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Healesville Sanctuary Healesville Sanctuary News 2013

Discussion in 'Australia' started by zooboy28, 4 Jun 2013.

  1. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I should like to see said photographs! I have never heard of Burramys being sent out of Australia [which doesn't mean they haven't been of course] but while they are part of captive breeding programmes in Australia the long-term breeding sustainability of those groups was never very good. And it seems really odd that if some were sent out of Australia that in all of Europe one would only end up at a place like Amazon World!
     
  2. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Considering that we only know one arrived at Amazon World because zoogiraffe happened to visit in the brief time it was present and alive, I think it quite likely more places could have recieved some, but that all the animals concerned died out before anyone actually *noticed* :p

    As for the photographs, they are among the many film photos of species absent from Europe which zoogiraffe intends on scanning when he gets the free time - having looked through his photo archives last weekend, there are more than a few juicy species :p
     
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I shall await the photos with eager anticipation. While I haven't been able to find out if Burramys have been exported legally from Australia to allow for the one supposedly at Amazon World, I did find the 2002 Recovery Plan for the species, which says "Previous attempts at captive breeding have not been highly successful. No captive-bred males have attained breeding condition, although some first generation females have produced young with wildcaught males held in captivity for 2-3 years". This doesn't rule out an export in an attempt to establish an overseas population but because they hadn't been established in Australia yet it does make it more unlikely. If they haven't been exported legally the only other options are that the Amazon World one wasn't a Burramys or that it was a smuggled/bred from a smuggled animal.
     
  4. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    Give me time,the picture should be up before the end of the year,will link it to a post in this thread when its done.But as tealovingdave says I have more than a few interesting photos that need,scanning for uploading on here any way!!
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    excellent. Out of curiosity, did the animal have a sign saying "Burramys parvus" or just "mountain pigmy possum"? I have no problem with being proved wrong when the photo is uploaded, but my working theory (because I don't believe at all that it was a Burramys) is that it was a long-tailed pigmy possum Cercartetus caudatus, which comes from the mountains of New Guinea and would be far more likely to turn up unexpectedly in Europe via Indonesian animal dealers than would a Burramys. If the animal was simply called a "mountain pigmy possum" when the zoo obtained it they may have assumed the wrong identity for the species (or the same for yourself if there was no scientific name on the zoo's label).
     
  6. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    You say more likely, but that species has never been held in Europe either :p
     
  7. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    C. caudatus not being listed on Zootierliste doesn't negate the likelihood of it being that species instead of Burramys. For it to be Burramys there would have to have been a government-approved export for purposes related to the conservation of the species (given the rarity of the species) and it is highly unlikely that Amazon World would be a recipient (think of the Leadbeater's possum export).

    For it to be C. caudatus it would only require an Indonesian animal dealer exporting them, either to zoos or to private holders from which one could have gone to Amazon World, and for it to be called a "mountain pigmy possum". It would be far more likely for C. caudatus to end up in a European zoo undetected by general zoo-goers than it would Burramys.

    Having said all that, if it is Burramys then I stand corrected.
     
  8. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    What about Cercartetus nanus? Have any of those been held in Europe? I can certainly see a pair or two of those being exported at some time in the 70s or 80s, or even the 90s, as part of a zoo deal.

    :p

    Hix
     
  9. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Not since the 1850's, when the Earl of Derby had a few in his private collection.

    The central point as far as I can see with all three of the suggested species is that just because only the Amazon World individual was spotted whilst it survived, and thus we only know about that collection having a pygmy possum, it doesn't mean none went elsewhere and died before anyone learnt about them. This is equally true for all three species, so the fact we only know Amazon World had a pygmy possum doesn't rule out the Burramys in particular.

    As for the second point which Chlidonias seems to be implying, that Amazon World is not a collection which one would expect something unusual to arrive at....

    ...do remember that until recently sending them to another collection Amazon World was the only place in the UK with several species like Guyana Toucanet and Green Aracari, also holding what were the only Mountain Paca in Europe for many years until their recent deaths, and are currently the only collection outside the native range with Plate-billed mountain toucan!

    Looking at photographs of the two alternative species suggested, and going by my memory of the photo I saw a fortnight ago, and my first-hand recent experience of the quality of the signage at the collection in question, I'm still pretty convinced zoogiraffe is correct in his identification of the species.
     
