Birds of prey:
The image of power and magnificence evoked by the mention of birds of prey can lead to the erroneous conclusion that there is little need for concern over their prospects for long-term survival in the wild. Unfortunately habitat loss or change, and man's misguided attempts at extermination, have resulted in the near disappearance of many raptor populations (including owls). The complexity of the problem is reflected in the diversity of topics covered by the 28 papers in this section, compiled with the advice of Dr B.-U. Meyburg, Chairman of the ICBP World Working Group on Birds of Prey, and John E. Cooper, an internationally renowned veterinary expert. The conservation and captive management of raptors are fields in which zoos can be of fundamental importance. They act, for example, as research centres for improvements in breeding; they also provide founder stocks for reintroduction schemes while at the same time maintaining strong, self-perpetuating groups in captivity in case the need for further releases should arise. Captive breeding, artificial incubation and hand-rearing are reported for birds such as the Andean condor. White-tailed sea eagle, the newly described subspecies of the Lappet-faced vulture in Israel, Secretary bird and Mauritius kestrel. For some species captive breeding is the only means by which total extinction can be averted, while others provide valuable experience for working with endangered forms. A positive note is struck by a unique article describing the events leading to the successful hatching of the first bird of prey to be conceived by the use of frozen-thawed spermatozoa. Comparative information is supplied by several articles on the breeding and rearing of a range of species. Amongst the reintroduction schemes described is the planned release of Bearded vultures to the Alps, an excellent example of co-operation between zoos and conservation authorities. Further topics under discussion include rescue and rehabilitation, and how the phenomenon of cainism can be used for conservation purposes. The final article provides a valuable in-depth review of registration and marking techniques.
New developments in the zoo world:
The 30 papers which comprise this section cover a broad spectrum of species in which reptiles are particularly well represented. Notable examples include the Aquatic box turtle, African slender-snouted crocodile, Flhinoceros iguana, Short-horned lizard and Taipan. Jozsef Laszlo contributes a valuable review article on reproductive patterns in amphibians and reptiles. ln addition are papers on breeding the Blue-winged kookaburra, Black-footed ferret, and on the husbandry of the Long-nosed echidna and Bongo. Further review articles include a demographic study of the Black rhinoceros, and a breeding history of Dorcas gazelles at the National Zoo, Washington. In addition are a description of paternity diagnosis in the Pygmy chimpanzee through chromosomal analysis, and papers on transport containers, handling techniques and display methods. The successful reintegration of young to the natal group after hand-rearing is described for the Scimitar-horned oryx and the Nubian ibex. Two architectural papers conclude the section.
Includes 117 pages, providing a taxonomic list of vertebrate species bred in captivity in 1981, the latest census of rare animals in captivity, and an up-to-date list of authorised studbooks and world registers. Author and subject indices to Volumes 22 and 23 conclude the section.