Sustainability Index (S-Index): A tool for use in the evaluation and planning of institutional animal collections

Maintaining sustainable living collections is at the core of every zoo’s and aquarium’s mission. In spite of increasing awareness of sustainability challenges, few practical applications to support collection sustainability have been developed. In addition, much of the onus to address issues regarding collection sustainability has fallen to regional zoo associations, rather than on individual collection […]

Patterns in the long-term viability of North American zoo populations

Recent concerns about the viability of zoo populations have motivated studies on the historic and current status of animal populations in North American and European zoos. However, these evaluations may not accurately reflect the populations’ long-term viability in the decades to come. Here, we assessed the projected future status of North American zoo populations by […]

Climate change threatens polar bear populations: a stochastic demographic analysis

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) depends on sea ice for feeding, breeding, and movement. Significant reductions in Arctic sea ice are forecast to continue because of climate warming. We evaluated the impacts of climate change on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea by means of a demographic analysis, combining deterministic, stochastic, environment-dependent matrix population […]

Asian Elephants Are Not Self-sustaining in North America

Demographic analysis of the captive Asian elephants in North America indicates that the population is not self-sustaining. First year mortality is nearly 30%, but perhaps more important, the fecundity is extremely low (Mx = 0.01–0.02) throughout the prime reproductive years. Without continued importation or a drastic increase in birth rates, the Asian elephant population in […]

Impacts of animal traffic on the Brazilian Amazon parrots (Amazona species) collection of the Quinzinho de Barros Municipal Zoological Park, Brazil, 1986–2007

Abstract Eleven species of Amazon parrots (genus Amazona) are known to occur in Brazil, and nest poaching and illegal traffic pose serious conservation threats to these species. When the illegal owners realize these animals are incompatible with their expectations and lifestyle, or when the police arrests traders and owners, these trafficked animals are often considered […]

Extinction risk assessment for the species survival plan (SSP®) population of the Bali mynah (Leucopsar rothschildi)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20228.abs The Bali mynah Species Survival Plan (SSP®), an Association of Zoos and Aquariums program, strives to maintain the genetic and demographic health of its population, avoid unplanned changes in size, and minimize the risk of population extinction. The SSP population meets current demographic and genetic objectives with a population size of 209 birds […]

Is reversing the decline of Asian elephants in North American zoos possible? An individual-based modeling approach

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20054.abs Demographic models are important tools for assessing population status, diagnosing potential causes of population decline, and comparing management strategies that might change population trajectory. The population of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) maintained in North American zoos has been declining for the past decade, and Wiese ([2000] Zoo. Biol. 19:299–309) predicted a continued decline […]

The effects of prorating risk in the development of life-tables

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1028.abs This study used computer models to investigate two different strategies for assessing risk in the development of age-based life-tables from studbook data sets. One methodology is similar to that currently employed in American Zoo and Aquarium Association population management, which prorates animals at risk within age-classes. The other follows the method used in […]

State of the North American African elephant population and projections for the future

Abstract 10.1002/1098-2361(2000)19:53.3.CO;2-F The African elephant has historically received less attention in the captive community than the Asian elephant. One manifestation of this lack of attention is that only 25 African elephant calves had been born in captivity in North America as of 1 January 1999. With the recent attention to both elephant species, it is […]

Demography of captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in southern India

Abstract 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2361(1997)16:33.3.CO;2-A Historically, the Asian elephant has never bred well in captivity. We have carried out demographic analyses of elephants captured in the wild or born in captivity and kept in forest timber camps in southern India during the past century. The average fecundity during this period was 0.095/adult female/year. During 1969–89, however, the fecundity […]