Designing analytical software for global data sharing of rhinoceros browse and diet information

As part of an ongoing effort to develop information resources and tools integrating valuable global research, we present a database and software model that integrates feeding habits, browse usage information, nutrient composition of native and substitute foods, and captive diet records for rhinoceros species. Screen displays and output reports include: Browses/Forages Offered, Browse/Forage Nutrient Composition, Diets Fed by Zoological Facility,...

Sustainability issues come home: choosing seafood for zoo and aquarium animals

It has been have taken for granted that wild populations of seafood species would always be readily available. Unfortunately, there are limitations and a continued trend in the decline of fish populations both in the United States and around the globe. At the same time, the demand for seafood is increasing. Captive piscivorous animals must be provided with seafood to...

The effect of sample handling and preparation on the iron binding polyphenolic content of browse

The objective of this study was to determine feasible handling methods for accurate analysis of iron binding polyphenolics. Seven methods were tested with different combinations of both onsite handling and laboratory preparation. In these methods, on-site collection included freezing the samples with liquid nitrogen or dry ice or collecting the samples fresh and returning them to the lab. Once in...

Development of an intranet browse identification reference

The general term “browse” refers to harvest plant materials that are including as a component of a captive animal’s diet. These materials may satisfy a nutritional, behavioral or combination of components desired in the feeding program. The Zoological Society of San Diego (ZSSD) maintains a comprehensive list of plant species (browse) which may be used with the animal collections, however...

Nutrient composition of selected tropical browse species fed to zoo animals in Hawaii

The objective of this project was to determine the nutrient composition of selected browse species available and fed at the Honolulu Zoo in Hawaii, and to facilitate their use in more balanced zoo rations there and at other tropically located zoos. Samples of 26 different materials including; apple banana, areca palm, hula bamboo, golden bamboo, cape honeysuckle, coral hibiscus, dwarf...

A summary of the role of The American Registry Professional Animal Scientists

The American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) is a body that promotes the professionalism of its animal scientists members. Workers in several fields can apply to have their credentials and experience recognized by their peers. After 10 years of different embodiments and halting progress, ARPAS was launched in 1984, operating without a loss in any year since. Sustaining societies...

Considerations for ethical acquisition and treatment of feeder animals in zoos

Zoos, as a rule, have stringent standards for acquisition and care of the animals in their collection. Following this philosophy, it also is important to heed similar considerations for “feeder” animals. Feeder animals are those utilized to feed carnivorous and omnivorous collection animals that consume prey items as all, or part, of their diet. The purpose of this discussion is...

Evolution of a browse database- a global application

Browse – the new “buzzword” within zoological communities. Browse can include shrubs, trees, woody vines and stems, including various plant parts like berries and flowers. Browse is used for nutrient supplementation, behavioral enrichment and for some animal species it is life. Browse can also mean death to animals if a wrong plant or part is fed. With all of these...

Role of nutrition programs in zoological institutions

There is nothing more fundamental to the care of wild animals in captivity than the need to provide an adequate and appropriate diet. The impact of nutrition on the physical and psychological health, productivity and longevity of wild animals in captivity has been clearly recognized. Contributions to in situ conservation programs made by individuals professionally trained in nutritional sciences, and...

Nutrition + Environmental Enrichment = Animal Well-Being

The nutritional management of different species requires modifications in the shape and presentation of the diet, not only due to the idiosyncrasy of the animal but also due to the natural way to obtain the food. When possible, captive animals should be fed natural diets; however availability and cost make it very difficult for a wild diet to be duplicated...

Reorganization and development of the nutrition department at the Buenos Aires Zoo (1991- 2001)

The objective of this presentation is to describe modifications of nutritional management at the Buenos Aires Zoo from 1991 to present (2001). As with other Latin American zoos, our resources are limited; however we have made strong efforts to overcome financial, technical and organizational difficulties. In 1991, the basic management was in the hands of the keeper, who decided what...

