Archive for the 'Conservation Research' Category

San Diego Zoo Plants Thousands of Grass Seedlings to Aid Endangered Species

Posted at 8:42 pm January 18, 2012 by PR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 18, 2012
CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL
PUBLIC RELATIONS
619-685-3291
WEBSITE:
www.sandiegozooglobal.org
 
  
 
PHOTO NEWS RELEASE
San Diego Zoo Plants Thousands of Grass Seedlings to Aid Endangered Species

     Sara Motheral, research technician for the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, inspected one of 1,000 grass seedlings that were planted as part of a habitat restoration project for the endangered Stephens’ kangaroo rat at the Southwestern Riverside County Multispecies Reserve on Tuesday. In the background, freshly planted grass can be seen wrapped in a blue, plastic protector tube. In total, 10,000 seedlings will be planted over the next two weeks. In 2010, 150 kangaroo rats were relocated to the site as part of a San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy program aimed at saving a species endemic to San Diego and Riverside counties. The translocation has been successful, already doubling the population of this 4-inch-long rodent.

*Please note: Photo taken on Jan. 17, 2012, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Global.

 
 
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PERMITTED USE: This image may be downloaded at no charge for one-time use for coverage/promotion of the grass seedling dated Jan. 17, 2012, and exclusively in conjunction thereof. No copying, distribution or archiving permitted. No sublicensing, sale or resale permitted. REQUIRED CREDIT AND CAPTION: All image uses must bear the copyright notice and be properly credited to the relevant photographer, as shown in this metadata, and must be accompanied by a caption that makes reference to San Diego Zoo Global. Any uses in which the image appears without proper copyright notice, photographer credit and a caption referencing San Diego Zoo Global are subject to paid licensing.

San Diego Zoo Scientists Relocate Squirrels to Aid Owls

Posted at 5:22 pm August 24, 2011 by PR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUGUST 24, 2011

CONTACT:   SAN DIEGO ZOO

                        PUBLIC RELATIONS

                                619-685-3291

WEB SITE: www.sandiegozoo.org

PHOTO NEWS RELEASE

SAN DIEGO ZOO SCIENTISTS RELOCATE SQUIRRELS TO AID OWLS

A California ground squirrel darts off on Tuesday morning after receiving a quick exam by San Diego Zoo Global scientists who were checking ear tags, weight and the sex of squirrels that were relocated as part of a conservation program aimed at helping burrowing owls. To date, the Zoo’s newest hometown conservation program has relocated more than 350 squirrels to three sites within San Diego County that are thought to be suitable habitat for squirrels and owls. The ground squirrels play a critical role as grassland engineers, creating homes for other animals such as owls. Sites with ground squirrel colonies have a greater diversity of reptiles, amphibians, insects and birds than sites where they are absent.

Goals for the burrowing owl conservation program include developing a model that addresses habitat needs, genetic viability and conservation threats such as loss of habitat due to development and invasive species. In this first year, San Diego Zoo Global scientists hope to create suitable habitat that is self-sustaining by restoring a more intact, functional ecosystem. 

Please note: photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Global.

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Change is in the Wind for California Condor Conservation

Posted at 10:41 pm March 21, 2011 by PR

CHANGE IS IN THE WIND FOR CALIFORNIA CONDOR CONSERVATION

First Two Chicks of the 2011 Season Hatch at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

             An exceptional sighting was caught on video at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park as a California condor chick hatched last week with the assistance of its parents. In years past, the practice of the California Condor Recovery Program was to hand raise the first egg laid by a condor pair, but the conservation program’s goals are changing. Today, more condor eggs laid are being left with the parents so they can raise and mentor the chicks.

            Two chicks have already hatched at the Safari Park this year, on March 14 and 16 respectively, and each is being raised by its parents. Two other eggs are in incubators. Whether raised by parents or by zookeepers using puppets, all condor chicks are candidates for release in Arizona, California or Baja California, Mexico.

            Since the recovery program began in the 1980s—when there were only about 22 condors left in the world—the Park has hatched 165 chicks and released 80 birds in the wild. There are now more than 370 condors, and the number is growing as eggs are laid and hatched at the breeding centers at the Safari Park, Los Angeles Zoo, World Center for Birds of Prey, and Oregon Zoo. Eggs have been laid in the wild as well.

            In addition, in 2011 the breeding centers are exchanging eggs to increase the gene pool of each population. One week ago, two condors that hatched and fledged at the Safari Park last year were sent to Arizona for release.

