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Pacarana's Madagascar Exhibit

Discussion in 'Fantasy Zoos' started by Pacarana, 1 Mar 2015.

  1. Pacarana

    Pacarana Well-Known Member

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    Hello all, just a bit of fun here. I don't do this too often but for years I have been intrigued by the flora and fauna of madagascar as well as the species in zoos so I decided to write up a "master list" of sorts for an exhibit. I have spent nearly two years on this list. Collecting information on the species in captivity in zoos and the imports in Europe, Japan and America. Obviously I have only sporadically edited it as the years went by but now I feel that I am at my limit of research on my own. I know that many of you dislike pointless lists of animals, as do I, so please understand that I will involve a detailed description of my proposed exhibit once I get the inhabitants under control.

    The only species that I am missing are a majority of plants and inverts, otherwise I will post a list of the proposed species. I am writing for input on the species that I mention as well as available inverts and flora. I have tried to make it as realistic as possible while still hoping to create the king of all Madagascar exhibits.

    I am welcome criticism and need critiques to form an exhibit as realistic as possible.

    The list will be up shortly...
     
  2. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

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    sounds interesting
     
  3. Pacarana

    Pacarana Well-Known Member

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    I have not purposed a location for this fantasy exhibit. But I want it to be neutral in animal availability, meaning I don't want the species collection to favor American acquisitions over European collections or be too heavy on either side. Please inform why you think its implausible or ok to exhibit a certain species.

    I will start with mammals because it seems that most people know more and they are overall easier to research.

    Mammals:

    - Lesser hedgehog tenrec - easiest to obtain
    - Greater hedgehog tenrec - harder but still some floating around in private hands
    - Lowland streaked tenrec
    - Highland streaked tenrec - Both the streaks are available for import for thousands of dollars. Almost all zoo collection have collapsed. Very expensive to feed and most have a strong colony. If I were to have them I would need a lot of space. But overall they are a huge interest to me and I feel like they would bring the tenrec collection together.
    - Common tenrec - Easy to acquire from Germany/Czech. I have heard some generations have skin defects. would need to watch bloodline.
    Does anyone know if Simon's Rodents still have malagasy contacts?
    - Malagasy jumping rat - easy species to get.
    - Other rodents? These were just the most common but are other species in a foreseeable incline, population wise, in zoos.


    - Fossa - ssp so would obviously be easy to get
    - Fanaloka - I have seen quite a few show up in imports
    - Ring-tailed mongoose - I feel like this one would be harder to acquire. Would probably need to work with other zoos to get a pair. I haven't seen any come in
    - Narrow-striped mongoose - Same as ring-tail. Would need to work with zoos. Not sure how the breeding record is or if any are surplused…

    - Aye-aye - prolific in American zoos
    - Grey mouse lemur - also prolific
    - Fat-tailed dwarf lemur - a bit harder to come by these days. Would have to work with Duke to get some…
    - Any other dwarf species? I know greater, coquerel's and goodman's are in a couple European zoos as well as Duke.

    - Coquerel's sifaka - Shouldn't be too hard to get a pair or surplus from Duke
    - Crowned sifaka - Not sure about this species? If my zoo was in US it would probably be impossible. If it was in Europe, would it be easier? I feel like I have to choose one or the other. Are any other Propithecus species plausible to import?

    - Ring-tailed lemur
    - Red ruffed
    - Black and white (sub-species?)
    - Sclater's lemur - Not too sure with this one. There seems to be a larger geriatric population in us and euro than an actual viable one. Not sure how many successful births there have been in recent years. Defiantly would be of high interest though…
    - Crowned lemur
    - Common brown? not sure if its really relevant to exhibit
    - Black lemur ? also not sure how relevant as captive populations are in serious decline
    - White-fronted - probably not, all are too old.
    - Red-bellied lemur - Is this species mostly found in Europe? I don't foresee a strong presence of this species in us. Maybe not too realistic for a neutral zoo. If exhibited, I would probably have to pick either location.
    - Mongoose lemur - easy
    - Lac Alaotra bamboo lemur - This species would be a key species in my zoo. Which means I would need to be in Europe. How probable would it be to import a couple to America?
    - Other bamboo lemur species? Europe seems to have a handle on a couple other lessers and some greater births here and there. I have a feeling that it wouldn't be realistic for me to have more than one bamboo lemur in the zoo. Thoughts?
    - Other lemur species?

