Comparative analyses of longevity and senescence reveal variable survival benefits of living in zoos across mammals.

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 36361 (2016)


While it is commonly believed that animals live longer in zoos than in the wild, this assumption has rarely been tested. We compared four survival metrics (longevity, baseline mortality, onset of senescence and rate of senescence) between both sexes of free-ranging and zoo populations of more than 50 mammal species. We found that mammals from zoo populations generally lived longer than their wild counterparts (84% of species). The effect was most notable in species with a faster pace of life (i.e. a short life span, high reproductive rate and high mortality in the wild) because zoos evidently offer protection against a number of relevant conditions like predation, intraspecific competition and diseases. Species with a slower pace of life (i.e. a long life span, low reproduction rate and low mortality in the wild) benefit less from captivity in terms of longevity; in such species, there is probably less potential for a reduction in mortality. These findings provide a first general explanation about the different magnitude of zoo environment benefits among mammalian species, and thereby highlight the effort that is needed to improve captive conditions for slow-living species that are particularly susceptible to extinction in the wild.


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Dienstag, 18 Oktober 2016 07:42

CIRKULAN, S. (2016)

Načrtovanje oskrbe in Živiljenjskega prostora obročkstorepth makijev ali kat (Lemur catta) v Bioparku Lipovec

Planning of supply and habitat for Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) in Biopark Lipovec


Universität Ljubljana, Pädagogische Fakultät und Biotechnische Fakultät
Mentor: doc. dr. Miha Krofel

Zoo Augsburg. Direktorin: Dr. Barbara Jantschke
und andere Zoos

V + 74 Seiten, 12 Tabellen, 36 Abbildungen (Fotos, Grafiken, Pläne)



Ring-tailed Lemur or Katta (Lemur catta) is a species of lemur, which naturally inhabits the gallery forests and spiny scrub of the African island Madagascar. With other lemur species it is one of the endemic species. And it is an extremely flexible and opportunistic species. According to the IUCN Red List from 2014 Ring-tailed Lemur is an endangered species, and is often bred in parks and zoos as part of breeding programs around the world in order to maintain diverse genetic bank and a healthy population of animals in the artificial environment which would be, in the case of extinction in the wild reintroduced into the natural environment. This charismatic lemur will be settled in the Biopark Lipovec, a project that is currently in progress and in Slovenia represents an innovative approach in education, green tourism and especially nature conservation. In the Graduation thesis we used the scientific literature, analysed the life of Ring-tailed Lemurs in nature and compared it with life of animals in an artificial environment in five different European zoos and in the end created a plan of supply, care and living space for the animals to be settled in the Biopark Lipovec. European zoos have very specialized diet plans, based on natural diet. We previewed the best practices and made a diet plan for our lemurs. Ring-tailed lemurs are very flexible and opportunistic, also in nature, that is why in an artificial environment preventive and curative veterinary care is used rarely. Research showed that the quality of exhibit is more important than its size. We also summed up good practices of habitat design and tehniques by other zoos and made a plan of new habitat in Biopark Lipovec and added some innovation and unique solutions for animal display and care. Breeding of Ring-tailed Lemur in an artificial environment is undemanding in comparison with other species. Since the natural environment of Ring-tailed Lemur is still declining due to human impact, the population of wild animals is decreasing, that is why the breeding of animals in zoos and parks, education about endangered species and their habitat, of the most important for the species survival.


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A Preliminary Review of Monitor Lizards in Zoological Gardens.

Biawak, 10(1), pp. 26-35 © 2016 by International Varanid Interest Group.


To gain an overview of monitor lizards held in zoos, including the species and numbers of individuals kept and the number of keeping institutions, we analyzed collection information from the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) database. Our analysis performed in March 2016 revealed that there are 50 species of monitor lizard kept globally in 308 zoos, with 39 of these species kept in a total of 131 European zoos. Eleven globally-kept species were lacking in European zoo holdings, and nine species were found exclusively in European zoos. Of the 79 currently recognized species of monitor lizard, 30 (38 %) are not currently held in zoos. Although ZIMS data are certainly not complete, there is a discernible trend that only a few species are widely kept by the zoo community; whereas most species are poorly represented or not represented at all.

