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Taronga Zoo langurs move to sydney...

Discussion in 'Australia' started by patrick, 22 Feb 2005.

  1. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    taronga zoo have just imported a pair of endangered francois' langurs from a zoo in japan. these endangered primates come from the rainforests of southern china, laos and vietnam and all the major zoos have commited spaces to this species.

    interestingly, now each of these zoos holds a very different species of langur monkey!

    taronga zoo - francois' langur
    melbourne zoo - ebony langur
    adelaide zoo - dusky langur
    perth zoo - purple-faced langur

    it will be interesting to see if the zoos continue to hold this many species or intend on phasing out some of the more common types. melbourne has bred their langurs many times in the past and adelaide seem commited to their species, just recently importing in a new male.
     
  2. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    It would be interesting to see all four species together, so as to be able to compare and contrast the differences between the species. I assume that the taronga group will be part of the new asian elephant exhibit, along with the silvery gibbons.

    I know that this is a particular interest of yours Patrick. As each zoo has a different species it doesn't look as if the zoos are co-ordinating there efforts. As I think that the zoos are starting to become a little similar ( red pandas, otters and so on with the same animals) it is a change to see different species. But how will they make sustainable breeding programs for each species.

    Jason
     
  3. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    more hypothesis..

    ah your right jason, it is!
    no sooner do mogo tell me that they are commited to breeding jaguars, i'm worried that clouded leopards are being phased out!

    langurs are a very diverse group of asian monkeys and i'de say it would be safe to guess that the top 3 most endangered primates on earth are all from this family, so i guess it makes sense if australian zoos decided to focus on more than just one species.

    obviously our zoos are developing a breeding program for francois' and dusky langurs but its hard to say which, if any ,of the other species will be bred.

    purple-faced langurs are from sri lanka, there are only 1.1 in australia and they are not endangered, so you would assume they will be phased out - however, dusky langurs are not endangered either, though adelaide chose to import this species rather than the endangered javan ebony langurs (there is much confusion with this species at is pysically similar and shares common names with other species - i'm talking about T. auratus) that melbourne zoo have kept and sucsessully bred for many years.

    is this an idication that the breeding program for T.auratus is to be dis-continued? melbourne now only have 1.1 animals, presumably the offspring have been sent OS....

    all this could be answered by a simple email from the zoo, but as i'm sure you know, any emails from the names jason, patrick or nigel probably get dumped straight in the trash!!

    i think i better create an alias!
     
  4. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    Which is a pity. Some of the zoos used to be really good at giving out info but now... And to think that the three of us, whilst we can be critical, are also good promoters of the work that zoos do.
    Are the most endangered Vietnam/Laos species? There are some really interesting and beautiful languar species from that area. If I'm correct they are mainly leaf/fruit eaters and might be excellent species for mixed species exhibits.
    Jason
     
  5. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    vietnam, home to world's rarest primates.....

    yeah, i think the most endangered of all are the Cat Ba langur (also called the goden-headed langur), only about 50 left and can only be found on Cat Ba island (where i have been) in halong bay. the EPRC had a pair of this species, they produced a gorgeous little male baby and then the father got bitten by a snake and died! at the EPRC i saw the mother and baby. i'll have to get around to posting some pics from there on this website or i'll send some to you jason. they also house all three species of douc langurs (the red-shanked doucs breed really well), as well as delacour's, francois', haitinh (2 sub-species) and grey langurs AND two species of loris AND two species of crested gibbon. they are really doing an amazing job and all these primates are among the world's rarest. all from the same south china, vietnam, lao region of the world too.

    the francois' langurs at sydney will be displayed in the "asian elephant rainforest" like you suspected.

    i wonder if any zoo has sucessfully displayed gibbons and langurs together? i'de love to see three exhibits based on java, malaysia and vietnam, each with a species of gibbon and langur sharing the same island.

    meanwhile, melbourne zoo support the EPRC and it couldn't be a better cause....
     
