As National Geographic Wildlife Watch continues to cover the escalating threat to endangered species caught in illegal trade, Species360 is eager to help. This month, Montreal-based reporter Danielle Beutreaux takes an in-depth look at the threat to echidnas, including perspectives from Species360 member Perth Zoo, partners AZA, ZAA, and USFWS, as well as Conservation Science Alliance research partners CITES, Traffic, Monitor, and others.
Following is an excerpt with data curated by Species360 members in the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS). ZIMs is the world’s largest set of wildlife data for thousands of species.
“…In captivity, says Arthur Ferguson, Australian fauna supervisor at Perth Zoo, in Western Australia, ‘they have been a very challenging species to breed, and breeding was quite sporadic in zoos.’ (Perth Zoo is one of a handful of facilities that have successful short-beaked echidna breeding programs.)
Species360, a conservation nonprofit based in Minnesota, notes that the zoo populations in the 96 countries it tracks are home to 180 short-beaked echidnas. And in all the years from 1902 to 2013, U.S. zoos, which kept a total of 119, bred only 19 puggles. Today, U.S. zoos have 28 short-beaked echidnas in 11 zoos, and according to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the last puggle birth was in 2008.”
Read the full article at NatGeo Wildlife Watch.