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SEMRAU, A., VERSTAPPEN, F., WOLTERS, M., SZÁNTHO & HOYER, M. (2010)

Husbandry Manual Lesser Mousedeer (Tragulus javanicus-group).

Second Edition, 2010.

EAZA, Amsterdam.

Preamble:

Since the 1970ies Lesser Mousedeer are kept and bred in European zoos. A studbook was founded in 1987 and is hence one of the oldest within Europe. But despite this long tradition, little has been published on husbandry, diseases and various aspects of population management. A severe decline in population size between 1998 and to date as much as the detection of Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus in 2002 gave reason for a comprehensive survey on husbandry and diseases, the compilation of basic individual data, studbook analysis, study of necropsy reports and literature review. Moreover, a questionnaire was sent to European zoos housing mousedeer ; the response rate on the 31st of January 2008 was 70% (21/30) when counting EEP-participants, and 50% (21/42), when including ex-EEP-participants. Additionally, answered questionnaires were returned by two Asian zoos. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all respondents!

Mousedeer may not be neither a magnet to zoo visitors nor critically endangered, but against the background that tropical rainforests, a mousedeer’s natural habitat and generally the most species-rich terrestrial ecosystem on earth, are degraded at an alarming rate, a properly structured captive-breeding programme gains in importance. Summarising the various results this manual hopefully assists in husbandry, handling and care of Lesser Mousedeer as one item of future management.

Eventually, it provides impulse and information for those who have whatever interest in these unimposing but certainly graceful and amazing animals ...

Right from the very beginning it has been the concern of EAZA and the EEPs to encourage and promote the highest possible standards for husbandry of zoo and aquarium animals. For this reason, quite early on, EAZA developed the “Minimum Standard s for the Accommodation and Care of Animals in Zoos and Aquaria”. These standards lay down general principles of animal keeping, to which themembers of EAZA feel themselves committed. Above and beyond this, some countries have defined regulatory minimum standards for the keeping of individual species regarding the size and furnishings of enclosures etc., which, according to the opinion of a uthors, should definitely be fulfilled before allowing such animals to be kept within the area of the jurisdiction of those countries. These minimum standards are intended to determine the borderline of acceptable animal welfare. It is not permitted to fall short of these standards. How difficult it is to determine the standards, however, can be seen in the fact that minimum standards vary from country to country. Above and beyond this, specialists of the EEPs and TAGs have undertaken the considerable task of laying down guidelines for keeping individual animal species. Whilst some aspects of husbandry reported in the guidelines will define minimum standards, in general, these guidelines are not to be understood as minimum requirements; they represent best practice. As such the EAZA/EEP Husbandry Guidelines for keeping animals intend rather to describe the desirable design of enclosures and prerequisites for animal keeping that are, according to the present state of knowledge, considered as being optimal for each species. They intend above all to indicate how enclosures should be designed and what conditions should be fulfilled for the optimal care of individual species.

 

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