Chief Executive’s welcome
Summer talks schedule
Cute cubs: snow leopards
Go! Rhinos now live
Scimitar-horned oryx: reintroductions in Tunisia
Annual membership update
Fur, Feather & Scales: 10 coatis moving in Fur, Feather & Scales: aviary update
New bird species
Small carnivore update
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Cover: Snow leopard cubs © Jason Brown. Issue no:144. Copyright: Marwell Wildlife. Editor: Helen Skelton-Smith email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Design: Mel Hewitt-Cross. Marwell Wildlife, Colden Common, Winchester, SO21 1JH UK 01962 777407 marwell.org.uk. Reg. charity no. 275433, VAT no. 631 9661 30. Correct at print 04/2013. ISSN: 1757-3378. Printed on recycled paper.
Anna Ing Team Leader, Birds Anna has worked with the vast majority of the zoo’s animals after joining Marwell as a Trainee Keeper 15 years ago. She is now Team Leader, working predominantly with the wide variety of bird species in the zoo. Anna is responsible for the daily care of the animals and the management of her team.
Dr. Marie Petretto Field Biologist Marie joined Marwell’s Biodiversity Management team (now the Conservation Biology team) in 2011 and is responsible for coordinating and implementing our conservation projects in Tunisia in close collaboration with local partners. As a veterinarian and ethologist, Marie helps to develop local capacity in these areas and is involved in the hands-on, practical management of wild animals.
Team Leader, Primates & Small Mammals Kevin has worked for Marwell for 18 years. He is responsible for the daily running of the primate and small mammal section, making decisions on animal husbandry and nutrition, and managing the team.
Marc Fox Team Leader, Carnivores Marc currently works with Marwell’s carnivores and has been at the zoo for 14 years. In this time he has worked with a variety of different animals. Marc is the co-chair for the BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Carnivore Focus Group.
Dr. Zeke Davidson Field Biologist Zeke is responsible for taking Marwell Wildlife’s conservation actions to East Africa. Living in Kenya, Zeke can be found fitting radio collars to Grevy’s zebra, surveying wildlife in light aircraft or implementing camera trapping surveys with night vision cameras.
© Philip Harris
Marwell Zoo is a wonderful place for families. As a father myself, I can understand the need to entertain young children, especially during the upcoming summer holidays, and this summer we have plenty, both within and outside the zoo, to keep little ones busy. The zoo’s new Fur, Feather & Scales exhibit provides a fantastic learning environment for the whole family to enjoy. Children can get up close to the exotic birds as they fly freely in the new walkthrough aviary, and learn all about the adaptations which they use to live in their different environments. The ‘Fur’ element is provided by the ring-tailed coatis: they have relocated to a fabulous new home in the exhibit. Children of all ages will be enthralled as the coatis clamber above their heads, hunt out food, and explore their new surroundings. Young children can also climb, swing, slide and crawl like their favourite animal in our two main adventure playgrounds, which are located next to the Amur tigers and the Fur, Feather & Scales exhibit. There are also many smaller play areas and idyllic picnic spots located throughout the zoo for parents and grandparents alike to rest and relax whilst the children play. For older children (8-15 year olds) we have launched a brand new Junior Keeper Experience. During this three-hour session, children will work with our trained staff in preparing food and enrichment for our animals, mucking out their enclosures and then meeting and feeding some of them behind the scenes. An unforgettable experience! Whilst in Southampton, a herd of rhinos have charged into the city for Go! Rhinos - a momentous event the whole city can enjoy. Working with local schools, businesses, artists and charities, this world-class public art exhibition will last for ten weeks this summer. It not only provides a free family event for locals and tourists but also aims to raise awareness of the plight of rhinos in the wild. Meeting one of our rhino sculptures, part of this summer’s Go! Rhinos extravaganza
The trail is suitable for all ages, completely free, and a great opportunity to get out in the fresh air and explore the city. After spending the summer in the city, the rhinos will return to Marwell Zoo for a goodbye event in October before they are individually auctioned off. Finally, and as ever, thank you for your support. It really is important and we look forward to seeing you soon. James Cretney Chief Executive
Look out for hot links to events, videos & more info!
