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Regional collection plans vs. import ban.

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Kifaru Bwana, 8 Jul 2006.

  1. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    People,

    I would like to open a new thread regarding the regional collection plan for Australia.

    What with this phasing out of species and the non-desirable effect of the import ban on population management. What should zoos do to combat the problem?

    What species do you think should be maintained in the region? So how can we circumvent this current birds and hoofstock import ban that is seriously endangering the long term genetic base of zoo animals in Australia?

    Consider all you have said in the the thread what species would you like to see in Australia. And comment from there on the way forward for Australian zoos. I personally guess it must be an official follow-up by ARAZPA as representative of the zoo community in Australia approaching the central and state governments.

    Any thoughts on this ....???

    Jelle
     
    Last edited: 8 Jul 2006
  2. ZooPro

    ZooPro Well-Known Member

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    It's probably worth remembering that it is the zoos and aquariums themselves, as members of ARAZPA, who jointly compile collection plans in Australia. Each of these institutions compiles their own institutional collection plans, and they then work with each other to develop regional collection plans.

    Of course, import bans have an impact on the species that are included (or not) in collection plans, but aside from these restrictions, the plans are developed by the zoos and aquariums, and are not imposed upon them.
     
  3. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Jelle, From what I have seen over the years in Australia it appears to me our major problem is our major zoos - bar one are Goverment run and we all know how backward and SLOW some goverment departments can be to do anything, this Elephant issue is just a case in point, as we have alreadly spoken about how far our zoos are lagging behind the rest of the zoo world in regards to Elephant breeding and slow to catch on and kept up with the times, Another problem which we have also meationed is the very small number of zoos in our region compared with Europe and North America, I guess not to much can be done about this apart from foucusing more on the few zoos which we do have. One problem also was that we were along distance from everwhere but with the transport today where we can fly very large animals on Jumbo jets anywhere in the world in about 24 hours I guess this is now less of an issue than it used to be. I agree that we have some big problems that should be looked into sooner rather than later, I am finding it hard to follow where we are going in the furture apart from losing more species from our zoos. We have had a number of (Endangered) species such as Pygmy hippos with out mates for a number of years now so as a case in point I would really like to know where we are going with that one?.
     
  4. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: 8 Jul 2006
  5. ZYBen

    ZYBen Well-Known Member

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  6. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    very interesting article. it simply re-affirms the sorts of things we have been talking about here on the forum.

    the "space issue" that continually comes up just perplexes me. with so much sapce at open range zoos, like always say, i cant understand why we dont utilise them better.

    some species i am dissapointed have been ignored. why is it that dhole - who until recently were not even in our region were imported and are listed as having potential, yet jaguars (don't we have one viable pair at mogo?) are being phased out?

    whats the obsession with philippine spotted deer? forget about them! they are not here and not worth the effort. other overseas zoos bred them and our zoos support breeding them in the phillipines. they look like chital to me - a species that is found on farms in australia and in the wild in queensland. we have plenty of them for display. since, we are struggling to hold onto the species we do have, i wonder why there is such a big push for a new species that probably won't turn to many heads with the public anyway..

    the only way i see this situation being combatted seriously, is if we start constructing "conservation breeding" enclosures at dubbo, werribee and monarto.

    each should have a series of closed-to-the-public carnivore breeding facilities. therefore they need not be of expensie design for the public, just to suit the generic needs of the animals and the keepers. large enclosures can easily suit any species of big cat, wild dog and smaller ones for species like binturong, coati and small cats.

    likewise asian grassland trails at werribee and monarto would significantly increase our zoos capacity for many asian species that live in rainforest and open grassland habitats. these include fishing cats, otters, dusky langurs, porcupines, indian rhino, nilgai and a host of other deer and other bovine species.

    if african antelopes are on the way out - an asian grassland is a good alternative (since so many of the ungulate species are feral/farm stock) to keep up public interest and a good collection of hoofstock.

    the same can be said for south american grassland exhibits. they could increase capacity for tapir, capuchin, marmoset and maned wolves....

    de brazza guenon and colobus monkeys live in both rainforest and savannah. second groups of these species could be displayed on the open range, and still keep with the grassland theme...

    and a consolodation of our african anntelope species seems in order. what species are we definately keeping? eastern bongo live in the jungle and savannahs and everybody seems to love them they are an obvious choice. so too are eland, springbok (in NZ) and waterbuck since we have reasonble herd sizes. breed them up - and don't worry about importing imala, spotted deer or any other "new" species at this stage...