    Its already very expensive with the species as it is, so I should probably downsize even if this is the king of all Madagascar exhibits.

    I was also thinking of including Rodriguez fruit bat and Livingstone's flying fox. Though they are not malagasy specific, I plan to have an "off-shore islands" exhibit.

    Though this exhibit location is undecided, that's why I am finding neutral species at first, I know I want to have it in a more tropical setting so most animals can have outdoor access. I do not plan on housing a majority indoors. I also want to incorporate biotope exhibits. It seems unrealistic outside… Thoughts?
     
  4. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

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    you seem to have put a lot of time and effort into this! I'm certain the finished project will be amazing. I think you have chosen great species and I agree with all of the difficulty's
     
  5. Pacarana

    Pacarana Well-Known Member

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    I know there are a lot of bird savy people on here so I need a lot of help in the avian department as I am not to learned on the feathered friends. Especially the ones from madagascar… If you will throw out some expert opinions on this list and its realism, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Birds:

    -Bernier's teal
    - Meller's duck
    - Madagascar pong heron
    - madagascar crested ibis
    - Madagascar turtle dove
    - Grey-headed love bird
    - Red fody
    - Greater and Lesser vasa - I have seen both in private hands in America. Not sure of their captive status in Europe. Also do AZA collections pay any attention to sub-species? Should I?
    - Crested coua
    I have seen this species to be the most prevalent… Would other coua be possible to include?
    - Madagascar button-quail
    - Madagascar partridge, margaroperdix madagascarensis
    - Mauritius pink pigeon
    Are there any other endemic off-shore islands birds in captivity?

    I am looking for mainly endemic birds. I also want to incorporate the birds into other exhibits than just aviaries. Of course it is easier and cost effective to place many in an aviary but I feel like its a cop-out to not exhibit them with more individuality… Personally I was thinking I could place a couple of the aquatics with bamboo lemurs. Maybe love birds and fodies with lemurs? Free ranging partridge/quail in the biotope gardens? Thoughts and opinions?
     
  6. Pacarana

    Pacarana Well-Known Member

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    I am a huge reptile and amphibian guy so I got carried away with the list. Before I post I will shorten it as it is impossible to exhibit all the malagasy species available in captivity. It would be really awesome to have that many but completely unrealistic as many are shy/un-charasmatic (Phelsuma inexpectata/velvet gecko/keeled lizard…)

    I was also concerned with the cost of lighting and zoo keeping. With the amount I have listed, I would need a staff of a regular sized reptile house… Maybe if I expand this dream zoo than I can add species in a reptile house but for now I will condense and post later.
     
  7. Pacarana

    Pacarana Well-Known Member

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    I also think I should mention that though I am wanting a very naturalistic exhibit that caters to guests visually/amenity wise, I really want a stronger focus on conservation and keeper accessibility. As of now I am facing a dilemma of keeping Aye-aye outside behind the scenes or inside (nocturnally) for guests to view. I know they breed readily with a lighting switch but are there health benefits to exhibiting with outdoor accessibility?
     
  8. Pacarana

    Pacarana Well-Known Member

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    I have not researched thoroughly on the eco-regions of madagascar but exhibit wise I was thinking of splitting it up into six zones.

    - Spiney forest - could I get real baobabs?
    - Central Savanna/rocky outcroppings - high conservation message throughout
    - Lake Alaotra - A little more reserved. Probably more access area with isolated exhibits
    - Limestone mountains - more visual/for the guests
    - Rainforest - most of my animals will be located here so probably largest part of the exhibit. Biotope?
    - Off-shore islands - should I scatter these animals throughout or separate into another exhibit?
     
  9. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    What a very interesting and well planned out exhibit. I look forward to more!
    :)
     
  10. Meilimonkey

    Meilimonkey Well-Known Member

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    I really like the rodent section.

    Streaked tenrecs are an animal I have been dreaming to see!