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J. Zool. Bot. Gard., Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2024) – 7 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Health management in captive animals is difficult for various unknown reasons presumably related to physiological functions, disease, and diet. Generally, abnormal conditions are diagnosed based on body weight; however, zoos lack appropriate scales for megafauna. Body shape evaluation is often used to evaluate the nutritional status of breeding animals; however, this is inaccurate for zoo animals because of inter-observer variability, especially in megafauna. Previously, three-dimensional laser measurements were used to analyse body shape of reticulated giraffe, but further studies are required to examine its effectiveness in more individuals, and other species. View this paper
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29 pages, 14754 KiB  
Case Report
A Review of Two Decades of In Situ Conservation Powered by Public Aquaria
by João Correia, Nicole Kube, Lauren Florisson, Max Janse, Brian Zimmerman, Doris Preininger, Jonas Nowaczek, Anton Weissenbacher, Hugo Batista and Philippe Jouk
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(1), 90-118; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5010007 - 2 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2077
Abstract
The European Union of Aquarium Curators (EUAC) boasts a membership of 150 dedicated individuals, standing as a vital cornerstone within the European public aquarium community. Since 2004, the EUAC Conservation Fund has granted over a quarter of a million euros to approximately 50 [...] Read more.
The European Union of Aquarium Curators (EUAC) boasts a membership of 150 dedicated individuals, standing as a vital cornerstone within the European public aquarium community. Since 2004, the EUAC Conservation Fund has granted over a quarter of a million euros to approximately 50 conservation projects spanning the globe. These initiatives, diverse in nature and scale, have yielded tangible impacts on local populations and their focal species. This paper delves into the outcomes of these conservation endeavors and proposes enhancements to ensure that the funding is unequivocally channeled towards conservation efforts. One resounding observation gleaned from the array of projects spotlighted in this study is the profound community engagement that emerges, irrespective of the final project outcomes. These endeavors serve as a catalyst for local communities, shedding light on subjects that would otherwise remain shrouded in obscurity. Furthermore, the EUAC-backed projects illuminate the expansive reach of public aquarium initiatives, transcending the confines of acrylic tank walls and institutional boundaries to resonate globally, heightening local awareness about the imperative to safeguard biodiversity. These findings underscore a prospective trajectory for both the EUAC and the public aquaria it comprises: an intensified advocacy and collaboration with legislative bodies to fortify in situ conservation measures. In essence, it is imperative that the public comprehends the pivotal role played by aquaria in preserving a multitude of species and acknowledges that their visits directly contribute to funding projects aimed at safeguarding species within their natural habitats. Full article
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10 pages, 1325 KiB  
Article
Body Shape Analysis in Reticulated Giraffe, Okapi, and Black Rhinoceros Using Three-Dimensional Laser Measurements
by Nobuhide Kido, Sohei Tanaka, Yuko Wada, Atsushi Oura, Emi Ochiai, Natsumi Morita, Yoshiya Kawaguchi, Masanori Itabashi and Takanori Munakata
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(1), 80-89; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5010006 - 12 Jan 2024
Viewed by 2506
Abstract
Health management in captive animals is difficult for various unknown reasons presumably related to physiological functions, disease, and diet. Generally, abnormal conditions are diagnosed based on body weight; however, zoos lack appropriate scales for megafauna. Body shape evaluation is often used to evaluate [...] Read more.
Health management in captive animals is difficult for various unknown reasons presumably related to physiological functions, disease, and diet. Generally, abnormal conditions are diagnosed based on body weight; however, zoos lack appropriate scales for megafauna. Body shape evaluation is often used to evaluate the nutritional status of breeding animals; however, this is inaccurate for zoo animals because of inter-observer variability, especially in megafauna. Previously, three-dimensional laser measurements were used to analyse body shape of reticulated giraffe, but further studies are required to examine its effectiveness in more individuals, and other species. Here, we applied this method to seven reticulated giraffe (Giraffa reticulata), five okapi (Okapia johnstoni), and three black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) individuals for which cross-sectional area, width, and height in transverse section were determined. Relative change rates of each variable in relation to measurements at the axillary region revealed changes in body shape for each individual. Further, scatter plots and corresponding fitted curves and correlation coefficients showed a correlation between body length and approximate volume. The accuracy of three-dimensional laser measurements was demonstrated in three animal species, whereby we propose its use as an alternative method to evaluate body shape in megafauna without the inter-observer variability. In addition, this handheld device may be applied for various zoos without the scale for megafauna. Full article
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14 pages, 1183 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Multi-Zoo Survey Investigating the Housing and Husbandry of Callimico goeldii
by Amanda Bartlett, James Edward Brereton and Marianne Sarah Freeman
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(1), 66-79; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5010005 - 11 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1080
Abstract
Callimico (Callimico goeldii) are members of the callitrichid family, and a species of conservation concern managed within the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) ex situ program. They benefit from extensive ‘Best Practice’ guidelines developed by the Callitrichid Taxon Advisory Group [...] Read more.