            A California condor egg hatches after 56 days of incubation. The emerging chick hatches with white down and a light pink bald head. When the chick fledges at 6 months old, it is fully grown with black-and-white feathers and a black head. When it reaches maturity, the bird’s head turns pink once again.

            The California Condor Recovery Program is implemented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, zoos in the U.S. and Mexico, and U.S. and Mexican government agencies. Although listed by the federal government as an endangered species in 1967, the California condor population continued to decline, reaching a critical low of less than two dozen birds. In 1982, the condor breeding program was successfully established at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and Los Angeles Zoo. Today, two additional breeding centers are assisting with the recovery of the species at The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey and the Oregon Zoo. In addition, condors are part of an education program that allows guests at the San Diego Zoo, Santa Barbara Zoo and Mexico City’s Chapultepec Zoo to see North America’s largest bird up close.

            The 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo Safari Park (historically referred to as Wild Animal Park) is operated by the not-for-profit San Diego Zoo and includes a 900-acre native species reserve. The organization focuses on conservation and research work around the globe, educates millions of individuals a year about wildlife and maintains accredited horticultural, animal, library and photo collections. The Zoo also manages the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.

Hope Found in Endangered Frog Eggs

Posted at 11:21 pm March 3, 2011 by PR

HOPE FOUND IN ENDANGERED FROG EGGS

 SAN DIEGO, Calif. — After hibernating for three months in modified refrigerators, rare frogs are pairing up and producing eggs at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Since breeding began March 19 more than 500 southern mountain yellow-legged frog eggs have been laid.  Scientists at the lab expect hundreds more.

 “We have a lot of work ahead of us as we raise these eggs to tadpoles, but it is gratifying work because we know this could be the future of the species,” said Jeff Lemm, a research coordinator with the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.

 Only about 200 adult yellow-legged frogs remain in the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains of Southern California. Some of the eggs being laid at the Institute may be put into a stream in the San Jacinto mountains, while others will be released there after they grow into tadpoles.

 The San Diego Zoo was the first to successfully breed the rare frogs in 2009. 

Photo taken March 22, 2011, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo

 

Goslings Add To Success of Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Program

Posted at 6:59 pm February 7, 2011 by PR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FEB. 7, 2011

CONTACT:   SAN DIEGO ZOO INSTITUTE FOR CONSERVATION RESEARCH

                         PUBLIC RELATIONS

619-685-3291

WEBSITE:    www.sandiegozoo.org

 

GOSLINGS ADD TO SUCCESS OF HAWAII ENDANGERED BIRD CONSERVATION PROGRAM

Nene Birds Part of Captive Breeding Program for San Diego Zoo

Institute for Conservation Research

Two nene goslings ventured away from their parents at the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Maui, Hawaii, on Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 1, 2011. The goslings, which hatched December 2010, are the 461st and 462nd to hatch at the Center and each now weigh about 3 pounds, 8 ounces. The nene are part of a captive breeding program managed by researchers with the Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Program (HEBCP).

The HEBCP is a field program managed by the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research and works in collaboration with the State of Hawai`i Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Together, these organizations are working to restore populations of critically endangered Hawaiian birds.

            Since the start of the nene breeding program, more than 400 birds have been released throughout the Hawaiian islands to repopulate the birds’ native habitat.

The San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research is dedicated to generating, sharing and applying scientific knowledge vital to the conservation of animals, plants and habitats worldwide.  The work of the Institute includes onsite research efforts at the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (historically referred to as Wild Animal Park), laboratory work at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Conservation Research, and international field programs involving more than 180 researchers working in 35 countries.  In addition to the Beckman Center for Conservation Research, the Institute also operates the Anne and Kenneth Griffin Reptile Conservation Center, the Botanical Conservation Center, the Keauhou and Maui Hawaiian Bird Conservation Centers and the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center. The Zoo also manages the 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which includes a 900-acre native species reserve, and the San Diego Zoo.  The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.

Photo taken Feb. 2, 2011, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo

SAN DIEGO ZOO SEES SILVER LINING ON ENDANGERED SPECIES DAY; ZOO ANNOUNCES 10 REASONS FOR HOPE

Posted at 12:00 am May 21, 2010 by admin

The United States Senate declared Friday, May 21st as Endangered Species Day to encourage people to become aware of threats to animal and plant species and to learn what they can do to help. It is estimated that the current extinction rate for species on our planet is more than 1,000 times the rate it would be naturally, as a result of human activities. There is cause to be concerned, from the loss of arctic ice to disasters like the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Still, San Diego Zoo scientists are optimistic that there is still time to make a difference.