As only 22 monitor lizard species are listed in the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species, there is not only an obvious need for additional Red List assessments, but also a disconnect between the species most frequently kept in zoos and their conservation status. As space and resources in zoos are limited, species selections should be well-planned. The current number of zoo breeding programs  for monitor lizards is comparatively low and there are further species, such as small island endemics, that require support through assurance colonies sustained by ex situ conservation breeding programs. We recommend considering a shift from commonly kept species towards species that are in greater need of support through zoo husbandry and beeding efforts. Improved networking between zoos and between zoos and authorities is another important prerequisite that can help zoos assemble breeding groups and exchange species that so far are only rarely kept by the zoo community.


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Determining Connections between the Daily Lives of Zoo Elephants and Their Welfare: An Epidemiological Approach.

PLoS ONE 11(7): e0158124. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0158124


Concerns about animal welfare increasingly shape people’s views about the acceptability of keeping animals for food production, biomedical research, and in zoos. The field of animal welfare science has developed over the past 50 years as a method of investigating these concerns via research that assesses how living in human-controlled environments influences the behavior, health and affective states of animals. Initially, animal welfare research focused on animals in agricultural settings, but the field has expanded to zoos because good animal welfare is essential to zoos’ mission of promoting connections between animals and visitors and raising awareness of conservation issues. A particular challenge for zoos is ensuring good animal welfare for long-lived, highly social species like elephants. Our main goal in conducting an epidemiological study of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephant welfare in 68 accredited North American zoos was to understand the prevalence of welfare indicators in the population and determine the aspects of an elephant’s zoo environment, social life and management that are most important to prevent and reduce a variety of welfare problems. In this overview, we provide a summary of the findings of the nine papers in the collection titled: Epidemiological Investigations of North American Zoo Elephant Welfare with a focus on the life history, social, housing, and management factors found to be associated with particular aspects of elephant welfare, including the performance of abnormal behavior, foot and joint problems, recumbence, walking rates, and reproductive health issues. Social and management factors were found to be important for multiple indicators of welfare, while exhibit space was found to be less influential than expected. This body of work results from the largest prospective zoo-based animal welfare study conducted to date and sets in motion the process of using science-based welfare benchmarks to optimize care of zoo elephants.

Link zum Volltext:


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Husbandry and Pathology of Bearded Vultures in Swiss Zoos that Particepate in the Alpine Reintroduction Project.

European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians (EAZWV), Third scientific meeting, May 31th - June 4th, 2000, PARIS, France:


Fünf schweizerische Tiergärten tragen in der einen oder anderen Weise zum Projekt zur Wiederansiedlung des Bartgeiers in den Alpen bei. Die Geier werden unter Bedingungen gehalten, die der schweizerischen Tierschutzgesetzgebung und den Empfehlungen der Fachkommission Artenschutz entsprechen. Während es in allen Zoos zur Eiablage und in vier Zoos zum Schlupf von Küken kam, konnte nur ein Zoo die Jungtiere erfolgreich aufziehen und Vögel zur Wiederansiedlung oder zur Zucht in
anderen Einrichtungen an das Projekt abgeben. Im weiteren enthält der Beitrag Informationen über Fütterung, Lebenserwartung und FortpflanFortpflanzungsbiologie sowie einen Überblick über die Sektionsbefunde bei Bartgeiern in schweizerischen Zoos.

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Freitag, 13 Mai 2016 15:44

CONWAY, W. G. (1973)

How to exhibit a bullfrog: a bed-time story for zoo men.

Int. Zoo Yearbook 13: 221-226.

Ganzer Artikel als PDF


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Montag, 18 April 2016 11:30

WIESNER, H. (1984)

Notizen zur Haltung von Mhorr-Gazelle (Gazella dama mhorr).

Z. Kölner Zoo 27 (3): 110-113.


Die in den vergangenen zwei Jahren gemachten Erfahrungen bei der Haltung, Fütterung, mutterloser Aufzucht und Immobilisation von Mhorr-Gazellen im Münchner Tierpark Hellabrunn werden beschrieben.


