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What species would you like to see at Jersey Zoo ?

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 25 Oct 2020.

  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    On the Colchester vs Jersey zoo hoofstock cup thread I was struck by how relatively few species Jersey zoo actually keep and how much better this is in my opinion than the average zoo with its ABC collection crammed full of species that serve no real purpose being there.

    The majority of the species Jersey keep tend to be of conservation concern and strongly reflect and highlight the Durrell Trusts commitment to important ex-situ and in-situ conservation around the world. It seems that the zoo really goes for quality over quantity in terms of its collection and that this philosophy is ingrained in the ethos and organizational culture.

    That said, I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that the current collection at Jersey could possibly benefit from some new additions of species or replacing some of the few species kept that are not of any conservation concern (i.e. meerkats and Asian short claw otters).

    What species would you like to see arrive at Jersey zoo and why ?

    Look forward to hearing your replies !
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2020
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  2. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    A couple of species that I think could make good additions to the zoo (in no particular order) would be these :

    Philippine mouse deer - Adds to "hoofstock", an endangered species that requires ex-situ management, a small species which would fit well IMO with the zoos philosophy and focus on smaller taxa (wouldn't take up too much space either).

    Ricord's iguana - An endangered species that requires ex-situ management, could add diversity to the species kept at the reptile /amphibian house, reflects the Durrell Trusts work in the Dominican Republic / Hispaniola.

    Golden lancehead viper - A critically endangered species that urgently requires ex-situ management, could add diversity to the species kept at the reptile / amphibian house.

    Lord Howe Island stick insect - A critically endangered species that urgently requires ex-situ management, could add diversity to the species kept at the zoo, has an intriguing and interesting story / narrative behind it.

    Panamanian golden frog - A species extinct in the wild that urgently requires ex-situ management, could add diversity to the species kept at the reptile / amphibian house.

    Hispaniolan solenodon - This would be an excellent addition IMO, it is a small endangered mammal species that could benefit from ex-situ management, would fit well IMO with the zoos philosophy and focus on smaller taxa (wouldn't take up too much space either) , it is a "living fossil" and reflects the Durrell Trusts work in the Dominican Republic / Hispaniola.

    Hispaniolan Hutia - This would be an excellent addition IMO, it is a small endangered mammal species that could benefit from ex-situ management, would fit well IMO with the zoos philosophy and focus on smaller taxa (wouldn't take up too much space either), reflects the Durrell Trusts work in the Dominican Republic / Hispaniola.

    Buffy headed capuchin monkey - These would be an excellent addition in my opinion, it is a critically endangered species that requires ex-situ management, adds diversity to the mammal collection, native to the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest which is a focal area of the Durrell trust, would be very popular animals with visitors.

    Buffy tufted marmoset - This species urgently requires ex-situ management and could truly benefit from being kept and bred by Jersey zoo, adds diversity to the mammal collection, native to the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest which is a focal area of the Durrell trust and the trust is involved with the conservation of this species.

    Araripe manakin - This critically endangered species urgently requires ex-situ management and could truly benefit from being kept and bred by Jersey zoo, adds diversity to the bird collection, native to Brazil which is a focal country of the Durrell trust.

    White footed tamarin - This species urgently requires ex-situ management and could truly benefit from being kept and bred by Jersey zoo, adds diversity to the mammal collection, native to the Colombian tropical dry forests which are a focal area of the Durrell trust and the trust is involved with the conservation of this species.

    Southern muriqui - These large monkeys would be an excellent addition in my opinion, it is a critically endangered species that requires ex-situ management, adds diversity to the mammal collection, native to the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest which is a focal area of the Durrell trust, would be very popular animals with visitors.

    Grandidier's mongoose - This species urgently requires ex-situ management and could truly benefit from being kept and bred by Jersey zoo, adds diversity to the mammal collection, good replacement for meerkats, native to Madagascar which is a focal country of the Durrell trust and the trust is involved with the conservation of this species.

    Pygmy hog - This species urgently requires ex-situ management and could truly benefit from being kept and bred by Jersey zoo, adds diversity to the "hoofstock" of the mammal collection, the Durrell trust already work with these ex-situ in India so their addition to the zoo could showcase this work well.

    Brazilian merganser - This critically endangered species urgently requires ex-situ management and could truly benefit from being kept and bred by Jersey zoo, adds diversity to the bird collection, native to Brazil which is a focal country of the Durrell trust.
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2020
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  3. TriUK

    TriUK Well-Known Member

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    Volcano Rabbit
     
  4. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    These would be very nice to see at Jersey but I think the problem is that they tried to establish them and this failed once.

    My coordinator from Chapultepec zoo attended the DESMAN course and I know that volcano rabbits figured into the conversation but in an in-situ / ex-situ within country of origin support capacity.