Anteater ardour Ernesto, our male giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), has a new mate and the pair are getting on famously. Chiquita, a female anteater from Warsaw Zoo, has arrived as part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP). After a successful introduction, Ernesto and Chiquita are now happily living together and you can see them out and about exploring their home. We hope the couple will produce offspring this year, which will be an important addition to the breeding programme. The giant anteater is well known for its distinctive appearance and long sticky tongue, which can be up to 60 cm (24 inches) long. It is an insectivore, feeding mostly on ants or termites. After finding a nest, it will tear it open with its long fore claws and insert its tongue to collect its prey. One anteater can visit up to 200 nests in a day and consume as many as 30,000 individuals.
Anteaters have no teeth
Giant anteaters are native to Central and South America and face many threats in the wild. A population loss of at least 30% over the past 10 years has been estimated based on local extinctions, habitat loss, and deaths caused by fires and vehicles.
ÂŠ John Jefferies
We are very pleased to have received a new tiger (Panthera tigris) on 5th June 2013. ‘Kushka’ arrived from Paradise Wildlife Park (PWP) in Hertfordshire and will stay at Marwell for approximately 6 months, where she will be able to interact with Milla, our other female tiger, in the neighbouring enclosure.
She is responsive to people and already shows herself off to her adoring audience, as if she has been here all her life. It is an interesting contrast to observe Kushka looking so confident so quickly, compared to the younger Milla who can be quite shy and elusive. This is no real surprise given Kushka’s age and maturity
Kushka has come to Marwell on a temporary basis because we are due to receive a young male early next year. He will, hopefully, breed with Milla as part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP). However, as he will not be arriving until early 2014, we had one empty side of the enclosure and therefore the opportunity to welcome Kushka to inhabit the vacant enclosure. The chance to provide Milla with some company for the remainder of this year was warmly welcomed.
Marwell has a rich and successful history in keeping and breeding Amur tigers, so it is always great to be welcoming new animals in. Although I’m sure we will miss Kushka when she returns to PWP, it will be very exciting to bring in the other half of a new generation of breeding tigers. Hopefully it will only be a matter of time before we are announcing tiger cubs at Marwell once again.
Amur tigers are solitary in the wild but will often interact positively with other tigers when there is no competition for food. Contact with another tiger before she is introduced to a male may even bring some behavioural benefits to Milla. Kushka is 14 years old and therefore too old to breed, so once the male is ready to move to Marwell, she will return to PWP. Kushka is settling in very nicely. She showed no signs of stress or aggression when she arrived, and was very quick to explore her new environment and say hello to Milla through the fence.
Marc Fox Team Leader, Carnivores
Females begin to breed around 3 years of age and give birth to an average litter of 2 cubs after a gestation period of about 103 days.
Amur tigers can run at speeds of up to 20 metres per second over short distances.
ÂŠ Jason Brown Photography
We are delighted that Irina and Indeever, our snow leopards (Panthera uncia), are once again parents to three beautiful cubs. Born on 21 April, the trio spent the first few months living with mum Irina in the safety of their den. Our animal keepers named the female cub Animesh which means ‘bright’ and ‘to stare open eyed’ in Nepalese. This name was chosen because she opened her eyes particularly early. A male cub was given the name Ariun which means ‘pure’ in Mongolian.
The public have been asked to suggest a name for the remaining male youngster and their suggestions have included; Achalendra (Akky or Lenny) meaning ‘Lord of the Himalayas’ in Nepalese Ajendra (AJ) meaning ‘King of Mountains’ in Nepalese Khan meaning ‘Ruler of the Mongol empire’ Tai meaning ‘Mountain’ in Mongolian Koshi which is a province in Nepal
Researchers estimate that there are between 4,080 - 6,590 (IUCN Red List) snow leopards left in the wild. No one has an exact count because snow leopards are so elusive and inhabit such harsh and remote habitat that they are rarely seen. Snow leopards, like all big cat species, are threatened in the wild. This means that maintaining a healthy captive population of snow leopards is of vital importance to the global conservation strategy for the species. Marwell’s conservation biologist, Dr Heidi Mitchell said: “Marwell has been working alongside the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP) for the snow leopards, which is coordinated from Helsinki Zoo, since the 1970’s.
