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Birds In New Zealand Zoos

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Chlidonias, 12 Mar 2011.

  1. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    the same reason lots of protected birds get shot. They were there and some idiot had a gun.
     
  2. Kawekaweau

    Kawekaweau Well-Known Member

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    Would the green peafowl, Nicobar pigeon and rhea have been "zoo-only" animals as in only zoo-licensed facilities could own them? Sad that the magpie geese died out.
     
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    all of those species were only in zoos, but that's only because it was the zoos who imported them. If they hadn't died out then there wouldn't be any reason that the peafowl and pigeon at least wouldn't be available to private aviculturists (in fact the peafowl probably were kept privately as well). The reason they died out was simply due to only a few birds having been originally brought in, and not much breeding going on.
     
  4. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    The trick with numerically small importations is to breed many individuals, really quickly. This minimises genetic loss: a large, slightly inbred population is better than an extinct one. For example, all the Brown Eared Pheasants in the west, for many decades, descended from an original importation of three birds. Breeding results eventually deteriorated, and towards the end of the 20th century, new blood from China became available. It is likely that the three species mentioned above, could have been maintained in New Zealand if enough had been bred initially, and distributed to public and private collections.
     
  5. Kawekaweau

    Kawekaweau Well-Known Member

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    Would you need a license to keep kookaburras or magpies?
     
  6. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    no, not to my knowledge.

    Not many people keep kookaburras, but there are loads of pet magpies. There are some local rules regarding those however (e.g. it is illegal to own, transfer to, etc, magpies to Stewart Island).
     
  7. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I have been playing around with the bird list in the original post of the thread, and made a big rearrangement. I'm not sure if it makes it more useful or less useful. It's certainly made it much longer.

    Previously I had included all the more recent "extinctions" of exotics in NZ zoos (and the "general possibilities" for natives which might appear) amongst the species which are still present (marking them within brackets), but I decided to move them all to the bottom of the list in one place. It was a little complicated because there are a lot of native species which are probably about as rehab animals and so it's not clear-cut as to whether they should be left as "current" or moved to "former". So I made a vague rule that if there are any individuals of native species known to be on permanent display then that species would stay in "current" but all others just go to "former". But I left all the exotic parrots and waxbills in place in the "current" list because they were too complicated.

    Then I decided to not have a cut-off date for "extinctions" like I had done for mammals (where it was 1980). And then it got a little out of hand. Never mind.

    The result is a long list of "current" birds, and then a long list of random "extinct" exotics and "maybe will turn up" natives. It's a bit clumsy.

    Maybe I should entirely separate exotics from natives. Have them as two lists rather than combined.
     
  8. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that might be a good idea. It gets a little confusing trying to read through it all, but its such a great resource with so much information (especially the "extinct" section).
     
  9. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    any suggestions on how to break it up? There are already six sticky threads at the top of the NZ forum for the various lists, so if I break it into "native birds" and "exotic birds" it will add yet another thread there. Maybe that wouldn't matter. Or I could do it as "current" and "former" lists as with mammals, but that would be much more messy I think because with mammals we don't need to worry about natives coming in as rescues.

    Or I could still have them in the single post on this thread, but put the natives first (combining all the current and possibles), then current exotics, then "extinct" exotics. That will only be as long as it is right now, but seems just as confusing.

    Or basically have what I've got now, but only put exotics in the "extinct" section because those species will never be replaced, and put all the natives in the first section. That would make the "extinct" section shorter, and allow more comparisons between natives in the "current" section.

    However I do it is going to be awkward I think.
     
  10. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    I think having the native birds as one block, then exotics split as current and former, would make most sense (I don't think the thread should be split). People interested in natives (for example, someone planning a trip to NZ and wanting to know whether they can see a certain species or not), can more easily check all the natives, while someone interested in exotics can easily see those species. That's my perspective anyway.
     
  11. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I've modified it to this.

    So the only natives in the "former" ("extinct") section are a few subantarctic species which won't be re-appearing (i.e. a few penguins, Reischek's and Forbes' parakeets, Auckland Island duck, and Auckland Island rail).

    I think it works better now.