    I totally understand why Jersey would be cautious and hesitant in taking the risk of having these again but even so I would much rather see teporingo at Jersey then at that zoo that they are currently kept in Japan.
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2020
  5. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    I would argue that few zoos now are “crammed full“ and that all species serve a purpose in being wherever they are.

    Firstly the climate crisis, rapid habitat destruction and potential political instability means that the sustainability of any wild population cannot be taken for granted even if it is currently of least concern.

    Secondly, conservation is not the only purpose of a zoo. In my opinion, education is just as important. Allowing people to see just how amazing all animals are, introducing both children and adults to how weird, wonderful, fun, spectacular, smelly, awe-inspiring, fascinating and intriguing the natural world is. And that also includes meerkats and otters.

    That having been said, I find Jersey Zoo a fascinating collection and this thread looks very interesting. But I have to challenge the premise that other species don’t belong in captivity and that other zoos are cramming animals in because I just don’t accept that.
     
  6. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your comment Shirokuma !

    I meant "crammed full" in the sense of a huge variety of large species both common / least concern and endangered and a trend towards the keeping of African and Asian megafauna in captivity.

    Again, I agree that given the climate change emergency we just do not know which species now common today will be endangered tomorrow, however, I think that many large species from Africa / Asia just do better with in-situ conservation.

    I have to respectfully disagree with your statement about the purpose of a zoo as I do believe the primary purpose should be conservation.

    Furthermore, I also respectfully disagree with your statement about education as I personally don't think that meerkats or other common species are contingent for educational purposes with the public.

    Anyway, do you have any thoughts on what species you would like to see at Jersey Zoo ?
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2020
  7. Rayane

    Rayane Well-Known Member

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    From Wikipedia, it may explain the rather limited collection :

    Gerald Durrell was ahead of his time when he postulated the role that a 20th-century zoo should play, primarily in Stationary Ark. His idea relies on the following bases:

    • The primary purpose of a zoo should be to act as a reserve of critically endangered species which need captive breeding in order to survive.
    • They can serve the secondary purposes of educating people about wildlife and natural history, and of educating biologists about the animal's habits.
    • Zoos should not be run for the purposes of entertainment only, and non-threatened species should be re-introduced into their natural habitats.
    • An animal should be present in the zoo only as a last resort, when all efforts to save it in the wild have failed.
    Durrell's ideas about housing zoo animals also bring his priorities to the fore. The bases on which enclosures at Jersey are built:

    • Enclosures should be built keeping in mind – firstly, the comfort of the animal (including a private shelter), secondly for the convenience of the animal keeper, and finally for the viewing comfort of visitors.
    • The size of an enclosure should depend on how large their territories might be.
    • The companions of an animal should reflect not only ecological niche and biogeographic concerns, but its social abilities as well – how well it gets on with other members of its species and other species.
    • Every animal deserves food of its choice, sometimes made interesting by variation; and a mate of its choice; and a nice and interesting environment.
    Durrell Wildlife Park was the first zoo to house only endangered breeding species, and has been one of the pioneers in the field of captive breeding. The International Training Centre, and the organisation of the conference on captive breeding are also notable firsts.
     
  8. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your comment Rayane !

    I'm very familiar with the rationale behind the species that Jersey zoo keep (have also read stationary ark and a great number of Durrell's books) and the general ethos / philosophy.

    I am not actually being critical of the limited amount of species they keep because actually as I said at the start of the thread, I believe this to be an advantage and a strength.

    If you look at the list of species that I have put at the start of the thread you can see the rationale that I have given for why I believe these would be good hypothetical options.
     
  9. Rayane

    Rayane Well-Known Member

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    Definitely, but I thought the vision of Gerald Durrell is worth a read.
    I would personally like to see someday a Superagüi lion tamarin breeding programm. However I believe that despite its very limited population it is quite well protected in Brazil ?
     
  10. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I would like to see this too and I actually believe that this is really something very important for this species (all of the other leontopithecus have captive populations except this species which is ironically one of the most endangered if not the most endangered).

    I believe historically an ex-situ population for the Superagüi lion tamarin was in the cards and was specifically recommended as a course of action by Jersey zoo's Jeremy Mallinson shortly after the species was discovered in the 1990's but for some reason on the Brazilian side it just never happened and remained a pipe dream.

    Regarding the Superagüi lion tamarin, yes , it is fairly well protected in Paraná and São Paulo states in Brazil as it occurs within protected areas (still issues with illegal logging though and potentially seasonally with yellow fever). However, there are potential future issues with inbreeding depression and lack of connectivity between meta-populations and an urgent need for research and management.

    The NGO IPÊ who work closely with the Durrell trust and focus on the conservation of the black lion tamarin in São Paulo state were involved in the effort to conserve the Superagüi lion tamarin for many years. However, despite best efforts (and IPÊ really tried hard and are an excellent organization that is second to none) this was of mixed success because of some issues with local communities which constantly arose.

