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J. Zool. Bot. Gard., Volume 5, Issue 2 (June 2024) – 17 articles

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20 pages, 2337 KiB  
Commentary
Sixty Years of Tinbergen’s Four Questions and Their Continued Relevance to Applied Behaviour and Welfare Research in Zoo Animals: A Commentary
by Robert Kelly and Paul Rose
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 338-357; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020024 (registering DOI) - 15 Jun 2024
Viewed by 465
Abstract
Understanding animal behaviour can feel like deciphering a foreign language. In 1963, pioneering ethologist Nikolaas Tinbergen offered a key: four fundamental questions to dissect behaviour’s complexities and reduce interpretive bias. These “Four Questions” fall into two categories: Proximate (how?) and Ultimate (why?). The [...] Read more.
Understanding animal behaviour can feel like deciphering a foreign language. In 1963, pioneering ethologist Nikolaas Tinbergen offered a key: four fundamental questions to dissect behaviour’s complexities and reduce interpretive bias. These “Four Questions” fall into two categories: Proximate (how?) and Ultimate (why?). The Proximate questions ask how the behaviour is triggered (Causation) and develops over time (Ontogeny). The Ultimate questions delve into its evolutionary history (Phylogeny) and purpose (Function). Traditionally used in behavioural ecology, Tinbergen’s framework finds new relevance in fields like sentience, welfare, conservation, and animal management. This paper illustrates how further integration of these Questions into applied research can improve outcomes. For example, captive animals can receive enrichment seemingly “unnatural” in origin and form. Does such enrichment trigger species-typical behaviours, fulfilling the same adaptive function as natural stimuli would? Understanding a species’ natural behaviour patterns and how the performance of such activities promotes positive welfare states is key to biologically relevant population management. Tinbergen’s Four Questions can help scientists to decipher the relevance of natural behaviour, and how a species’ responses to their environment indicate what individuals need and want at a specific time or place. By applying the Four Questions, we can answer this question and, in turn, refine husbandry practices and conserve behavioural diversity in managed populations. Sixty years after their conception, Tinbergen’s Four Questions remain a powerful tool for behavioural research. By embracing different biological disciplines within a unified framework, applied animal zoo science will continue to advance and provide credible evidence-based outputs. Full article
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13 pages, 2853 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Food Enrichment on the Behavior of Cownose Ray (Rhinoptera bonasus) Kept under Human Care
by Isabella Brosens Barros, Cristiano Schetini de Azevedo, Cynthia Fernandes Cipreste, Laura Chrispim Reisfeld, Thais Suzana, Rafael Gutierrez Capriolli and Cristiane Schilbach Pizzutto
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 325-337; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020023 (registering DOI) - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 137
Abstract
The cownose ray (Rhinoptera bonasus) faces vulnerability primarily due to unregulated fishing, resource overexploitation, and habitat degradation. Consequently, individuals maintained under human care play a pivotal role in species conservation, particularly when their welfare is prioritized. Achieving optimal welfare in aquarium [...] Read more.
The cownose ray (Rhinoptera bonasus) faces vulnerability primarily due to unregulated fishing, resource overexploitation, and habitat degradation. Consequently, individuals maintained under human care play a pivotal role in species conservation, particularly when their welfare is prioritized. Achieving optimal welfare in aquarium settings relies heavily on effective management practices, notably environmental enrichment. However, research on the efficacy of such techniques for cownose rays remains limited. Thus, this study sought to evaluate the impact of various food enrichment items on the behavior of four individuals at the São Paulo Aquarium in Brazil. The project encompassed three phases: baseline, enrichment, and post-enrichment. Enrichment items, designed to mimic the species’ natural foraging behavior, included an ice block containing food, food hidden in vegetables fixed to structures at the bottom of the tank, a tray with substrate and food, and a perforated plastic container with food inside. Behavioral observations utilized focal sampling with instantaneous recording every minute. Results showed increased foraging activity in the post-enrichment phase, whereas swimming increased and following behaviors decreased during the enrichment phase. Additionally, foraging behaviors predominantly occurred near the aquarium bottom. Overall, findings suggest that enrichment items effectively stimulated natural behaviors in cownose rays and were very attractive to the fish, advocating for their integration into species management protocols to enhance welfare. Full article
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9 pages, 1387 KiB  
Protocol
Description of a Novel Procedure to Aid in Emergence of Larval La Palma Glass Frogs (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi) to Improve Survival Rate with Implications for Captive Management and Conservation
by Chris Buttermore, Luis Daniel Navarro Gutierrez and Luis Sigler
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 316-324; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020022 (registering DOI) - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 90
Abstract
New, more efficient ways to accomplish objectives are key to improving the ability of zoological and conservation organizations to protect the animals they study and care for. Here, we describe an ovocesarean procedure, a novel task to assist the hatching of larval anurans [...] Read more.