Implementing “green business” practices at the Santa Barbara Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo has a long history of community involvement and paving the way for environmentally friendly practices in the Santa Barbara area. The Zoo initiated the first community recycling program more than 20 years ago. In 2007 The Zoo created an in house peer-committee “Sustainable Operations Committee (Green Team)” to review and establish responsible environmentally responsible practices. The...

Commentary- Skepticism and science: responsibilities of the comparative nutritionist

Comparative nutritionists are asked to formulate diets for over 3,000 species of animals,including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. Little research has been conducted to provide an information base for this task, and both popular and scientific publications contain factual errors and irrational concepts that confuse the user. When data are suspect and theories do not make sense, they...

Zoo animal nutrition matrix

Providing optimal nutrition by developing an appropriate diet for captive exotic animals is complex. The complexity arises from the many factors that must be considered that may affect the final diet. The zoo animal nutrition matrix was developed to provide those new to developing captive exotic animal diets a guide to affecting factors and to illustrate to all in the...

Feeding browse to large zoo herbivores: How much is “A lot”, How much is “Sufficient”?

Diet evaluations in captive browsers are often confounded by the fact that the amount of browse offered is difficult to quantify, especially if whole branches are fed. For a diet survey in captive moose (Alces alces), we established correlations between the diameter at point of cutting of a branch and the amount of foliage and edible twigs on it.

So you want to be a zoo animal nutritionist

Well, “comparative nutrition” is the name of the game since it is estimated that the zoos of the world house over 3,000 different species [Wilson, 1992]. These include animals as different as snakes and elephants. Your challenge is to devise diets that ensure the proper nourishment of every animal. There is nothing more basic to animal health and welfare.

Zoo nutrition with budget constraints

It is becoming apparent to the zoo community that a quality nutrition program is a key to improved animal health, and potentially added contentment of the animal. Improved nutrition can also lead to enhanced breeding programs. However, even realizing this, many zoological institutions can not yet justify the cost of a full-time nutritionist. Therefore, a question often asked is, “How...

Lisbon Zoo – The development of an animal nutrition department

The need to fight against structural and financial difficulties characteristic of a Zoo with 100 years and located in the middle of Lisbon, had limited its proper evolution. Only in 1995 occured a profound restructuring at the Lisbon Zoo, in the midst of which arose the Animal Nutrition Department. Up to that time, the different keepers, in inadequate conditions for...

Which way forward for European zoo nutrition?

There are approximately 1000 zoos in Europe ranging from large, extensive zoos to smaller private collections. Of these, 256 are members of the European Association of Zoos and Aquarium (EAZA). EAZA is involved in all aspects of maintaining animals in captivity in zoos and aquarium, including the conservation of threatened species. Just as AZA has established Species Survival Plan (SSP)...

Utilization of zoo interns

The field of nutrition in the zoo community is still in its infancy with many an unsolved riddle lying ahead. One tool that has been effective in aiding the collection of nutritional information has been a collaborative internship program between the Denver Zoological Gardens and Colorado State University .The internship program allows nutritionally-related projects to be completed at little cost,...

Establishment of a zoological browse data base

Browse, a significant source of nutrition and enrichment for captive animals, is becoming increasingly important and more widely used. Browse includes leaves and twigs from shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants. It is supplemented to a wide range of captive animals including hoofstock, primates, pachyderms, marsupials and even avian species. Despite the importance of browse as a supplemental feed and enrichment...

Skepticism and Science: Responsibilities of the Comparative Nutritionist

Comparative nutritionists are asked to formulate diets for over 3,000 species of animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. Little research has been conducted to provide an information base for this task, and both popular and scientific publications contain factual errors and irrational concepts that confuse the user. When data are suspect and theories don’t make sense, they...

Diet Charts: The Keeper’s Tool and Aide

For most institutions, whether public or private, conservation of endangered species is a high priority. Conservationist will use a variety of tools available to aid them in meeting their goals. Healthy reproductive animals are vital to the management of a viable captive population. One important tool, integral to successful survivorship of animals in our care, is dietary monitoring. One of...