Equus asinus Domestic Donkey

Family

  • Equidae

Lifespan

  • 30 or more years

Size

  • Height: Over 36” but under 48” at the withers (shoulder)

  • Weight: 300-600 pounds

Origin

  • Donkeys are domesticated descendents of the African Wild Ass

Habitat

  • Donkeys evolved in a desert habitat but have been domesticated for over 2000 years

Diet

  • Wild: Grasses and other plant matter

  • Zoo: Hay

Reproduction

  • Females mature at around 3 years of age.  They will go into heat cycles every 18-21 days.  Gestation lasts between 11 and 13 months after which a single foal is born.  Foals are walking within 30 minutes of birth and will be weaned at 5 or 6 months old. 

Special adaptations

  • Donkeys have larger ears than horses, which help to cool them – an adaptation to living in warm weather

  • Donkeys have very powerful bites and kicks which they will use in defense

  • Donkeys have loud vocalizations which help them to keep in contact with each other, even over long distances

Facts/info

  • Dun (gray) is the most common color of donkeys, although other colors and patterns are present in domestic breeds.

  • Donkeys were historically used as pack animals to carry heavy loads over long distances.  They were more desirable than horses since they are smaller in size, hardier, and can subsist on poorer quality of food while still being able to carry substantial weight.

  • Modern uses for donkeys include transport and being kept as pets.

  • Captive donkeys are commonly under threat of being overweight, since the quality of food likely to be fed is higher than the food they would have encountered in the wild (more calories per food item), along with decreased levels of activity.

Conservation status

  • The domestic donkey is not listed as being threatened, however there are wild Equids which are in dire need of protection:

    • African Wild Ass

    • Asiatic Wild Ass (Onager or Kulan)

    • Przewalski's Horse (Mongolian Wild Horse)

Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org

Domestic & Miniature Donkeys

Capra hircus Alpine Goat

Family

  • Bovidae

Lifespan

  • 15-18 years

  • 20+ years not uncommon

Size

                Height

·         Males: 34-40 inches at the shoulder

·         Females: At least 30 inches at the shoulder

                Weight

·         Males: At least 170 pounds

·         Females: At least 135 pounds

Origin

  • Bred in the European Alps mountain range, especially France

Habitat

  • Mountainous grasslands, shrub lands, and plateaus

Diet

  • Wild: Grasses, herbs, lichens, and other plant matter

  • Zoo: Mazuri goat chow and hay

Reproduction

Females reach sexual maturity between 3 and 15 months of age depending on breed.  Females (called a doe) come into heat once every 21 days for 2-48 hours.  The female will vigorously flap her tail, stand near a male if present, and become more vocal.  Gestation lasts about 150 days (about 4 ½ months).  Twins are typically born, single and triple births being the next common.  Multiple births exceeding 3 kids have occurred, but are less common.

Special adaptationsAlpine Goat

  • Goats have horizontal slit pupils which increase their peripheral depth perception

  • Alpines have excellent balance, which aid them in climbing along their rocky native lands

  • Goats are able to climb nearly vertical cliff faces

  • Alpines are one of the hardiest and easily adaptable breeds, making them a favorite amongst goat breeders

Facts/info

  • Goats are thought to be one of the first animals domesticated by man

  • Fossil remains of goats have been carbon dated to between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago

  • Goats are one of the most common farm animals

  • The alpine breed are excellent milk-producing goats

  • Their playful nature can be seen as Bandit and Buttons, our 2 Alpine goats, chase each other around their yard and butt heads – a common form of play and dominance displayed in goats

  • The Alpine breed has no determined color and can be found in white, bay, brown, fawn, red, saffron, and caramel.

  • Males typically have a pronounced beard as well as a patch of raised hair along their neck

  • Goats are highly curious and easily trainable

  • Males and females of this breed can produce horns

Conservation status

  • IUCN: Not Evaluated
  • CITES: Not Listed
  • As a breed of domestic animal, the alpine goat is not threatened in the wild

Sources

  1.  CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org

Alpine Goats

 

Ara ararauna Blue and Gold Macaw

Family

  • Psittacidae

Lifespan

  • 35-60 years

Size

  • Length

    • 33-34 inch body

    • 20 inch tail

    • 40-45 inch wingspan

  • Weight

    • Over 2 pounds

Range

  • Mid to Northern South America and Southern Central America

HabitatBlue and Gold Macaws

  • Forests in tropical or sub-tropical regions along swamps or rivers

Diet

  • Wild

    • Fruits, seeds, berries, and nuts

  • Zoo

    • Mazuri brand parrot chow and fresh produce

Reproduction

                It is believed that Blue and Gold Macaws do not reach sexual maturity until 3-4 years.  These birds form solid pair bonds and are thought to mate for life.  1-2 eggs are laid in a nest made in a hollow cavity of a tree trunk.  Females are believed to solely incubate the eggs, but both parents will aggressively defend the eggs from predators or intruders.  After an incubation period of 25 days the chicks hatch.  Chicks are hatched blind and featherless.  Chicks will become fully feathered around 10 weeks old.  Parents care for the young until they become independent.

