Zoo Research News

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Jul 15, 2017 - Eleanor Bunting, University of Plymouth and Natasha De Vere, Whitley ...... World Museums Liverpool, William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3.

Zoo Research News BIAZA Research Newsletter Vol. 9 No. 1 Jan. 2008

News and Views from the BIAZA Research Group BIAZA 10th Annual Symposium on Zoo Research

In 2008 the annual research symposium will be hosted by The Deep (Hull, East Yorkshire) on 15th and 16th July. As it will be the 10th annual symposium we intend to mark the anniversary with some special presentations and events but there will also be the usual opportunity for students, keepers and more experienced researchers to offer oral and poster presentations on any area of research conducted in or by zoos and aquariums. The methods workshop which usually takes place on the second morning will be on aquarium-based research and as usual we will be aiming to use the discussions to generate an issue of the Zoo Research Guidelines series. To ensure you are on the mailing list for further information, registration and abstract submission please contact Katy Rigby, Assistant Curator ([email protected]). Research Group support for multi-zoo studies

The research section of the BIAZA website now includes a large number of resources for existing and potential zoo researchers (see below). One important section is the details of our support scheme for researchers wishing to undertake multi-zoo research. We hope this will improve the quality of research proposals sent to zoos and encourage zoos to respond positively to them. Following scrutiny of a research proposal, and recommended changes if necessary, the Research Group may offer a letter of support to potential researchers at one of three levels: 1 that the research is well planned and likely to provide robust answers to the questions posed; 2, that in addition the research is likely to be of great interest to BIAZA members; and in exceptional circumstances 3, that the research is truly groundbreaking. The research reported in the feature article by Eleanor Bunting for her MSc dissertation was supported by the Research Group to level 2. 5th EAZA Zoo Nutrition Conference

This conference was hosted by Chester Zoo on 24th-26th Jan 2008 and well attended by delegates from many EAZA zoos as well as colleagues from the AZA Nutrition Advisory Group. Many excellent presentations highlighted the range of nutrition-related research being conducted in EAZA zoos but it was also clear that there is still much more to do in this area. For instance, more collaboration with field workers is needed to obtain better information about wild diets for many species and techniques for performing nutrient analysis with basic field equipment are being developed. Within zoos more research is needed into diets to avoid overfeeding and obesity. BIAZA Research Group Resources The BIAZA website (www.biaza.org.uk) contains a huge amount of information for zoo-based researchers. We encourage all prospective zoo researchers to look at the information before commencing research or contacting zoos and hope supervisors will recommend all their students do this. The following resources can be downloaded without charge from the site: • All issues of Zoo Research News • Zoo Research Guidelines: Project Planning and Behavioural Observations. Wehnelt, S., Hosie, C., Plowman, A. and Feistner, A. 2003. • Zoo Research Guidelines: Monitoring Stress in Zoo Animals. Smith, T.E. 2004. • Zoo Research Guidelines: Studies of the Effects of Human Visitors on Zoo Animal Behaviour. Mitchell, H. and Hosey, G. 2005. • Zoo Research Guidelines: Sampling Guidelines for Zoos. BIAZA. 2002. • Zoo Research Guidelines: Statistics for Typical Zoo Datasets. Plowman, A. (ed.) 2006. • Zoo Research Guidelines: Surveys and Questionnaires. Plowman, A, Hosey, G. and Stevenson, M. 2006 • Abstracts of the 1st Annual Symposium on Zoo Research. Plowman, AB (ed.) 1999 • Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Symposium on Zoo Research. Plowman, AB (ed.) 2000 • Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Symposium on Zoo Research. Wehnelt, S and Hudson, C (eds.) 2001 • Proceedings of the 4th Annual Symposium on Zoo Research. Dow, S (ed.) 2003 • Proceedings of the 5th Annual Symposium on Zoo Research. Gilbert, T (ed.) 2003 • Proceedings of the 6th Annual Symposium on Zoo Research. McDonald, C. (ed.) 2004 • Proceedings of the 7th Annual Symposium on Zoo Research. Nicklin, A. (ed.). 2005 • Proceedings or the 8th Annual Symposium on Zoo Research. Dow, S and Clark, F, (eds.) 2006 • A database of browse use in British and Irish Zoos and poisonous plants information (CD, 2001). Plowman, A.B. and Turner, I. • A Bibliography of References to Husbandry and Veterinary Guidelines for Animals in Zoological Collections. Macdonald, A.A. and Charlton, N. (eds.) 2000

Feature Article How do zoo grounds contribute to native species and habitat protection? Eleanor Bunting, University of Plymouth and Natasha De Vere, Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust

