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Single zoo saving a species

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by vogelcommando, 30 May 2016.

  1. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Was thinking lately about what single zoos can do on the field of conservation and found several examples where a single zoo is responseble for saving a species, sometimes "only" for the zoo-world, in other cases also in the wild.
    The examples I found are :
    Slimbridge - without the efforts at Slimbridge I guess the Hawaii goose would be an unknown species in captivity and prop. an extinct species in the wild. In captivity it now is very common and also in the wild it seems to do a little better!
    Rheine - by the work done on the Gelada at Rheine the species can still be found in a number of zoos. Without Rheine I think the species would have disappeared completely from captivity.
    Durrell - has worked on a number of species but I guess the most prominent species is the Rodriques flying fox. The species was complete unknown in captivity when Durrell started to work with them and in the meantime its the most commonly kept Flying fox-species in zoos ! Also the wild population seems to do quite fine for the moment.
    Prague - I guess I can honestly say that Prague saved the Przewalski horse. It was this zoo who started the breeding-ptogramm and thanks to that we now still can see the only wild horse-species in captivity and thanks to re-introductions also again in the wild !
    Opel Zoo -by the work of this small, quite unknown zoo we can still enjoy seeing the Mesopotanian fellow deer. In captivity the species is doing pretty well, in the wild the sithuation still is critticaly...
    Which other zoos have done so much work with one species in the way we can see that this zoo saved that species, would like to hear of more examples !
     
  2. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    The Phoenix Zoo, Arizona, saved the Arabian oryx.
     
  3. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Curiously, about Przewalski horse: Hagenbeck zoo imported the founding group to Western zoos, and Askanya Nova zoo/reserve in Ukraine keeps the largest herd and had the only other wild-caught founder.

    Woburn saved Pere David's deer. Although, again, they were first saved in imperial menagerie park in China, and all founders at Woburn can be traced to three animals from Berlin.

    London has/had several Partula snails found nowhere else. Bronx zoo single-handedly saved the Kihansy spray toad at zoos and in the wild (for now at least).

    I am sure several zoos or off-show breeding stations saved whole species of small animals. It bothers me that small animals saved in captivity are often overlooked.*

    Some zoos saved whole species without ever keeping them, when they were decisive in creating and protecting a national park or reserve. Frankfurt zoo and its Zoological Society must be able to point many species and say: this one would not have survived if not that reserve which was our program.

    *There are so many narrowly endemic small animals, that not just one zoo, but even one person can save whole species. I heard of one botanist who saved a whole species of British grass by growing it in his flowerpot. I am sure some zoochatters could do similar thing, too.
     
  4. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I think some of your examples are a little oversimplified. A lot of the work with the nene was done on Hawaii, particularly by Herbert Shipman, who I think sent the original breeding stock to Slimbridge and subsequently some further specimens as 'new blood'.
    The best example I can think of is the work of the 11th Duke of Bedford, and his successors, with Pere David's deer at Woburn Abbey, although of course that was a private deer park rather a zoo. He also kept and bred Przewalski horses. I agree that Prague made an essential contribution to the captive breeding of these horses, but animals bred at Woburn, London or Whipsnade, Munich, Washington and Askanyia Nova have important places in the studbook. Hamburg was also important in a different way, as Karl Hagenbeck imported all the founder animals except for the last wild-caught mare.
    In recent years the role of the JWPT/Durrell has been unequalled, but it has generally been done as a combination of ex situ work in Jersey and in situ work in the native countries of the species involved - which is probably the ideal model for 21st century. I think most of the work with the species from Mauritius and Reunion was shared in this way, although perhaps the Round Island boas were only bred in Jersey. In the case of the Montserrat oriole and mountain chicken, I don't think it was possible to have a programme in situ because of the volcanic activity, but I am not sure if all the founder specimens were kept in Jersey or whether some were sent to other zoos from the start: perhaps someone can enlighten us.

    Alan
     
  5. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    Really?

    I would have thought Rousettus aegypticus was the commonest, in Europe at least. In Australia it would be Pteropus poliocephalus.

    As for Durrell, Mauritius Kestrel, Pink Pigeon, and White-eared Pheasant all spring to mind.

    :p

    Hix
     
  6. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    You're right, I should have added Flying foxes of the genus Pteronopus, because the Egyptian flying fox outnumbers the Rodriques flying fox ( at least in Europe ) indeed.
    Pink pigeon and White-eared pheasant are good examples but the Mauritius kestrel - althrough doing a lot better in the wild then at the starting-point, is disappeared from captivity again completly.
     
