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Oceanário de Lisboa Lisbon Oceanarium

Discussion in 'Portugal' started by filipinos, 13 Jun 2013.

  1. filipinos

    filipinos Well-Known Member

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    So, I think it´s time for Portugal´s Main Attraction to have an own thread.

    [​IMG]

    The Lisbon Oceanarium has a large collection of species, including birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and other marine animals totaling about 18,000 individuals of 600 species.

    Recent News:
    Two Port Jackson Shark were born, and the aquarium says they are most likely the first born in public aquariums.

    [​IMG]
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=614438435233678&set=vb.143789275631932&type=3&theater

    The Aquarium made 15 years some days ago and is almost reaching the 18 Milion Visitors mark.
    ---

    Also, I´m probably going to visit the aquarium tomorrow. Anything to notice? To do? To ask?
     
  2. filipinos

    filipinos Well-Known Member

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    I'm Sorry but I have been here for 40 minutes trying to change the size of the second pic and I can't reach the Edit button due to its size. You can delete it.

    You can also delete this post.

    Thanks.
     
  3. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    "Amalia" the only breeding female sea otter in Europe has died.
     
  4. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member 15+ year member Premium Member

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    The new issue of Zoo Grapevine (excellent, as always!) highlights the city of Lisbon with a 7-page section that features detailed reviews of the Vasco Da Gama Aquarium, Lisbon Zoo and Lisbon Oceanarium. While the latter establishment is hailed as an iconic aquarium that is amongst the finest anywhere, there is also a lot of references to very poor labeling throughout the facility. Tim Brown, the reviewer, heaped praise on most of the exhibits but he made continual reference to the lack of labels altogether in some sections and very disappointing signs throughout the aquarium. Is this something that other ZooChatters have noticed, and is the aquarium aware of its deficiencies in this matter? It is not every day that one can see a Devil Ray, or Sea Otter, or an Ocean Sunfish, but it would be nice if all the inhabitants at the aquarium had proper labels on their tanks.
     
  5. ralph

    ralph Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Yes, it is true that many of the species kept in the Oceanario are not labeled. Usually the species in the smaller tanks are all labeled, but the fish in the big themed aquaria are not.
    The Global Ocean has signige, but it is imcomplete.

    Then again, some tanks have an amount of species that would require lots of signage - and who's gonna read all of that anyway.
     
  6. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    A brilliant review, as you say. As Tim mentions, the amphibian exhibit does have flip cards on the sides featuring a variety of species. I completely missed these on my first visit, and on my second visit I realised that all species on display do have their own profile cards, and these are usually marked (although I can't remember how - perhaps with a coloured sticker to denote that they were on display?)
    I got the impression that signage for the smaller tanks had deteriorated considerably since my 2011 visit, with relatively big features (e.g. eels and monkfish in a nicely-presented bottom-dweller tank) being omitted from signage.
    Signage for species in the global ocean tank is very poor. There is little hope of enthusiasts being able to identify an obscure-looking specimen based on aquarium signage alone. Most of the larger viewing windows have a large sign featuring a theme or a species, e.g. predators/camouflage..., with a main species and perhaps a few others mentioned briefly.
    Although educational and interesting, this is certainly insufficient for what should be one of Europe's top marine exhibits.

    I disagree. Even just having a scientific and common name would be better than nothing. This is a great opportunity to inspire and educate people, and when seeing an unusual fish, most people would wish to know what it is. Last November I went round with a friend who struggled to identify more interesting fish from available signage alone. I find that there's rarely a good excuse to leave specimens on display unlabelled. I wouldn't expect everyone to read every sign, but they should be there for the few who would be looking for them.
     
  7. ralph

    ralph Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    The Oceanario's education/signage focuses more on conceps like camouflage, symbiosis, schooling, as well as geographical education instead of just pointing out all the species you'll be able to find in each of it's aquaria. Most people won't remember a lot of the names of some of the species they have seen, but they will remember the creatures themselves when displayed properly and with the right education.

    I think people will have more interest in the symbiosis between anemonefish and anemone than the exact (scientific, english or portuegese) names of those species. The tree-band anemonefish will be a ''Nemo'' anyway and so will be other kinds of anemonefish.

    Sure, both kinds of education would be best, but too many signage might have counterproductive results. Most people are only willing to read small bits of information when visiting a zoo. Instead of having hundreds pieces of signage which are read only occassionally, it might be a better choice to have less, but more appealing education.
     
