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Best enclosure / exhibit design in zoos for species extinct in wild.

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 25 Nov 2020.

  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    There are already numerous species kept in zoos which are now extinct in their natural state and realistically speaking there are likely to be far more of these housed in the future as the biodiversity crisis intensifies.

    The purpose of this thread is for zoochatters to highlight, discuss and compare the way that zoos keep and display / showcase zoos species now extinct in the wild taking into consideration these factors :

    * Enclosure design - Husbandry / needs of animal , enrichment, general aesthetics.

    * Educational value - Information signs, interactive displays (audio-visual etc), environmental education / conservation related talks.

    What are some examples of the best enclosure / exhibit design that you have seen at a zoo for a species now extinct in the wild ?

    Did the educational content and signage showcase effectively the plight of the species well enough in your opinion ?
     
    Last edited: 25 Nov 2020
  2. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    It is a strange paradox but the tragedy of a species going extinct in the wild often highlights in the strongest way possible to the public (and critics) the role of zoos at their best as ex-situ captive breeding centres / arks.

    The example that comes strongly to my mind is of the Panamanian golden frog and the zoos that it is kept in within its range country of Panama and also within the USA and Canada (as part of the coordinated ex-situ effort with the species).
    [​IMG]
    However, sadly I must admit that I haven't had the privilege to see one of these amazing little frogs in captivity yet.

    Has anyone seen this species in a zoo and if so what was the exhibit like ?


    Photo credit to @StellarChaser for this amazing shot of a Panamanian golden frog that I just had to include in this post.
     
    Last edited: 25 Nov 2020
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  3. red river hog

    red river hog Well-Known Member

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    There's a nice exhibit for Panamanian Golden Frogs at the Elmwood Park Zoo.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It's very nicely planted, has a nice planted water feature, and automatic misters. They share the exhibit with Red-eyed Tree Frogs, File-eared Tree Frogs, and an unidentified fish species.

    This is the one at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, which is my favorit of these three. They also have the largest breeding group on Earth for this species. They have (as of 2010) 40.46.32 of them.
    [​IMG]
    Photo by LizardInsanity

    The National Aquarium also has some. They have the second largest breeding group, with 12.10, as of 2010.
    [​IMG]
    Photo credit: @TinoPup
     
    Last edited: 25 Nov 2020
  4. red river hog

    red river hog Well-Known Member

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    The Philadelphia Zoo has a nice exhibit for Guam Kingfishers and Guam Rails. It's in the McNeil Avian Center, the renovation of their 1916 bird house. The Philadelphia Zoo has a breeding program for the kingfishers and were actually the first zoo to breed a successfully parent-reared Guam Kingfisher chick.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    All photo credits go to @snowleopard.
     
  5. CheeseChameleon2007

    CheeseChameleon2007 Well-Known Member

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    Any photos of the fish species? I or someone else could try to identify it if they wish.


    For Animals extinct in the wild, The Houston zoo has a fairy decent enclosure for Guam Kingfishers, with a quite vibrant atmosphere. I personally am not a huge fan of this background, or any other painted backgrounds at zoos for that matter, but I feel like this one works.

    Photo credit to @Moebelle
    [​IMG]
     
  6. EternalPigeon

    EternalPigeon Well-Known Member

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    I saw Panamanian Golden Frogs at the San Diego Zoo on the Reptile Walk. Their exhibit is medium-sized, but not nearly as big as the other exhibits posted above. Their exhibit is very dense with plants and rocks, and gives the frogs plenty of places to hide. I think there were too many plants though, and it took me a long time to finally spot one.

    I also saw these frogs at the Kansas City Zoo in the Discovery Barn. I don't remember anything special about their exhibit, but I can tell you it was pretty small, maybe a little too small.
     
  7. red river hog

    red river hog Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Here it is.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. CheeseChameleon2007

    CheeseChameleon2007 Well-Known Member

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    Most likely a fathead Minnow, Pimephales promelas. How many were in the tank? Was it just this one? Because a lonely Fathead minnow seems sort of depressing.
     
  9. red river hog

    red river hog Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much! I think there may have been two, but not more than that.
     
  10. CheeseChameleon2007

    CheeseChameleon2007 Well-Known Member

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    At least he's got a bud. :)
     
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  11. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for sharing @Fignewton !

    These are some great enclosures here for the Panamanian golden frog :) and it is great to see it is kept in so many zoos ex-situ.

    Of the three of these that you have highlighted I think I prefer aesthetically (from the visitors perspective) the last one at the National Aquarium best. I guess that the dimmed lighting outside really focuses and centres the attention on the animals within the terrarium.

