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Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Zuki-pah, 12 May 2006.

  1. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    palm squirrels

    interesting stuff. the indian palm squirrel was imported into australia so it could be introduced free-ranging to the grounds of both taronga zoo in sydney and the perth zoo. today they can still be found wild in perth all within a few kilometer radius of the original zoo release site. they are subject to an eradication program, i believe, only outside of this area (anyone know anything more about this?). the sydney colony died out as did the american grey squirrels that used to roam the parklands of melbourne.

    palm squirrels create a very loud whistling or chirping sound that i had always assumed was made by birds. it wasn't until i saw it for myself that i eventually lost a bet with an indian man and had to concede that the very irritating noise i could hear was in fact from one of the squirrels that scurried, gecko like, up the building walls of virtually every city i have ever visited in sri lanka and india.

    they are nonetheless quite an attractive little creature - though probably not what you first expect when you think of a squirrel. unlike european species they tend to stay on four legs (they dont sit up - acorn in hand) and are quite small - therefore baring more resemblence to striped rats with bushy tails!
     
    Last edited: 7 Jun 2006
  2. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    this is not the first time a female has been sent to werribee to be matched with one of the zoos cheetah boys. i believe the last feamle came from monarto and i am not sure if she returned to our neighbouring sate pregnant or if the pairing was unsucessful. either way, no cheetah cubs have ever been born at werribee. i wonder what happened to melbournes cheetah pair - and why perth zoo still has only one lone female when there have been, for many years, so many batchelor cheetah in australia?
     
  3. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    I had been thinking along these lines as well for a while, i cant understand why some of these zoos are not keeping both sexes with breeding them in mind. They are endangered so whats the go?, any ideas on that.
     
  4. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Monarto zoo has bred them, I think they had a large litter about two years ago, two of which now live at Australia zoo.
     
  5. Zooish

    Zooish Well-Known Member

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    From what I know, to successfully breed cheetahs, males and females should be kept seperately, only to be brought together during mating season. Perhaps some zoos don't have the facilities to house 2 groups at the same time.

    Also, each zoo may specialize in breeding specific animals, concentrating resources and effort on a few endangered species.
     
  6. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    yes keeping the sexes apart seems to be the best way to breed Cheetahs untill the females come into heat. I would say Werribie zoo would have the space and facilities to house females Cheetahs seperate, this would be one for Pat as this is his area, so its over to you Pat.
     
  7. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    re the cheetah cubs.
    Lulu ( or lula depending on which paper you read) was the female that was sent to Werribee to breed. Unfortuanetly she didn't conceive. She is the female that has had 2 Litters in the past four years at Monarto. A total of 9 cubs I think.
    Perth zoo tried to artificially inseminate their female. A cub was conceived and born but it suffered from major organ problems, kidney, heart etc that it died not long after.
    Orana Park has also bred cheetah, two or three litters in the past but for a long time all their cheetahs were siblings. Theynow have an unrelated pair so hopefully will breed again soon. It really is important that the sexes are kept apart until the right time. Also it seems that more than one female cheetah in the area will prevent all but one of the females from breeding. So we end with the situation with the white rhino where the same cheetah females are alwats the ones to breed.
    Jai
     
  8. ZYBen

    ZYBen Well-Known Member

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    No Lulu had 3 cubs teh first time and 8 teh second, 2 of the 8 died
     
  9. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    this is fantastic news! this means that the cincinnati zoo pair have now not only replaced themselves statistically (by a male and female birth) but that any offspring born from here on is a growth to the population. they are proven breeders and lets hope they can just keep em breeding another 3 or 4 times like they said.

    with so much success at cincinnati it makes me wonder why the projects back in malaysia and indonesia are proving so disasterously unsuccessful.
    you would assume their is a high level of experience sharing and dialogue between the american zoo and asian breeding centres. hopefully, we will see a breakthrough in asia soon. the article seems a little confusing though with its info.

    i thought andalas was the first-born calf? and are rhinos being sent back to asia or are more rhinos being sent to the US?

    i would like to see andalas and his siblings sent back to asia and in return cincy to recieve another pair. i think at this critical stage, securing a zoo population in the US should come second to just securing a breeding population in asian breeding centers. logistically this is easier to co-ordinate efforts and pairings. the reason i mention this is that i read a statement some years back from the LA zoo which seemed to infer that if the LA zoo couldn't get their hands on a female, then they would never breed andalas. obviously the thought of selflessly sending him to asia never came into their heads!

    however, cincy zoo have proven to have been the people responsible for the only breakthrough(s) with breeding the rhinos. i say, when your on a good thing stick with it! they need another pair....

    great stuff!
     
  10. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    He is so cute Zuki, I wish we could have a breeding group of Grevys Zebras at WPZ, maybe in the largest African paddock, yer.
     
