Virtual Posters for 76th WAZA Annual Conference

Welcome to the virtual posters section of the 76th WAZA Annual Conference. Please scroll down to see a variety of posters on topics such as conservation, virtual reality, campaigns, research, and animal training and behaviour. 

For the images, please click on the image to enlarge it. 

Returning Sihek to the Wild

Title: Returning Sihek to the Wild 

Author: Dr John Ewen – Zoological Society of London (ZSL)

More information: The Guam kingfisher, also known as the Sihek, was chosen as the logo for this year’s WAZA Annual Conference, so we thought it would be apt to provide an introduction to this bird, and ours plans to reintroduce the species back into the wild. 

Riding a Virtual Tiger

Title: Riding A Virtual Tiger: Hold on Tight

Authors: Jan Horesovsky, Radana Dungelova – Zoo Brno

More information: Brno Zoo invites all to a new center focused on modern approaches in species conservation education for all. We have already accepted the role that modern technology plays in the lives of visitors as a fact. We called the project, where we offer virtual meetings with wild animals and knowledge in the field of nature conservation, the Brno Zoo Virtual Expedition. In an innovative way, we fulfill our mission to awaken understanding for wildlife and motivation to protect it.

Red and Green Macaw Conservation Programme

Title: First experience of artificial breeding in human isolation of individuals of the red-and-green macaw (Ara chloropterus) species, for future release in the wild.

Authors: Tomás Agustín Sciolla, Dolores Medina, Agostina Rossi Serra, Matías Arrigazzi, Paula Andrea Villa, Carolina Motta, Paula Ettlin, Leticia Márquez – Gerencia Operativa de Conservación y Gestión de Fauna – Ecoparque de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires

More information: In Argentina, the wild populations of the red-and-green macaw (Ara chloropterus) species are extinct. The Ecoparque of the City of Buenos Aires carried out the artificial breeding in human isolation of individuals of the species, in order to enhance the contribution of individuals for their release in the wilderness.

The Species of the Year Campaign 2021

Title: The Species of the Year Campaign 2021

Authors: Viktoria Michel, Arne Schulze – Zoological Society for Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP)

More information: On our poster we would like to present the concept of the „species of the year“ campaign. This campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the threats and conservation needs of lesser-known wildlife species kept in zoos, as well as raising funds for conservation projects working directly with these species.

Each year, the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP) selects a new, highly endangered species or species complex, like the crocodile in 2021. During the yearlong campaign, German- speaking zoos are engaged in lobbying activities for this fascinating species and simultaneously collect funding to support different in situ conservation projects. 

Please note: Poster has been divided in two images to allow for easier reading. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Relationship Between Working with Professional Evaluators and an Organization’s Evaluation Culture

Title: Relationship Between Working with Professional Evaluators and an Organization’s Evaluation Culture

Author: Jim Wharton – Seattle Aquarium 

More information: Mission-based organizations like zoos and aquariums are investing in evaluation capacity to help them improve their mission performance, but are these resources improving their professional culture, or merely creating evaluations? This study surveyed the leadership from 100 programming department at U.S.-based, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums to learn how work with professional evaluators might be related to the nature of an organization’s evaluation culture. Survey results showed no statistically significant relationships between a self-reported measure of evaluation culture and either institutional demographics or work with professional evaluators. Follow-up interviews with nine case-study organizations, however, were more supportive of the role evaluators play in improving practice, suggesting management or structural limitations may be mitigating impact. An exploratory factor analysis revealed the emergent construct of psychological safety as a potential new avenue for future research around the antecedents of evaluation culture. Reflections from case study interviews and existing literature are synthesized to offer recommendations for professional practice. 

Telling Tails: Monitoring Panthera leo Health Through Tail Training

Title: Telling Tails: Monitoring Panthera leo Health Through Tail Training

Author: Kathryn Juliano and Charlie Shaw – Smithsonian’s National Zoo

More information: Working with dangerous carnivores often presents difficulties in providing conscious medical care due to the need for protected contact work. Using operant conditioning training, we can more closely monitor the health of dangerous carnivores, including African lions (Panthera leo), by collecting information voluntarily from the animals. For large cats, one way to collect information is through the means of blood pressure readings and blood draws from their tails. 