    (though i wouldn't say no to an okapi!:))

    in any event its good to see that our zoos are well aware of the crisis that face them....
     
  7. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    well pat for once, i nearly totally agree!

    the thing is money, we would love them, but we carnt afford the efoort involved, i mean minimal facilities are needed for them at open range, but the fact is money for aquisitions, plus getting surplus stock from overseas.

    another point is, i no for a fact dubbo has heaps of off scences breeding, capacity for breeding,

    dubbo has a second wild dog group that is the prim breeders, that are never on public display apart from tours,

    and the tiger and lion afcilities have space for upto 8 of each species,

    the black rhino facilities,

    white rhino breeding area is huge, like half the size of taronga,

    and the native animals off breeding has the potential, but not the animals, but in past they have breed heaps of native mammal, like bibly and mala, as well as off scences reseach areas for wombats and mallefowl.

    and about manned wolves, dubbo has had to put breeding on hold as no other zoo can now take dubbos surplus, u my see 2 on exhibit, but theres at least another 10 off exhibit.

    and the cheetah behind scences encompasses 10 animals, plus about 7-8 pens, and 2 x 2.5 acre runs,

    plus another 4-5 exmples i dont want to list cause its so many hehe


    again its all money, dubbo has potential for endangered species, but its taronga getting it all, out of the 245 million dollar package, dubbo got 35 mill, and most has been spent on just upgrades, its again taronga wanting to make money. really sad hay.
     
  8. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    oh, you agree with me all the time Zoo_Boy!!! you just like to say you don't.
     
  9. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Zoo Boy,

    What about giving some surplus maned wolf to Argentinian zoos (La Plata, Temaiken and Buenos Aires, Parque Florencio) to set up a new breeding project for maned wolves in situ there? Would make another vital link in the WAZA world thread of regional zoo orgs and free wildlife conservation publicity for OZ!!!!

    Jelle
     
    Last edited: 9 Jul 2006
  10. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Thats a very good point Jelle and VERY good PR for what our zoos are doing to save Endangered Species. shame they could think of that themselves.
     
  11. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    thts a great idea, but its again money, or rather as you oppose how zoos spend it, 2 send jst one wolf back, it would cost in excess of 20 000 $, and dubbo just doesnt have that, taronga is using all the money on elephants, and dubbo is broke, i was told that if dubbo doesnt get any more money it may even close! taronga is stupid, its redesigned it whole zoo, and the main breedimng area of the zoo board gets no new funds.
     
  12. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    import regulations..

    does anyone know, before the blanket ban what where exactly the regulations of imports regarding more specificically birds and artiodactyls?

    assuming that the bans on these two animal groups relates directly to H15 and foot & mouth disease, does anyone know if there are sure ways to remove the risk of introducing these virus'?

    there are vaccines in place for birdflu, and the raising of birds inside incubators effectively eliminates the risk of virtually all disease one would think. effectively the animals are born into a sterile quarrantine facility. this is how auckland zoo brought in its flamingoes.

    as much as i undertand the importance of protecting our agricultural industries, surly government-funded zoos should be exempt from such regulations considering their animals remain effectively under quarrentine-like environments for life and the zoos display best practice and great responsibility with such issues.
     
  13. ZooPro

    ZooPro Well-Known Member

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    Patrick,

    Biosecurity Australia and AQIS regulate the import of (amongst other things) wildlife into Australia. The DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) website http://www.daff.gov.au/index.cfm and the AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) http://www.aqis.gov.au/ web site are good places to check out what is allowed and what isn't.

    Zoos in Australasia are currently undergoing discussions with Biosecurity about these stringent rules and regulations to see if the import risk assessment process can be sped up.
     