New, more efficient ways to accomplish objectives are key to improving the ability of zoological and conservation organizations to protect the animals they study and care for. Here, we describe an ovocesarean procedure, a novel task to assist the hatching of larval anurans in cases when allowing for hatching to occur naturally presents a risk to the survival of the progeny. This study focuses on two clutches of La Palma Glass Frogs (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi) where the eggs were not laid over a water body for the tadpoles to drop into upon emergence from the egg. A simple, three-step procedure that can be performed in just a few minutes resulted in a 95% success rate in emergence and led to increased survivability in the tadpoles that were assisted. Procedures that assist hatching of embryos and neonates are discussed in many circles of animal care but have not been described in detail to provide assistance to those that are not in a situation where they can learn it from a professional. This description of the ovocesarean procedure assigns a definitive, technical term to assisted hatching and can easily be extrapolated to other oviparous animals. Although the focal species here is of a Least Concern conservation status, this procedure can be key in improving reproductive success in other, more threatened species of anurans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herpetofauna in Zoos and Public Aquariums: Welfare and Conservation)
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11 pages, 1598 KiB  
Article
Cryopreservation of Potamotrygon Stingrays’ Semen: Enhancing One Conservation Effort
by Sofia Dressel Ramos, Pedro Nacib Jorge-Neto, Helen Colbachini, Emanuele Almeida Gricio, Fábio de Moraes Francisco, Fabiana Lucia André Padilha, Rafael Caprioli Gutierrez, Letícia Alecho Requena, Laura Chrispim Reisfeld, Paloma Canedo Henrique, Roberta Ferreira Leite and Cristiane Schilbach Pizzutto
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 305-315; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020021 - 10 Jun 2024
Viewed by 341
Abstract
This pioneering study aimed to evaluate the cryopreservation of semen from P. falkneri (n = 4) and P. motoro (n = 4), maintained ex situ at the Sao Paulo Aquarium, Brazil. For this purpose, the animals were physically restrained, biometric data of the [...] Read more.
This pioneering study aimed to evaluate the cryopreservation of semen from P. falkneri (n = 4) and P. motoro (n = 4), maintained ex situ at the Sao Paulo Aquarium, Brazil. For this purpose, the animals were physically restrained, biometric data of the disc and clasper were obtained, and semen was collected through manual massage. Total motility and progressive motility parameters were evaluated using Computer-Assisted Sperm Analysis (CASA) with IVOS II equipment and Animal Breeders II software. The semen extenders INRA 96 and OptiXcell were used to assess their efficacy in sperm cryopreservation. INRA required the addition of 5% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as a cryoprotectant. The results indicated that there was no difference in semen motility values before and after freezing with INRA + DMSO (p = 0.6226). On the other hand, samples cryopreserved with OptiXcell showed a difference in semen motility post-thaw (p = 0.0156). These findings contribute to a broader study on optimizing cryopreservation protocols to ensure long-term viability and fertility of semen, enhancing genetic diversity and supporting wild population restoration. A multidisciplinary approach integrating reproductive biology, ecology, physiology, and assisted reproduction technologies, aligned with the One Conservation concept, is essential for advancing conservation and management strategies for these threatened species. Full article
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11 pages, 2382 KiB  
Article
Testing Mini-FLOTAC for the Monitorization of Gastrointestinal Parasitic Infections in Birds Kept at Four Iberian Zoological Institutions
by João Lozano, Cándido Pombo, Rami Salmo, Cristiana Cazapal-Monteiro, María Sol Arias, Daniela Carvalho, Madalena Lordelo, Augusto Batista, Rui Bernardino, Laura Rinaldi, Manuela Oliveira, Adolfo Paz-Silva and Luís Madeira de Carvalho
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 294-304; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020020 - 8 Jun 2024
Viewed by 430
Abstract
Birds kept in zoological institutions are highly exposed to gastrointestinal (GI) parasitism caused by coccidia and nematodes. The current research aimed to characterize the avian GI parasitic fauna in several zoological collections in Portugal and Spain. During the full year of 2022, a [...] Read more.