  6. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Primates

    I am wondering whether to pass this thread on to Wellington Zoo or not .....
    ..... I dont know what it is , but Wellington Zoo , as much as it is trying to shake off the stereotypical zoo of cages , bars , and generally a 1840s look about it , they seem to breed primates with very little difficulty !
    There is now talk of building a larger chimpanzee enclosure , as there is now potential risk for both chimps and keepers while they are living in one huge group ( as far as chimps are concerned ) , and the baboons are not that far behind -- despite their huge enclosure ......
    They are more successful than Auckland Zoo , which is now on par with Melbourne as far as a quality zoo with an enviable breeding pattern .....

    If either Patrick or Jason wants to send an email to someone at Auckland Zoo , I recommend that you mark the title " Attention for Leigh Wither " and tell her that you are fellow forum members that Nigel Foster belongs to -- recognise that name at all ? She is good at finding the answer that you want -- if she doesnt know , she asks somewone that does , and she does respond promptly .
    A (reasonably) good contact -- for Wellington Zoo is Bobby Bennet . I got to know and meet Bobby personally as he had to care for Cairo , and try to train him not to dribble out gallons and gallons of froth and goo all day and night .... but I know that he would have been really sad to have Cairo put down -- he had a personable character that many other animals dont .
    But Bobby often will not reply for days on end .... too much work , too few staff , and not enough $$s , and the zoo tries its best to survive on a length of size 8 wire .......
     
  7. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    purple-faced langurs move to scotland..

    well it is as i suspected earlier in the thread - perth zoo have put in an application to send their sri lankan purple-faced langurs to a zoo in scotland. this leaves ony the other three rarer species in australian zoos and i think thats a good thing. hopefully the zoos will continue to develop further breeding programs for these langurs as they all have unique characteristics and obviously will benifit from a breeding program over here. langurs are not that common in zoos considering how many spider monkeys, macaques and guenons there are. i assume this is largely due to their difficult diet, like colobus they are strictly leaf -eaters and are not the hardiest of primates. in fact, when i was in vietnam i met a young woman on the beach who instantly perked up when i said i was heading to the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre. she told me that she had studied the douc langurs at the zoo in her home of germany and that she had come to vietnam to do work with the doucs they had there, when i asked how her zoo was doing at keeping one of the world's rarest and most fragile primates she told me that they were all terribly inbred and that due to the severe winters in europe the zoo had no fresh food for the langurs half the year. insted they were fed frozen leaves that the monkeys generally preferred to go without. i said that as the monkey colony there was now so inbred (so much so that she said the group was essentially dying out) and that acquiring more would be very unlikely, why didn't the zoo send the animals to another zoo like singapore that could better care for them and had it's own small group of doucs to breed with. answer; "oh no, we love our doucs, better they stay in germany!"

    and die out! a wasted breeding program!

    this is the kind of attitude that drives me nuts! another example is the northern white rhino. with the recent violence erupting in northern congo, the northern white rhino that still live there, the last wild animals of their kind on earth (which is in itself a testament to a very hard fought consrvation program), have been utterly decimated by poachers. ther are now no more that about five breeding animals left at best. a last ditch effort was made o get the congolese government (who have never paid much interest in protecting the animals) to allow scientists to capture 5 potential breeders and move them to a protected area in kenya (once part of this supspecies natural range). the government said no. say goodbye to the last wild northern white rhino.

    meanwhile there is one, reproductively viable group left in the world - at a zoo in........THE CZECH REPUBLIC!!!!

    tell me, if you wanted to breed the worlds rarest rhino taxa, an animal from the grassy tropics of central africa, why on earth would you do it in a barn in the czech republic?

    because the zoo is too selfish to do whats best for the subspecies and SEND THEM to kenya.

    anyway, that attitude is similar to the attitude of the german zoo with douc langurs and to smaller extent the attitude our zoos took with regards to breeding their elephants together. not quite on the topic of langurs but i brought it up anyway!
     