  8. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    I visited yesterday while holidaying in Estoril, but only came here as it was chucking it down. The saving grace for me were the "Sea Otters" that I think were labelled Fur Seals. I'm completely ignorant about such mammals and am a bit confused.
     
  9. MikeG

    MikeG Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    The Oceanarium has obtained a small group of Lesser Devil Rays (Mobula hypostoma); probably the only ones in Europe.
     
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  10. Sneeuwpanter

    Sneeuwpanter Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    I'm going in october of this year. How many seaotters are the now ? And how old are they ?

    Do they still have the Giant Sunfish ?
     
  11. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Last september they still had 2 female sea otters and one sunfish. The sunfish wasn't giant, but still about 1.5 meters high, which was impressive enough ;)
     
  12. ralph

    ralph Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Yes, 2 sea otters (as of my latest visit in november 2017)
    Also there were 2 sunfish in november 2017, the giant one that has been there for years now and a younger, smaller individual. (Not sure why lintworm didn't see the giant one in september - perhaps it was behind the scenes at the time)
    The Mobula mobular was also still around as well as a couple of the smaller
    Mobula hypostom (5 or 6).
    The last remaining North American Blackish oystercatcher in an European zoo was still there too.
     
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  13. LARTIS

    LARTIS Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    The translation on instagram might be wrong ;)but if not two new (male) sea otters arrived recently

    I have read many times here on zoochat that those otters are castrated

    If so why and why do they always import different sex couples for each of the collections ?

    That looks rather like establishing a breeding population
     
  14. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    From the website

    Oceanário de Lisboa has welcomed two new inhabitants, Odi and Kasi, two sea otters that were born in Alaska, in March and July 2017 respectively. The two juvenile males came from Alaska SeaLife Center, a marine animal rehabilitation facility that rescued and rehabilitated these otters, which couldn’t be returned to their natural habitat. Their names come from the locations where they were found: Odi was rescued close to Odiak Lagoon and Kasi was found in the Kasilof region.

    These two new sea otters will now be companions to the females Micas and Maré, born in the Oceanário 18 and 20 years ago, respectively.

    According to Núria Baylina, the Curator and Director of Conservation at the Oceanário, “the adaptation process of these sea otters has been successful. They spent 30 days in quarantine, being constantly monitored until they were perfectly adapted to their new conditions. Their introduction into the Pacific habitat and their presentation to the two female sea otters have been a success”.

    Oceanário de Lisboa welcomes these sea otters which were rescued by the Alaska SeaLife Center in a very weak state, both less than a year old. In these cases, their reintroduction into the natural habitat is not possible, since it is during the first year of their life that young learn the basic rules of survival with their mothers, including how to find food and take care of their fur.
    Support from the Oceanário was vital to guarantee all the care necessary for the survival of these two animals after their rescue.

    By welcoming these two new sea otters, Oceanário de Lisboa strengthens its commitment to the protection of marine biodiversity and to raise visitors’ awareness of ocean conservation.
     
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  15. Jakub

    Jakub Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Hi zoochatters,
    in the middle of July I do plan a visit to Lisbon Oceanarium for the first time and would like to ask some questions. Do they still have following species - Devil Ray, Ocean Sunfish and Black Oystercatcher ? How many Sea Otters do they have and what is the sex ratio ?
    Thanks for your help,

    Jakub
     
  16. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member 10+ year member

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    Having visited a little over a month ago, I can tell you they still have all three of the species you asked about - although the Black Oystercatcher is now unlabelled and we would have missed it were it not for the fact we happened to be at the Sea Otter exhibit when a keeper put some food out for it and it emerged from the vegetation.

    They have 2,2 Sea Otter.
     
  17. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member 15+ year member Premium Member

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    I've also been to Lisbon recently; I recommend that, in addition to the Oceanarium, you also visit the Vasco da Gama Aquarium.
     
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  18. zooboy

    zooboy Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    ..and also the Zoo. Worth mentioning that the labelling of species is better in the Aquario Vasco da Gama that at Oceanario, but far from comprehensive.
     
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  19. jwer

    jwer Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Just visited the Oceanario yesterday and still gathering my thoughts.

    It’s basically two levels in a square building with a giant square tank in the middle. The top level gives you great sights into the main tank in the middle and 4 large walk-through aviaries, which are set above 4 large aquariums in every corner of the building.

    The lower level gives you more sights into the main tank, the 4 corner tanks and a lot of smaller tanks.