Birds kept in zoological institutions are highly exposed to gastrointestinal (GI) parasitism caused by coccidia and nematodes. The current research aimed to characterize the avian GI parasitic fauna in several zoological collections in Portugal and Spain. During the full year of 2022, a total of 120 fecal samples were collected from four zoological institutions: Lisbon Zoo, Olivais Pedagogical Farm, and Avian Biodiversity Center (Lisbon, Portugal), and Avifauna park (Lugo, Spain). Analysis was conducted in domestic bird species (autochthonous and exotic poultry breeds), and 18 different exotic bird species like Galliformes (peacock, pheasant), Anseriformes (duck), Psittaciformes (parrot, macaw, cockatiel, parakeet, cockatoo), Coraciiformes (motmot), Charadriiformes (avocet), Strigiformes (owl), Phoenicopteriformes (flamingo), Struthioniformes (ostrich), Rheiformes (rhea), and Casuariiformes (emu, cassowary). Feces were processed using Mini-FLOTAC (MF), to identify parasitic forms and quantify their shedding (oocysts or eggs per gram of feces). Moreover, 15 fecal samples from pheasants were also processed using the McMaster method (McM), to compare the parasite shedding and frequencies between techniques. MF implementation allowed identification of coccidia infections in all bird collections. Also, peacocks of the Lisbon Zoo tested positive for Trichostrongylus tenuis and Strongyloides pavonis, and the exotic birds from Avifauna park were also positive for several nematode species, with Ascaridia sp., Capillaria sp., Strongyloides sp., and Syngamus trachea eggs being detected in pheasants’ feces. Moreover, the analysis of pheasants’ feces with MF detected prevalences of 33% for coccidia oocysts, and 47% for Capillaria sp. and Ascaridia sp. eggs, while McM detected prevalences of 13%, 27%, and 40% for the respective parasite taxa, with no differences being observed between methods (p = 0.39, p = 0.45, and p = 0.50, respectively). This research provided more scientific support regarding the importance of using Mini-FLOTAC in routine parasitological diagnosis in birds kept at zoological institutions. Full article
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18 pages, 775 KiB  
Review
The Contribution of Genetic and Genomic Tools in Diversity Conservation: The Case of Endemic Plants of Greece
by Eleni Liveri, Kondylia Passa and Vasileios Papasotiropoulos
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 276-293; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020019 - 5 Jun 2024
Viewed by 403
Abstract
The conservation of endemic plant species has come into the global spotlight, not only because of their contribution to biodiversity but also their vulnerability and high extinction risk due to environmental and anthropogenic threats. Based on these developments, it is now essential to [...] Read more.
The conservation of endemic plant species has come into the global spotlight, not only because of their contribution to biodiversity but also their vulnerability and high extinction risk due to environmental and anthropogenic threats. Based on these developments, it is now essential to monitor and protect these species by applying integrated conservation strategies, especially in view of climate change, which is one of the most severe threats to plants. Genetic and genomic tools provide new potential in assessing and quantifying genetic diversity and thus can be utilized to devise conservation strategies and contribute to biodiversity conservation efforts. Greece comprises a plant biodiversity hotspot in the Mediterranean Basin with a wide variety of rare, threatened, and endemic plant taxa. In this review, we examine several cases where a broad spectrum of genetic tools has been utilized so far in the diversity assessment and conservation management of Greek Endemic Plants (GEPs). Following an extensive database search, we have identified and included in our final data collection 19 studies concerning 32 GEPs for which molecular markers have been used for the determination of population genetic structure and diversity assessment, while at the same time, the research outcomes have been taken into consideration for conservation management. The limited application of genetic and genomic tools in GEP management is demonstrated, while the significance of implementing a comprehensive conservation strategy that will integrate genetic analyses and the data derived therein is also highlighted. Full article
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16 pages, 301 KiB  
Review
Botanic Gardens in Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainability: History, Contemporary Engagements, Decolonization Challenges, and Renewed Potential
by Katja Grötzner Neves
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 260-275; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020018 - 31 May 2024
Viewed by 597
Abstract
Botanic gardens are increasingly important agents of plant research and conservation. A large number of botanic gardens have been established throughout the globe since the mid-20th century to pursue new socio-environmental missions. Others, with histories that span centuries, have also undergone a deep [...] Read more.