  8. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    purple faced langurs in edinburgh

    when visiting edinburgh zoo in july i saw the langurs for the first time myself. housed in the zoos primate breeding facility, they were still settling in and therefore very nervous. the indoor viewing area had been screened off with hessian although outside i did catch them moving about. although a fairly outdated facility the zoo has had alot of success in breeding many primates here, and they also remodelled the building recently. the previously barren exterior cages were enlarged and relandscaped, and the indoor cages are now fully mulched. this substrate extends into the interior of the building where the visitor stands, giving the whole area an 'authentic' earthy smell.
    lets hope they have success with these animals and in the future secure a new boodline.
    mogo zoo imported its siamang family from this zoo too...
    as for francois langur, taronga's animals come from japanese zoos. unlike the purple-faced program with its small population, the francois breeding program which currently has participation of more than 20 institutions worldwide has recently welcomed an infusion of new genes with the arrival of unrelated animals from primate centres in china. these animals bring wild genes into the population and have since produced two babies. one more species thats a bit more secure.
     
    Last edited: 22 Sep 2005
  9. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Of langurs and rhinos in Czech Republic

    Concentrating on a smaller number of langur species is a good thing, I guess. Perhaps closer ties to SE Asian zoos, e.g. Thai or Vietnam, would be useful in this.

    As for your rhino bit. The Dvur Kralove Zoo is the only zoo in the world ever to have bred the northern White subspecies successfully. I think till now 4 times. The very fact that the Congolese population has now crashed has been in the offing for quite a while. Several international meetings have taken place to put the northern rhinos in a safe haven. However, the Congolese have never cooperated and always denounced the captive-breeding efforts. I guess it is now a matter of too late too few to even consider re-assembling some rhinos in a captive environment. This is a sad story of international non-cooperation and I would imply that the Czech Dvur Kralove Zoo CANNOT be regarded the EVIL GENIUS in this. Moreover, I would suggest you look at their site more carefully as they have just bred 2 black rhino calves in a matter of months. Moreover they also maintain the Indian rhino (1-2 births till present).

    Get your facts right, before you rant and rave!
     
  10. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Do we humans REALLY know everything about animals ?
    Why would a zoo in the Czech Republic be so successful in breeding Northern White rhino successfully if no other "better" zoo has done so ?
    Why does Wellington zoo have better success in breeding primates than all but one other zoo in Australasia , when it doesnt have a decent animal hospital and if they dont soon get monetary support , the zoo will rust into oblivion ? If you visit Melbourne Zoo and Wellington Zoo on the same day you will probably die of "Zoo culture shock"
    We should be pleased that a zoo with an unpronouncable name in the Czech Republic can do what African Governments cannot , even if they have to use a barn in Winter .
    I know that Patrick and others feel passionate about species around the world almost dying into oblivion , but ANY zoo that has made efforts to save these animals , and has some success in doing so , they should get our support . Even if the zoo is in Timbucktoo !
     
  11. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    defending my white rhino statements...

    jelle,

    regarding my statements made earlier, i am well aware of the lack of co-operation from the congolese government. i am well aware of the issues surrounding what has become the demise of the northern white rhinoceros.

    so please tell me jelle, do you believe that the Dvur Kralove Zoo is providing the world's rarest rhino taxa with the best possible breeding environment?

    do you believe that the tiny herd that lives in there in what looks like a concrete barn for half the year, have had the best possible chances of reproductive success? there are only 3 rhinos left that are reproducively active. that the species will die out in that zoo in the czech republic is a given. the zoo has already failed. it has not saved the species. do you think that maybe more than 4 births would have been recorded if the animals where moved to a private wildlife preserve in eastern africa say 10 years ago?

    my guess, and it is a guess, would be yes.

    rhinos are not easy to breed in captivity, even when the conditions, such as any of australia's open reange zoo's, mimic's the native environment and social structure so well. as nigel asked "do we humans really know everything about animals?". clearly not. i promise you this. those rhinos in the czech republic will eventually die out at that zoo. when the situation for a species becomes as critical as it has for the northern white rhino, i don't believe ANY zoo is going to be capable of pulling them back from extinction. not when the species has such a bad track record for breeding in captivity. i believe that as far as zoo's go, the climate in europe is grossly inadequate for a species from the tropical grasslands of central africa. but even if they where in sunny dubbo, i would still argue that the best way to have given those rhinos a good fighting chance would have been to release them into a controlled wild environment and let the rhinos work it out for themselves. clearly there is more to rhino breeding behaviour than we understand and an open native environment would allow the rhino's to do whatever it is we cannot provide.

