Marwell Park Zoo

Marwell Wildlife Park Battles Extinction of Tiny Snails

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In a battle to save extinct Partula snails, Marwell Wildlife Park is now breeding an additional four species, taking its numbers on show in Encounter Village to more than 800.The park's breeding program now includes eight species of the snail, which are either extinct in the wild or critically endangered. Partula snails have gone into precipitous decline in recent years as they have suffered massively from habitat loss and the introduction of a carnivorous snail. However, The International Partula Conservation Programme has plans to re-introduce the snails into the wild, so there could be hope for the future.

In the wild, the snails were found only on islands in the Pacific Ocean, ranging over 8,000 km from Palau to the Society Islands in French Polynesia. This year, conservationists will be releasing snails into reserves on the islands. They will then be closely monitored until they are released into the wild to fend for themselves. Great care has to be taken when looking after the snails. It’s vital that the snails are kept in the correct heat and humidity and strict sterilization routines are put in place.

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In the 1970s African land snails were introduced to the Pacific islands as a source of food for the local people but they were released when the meat proved unpopular. These snails bred quickly in the wild and started eating crops. In 1974, in an effort to control the land snails, the predatory Florida Rosy Wolfsnail was introduced to the island. Instead of eating the land snails, they fed on the tree snails leading to the extinction of many Partula species. Partulas grow up to 2.5cm in length and give birth to one baby every three months. An adult Partula lives for approximately 10 years. There are 79 species of the genus Partula on the IUCN Red List, 50 of which are classified as Extinct.


Brazilian Tapir Baby Named In Memory Of His Dad

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A Brazilian Tapir baby named Little Ron, at only 9 days old, is now out and about in his paddock at Marwell Wildlife.  Born with a very pretty coat of pale spots and stripes on a reddish brown background, he is delighting visitors with his striking appearance. When he is about a year old he will lose his markings and develop a beautiful light brown color, just like his mom Summer and sister Quito. He's named ‘Little Ron’ in memory of his Dad, Ronaldo, who sadly died at the park last month after an acute illness.

Section Manager David White said: “Staff miss Ronaldo greatly and he was a popular character amongst visitors to the park- so we thought it would be nice to carry on his memory by calling the baby Little Ron.

“Summer is coping well and has had some assistance from Quito, her previous offspring. She is very attentive and protective of him, always keeping a look out and calling him when he is out of view, although this all changes when food is about!!”

 “Quito was very interested in the birth and almost acted like a birthing companion for her mom. She has been helping to keep him occupied and is keeping a watchful eye over him.”

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Photo Credit: Marwell Wildlife

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Baby Ring-tailed Coatis Play Ring Around the Rosy

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There's never a dull moment for these cuddling baby Coatis (AKA Brazilian Aardvarks!), photographed earlier this summer at Marwell Wildlife Park by Danielle Connor. A total of 5 baby Coati call Marwell home and as you can see, they spend much of their time wrestling and rough housing in their exhibit. Coatis are members of the Racoon family and although few scientific population studies have been made in recent years, their numbers appear to be in decline due to environmental destruction in their native Central and South America.

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One of Madagascar's Most Endangered Born at Marwell!

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Marwell Wildlife is celebrating the birth of one of the most endangered species of Lemur in Madagascar. Wild Alaotran Gentle Lemurs (Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis) are only found inhabiting the reed beds around Lake Alaotra in Madagascar. Marwell Wildlife, which is part of the conservation breeding programme, currently has five Alaotran Gentle Lemurs. John Pullen, the charity’s curator of mammals, said: “The youngster seems to be doing very well and Lelafo is a great mum, who is very protective. We are uncertain of its sex at this stage because we keep our distance to make it as natural as possible for them. Once we know the baby’s sex the animal keepers will find it a suitable Madagascan name.”

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Photo credits: Marwell Wildlife

What follows is a video compilation featuring this Gentle Lemur as well as several other species born recetnly at Marwell including a Grevy's Zebra, Capybaras, Saki Monkeys, Ring-Tailed Coatis, and a Scimitar Horned Oryx.


Arabian Oryx Brought Back from the Brink!

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One of Marwell Wildlife’s most majestic animals, the Arabian Oryx, has been ‘brought back from the brink of extinction’ thanks to the work of dedicated conservationists. Successful captive breeding programs and re-introduction efforts mean the species has finally qualified for a move from the Endangered category to Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Marwell Wildlife, based in Hampshire, is home to the only breeding group of Arabian Oryx in the UK. Just last month, the park celebrated the birth of a female Arabian Oryx called Akilah.

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Photo credits: Marwell Wildlife

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Meet Marwell's Newest Little Cottontops!

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The UK's Marwell Wildlife recently welcomed baby Cottontop Tamarins and photographer Amy Wilton was on the scene to capture one of the little guys first days in the big world. Tamarins are the smallest of all monkeys and Cottontops grow only to about one pound. Unfortunately this tiny species is critically endangered with three quarters of its habitat in Columbia destroyed by logging and development. 

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Baby Cotton Top Tamarin at the Marwell Zoo 3Photo credits: Amy Wilton

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Meet Quito the Baby Brazilian Tapir

Marwell Wildlife is celebrating the recent birth of a Brazilian tapir. Born on 2 September to proud mum Summer and dad Ronny, the baby girl has been named ‘Quito’ (pronounced kito) after the capitol city of Ecuador, which lies in the western part of the tapir range. Quito was born with a very pretty coat of pale spots and stripes on a reddish brown background. When she is around a year old she will lose her markings and develop a beautiful light brown colour, just like her big sister Rio.  “Quito is doing really well and is full of confidence, she loves nothing better than exploring her new home. Summer is an excellent mum, whilst her big sister Rio and dad Ronny are never far away in case she runs into trouble. Brazilian tapirs are generally shy animals however, our family are very easy going and Ronny in particular loves a tickle under his chin” said David White, Head keeper for the tapirs. 

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Quito the Baby Brazilian Tapir Calf at Marwell Zoo 1

Quito the Baby Brazilian Tapir Calf at Marwell Zoo 1

Quito the Baby Brazilian Tapir Calf at Marwell Zoo 1

Brazilian tapirs live in the Amazon rainforest and spend much of their time foraging near water, which they also use as an escape route from predators such as jaguars. They are able to stay submerged for hours using their long noses to breathe through, just like a snorkel. Tapirs closest living relatives are hoofed animals likes horses and rhinos. Although not as critically endangered as the Malayan tapir, there are still several threats to the survival of the Brazilian tapirs including: illegal hunting, habitat fragmentation which can result in reduced genetic diversity and home range, plus loss of habitat by subsistence farmers and illegal logging.  They are currently listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.


Eight's Company When It's Baby Ostriches

Marwell Wildlife’s male Ostrich, Boomer, is the proud dad of eight little Ostrich chicks. Ostriches are the word’s largest flightless birds but these little chicks stand only 10 inches tall (25cm) at the moment. From here the adorable chicks will grow at an incredible rate, eventually reaching the lofty heights of their dad, around 10 feet tall (3 meters)!

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Photo Credits: Marwell Wildlife

 

 

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