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Aktivitätsbudgets von Rothschildgiraffen (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi  Lydekker, 1903) in der „Zoom Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen“

Activity budgets of Rothschild's Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi  Lydekker, 1903) in the “Zoom Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen”

Der Zoologische Garten 84, 1–2: 61–74


Vom 01.06. bis zum 04.09.2014 wurde eine Zuchtgruppe von Rothschildgiraffen (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi) bestehend aus einem Bullen, vier Kühen und fünf Jungbullen in der ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen beobachtet und von sechs Fokustieren (Zuchtbulle, drei Kühe, zwei Jungbullen) ein Aktivitätsbudget erstellt, wobei der prozentuale Anteil folgender Aktivitäten an der Beobachtungszeit Berücksichtigung fand: Nahrungsaufnahme (die Tiere erhielten vorwiegend Laub, Äste und Luzerneheu ad libitum), Wiederkäuen, Lokomotion, inter- und intrasexuelle Interaktionen, Beobachten der Umgebung sowie Stereotypien. Darüber hinaus konnte das Aktivitätsbudget einer Kuh vor und nach der Geburt ihres Kalbes verglichen werden. Die Aktivitätsbudgets der fünf Fokustiere variierten erheblich; dies ist im Wesentlichen auf Alter und Geschlecht der Tiere zurückzuführen. Durchschnittlich verbrachten die Fokustiere 48% des Tages mit der Nahrungsaufnahme (78% dieser Zeit wurden auf das Fressen von frischem Laub verwendet), 24% mit Wiederkäuen, 10% mit Lokomotion, 9% mit dem Beobachten der Umgebung und 6% mit Interaktionen. Stereotypien wurden nur bei den Kühen beobachtet und zwar Pacing bei drei von vier Kühen, Zungenspiele bei zwei Kühen. Nach der Geburt ihres Kalbes verbrachte eine Kuh mehr Zeit mit der Nahrungsaufnahme und Lokomotion, jedoch weniger Zeit mit dem Beobachten der Umgebung als vor der Geburt. Wahrscheinlich waren auch die oralen Stereotypien reduziert.


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Donnerstag, 12 März 2015 16:32

DMOCH, R. (2009)

EEP Husbandry Guidelines for Bush Dogs (Speothos venaticus)

5  Seiten. Hrsg. Zoo Frankfurt für EAZA, Amsterdam.

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Dienstag, 13 Januar 2015 09:43

EAAM (2009)

The European Association of Aquatic Mammals Standards and Guidelines for the management of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp) under human care (version Sept 2009)

27 Seiten

EAAM, Brüssel.


Public display facilities are resource centres that help people to expand their knowledge about the importance of marine conservation, responsible human behaviour, and the principles of ecology. A contribution to the conservation of marine mammals and their environment is made by increasing public awareness of marine mammals and the marine ecosystem trough lectures, exhibits, courses and conservation programs for adults and children. Providing the opportunity for 20 million people to view marine mammals at public display facilities arguably prevents much harassment of marine mammals in the wild. Many facilities have programs to assist stranded or sick marine mammals, which communicate the importance of conservation.

Much of what has been learned about marine mammal behaviour, biology, and physiology has been derived from scientific research on captive marine mammals, and is important in better understanding how to sustain marine mammal populations in the wild. Greater knowledge about marine mammals improves efforts to help the animals cope with natural and anthropogenic risks and threats. Marine mammals are difficult to observe in the wild, and captive settings offer opportunities to develop field research techniques.

Education of the public about marine mammals has made people feel strongly about protecting the animals and their environment. The various shows, lectures, exhibits, and courses at public display facilities are all part of their education programs. Public display elevates peoples understanding of marine mammals and the marine ecosystem. Many people who live away from the coasts might never be exposed to these animals if they did not have the opportunity to visit a public display facility.

These Standards and Guidelines reflect present-day practices, which are based on current scientific data and the cumulative experience of the membership. They will be updated and improved as the knowledge base expands. These Standards and Guidelines will be reviewed annually under the direction of the Board of the EAAM, thereby assuring the goal of the EAAM institutional members to lead the marine mammal display community in the integration of advancing science and technologies.

The Standards and Guidelines reflect the commitment of the EAAM members to hold and display our marine mammal collection under state of the art conditions. They are available on demand in order that our commitment is transparent and controllable.


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