  14. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Pat, I seem to remeber they took Eggs to Auckland zoo from the UK.
     
  15. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    it was interesting to look at the document posted earlier, and the sorts of animals that where considered "viable' "potentially viable" and "phase outs" many species status listed here reflected closely what we had speculated here on the forum. there where however a few supprises. i was certain pumas where to be phased out. although they are found throught the americas they are usually more associated with the northern continent - which is not planned for representation in australasian zoos. also listed along with pumas in the "potential" category were "african leopards". though i remember until recently melbourne had black leopards of some description as well as persian leopards, i was unaware there where any purebred "african" leopards in our region. certainly if there was it would be a great thing. since i am very hopefull of our zoos holding a carefully planned collection that displays a representation of each focused habitats "keystone" species as well as a good variety of mammalian diversity overall, african leopards would be a welcome addition to the "african rainforest" at any zoo. there they will fill the niche of alpha predator that would otherwise be missing. it would be especially clever if our zoo where to aquire melanistic only leopards. thus they would be able to educate on the myth that is "black panthers" as well as display a big cat that looks substantially different from any others on display at the zoo. however since ARAZPA seems resigned to phase out of the jaguar (booo hooo!) - maybe a rosette spotted cat would seem somewhat unique....
     
  16. ZYBen

    ZYBen Well-Known Member

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    At gorge wildlife park they have i think 4 Black Leopards i don't know if they are africans?
     
  17. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    importation of birds etc into Australia

    My understanding is that it is easier for you ( Australia zoos) to obtain birds , and probably most other animals from NZ , due to the extreme , though probably required , biosecurity standards imposed by NZ for wildlife at zoos .
    There is alot less risk of getting diseased animals from zoos here .

    My understanding ( although I can stand to be corrected ) was that the eggs were seperated from the main batch , and the birds were reared in near quarantine conditions , and then the best ones were selected for the transfer to NZ ( to undergo yet more quarantine ) All in all it was a very long tedious and expensive business .

    The following is an extract from the Auckland Zoos website re the whole flamingo import business . Its a pity that the animals cant come in pairs like in Noahs day ! I cannot stress enough the fact that NZs biosecurity laws are Draconian tough ..... this is the sort of thing which has to happen just to get a few birds !

    Because of New Zealand’s biosecurity laws, the process of importing these flamingos was a long and complicated one. Auckland Zoo’s Exotic Bird team leader Michael Batty spent several months at Slimbridge Zoo in England, where he saw these chicks through their incubation and hatching, and hand-reared them at this facility for the first two months of their lives. When the chicks were between the ages of 6 and 10 weeks, they were flown to Auckland and quarantined at the Zoo for some weeks before settling into their present enclosure.
     
    Last edited: 17 Jul 2006
  18. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    i assume the flamingoes are yet to breed at auckland. i know they are very long lived birds - have they reached sexual maturity yet? when i was in brazil i visited a bird park that was breeding flamingoes despite them being in very small groups. they where experimenting with the use of mirrors to trick the birds into feeling like they where in a larger flock. running the legnth of their mudbank ran a wall of tall mirrored perspex sheets making a slight inwards arc. this slight variation of angles in the mirrors meant that each individual flamingo was reflected in multiple mirrored sheets and thus the flock did not have the illusion of simply being doubled as a flat wall would acheive. instead their appeared to be 5 times as many. tape recordings of calls a large flock of wild birds added to the effect and i was supprised to see that most flamingoes where nesting despite being in a group of maybe only ten or so.

    aucklands group at around 18 is quite small and no doubt such a simple an inexpensive technique would work well for them if they are having trouble..

    i expect it will be a long time before we can expect any sent here though. since flamingoes practice a "the more the merrier" attitude, breeding better (and arguably looking better) the bigger the flock, most zoos choose to let their flocks grow as big as possible rather that be quick to pass excess birds on.
     
  19. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    response

    you are correct Patrick --- the birds are still very young .
    My understanding is that they have settled well here in there new home
    There have been no big issues with them that couldnt be dealt with to date
    Give them a few years ......