  11. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    Patrick you are giving cross messages here.
    What is the point of breeding the sumatran rhinos in captivity. Yes this is a proven pair but so what? It is extremely unlikely that Indonesia or Malaysia are going to agree to further captures of wild rhinos. The others in captivity don't seem to be able to breed. Even if another breeding pair is created then what? As you quite rightly say, there will need to be dozens of such pairs, all unrelated.
    It is good news, and on a selfish point of view I am glad but there really is no point.
     
  12. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    of breeding rhinos...

    sumatran rhinos are one of those species thats not a little bit endangered - they are seriously endangered. i'm sure jay, you are aware that there are just 300 or so left and that these are broken up into even smaller isolated groups in sumatra, borneo and penninsular malaysia often in numbers as low as 10-30.

    if you say i am giving mixed messages because of my views on elephants, then i will explain how i differentiate between the two. you and i have had discussions for some years now and you should know that i am by no means opposed to keeping animals in captivity, elephants or otherwise. but i do like to see it done right and for the right reasons.

    in the situation with sumatran rhinos - captive breeding could be a potentially life-saving tool for this species. without going off on a crazy google searh for the next half hour i will guess that there are about 10-20 captive sumatran rhinos in the world. there are a few in indonesian and malaysian zoos, a few in breeding centers (that, as you said are having no luck at breeding so far) and the few in the states.

    personally, i'm inclined to say that the situation with these animals is so bad that i would like to see all the rhinos removed from zoos and go into breeding centers. that to me would be locically the best scenario to induce breeding by giving animals a greater choice of mates and keeping options open for mangement. however, so far the breeding centers have failed miserably. one center recently lost all its rhino, due to alledgedly to lax hygene standards. this is not due to the rhino being non-breeders, many are young enough and should be reproducing (emi by the way, is no spring chicken). it is ironically a zoo in a freezing cold climate in cincinnati that is having the only sucess with breeding. and on account of the fact that they are breeding so well - i think it would be foolish to move them.

    what i want to see is the experts in america work hand in hand with the breeding centers. spend time there real time there and fund upgrades and importantly labs/equipment for hormone monitoring.

    but, as i said, in my last post - the last thing i want to see is american zoos try and start up a sumatran rhino breeding program again. absolutely not. no, the situation is so bad for these rhino that we can't risk them on half-arsed conservation in zoos. LA should send andalas back to indonesia and work with them there to breed him.

    but you have to go with whats providing results. right now thats a zoo, so i respect what they have done and think they should continue. rather than see them aquire more rhino i would like to see them have a much, much greater involvement back in asia, but at the same time i can respect that, if a decision was made to send a second pair to cincinnti to see if their experts can replicate their success, well, i suppose its something that is worth looking into. but all offspring should be going back to asia. at this last-minute stage we certainly don't need to start expanding the amount of zoos holding this species. we need to consolodate - hence why i would like to see the zoo-based rhino in asia move to the breeding centers (and if a another pair did go to cincinnatti, these zoo-rhino would be the best candidates).

    why do i think sumatran rhinos need a breeding program? because the situation in the wild is already so bad that they need human intervention, not just protection, to ensure their survival long-term. even if these small populations are protected sufficiantly, inbreeding will eventually become a problem and animal translocation will become nescersary. the breeding program is made up of animals that lived in areas doomed to become logged or areas where the population was unsustainable even in the short term. these animals are good candidates to become a founder population whose offspring will one day provide that fresh blood the wild populations need. we now have experts in america who understand rhino breeding. we have a reasonable sized captive population in southeast asian breeding centers. there needs to be very close co-operation between them if we are going to save the species.

    so a successful in-situ breeding program is of great benifit to the species because it will see captive-bred animals periodically added to protected wild populations to boost their numbers and add fresh genetics. if the breeding centers are located in these protected areas, which they are, unlike in a zoo, the animals are raised in the local climate with local vegetation and an immune system that is protective against local ailments. the chances of re-intoduction success are far greater.

    so you see jay, unlike asian elephants who, though under immense threat, still have large viable wild populations numbering in the thousands, sumatran rhinos do not and will be unlikely so survive without a degree of human intervention. protection alone is the biggest issue facing elephants.

    with such as small wild population, the captive sumatran rhinos are of real asset (unlike other zoo populations of a species who although often are represented in very large numbers genetically they represent very little).

    zoos are not ideal places for breeding such a rare species, but since one is having success at doing so it would be foolish not to utilise it.
     
  13. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    great reply!!
     
  14. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    thanks jay, i like to think i know a thing or two about a thing or two! :)

    i just read some current sumatran rhino news on the web. seems plans are in place to send andalas to the breeding center in indonesia!!!

    they only have one bull and he is not having much luck at breeding with the females there. i would love to know which indonesian/malaysian zoos have them and their age, sex etc..

    zoo negara, zoo melaka and ragunan zoo i believe all have sumatrans.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2006
  15. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Hi Zuki, the only ones I know of were up at tipperay cattle station, they had around 6 i think, dont know if they are still there, i hope so, they are stunning animals, and also the largest Zebra species and as you said people can compare them with the other plains Zebras, also they are endangerd so captive breeding is important for them.