“Our three new cubs are of critical importance to the breeding programme. Snow leopards, like all big cat species, are threatened in the wild. This means that maintaining a healthy captive population of snow leopards is of vital importance to the global conservation strategy for the species.” In the wild, snow leopards are distributed over a vast area including parts of Mongolia, USSR, China, Bhutan, N. India, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan.
Their long furry tail provides them with warmth & protection as well as balance when they leap from one ledge to another.
It is a very exciting time for the Primate and Small Mammals team, as during the last few months we have been busy preparing for the opening of the new Fur, Feather & Scales exhibit, which includes a new home for the ring tailed coatis (Nasua nasua).
coatis can get up high as well as plenty of bushes allowing the animals to forage around for their food on the ground.
Preparations have included the arrival of a new male and two new female ring tailed coatis. They will all eventually join our existing group of four females and one male.
The Primate and Small Mammals team will continue to work closely with the coatis, along with Marwellâ€™s team of Explainers, to gain their trust, the new arrivals in particular, ready for moving to the new home.
All of the three new arrivals have now successfully completed their period of quarantine isolation. This is required as they all came to us from previous homes outside of the UK. We introduced the new male to our existing male in a quiet area out of view to the public. This mixing went well and the males now interact with each other at times but are equally happy spending time alone.
The coatis will also have a well equipped house to aid veterinary and animal management.
The Explainers do a fantastic job giving talks around the zoo and engaging with our guests. Once the coatis have settled in their new home, the Explainers will be working with us to offer guest experiences with the coatis, including Keeper for the Day and Face to Face Encounters. Kevin Saunders Team Leader, Primates & Small Mammals
At the time of writing, our next step is to introduce the females to each other. Once they have been mixed they will then move into their new home with the two males, allowing all of our ring tailed coatis to live together, bringing our group total to eight. Our team is involved with providing new enrichment ideas, and furnishing the new enclosure with the natural behaviours in mind. For example, there will be lots of branches and climbing features so the
Ring-tailed coatis live in forested areas of South America including jungles and rainforests.
Coatis like to spend time climbing about in the safety of trees, the new home has been designed to encourage this natural behaviour.
ÂŠ Debbie Pearson
As part of our exciting Fur, Feather, & Scales exhibit, various species of African birds can now fly freely inside our new walkthrough aviary. With three months under their wings, it has been fascinating to watch the birds settling in. Nest building Three species started nesting quite quickly after they moved into the new exhibit earlier this year. The Von der Deckenâ€™s hornbills (Tockus deckeni) went into a nest box very soon after moving in. This was unexpected as we thought they would need more time to settle into their new home and get used to living with other species. The village weaver birds (Ploceus cucullatus) and our two little egrets (Egretta garzetta) have also started nesting, so it will be interesting to compare their styles. Habitat With the arrival of spring, the planting in the aviary has finally come into leaf and is now providing cover and shade for the birds.
The grasses are also growing, offering ground cover and attracting insects for the crowned plovers (Vanellus coronatus) and Madagascan teals (Anas bernieri). Unfortunately, a couple of hawthorn trees (Crataegus monogyna) did not take but we have kept them in the aviary as they are still useful in providing perching. They are often preferred by the birds, and have the added benefit of making them more visible for guests. Public engagement The aviary provides a fantastic immersive experience for our guests, letting them get close up to the birds. This is helped by the fact that we have some quite confident and friendly birds. In addition, people can easily compare the differences and adaptations of the varying species which are all from African habitats. It also provides a valuable education resource for children. Anna Ing Team Leader, Birds
Smaller, lighter birds hop whilst large heavy birds walk or run. By evolving this way, both groups use less energy to get around.