Special adaptations

  • The Blue and Gold macaws beautiful plumage actually helps camouflage it against the brilliant colors found in its home
  • Macaws have a patch on their faces that lack feathers, which can act as a heat dissipater and for communication amongst other macaws

Facts/info

  • Strong pair bonds are formed and reinforced with mutual grooming and displays of affection

  • Our pair of Blue and Gold macaws are often seen interlocking beaks – a form of affection

  • These birds are reported to be wary of humans in the wild, tending to avoid populated areas

Blue and Gold Macaws kissing

Conservation status

  • IUCN: Least Concern
  • CITES: Appendix II
  • Common in the pet trade, illegal capture and exportation of these and other tropical parrots is still a major problem with wild populations today

    • Approximately 70-80% of animals illegally transported over borders for the pet trade die either en route or shortly after arrival.  The United States is one of the top destinations for these birds and other illegally transported animals. 
  • Deforestation is a common threat to these animals, destroying nesting and feeding sites, often killing nest-bound young in the process

Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org
  3. World Parrot Trust. Accessed December 2012. www.parrots.org
  4. Audobon. Bird: The Definitive Visual Guide. New York, New York. DK Publishing. 2007.
  5. Ara ararauna (Linnaeus, 1758). Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed December 2012. www.eol.org/date_objects22840166
 

Cacatua moluccensis
cockatoom port1

Family

  • Cacatuidae

Lifespan

  • 65-80 years

Size

  • Length: 19-20 inches
  • Weight: 2 lbs

Range

  • Found in Indonesian Islands (Sapaura, Haruku, and Ceram). 
  • Breeding populations are only found on Ceram.

Habitat

  • They live in dense lowland forests and wooded mountain slopes. Moluccans make their nests in hollow trees, using woodchips for bedding.

Diet

  • Wild: Herbivorous, eating seeds, fruits, nuts, and berries
  • Zoo: Parrot chow, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Receive seeds and nuts for treats.

Reproduction

  • There are 2-6 eggs in each clutch with an incubation period of 29-30 days.

    cockatoom fb2

  • Both parents take turns incubating the eggs.
  • After the eggs hatch, there is a fledging period of approximately 3 months.
  • Young Moluccans receive constant attention from their both of their parents which includes: preening, protection, cuddling, instruction and reassurance.

General Information

  • Habitat destruction due to heavy logging in Indonesia has threatened the Moluccan Cockatoo.
  • Moluccans are flock animals with well defended flock rules, schedules and a hierarchy which each bird learns as they mature.
  • These birds can mimic the sounds of other animals including people. They are also known for their ear-splitting calls. When cornered or aroused they may make a hissing noise. Moluccan cockatoos also communicate with their movement and feather positions.
  • Moluccans take advantage of the wet foliage in the treetops by fluttering through it for a bath.

Interesting Facts

  • The oldest Moluccan on record lived to be 125 years old – owned by a family in England.
  • In the 17th century Moluccans were seen as a “religious icon.” In those days it was assumed that only humans could speak, so when pet cockatoos began to mimic, it was believe that God must be talking through them.
  • Moluccans have a water-proof dust coating their feathers, and sometimes hang upside down during rainstorms to take baths.
cockatoom fb1

Conservation status

  • IUCN: Vulnerable
  • CITES: Appendix I
  • Common in the pet trade, illegal capture and exportation of these and other tropical parrots is still a major problem with wild populations today
    • Approximately 70-80% of animals illegally transported over borders for the pet trade die either en route or shortly after arrival.  The United States is one of the top destinations for these birds and other illegally transported animals. 
  • Deforestation in Indonesia is a common threat to these animals, destroying nesting and feeding sites, often killing nest-bound young in the process

Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org
  3. World Parrot Trust. Accessed December 2012. www.parrots.org
  4. Audobon. Bird: The Definitive Visual Guide. New York, New York. DK Publishing. 2007.
 

Cyanoliseus patagonus patagonus
conure fb

Family

  • Psittacidae

Lifespan

  • 35 years

Size

  • Length: 15 - 20 inches

  • Weight: 9 - 11 oz

Range

  • South Argentina and Chile

  • In winter their range extends to Central Argentina and South Uruguay

Habitat

  • Rocky coastline with cliffs

  • Grassy or Farmland areas
  • Arid land near water

Diet

  • Wild

    • seeds, nuts, fruit, and grain crops

  • Zoo

    • parrot show, fruit, corn

Reproduction

conure fall2

  • There are usually 3 - 5 eggs per cluthc, laid once a year, with an incubation period around 30 days.
  • Eggs laid on dust and dead wood in large hole. Some nest in cactus plants.
  • Male assumes parental role while young develop.
  • Babies are born naked, and around three weeks old they begin to develop real feathers. At this stage, the feathers look like pins and are thus called "pinfeathers."

General Info

  • Males and females easily distinguishable among most parrots. Males are usually more colorful, but some parts of the world the female parrots can be as brightly colored as the males. The bright colors help hide them from predators.

  • They are social animals and there can be more than a thousand parrots in a single flock.
conure fall1

Conservation status

  • IUCN: Least Concern
  • CITES: Appendix II
  • Common in the pet trade, illegal capture and exportation of these and other tropical parrots is still a major problem with wild populations today

    • Approximately 70-80% of animals illegally transported over borders for the pet trade die either en route or shortly after arrival.  The United States is one of the top destinations for these birds and other illegally transported animals.  

Sources

  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012. www.cites.org
  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012. www.iucnredlist.org