    Currently, another NGO called SPVS which is actually from Paraná state (this local base / presence could be a decisive factor in reaching success IMO) have taken over the effort to conserve the species within its area of occurence and they are conducting some very important ongoing research into the species. SPVS are very good, very committed and have a good grasp of the situation on the ground and I think they are going to drive hard in moving forward with conserving the species, I wish them every success in this.

    The problem is that this program has been severely disrupted by the pandemic but they were due to be moving forward with plans to fit radio collars and conduct studies into these meta-populations this year. Whether there will eventually be some captured for ex-situ management is anyones guess though but I personally would tend to think that an insurance population would be a good idea (honestly though it should have been done in the 1990's when it was first recommended rather than now).
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2020
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  11. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    I didn't say it shouldn't be the primary purpose, I said it isn't the only purpose.

    With respect, I find that a bizarre approach. Surely all forms of life have educational value? I appreciate that zoo people might find meerkats boring or interesting, or just too common in collections to be inspiring, but to say that common species have no educational value is just baffling.

    Not specifically. I understand their need to balance their mission, the unique feel of the zoo and the need to attract a wide range of visitors in a somewhat isolated location with only a small immediate population base.

    Maybe a small cat species or two would work, for example Iberian lynx as their captive population is slowly spreading. I also thought of Tasmanian devils. But it could be argued that if this species are 'only' (nonetheless vital from an educational point of view) ambassador individuals rather than part of an active breeding programme that they are not consistent with Jersey's vision.

    Clouded leopards might thrive there.
     
  12. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    The Asian short-clawed otter is listed as Vulnerable, so is of some conservation concern. I agree that the species is over-represented in zoos and I don't know of any reintroduction programmes using captives. This is true of many other popular species, though.
     
  13. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty utilitarian when it comes to zoos, I recognise that they are also important in terms of recreation and I'm a big advocate of their environmental educational role too. However, I do think that their central focus has to be on conservation and particularly with the biodiversity loss crisis that we are facing.

    I think we will just have to respectfully agree to disagree on the issue of meerkats and otters (ring tailed lemurs are a different case entirely IMO). I genuinely don't think that meerkats or Asian short clawed otters have an educational value in a zoo like Jersey that couldn't also be provided with one of the species I mentioned in my list above which are endangered / critically endangered like the buffy headed capuchin or the muriqui.

    That said, good point regarding Jersey's isolated location and the need to draw in the crowds. However I do think that the spectacled bears, orangutangs and gorillas probably are bigger draws though.

    I also think that a small cat species (or other small carnivore) could be a very good addition but which one is quite a hard thing to consider.
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2020
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  14. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    I remember reading that Jersey Zoo expected the volcano rabbit needed something special to make them breed. Other people said they didn't and that volcano rabbits 'breed like rabbits'.

    I also read about a zoo that was unsuccessful at breeding gerenuks. The keepers cleaned the enclosure each morning, thus removing pheromones in the urine. When the staff stopped doing this, the gerenuks smelt the urine and successfully bred.
     
  15. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I agree, but as you've said it is already held by numerous collections and I do believe that there could be far better options than this species out there for Jersey.

    Well, they do indeed tend to breed like rabbits in captivity (Chapultepec zoo in Mexico have quite a large colony that is breeding fairly constantly) but they also tend to die very quickly due to gastro-intestinal type illnesses. So you essentially end up with captive colonies which are constantly breeding but with a fairly constant high mortality rate too.

    It feeds primarily upon a certain kind of grass (and also other endemic plant species) that also form a huge component of its habitat type called the Zacatón grass and this is quite hard to supply / replicate in captivity. The altitude / environmental conditions at which this species occurs in its natural habitat is also another factor that is quite difficult to replicate ex-situ too and may have some detrimental impact on these animals in captivity.

    That is a really interesting example, and I think I've read of other cases where constant cleaning of an enclosure and removal of scents has a detrimental effect on species too but I can't really remember which species these were.
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2020
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  16. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I remember a plan to house mountain coatis at Jersey Zoo
     
  17. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I remember reading something about this too, do you know what happened to this plan ?

    If I'm not mistaken I think they do currently have ring tailed coatis there at the moment.
     
  18. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I don't.
     
  19. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    :(
     
  20. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Fossas could be good given that they are a Malagasy carnivore, a vulnerable species, fairly active / large and really quite interesting too.

    Other Euplerids like the Western or Eastern falanouc, Malagasy civet, Durrell's vontsira (imagine these in the current ASCO enclosure) could also be good candidates too.

    Perhaps even the ring tailed mongoose ? Sure, it isn't endangered currently but it is a gorgeous looking species, is charismatic and representative of Madagascar and would definitely be a better replacement IMO than a meerkat (surely a better model species for conservation research purposes too ? ) or short claw otter.

    Iberian lynx too could be another interesting species to keep, I agree.
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2020