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Melbourne Zoo A look at the Melbourne Zoo masterplan

Discussion in 'Australia' started by patrick, 23 May 2006.

  1. dragon(ele)nerd

    dragon(ele)nerd Well-Known Member

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    I actually agree with zoopro, If there is no other variation in breeding then there is a whole group of animals that are not used for breeding. And these animals are not commonly bred in zoos so variation is a must.
    Wild animals in Western Congo, apparently (from a encyclopedia) are not to be risked in an importation because of the scarcity of the pygmy hippo. There is too much of a risk of that the animals won't breed very successfully while in captivity compared to the wild.
     
  2. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    the restrictions surrounding the importation of hippos must have tightened up in the late 80s because taronga did import a male from honolulu zoo back then i think. as well as chairty the giraffe.
    obviously the relaxing and subsequent tightening of Australia's quarantine laws reflects what level of global involvement our zoos are playing with breeding programs.
    at the time melbourne was producing its calves it may have been playing a part in the global program only to have to revert back to a closed, regional program later on....
     
  3. Ara

    Ara Well-Known Member

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    Good point, ZooPro, I never thought of it from that angle.
    (If you ever give up being a zoo pro you would make a good defence lawyer!:D)

    I suppose that zoos in our region, by virtue of the fact that there are few of them, don't have the luxury of too many spare spaces for animals that are not going to be part of the program.
     
  4. torie

    torie Well-Known Member

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    ill take one! it can live in my innercity backyard!!!
     
  5. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    I understand Australia's tight laws on importing hoofstock in general, however... there are definitely cases of hoofstock entering the country throughout the '90s - a giraffe went to Melbourne from Netherlands. The only reason that I was asking was because I'm not up the pygmy hippo situation. I guess for some time there were plenty going around at Melbourne, Adelaide and Taronga.
     
  6. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    yes and there were also 4 bongo imported in the late 1996/1997 to NSW too. but since then there has been a general tightening of the restrictions surrounding the importation of hoofed stock and is it stands it would be unrealistic to think that the import of new artiodactyls, particuarly pigs or hippo is on the horizon.
    we may end up receiving some hoofed stock from or via new zealand but due to the absence of pygmy hippo in NZ or viable populations of common hippo or peccary it would seem that only a rigorous breeding program between the 4 Australian zoos covering the mentioned species will ensure they persist long-term, or beyond the next generation cycle
     
  7. dragon(ele)nerd

    dragon(ele)nerd Well-Known Member

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    It's great that importation of wild animals (wild) to zoos have decreased massivly. I think more help can be given to animals in the wild, as long as that it is a protected reserve, (eep)

    In any species breeding program though, animals born in the wild are the top studs.
     
  8. zookiah63

    zookiah63 Well-Known Member

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    It was possibly, Nona, the clouded leopard. She was moved from big cats to make room for Leon the new male snow leopard.
     
  9. zookiah63

    zookiah63 Well-Known Member

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    We'll never see toucans in Australia.....and from what I understand it's impossible to import any birds or eggs into Australia. If this were possible I'm sure we'd already be receiving fantastic new specimens form places like Jurong Bird Park in Singapore.

    A lot of birds in zoo collections are dying out if they're not breeding then that's the end of them in Aus (I think that's case with the bleeding heart pigeon).

    There's no way known you could fit all those animals in the space we call Melbourne Zoo.
     
  10. zookiah63

    zookiah63 Well-Known Member

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    However, I think your zoo sounds very exciting (and what a great zoo it would be.) We can all keep dreaming....
     
  11. ZooPro

    ZooPro Well-Known Member

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    This isn't strictly true zookiah. Birds/eggs of certain species can be imported from selected countries, depending on the species. But it's very expensive, and complicated. Australian zoos imported a small shipment of birds (red lories amongst other thngs) several years ago, in conjunction with a shipment of private birds that came in.

    The quarantine centre at Spotswood can handle bird imports.
     
  12. zookiah63

    zookiah63 Well-Known Member

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    The giant gourami (Julie) died a while ago. She/he (not sure how to tell the difference) was a great specimen to look and it was a shame when she died.
     
  13. zookiah63

    zookiah63 Well-Known Member

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    Zoopro, I was told ages ago by one of the bird keepers (at Melbourne) that the import restriction on birds was really tight and it was difficult (or as I said, impossible) to import birds and/or eggs. It was in answer to a question that came up about getting more birds in and the ones at Melbourne were 'expiring'.

    Most of the comments went along the lines of "when these ones go that's it for the region".

    You are right about the red lorries as the ones at Melbourne Zoo were imported a long time ago (at great cost) but I just assumed the restrictions had tightened since then.

    I believe the macaws were purchased from a private breeder.