Botanic gardens are increasingly important agents of plant research and conservation. A large number of botanic gardens have been established throughout the globe since the mid-20th century to pursue new socio-environmental missions. Others, with histories that span centuries, have also undergone a deep transformation in the context of growing attention to matters of sustainability. Bridging key aspects of the scholarly literature on the genesis of the botanical garden institution in Europe and its legacy, this article presents the re-invention of these gardens as institutions of conservation, sustainability, and social engagement as they renew their relevance in the contemporary world. This article proceeds by covering three focal points. First, it summarizes the scholarly literature on the emergence of botanical gardens in Europe and their association with the rise of modern science, the nation-state, colonialism, and empire-building. Second, it presents accounts of current scientific and biodiversity conservation endeavours as reflexive engagements with these historical legacies, decolonization initiatives, and new socio-environmental missions. Third, this article points beyond its focus on the historical transformation of the European botanical garden institution, by identifying a more widely encompassing body of scholarship that puts forth frameworks for understanding the current role of botanic gardens on a global scale. Full article
22 pages, 403 KiB  
Review
Green Legacy: Plant Introduction and Dendrological Collections in Yerevan Botanical Garden: From the Past to the Future
by Zhirayr Vardanyan, Alla Aleksanyan, Arsen Gasparyan, Manik Grigoryan, Gayane Gatrchyan and Nelli Muradyan
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 238-259; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020017 - 29 May 2024
Viewed by 440
Abstract
Botanical living collections within botanical gardens are a crucial global asset for plant diversity. Special attention should be directed towards dendrological collections due to their significant contribution to biodiversity conservation, support for scientific inquiry, enhancement of educational initiatives, and engagement of the public. [...] Read more.
Botanical living collections within botanical gardens are a crucial global asset for plant diversity. Special attention should be directed towards dendrological collections due to their significant contribution to biodiversity conservation, support for scientific inquiry, enhancement of educational initiatives, and engagement of the public. Introducing plants, particularly woody species, poses a significant challenge in botanical science, one that is addressed through botanical gardens and arboretums. The establishment and development of dendrological collections in botanical gardens provide a means to comprehensively represent diverse plant species from various biogeographical regions and continents. The current paper presents, for the first time, the establishment, development, status, and future perspective of dendrological collections at the Yerevan Botanical Garden, particularly in relation to the introduction of woody plants in Armenia. Full article
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12 pages, 1273 KiB  
Article
In Absentia—Can a Lack of Behaviour Be a Useful Welfare Indicator? An Application to the Captive Management of Livingstone’s Fruit Bats, Pteropus livingstonii
by Morgan J. Edwards, Charlotte A. Hosie, Laura Naidenov, Eluned Price, Tessa E. Smith, Dominic Wormell and Christina R. Stanley
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 226-237; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020016 - 23 May 2024
Viewed by 466
Abstract
Non-invasive behavioural indicators of welfare can be particularly useful for managing captive breeding populations of endangered species; these allow individual welfare to be monitored and reproductive success maximised without the need for capture and restraint methods. However, most studies focus on the behaviours [...] Read more.