Sun conures Sun conures (Aratinga solstitialis), which are also known as sun parakeets, will be moving to Fur, Feather & Scales. They live in a relatively small region of north-eastern South America: the Brazilian state of Roraima, plus the countries of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. The birds live in savannah and coastal forests, as well as at the edge of the humid forest which grows in the foothills in the Guiana Shield, a 1.7 billion-year-old geological formation which forms portion of the northern South American coast. This species is very popular in captivity due to its beautiful plumage, affectionate personality and intelligent nature. Unfortunately, large numbers have been caught for the pet trade. The capture of wild individuals is a serious threat and the species has consequently been upgraded to Endangered in the 2008 IUCN Red List.
Twice as nice A pair of pied imperial pigeons (Ducula bicolor) will soon be arriving. These large plump pigeons have white feathers with black wing tips. They are native to south-east Asia, the Philippines and Australia, and live in different types of habitat including: tropical forests, eucalyptus woodlands, costal scrub areas, and mangrove swamps. They tend to live in large flocks on smaller, off-shore islands, visiting larger islands and mainland coastal areas daily in search of food. Along with the pied imperial pigeons, African rock doves (Columba guinea guinea) will also be moving into their new home as part of our Fur, Feather & Scales exhibit. The African rock pigeon, which is also known as the speckled pigeon (pictured), are native to sub Sahara, Africa, and can be found living in grasslands, savannah and scrublands, but are increasingly moving into urban areas. They have a distinctive red bare patch around their eyes, silvery pink - green tipped feathers on their throat and dark red outer wing feathers. The rest of their plumage is grey.
Dwarf mongoose Many of you will have noticed that we sadly lost our elderly sand cats (Felis margarita) this year. Following some enhancements to the Desert Carnivores house we will be transforming it to a new mongoose exhibit. A young breeding pair of dwarf mongoose (Helogale parvula) will inhabit one side, while our two female meerkats will move into the other half. Later in the year, we are planning for another species of mongoose to arrive at the zoo. Until their new home is ready, the meerkat girls will move to the enclosure by the back lawn area of Marwell Hall.
Red panda Our current pair of red panda (Ailurus fulgens) ‘Julius’ & ‘Saffron’ are 12 years old and therefore too old to breed (lifespan is 12-14 in the wild). Julius is unusually visible for a red panda, even at this time of year when the tree is full of leaves, as his favourite place is the lowest branch in the tree - so do make a point of visiting him next time you are in the zoo. As our red pandas are now in their later years, we are planning to build a new enclosure and bring in a new, young pair so that we can continue with this fantastic and beautiful species....watch this space for further news.
© Mark Fryer
Meerkats We are delighted to welcome five new meerkats (Suricata suricatta), from Belfast Zoo and Durrell Wildlife Park, Jersey, taking our collection up to 10 males and 2 females. Meerkats have a complex social structure, living in groups of around 20, also known as “mob” or “gang”. After successfully breeding in 2011 we then had an unsuccessful year in 2012, and two of the males were also ‘evicted’ from the group as part of hierarchy re-structure often seen when an alpha pair emerges as the dominant animals. We are now developing the group slightly differently. All 10 males will live together as a large bachelor group in the main exhibit whilst we will house the two females separately, with the potential to breed in the future. Bachelor groups occur naturally in the wild. Multiple males, sometimes after having been evicted from different ‘mobs’ form coalitions in order to be stronger as a group. We hope our large male gang will be happy and confident, and exhibit a steady range of natural behaviours. Meerkats are extremely popular and, although not endangered like many of our other species, they play an important role in interacting with guests and inspiring people to care about animals. Meerkats are a curious, active and interesting species, so they are the perfect ambassador for teaching children about animal behaviour whilst being able to demonstrate feeding behaviour, social structures, territorial behaviour and their famous ‘sentry’ duty. Marc Fox Team Leader, Carnivores
See them in the Long House next to the Siamang gibbons
We are pleased to announce that a new species arrived earlier this year at the zoo. The jungle nymph (Heteropteryx dilatata) is the heaviest, and perhaps the most striking, of all stick insects. Whilst the male retains the classic look of a stick insect, with mottled brown markings plus a long and slender body, the female is quite different. She is bright green, much larger than the male and has a much wider body. The female is also very aggressive and has a highly effective defence mechanism. When she feels threatened, she will stand on all four front legs whilst keeping her hind legs and abdomen up in the air.
