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ZooChat Challenge UK 2019

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Shorts, 31 Dec 2018.

  1. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Right then, this year's (2019's) challenge is large in scale but will hopefully again prove to be popular and inclusive -basically you can play, for fun, without really trying or if you're a competitive type go all-out to get a near-maximum score.

    For the second year running I'm going with a pan-class challenge. This year's challenge (drum roll) is to see as many South American species as possible. It doesn't matter whether they're mammals, birds, herps, fish*(see below) or inverts they all count.

    I've chosen this challenge as it will highlight some of the more obscure species as well as reinforce where certain species come from in people's minds (I sometimes get confused) -educational as well as entertaining. I've no idea what the maximum number of species is likely to be and I'm not sure it'd be possible to find out -hopefully this will keep the challenge ticking over nicely for the duration of the year ahead.

    For this challenge, South America starts with Colombia and moves south and east (i.e. not including Central America).

    Finally, to keep things straightforward, I'm allowing animals kept that may (have) come from outside South America to be included if they're native to South America -e.g. an Arizonan Jaguar would count (like you'll find any of those). This might be a little over-simplifying, and arguably wrong, but it side-steps potential squabbles about the purity of generic animals in zoos and remains true to the spirit of the challenge -to see animals native to South American.

    *The only restriction I'm adding is that only the first twenty-five fish species count towards the total because:
    1. Otherwise it could distort the challenge (there's a lot of fish out there) and I'm sure players don't want to be trawling multiple Sealife centres and aquariums to win -that would be one seriously pyrrhic victory;

    2. It might give distorting advantage to those near a couple of large aquariums or near London Zoo's aquarium (which sadly may not be open all year which causes other potential disproportionate advantages to those living near).
    Ready. Steady. Go (from 1/1/19). Enjoy!

    Oh yeah, the small print -rules are as follows (basically same as always if you want to skip):


    1. You have to actually see the animal, even if just for a second. You don't score if you visit a collection but don't see the animal (harsh, but fair);
    2. Proof via photographs is not required, your word is your bond;
    3. You have to see the animal via normal public access (i.e. not including zookeeper for the day or photography days behind the scenes) during normal public opening hours (i.e. no scoring because you know the keeper and can get access before/after hours). Basically the species has to be seen as Joe Public would;
    4. Any severely limited opening or private collections (e.g. Heythrop, WHF, and any similar collections or refuges) don't count for this challenge. Controversial I know, but see previous point and I didn't think it fair to include a handful of days these collections might be open to the public as this might logistically disadvantage a large number of people;
    5. Report/update your progress on this thread as you go along (let's say mandatory reporting from fifteen species and above);
    6. The winner will be deemed to be the person(s) who's seen the most at 31st December 2019;
    7. My (final) decision is final but I'm open to discussion and debate on any specific points.

    As always, I'm keeping the challenge to a species level as I don't want to get bogged down in the quagmire of debating validity of sub-species and/or genetic purity of specific animals. Taxonomy is not the greatest strength of mine so I'll rely on others to challenge anyone trying to sneak sub-species in and, if necessary, I'll take appropriate counsel for assistance on any related debates. My decision on any of these squabbles is "final" (subject to better evidence being presented and new scientific findings).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 31 Dec 2018
  2. Charlie Simmomds

    Charlie Simmomds Well-Known Member

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    Question would animals found on the Falkland Islands count? Is that technically South America?
     
  3. OstrichMania

    OstrichMania Well-Known Member

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    It could be argued that it is in Europe as it is owned by the UK, but I would count in geographically as South America.
     
  4. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Yes, after a little wiki-research that's my conclusion.:)
     
  5. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    As we are talking geographical terms rather than political terms, I would personally say that taxa native to these should be counted - similar to how no one would argue that the Aruba Island Rattlesnake was a European species, even though the island on which it lives is one of the four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

    It's a pretty academic question however, as I am reasonably sure none of the Falkland endemic species are currently in captivity - certainly none of the very few endemic vertebrates are, other than the Falkland Steamer Duck which may still be extant in private hands.
     
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  6. BeakerUK

    BeakerUK Well-Known Member

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    Continuing my tradition of visiting Twycross Zoo on New Year's Day, I shall attempt to kick off my list for the year (with major apologies if I make any errors - do let me know and I shall correct as needed!)