Non-invasive behavioural indicators of welfare can be particularly useful for managing captive breeding populations of endangered species; these allow individual welfare to be monitored and reproductive success maximised without the need for capture and restraint methods. However, most studies focus on the behaviours whose presence or frequency can predict welfare issues; the absence of a behaviour is less frequently considered an indicator of welfare. Here, we investigate potential behavioural correlates with welfare-related health states in captive Livingstone’s fruit bats (Pteropus livingstonii), a critically endangered species that can become obese due to restricted space and reduced activity rates compared with wild populations. In this study, behavioural data were collected on males (which are particularly prone to obesity). Hurdle models were used to separately determine the factors predicting the presence or absence of behaviour and the frequency of observed behaviours. Whilst significantly lower levels of vigilance were observed in males with a larger body mass, those with diagnosed health issues were significantly more likely to show an absence of locomotion and foraging behaviour. Males with a lower body mass were also more likely to show an absence of foraging behaviour. Our study demonstrates how the absence of a behaviour can be informative as to an individual’s welfare state. This study has identified behavioural profiles that can be used to flag at-risk individuals, reducing the need for potentially stressful handling and improving our ability to safeguard the welfare of individuals within a large captive group. Full article
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15 pages, 6281 KiB  
Article
Co-Producing an Ethnobotanical Garden to Support the Conservation of Indigenous Crop Diversity
by Pei-Hsin Hsu, Chih-Liang Chao and Gene-Sheng Tung
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 211-225; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020015 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 361
Abstract
Botanical gardens play a crucial role in documenting and sustaining traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) that were integral to the lives of Indigenous peoples. TEK has gained significant attention in discussions on sustainable development. Faced with threats to the maintenance and transfer of this [...] Read more.
Botanical gardens play a crucial role in documenting and sustaining traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) that were integral to the lives of Indigenous peoples. TEK has gained significant attention in discussions on sustainable development. Faced with threats to the maintenance and transfer of this knowledge, alternative approaches like community-based ethnobotanical gardens are emerging as effective tools for conservation. This paper details a research partnership that focused on storing and sharing the Bunun ethnic community’s TEK to conserve and promote plant and crop diversity. This collaboration further led to the co-development of an Indigenous ecological calendar detailing knowledge about crops, specifically beans. The ecological calendar emerged as an effective tool for supporting knowledge sharing, facilitating the communication of crop knowledge along with both common and scientific names. The Indigenous ecological calendar has also become a valuable tourism resource for guided tours, helping to build recognition of Indigenous knowledge, and making it accessible to future generations. Full article
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11 pages, 454 KiB  
Article
Risk-Based Gastrointestinal Parasite Control in a Tropical Zoological Institute
by Yirui Heng and Delia Hwee Hoon Chua
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 200-210; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020014 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 787
Abstract
The surveillance and treatment of parasites are important features of preventative healthcare plans in zoological institutes. The parasite control strategies employed in temperate regions often involve prophylactic anthelmintic treatments during seasons where the burden of gastrointestinal parasites in fecal testing is high. These [...] Read more.
The surveillance and treatment of parasites are important features of preventative healthcare plans in zoological institutes. The parasite control strategies employed in temperate regions often involve prophylactic anthelmintic treatments during seasons where the burden of gastrointestinal parasites in fecal testing is high. These strategies are, however, not applicable in the tropics, where temperatures remain high throughout the year, allowing continuous parasitic development. A risk-based parasite management strategy was adopted by a tropical zoological institute. For parasite surveillance, routine fecal direct smears and magnesium sulfate flotations were performed to determine parasitic prevalence. The frequency of fecal checks for the year was determined by the frequency at which clinically relevant parasitism (fecal tests that resulted in the animal being treated) was detected during routine fecal checks in the previous year. A yearly anthelmintic drug-class rotation schedule was also implemented. The total number of fecal tests performed per year and the number of animals with clinically significant parasitic disease decreased by 30.0% (637/2126) and 46.9% (207/451), respectively, over the four-year period of the study. Anthelmintic class rotation also improved the efficacy of fenbendazole in treating Strongyloides spp. infecting the group of orangutans. This parasite control strategy is a targeted approach to managing preventative healthcare, reducing the work required to perform routine surveillance tests whilst maintaining the health of the collection of animals. Full article
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13 pages, 301 KiB  
Commentary
Botanic Garden Tourism, Social Value, Health, and Well-Being
by Nicholas Catahan, Michelle Hopwood and Piumie Suraweera
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 187-199; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020013 - 28 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1776
Abstract
Many botanic gardens are flourishing, and many others can learn from those leading the way; at the same time, all can form new allegiances informed by service research. We developed this paper to plant seeds for different stakeholders interested in putting a spotlight [...] Read more.
