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Zoological Situation in Portugal: Reviews

Discussion in 'Portugal' started by filipinos, 19 Nov 2012.

  1. filipinos

    filipinos Well-Known Member

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    I guess i will do some reviews for the zoos/aquariums i´m more able to.
    I´ll start with Lisbon Aquarium.
    Note: I will use google images for this review, so credit is for the photographers

    Oceanário de Lisboa

    Built in 1998 for the EXPO, it was the major attraction of the said event. Even if Lisbon already had an aquarium, the city council decided that a new, modern oceanarium was needed.
    Situated entirely on water, it´s shaped as an oil rig with anly a bridge connecting it to land, where everybody enters the main building. Recently a new building was built to house temporary exhibits.
    But let´s stop with the intro and talk about the visit itslef.


    As we arrive to Parque das Nações, it´s not hard to find the Oceanarium. Head to water and then look to both sides, you will find a very odd looking building that will be without a doubt the main part of the tour.

    [​IMG]

    We head to the ticket booth, now located in the new building. The prices are incredible low. For an adult, the entrance to the old building is 11 Euros, and 14 when the Temporary exhibit is included. We walk across the stairways and arrive at the first exhibit, wich is really good, even if temporary. It´s about the life of a sea turtle, and includes 5 rescued Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and many small fish species. We first sneak trough a little window where we are able to see some small tropical fishes, but no turtles on the sight. Until we arrive to an arched entry, where with luck there´s a turtle passing between your feet. It´s really great. We pass some more windows were we can see the turtles and arrive to a small room where there´s one seat facing the coral reef area and the other facing a sea prairie. Another cool touch. We follow the rout and leave the building.

    [​IMG]

    We walk across the main walkaway and arrive to the main tour of our visit. As we enter, the main tank, known as Global Ocean. It houses some impressing species, including a Lesser Manta, more known as Devil Ray (Mobula mobula) (until 2007 a Greater Manta Ray was also housed here, but when it arrived a wingspan of 3.5 metres, the aquarium staff decided to release it), 2 Sun Fish (Mola mola), one with 2 metres, a Giant Bowmouth Guitarfish (Rhina ancylostoma), Sand Tiger Shark ( Carcharias taurus), Sandbar Shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), Giant Grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus), Barracuda, Tuna and many other fish species, including more than 20 other shark and ray species.

    [​IMG]

    Continuing the tour, we turn right and face the terrestrial view of the North Atlantic Habitat, habited by large groups of Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica), Razorbill (Alca torda) and Common Guillemot (Uria aalge), and underwater, small shark and cod co-habit with Crabs.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. filipinos

    filipinos Well-Known Member

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    Following the route, we arrive to the Antarctic Zone, even it represents better the islands of Georgia and the Malvines. Another very realistic area, and with real ice! Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) and Macaroni Penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophu) are the major attractions of this area, and the Inca Terns (Larosterna inca) flying above your head also make a very cool appearance. As in the Atlantic area, groups of small fish also live here.

    [​IMG]

    The next habitat is quite possibly the most popular one. The Alaskan Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris) of the aquarium always attract crowds, and the Temperate Pacific zone houses a mother and her two daughters. Other living beings here include American Oystercatches (Haematopus bachmani), Heermann’s gull (Larus heermanni), Leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) and a small kelp forest that stretches to the central tank.

    [​IMG]

    The next habitat, and the last, is the Tropical Indian. A small rainforest with a boardwalk is filled with colorfull birds, as White-cheeked Turaco
    (Tauraco leucotis leucotis)
    , Scaly-Breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata), Hartlaub's Turaco (Tauraco hartlaubi) and Yellow-Mantled Widowbird (Euplectes macroura). People can also have a look at coral from the surface and check Humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) lurk.

    [​IMG]

    We follow the main path and go down to the underwater area of the aquarium. The main tank is also visible from here, and there´s also underwater viewing available from this level for all the other main habitats. You can see the Global Ocean trough the other tanks.