    The 4 corner tanks with aviaries above are themed Atlantic (with puffins, razorbills and guillemots), south America (with magellanic penguins, inca terns and a single rockhopper), Pacific (with a single American oystercatcher and sea-otters) and Tropical (with a rainforest-themed botanical section above).

    The main tank annoys me. It contains far too many species and far too many specimens of species that have little conservation value. 2 large mola’s, a single large devilray, several devilrays of a smaller species, a single sand tiger shark, quite a few sand bar sharks, 2 guitar ray species and so much more. I doubt any of these breed and therefore the aquarium most have a constant influx of new animals. What bugs me is that I loved it. You can just sit there, on a bench for hours and still see something new every minute. It was an insane sight, and something in me hopes Burgers throws some more animals into their main tank. A few of those little devil rays would really liven up things.

    The first of the 4 corner exhibits, the Atlantic one is also incredible. It’s everything Blijdorp’s Bass Rock should have been. You can get really close to the birds, with unimpeded sight and a massive aquarium full of fish underneath. The penguins are OK, with sharks in their tank (cool), the pacific zone is barely adequate (I found only the one oystercatcher in the aviary and the sea-otter exhibit is on the small side). The tropical section is odd, with a nice greenhouse section without any animals in it?

    On the bottom level, there are quite a few extra tanks with species like the 2 seadragons, chimaera, pacific giant octopus, cuttlefish, etc. Very cool, but also species where captive breeding isn’t the main source of animals yet afaik...

    A small, well made section for amphibians was nice but did not contain 1 sign for any of it’s inhabitants, which imo is rediculous.

    All I can say is, with all it’s flaws, it is a must visit aquarium with the main tank blowing me away and the atlantic section setting the bar for how such an exhibit should be done.
     
  20. OkapiJohn

    OkapiJohn Well-Known Member

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    Of course, none of those large pelagic species reproduce, and yes they are harvested from the ocean. A very small number of aquarium species actually are reproduced in captivity. Manta rays, Molas, whale sharks, Octopi, sea dragons, some species of sharks, much tropical reed fish etc... aren't possible to reproduce so far. Either because it is not possible or because our knowledge about their reproductive biology is still unknown (which is pretty common for marine species). These animals are harvested, or rescued from bycatching and in such small number that their impact on wild populations is very little. The aquarium only buys fish from Flying Sharks, De Jong Marinelife (which are certificated as using sustainable techniques of harvest and transport of the animals, recognized by EAZA) and trades with other aquariums, most frequently Le Oceonographic Valencia.

    The sea otters enclosure has a backstage zone that the animals can use but it is not visible to the guests. And it is one of the best in Europe or maybe in the world. Where do you find a tank with otters that also houses fish and sharks? And fully covered of natural rock? And in the past, it had fake kelps and real starfish and anemones (that were removed when Odiak and Kasilov arrived since they were destroying them). It is also one of the few European aquariums to have reproduced the species.

    The tropical section (the Indian ocean Habitat) had in times birds from Seychelles, East Africa, and Mascarenes Islands. Over time the animals were passing away and never restocked and at the time of the outbreak of bird flu the aquarium decided by precaution to phase out their tropical birds. There are possible ideas to introduce something in that nice tropical forest but it seems no decision has been taken so far.

    The amphibian exhibition really misses a lot of info, to be honest. I have worked there for a year and a half (in another section) and I don't know even which species exist there.

    Their last rockhopper penguin passed away last year. David was quite old at nearly 30years old if I am not mistaken.

    It is the best zoological institution in Portugal and it does incredible work in education and conservation, but I would say its main flaw is lack of ambition to innovate a little bit. They are stuck to a very good formula that works amazingly and that makes the whole aquarium feel magic. But trying something new sometimes is also good. Many aquariums around the world look like children's playgrounds or shopping centres. Oceanário has the incredible magic to really look like a serious educational and scientific exhibition that still fascinates children and adults with no need for lights, colours or music, just the animals and their enclosures is enough.

    It was announced in 2019 that the aquarium plans to expand by constructing a new building near its Administrative building. This building will include a new large aquarium but its theme is still unknown and I am quite sure that the pandemics might have delayed everything for a couple of years as the aquarium has run on negative for the first time since its opening.

    Maré, their oldest sea otter, turned 23yrs old last 2nd of May. She was the first to be born there in 1998 when the aquarium was opened to the public for the first time. She might be perhaps the oldest sea otter in captivity in the world. It is the oldest in Europe for sure.
     
    Last edited: 7 May 2021
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