  10. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    What about Dallas World Aquarium?
    http://www.zoochat.com/559/plate-billed-mountain-toucan-201747/
     
  11. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    but it isn't actually "equally true for all three species", because Burramys has always been so rare that an export from Australia wouldn't simply happen unannounced without a significant paper trail! It would sort of be like a numbat being seen at Amazon World. With the time frame (being seen in 2001) it would also have to be a very recent export (otherwise it would have to have been the product of an overseas successful breeding programme which would not have gone unnoticed by the Australian conservers). On the other hand, wild animals come out of Indonesia all the time.

    you misinterpreted my point. I realise Amazon World is well-known amongst the UK Zoochatters for the unusual species it holds. My point was that if Burramys were legally exported from Australia it would only be for a managed breeding programme due to their rarity (i.e. different from sending something like red kangaroos or koalas overseas). The recipient zoos would be large zoos well-known for conservation work - in the UK places like London, Chester, Edinburgh would be top choices. Amazon World would not even be on the same page, or even in the same document! Them having rare South American animals is of no relevance whatsoever to whether they would have a Burramys.

    if it was a Burramys then I've dug myself into a mighty deep hole! :D

    I'm confident my arguments are sound and that it was not a Burramys. But if it was then I will accept my defeat and bow my head in shame.

    (But also see my point a bit earlier about signage: if the sign did say "Burramys parvus" that doesn't mean it actually was that species if they obtained it as a "mountain pigmy possum" and assumed it was a Burramys, if you see what I mean).
     
  12. MRJ

    MRJ Well-Known Member

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    I'm with Chlidonias on this. If it was a Burramys then frankly I believe it could only have been there illegally.

    Firstly the species has been very tightly held in only one zoo until very recently even in Australia. Secondly I presume that Amazon World is privately owned, that is not owned by a government or not-for-profit organisation. Even if legally exported the Australian government would not have approved its export to a privately owned zoo.

    Therefore we would have to assume that the animal was taken from the wild then smuggled out of the country.

    I'd have to question why anybody would want to take those risks for a small nondescript possum that hibernates through part of the year. Especially when publicizing the fact you have it would immediately raise the question how? In my mind a misidentified New Guinea possum sounds far more likely.

    Looking forward to seeing the photos.
     
  13. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Very pleased to be proven wrong in this regard! Could have sworn I had heard that with the closure of Parrot Park Veldhoven, the last place with them was Amazon World, but it seems not. They are a great little species :D

    Considering how alike the various species in the two genera in question look, I'm actually wondering how much difference the photo will make to your opinion :p in any case, before the photo gets scanned in I think we're going to end up going in circles of Occams Razor; your strong doubt about the identity of the individual and incredulity at the idea of anywhere having had Burramys will make you see a misidentified Cercartetus as the most likely conclusion, whilst my trusting the word of zoogiraffe and having seen his photograph of the individual makes me see the original identification as the most likely conclusion. Either one of us could be wrong :p

    So probably worth leaving it there for now.
     
  14. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    It was labelled as Burramys parvus,as that is what I wrote down in my notes!
     
  15. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    Well if the Aussie government will only send to government owned zoo,then the only one in the UK that could get them then is Belfast!!

    As for its id I can only take the word of the labelling and my very poor picture of it.
     
  16. MRJ

    MRJ Well-Known Member

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    Not what I said (or at least not all I said)
     
  17. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    hmm, these two statements do not match very well....

    I suspect the photo will not be conclusive.
     
  18. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    Of course, it's also possible that Amazon World misidentified it or made a labelling mistake.

    :p

    Hix
     
  19. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Ok, so some updates from my last visit, which was 4/8/13.

    -According to the keeper I talked to, in the nocturnal house, the revamp of said house mainly allowed more active/showy species to be displayed. Most of the removed species (e.g. Black-footed Tree Rats) went to different zoos.
    -The Sugar Gliders have been removed too, and Leadbeaters Possums are intended replacements.
    -The Numbat is a retired breeding female from Perth, and the exhibit is in fact fully-lit, but the glass has been heavily tinted, so that it looks like the rest of the nocturnal exhibits! Its very well done.
    -There is now a scaled-up Thylacoleo (marsupial lion) skull replica on the woodland path.
    -A big array of solar panels has been installed on the lawn adjacent to the Animal Hospital.

    I've added photos to the gallery, including of the new "Cool Conservation" building.
     
  20. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Ok, the list I posted was somewhat incomplete, this is the correct listing at the start of August, but the Sugar Gliders were being taken out to be replaced with Leadbeaters Possum.

    Renovated Nocturnal House
    -Mountain Pygmy Possum
    -Feathertail Gecko
    -Brown Antechinus
    -Spinifex Hopping Mouse
    -Northern Quoll
    -Red-tailed Phascogale + Greater Bilby
    -Eastern Barred Bandicoot + Sugar Glider
    -Long-nosed Potoroo + Squirrel Glider
    -Numbat