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New Zealand/New Caledonian fauna in US zoos?

Discussion in 'United States' started by Zygodactyl, 4 Jun 2016.

  1. Zygodactyl

    Zygodactyl Well-Known Member

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    The drowned continent of Zealandia is one of my favorite areas of the world, for both the flora and fauna.

    I love birds, and New Zealand and New Caledonia are dominated by an impressive array of them. Even with many of the most interesting now extinct, you still have the only corvid observed to use tools in the wild, flightless and meat-eating parrots, birds that fill the niches of badgers and squirrels, parrots with funny bifurcated crests, and the kagu.

    I love bats and New Zealand was home to two species of nearly terrestrial bats, one still extant. I love taxonomy, and New Zealand is home to a genus of reptile which is (almost literally) in a class of its own.

    I was really excited by the San Diego Zoo, which had the kagu (which I hadn't known any zoo in North America had, and kiwis (which I don't know that I've seen in the flesh before). However I missed seeing the kea because I didn't know that they had one before I went, learned about it about twenty minutes before the zoo closed, couldn't find the exhibit in time. I missed seeing the horned parakeets because when I asked about the New Caledonian crow, a staff member told me that the only birds from New Caledonia they had were the kagu.

    Though hopefully I'll visit my cousin in San Diego again sometime in the next year or two and have the opportunity to rectify this situation, I'd hate to make a similar mistake again.

    I was wondering if people know which zoos in North America and particularly the United States have animals native to New Zealand or New Caledonia? Same for Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands for that matter, though given that the most interesting of the endemic species on those islands are dead, it seems unlikely.

    In order of the species I most want to see, knowing that I will have to travel to Australasia to see at least some of them:
    1. kakapo
    2. kokako
    3. short-tailed bat
    4. kea
    5. tieke (either species)
    6. tui
    7. kagu
    8. horned parakeet
    9. new caledonian crow
    10. kiwi (any species)
    11. kaka
    12. tuatara (either species)
    13. uvea parakeet
    14. takahe
    15. weka
    16. stitchbird

    Mind you, these are just the animals that I know I really want to see; I'm sure there are animals in New Zealand and New Caledonia I would be excited to see even without knowing I want to see them.

    I know that there are no kakapo outside of New Zealand and that the only kagu in North America are in the San Diego Zoo. I know that the San Diego Zoo is the only zoo in the US with Brothers Island tuatara and doesn't exhibit them, but I don't know about North Island tuatara.

    I know that the Bronx and Smithsonian zoos have kiwis, which suggests others might, but there don't seem to be any zoos in Texas that do (at least not the San Antonio, Houston and Dallas zoos, which I checked as the most likely suspects). I know there are people in the UK and Canada who have keas as pets, which suggests they'd be relatively easy for a zoo to obtain, but again, no luck with Texas zoos. The rest of the animals on my list, I have not a clue.

    The weka, horrned parakeet, New Caledonian crow, and tui all seem like plausible zoo animals, being at worst Vulnerable in the wild and being interesting to look at (or at least to watch, in the crow's case), but again, they don't seem to be in Texas. At the other end of the spectrum, I'd be very surprised if kokakos, tiekes, stitchbirds, or short-tailed bats were found in zoos in North America, but I'd have said the same about the kagu before visiting the San Diego Zoo.

    Someday I hope to take a trip to New Zealand and New Caledonia, and I will be in heaven when I do. But for now, I'm just hoping not to miss out any any more animals from those countries in the zoos I visit in the future.
     
  2. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    The only New Zealand-animals commonly kept and bred ( at least in Europe are the Red-fronted and Yellow-fronted kakariki's.
    Maybe also some New Zealandish stick insects are still kept in privat collections but not sure about that.
    As you already know yourself also Keas are kept and bred in smaller numbers,
     
  3. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I think I must add that Paradise shelduck and New Zealand scaup and shoveller are quite common in Europe, although the brown teal and the black (or grey) duck are rarities.

    Alan
     
  4. Otter Lord

    Otter Lord Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't the San Diego Zoo also have Horned Parakeets too? I think they have an individual left in their Australasia area.
     
  5. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    There are Kagu at Houston Zoo last I was there. Tuatara at Dallas.
     
  6. Zygodactyl

    Zygodactyl Well-Known Member

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    @vogelcommando:
    Are you talking about zoos or private collections? Because while I am strongly in favor of the private keeping of exotic animals (provided they're either not endangered in the wild or have healthy captive populations), I'm asking here about zoos. Also, I know that at the very least the Weltvogelpark Walsrode has kiwis, kagus, and horned parakeets (as well as a whole lot of other birds I want to see). The problem with that is that it's in Germany

    @Otter Lord:
    It does. I just wasn't aware they had them when I visited. Which is why I need to find an excuse to visit my cousin again.

    @jbnbsn99:
    Wow, you're right! That is awesome!
    I thought the San Diego Zoo said that they're the only zoo in North America to have kagus. Maybe they said "one of the only" and I misheard.

