Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Annual stocktake gets underway at London Zoo
Keepers at ZSL London Zoo are counting every reptile, fish, bird, mammal and invertebrate in their care.

Keepers counting everything from endangered lions to ant colonies

Keepers at ZSL London Zoo have begun the challenging task of counting animals for the zoo’s annual stocktake.

On Tuesday (2 January), zookeepers began counting every reptile, fish, bird, mammal and invertebrate in their care - adding up everything from Bactrian camels and critically-endangered Asiatic lions to a population of four big-headed turtles.

The annual audit is a requirement of London Zoo’s licence and takes around a week to complete. The results are then shared with the international zoo community to inform global breeding programmes for endangered animals.

“It’s the time of year where so many of us are taking stock and looking forward and here at ZSL London Zoo we’re doing exactly the same,” said Teague Stubbington, assistant curator of mammals.

“ZSL London Zoo is home to more than 580 species, from endangered Asiatic lions to critically endangered Chinese giant salamanders, and we’re working not only here in the zoo to increase their numbers, but on conservation projects around the world too.”

Some of the latest arrivals to the zoo include Elio the two-toed sloth and star the tamandua. The zoo also recently rescued four Chinese giant salamanders from the illegal wildlife trade, all of which will be included in the census.

While the task is relatively simple for some of the keepers, others will need to come up with more imaginative tactics to ensure every resident is accounted for. Members of the B.U.G.S team, for example, are counting ant colonies as one, instead of tracking hundreds of individuals.

Once the results are gathered, they will be shared via Species 360 - a not-for-profit organisation that provides the world standard in zoological data collection with more than 1000 member zoos and aquariums.

Image (C) ZSL Lodnon.


Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Nominations open for National Cat Awards 2020

News Story 1
 UK charity Cats Protection has announced that cat owners can nominate their pets for the National Cat Awards 2020 starting today.

The awards take place annually, celebrating heart warming stories of the positive impact that cats have on their owners. Cat owners have until Thursday 12 March to submit their nominations through the Cats Protection website. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Restriction zone lifted at Suffolk chicken farm

A one-kilometre restriction zone around a commercial chicken farm in mid-Suffolk has been lifted, following the completion of surveillance testing for avian influenza H5N3 with negative results.

Some 27,000 birds on the premises were culled after a veterinary surgeon identified the disease while investigating a fall in egg production. Poultry keepers are urged to take action to reduce the risk of disease in their flock by following government advice on biosecurity.