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Replace a popular US zoo animal with a more endangered one

Discussion in 'Quizzes, Competitions & Games' started by CMP, 11 Dec 2020.

  1. CMP

    CMP Well-Known Member

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    I find many zoochatters often complaining about the prevalence of common species cited as 'Least ConcernĀ“ such as Meerkats, while many other species are in a seemingly much more dire situation are not kept nearly as much. While I agree to an extent, can we try to see if there are good alternatives to the commonly kept animals? They are probably commonly kept for a good reason.

    There will be 3 parts.
    Part 1: Existing animal and replacement
    Part 2: Why the replacement is similar enough to fill in a gap in the lineup (Eg. other social mongoose for Meerkat)
    Part 3: How feasible would this new animal be, how available, and what are the biggest challenges in keeping them.
     
  2. CMP

    CMP Well-Known Member

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    Animal 1: Meerkat

    Kept at around 90 or so US institutions, ranked as Least Concern, and the example used in the intro
     
  3. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    1. Ring tailed mongoose.

    2. The ring tailed mongoose doesn't occur in such large social groups as meerkats and it is Euplerid rather than a Herpestid. However, it is an attractive and handsome looking species and could be a good representative of Malagasy fauna / biodiversity.

    3. I believe these are already kept in zoos in the USA but that it is an ageing population in collections. I don't know about feasibility though.
     
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  4. CMP

    CMP Well-Known Member

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    Animal 2: Asian Small Clawed Otter

    Kept at many US institutions, is still ranked as Vulnerable, and often the receiving end of anger about a lack of the likes of otter shrews and otter civets.
     
  5. PlaZooFan14

    PlaZooFan14 Well-Known Member

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    1. Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)
    2. Sea Otters are very cute and are closely related to Asian Otters. It's also can be entertaining to watch and is an endangered species.
    3. Sea Otters are kept at places like Georgia Aquarium, Oregon Zoo and Minnesota Zoo. They are rare in captivity though so with new individuals they can be more feasible in captivity than Otter Civets.
     
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  6. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    ASCO isn't THAT common. NARO is, though.
     
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  7. CMP

    CMP Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it should have been NARO instead. Also, anyone who wants to can list another animal, as long as the previous animal has already been responded to.

    Animal 3: American Alligator

    Kept at many institutions, is still ranked as Least Concern, and may take up the space of other Crocodilians or large reptiles


    Also this is my 100th post (didn't plan it)
     
  8. dinosauria

    dinosauria Well-Known Member

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    1. American Crocodile
    2. Still an Everglades swamp dweller. Less common than the gators in captivity but it exists in captivity, plus an opportunity for a brackish-water habitat. Also a vulnerable species.
    3. Should be decently feasible seeing as these crocs have been (and are, I think) kept in captivity in several instances, with no real issues as far as I can tell.
     
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  9. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    NARO may be considered Least Concern, but is absent from much of its former range. Zoo populations can (and have) contributed to reintroduction projects, so from a purely conservation-minded perspective I see no issue with zoos keeping them (or ASCO for that matter, which is much more threatened).
     
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  10. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    ASCO shouldn't be a phase out, they're VU and not that common in zoos. River otter is, and really those should be phased out more. However they are highly tolerant of environmental conditions and can be exhibited outdoors essentially anywhere in the US or Canada making them a very ideal and easily accessible candidate.
    As far as otter shrews and otter civet, they are not feasible. As far as I know no otter shrew has lived longer than 2 weeks in captivity. Their native range is not conducive to exporting any, besides the moral issues of poor survivalship.
    The civet is rarely seen and poorly known, and thus a poor candidate to attempt capture and export.
     
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  11. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    The alligator is widespread for some good reasons. They're easy to get ahold of (look at the number of private holders and pets!), and they are one of the few crocodilians that is tolerant of cold conditions. They can overwinter in a pond with ice surrounding their snout in cooler climates, brumating til warmer temperatures return. With a heat source they can be out in snow for periods of time. No crocodile is near that cold tolerant.
    American Crocodile would be a good replacement in warmer areas, but they are not readily available versus the ubiquitous gator. They would have to be protected from any colder temperatures. Indoor exhibits would obviously be an option as well, but exotic crocs usually are preferred. Not a bad suggestion overall but perhaps not particularly feasible.
     
  12. PlaZooFan14

    PlaZooFan14 Well-Known Member

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  13. CMP

    CMP Well-Known Member

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    Anyone who would like to can suggest their own, but I'll put a few more to start us off
    4. Emu, Least Concern, very common in zoos, could take up space of other large birds
    5. Bennett's Wallaby, very common in zoos, Least Concern, could take up space of other marsupials
    6. Boa Constrictor, not evaluated but not currently under threat of endangerment, very common in zoos, could take up space of many other snakes and large reptiles
     
  14. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Woylie or long nosed potoroo for Bennett's wallaby.

    Round island boa (or if snakes in general then Mexican palm pit viper or Saint Lucia racer) for boa constrictor.

    Tooth billed pigeon for emu.
     
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  15. CMP

    CMP Well-Known Member

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    There was a format... :p
    Would you like to suggest another animal since you answered?
     
    Last edited: 18 Dec 2020
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  16. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    Emu is kept so commonly because its enclosure doesn't need to covered and people like ratites. It is also by far the most cold-tolerant ratite, it can be kept outdoors all winter in cold climates. I think either rhea species would be a good replacement in areas where cold weather is less of a problem, but in cold areas Emus are the best option.
     
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  17. CMP

    CMP Well-Known Member

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    I agree. However, what I am coming to realise what the point of this thread is now. Zoos are meant to educate and conserve, so the preference should be given to animals that are in danger and are needed to be in captivity. With so many species yet so little space, zoos must pick and choose what they can house. So we are asking ourselves, even though the emu is an excellent choice for a zoo animal, what other animal could take its or a similar place that is in a more dire need of it?
     
  18. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Ring tailed lemur ?
     
  19. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    Given the Ring-tailed Lemur is an endangered species, I don't think they ought be be replaced.
     
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  20. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I know a lot of people feel that way but I meant in the sense of them being a ubiquitous species in zoos and one with close relatives that are far more endangered.
     
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