If touched, she will fiercely snap her hind legs together, which have very large spines on them, and can draw blood. Jungle nymphs live in the lush rainforests of western Malaysia. They are nocturnal and well equipped to camouflage themselves amongst the dense brush. In the wild, they eat guava leaves, blackberry bramble leaves, oak leaves and other large-leafed tropical plants.
Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti) are monogamous (having only one mate during a breeding season, or throughout the breeding life of a pair) and this year four new breeding pairs have formed at the zoo.
They can rear two successive broods in a single season, which is what is currently happening in the zoo. Several pairs are now laying their second clutch and successfully incubating their eggs so we are hopeful of more chicks joining our group soon.
Our new couples are: Ruby and Jack, Ben and Holly, Callipo and Lurch, and Ted and Crystal.
Humboldt penguins lay eggs at any time between March and December. The eggs are laid in burrows, rocky crevices or surface scrapes. Marwell’s penguins lay theirs in tunnels round the back of Penguin Cove.
Ruby and Jack successfully raised a chick which fledged earlier this year and, at the time of writing, Crystal and Ted also have a chick which they are still looking after. This year’s group of fledglings are named after music legends with Barry and Stevie already in the colony, in homage to the legendry singers Barry White and Stevie Wonder. A third young penguin is still in the den waiting for its gender to be confirmed. The keepers have their fingers crossed it will be a female so it can be named after the great Dolly Parton.
Both adults share the incubation duties over a period of around 40 days. The chicks remain in the nest until they have fully developed their mesoptile plumage (the chicks’ second down feathers). This fluffy plumage is highly effective: it allows chicks to maintain their own body temperature. Consequently, both adults can leave the burrow to feed at the same time, which is a massive benefit as the chick grows and demands more food. The chicks finally fledge at about 10-12 weeks of age. Anna Ing Team Leader, Birds
Our penguins have the choice of tunnels or nesting boxes to lay their eggs & rear their young
23 November - 24 December (various dates) Make your familyâ€™s Christmas magical. Book our festive event & enjoy the following: Join the elves in their toy factory and warm yourself with a glass of mulled wine, or blackcurrant, and a festive treat Follow Mrs Claus as she welcomes you through to her parlour for a classic festive tale Meet our costume character Rudolph the reindeer Step into the elf workshop for craft decorating Meet Santa in his sparkling grotto and receive a special gift
Voted top place to see Santa in the South East by Netmums in 2012
Buy tickets online from 5 August For members on selected days: 23rd, 24th & 29th Nov & 6th, 13th & 16th Dec 2013
Join our keepers for an unforgettable opportunity to go behind the scenes as a Junior Keeper at Marwell Zoo!
The price includes one FREE accompanying adult!
Join a small group preparing food & enrichment for our animals, mucking out their enclosures & then meeting & feeding some of them behind the scenes!
Junior Keepers will receive a:
Marwell Zoo souvenir bag
notebook & pencil
Limited dates available! Book now to avoid disappointment! Book at the membership cabin or call 01962 777988
Take a virtual safari with the world’s first African wildlife GPS App. Wildlife biologists have developed this App which uses GPS technology to track several African species simultaneously. Offering a complete savannah experience, ‘MiSavannah’ follows Grevy’s zebra, lions, elephants and vultures in real time on their daily quest in search of food and safety across East Africa. The advanced GPS tracking enables users to trace and replay the last two weeks movements of four individual animals via Google maps. The App also includes biographies and photographs of each animal plus updates on the conservation projects for each species. We are particularly interested to learn more about the ranging patterns of Kalama, the featured female Grevy’s zebra, as she moves across Kenya with her foal. With only around 2500 Grevy’s zebra left in the wild, understanding where key individuals travel is vital as this helps fuel conservation decisions for the species.
We chose a female Grevy’s zebra to be included in the App as they roam more widely than males. Kalama will give us a lot of data about where she comes into contact with human populations and where her key locations are. We hope the launch of this unique App will help people connect with nature as they discover where her preferred grazing areas are and where she stops off to have a drink at her favourite water holes. Proceeds (35% of the initial purchase price and 60% of further in App purchases) will go towards conservation projects for all four species. The App has been developed for both the iPhone and Android phones by Savannah Tracking in conjunction with the Grevy’s Zebra Technical Committee (Kenya), Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Amboseli Elephant Research Project and The Peregrine Fund Kenya Vulture Project. Dr. Zeke Davidson Marwell Wildlife Conservation Biologist based in Kenya.
