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briefs DATA SAVES LIVES

CONSERVATION BY THE NUMBERS

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A Two-Foaled Celebration

he birth of a female Grevy’s zebra on April 2 made headlines as it was the Zoo’s first zebra birth in three decades. Then, just a few weeks later, the zebra herd expanded once again with the birth of a male foal. Zoo staff were doubly thrilled with the new arrivals. “Grevy’s zebras are the largest and most threatened of the three zebra species,” says Curator of Mammals Alisa Behar. “When this herd came to us a few years ago as part of a species survival plan, it was with the hope that they would get along and produce offspring.” The L.A. Zoo has participated in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Grevy’s zebra since the 1980s. The effort to preserve and increase the global population of this species became necessary after it was classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to habitat destruction, reduced access to watering holes, and competition with livestock. Grevy’s zebras inhabit semi-arid and open scrub grasslands of southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. This species has the skinniest stripes of any zebra, which run all the way down to a white belly and backside (other zebra species have stripes on their bellies). Foals are born with brown stripes and fuzzy coats. Within about a year, their stripes darken and their coats become sleeker. Safari Society donors at the $5,000 (Jaguar Jamboree) level and higher are invited to a special early morning event on August 14 highlighting the new additions to the zebra herd. “Being able to talk to keepers and hear about the unique personalities of the babies is a real treat,” says Safari Society Associate Director Robin Savoian. “It’s fantastic to see people connect with these amazing animals and learn more about the L.A. Zoo’s role in wildlife conservation.” For more information or to upgrade your support to attend this event, phone at 323/644-4717.

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GREVY’S ZEBRA POPULATION DECLINE IN THREE DECADES

,800 ~2 REMAIN IN THE WILD 13 MONTHS

GESTATION PERIOD NEW MEERKAT BABY MAKING ITS DEBUT recently was a meerkat pup born sometime this spring. The exact birthdate is unknown because pups are born in burrows and don’t emerge until three to four weeks of age. The meerkat mob is taking excellent care of the new addition.

SU MME R 2019

JAMIE PHAM

JAMIE PHAM

54%

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, and in the

Party for the Planet

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ecognizing the importance of taking direct action to help preserve our planet, this spring several AZA institutions committed to hosting family-friendly events designed to encourage volunteerism and help the environment. The Los Angeles Zoo organized two projects, both focused on restoring habitat for native California species. In May, 13 community volunteers (including two of GLAZA’s own) worked with the Friends of Griffith Park on a plant restoration project in Griffith Park. Two separate groups of Zoo-recruited volunteers ventured to Santa Cruz Island on June 4 and June 5 to assist the nonprofit Channel Island Restoration in restoring crucial habitat for island fox and other endangered species. Thanks to everyone who participated!

LET’S BE SOCIAL! FOLLOW us @LAZoo on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TheLosAngelesZoo on YouTube SHARE your memories and photos on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook using #LAZoo

S U MME R 2019

ongoing struggle to conserve the world’s biodiversity, amassing data about as many species as possible is vital. A scientific paper published in April 2019 showed that critical information was missing from global data for more than 98 percent of known species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Fortunately, we live in the information age. The challenge is sharing the data and interpreting it. The mission of Species360— a nonprofit that manages a network of more than 1,100 aquarium, zoo, university, research, and governmental members worldwide—is to improve animal welfare and species conservation. Its members curate the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS), the world’s most comprehensive database of species information and individual records for animals in zoos and aquariums. To understand the gap in information, researchers developed a Species Knowledge Index (SKI) that classifies available demographics for 32,144 known vertebrate species. Incorporating ZIMS boosted the SKI eightfold for information—e.g., lifespan, reproductive data, and juvenile survival rates—used to assess populations. Filling these gaps is game-changing when it comes to formulating conservation strategies. The Los Angeles Zoo has been contributing data on its animals since 1972. Since then, the Zoo has added information on 18,568 individuals and groups of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals representing 1,565 species—making a huge impact on the understanding of these animals’ life histories. “Keepers should be congratulated for the impact that the detailed data they gather has, and I hope they understand how every little bit of info they put into the system has its benefits,” comments Zoo Registrar Karen Poly. “All the daily notes add to the global knowledge bank, and they are helping to better the lives of animals in human care and in the wild.” — SANDY MASUO

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Profile for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association

Zoo View - Summer 2019  

Award-winning quarterly magazine of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. This issue features an in-depth look at the zookeeping professi...

Zoo View - Summer 2019  

Award-winning quarterly magazine of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. This issue features an in-depth look at the zookeeping professi...