Monday, 11 June 2007

Captive Breeding Programmes


Took the children to Chester Zoo today and was delighted to find they'd established their colony of free-range water voles. Some of them came quite close and there was a hide where you could sit and watch them.
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Chester Zoo is one of several places - like Bristol Zoo, Wildwood in Kent, Derek Gow's water vole farm - where voles are bred in captivity to get the numbers up and with a view to eventual wider release. Blackpool Zoo has been involved in helping with mitigation procedure, providing a place for voles to stay while building work or landscaping disturbs their burrows. Personally I'd like to see UK zoos concentrating much more on this sort of project.

6 comments:

Dave said...

Tis a grand thing. There's a little BBC video clip knocking about somewhere on this.

Kate said...

It's smashing, isn't it? My friend Rosie Rees works as Artist in Residence at the zoo and she said they were up and running. Basically you go in the main entrance and follow your nose for a couple of hundred yards. They aren't mentioned on the map or signposted, but if you're standing with the elephants behind you and the bats ahead, you're in roughly the right spot. 'Reedbed', it's down as.

Sue said...

Believe it or not we were at Chester Zoo on Monday too! Only for a short while, but we did look at the map for watervoles and didn't see a mention, so we decided that they were not yet for public viewing!! (Rosie Rees had mentioned them in her talk at the "Watervoles in the Community" meeting so we knew that they were supposed to be there somewhere....) We will have to follow your directions next time.....We had a great time anyway, if somewhat hot!!! We did have an ice-cream near the reedbed area but I didn't see any voles!!!!!

Kate said...

If you didn't know they were there you probably wouldn't notice them. Not sure why they've not been signposted. It was my 6 year-old who spotted them first!

s said...

15th June The brook is very high. One year we saw a watervole escape from the flooding and hide up by our neighbours' fence. We stood outside and watched it huddling up to the fence. We have just been out and we got wet but no signs of cowering voles. Hopefully they are O.K.

Kate said...

The thing about that brook is it goes up and comes down quite quickly. I'm sure the adults will be ok, and they'll move the babies if they have time. Flash floods do catch baby voles out, through. It depends how quickly the levels rose.