Captive duiker management at the Duiker and Mini-Antelope Breeding and Research Institute (Dambari), Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Verity Bowman, Amy Plowman
Zoo Biology
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Abstract 10.1002/zoo.10032.abs The Dambari Field Station (near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe), owned and run by the Marwell Zimbabwe Trust, holds a unique collection of seven duiker species. Health and breeding records are good, with annual birth rates of approximately 50% for those species for which there are breeding pairs. There are no indications of recurrent disease syndromes, and regular health checks reveal very few endo- or ectoparasites. Blood values for hematology and chemistry are within ranges found in free-living conspecifics, with the exception of serum albumin, which is considerably lower than values found in all comparable species. Serum albumin is also lower than those reported in other captive duikers, whereas serum globulin and hemoglobin are substantially higher. Naturally vegetated duiker enclosures and nonintrusive husbandry routines are designed to stimulate as near to natural behavior patterns as possible. Although time spent foraging by duikers at Dambari is significantly less compared to free-living conspecifics, daily patterns of activity and rest by common and blue duikers are very similar to those of free-living conspecifics. There are activity peaks in the early morning and late evening, with long rest periods in the middle of the day. Blue duikers at Dambari tend to be more active at night than has been reported for wild blue duikers. This collection of healthy, breeding, and relatively naturally behaving duikers represents a unique opportunity for furthering our knowledge of these diminutive antelope. Excellent residential accommodations, office facilities, and a small laboratory are available for visiting researchers who wish to study duiker biology. Zoo Biol 21:161–170, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


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