously inhabited such as the Aegean region of Turkey and a small area of land across the Bosphorus to re-balance the ecosystem in those areas where overgrazing has taken a toll on local wildlife. The leopards are tagged and the initiatives campaign politically to have laws put through to protect the leopards in the different regions of Turkey where they are present.
    Next post will go into the arrangement of the zoo(s) on a larger scale.