Spring is always full of constants, such as holidays, breaks and time changes. We know these yearly changes are routine – so we adjust. In addition there are days designated to highlight our responsibilities to the planet. For years we have spotlighted Earth, Migratory Bird and World Oceans Days. This year packets of wildflower seeds for planting were distributed for Earth Day, Migratory Bird Day brochures identified the 28 species of migratory birds in our avian collection and interactive learning activities were set up in the Tribal Gallery for World Oceans Day. New “days” are being added each year, such as Penguin Awareness, Save the Vaquita and Sawfish Days. I spent six Earth Days (2011-2016) in Peru participating in manatee releases. This year we will be doing the 2017 release in November, back at the oxbow lake, after which we will share the experience with you.
Some of our new partners and endeavors are described in this newsletter. Sharing to Help Save Endangered Species briefly tells of our involvement with the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine in Mexico and SEZARC (South-East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation).
Due to the DWA being primarily represented by Latin American and South American exhibits, we are an institutional member of the Latin American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (ALPZA). XXIV Latin American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums Congress highlights the recent meeting in Cuba in which we participated.
Creating Awareness for Sawfish – The First International Sawfish Day elaborates on our sawfish work with groups, both national and international, and the numerous meetings which we attended, with these “oddities” now having October 17, 2017 designated as their day!
White-throated Wood Quail (Odontophorus leucolaemus) discusses how successful reproduction of this species is now in our plus column. It is believed that we are perhaps the only institution to have bred this species in a captive setting outside their natural range. Our exemplary off-premise Avian Breeding Center will be discussed in the next issue.
Not to ignore our marine animals, Book of the Month is about Curious Critters. Twenty beautiful photographs share the uniqueness of each animal, as told by the animal itself, with many being part of our collection.
Soon to be moving out of the planning stage and becoming a work in progress, will be our renovation of the Continental Shelf. It is our tentative schedule to drain the “shelf” and remove the old rock beginning the week after Labor Day (Sept 4), resurface the exhibit walls and prepare for the installation of the new rockwork, which will take approximately two weeks. Prior to all this, the fish will be removed and taken to our off exhibit quarantine/holding area. They will be reintroduced once the new rockwork is completed and the tank is properly conditioned. The old live rock will be used in our existing exhibits or in future projects.
Due to the complexity of the tunnel, window domes and 18’ depth, we spent considerable time in developing the above conceptual drawings. These drawings were shared with Manwarren Habitats, the manufacturer selected to construct and install the project. Located in Mira Loma, CA. Manwarren has been fabricating aquatic and zoological habitats worldwide since 1981. Striving to create aesthetically pleasing, animal safe, durable and realistic habitats, we are excited they will update our tunnel that originally opened in October 1992. The image below shows a view of their work with the circular window domes being drawn on the left.
Any project of this magnitude is an inconvenience but hopefully you will watch the transformation and enjoy the finished product with us.