Introduction Native species and habitats are increasingly recognised as an important and valuable resource and their conservation is becoming more crucial. The UK Biodiveristy Action Plan (UKBAP) and many Local Biodiversity Action Plans (LBAPs) include many species and habitats of concern in the UK. There are 1149 species and 65 habitats on the new UKBAP list (released in August 2007). This is double the number of species on the previous list, a worrying indication of significant declines in a large number of species. However it is not all bad, the revised list indicates that several species have benefited from being on the UKBAP list for the last ten years as shown by the highest population numbers in 50 years (BBC News 2007). Many zoos are in an ideal position to significantly contribute to native species and habitat conservation in an increasingly urbanised environment. Zoos can use the area available to them within their grounds to encourage native species and habitats to flourish and use the expertise gained from managing similar exotic species to assist with the husbandry and maintenance of vulnerable native species. By qualifying and quantifying native wildlife resources within UK zoos it is possible to gain a better understanding of what is already being done and what could be improved to promote conservation of native species and habitats within zoo grounds. Methods A questionnaire was developed using BIAZA guidelines (Plowman et al, 2006) to determine what native species and habitats were known to be present in UK zoos and what work was being done to benefit them. Areas included were native species and habitat importance, native species as an education topic, officially designated areas within the zoo grounds, designated areas associated with, but not inside, the zoo grounds, in situ conservation and ex situ breeding programs and associated native species and habitat conservation partners. A modified phase 1 habitat survey (Nature Conservancy Council, 1999) was carried out in nine UK zoos. Maps of each zoo were created using the Edina® Digimap® ordnance survey database, the zoos’ own maps and Google Earth™. The approximate percentage area of each vegetation cover type was estimated from the maps using 1cm square grids on acetate. While at each zoo a short interview was conducted with the appropriate native species staff member to gain a better understanding of any work detailed in the questionnaire responses. Results Response rate to the questionnaire was 27% (21 zoos) with most respondents indicating that they considered native species and habitats to be of relatively high importance (fig. 1) and 28% having protected areas within the zoo grounds. The number of native species recorded within the zoo grounds increased with the size of the zoo grounds and with the self-selected importance rank of native species and habitats. The number of designated habitats also significantly increased with the size of zoo grounds (r = 0.590, p < 0.01). The protected areas with zoos fell into four types of designation; Sites of Special Scientific Interest (4 recorded), County Wildlife Sites (2 recorded), Local Nature Reserve (1 recorded) and Site of Nature Conservation Interest (3 recorded). Contained within these designations were 12 UKBAP habitats. 19% of the responding zoos also managed designated habitats outside of their zoo grounds. 7

Fig 1. The number of zoos indicating each rank of importance of native species and habitat. 0 = Not important, 1 = Acknowledged, 2 = Considered at basic level, 3 = Included in management strategies, 4 = Considered of high importance, 5 = Have specific management plans.

No of zoos

6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ranked importance of native species and habitats

Of the 578 species and 73 habitats included in the old UKBAP lists (the new list was not released at the time of study) 4% of species and 26% habitats were represented in responses. 47% of responding zoos had in situ programmes for UKBAP and/or LBAP species. The responding zoos were distributed through 18 LBAP regions which list a total of 571 species and 330 habitats; 8% of species and 3% of habitats were represented in the responses. In total 3% of UKBAP species and 2% of the combined LBAP species were the subject of ex situ breeding programmes by responding zoos.

Table 1. % cover for each vegetation type for 9 surveyed zoos. Note: the percentages do not give a complete area of the zoo. This is due to observer error while mapping the errors and the restrictions placed on the measuring of the areas on the maps by the methods used. Two of the surveyed zoos had the UKBAP habitat calcareous grassland; non-organic cover included all nonvegetation substrates such as tarmac, gravel, bare ground and wood chips. The number of trees is a relative estimate, not absolute number, as it was not possible to count all the trees at some sights. Zoo ID J B L K Q F M C S 0.40 4.45 5.26 14.75 16.19 16.75 28.33 188.2 243 Size (hectares) 5 21 18 5 33 26 11 43 49 % Grass (Semi Improved) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 2 % Grass (Improved) 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 19 % Grass (Calcareous) 37 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 % Grass (Mesotrophic) 15 6 13 5 1 6 4 1 2 % Water 29 39 39 39 19 20 14 7 7 % Non-organic cover 13 14 12 13 28 13 9 1 0 % Shrub 3 22 12 13 3 12 3 1 2 % Building 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 % area under construction/inaccessible 24 123 154 404 456 437 1213 1893 1667 Number of broadleaved trees 0 22 27 12 121 0 87 110 130 Number of evergreen trees