Impact of visitors on Animal Behaviour During Covid Closures

Title: Impact of visitors on the use of the enclosure space and the behaviour of the Moscow Zoo animals (during COVID-19 closures)

Author: Scientific Department of Moscow Zoo

More information: Researchers at the Moscow Zoo conducted research into the impact of the Covid-19 closures on the behaviour of a number of species at the Moscow Zoo. 

Bridging the gap between in situ and ex situ animal professionals

Title: Bridging the gap between in situ and ex situ animal professionals

Author: Ellen Wieczorek, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation centre

More information: Captive animals act as education ambassadors for their species, and in recent times, this education interpretation has become an expected part of zoo operations. Just as captive animals represent and support their wild cousins, captive animal keepers can benefit from engagement with field experts, and zoos can keep their knowledge current by doing so.

Improving Maned Wolf Health Management through Scat Observation & Scoring

Title: Improving Maned Wolf Health Management through Scat Observation & Scoring

Author: Ellen Wieczorek, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation centre

More information: Maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyrus) researchers and zookeepers require a reference sheet to score wolf fecal samples. This sheet is a health assessment tool assisting in wolf care by evaluating health and overall improving wolf lives. Fecal matter represents animal health, so scat analysis is an important animal care aspect. However, varied diets change stools, causing Maned wolf experts issues when assessing stool. Objective, standard-based assessment is difficult without a reference or set standard.  Through fecal scoring, professionals assess whether wolves need diet adjustments or require medical attention.

Examining trends in modern and historical African Painted Dog Husbandry and Management

Title: Examining trends in modern and historical African painted dog husbandry and management

Author: Caitlin Mack, Michigan State University

More information: African painted dogs (Lycaon pictus) have been in human care for several decades. Difficulties those caring for them have faced include high pup mortality in litters, as well as needing to provide for and manage their complex social needs. During the time painted dogs have been in kept in zoos, the zoo field has experienced shifts in the culture and emphasis on animal welfare. Through examining historical and modern records, papers, and care standards, this poster will map the development of painted dog husbandry over their time in human care, looking for similarities and differences, as well as how certain standards, such as artificial dens, developed over time. 

Extending Conservation Engagement Through Collaboration Between the Arts and Science

Title: Extending Conservation Engagement Through Collaboration Between the Arts and Science

Author: Ellen Wieczorek, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation centre

More information: Captive animals act as education ambassadors for their species, and in recent times, this education interpretation has become an expected part of zoo operations. Still, how do zoos engage visitors in endangered animal conservation long after they exit the zoo gates? This paper explores how visitor environmental engagement can be extended if science and the arts collaborate. This work uses the case study of collaboration between Malaysian sun bear expert, Dr. Wong Siew Te, and Australian Doctor of Creative Arts, Dr. Sarah Pye to illustrate.

Knowing How to Protect: The possible environmental drivers of Gut Microbiota and Mycobiota of Indri indri

Title: Knowing How to Protect: The possible environmental drivers of Gut Microbiota and Mycobiota of Indri indri

Author: C Sandri, C Spiezio, F Correa, V Torti, L Borruso, A Checcucci, M Modesto, L Cavani, T Mimmo, S Cesco, D Luise, RM Randrianarison, M Gamba, NJ Rarojoson, M Sanguinetti, M Di Vito, F Bugli, C Avesani Zaborra, P Mattarelli, P Trevisi, C Giacoma

More information: Understanding the drivers of the gut microbiome and mycobiome and their relationship to the soil might be essential for planning strategies to protect threatened species and promote animal health. Microbiome-related information has the potential to clarify ecology issues, providing knowledge in support of wild primates’ conservation and their associated habitats. Indri (Indri indri) is the largest extant living lemur of Madagascar able to survive only in wild conditions. This species is classified as “critically endangered” by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, representing one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates.

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