Callimico (Callimico goeldii) are members of the callitrichid family, and a species of conservation concern managed within the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) ex situ program. They benefit from extensive ‘Best Practice’ guidelines developed by the Callitrichid Taxon Advisory Group (TAG), but there are gaps in species-specific knowledge and captive management research. A survey was created to understand and evaluate current housing and husbandry within EAZA collections holding callimico. The questionnaire allowed collation of details including enclosure size along with prevalence of mixed species exhibits, use of UV-B lighting, enclosure complexity and enrichment routines. Responding collections represented 44% of the current callimico holders, with the results allowing comparative analysis of current practice against the guidelines and considering previous research. Significant positive differences were discovered between minimum recommended enclosure dimensions, including total enclosure volume, 32 m3 (p < 0.001, median = 100) and height, 2.5 m (p < 0.001, median = 3) versus EAZA’s minimum recommended dimensions. Encouragingly, no significant difference in complexity was found between on and off exhibit housing, but the results suggest that being housed in a mixed species exhibit offers a more complex environment for callimico (W = 405.5, p < 0.005). The responses revealed overall good practice, although a disparity was noted in the provision of UV-B lighting and the prevalence of enrichment. Observational research focusing on spatial use, preference and behavior is recommended to complement husbandry guidelines. Reference of the survey findings to welfare indicators could determine the effect of current housing and husbandry on callimico welfare. Full article
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15 pages, 8936 KiB  
Article
Tree Species Composition and Diversity in a Secondary Forest along the Sierra Madre Mountain Range in Central Luzon, Philippines: Implications for the Conservation of Endemic, Native, and Threatened Plants
by Christian Ofalla Llait
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(1), 51-65; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5010004 - 9 Jan 2024
Viewed by 2651
Abstract
The Sierra Madre Mountain Range (SMMR) is the backbone of the Luzon Islands that contains a high concentration of highly important ecological resources distributed among the 68 protected areas therewith. The present study aimed to assess the composition and diversity of tree species [...] Read more.
The Sierra Madre Mountain Range (SMMR) is the backbone of the Luzon Islands that contains a high concentration of highly important ecological resources distributed among the 68 protected areas therewith. The present study aimed to assess the composition and diversity of tree species in a secondary forest within the SMMR. A 2.25 km transect with 10 900-m2 plots were established to record tree species with a diameter at breast height of at least 10 cm. The findings revealed 148 individuals of trees from 38 morphospecies, 28 genera, and 20 families. Importance values unveiled the Aurora endemic Macaranga stonei Whitmore as the most important species in terms of the relative values of its abundance, frequency, and dominance. The area was also found to be home to 33 natives, 12 endemics, five IUCN threatened species, and nine Philippine threatened trees. Furthermore, the study site was also found to have considerably high diversity, with a Shannon–Weiner Index value of 3.269 and a relatively even distribution of individuals among species, as supported by the Simpson’s Evenness index value of 0.9453. Significant correlational relationships were also found among species richness, Shannon–Weiner index, and Simpson’s Evenness index, with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.881 to 0.934, with all significant at p < 0.001. Lastly, the study was able to produce a distribution map, which is necessary for implementing targeted conservation strategies. These findings provided valuable implications for future research and implementation of targeted and participatory biodiversity conservation and protection strategies. Full article
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15 pages, 2848 KiB  
Article
The Study of Exotic and Invasive Plant Species in Gullele Botanic Garden, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
by Mehari Girmay, Kflay Gebrehiwot, Ergua Atinafe, Yared Tareke and Birhanu Belay
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(1), 36-50; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5010003 - 3 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1352
Abstract
The Gullele Botanic Garden was established to preserve and safeguard indigenous, rare, endemic, endangered, and economically important plant species. The objective of this study was to identify and map the exotic, invasive, and potentially invasive plant species that are present in the garden’s [...] Read more.