    [​IMG]

    The tanks of this level are much smaller and, obviously, include much smaller species. The North Atlantic zone inlcudes species like the Cuttlefish, Senegalese Sole (Solea senegalensis), Thornback Ray (Raja clavata) and White-Spotted Jellyfish (Phyllorhiza punctata).
    Following the route, the Antarctic Ocean doesn´t include many species, but small sharks and a mixed species exhibit for Weedy Sea Dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) and Leafy Sea Dragon (Phycodurus eques) are the main aquarium tanks.
    The three following habitats are the last and the most crowded. But before that, we arrive to the Amphibian Display wich houses about a dozen species of newts, frogs and toads from all over the world.

    [​IMG]

    The habit of North Pacific houses Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini), Ocellated Wolf-Eel (Anarrhichthys ocellatus) and a tank for sea urchins and anemones are accompanied by many other.
    To end the visit, we arrive to the Indian Ocean, where we can see a nice collection of moray eels, including Brown Moray (Gymnothorax unicolor), Tanks for poisonous fish, sea horse, clownfish and a small nocturnal area for Spotted Chimaera (Hydrolagus colliei), Japanese Spider Crabs (Macrocheira kaempferi) and Lanternfish (Myctophidae) make a very nice finish for a very good tour.
     
  3. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the great review filipinos. I really enjoyed the tour that you gave. I like how you integrated the photos with the text.

    What happened to the original Lisbon Aquarium? Did it shut down when the new one opened?
     
  4. filipinos

    filipinos Well-Known Member

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    The Lisbon Aquarium is still there, and it´s called Aquario Vasco da Gama and includes Cape Fur Seal, Loggerhead Turtle and an incredibly good collection of Portuguese Marine Life. It´s one of the oldest aquariums in the world still standing.
    Maguari visited it last year and i believe he liked it more than the expected.

    EDIT: I forgot to say thank you! :D
     
  5. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Great review, and one day I'm going to have to figure out how to incorporate images in with my text.:) How long would an average visitor spend at the aquarium?
     
  6. filipinos

    filipinos Well-Known Member

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    Thanks snowleopard. It´s very easy to place images in the review. You just have to enter [​IMG] and it will show up! ;)
    An average visit to the aquarium would take 5/6 hours for a regular zoochatter. For the common visitor, it would be about around 2/3 hours.
     
  7. Bele

    Bele Well-Known Member

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    Enjoyed your review filipinos . I visited Oceanario back in June and was very impressed , could have spent much longer than the 2 hours I had . I also enjoyed a visit to Lisbon Zoo .
     
  8. filipinos

    filipinos Well-Known Member

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    Portugal hides some very good secrets. Lisbon Zoo is improving to a much better place, and the Oceanarium is also very good.

    Thank you.
     
  9. filipinos

    filipinos Well-Known Member

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    Would anyone be interested in another review?
    This are the zoos i´m more able to do one:

    - Zoomarine (Marine Theme Park in Albufeira)

    - Zoo de Santo Inácio (Very Good Small-Medium Sized Zoo in Avintes)

    - Parque Biologico de Gaia (Excellent Wildlife Park in Avintes)

    - Aquario Vasco da Gama (One of the oldest aquariums of the world)

    - Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa (Main Zoological Place of Portugal)

    - Badoca Safari Park (A Big Safari Park with a fine collection of "safari species" and some of the best enclousres i have seen)
     
    Last edited: 22 Nov 2012
  10. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this brilliant review, filipinos. It makes me want to go back to Lisbon soon just to re-visit the Oceanarium. :)

    I'd be very interested in reading more of your reviews, and I look forward to whichever comes next.
     
  11. Bele

    Bele Well-Known Member

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    Would be interested in hearing about the two Avintes collections . I stayed in Oporto ( a great place ) back in the summer but did not manage to get out to these . Suspect I might regret this !
     
  12. filipinos

    filipinos Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much devilfish! It´s a great compliment, expecially coming from you!

    I had this one prepared for another website, and i might do one for Santo Inacio or Lisbon in some days, if there´s not a favourite.
     