Many botanic gardens are flourishing, and many others can learn from those leading the way; at the same time, all can form new allegiances informed by service research. We developed this paper to plant seeds for different stakeholders interested in putting a spotlight on botanic garden tourism opportunities. It is in response to a call to action by many stakeholders across the botanic garden sector for greater public engagement, to challenge plant awareness disparity, and to ensure the vitality and viability of the sector. Our commentary considers positive, transformative service making, marketing, management, and development. We recommend holistic, integrated services via ecosystemic thinking and collaborative partnerships across the sector and with non-traditional partnerships in the design of sustainable service ecosystems. It is envisaged that service research will spur on a more responsible, ethical, moral enterprise and sustainable botanic garden tourism with opportunities to drive positive, transformative change in meeting sustainable development goals for the good of plants, people, and planet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Opportunities in Botanic Garden Tourism)
8 pages, 202 KiB  
Opinion
Sustainable Energy Use in Buildings: A Leadership Opportunity for Gardens and Zoos
by Richard V. Piacentini
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 179-186; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020012 - 13 Apr 2024
Viewed by 689
Abstract
Cultural institutions hold a unique position of influence, serving as hubs of education and knowledge dissemination for the people they serve. Embracing sustainable energy use in buildings in zoos and botanical gardens is a commitment to environmental responsibility that reinforces these institutions as [...] Read more.
Cultural institutions hold a unique position of influence, serving as hubs of education and knowledge dissemination for the people they serve. Embracing sustainable energy use in buildings in zoos and botanical gardens is a commitment to environmental responsibility that reinforces these institutions as trusted sources of information and community leaders on climate change, one of the most vital issues of our time. Sustainable energy solutions can synergize operations with educational missions, allowing zoos and botanical gardens to lead by example and inspire visitors to adopt eco-friendly practices in their own lives. In this opinion paper, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens President and CEO Richard Piacentini discusses key elements in developing a sustainable building energy plan, reviews potential barriers to implementation, and makes a case for adopting regenerative thinking and new metrics for measuring success—citing example cases from Phipps’ Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) project. Additionally, the paper demonstrates how green building certification systems and peer-based resource networks like The Climate Toolkit can help guide institutions in the process. Full article
22 pages, 2096 KiB  
Article
What Types of Animals Should Be in the Future Zoo? Thoughts from United States Residents and Zoo and Aquarium Staff
by David M. Powell, Theodore G. Meyer, Candice Dorsey and Rob Vernon
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 157-178; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020011 - 12 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1407
Abstract
Humans are biased in their preferences for animals, and this may impact the composition of zoological collections. We assessed which kinds of animals the public and zoo professionals want to preserve in zoos for the future and analyzed these lists for previously identified [...] Read more.
Humans are biased in their preferences for animals, and this may impact the composition of zoological collections. We assessed which kinds of animals the public and zoo professionals want to preserve in zoos for the future and analyzed these lists for previously identified biases and agreement across surveyed groups. We also characterized agreement among the surveyed groups on the roles of zoos and the composition of animal collections. We surveyed people who live in the United States, members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and AZA zoo and aquarium directors. There was agreement among surveyed groups on the roles of zoos, though some differences existed. Zoo professionals and the public generally agreed on the emphasis on various categories of animals for zoo collections, though some differences were noted. We found evidence of bias towards mammals, charismatic megafauna, and felids across all surveyed groups. Agreement was high between AZA members and directors and moderate between zoo professionals and the public. These results indicate that these groups are generally in agreement about the roles of zoos, how they should compose their animal collections, and what animal species, in particular, should be kept in zoos for the future, allowing zoos to compose their collections to maximize delivery on their mission goals as well as address the preferences of the public. Full article
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14 pages, 823 KiB  
Article
BiodiverseCity St. Louis—An Initiative of the Missouri Botanical Garden
by Jean Ponzi, Glenda Abney, Matthew A. Albrecht, Sean Doherty, Robbie Hart, Allison Joyce, Nisa Karimi, Daria Mckelvey, Mike Saxton and Jen Sieradzki
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 143-156; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020010 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 785
Abstract
Botanical gardens are addressing urgent biodiversity issues through plant-based capacities including botanical research and data-sharing, conservation horticulture, ecological restoration, seed banking, and more. The Missouri Botanical Garden initiative BiodiverseCity St. Louis, led by the Garden’s sustainability division, adds broad community engagement to this [...] Read more.
