Join our zoo community

Freeflying zoo birds and conservation

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Jurek7, 3 Mar 2022.

  1. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    2,789
    Location:
    Everywhere at once
    This is a thread about zoo birds, not wild birds living on zoo grounds.

    Several zoos in Europe keep free-flying colonies of White Storks, which partially helped recovery of this species in Western Europe in the late 20. century. Are there any other examples when zoos established colonies of free-flying birds which spread free and helped conservation? And why it is not done more often?

    Any zoo in Europe tried to keep freeflying waldrapp ibises, Dalmatian pelicans, ferruginous ducks or any other native birds locally threatened? Any zoo in the southern USA tried keeping freeflying thick-billed parrots?
     
    MRJ and Bengal Tiger like this.
  2. Haliaeetus

    Haliaeetus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    14 Mar 2021
    Posts:
    884
    Location:
    Orléans, France
    Hello,
    some wildlife parks in France (Teich, Marquenterre, Pont de Gau), located near or inside natural reserves, used to house semi-captive Herons, Egrets and Spoonbills in order to reintroduce them and/or to attract wild birds in attempts of setting breeding colonies.
    These experiences have been successful.
     
    Swampy likes this.
  3. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    2,789
    Location:
    Everywhere at once
    Thanks! Were any Spoonbills really reintroduced? They are more easily stressed during breeding than herons and egrets.

    I heard also of a colony of Griffon Vultures in some Alpine zoo, Milky Storks in some SE Asian zoo and Waldrapps in Israel (or were they in a cage?). I would be happy if somebody can comment on these.
     
    iluvwhales and Haliaeetus like this.
  4. Bengal Tiger

    Bengal Tiger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Aug 2021
    Posts:
    1,391
    Location:
    Scatman's World
    I can tell you that no USA zoo is keeping free flying thick-bilked parrots, and I am almost certain that they never have.
     
  5. Haliaeetus

    Haliaeetus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    14 Mar 2021
    Posts:
    884
    Location:
    Orléans, France
    There wasn't a "true" reintroduction program of Spoonbills (assuming that a reintroduction would mean the creation ex nihilo of a new population of a locally extinct species) but some colonies of these birds lived in aviaries, in order to attract wild birds.
    The French population of Spoonbills is increasing but remains small ; 20 years ago, it was a "new" breeding species, some of the first colonies were made of these birds that stopped on their way to their breeding grounds (at this time, mainly the Netherlands).
    Theses wildlife parks procedeed also to the rehabilitation of injured/weakened birds (including Spoonbills) then released them ; the birds remained formally "free" but didn't went far away from the facilities where food was provided. The visitors could see them year-round, often around the aviaries where they have been kept once.
     
  6. MRJ

    MRJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    1,972
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I'm interested in how the storks are being held. Are they constrained in any way from flying away? Are they fed or provided with other forms of care? And what happens to the progeny?
     
  7. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Oct 2008
    Posts:
    5,355
    Location:
    Europe
    The storks are only helped by providing artificial nests and many make the migration south (though in recent warmer years plenty of storks stayed closeby).

    Another example for @jurek are basically all larger black-crowned night heron populations in the Netherlands. There are 3 separate colonies, 2 of which still live in zoos (Blijdorp, Artis) that were founded by just releasing captive birds. The third is in the south in Middelburg, where night herons from a collection in Belgium found their way into a local heronry.

    The vultures would be in Salzburg. Singapore's wild painted storks are all captive origin, but I guess you mean one of those Malaysian zoos, don't know which one.
     
    MRJ and Haliaeetus like this.
  8. MRJ

    MRJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    1,972
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Which in my mind would make them wild. No difference to putting up nest boxes.

    I think a difference needs to be drawn between attempts to reintroduce using the zoo as a convenient venue, and birds in the collection that are maintained free flight. I'm hard put to think of many examples of the latter as it is just as likely that the birds would self-introduce to the surrounding area. A classic example being the Australian white ibis at Healesville Sanctuary where a group were released onto an island in a lake there. The population grew to be a serious problem within the Sanctuary and eventually in surrounding areas.
     
    birdsandbats likes this.