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Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens volcano rabbits in Japan!

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Chlidonias, 20 Jul 2012.

  1. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    something I wasn't expecting to read!!

    Higashiyama Zoo to breed rare rabbit | The Japan Times Online
     
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I know someone is going to ask about this part of the article: "This will be the second zoo with which the Nagoya zoo has signed a partnership agreement. The first was with the Taronga Zoo in Sydney in 1996."

    So here's another article which briefly talks about that: Sister City Exchange with Nagoya - ???????????????
     
  3. carlos77

    carlos77 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, i have just finished reading this notice too. The volcano rabbits have been very coveted, and Chapultepec and Los Coyotes have births every year. Now Nagoya has given chapultepec south american penguins, 2 red pandas and japanese macaques, but volcano rabbits are something else. Yet, i wonder why now ? There have just been elections in Mexico and most of the city officials will be replaced in January. The zoo director will be changed. I cannot help but wonder if there was some kind of pressure do this exchange before the staff changes. Also the personnel at Profepa, the mexican federal enviromental agency will also change in January, and they have to authorize such a delicate transfer. The more i think about it the less i like this. The surplus rabbits were being returned to Mt. Popocatepetl. That was much better. If Durrell could not sustain a breeding group of volcano rabbits at Jersey, i do not think the nagoya zoo will do much better.Also the population figure given in the article for volcano rabbits is double the estimate given by Conabio ( comision nacional para la biodiversidad) on their page.
     
    Last edited: 21 Jul 2012
  4. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    @carlos77, in full agreement with you here! I would rather favor the restocking effort on Popocatepetl then anything else. If a zoo were an option I would rather go for another zoo around the Ciudad Mexico area to become a third ex situ conservation breeding member.

    PR exercise for someone .., certainly sad that zoo management and Profepa appointments are politically motivated too (with senior staff changing after elections). I would think that alone would preclude any long term policy administration in either organizational structure.
     
  5. Pygathrix

    Pygathrix Well-Known Member

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    While I can see that there may be a political element to this, I fail to understand why you think it is such a bad thing. These are captive bred, and presumably the Japanese zoos are making some sort of contribution to the deal.

    Even though Durrell could not establish a population of these rabbits, that was a long time ago, and the Mexican zoos have clearly cracked keeping this species. It sounds a bit like national pride, wanting the animals to forever be seen only in Mexico.
     
  6. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    @Pygathrix, you are completely barking up the wrong tree here!
    Besides, there is a resident species recovery program there.

    The only political issue I can see here ... being that entire senior conservation and zoo administrations in Mexico seem to be changed over and above any election.

    Finally, it is ONLY a deal between 2 zoos being separated by a continent.
     
  7. carlos77

    carlos77 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for allowing me to give my opinions here to an international group.
    mexico has just had general elections, federal, state and city levels. The conservative party, PAN, lost bigtime, in part because of the high cost of the war on drugs, The traditional party, PRI, returned to victory, bigtime. It is certain that most persons in official posts will be changed at all levels. The director of the Direccion general de zoologicos ( head of all 3 of mexico city zoos) is directly appointed by the mayor of mexico City, who will be changed in January. The director of Profepa ( procuraduria federal del medio ambiente) is appointed by the president, who will be changed in January. All these changes happen every 6 years in mexico, but with the great party changes this time the effect will be very strong.
    Back to the volcano rabbits, i really hope that another breeding group be established. But these animals are so highly adapted to their high altitude habitat that other breeding attempts before failed, even Durrell¨s, so i wonder if it possible. Also, Japan is so far away, the Los Angeles and San Diego zoos would have been more logical recipients despite the low altitude. Also both zoos already participate with Chapultepec on conservation programs. So why Nagoya ? It is interesting to note that the transfer of the volcano rabbits has not been annouced in Mexico officialy. I suppose that various conservation groups will react with surprise and criticism about this. I cannot deny that our endemic protected species provoke feeling of nationalism among many mexicans. but does that not happen everywhere.
     
  8. Pygathrix

    Pygathrix Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the explanation Carlos. If the mayor is changed, is it inevitable that the general director of zoos has to change too? Because that would seem rather pointless unless the current director is very active politically.
     
  9. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    has anyone come across anything further on this? I was just trying to find out and I can't seem to find much (i.e. anything). Although I was interested to discover that volcano rabbits have been kept in Japan before!

    Ueno Zoo had them up until at least 2009, although apparently no longer (see a 2013 species list here: http://www.zoochat.com/241/ueno-zoo-species-list-july-2013-a-349232/)
     
  10. carlos55

    carlos55 Well-Known Member

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    When Ueno zoo loaned the male giant panda Ling ling to chapultepec zoo for breeding purposes the mexican zoo sent volcano rabbits to the japanese zoo in return. This was in 2001. So the teporingo group survived for at least 8 years. Ling ling did not reproduce and was returned to tokyo in 2003. When the London zoo panda Chia chia was loaned to chapultepec he sucessfully mated with the Chapultepec female panda Tohui and sired Xin xin who is still alve today. Yet ZSL did not ask for any teporingos in return for CHIA chia's able services. In return for the volcano rabbits Nagoya sent chapultepec raccoon dogs, red kangaroos and humbodlt´s penguins.
     
  11. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    thanks, I hadn't been able to find a date for when Ueno Zoo had first got the rabbits.

    Strange I can't find anything further on the Nagoya rabbits (everything I find is just the articles from 2012 like the one which heads up this thread).

    I did also find a Japanese research paper on volcano rabbits being captured in 1979 and bred in a laboratory setting but only the intro was in English. I assume (because it was Japanese research) that the rabbits were taken to Japan from Mexico.
     
  12. IanRRobinson

    IanRRobinson Well-Known Member

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    At the risk of hijacking this thread...and people wonder why I get impatient with ZSL'S zoo management. This is how people elsewhere function - you do us a big favour, we will reciprocate. Sigh....
     
  13. VAyVD6P

    VAyVD6P New Member

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    Why are they called volcano rabbits? Is it because of the ears or they are found near mountains.
     
  14. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    They are found on the vulcanos near Mexico City.
     
  15. carlos55

    carlos55 Well-Known Member

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    yes,volcano rabbits can only be found in the wild on Mt. popocatepetl near mexico city and possibily also on mt.iztacihuatl which is nearby. There are about 3500 volcano rabbits in the wild and the mexico city zoos have over 300. In mexico we call them teporingos. The name has no relation to any famous drummer.Teporingo derives from the aztec nahua word tepolito which means rock dweller.
     
  16. VAyVD6P

    VAyVD6P New Member

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    Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens volcano rabbits in Japan!

    How high is this mountain you are talking about?