    That said, the information signage on display looks a little underwhelming and I think a lot more could have been stated about the species being extinct in the wild.

    The Maryland enclosure perhaps looks the best in terms of husbandry and it is a brilliant looking enclosure which is a lot better lighted. They must have several more terrariums for the species held behind the scenes I imagine if they hold such a large group of them.

    The Elmwood Park Zoo enclosure looks great too but I must admit I'm not a fan of the frogs being mixed with others. I suppose that I just feel that the mixed species exhibitry thing detracts attention educationally away from the golden frog (the red-eyed tree frog is a stunning looking animal too afterall).
     
    Last edited: 26 Nov 2020
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  12. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    That is a beautiful exhibit indeed, very lush and well planted.

    it looks as if it is a walkthrough containing many species (I can see what looks like a Victoria crowned pigeon), is the kingfisher and the rail kept within enclosures within this larger exhibit or are they mixed in with all the other species too ?

    Found a picture of one of the Kingfishers at Philadelphia in the gallery, what a beautiful bird species they are.

    [​IMG]

    Photo credit to @savethelephant.
     
  13. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the comment @EternalPigeon, I guess I'd have to see a picture of what the exhibit looks like and get some idea of size to give a judgement.

    Smallish terrariums are not always a bad thing in terms of husbandry but of course the bigger the terrarium and particularly for such an active species as the Panamanian golden frog the better the wellbeing I imagine.

    I tend to think that large terrariums really improve the display from a visitors perspective too IMO.
     
  14. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Not a species extinct in the wild but this was quite an interesting educational concept I saw in the zoochat gallery and seems like it has been done by a number of zoos.

    An empty terrarium is put on display alongside those with still extant species of frogs with an information sign and information about the extinct golden toad.

    This is an example at the Manchester Museum in the UK and goes one step further by including props that allude to themes of deforestation and anthropogenic drivers of the species extinction within the terrarium.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This is another one featuring the golden toad but this time from Canada and Vancouver aquarium.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Of course, you could also say that these kind of empty exhibits are a bit of a waste of space that could be utilized for captive breeding or display of still extant amphibian species but I do think that the message is both poignant and hits home.

    Especially if you consider that there are amphibians in terrariums nearby which face similar threats and are native to the same region such as this critically endangered Variable harlequin toad at the Manchester museum.
    [​IMG]
    Photo credit to @ThylacineAlive, @Macaw16 and @snowleopard, @gentle lemur and @TeaLovingDave .
     
    Last edited: 26 Nov 2020
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  15. Rayane

    Rayane Well-Known Member

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    Kingfishers/rails are not exhibited within the wallthrough. They’re in a smaller exhibit, nice but nothing amazing, I believe they share it with Mariana fruit doves, maybe they’re next door.
     
  16. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Ah I see, thank you for sharing that @Rayane !

    Can you think of any exhibits / enclosures you have seen for species extinct in the wild in zoos that have particularly impressed you ?
     
  17. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    This is a large aquarium of Potosi pupfish, another species extinct in the wild, at Bristol Zoo.
    [​IMG]
    It has nice large signage that visually highlights the IUCN status of the species as extinct in the wild and there is succint information about the extinction in its natural state.
    [​IMG]The focal point of the visitor attention though is the aquarium itself and the fish that live inside it.
    [​IMG]
    Here is another one at ZSL London zoo that I believe I must have seen last year before the aquarium was closed but can't remember.
    [​IMG]
    I doubt these little fish attract much attention from most visitors or probably empathy but I imagine that one or two may be moved to see them and read about their plight and both aquariums look decent for the species.

    Photo credits to @ThylacineAlive, @gentle lemur and @zoogiraffe.
     
    Last edited: 26 Nov 2020
  18. Rayane

    Rayane Well-Known Member

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    I think the Socorro doves free flying in Burgers Desert dome have the most impressive exhibits. Scimitar horned oryxes and Pere David’s deers also have many great huge enclosures in Europe but although great, they’re very simple/boring.
     
  19. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    I'll have to check out the Socorro dove exhibit at Burgers, it sounds quite impressive and desert biome domes are very interesting from an immersion perspective.

    You mean the exhibits are boring or the Pere David's deer / Scimitar horned oryx are ?
     
  20. Rayane

    Rayane Well-Known Member

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    Many big green or sandy exhibits exist for both species in Europe but while they serve their purpose and are probably the best around, they’re not as attractive as a Desert Dome.