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America vs Europe

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by vogelcommando, 18 Jan 2016.

  1. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  2. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    That is a very interesting article and something that ZooChatters will eat up.
     
  3. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    I agree.

    :p

    Hix
     
  4. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Quite interesting. It would be nice to see more zoos collaborating with other zoos around the world, get the opportunity to display animals that otherwise aren't common in some places.
     
  5. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I don't like the way that some countries decide to 'go out of' a species that is not kept in other countries or won't export some species. An example is the numbat, which is only kept in a couple of zoos in Australia, almost as if it is not worth keeping. Meanwhile, lots of zoos keep meerkats, which could chaos if they became feral.
     
  6. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    A pitty that many countries don't allow export of their native fauna. Examples are Australia ( of course ;) ), Mexico ( a real pitty because Volcano rabbits would be VERY intresting to see again in Europe - don't know if they have ever been kept in the USA ?? ) and several Middle-American countries.
     
  7. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    Yes,Australia is definitely need to export their national animals such as numbat,platypus... , while some species are very common in almost every zoo.
     
  8. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member

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    ... as well as the US (e.g. Californian Condor, Florida-Manatee and - at least in the recent past - Black-footed Ferrets, Pronghorns, fertile Kodiak Bears and beside very, very few exceptions Sea Otters) and India (Pygmy Wild Hog, pure Bengaltiger, while others like Sloth Bears, Gharial and One-horned Rhinos were only allowed to export as exceptions and under special circumstances).

    Also, a friend of mine which is involved in the zoo business told me, that is extremly hard to get a permit to export any wild animals from South American countries, while in the meantime local authorities (seems to) not care about the huge amount of smuggled animals leaving their country.
     
  9. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    Californian condor are only in captivity for strict, local conservation purposes and aren't spread freely even among North American zoos (it's the same with numbat in Australia). Has any European zoos made a serious attempt of getting black-footed ferrets after they became well-established in captivity in North America? I suspect they haven't. I agree on sea otter, but Florida manatee are rare even in American zoos and it's not the same subspecies maintained in Europe anyway. Pronghorn isn't a good example: I'm not aware of anything that suggests it would be hard to source it. There are large herds maintained privately too and regular hunting. It's basically a question of European zoos being willing to put in the effort. Not US law. It's pretty much the same, except the opposite direction, with European bison or Alpine chamois. Virtually absent from North America, but if a zoo was willing to put in the effort, I strongly suspect it could be done without major problems.

    True for sloth bear and one-horned rhinos, but gharial is relatively easy for serious zoos because of the large and regularly breeding population at Madras Crocodile Bank Trust. It's mainly a question of time and cash.

    Saying that South American countries don't care about smugling is misleading. The authorities definitely do and the ones working with it are trying hard... the problem is corruption. Just need to find one corrupt official and the smuggler has solved the problem. It's the same in Africa, much of Asia, etc.
    Additionally, there are major differences in how hard/easy it is to export animals in South America and placing all under one category is incorrect. Brazil, following their biopiracy laws, have become extremely tough, even when it involves small scientific samples (like a bit of blood from a bird to do DNA check for its taxonomic relations). Brazil was, as far as I know, the first country to make a good/bad list for wild caught fish they're willing to export to the aquarium trade. Mammals and birds that aren't already fully established in zoos... forget it. In contrast, the Guianas, with their continued close connections to various European countries (Suriname-Netherlands, Guyana-UK, French Guiana-France), are relatively relaxed. The remaining countries in the region are somewhere between Brazil and Guianas.

    However, before we Europeans look elsewhere, it might be a good idea to look at ourselves. When Brazil wanted to update their laws some years ago they started by looking at the laws in USA and Western Europe. After all, the laws relating to native fauna in West European countries are some of the toughest in the world. It just happens that we don't really have that many native species that are of major interest in zoos, and the ones that are of some interest were already established in captivity long before the laws came. Various deer, brown bear, etc. We did quite well spreading them around the world too. Australia want some red foxes, red deer, house mouse, house sparrow, etc? Ooops, I guess not. But let's take a species where the captive population is very low and captive breeding sporadic: Blue tit. Small, but easily one of the pretties native European birds and very common on most of the continent. If a North American zoo wanted to have a European aviary they would struggle to source blue tit, as well as every other native that isn't already well established in captivity. I doubt we'll see an Iberian lynx in a zoo outside Spain and Portugal again (i.e., comparable to Californian condor in USA and numbat in Australia).
     
    Last edited: 21 Jan 2016
  10. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member

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    Interesting article.
     
  11. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing the article.