  13. filipinos

    filipinos Well-Known Member

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    Sure thing Bele, these two collections have nothing to do with each other but they are side by side. They are like 10 minutes away from Oporto.
     
  14. KEEPER

    KEEPER Well-Known Member

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    Good review and great pics.Filipinos.
    Many thanks!.
     
  15. filipinos

    filipinos Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much for the kind words KEEPER.

    Muchas Gracias! :D
     
  16. filipinos

    filipinos Well-Known Member

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    If there´s no more opinions for a new review, i guess i´ll start one for the two Avintes Collections.
    After those, i´ll do one for Mora´s Fluviarium, 600 river species inhabit this place, the perfect complement for the Lisbon Oceanarium (same signs, similar aquariums, a great co-operation between the two...), even if they are far away from eachother.
     
    Last edited: 24 Nov 2012
  17. filipinos

    filipinos Well-Known Member

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    I´ll follow with Badoca Safari Park...
    Note: I will use google images for this review, so credit is for the photographers

    Badoca Safari Park

    It´s one of Portugal oldest zoos, even if it just opened in 1999. Located 2 hours south of Lisbon, houses around 100 species, mainly hoofstock and Birds of Prey, most of them very common, being Red Lechwe, Spanish Eagle Owl, Spanish Red Deer and Cape Buffalo the exceptions.
    So, here´s the review:

    We arrive to this 90 Ha Zoo, and go ahead to buy our 18 Euro ticket, wich is too high for this zoo.

    [​IMG]

    The Safari is the last thing to do, so we visit the pedetrian area first. The inicial part houses common species, like Llama (Lama guanicoe), Red-Necked Wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus), Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus), Watusi Cattle (Bos primigenius hahni) and domestic species. They are all in big, shaded enclousures.

    [​IMG]

    We continue walking, and see various other distractions, but not-animal related, like water rides and an African Village. Before we head back to the entrance, there´s the latest addition to the park: 3 Monkey Islands (there are more ready to receive other species), very big and very well furnitured, that now house Chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes) , Mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) and Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas hamadryas).

    [​IMG]

    Again at the entrance, we have the Lemur Islands, where Red-bellied lemur (Eulemur rubriventer) and Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) have almost perfect enclousures, as the Alentejo flora meets the requirements. There´s also a porcupine exhibit and a Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) lake. Before going to the safari park, we also see a Macaw walk-trough aviary and a Bird of Prey Show.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. filipinos

    filipinos Well-Known Member

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    The final and main part, the safari, we cross a bridge, where we can see Ring-Tailed Coati (Nasua Nasua) in another nice enclosure.

    [​IMG]

    We are at the Station, and wait for the truck to start the safari. It´s a trip of more than 1 hour in a very tipical Portuguese setting.
    They are all mixed, even if there are species from Africa, Asia, Europe and America. The driver stops where the animals are and talks about their habits. It´s a very nice tour that most kids enjoy.

    [​IMG]

    The species list is the following:

    Ostrich (Struthio camelus)
    Congo Buffallo (Syncerus caffer nanus)
    Cape Buffallo (Syncerus caffer caffer)
    Springbock (Antidorcas marsupialis)
    Axis Deer (Cervus axis)
    Red Lechwe (Kobus leche leche)
    Dromedary Camel (Camelus dromedarius)
    Common Eland (Taurotragus oryx)
    Fallow Deer (Cervus dama)
    Rothschild´s Giraffe (Giraffa Camelopardis Rothschildi)
    White-Beared Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus albojubatus)
    Blue WIldebeest (Connochaetes taurinus taurinus)
    Black Wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou)
    Spanish Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)
    Plains Zebra (Equus burchelli)
    Scimitar-Horned Oryx (Oryx dammah)
    Common Impala (Aepyceros melampus melampus)
    Western Sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii gratus)
    Common waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus ellipsiprymnus)
    Barbary Sheep (Ammotragus lervia)
    Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros)

    [​IMG]

    To finalize the tour and the zoo we have a big exhibit for a pair of Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris), rescued from a Circus some years ago.

    [​IMG]