The ‘MiSavannah’ App costs £2.78 & is available on the Android phone & iPhone.
Discovery Station in our new Walkthrough Aviary
Giraffe Tall Tales
Giraffe House OR African Valley
Fur, Feathers & Scales: Coatis
Spotlight on Penguins
Marwell: Saving Species 16.15
Variety of locations
Talks and Discovery Station are subject to change. Please check the chalk board in front of the information kiosk by the main entrance, or speak to the volunteers in the kiosk on the day of your visit.
a family safari to Namibia & see rhinos in the wild! To enter & for a voucher to spend at Marwell Zoo visit marwell.org.uk/safari Enter by 22/09/13. See website for t & câ€™s. Prize kindly donated by:
Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi) are the most endangered zebra species: it is believed that there are now only around 2000 (1700 – 2400) left in the wild. They are found in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya, and continue to adapt in an ever more sedentary, human dominated, landscape. Approximately 13% of the remaining population takes refuge in the secure managed wilderness of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy near Isiolo. Lewa’s small but vital population of approximately 350 is nestled at the southern limit of the Wamba area, between more widely distributed subpopulations in Laikipia and Laisamis. Movement between safe areas for the Grevy’s is fraught with risk, including large carnivores, dry savannahs, poachers and the growing pressure from expanding human populations and their livestock. Understanding these movements is essential to planning conservation measures, which will secure the species into the future. As part of the national strategy to conserve the Grevy’s zebra, Lewa and Marwell Wildlife, in partnership with the Grevy’s zebra Technical Committee (GZTC) have embarked on a telemetry study using radio collars to follow individual Grevy’s zebra on their travels throughout the Lewa conservation landscape for the past 6 years. By placing GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) radio collars on a few key individuals, the GPS (Global Positioning System) device in the collar locates the zebra to within 10m and uses the mobile phone network to beam information to the central server in Nairobi, where researchers can access it.
At the same time, we use camera traps strategically placed at wildlife corridor gaps in Lewa’s boundary fence, which allow the zebra and other wildlife to pass in and out of the conservancy and it’s neighbouring lands. There are now about 30 radio collared zebra being monitored and having their collars replaced and removed in a carefully managed study. On the 5th of June this year, we placed a new collar on a Grevy’s stallion that is regularly seen commuting to the north of Lewa. Several times a week the male moves out of Lewa into the adjacent Leparua Community Conservancy. Having observed the animal for almost three years now, we have come to know him by a feint scar on his right flank, between his pelvis and ribs. Soon, we were to get to know him more intimately and in a somewhat alarming way. The male had long intrigued us as photographs taken by remote cameras informed us that he disappeared to the north under cover of night and returned each day to Lewa just before dawn. Where did he spend his evenings and what was the attraction, which drew him out of Lewa’s safe haven? As we observed him through binoculars we noticed a “thorn” protruding from his flank. It was hard to see, but visible as he turned side on, meandering away from us through the bush. We radioed for the Lewa vet to come and immobilise him and advised that he may need to treat a minor wound. The vet sedated the zebra using a dart gun. As we approached the stallion, lying safely on his side, we saw nothing untoward, but as soon as we raised him upright it was clear that this was no thorn in his side. A thin, toughened spiral steel shaft protruded approximately an inch from an old wound - largely healed, and only slightly weeping.
Where did he spend his evenings and what was the attraction?
The vet set to work immediately to extract the spike and we quickly realised that it had a barbed tip, which would be difficult to release from the tight scar tissue that had encased it for many months. After a delicate operation, lasting well into half an hour, the intact weapon emerged. The local men working with us confirmed that it was a Turkana arrowhead, which is commonly used in hunting large mammals. The Turkana are nomadic pastoralists in the Turkana district of northwest Kenya. The men also hunt for wildlife, including Grevy’s zebra. The arrow’s metal tip and shaft are made from toughened steel wire, which is typically taken from power line stanchion cables. Using a tempering fire, a broad, barbed head is beaten out of a strand of the wire, and its shaft twisted to increase its tensile strength. The arrow is fired from a hardwood longbow with the head in a vertical position to maximise the chances of penetrating the target between the ribs.