Conclusions Although there was a relatively low response rate to the questionnaire it can be seen that UK zoos are contributing to native species and habitat conservation but there is much more that could be done. Some actions zoos could take to improve native wildlife conservation include: - Conduct a full biodiversity survey of the zoo grounds and any zoo owned or managed land. This will give a clear picture of what species and habitats the zoo already holds and can begin to work with. - Explicitly include native species and habitats in the zoo’s management plan. - Focus conservation efforts on the species and habitats listed on the UKBAP and relevant LBAP. - Collaborate with LBAP organisers and other local conservation groups to become involved with in situ and ex situ programmes in a variety of ways. - Determine what simple measures can be taken e.g. creating ponds, nesting materials, nesting boxes, niche habitats such as log piles, changes in site management to provide more suitable habitats for native species such as uncut grass areas, wild flower areas and species specific planting. - Consider native species planting in the grounds, including within exhibits, to increase plant and animal diversity e.g. reed beds for water voles and flowering plants for butterflies and bumblebees. - Investigate making areas of free flowing and standing water more hospitable to native species. Water that is not being changed regularly, such as ponds and exhibit moats, and the plants that are associated with them, e.g. bog grasses and reed beds can be adapted for native species to use. Zoos could introduce areas such as reed beds as part of a water purification system and also provide habitat for local species. - Advertise the presence of native species around the zoo in promotional material and on websites etc. and demonstrate care and concern for the local environment - Work with staff in the zoo and local experts to become a viable source of information for native species and habitats in the region. - Contact the BIAZA native species working group. They are a source of information and will be working with zoos to improve the representation of native species and habitat to ensure their survival. Acknowledgements Thanks to the zoos that participated in this study, especially those who allowed a phase 1 habitat survey of their grounds. References BBC News, 2007a. Hedgehogs join 'protection' list. Chape, S., Harrison, J., Spalding, M., Lysenko, I., 2005. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B. 360: 443-455. Dudley, N., Baldock, D., Nasi, R., Stolton, S., 2005. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B. 360, 457-470. Nature Conservancy Council, 1990. Handbook for Phase 1 habitat survey, Nature Conservancy Council. Plowman, A., Hosey, G., Stevenson, M., 2006. Zoo Research Guidelines: Surveys and Questionnaires, BIAZA. Further info: Dr Natasha de Vere, National Botanic Gardens of Wales email: [email protected]

Research Snippets The effect of territory manipulation using a tunnel system on the husbandry and breeding of captive pine martens (Martes martes) Claire Greenhill, DICE, University of Kent

The pine marten is Britain’s second rarest carnivore, after the Scottish wild cat. Consequently there is interest in reintroducing pine martens into their former range in areas of suitable habitat. Captive breeding is likely to play an important part in this. However, breeding success has been inconsistent, with several injuries and deaths occurring when males and females are mixed. Moreover, as wide-ranging carnivores, pine martens are susceptible to stereotypy in captivity, which may affect reproductive hormones and therefore breeding success. The Wildwood Trust, Kent, has 6 pine martens (3 male and 3 female) housed individually in adjacent outdoor enclosures. During the summer of 2006 a tunnel system was used to connect the enclosures of female 1 and male 1. This system consisted of a wood frame and wire mesh tunnels fixed to the outside of the enclosures approximately 2.5m from ground level, with one part passing through the female’s enclosure. The pine martens’ access to the tunnels was controlled with a series of shut-offs throughout the tunnel system. This allowed the male pine marten to explore the female’s enclosure while preventing direct physical contact. Outside of the breeding season they each had access to half of the tunnel system. A breeding attempt in 2006 failed to produce a litter. Breeding with the same pair was attempted again in the summer of 2007, but included an earlier start in the season and a longer acclimatisation period before the pine martens were put together. Both pine martens exhibited aspects of breeding behaviour that have been observed in the wild. The male spent a considerable amount of time sniffing and scent marking in the female’s enclosure. Chasing was also observed and the female emitted the characteristic ‘throaty chuckle’ which precedes mounting. Female 1 had two receptive periods at the end of June/beginning July, after which aggression increased and the pair were permanently separated. Whether the breeding attempt was successful will not be known until spring 2008, however mounting occurred on three occasions during the study. The tunnel system was useful in controlling aggression between the pair, making it much easier to separate them and to avoid injury. During the summer of 2007 another tunnel system was put in place connecting the enclosures of female 2 and male 2. This led to a significant reduction in stereotypy, as indicated by reduced pacing, in female 2. A similar calming effect was observed in male 1 in 2006. This suggests that tunnels of this design are a useful enrichment tool for pine martens, encouraging more natural behaviour. For further information: [email protected]

Does level of human contact affect parasite burden in Macaca nigra Andy Jonas, University of Plymouth and Vicky Melfi, Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust (Paignton Zoo)

Indonesia is a very important area for primate conservation as it contains the greatest primate diversity in Asia. The island of Sulawesi is one of the eastern islands which makes up Wallacea and contains a large variety of unique species, one of which is the Sulawesi crested black macaque (Macaca nigra). Macaca nigra is found only in the northern peninsular of the island and is currently classified as endangered. This study examined the effect of varying levels of human contact on the gastrointestinal helminth burden of Macaca nigra. Comparisons were made between three types of macaque groups representing differing human-primate proximity: pets, habituated and wild. Fifty one faecal samples were collected in Macaca nigra’s native home range and analysed in order to determine estimations of helminth burden (egg counts/gram of faeces). Eight taxa of gastrointestinal helminth (Trichuris sp., Ascaris sp., Hookworm, Strongyle sp., Taenia sp., Hymenolepis sp., Enterobius vermicularis and Schistosoma mansoni) were identified. The overall parasitization rate was 86.3%. Parasite burden in pet macaques was found to be significantly higher than that of their wild counter-parts (F(2,48) = 7.01, p