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Trends in zoos by decade

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Jurek7, 5 Oct 2016.

  1. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I wonder what can be described as trends in zoo world in the last decades. I could come up with these:

    - Safari parks: 1960s-closing in 1980s, remaining ones are mostly stable.
    - Disappearance of public interactions with elephants - up to late 1980s-early 1990s?
    - Disappearance of most small and medium sized mammals, especially most small carnivores -since 1990s
    - Night houses: 1960s - mass closing in 2000s
    - Disappearance of animal shows and animal rides in general, with exception of bird flight shows, pinnipeds and cetaceans - 1990s-2000s
    - Immersive exhibits: 1990s-2010s
    - Building indoor tropical halls: late 1990s-2000s
    - Focus on breeding elephants - from early 2000s
    - Underwater tunnels in aquaria - 2000s on.
    - Theming based on non-Western traditional culture: common 19. century, then return from 2000s on.
    - Natural bear exhibits with soft ground and vegetation - since late 2000s
    - Disappearance of most parrots and songbirds - 2000s on, linked to the ban on the trade of wild birds.
    - Theming based on single national parks or similar particular locations (e.g. Masoala National Park instead of just rainforest): first examples 1980s, then from the late 2000s.
    - Theming based on modern civilization, like oil pipelines, windmills, houses, researcher camps: - from the late 2000s on
    - Public medical training of animals - 2010s-on
    - Hotel rooms linked to zoos - 2010s
     
  2. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting thread!

    -Captive koala population expansion outside Australia: 1990s-ongoing and again peak after 2010..
    -Intensifying of research done at zoos in 2000s and 2010s.
    -Phasing-out of common hippopothamus in many zoos in 2000s and 2010s.
    -Incorporation of glass-viewing walls of the enclosures: after 1990?...

    Any corrections, I would appreciate a lot.
     
  3. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

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    - Proliferation of Warthogs and Meerkats in the mid-90's.
     
  4. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    While I don't disagree with most of these observations, they are awfully general and they don't signify very much without evidence to back them up. It would be very interesting to construct timelines for a number of zoos showing the dates of the closing of old exhibits, the opening of new ones and major reconstructions or refurbishments. If you had this evidence for a number of zoos in a country or a region, you could identify and date these trends more exactly and compare the trends in different parts of the world.
    A good project for an MSc degree in Zoo Studies, if such a thing existed ;)

    Alan
     
  5. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I meant general trends, not one zoo or single species.

    In absence of something called zoo studies, we need to figure things on our own. ;)

    I noticed that new animal exhibits in zoos don't look how I supposed a good zoo exhibit would look like. Apparently the trend changed. So I tried to figure out, what exatcly changed. As example: in my childhood, almost every zoo had awful lots of parrots: macaws, amazons, cockatoos, parakeets. Such collections don't exist anymore outside few bird parks.

    By all means, everybody please correct and add things. I think, Alan, you remember zoos much older than many people.
     
  6. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Are these European zoo trends? Many of the dates do not correspond to North American zoo developments
     
  7. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    All that is true - but to discuss general trends you need a large sample. I first went to Chester Zoo in 1958 (I think), but through family circumstances, I didn't get much chance to visit any other proper zoos until the early 1970s when I was in college. I then visited many zoos in England and western Europe within the space of a few years, but after that my zoo visiting waned for various reasons and it's been up and down ever since - although distinctly up since I joined ZooBeat/ZooChat :)
    So don't ask me to compare the changes at Chester with those at Edinburgh, because I didn't go there until about 1997 (and I'd need to look the date up to be certain).
    As Zooplantman indicates, these trends are not uniform. The direction of change and the pace of change varies in different continents and in different countries. It would be most most interesting to measure and compare these changes - which might be possible if we had sufficient timelines as I suggested. To use modern terminology, we need bid data to sort this out.

    Alan
     
  8. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting thread.:) Regarding Parrots, its very true- I can remember the old Parrot House at London Zoo- devoted entirely to...Parrots. Similarly Bristol Zoo's Bird House, which is still a bird house but very different now as a 'forest' walkthrough, was dominated by Parrots too. Many were chained on swing perches, a practise which died out many years ago fortunately. Then a decade or so later there were the bird parks where free-flying Macaws were a common sight though some of these have discontinued or at least no longer have liberty parrots, or a wide variety.

    Nowadays as you say, only a few specialist collections such as Paradise Park in Cornwall and Loro Parc keep a wide range of Parrot species. Many keep just a few for use the bird shows common to many zoos/parks nowadays.
     
  9. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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  10. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Wow! £100.70 for the Kindle edition! Somehow I don't think I'm going to get this for Xmas :(

    Alan
     
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  11. HOMIN96

    HOMIN96 Well-Known Member

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    You just gave me an idea for my (potential) master thesis :D
     
  12. Ned

    Ned Well-Known Member

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    I would say a seismic change happen during the 80s when the focus of zoos switched from the stamp collecting mentality to that of conservation as a raison d'etre.
     
  13. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    Within the AZA there is one undeniable trend (last fifteen years maybe) that makes all hardcore ZooChatters cringe. That is the reduction and homogenization of animal collections.
     
  14. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    By all means correct it! I visited only a few zoos in the previous decades, too, and rely much on old guidebooks, photos, looking at outdated exhibits etc.

    Maybe a question which more people can answer: what are the trends in the zoo world in the last 10-15 years? What is becoming common but was not here or very rare in the 2000s?

    Unfortunately true. :( All zoos have exactly the same species. End of the situation, that a good zoo usually had one or more unique species which couldn't be seen elsewhere.

    My other guesses:
    - more vegetation in exhibits, unfortunately usually separated by hot wire

    - 'gizmos' or small playthings aimed at children near exhibits, eg. tree trunk with a hole to peek through near pumas, medical scales to weigh oneself next to a rhinoceros ec.

    - walk-throughs other than bird halls; and supervised feeding of selected species become common. Lorikeet feeding. In America it is giraffe feeding. In Europe it is walk-throughs for lemurs and squirrel monkeys, and single examples of very many others, from rat snakes through condors to ibex.

    - primates other than apes get islands instead of netted exhibits. Few examples of hot wire as the only barrier for monkeys.

    - city zoos replace moats with viewing through glass to enlarge exhibits; this is a reverse of the dominant trend from 20. century.
     
  15. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    Trends in zoos in Asia---Nothing change
     
  16. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Chinese zoos got more African bush elephants!
    Japanese zoos modernizing!
    Japanese zoos got more koalas
    End of hybridization of tiger subspecies? :)
     
  17. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Asian aquariums acquiring African manatees
     
  18. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    I mean,there is not much change in animals welfare and conditions.
     
  19. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Don't know if we can call it a trend already but a few zoos have started to place nets over their large mammal enclosures to make it possible to keep birds together with them. Examples are Rotterdams Okapi-exibit and Antwerps Savanna enclosure. Guess a lot more zoos will follow !
     
  20. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    A welcome trend would be the improvement in design and innovation used in common hippo enclosures being built across Europe.