Non-native species could escape from Spanish zoos
A survey of zoos in Spain has revealed that many animal enclosures are not secure, increasing the risk that non-native and invasive species will make their way into the wild.
A team studied 63 of Spain’s 83 zoos, evaluating more than 1,500 enclosures. Each enclosure was checked to determine whether proper barriers were in place and whether members of the public were adequately prevented from letting an animal loose. Fourteen percent of the enclosures failed at least one of those tests, according to the report in Biological Invasions.
The researchers found that 141 of the 183 species in the escape-friendly enclosures were non-indigenous. And the most common animals found in these enclosures were birds, which are more likely to elude capture than other species. – Roberta Kwok
Source: Fàbregas, M.C., Guillén-Salazar, F., & C. Garcés-Narro. 2010. The risk of zoological parks as potential pathways for the introduction of non-indigenous species. Biological Invasions DOI: 10.1007/s10530-010-9755-2.
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