    i never implied they where "evil genius'" - i don't think there's anything ingenius about trying to breed rhino indoors.

    so jelle, my facts are not wrong at all, i just hold an opinion that differs from yours.

    i believe that the zoo population of NWR will definately die out. i believe it may have possibly survived if it had been moved much earlier back to africa. i believe that establishing a protected wild population in kenya from that zoo stock (despite the still real threat of inbreeding) may have had some positive political benifits in trying to persuade the congolese government. i'm not saying it would have definately worked. i'm just saying the zoo has definately failed.

    so bring on the clones...
     
  12. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    back to the langurs , im going to taronga this weekend , and will be exploring wildasia , i have not been since 2001 , even b4 all the construction , so i carnt wait to see it . i will post all my images on a website called webshots with in the days following so i will post a link then

    also whts with the clones stament on the NWR ? do u support cloning
     
  13. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    cloning

    the "bring on the clones comment" was just a joke really.

    cloning technology is still a fair bit off being able to produce healthy animals. for every live birth often hundrens of foetus' miscarry and then the ones that do survive often end up with heart defects etc and die young.

    even if you did have a healthy animal - it's a clone. you would have to attempt synthetically creating genetic diversity.

    san diego cloning banteng and the national zoo talking about cloning pandas in my opinion is just a big fat waste of money when these animals still have a large enough gene pool in the wild and captivity for them to bounce back.

    however, in extreme circumstances. when a species is on the brink and is down to just a few individuals. i suppose i might support cloning.

    the northern white rhino is not actually a distinct species. it's a subspecies and therefore maybe it's a big waste of resources and money to bother cloning them. southern white's are the most plentyful rhino taxa in the world and surely they would be able to be released to interbreed with the congo population (if it was protected, which it is not) if keeping wild rhino there is desired.

    if the differences between the two races are so extreme that someone wants to say clone some of the existing "non-breeders" in captivity or take tissue samples from wild animals to create a larger, genetically viable breeding captive population. i guess i might be okay with that too.

    i certainly support the thylacine project. if we can re-populate the savannah's of tasmanina with australasia's largest terrestrial carnivore, cloned or not, please do it!

    i don't care that the animals will no doubt spend decades in captivity (trying to naturally breed up in numbers before ever being released into the wild)
    i don't care that they will be horrendously inbred. i don't care that they will cary some small amounts of devil mitochondrial DNA and therefore will not be 100% pure tiger. i don't care. the thylacine is extinct and it shouldn't be. if this is the only way we can put them back on this earth so be it.

    so i suppose i have gone ahead and convinced myself that i do support cloning. but only as a last resort and by no means do i think the attitude of "oh well, we can just clone them later" should be practised.

    although when animals are in as much trouble as the northern white rhinos or the yangtzee river dolphins, i hope someone has the foresight to collect viable tissue samples from the animals that ARE still around. because in 10 years time that genetic material may just save a species.
     
  14. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    i can see were ya comin from , im the other angle , fully against .

    even if down to a few individuals , let them go and let a lesson be learnt , money should focus on saving the remaining animals that can be saved , really i dnt see the point

    no offence against your remarks :)
     
  15. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    The northern rhino were probably also highly inbred already as numbers were low in Sudan. The southern subspecies does not breed that well either as it has been demonstrated that some cows produce many offspring whereas others do not alltogether. Nobody seems to have a clue why. This goes for captive rhino. Probably stress may be an element, but cannot be regarded an explanation for every misfortune.

    I still believe that the Dvur Kralove zoo given the opportunity and with assistance from the Congolese government might have been more than able to upgrade the breeding facilities. This spring the German vet team will try on AI with both older females (Najin and her sister - I think Nesari but not sure). It may well be possible to collect more ovae from both for future implantation in southern females. That might make a big difference. Also I think the relocation of 5 northern rhino from Congo to Kenya must be brought forward if the population is to survive at all. It has been demonstrated that the big Garamba park is just to vulnerable from attacks by insurgents and poachers. From 35 to 10 or so rhino is a sad reminder.

    Hopefully, more positive news in the near future.