As the animal flees, gravity and its forward motion drag the heavy shaft downward in a twisting motion that locks the head in place. The Grevy’s zebra had survived this and lived with the impediment for a number of years already, earning him the moniker, Mchale, meaning Arrowhead in KiSwahili. Now, his new collar beams data to us every hour, so we are able to track his progress through the dense bush, and, by re-locating him frequently, keep a close watch on his wound as it heals. Once we know what he is up to at night, we will report back to you. Dr. Zeke Davidson Conservation Biologist based in Kenya.
Win fantastic prizes! Categories: Marwell Zoo residents Marwell Zoo endangered Cute & Funny nature at its most amusing Native wildlife flora & fauna from the British Isles
ÂŠ Austin Thomas
Enter online by 14 September!
small rhinos were designed & painted by schools in & around Southampon ÂŠ Paul Collins
A herd of rhinos have charged into Southampton for a momentous event the whole city can enjoy. Rhinos charrrrrrge The large fibreglass rhinos measuring in at 6ft long and 62 smaller rhinos will trail through the city until 22 September. We have been working with local schools, businesses, artists and charities to bring a worldclass public art exhibition to the streets and parks of Southampton. This giant exhibit, which lasts for ten weeks this summer, not only provides a free family event for locals and tourists but also aims to raise awareness of the plight of rhinos in the wild.
Meet Erica the 6ft long cyber rhino! Erica the cyber rhino has been designed and built by staff and students in the Electronics and Computer Science department at the University of Southampton. Erica can respond to nearby people and even has her own WiFi network so the public can interact with her via smart phones, she can blink and adjust to focus on her fans, read QR codes, move her ears and even tweet. Erica is on display in The Marlands shopping centre.
Rhinotastic sculpture event The large rhinos will return to Marwell Zoo for a goodbye event on 10 - 14 October before they are individually auctioned off. The money raised will support Marwell Wildlife’s conservation work and be donated to chosen charities The Rose Road Association and Wessex Heartbeat’s HIGH 5 Appeal.
The adorable smaller rhinos have been designed and painted by local schools, colleges and youth community groups. This not only got the creative juices of younger people flowing, with each rhino uniquely designed and painted, but also got them thinking. Each group received an extensive educational pack and an outreach visit on rhinos and their conservation.
children reached by education sessions
Before the sun rises, murmurs of the guardsâ€™ prayers become entangled with the birdsâ€™ songs. This sweet wake-up call is the only constant in an otherwise unpredictable day in the aridlands of southern Tunisia.
Scimitar-horned oryx (SHO) are extinct in the wild, but a quarter of a century ago the first group of this emblematic species was sent from the green paddocks of Marwell and Edinburgh zoos back to its ancestral home to become part of the Tunisian picture once again. There are now more than 200 semi-wild individuals living in five partially fenced and protected areas (40,000ha in total).
reintroduced scimitar-horned oryx populations in Tunisia. Population dynamics are influenced by a number of different factors, and we are gathering information on group sizes, sex-ratios, habitat suitability (assessing diversity and richness of plants, reptiles and mammals), animal health, and genetic diversity of the Tunisian SHO metapopulation in order to gain a greater understanding of these.
They have successfully adapted to the new environment and most of them, born far from any human activity, exhibit natural behaviour. However, as they cannot migrate outside the restricted areas, active management of their habitat has to ensure that their basic needs (e.g. food, water, shade) are met, and park managers have to maintain a careful balance between interference and non-interference when faced with naturally occurring environmental variations such as drought.
Monthly site visits to all the SHO locations allow us to document ecological trends, warn of various changes and assist early implementation of adapted solutions. Our aim is to transfer this ability to local managers to increase the capacity for wildlife management amongst the local population.
