Are Zoos Still in the Conservation Business?
Zoo Logic
by Dr. Grey Stafford
1d ago
Long time zoological statistician and animal manager, Kevin Willis, returns to discuss dolphin demographics and other mathematical insights into current species populations in human care. The overall population of dolphins in facilities looks promising, but Kevin warns this view is not reality since the animals are not actually maintained as one but several small islands of sub-populations that are not at all sustainable as currently managed. He also argues that zoos and aquariums are in the midst of change from the Noah's Ark conservation model of the 1980s and its SSP's (Species Survival Pla ..read more
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Bullying
Zoo Logic
by Dr. Grey Stafford
1w ago
The team from GRAZE (Growing Resiliency for Aquarium and Zoo Employees) Erin McNally and Hannah Fullmer return to discuss a widespread problem in most fields, including the zoological profession. While not unique to animal facilities, bullying takes a tremendous toll on an already beleaguered workforce. If social media content is to be believed, younger professionals seem increasingly disillusioned while senior staff are leaving the field from burnout. Erin and Hannah describe ways to think about and address bullying, as well as, urge individuals to develop coping strategies to improve workpla ..read more
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Saving and Enriching Lives Through Scent Work
Zoo Logic
by Dr. Grey Stafford
2w ago
Long time animal trainer and consultant, Jade Fountain from Animal Behavior Matters returns to discuss her latest work in East Africa with a global organization called APOPO (Anti-Persoonsmijnen Ontmijnende Product Ontwikkeling”, or in English, Anti-Personnel Landmines Detection Product Development. For the past 25 years, APOPO has been utilizing African Pouched Rats trained for scent detection to locate landmines in war torn countries such as Cambodia.  As a result of their work and the astonishing olfactory abilities of these rats, hundreds of thousands of square meters of land hav ..read more
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Latest Avian Flu Strain Poses Lethal Risk to Marine Mammals
Zoo Logic
by Dr. Grey Stafford
3w ago
Dr. Jay Sweeney, cofounder of Dolphin Quest, returns to discuss the latest strain of avian flu making its way across the globe with lethal effects. It was an avian flu strain that caused the global pandemic in 1918 that killed tens of millions of humans. The current strain H5N5 seems to be mild in infected dairy cows and humans but it has caused thousands of pinniped and a handful of dolphin deaths over the past few seasons as migratory birds move up and down coastlines of North and South America. The strain has already impacted millions of birds on poultry farms and Dr. Sweeney urges zoologic ..read more
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Mission Driven Research
Zoo Logic
by Dr. Grey Stafford
1M ago
Dr. Terrie Williams, long time UC Santa Cruz wildlife researcher interested in species energetics returns to discuss the race against geometric levels of extinction. We are losing species at pace well above the normal background rates. Her mission is to gather basic bioenergetic data to help inform regulators, lawmakers, and industry about the potential harmful effects from undersea noise pollution, climate change, over fishing, and more. Importantly, she celebrates the role of today's modern zoos and aquariums and the training professionals that make her data collection possible in situ and e ..read more
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Efficacy and Ethics of Using Hormones to Modify Behavior
Zoo Logic
by Dr.Grey Stafford
1M ago
Following a recent industry webinar, we asked ethicist, Dr. Raymond Anthony and veterinarian and researcher, Dr. Dave Miller to weigh in on the subject of using hormone therapy to curb aggressive behavior in managed settings. Under what conditions and to what extent is modifying animal behavior through pharmacology, specifically hormones or their synthetic analogs, an acceptable practice?  Is there an ethical difference between acute and chronic use, especially when the drug in question is used "off label" or may not have been studied in the species for which its use is intended? Importan ..read more
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Zoological Association of America's New Leader
Zoo Logic
by Dr. Grey Stafford
1M ago
Before she accepted the role of executive director of the Zoological Association of America in 2023, Dr. Kelly George was a researcher with Ohio State University studying human-animal relationships with an emphasis on welfare and behavior. Today she leads the young but growing trade association focused on improving standards of husbandry care, educating the public, and promoting greater conservation efforts for species in human care and in the wild. She describes her first year, where the association is now, where she thinks it is headed, and why it is important for the organization to tell it ..read more
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Impoverished vs. Cognitively Challenging Environments
Zoo Logic
by Dr. Grey Stafford
1M ago
As director of research for the Dolphin Research Center, Dr. Kelly Jaakkola spends much of her time studying the cognitive abilities of bottlenose dolphins, as well as, refuting the false or unsubstantiated narratives stemming from all places, recent peer-reviewed publications by authors opposed to marine mammals in human care. One of two of her recent publications examines whether these small cetaceans in human care live in "impoverished" environments. Spoiler alert, they don't. However, Kelly argues in a separate paper that this low bar of animal welfare can and should be raised to include b ..read more
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Training Crocs!
Zoo Logic
by Dr. Grey Stafford
2M ago
Before she became an expert avian trainer with Natural Encounters, Ari Bailey got her start working with crocodilian species at a time when aversives and physical restraint were still commonly in use. Fortunately, the state of animal training for crocodilians and other ectothermic species has since advanced; in many ways, the same sort of husbandry behaviors commonly seen with mammals and birds can also be seen with reptiles at modern zoological facilities. However, while the principles of operant conditioning used with crocs are the same as with other species, their unique physiology and natu ..read more
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Our Kindred Creatures: How Americans Came to Feel the Way They Do About Animals
Zoo Logic
by Dr. Grey Stafford
2M ago
The post Civil War era gave rise to unprecedented social changes. The energy and activism directed at ending the scourge of slavery found new life in improving the welfare of animals, particularly those species in American homes, industry, entertainment, and on the dinner plate. Authors, Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy, DVM have written their second book together (Knopf, 4/23) examining the extraordinary animal welfare movement that emerged during the latter third of the 19th century. Readers of Our Kindred Creatures are "introduced to the activists, scientists, and moguls who helped create our m ..read more
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