Botanical gardens are addressing urgent biodiversity issues through plant-based capacities including botanical research and data-sharing, conservation horticulture, ecological restoration, seed banking, and more. The Missouri Botanical Garden initiative BiodiverseCity St. Louis, led by the Garden’s sustainability division, adds broad community engagement to this mix. This work includes public and professional education, the demonstration and promotion of ecological landscaping and Green Infrastructure practices, citizen science programs, and coordinating communications for a regional network of partner organizations focused on biodiversity. Diverse activity engages businesses, local governments, elementary and secondary (K-12) schools, colleges, and community groups. Community biodiversity work at the Garden is informed by an institutional core of scientific rigor, provides opportunity for internal collaborations, and aligns with global strategies for plant conservation—to ground impactful local work. Missouri Botanical Garden’s experience offers a model for public gardens: leveraging modes of community engagement, in concert with diverse institutional strengths, to address biodiversity needs. Full article
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12 pages, 2682 KiB  
Review
Conservation of Water Resources in a Botanic Garden
by Chad E. Washburn
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 131-142; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020009 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 648
Abstract
Water-resource challenges, encompassing both quality and quantity, pose significant threats to Florida’s ecosystems, especially in the face of climate change, rising sea levels, and rapid urbanization. This paper explores the innovative stormwater-management system implemented at Naples Botanical Garden as a model for addressing [...] Read more.
Water-resource challenges, encompassing both quality and quantity, pose significant threats to Florida’s ecosystems, especially in the face of climate change, rising sea levels, and rapid urbanization. This paper explores the innovative stormwater-management system implemented at Naples Botanical Garden as a model for addressing these challenges. The Garden’s approach, treating stormwater as a valuable resource, involves dry and wet retention areas, created lakes, and a unique River of Grass, mimicking natural ecosystems. This system not only mitigates flooding, but also effectively removes pollutants, recharges the aquifer, and provides a habitat for diverse wildlife. The paper emphasizes the economic, environmental, and social impacts of traditional stormwater-management practices in Florida. Naples Botanical Garden’s case serves as a guide for botanical gardens and zoos globally, showcasing the pivotal role these institutions can play in sustainable water-resource management. The collaborative design process involving landscape architects, engineers, and horticulturists ensures a holistic and aesthetically pleasing approach to stormwater management. The paper underscores the role of botanical gardens in promoting nature-based solutions, educating the public, and offering tangible steps for implementing similar systems worldwide. It can help guide regional adaptation strategies to manage stormwater as a resource. Full article
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12 pages, 1614 KiB  
Case Report
The Arnold Arboretum’s Campaign for the Living Collections: A Case Study in Living Collection Development
by Michael S. Dosmann and Miles Schwartz Sax
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2024, 5(2), 119-130; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg5020008 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 865
Abstract
In 2015, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University began an ambitious plant acquisition program: The Campaign for the Living Collections. Prior to the initiative’s launch, the Arboretum underwent several years of strategic planning to assess the values, strengths, and gaps within its renowned [...] Read more.
In 2015, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University began an ambitious plant acquisition program: The Campaign for the Living Collections. Prior to the initiative’s launch, the Arboretum underwent several years of strategic planning to assess the values, strengths, and gaps within its renowned living collection of temperate woody plants and then set goals that would profoundly shape the collection and its research and conservation potential for decades if not for centuries. Core genera, conservation value, phylogenetic breadth, biogeography, and climate change responses were among the priority themes used to generate a targeted list of 395 desiderata to acquire from wild populations. In only a few years, the Campaign’s 26 formal expeditions and other acquisition efforts have yielded 631 accessions of 263 highest-priority desiderata, representing 66.6% of the overall goal. This venture represents one of the most transformative and deliberate collection development activities at the Arnold Arboretum and among botanical gardens in the current era. These successes are due to a combination of factors that include visionary yet realistic strategic planning and goal setting, adherence to high standards of documentation and reporting, and authentic relationship building among collaborators. Full article
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