Most of our understanding of scimitar-horned oryx has been obtained from captive populations, but we have learned a great deal more about their behaviour through regular post-release monitoring of reintroduced individuals in Tunisia. Despite this, there is still a need to gain additional knowledge on how the natural habitat affects their biology and population dynamics, and how we should manage the growing population. To achieve this, Marwell Wildlife based a Field Biologist, Marie Petretto, in the country in 2011. Building on a long-term collaboration with the Direction Générale des Forêts (Tunisian government), we are now working more closely with the local stakeholders to develop tools for sustainable wildlife management by combining data records, direct observations and genetic analyses. With the support of the Saharan Conservation Fund, we have established an unprecedented field work programme to evaluate habitat use, population dynamics, and reproductive performance of
In summary, field work is not only about census, survey and sampling, it is just as important to train locals and share our results with our partners. Field work is a way of life where almost anything can happen and the only unchanging element is the sound of the birds and the guards’ prayers at the dawn of each day. Dr. Marie Petretto Field Biologist The Tunisian oryx population was founded from just 12 males and 17 females imported in three reintroduction operations since 1985. Given the small founder population, it is now crucial to evaluate the current genetic diversity of the metapopulation several generations after the original animals were released. Genetic diversity is important for population health and future adaptation to changing environmental conditions. We have collected biological samples from approximately 40% of the metapopulation for detailed nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analysis at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s WildGenes Laboratory. Lab analyses are underway and we are now awaiting the final results.
Using a pencil, draw an egg shape for the body, then attach the shape for the neck, legs, and head. Draw a curled tail line.
Draw the lining for the catâ€™s back, and then sketch out the thick, fury tail. Every part of this animal is very bold so try to express that through your drawing. Add the solid spots.
Using a pen or coloured pencil, sketch out the shape of the face starting with the snout and lip. Then draw the bridge of the nose and shape of the eye.
Sketch out the belly and then draw the legs and large paws. The belly should be hairy looking and the hind legs should look large and meaty.
Add the chin, whiskers, and small ear shapes. Sketch out the thick neck and chest.
Finally add the snow leopards spots. Every leopard has unique spots. Before you add the markings, remember to erase all the guidelines and shapes you drew in step one.
Member talk: Tuesday 17 September In 2006 Peter Eeles embarked on a journey to see and photograph all of the 59 species of British butterfly. This session will take you on Peterâ€™s journey across the British Isles, and will include many photos of the butterflies he saw and the sites he visited.
Monthly email If you’re not already receiving our monthly email about what is going on at Marwell then be sure to register now or give us your email address at the membership cabin.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this edition of Marwell News online. We’re pleased to share that we will continue to print a small number of paper copies which you are welcome to pick up from the membership cabin when you next visit.
Velvet bus update Thanks to a generous grant from the South Downs National Park Authority, the Velvet bus service now runs every day until the 1st September, departing from Eastleigh Railway Station and picks up in Fair Oak.
Thank you for being an annual member. Your support makes a valuable contribution to both our conservation work and the care of our animals in the zoo. If you require information, please drop into the membership cabin next time you are in the zoo, call the team on 01962 777960 or email email@example.com
Access to other zoos One of the many benefits of Marwell membership is our reciprocal arrangement with other UK zoos. You are welcome to visit the following subject to their terms and conditions: Bristol, Chester, Colchester, Edinburgh, Highland Wildlife Park, Paignton (inc. Living Coasts), Newquay, Rotterdam & Twycross
Member talk: November TBC The Challenges of Conservation Breeding Programmes – Hogs, Frogs and Sprogs
Rachel James joins Marwell as Head of Supporter Development, for the duration of Lisa Reynolds’s maternity leave. Rachel will be based in the Membership cabin. Do stop off and welcome Rachel during your next visit.
Andrew Routh, Head of the Veterinary Department at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, will be talking about Durrell’s in-situ work, taking animals out of the country to be reintroduced and veterinary management in a zoological collection.
Download your FREE trail map from gorhinos.co.uk
Take part in our FREE sculpture trail until 22 September through the streets & parks of the city! For your chance to win a safari to Namibia worth ÂŁ10,000 visit marwell.org.uk/safari
Leading the charge