Children’s Zoo happy to announce rare birth of critically endangered species


The Children’s Zoo is excited to announce that Gizmo and Clementine, two critically endangered cotton-top tamarins, gave birth to a set of twins onn Sunday morning, February 28th. With only 6,000 cotton-top tamarins left in the wild, our breeding success plays a vital part in saving this species. 
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The road ahead is full of challenges, and we are inviting the community to be a part of the ups (and possible downs) with us. We are proceeding with extreme caution and care over the next few months as cotton-top tamarin infants have a very low survival rate. Gizmo (age 6) and Clementine (age 10) are first time parents, so they have a lot to figure out. However, based on their behavior over the last few days, we are optimistic in their endeavors. Animal care staff are hard at work ensuring that the two have everything they need, which includes giving them space to be a new family and letting nature take its course.   

Clementine had grown very large over the past six months—the average gestation period for this species. By the end of it, she had almost doubled in size! On the morning of February 28th, 2016, the tamarin animal care staff member walked in to find two little monkey tails hanging off of her. Since then, “mom” and “dad” have been doing a wonderful job trading off on babysitting. In fact, Gizmo has been seen not only carrying the twins, but pampering Clementine with social grooming. Because of this, we are very hopeful the twins will beat the odds and grow into wild haired, extra adorable monkeys like their parents.

Native to a tiny portion of the rainforest in Colombia, South America, cotton-top tamarins are almost extinct in the wild. Between the 1960s and 1970s, over 60,000 individuals were captured and transported to the United States for using as laboratory test animals. This practice ended in 1974, with the exportation of this species no longer allowed. However, between the destruction of the rain forest, and the illegal pet industry, wild populations continue to decline. Only through cooperative breeding strategies, such as the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan that we participate in, and a few organizations in the field, can we hope to keep cotton-top tamarins in the wild.

While the zoo is closed for season, you can stay up-to-date on baby news, as well as find pictures of the babies, on our Facebook (www.facebook.com/childrenszoo) and website (www.saginawzoo.com.) The Children’s Zoo is located at 1730 S. Washington Ave in Saginaw, MI, 48601, and opens to the public on April 23rd.   

tamarins1

Gallus gallus domesticusOrpington1

Family

  • Phasianidae

Common Name

  • Orpington Chicken

Lifespan

  • Average 8 years

Size

  • Weight: Males – 10 pounds Females - 8 pounds

Range

  • A domestic, hearty chicken that is found living alongside humans

Diet

  • Omnivores
  • In the wild: Insects and seeds
  • At the zoo: Game bird chow

ReproductionOrpington2

  • The eggs produced are light to dark brown
  • On average lay up to 200 eggs a year

Interesting facts

  • Bred in Orpington, England by William Cook in 1886
  • Spread to America in 1903
  • Favored for its growth rate, egg laying rate, and table-top characteristics

Conservation status

  • CITES –Not Listed
  • IUCN –Not Evaluated

Sources

  1. Appendices I, II, and III of CITES. (February 5, 2015) Accessed January 2016. http://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php
  2. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (2015) Accessed January 2016. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search
  3. Livestock Conservancy.org Orpington Chicken Breed Facts. Accessed February, 2016. http://www.livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/orpington

Odocoileus virginianusdeer

Family

  • Cervidae

Lifespan

  • Most white-tail deer live 2-3 years in the wild
  • Maximum lifespan in the wild is 20 years, but very few live past 10 years
  • Average lifespan in captivity 16 years, but as long as 23 has been recorded

Size

  • Height: 31.5-39.4 inches at the shoulder
  • Length: 5.25-7.25 feet
  • Weight: 125.5-301.8 pounds

Range

  • Most of southern Canada, all of the continental United States except a few states in the west, throughout Central America to Bolivia

Habitat

  • Very wide range of potential habitats
  • Big woods, deep saw grass, hammock swamps, farmlands, brushy areas, cactus and thornbrush deserts
  • Ideal habitat would contain dense thickets to hide in, and edges, to provide food

Diet

  • Herbivore
  • In eastern forests: buds and twigs of maple, sassafras, poplar, aspen, and birch as well as many types of shrubs
  • In deserts: huajillo brush, yucca, prickly pear cactus, comal, ratama, and various tough shrubs
  • Conifers are utilized in the winter when food is scarce

Reproduction

  • Polygynous
  • Mating occurs from October to December
  • Gestation approximately 6 and a half months
  • Fawns are able to walk at birth and nibble on vegetation within days
  • The first time a doe has a litter, typically only one offspring is born, but in subsequent years 2 through as many as 4 fawns can be born at a time

Special adaptations

  • Characteristic white tail, very easy to see them as they run away with their tail up
  • Able to run at speeds up to 30 mph through tangled terrain in a forest

Interesting facts

  • White-tailed deer are the shyest most skittish of the deer
  • They are remarkable swimmers, often going into large bodies of water to escape terrestrial predators and bothersome insects, or to reach remote islands with potentially untapped food resources

Conservation status

  • CITES –Not evaluated
  • IUCN –Least concern

Sources

  1. Animal Diversity Web. Accessed February 2016. http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Odocoileus_virginianus/
  2. Appendices I, II, and III of CITES. (February 5, 2015) Accessed January 2016. http://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php
  3. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (2015) Accessed January 2016. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search

Kinosternon scorpioides albogulareturtlemud port1

Family

  • Kinosternidae

Lifespan

  • There is limited information for the longevity of this species
  • Our white-throated mud slider, Ox, is about 10 years old as of 2016

Size

  • Male average carapace length: 5.3-5.9 inches
  • Female average carapace length: 5-5.5 inches

Range

  • Colombia, the Colombian island of San Andrés, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama

Habitat

  • Small of large freshwater ponds with vegetation and macrophytes, slow running streams, swamps, floodable mangrove forests that are not permanently connected to the sea.

Diet

  • Omnivorous
  • Occasionally a scavenger
  • In the wild: fruits, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates (molluscs and arthropods), and dipteran larvae, which is common prey

Reproductionturtlemud fb1

  • Courtship and mating happen twice a year, in roughly January and July depending on region.
  • Understanding of their reproduction is limited
  • Usually laying 2-5 eggs per clutch, but 1-6 possible
  • Eggs incubation for 111-194 days
  • Eggs are around 1.2 x 0.6 inches

Special adaptations

  • Like all turtles they have a hard outer shell that helps them avoid being eaten
  • Plastron has two kinetic hinges generally with lobes, able to completely close ventral openings of the shell

Interesting facts

  • This species is host to at least 4 different species of nematode parasites in the wild

Conservation status

  • CITES –Not Listed
  • IUCN –Not Evaluated
  • Extant populations have limited contact with humans, some of their population is within already protected areas, and they have a high population density; therefore are not considered threatened.

Sources

  1. Appendices I, II, and III of CITES. (February 5, 2015) Accessed January 2016. http://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php
  2. Kinosternon scorpioides albogulare White-Throated Mud Turtle, Swanka Turtle [Forero-Medina, German. Castaño-Mora, Olga V., et al]. December 31, 2011. Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises. Chelonian Research Monographs, no. 5. Accessed February, 2016. http://www.iucn-tftsg.org/wp-content/uploads/file/Accounts/crm_5_064_albogulare_v1_2011.pdf
  3. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (2015) Accessed January 2016. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search