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Olm-breeding

Discussion in 'Slovenia' started by vogelcommando, 8 Feb 2016.

  1. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  2. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Cool :cool: and dark too of course.
    Good luck to them.

    Alan
     
  3. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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  4. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  5. MikeG

    MikeG Well-Known Member

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    From today's BBC website:

    After a four-month wait, the eggs laid by a peculiar salamander in a Slovenian cave have started to hatch.
    Ghostly pale and totally blind, olms - fondly known by locals as "baby dragons" - only reproduce every 5-10 years and are thought to live to 100.

    This clutch of eggs started to appear in January in an aquarium in Postojna Cave, a tourist destination where the creatures have lived for millennia.
    Observing baby olms develop and hatch is a rare opportunity for science.
    The first of 23 developed eggs hatched on 30 May; a second baby olm was slowly wriggling out of its egg on Wednesday night.
    "It is the end of one part of the story and the beginning of a whole new chapter: feeding and living without the egg," said Saso Weldt, who looks after and studies the olms at Postojna Cave.

    He told BBC News nobody witnessed the first egg hatching, but the moment was captured thanks to an infrared camera.
    "I was in the cave doing some other biological work. Since we have all the eggs on an IR camera, we saw that one was missing. Then you rewind and suddenly you realise, something has happened."
    Mr Weldt and his colleagues hope to see a full count of 23 healthy hatchlings within a few weeks.

    The staff at Postojna have been consulting amphibian experts to help them care for the fragile eggs, including a French team that has studied the olms in an underground mountain lab since the 1950s.
    That laboratory is the only other place where these animals have ever been observed emerging from their eggs.
    "In the cave, in nature, they hatch all the time - but nobody here has ever seen a hatchling younger than about two years," Mr Weldt said.

    This clutch of eggs, which has captivated the Slovenian public, was laid by a single female over a period of several weeks.
    "We did not do a paternity test, so we cannot know if it was a single father or not. But it was one mother," Mr Weldt said. "She's with our colony of proteus and she's doing well."
    The eggs have been kept in a separate enclosure and watched very closely.
    Originally there were 64, but only 23 embryos developed. The rest of the eggs were unfertilised and decayed, or were lost to fungal infections in the water.
    "It's quite normal - the losses are expected," said Mr Weldt. In fact, the baby dragons' odds would likely be much worse in the wild. "In nature, out of 500 eggs let's say, two adults may arrive."
     
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  6. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  7. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  8. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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  9. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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  10. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know about the status of the captive breeding centre of this species at the Zagreb zoo ?

    I was reading the species survival blue print (from 2014) on the ZSL EDGE site earlier and it mentioned that this project was underway.

    I was just wondering whether there had been any updates in that area since that paper was published.
     
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  11. LegoOwl

    LegoOwl Member

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    Hi, you can find more about this project HERE.
    At the beginning of 2020 Zagreb zoo also open Olm exhibition. I post some photos HERE.
     
  12. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Hey thanks for sharing this @LegoOwl ! Much appreciated!

    I've been curious about how this project has been going as an olm exhibition at the Zagreb zoo was mentioned in the EDGE species action plan.
     
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  13. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, will definitely check it out, thanks for sharing :)
     
  14. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Brilliant to see this @LegoOwl !

    Great to see the effort put in to the information signage and attracting visitor attention to the exhibit:
    [​IMG]
    It looks like a decent enclosure and considering the harshness of the environmental conditions that the species has adapted to in the wild not bad at all:
    [​IMG]
    It must be quite something to see a live olm, would love to one day as have only seen long dead wet specimens:
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    There is also a group of 10 Olms on display in an artificial pond in the cave Hermannshohle in Germany. They can be seen during daily tourist tours of the cave. They come from an import in 1931, so they are at least 89 years old! This group includes both males and females. They live in a near-natural cave pool, but no special observations or attempt to breed them are made. For years it was believed that all Olms are males, and technically there is nothing to prevent eventual baby Olms from being eaten by the adults.
     
  16. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Interesting to hear of this @Jurek7.

    I believe there are also introduced populations in cave networks in Italy and France too (there is a false report out there of a population in a UK cave too).

    I imagine that they are incredibly low maintenance providing that pollutants can be kept out of the bodies of water and the temperature kept within the range suitable the second of which can be managed fairly easily in cave environments.

    Well they are cannibalistic species so this would be natural behaviour.
     
  17. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but I would love if a zoo in Germany or maybe a hobbyist amphibian keeper would loan a pair of Olms from Hermannshoehle and bred them. Or maybe some Czech zoo or Wroclaw? They are currently top in starting programs of obscure threatened species.

    Olms are threatened species, can be a symbol of threatened European biodiversity, and there is lots of interesting facts about them (like their neoteny or extreme longevity). It would be nice to see them more in zoos, even if they are a very niche interest.
     
  18. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I would like to see more zoos keeping them too.

    There has been a drive within EAZA to increase the amount of native endangered and endemic European species within zoos but I think has has mostly been towards mammals and to a lesser extent birds.

    What do you think the likelihood of zoos having an interest in this species is though ? I mean realistically speaking.
     
  19. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    I was literally one week away from going to Zagreb and seeing this exhibit last March, when everything went downhill :p
     
  20. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    Exactly the same set up, just on a slightly smaller scale (maybe 4-5 olms) in la Grotte de Clamouse in France, except the tours are on a half-hourly basis. I was lucky enough to see these olms, completely unexpectedly I might add. I was kind of freaking out while everyone else was just wondering what was wrong with me :D.