    If our local collection is dying off, and if what you say is correct, then why aren't more bird species being imported by either the zoos or private collectors? When was the last time a bird was imported?

    (I'm just curious.)

    Or......does the importation of certain species depend on the current 'climate'? i.e bird flu rumours put a stop to bird imports, mad cows disease puts a stop to cattle imports, an ebola break out puts a stop to primate imports, etc.
     
  14. zookiah63

    zookiah63 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, and also......I can't find the post (and I've been away from this site for ages) but someone asked a while back if the hamadryas baboons are going to Werribee after I said there's talk of an exhibit update......the answer is 'no'. They are staying in Melbourne.
     
  15. ZooPro

    ZooPro Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, it's a long. long answer. There's some limited information here:
    http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/publications/trade-use/factsheets/pubs/pet-birds.pdf and here: Import Conditions Database - ICON - AQIS although these relate to the import of pet birds (scary if you ask me!).

    Also, AQIS (now Biosecurity Australia) rules for the import of pigeons:
    Import Conditions Database - ICON - AQIS (even scarier again - think of all those pigeons flying free while they race!)

    DEWHA have a list of specimens taken to be suitable for live import:
    http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/trade-use/lists/import/pubs/live-import-list.pdf although this doesn't mean that permits will be approved for these species.

    There's a start on your answer, anyway!
     
  16. zookiah63

    zookiah63 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks ZooPro (I think)
     
  17. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    the last time exotic bird species were imported into Australia was in the 1990s. since then egg smugglers have been busted and some smugglers may have slipped through the nets but in general many exotic bird populations are in critical decline.
    flamingoes, condors, victoria crowned pigeons and currasow are all down to less than 5 individuals in Australia. bleeding heart pigeons, on the other hand, are 'safe' and thanks to private keepers a safety net for this species beyond zoos does exist.
    most exotic parrot, finch, pheasant and pigeon/dove species are considered viable or savable, but the prohibitive cost surrounding the importation of bird species into Australia has dissuaded the Australian zoo community from further imports. this may change in the future but at the moment i guess our zoos ave greater conservation priorities. for example, a breeding program for endangered hornbills in Australia would be considered far less viable than one for, say black rhino which can be imported with less restrictions.
     
  18. ZooPro

    ZooPro Well-Known Member

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    thanks cuz ;-)
     
  19. zookiah63

    zookiah63 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that Glyn and Zoopro.

    What you've said (and I believe you) is totally opposite to what I was told by a bird keeper at the zoo. It was a long time ago and he's not at the zoo anymore.

    I was always under the impression that there will be no future imports and we have to work with what we have.....which seems to be declining. It just seems that once a bird dies or is taken off display for some reason it isn't replaced (eg. fireback pheasant) and there are other birds that don't have a mate (green peafowl).

    You have said there have been no imports since the 90's which ties in what I believed to be total ban (silly me). But then I'm no expert.
     
  20. ZooPro

    ZooPro Well-Known Member

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    Just to use this as an example, and only a quick reply I'm afraid, but hopefully this might help. I'm no aviculturalist, but I'd bet that fireback pheasants and green peafowl are probably available in the private bird market in Australia (I'm happy to be corrected if this is wrong). The region's zoos have nine different pheasant species listed in their collection plans, and this is probably overkill, so deleting one or two of these is no hardship in the bigger scheme of things.

    There are 24 green peafowl in the region's zoos (granted, 12 of these are in Fiji), so there is no shortage of them, if Taronga (presumably the zoo you are talking about that only has one) wants to obtain more. In fact, Taronga are phasing the species out of their collection, so are intentionally not obtaining any more.

    But let's say, there were only a few fireback pheasants left in the country. Zoos are not going to go through the massive logistics of sourcing animals overseas, from countries where they can be imported, and then go through extremely costly import procedures and quarantine procedures for this species, especially when there are plenty of other pheasants around. And since only 3 zoos are showing any interest in the species, the small number of birds that zoos would be interested in importing, would make it totally cost-prohibitive.

    The comment from the regional bird TAG for this species is:

    "Species potentially reproductively extinct within the region. Although a small number of specimens are known to exist in private hands and a smaller number in zoos there has been no reported breeding success for a number of years despite serious attempts in recent times. It appears that repeated inbreeding has resulted in the loss of fertility in this species. Institutions with spaces available for Lophura pheasants should allocate these to the regionally available Kalij, Swinhoe or Silver Pheasants. There are no import health standards in place for this species to facilitate import from outside of the region."

    As Glyn mentioned, there are far higher priority non-avian species that can be imported, with a lost less cost and hassle. And since Australia has one of the most exciting collections of wild bird species - we can still have wonderful displays of those.

    I hope this helps.