    - Similar to saiga antelopes, keeping pronghorns is prone to frequent animal losses. Hannover Zoo managed to breed and keep individuals up to 9 years of age, but both species have been phased out in the end in Europe (more on that in various threads at ZC). I guess in the US, the income from pronghorn specimens obtained from the wild balances the losses at the zoos...
    - According to ZTL, seven species of BoP are currently kept in Europe, even though some are just individual specimens. It's not easy to obtain them from New Guinea these days, and iron storage disease is still a limiting factor.

    Given the fragility of many breeding projects, for the sake of the animals and the species as well as international veterinary disease management, I'm rather content that some states are strict on their animal transfers. Even though this means that I will have to travel far or never see a particular species in my lifetime, but, hey, if this ensures my offspring to be able to do so even when I'm long gone, why not? However, the bureaucratic pigheadedness and red tape mentality some states display can also be rather harmful and downright ruinous in setting up and maintaining ex situ breeding programs. I'm looking at you, states putting their egocentric & nationalistic thumbs on Mountain Tapirs, Heloderma horridum alvarezi/charlesbogerti and more...
     
  12. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm surprised nobody has made mention yet that the people who created Zoomoments are Zoochatters!
     
  13. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member

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    That doesn't contradict the point that they were not allowed to export (and that's what I was writing).

    Share your opinion, but as long as we don't know more, the answer is: Maybe, maybe not.

    Again, I just wrote they are not allowed to export, that's fact, no less, no more.

    Mostly true, I must confess. Still I know at least two European Zoos who had interest to import Pronghorns in the recent past, but finally did not (for what reasons ever).

    Acquiring Gharials is "relatively easy" just within the recent years. It was nearly impossible before even for serious zoos. So the population of Gharials in European Zoos became to 0-2 between the 80's and 90's (see also www.Zootierliste.de). I don't know the situation in the USA in the meantime, but I presume, they were also not able to get ADDITIONAL individuals. Also don't forget that many INDIAN animals have been imported from Nepal.

    That's why I put the words "seem to" in parantheses.

    Those efforts come from good intentions, no doubt. But in reality they often lead to a lot of (unnecessary) bureaucracy and paperwork for western zoos and do not stop smuggling efficiently. And it is not the lack of interest of western zoos to import some species. But the bureaucracy makes it to an annoyment. Ask the curators at your local zoo (as I did here in Zurich). They will confirm it.

    I agree with you that the main problem is not the law, it's corruption. But as long as (some? - as you wrote, we should not put all countries in the same pot) countries in South America (as well as - you already wrote - in Asia and Africa) are not able to solve it, exports for serious (accridited) western zoos (with the goal to establish breeding populations of course) should be easier as it is at the moment.
    And you admit that point with your following phrase partially:

    Really? So maybe British, French and Dutch zoos should use that advantage much more. For other European zoos I have my doubts. I remember talking to a responsible person at Duisburg Zoo, who told me how difficult it is to get animals from Venezuela nowadays in comparison to the times where former zoo director Wolfgang Gewalt was catching animals there and brought them to Germany (which is of course a long time ago).

    The point why I did not list an European country doesn't mean that they make it all better. The examples just didn't came to my mind.
    But the problems with invasive species in Australia are not made by zoos!
    Ref. the Blue tit: Counterquestion: Are US-zoo really willing to import that species?;)
     
  14. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I believe Numbats are highly endangered and lack of availability is why they aren't in more Australian Zoos, that plus may be some difficulty maintaining them in zoos. Very unlikely to see them exported elsewhere.
     
  15. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Exchanges between American and European programmes are particularly important for species which have zoo populations based on limited numbers of founders. There have been several very important transfers over the years.
    John Knowles imported the Przewalski stallion 'Catskill Basil' many years ago to bring fresh genes into the his herd at Marwell, with very satisfactory results. Over 40 years ago, the first successful gorilla births at Howletts were fathered by the male 'Kisoro' from Lincoln Park. His son 'Kibabu' was the silverback at Taronga for many years. Likewise Jersey/Durrell exported male gorillas to the USA, Canada and Australia, as well as Switzerland and France.
    More recent Transatlantic transfers have included drills to Edinburgh and bushdogs from Chester. The mother of the twin aye-ayes born last year at Bristol arrived from San Francisco a few months earlier. I think there have also been several Indian rhino transfers. I am sure there have been many others which I am not aware of.
    I hope there will be more such transfers in the future as there are several species in captivity which have very limited genetic diversity, such as giant otters and babirusa.

    Alan
     
  16. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    The very first two Indian rhinos born in Zoos- at Whipsnade and Basel- were sent as a pair to the States- I think it was to Milwaukee, though they were never to breed. Later, another Basel bred male 'Lasai' was sent to San Diego where he became a founder of their breeding.

