Weltvogelpark Walsrode

Walsrode, Germany

Weltvogelpark Walsrode

Walsrode, Germany

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King C.E.,Weltvogelpark Walsrode
International Zoo Yearbook | Year: 2013

The Shoebill Balaeniceps rex is an uncommon species in zoological collections worldwide. Although a few Shoebills have lived quite long lives, most have not and successful breeding is only known to have occurred on two occasions. Available literature and responses from a husbandry questionnaire were used to compile husbandry guidelines. Questionnaire responses were obtained from 17 zoos (100% of holders worldwide at the time of writing). These guidelines form the basis of this paper. © 2012 The Zoological Society of London.


Miller R.,University of Vienna | King C.E.,Weltvogelpark Walsrode
International Zoo Yearbook | Year: 2013

Positive reinforcement training utilizes operant conditioning through intentionally pairing a reward with a desired behaviour. Despite frequent use in the husbandry of mammals in captivity, these techniques are rarely incorporated in avian husbandry protocols. Marabou stork Leptoptilos crumeniferus managers are encouraged to use husbandry training to combat frequently encountered management problems. Marabous can be aggressive in captivity, requiring careful management during introductions, flexibility when choosing individuals to house together and a sound understanding of Marabou stork behaviour. Susceptibility to foot problems means that Marabou storks need indoor housing during cold weather and their feet should be monitored. At the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland Edinburgh Zoo, a training programme was incorporated into the daily care of a pair of Marabou storks. This programme included clicker training and stationing, pair introduction, house training, health checks (including scale training) and crate training. Here, training experiences relating to this programme are presented, with additional reference to a similar programme run at Disney's Animal Kingdom, FL, USA. Through training, we were able to ease the process of moving birds, reduce aggression and regularly monitor health in a low-stress manner. We demonstrate that husbandry training can be effective without excessive time or staff costs, and can be rewarding for both birds and trainers. © 2013 The Zoological Society of London.


Nielsen A.M.W.,Center for Zoo and Wild Animal Health | Nielsen A.M.W.,Copenhagen University | Nielsen S.S.,Copenhagen University | King C.E.,Weltvogelpark Walsrode | Bertelsen M.F.,Center for Zoo and Wild Animal Health
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2012

Foot lesions are highly prevalent in captive flamingos (Phoenicopterus spp.); however, the etiology of these lesions remains mainly speculative. The objectives of this study were to identify climatic factors (latitude, temperature, and housing) and surface factors influencing the risk of four different types of foot lesions (hyperkeratosis, nodular lesions, papillomatous growths, and fissures) in captive flamingos. The study was based on photos of 445 pairs of flamingo foot soles. Data originating from 337 birds in 10 different zoos were included. The odds of birds having hyperkeratosis, papillomatous growths, and fissures were higher for flamingos living north of the 53rd degree of latitude, for flamingos exposed to a mean temperature of 15°C or less during the previous 4 wk, and for birds housed in indoor exhibits for at least 90% of the time during the previous 4 wk (compared to flamingos housed outdoor for at least 90% of the time in the same time period). Concrete-type floors increased the odds of flamingos having hyperkeratosis and fissures. Certain substrates increased the odds of one type of lesion while decreasing the odds of having other lesion types. In conclusion, both climate and substrate appear to affect the odds of developing different types of foot lesions. © 2012 American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


Flamingos are estimated to be present in at least two-thirds of European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) institutions. In total, 8837 flamingos in 168 institutions, including 164 EAZA zoos and four Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust centres were reported as at 1 January 2010. Around 93% (8214) of the flamingos reported were the three Phoenicopterus spp: Greater flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus, Caribbean flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber and Chilean flamingo Phoenicopterus chilensis. These three species are included in the EAZA Ciconiiformes and Phoenicopteriformes Regional Collection Plan (RCP), along with the Lesser flamingo Phoeniconaias minor. All four species are managed in the lowest RCP category, 'Monitor by TAG', as efforts currently focus on broad-scale issues at the zoo/group level. Answers to a survey demonstrated that EAZA zoos would like to hold many more flamingos than are currently available. The Taxon Advisory Group has adopted 11 strategies to improve the conditions and breeding of flamingos in captivity. For example, to improve breeding results zoos are encouraged to have only a single flamingo species in an enclosure, to balance sex ratios in groups and to keep full-flighted flamingos. Health problems as well as predator and trauma mortality are also discussed in this paper. The Fabulous Flamingo Survey is being repeated at 5 year intervals in order to monitor progress and adjust strategies. © 2013 The Zoological Society of London.


Bracko A.,Zoological Garden of Zagreb | King C.E.,Weltvogelpark Walsrode
International Zoo Yearbook | Year: 2014

There is a trend in zoos to provide more naturalistic enclosures for animals in which they can carry out natural behaviours and, for most birds, an aviary presents the best opportunities to achieve this. Reasons for holding birds in aviaries, including education and visitor experience, breeding, behaviour, predation, veterinary issues, avoidance of invasive species and hybridization, welfare and enrichment, and reductions in costs, are discussed. The development of the Aviary Database Project is explained. This information-sharing resource is in development and will be a tool for exchanging knowledge and experiences in designing and constructing aviaries, and selecting the best aviary for the species in question and for the geographic location. Zoos may be able to avoid expensive mistakes and optimize their possibilities by sharing information on aspects such as costs, visitor viewing, suitable materials and design features. By lowering the barriers in the way of building appropriate aviaries, it is hoped that this type of housing will become the option of choice in future master plans. While adopting an aviary strategy for housing all 'flying' birds may result in a reduction in the number of species at a zoo, and could affect both institutional and regional collection plans, we believe it is a necessary step in order to provide the optimal conditions for the care and well-being of the birds that are already in zoological institutions. © 2013 The Zoological Society of London.

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