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AFRICAN ELEPHANT BORN AND A SECOND GETS HIS NAME

Posted at 12:00 am April 14, 2010 by admin

Wild Animal Park to Celebrate Elephants in a Summer Festival

The San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park has another 268-pound reason to celebrate: the second birth of an African elephant this year. A third elephant is due in late spring.

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SCIENTISTS CHILL ENDANGERED FROGS TO SPUR BREEDING

Posted at 12:00 am March 5, 2010 by admin

Twenty-four Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs in Special Refrigerator at San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research

In an effort to encourage breeding in a critically endangered frog, scientists at the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research” have placed 24 mountain yellow-legged frogs into special refrigerators. The cold temperatures mimic high-elevation winter conditions that cause the frogs to hibernate. Typically, mountain yellow-legged frogs display mating behaviors after emerging from hibernation.

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PANDA CUB CLIMBS HIS WAY INTO NEW EXHIBIT

Posted at 12:00 am February 16, 2010 by admin

Yun Zi, the San Diego Zoo’s 6-month-old giant panda cub, was a little slow maneuvering his way to his new exhibit on Tuesday, but as soon as he got his bearings he was off and climbing!

(more…)

African elephant birth surprises campers on Valentine's Day

Posted at 12:00 am February 15, 2010 by admin

It was a wild stay for campers at the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park over the weekend. On Valentine’s morning, they were woken by the festive trumpeting of the Park’s African elephant herd at approximately 2 a.m. when a calf was born.

“The herd was celebrating,” said Brittany Trawick, San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park elephant keeper. “Elephants are social animals. When a calf is born they let everyone know!”

The unnamed calf’s mother is Ndlulamitsi (Ndlula for short), a name that means “taller than trees” in the SiSwati language. The calf was born in the large elephant field in the presence of the entire herd, now made up of 13 elephants, including the calf’s father and Ndlula’s older offspring, Vus’musi, whose name means “to build a family.”

“We have set up the care of the elephant herd to be as natural as possible, including during a birth,” said Randy Rieches, San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park curator of mammals. “During an impending birth we keep a close eye on the cow and make sure she is in the company of at least one other elephant to provide her with support. In this case she surprised us and had the birth at little earlier than we expected, so she had the comfort of the entire herd, creating a very natural birth.”

At sunrise, the Roar & Snore campers were finally able to see why the elephants had been excited just a few hours earlier. The campers were the first to see the male calf, surrounded by his “aunties” and their calves.

When the keepers arrived a short time later they found the bull and Vus’musi, the herd’s oldest youngster at 6 years old, standing guard a short distance away, acting like a herd would do in the wild.

Rescued by the Wild Animal Park in August 2003, Ndlula and six other adult elephants were to be culled in Swaziland’s Big Game Parks because of elephant overpopulation. A lack of space and long periods of drought created unsuitable habitat for a large elephant population in the small southern African country. Big Game Parks officials felt they had two options: kill this group of elephants or export them to a zoo willing to care for the pachyderms.

At the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park, elephant studies are underway on nutrition, daily walking distance, growth and development and bioacoustic communication. In Africa, the Zoo has a researcher studying human-elephant conflicts as well as habitat range and use. In 2004, the Zoo committed to contributing $30,000 yearly to Swaziland’s Big Game Parks though 2014 to fund programs like anti-poaching patrols, improved infrastructure and the purchase of additional acreage for the Big Game Parks. In addition, the Zoo supports other elephant conservation projects through donations to the International Elephant Foundation, an organization that funds elephant conservation projects around the world.

The average gestation period for African elephants is 649 days or 22 months. A newborn calf is about three feet tall and averages 250 to 300 pounds. Calves can be weaned at 2 to 3 years old.

An adult African elephant is much larger than its cousin, the Asian elephant. A male African elephant weighs 7 to 8 tons and can stand about 10.5 feet tall at the shoulders. A female can weigh approximately four tons and stand 8.2 feet at the shoulders.

The 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park is operated by the not-for-profit San Diego Zoo and includes a 900-acre native species reserve. The San Diego Zoo focuses on the conservation of endangered species and their habitats, engages in conservation and research work around the globe, educates millions of individuals a year about wildlife, and maintains accredited horticultural, animal, library and photo collections. The Zoo also manages the San Diego Zoo’s Beckman Center for Conservation Research. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.

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