    Twycross Zoo 1.1.19
    1. Vicuna
    2. Lowland tapir
    3. Variegated spider monkey
    4. Pygmy marmoset
    5. Black and gold howler monkey
    6. Black headed spider monkey
    7. Orange winged amazon
    8. Scarlet ibis
    9. Red legged seriema
    10. Glossy ibis
    11. Chilean flamingo
     
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  7. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    What about inverts - also subject to a limit or not?
     
  8. Dormitator

    Dormitator Well-Known Member

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    Though I'm glad inverts are in a challenge, I can see butterflies causing big issues. Other terrestrial inverts not so much, I can't think of more than 5 species on display in Bug World at Bristol for instance that would count.

    What about marine species? How far out to sea would "South America" include?
     
  9. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    I did wrestle with this consideration and, concluded, that I didn't think it would distort things that much given, whilst there's various oddities out there I don't think many collections have massive caches and they're fairly spread around. Please counter me if I'm wrong.
     
  10. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Good (i.e. difficult question). My thoughts were that butterflies wouldn't prove a problem as most are imported from farms in Asia and therefore I assumed most will be of Asian origin (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

    Marine species, lets say coastal out to a five mile limit (given fish species are restricted to twenty five I can't see this having a significant bearing on someone's score).

    Thinking about it again, re inverts they're probably not as potentially disruptive as they're reasonably spread about and, unlike fish, most can be seen in general zoos -keeping the challenge (out of Sealife centres and) fun.
     
  11. DesertRhino150

    DesertRhino150 Well-Known Member

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    Another question - do llamas and alpacas count for this list or is it only wild species we're counting?
     
  12. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    They'd be dis-allowed as domestics.
     
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  13. alfiethetortois

    alfiethetortois Well-Known Member

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    Starting srong with a visit today - didn't manage to see everything and apologies for any errors I'm not great with birds.

    South Lakes Safari zoo: 1/1/19

    1) Andean Bear
    2) Patagonian Mara
    3) Black howler monkey
    4) Green winged macaw
    5) Scarlet macaw
    6) Blue and gold macaw
    7) Red shouldered macaw
    8) Red fronted macaw
    9) Mealy Amazon
    10) Orange winged Amazon
    11) Mitred Conure
    12) Glossy Ibis
    13) Scarlet Ibis
    14) Roseate spoonbill
    15) Giant Anteater
    16) Capabara
    17) Emperor Tamarin
    18) Cotton topped Tamarri
    19) Maned Wolf
    20) Jaguar
    21) Colombian Spider Money
    22) Chilean Flamingo.
    23) Andean Condor
    24) King Vulture
    25) Squirrel Monkey
    26) Humboldt Penguin
     
  14. BeakerUK

    BeakerUK Well-Known Member

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    I am already displaying my ignorance, see.
    12. Humboldt penguin
     
  15. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    To kick off the New Year(though I don't think I have a prayer of making it 3 in a row!) :

    Linton Zoo

    1 Scarlet Macaw
    2 Blue-throated Macaw
    3 Blue & Gold Macaw
    4 Blue fronted Amazon
    5 Mealy Amazon
    6 Yellow headed Amazon
    7 Blue cheeked Amazon
    8 Festive Amazon
    9 Yellow shouldered Amazon
    10 Red-lored Amazon
    11 Pale-billed Aracari
    12 Striated Caracara
    13 Red-footed tortoise
    14 Hercules beetle
    15 Pink Zebra Beauty spider
    16 Goliath bird eating spider
    17 Azara's Agouti
    18 Cotton-top tamarin
    19 Brazilian Tapir
    20 Six-banded Armadillo
     
  16. BeakerUK

    BeakerUK Well-Known Member

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    Damnit, I can guarantee I won't be adding any spiders to my list - phobia!
     
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  17. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Told you it'd be educational. :D
     
  18. Dormitator

    Dormitator Well-Known Member

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    Sorry! Just making things difficult today.

    I think a few butterfly houses / enclosures get their stock from Central America, BZG gets (most?) of their butterflies from Costa Rica, which although not South America does mean that many species will overlap with SA. Fortunately most are quite well known and will have their ranges well understood.

    Thanks for the clarification, I'll start looking for corals!
     
  19. OstrichMania

    OstrichMania Well-Known Member

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    I'll look for bacteria :p
     
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  20. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the challenge is only for animals.