    (Posting at the same time as you were posting...)
     
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  12. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    there's a tricky bit involved where there are species like King and Gentoo Penguins where the species itself is native, but the stock is imported. Or Nankeen Night Heron where the former stock was imported, but they are now also a self-introduced species so individuals could appear in zoos as rescue birds, and similarly the Barn Owls in captivity now are natives but the former stock was imported.

    The division between exotic and native is much less sharp than in the mammals or reptiles.
     
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  13. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, this is a good point, and that does complicate things. I guess you could have duplicate entries for each of those in the native and exotic lists?
     
  14. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    yeah, I considered that as well. I thought that might make things more confusing though?
     
  15. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Not necessarily. For barn owl, night heron (and maybe pelican?), you can have a listing in natives that says the current situation, with a note saying "previously stock was imported, but this has died out, see listing in extinct exotic section for further details". Its definitely more confusing for the penguins, as the exotic stock is still present, but I think a similar thing can be done - and given Subantarctic species have already been removed, I think the King and Gentoo penguins can just be shifted to exotics and left there.
     
  16. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll move some stuff around and see how it turns out. Looking at the list it should actually work fine, although I'll move the subantarctic species back amongst the natives (just bracketed as being "former"), that way all the "extinct" species can be exotic.
     
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  17. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I've done exactly that now - natives followed by exotics followed by former exotics. I like it much better than what I had before.
     
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  18. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    um, I'm really regretting the idea I had of not having a cut-off date for "former" species. I think I'm going to have to restrict it to 1980 like I did with the mammals.

    I just started looking through newspaper archives. Putting "auckland zoo birds" into the search terms on one site gave me over 2000 articles. Obviously there's lots of general articles just saying "tropical birds imported" or with non-specific names like "toucans" or "birds of paradise", but the number of idenitifiable species is going to end up being in the hundreds. And those just for Auckland Zoo!
     
  19. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    I guess the guidebooks would be a good resource too, although again they are vague and rarely list actual species.
     
  20. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I've decided on a 1980 cut-off date for former exotic species. It's much easier.

    However, this is an interesting item I found when looking through old newspaper articles - Wellington Zoo had Tooth-billed Pigeon in 1916: Papers Past | Newspapers | Evening Post | 18 December 1916 | This page

    The article says:

    Here, too, is the strange tooth-billed pigeon, most interesting to ornithologists as the supposed nearest relative of the dodo. To New Zealanders who have not studied bird history this peculiar bird is notable chiefly as a souvenir of the occupation of Samoa.


    Some further searching shows that it was at the zoo from December 1914 to sometime close to April 1919, meaning it lived there for around four and a half years.

    The Zoo Notes article in this newspaper from 22 December 1914 (Papers Past | Newspapers | Dominion | 22 December 1914 | This page) talks about the bird's arrival from Samoa, along with "a handsome pair of other Samoan pigeons (I presume Carpophaga pacifica, or oceanica), and a rail, also from Samoa"

    The shipment had just recently arrived, and the birds would be going on display that week. Further down the article it continues:

    ...His Excellency the Governor received from our Expeditionary Force that recently took possession of the Samoan Islands, and on the advice of His Majesty's Ministers for New Zealand, presented to the Zoo. The valuable present comprised one tooth-billed pigeon, a very interesting bird; two pigeons of a species that has acquired powers for eating fruit, a species very interesting to ornithologists, and of striking appearance to every lover of pigeons; one pretty little dove, one interesting little rail, and two Java sparrows.

    (Other articles call the dove a Diamond Dove, which is a bit odd. The rail wasn't specifically named but may have been a Banded Rail which are common in Samoa).

    The behaviour of the Tooth-billed Pigeon at the zoo is discussed at length in a newspaper article for February 2015 here: Papers Past | Newspapers | Dominion | 17 February 1915 | This page

    The Zoo Notes for 28 April 1919 notes, at the start of a long list of deaths, that the Tooth-billed Pigeon had "recently" died.
    Papers Past | Newspapers | Dominion | 28 April 1919 | This page
     
    Last edited: 6 Oct 2017
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