  7. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I believe Herbert Shipman was actually responsible for saving the Nene, without his small captive flock they would likely have become extinct. Slimbridge took it a stage further, by producing large numbers of birds from the original trio they got from him.
     
  8. Goura

    Goura Well-Known Member

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    Antwerp must surely have made the most important contribution to the status of Congo Peafowl, I'm assuming due to the connection with the (then) Belgian Congo. Can anyone cast any further light on this one?
     
  9. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    It is perhaps worth highlighting that gelada, white eared pheasant and Congo peafowl are a bit different from other examples in this thread (vogelcommando briefly mentioned this in his first post, but it hasn't been highlighted elsewhere). While it is true that there are single zoos that have been fundamental in their continued survival in captivity, all three always had reasonable populations in the wild. I.e., even if they had disappeared from captivity the species would have survived. Of course that may change in the future: I seriously doubt the gelada and white eared pheasant will become extinct in the wild as their populations are fairly large and at least partially protected. However, the Congo peafowl (and indeed most species restricted to the Congolian forests, e.g. okapi, bonobo) could easily slip as much of its range is rather lawless.
     
    Last edited: 31 May 2016
  10. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    One zoo which is without any doubt responseble for saving a species ( both in captivity and the wild ) is the Perth Zoo. Without its breeding-programm for the Western swamp tortoise I'm affraid the species had been lost forever.
     
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  11. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Bronx Zoo with the American Bison has to be mentioned, as well as the aforementioned Kihansi Spray Toad. They're also the only zoo continuing to work with and breed the Maleo in captivity as well as working with them in the wild, so I guess one could say they're at least saving the captive population.

    If one counts the work they do through the Wildlife Conservation Society, then the list of species they've saved/are saving would likely go up quite a bit.

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  12. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    Melbourne Zoo has done phenomenal work with the Lord Howe Island stick insect.
     
  13. azcheetah2

    azcheetah2 Well-Known Member

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    I was going to mention that. Hahaha. Because of the success with the breeding program, other zoos have been able to exhibit the Oryx and start a breeding program. They went from having the last 9 Oryx in the wild in the early 60s to being able to reintroduce them to the wild in the 80s with more than 220 successful births.

    They also increased the population of the Chiricahua Leopard Frogs and were so successful with another animal, a rodent, I think, that the country where the animal came from told the zoo "no more, please". Hahaha.
     
  14. gerenuk

    gerenuk Well-Known Member

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    Not really. There were a few hundred oryx in the Middle East within private collections, while Phoenix Zoo said they had the last herd.
     
  15. gerenuk

    gerenuk Well-Known Member

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    They are spearheading the numbat captive breeding too.
     
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  16. gerenuk

    gerenuk Well-Known Member

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    The work that the Bronx Zoo has done with American Bison was mostly PR. Cincinnati was also working the bison in the early 1900s. And bison were sent from both collections to Oklahoma. None of this was important for the species survival, except for bringing stakeholders together. The partnerships fell apart with time; decades passed before any meaningful projects were done on bison. In recent years, the conservation of bison has been reliant on public and private herds repopulating new reserves.
     
  17. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't the Point Defiance Zoo the first one to start captive breeding of red wolves?
     
  18. HorseChild

    HorseChild Active Member

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    Zoo Basel started breeding of critically endangered Somali Wild Ass in the '70s. Now the whole captive population of Somalis is related to the original population at Zoo Basel.
     
  19. carlos55

    carlos55 Well-Known Member

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    2 zoos were important for saving the mexican wolf or lobo. In 1978 the last four wild lobos were captured in Durango and sent to the Arizona Sonora desert museum where they bred in 1978. This is the Mcbride lineage. San Juan de aragon zoo in mexico city added 4 lobos to the stock, when the wolves proved to be pure lobos. Later Ghost Ranch in New Mexico sent their captive stock to the group. So all mexican wolves that are manged by the international mexican wolf recovery plan come from these 3 lines, mcbride,aragon and ghost ranch.
    http://sgpwe.izt.uam.mx/files/users/uami/maa/Seminario/Mexican_Wolf_Studbook_20081.pdf
     
  20. baboon

    baboon Well-Known Member

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    Beijing Zoo is the only zoo taking part in the crested ibis ex situ breeding program in 1980s, along with the in situ breeding center in Shannxi.
     
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