    And if the Dallas Zoo has tuataras, I'm definitely visiting Dallas at some point, insane four-hour drive or not.
     
  7. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    Definitely has them. Probably the best views in the US. 4 hours is nothing in Texas (must not be a native!).
     
  8. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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  9. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    Lincoln Park Zoo acquired a kagu in January, though I'm not sure from where. I believe the Bronx Zoo also has or had some at one point.

    Saint Louis Zoo also has tuatara, though they aren't always on exhibit.

    North Island Brown Kiwi (the only species that ever left New Zealand) are held at Memphis, Bronx, DC, Conservation Biology Institute (off exhibit), San Diego (off exhibit), Columbus, and maybe 1-2 others.
     
  10. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  11. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    Also, the horned parakeets are indeed at San Diego, on the aviary trail. They have poor viewing, though. I did see one, but taking photos was another matter.
     
  12. Zygodactyl

    Zygodactyl Well-Known Member

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    @jbnbsn99:
    Definitely not a native, no. I'm from New England, and if I'd ever driven four hours north from where I lived then, I'd have ended up in Montreal. (My parents actually did that twice when I was a child; I had no impulse to do so myself as an adult.)

    @Chlidonias:
    Thanks. Is there a thread like that for New Caledonia, by any chance?

    That thread mentions the kea is held in 7 American zoos, but doesn't say what there are. (45 European zoos makes me very jealous.) I'm very surprised that no zoos on that thread have weka or tui. They both seem like they'd make good exhibit species and tui are Least Concern and weka--while Vulnerable--have been not gone through the dramatic population bottleneck that the kakapo and kokako did.

    And then I notice your remark that only one species of kiwi has ever left New Zealand. Does New Zealand have a ban (official or de facto) on exporting native animals ever for zoological purposes? If not, do you know if there's another reason foreign zoos don't keep weka and tui?

    @jayjds2:
    I recall seeing a kiwiless kiwi enclosure at the San Diego Zoo in 2014 and assuming they were just hiding. Are they sometimes on exhibit, or am I remembering an encounter with the kiwi enclosure at another zoo? (I've been to the Bronx Zoo many times and the DC zoo once or twice.)

    And I did do the aviary trail, or thought I did. I'm very surprised I didn't notice the horned parakeets, though if the exhibit wasn't very good, maybe I just didn't see them.
     
  13. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    The kiwi house at San Diego has been knocked down so they can build their Africa Rocks complex. As you mentioned their tuataras are off-exhibit and probably will forever be. You also mentioned that San Diego has kea, which is entirely possible, but I have never seen them there and am not aware of them if they are on exhibit.

    The Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Denver Zoo, and Franklin Park Zoo in Boston all have kea.
     
  14. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    Ah, a Yankee. I once did Houston and San Antonio Zoos in one day, starting and ending in DFW. We don't bother with the long distances here.
     
  15. Gulo gulo

    Gulo gulo Well-Known Member

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    Memphis no longer has NIB Kiwi. They went to Franklin Park in Boston a few years back.
     
  16. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    The other questions were answered, so I'll address the keas.

    Not sure about the zoos that still have them, but (last I heard) Cincinatti is the SSP coordinator with the largest amount in the US. San Diego does have two (I've met the person who reared them, interestingly enough), and they used to be on exhibit in the Children's Zoo. However, they were replaced by some macaws. I was under the impression that one left the zoo, while the other stayed to perform in a show. The amphitheater where that show was, however, is in the midst of the upcoming African Rocks, so needless to say, it isn't visible anymore. The kea was still there in December of last year, but I do not know if it will still be in that show when it reopens.
     
  17. Hyak_II

    Hyak_II Well-Known Member

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    Edmonton Valley Zoo in Canada has a pair of male Kea on display, and is actually the only public facility in all of Canada with kea's on display :)

    Not really helpful for you seeing them, but still kind of pertinent, lol.
     
  18. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    no, but it would only take a couple of minutes to list the species found outside New Caledonia.

    that was jayjds2 that said that. I would not have said that because it is not true.

    there is no "ban", but NZ generally does not send native animals outside the country.
     
  19. Zygodactyl

    Zygodactyl Well-Known Member

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    I know that kagus, horned parakeets, and New Caledonian crows are all found outside the country (the last for animal intelligence researchers; I'm less sure about zoos). Is that an exhaustive list? And do any zoos have New Caledonian crows?

    Sorry about getting your reply confused with jayjds2. Perhaps I should try to respond to one post at a time. So many people were responding at once, which is awesome (thank you guys), but clearly I got a bit inattentive.

    So if a foreign zoo tried to arrange with a New Zealand zoo to obtain tui or weka, the government would refuse to grant export permits? Or would the zoos themselves refuse?
     
  20. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    I read it on some zoo's website, so I assumed it true. When did any other species leave NZ?