The Gullele Botanic Garden was established to preserve and safeguard indigenous, rare, endemic, endangered, and economically important plant species. The objective of this study was to identify and map the exotic, invasive, and potentially invasive plant species that are present in the garden’s various land use types, such as natural vegetation, plantations, roadsides and garden edges. The research involved laying plots at different distances in each land use type and collecting vegetation data with geo-location information. Sorensen’s similarity index was used to measure the floristic similarity between the sampled land use types. Data on species density and abundance were analyzed using the corresponding formula. The Shannon–Wiener diversity index and evenness were used to compute the diversity of the species in each land use type using R packages. ArcGIS version 10.5 was used to track the geographical distribution and map the exotic, invasive, and potentially invasive species that exist in all land use types of the garden. A total of 80 plant species belonging to 70 genera in 44 families were recorded in the garden. Asteraceae, Myrtaceae, and Fabaceae comprised the highest number of species. Acacia decurrens, Acacia melanoxylon, Cuscuta campestris, Galinsoga parviflora, Nerium oleander, and Cyathula uncinulata were the most prevalent invasive and potentially invasive species. The study found that the roadside and garden edge land use types had the most diverse exotic and invasive plants. The total density of exotic species was 2.36 plants/m2. The potential possibility of these plants in displacing the native plant species is quite high unless the introduction of exotic plant species is inspected and appropriate management strategies for invasive species are put in place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Species in Botanical and Zoological Gardens)
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17 pages, 1321 KiB  
Article
Preference for Animals: A Comparison of First-Time and Repeat Visitors
by Yulei Guo and David Fennell
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(1), 19-35; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5010002 - 25 Dec 2023
Viewed by 960
Abstract
Wildlife tourism is one of the strongest-performing sectors in the global tourism market. While tourists’ preferences for and affection towards animals are a cornerstone of the industry, a better understanding of how experiences, including animal–tourist encounters and visitation frequency, influence visitors’ animal preferences [...] Read more.
Wildlife tourism is one of the strongest-performing sectors in the global tourism market. While tourists’ preferences for and affection towards animals are a cornerstone of the industry, a better understanding of how experiences, including animal–tourist encounters and visitation frequency, influence visitors’ animal preferences is required. Through a comparison of preferences among first-time and repeat visitors of four species (giant panda “Ailuropoda melanoleuca”, red panda “Ailurus fulgens”, peafowl “Pavo cristatus”, and swan “Cygnus”), both before and after animal encounters at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (Panda Base), the results show that different species elicit varied and, at times, contrasting tourist preferences. As a result, animal preferences in wildlife tourism can vary based on different stages of visitation. Highlighting this dynamic relationship between animal preferences and visitation experiences is further elucidated through consumer learning theory and lively capital. The outcomes of this study contribute to a deeper grasp of human–animal interactions and have broader implications for the development of conservation programs in captive wildlife venues. Full article
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18 pages, 737 KiB  
Article
Compassion Fatigue in Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) Caregivers: Prevalence, Contributing Factors, and Coping Mechanisms
by Jesse G. Leinwand and Gillian L. Vale
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(1), 1-18; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5010001 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2169
Abstract
Compassion fatigue (CF) refers to the exhaustion and distress caused by the demands of caring for others. CF occurs in a variety of helping professions, including physicians, nurses, educators, social workers and animal caregivers, and is known to adversely impact both caregivers’ quality [...] Read more.
Compassion fatigue (CF) refers to the exhaustion and distress caused by the demands of caring for others. CF occurs in a variety of helping professions, including physicians, nurses, educators, social workers and animal caregivers, and is known to adversely impact both caregivers’ quality of life and the care they provide. This study assessed the prevalence, risk and protective factors, coping strategies and support programs for CF in chimpanzee caregivers (N = 123) at accredited sanctuaries and zoos in the United States. Online survey results revealed that 91.06% of chimpanzee caregivers experienced CF at some point in their careers. Common CF symptoms were exhaustion, frustration, anxiety, depression, and apathy. Perceived factors influencing CF included being understaffed, lacking resources and training, poor relationships with coworkers and supervisors, and financial insecurity. Commonly reported coping strategies were talking to someone, having pets, self-care, and getting away from work. 20.33% of caregivers reported having institutional support programs available to them, however they were rarely viewed as helpful and 32.52% of respondents were unsure about program availability. Overall, our findings suggest that, like other caregiving professionals, chimpanzee caregivers are susceptible to CF and may benefit from new or updated support programs that continue to build a ‘culture of care’ that meets employee, animal, and facility needs. Full article
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