    Its strange that no other male Gorillas have come from the USA to Europe since Kisoro (and only the one female- GAnne- to Jersey then Melbourne.) Several more have gone the other way in the distant past-Tatu, Kakinga (Jersey),VIP& Linda (Wassenaar),Memba,Winston(Mills)Koundu,Kambula & Mumbah(Howletts)- but I think for genetic reasons a few fresh US/Europe Gorilla exchanges might be well overdue, and the same would probably benefit zoo populations of the other Great Apes too.
     
    Last edited: 21 Jan 2016
  17. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Not only VIP, the first gorilla which was born in the Netherlands but the whole group from Wassenaar went to the USA.
     
  18. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I believe it only involved him and his mother Linda though? When Wassenaar closed there were not many Gorillas left. Certainly Linda's second son 'Youande' was actually split from his mother:( and stayed in Europe.
     
  19. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know the complete Gorilla-family - exept Youande ( or Yadende ) which was send to Rotterdam Zoo - was send to the USA and if I remember right there were at least 4 animals involved ( Linda, VIP, Bobby and Ngajji )
    maybe even one more.
     
  20. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    I do have some contacts (I guess you do to) and don't know of *any* cases where European zoos made a serious attempt for black-footed ferret after it became well-established in captivity in North America. Do you know any? This provides some good guidelines, but it is obviously near-impossible to prove that no one has tried. From what I can understand it would be a lot of work, but probably not entirely impossible (comparable to sea otter). However, this amount of work is probably more than any European zoo would be willing to use on a species that most zoo visitors would see as "just another ferret". This places it in a distinctly different category than e.g. Californian condor and numbat, which belong firmly in the "impossible" category. No matter how much energy the non-native zoo spent on getting Californian condor/numbat from their native zoos it wouldn't happen.

    True, and today is definitely what is relevant today. Not a randomly chosen past. In this case c. 10+ years ago.

    It has already happened with several species during the last decade or so, including Antillean manatee, red-backed bearded saki, turquoise tanager (several other tanagers kept in Europe are of Guianan origin too, sometimes passing through private aviculture before ending in zoos), pompadour cotinga (as far as I know not yet bred in captivity anywhere, probably because of the males' unusual display flight that require a lot of space), Guianan cock-of-the-rock and calfbird. This involves zoos in France, UK and the Netherlands, but also a few other European countries. In this case Zootierliste provides the details for the mammals, but less for the birds.

    Unfortunately, I don't have to ask anyone. The example I mentioned with bird DNA was not random. I've been involved with field research and also had to get samples through all the red tape. It's a serious pain, resulting in wasted money and time that could be used on research instead. I do understand it with certain plant samples where major medicine companies have tricked them in the past and earned huge sums. I really don't understand why a small blood sample from a bird used strictly to establish its taxonomic position should cause that many problems. But they covered everything in the law: Living animals, stuffed animals, small samples.

    It is true that smugling continues in South America, but the stricter laws of some countries have definitely had an effect too. It hasn't disappeared completely and remains a serious problem for certain species, but for others like the red-fronted, blue-throated and Lear's macaw it has worked. Anti-poaching measures combined with habitat protection have halted or reversed their declines. Rampant habitat destruction is a big problem in both South America and southeast Asia, but overall illegal trade in wild animals is far worse in southeast Asia than South America.

    Completely true, but this is the case for virtually all countries worldwide. However, despite having become more difficult generally, clear differences remain: From the near-impossible (e.g. Brazil) to absolutely possible (e.g. the Guianas).

    Definitely not and I never claimed that. However, it means that if they wanted to show one of those species, they wouldn't even have to ask a European country to send some. There are tough Europeans laws, but the few species from this continent that are of larger interest to zoos were generally already well-established in captivity (or introduced to the wild in countries where not native) long before these laws came. Zoos of other continents can avoid dealing with many of the European wildlife protection laws for this simple reason. This is the striking difference compared to many animals of e.g. Australia.

    I simply noted that it would be very difficult if a North American zoo tried. However, that in was not the primary point I was trying to make when I mentioned this species. There is only a small and infrequently breeding captive population in Europe; not really any surplus to send abroad. Well, we could catch one. They're very common throughout most of Europe and it certainly wouldn't hurt the population to catch some and send to a North America zoo. However, this would be completely illegal in all EU countries. Europe has laws that prevent the exact same things zoochatters sometimes complain about e.g. Australia or Brazil preventing. In the same way the position of the captive Iberian lynx in Spain/Portugal is similar to the position of the captive Californian condor in USA, which is similar to the captive numbat in Australia. If another West European country had a comparable species it would be the exact same.

    In summary, the laws on export of living native wildlife in USA, Western Europe, Australia and Brazil actually have many similarities. I'm not saying that this is good (or bad), but simply point out that people often like to complain about the laws of other countries. Forgetting that the law in their own country is quite similar.
    The most striking difference are not in exports, but in imports: Australia and New Zealand have extremely tough import laws. This is mainly a problem for their own zoos. Not zoos elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2016