Science Seminar Series Welcomes Zoo Researcher

March 22, 2011

BRANDON, MB — Dr. Robert Wrigley, of the Assiniboine Park Zoo, will be on hand Friday afternoon to present a talk entitled “Biodiversity-Research Activities in Manitoba and the Assiniboine Park Zoo.

The abstract for his talk is as follows:

“This presentation describes research on mammal communities in major biomes of Manitoba, and biodiversity-conservation activities at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. The mammal faunas of grasslands and tundra (both largely devoid of forest) were compared, revealing numerous similar ecological pairs. With a total Manitoba fauna of 89 species (including marine), 68 species were found in grassland and two transitional communities, while 42 occur in tundra and forest-tundra transition. There were 12 obligate grassland species and 5 obligate tundra species.

Considering dietary regimes, grassland and tundra had respectively:
• 21 and 17 herbivores,
• 12 and 6 granivores,
• 13 and 4 insectivores,
• 18 and 12 carnivores, and
• 4 and 3 omnivores.

In dealing with winter conditions:
• 15 grassland species hibernate and 5 migrate,
• 6 tundra species hibernate and 3 migrate.

Habitat zonation was analyzed for 30 grassland species of small mammals in 18 community types, and 20 tundra species in 12 community types. Species diversity and abundance were recorded on two-hectare quadrates in six grassland habitats and four tundra habitats.

The Assiniboine Park Zoo participates in over 60 formal breeding plans for species at risk and distributes offspring to zoos around the world. The Zoo plans to begin a captive breeding program for the critically endangered Asiatic Lion, and also breeds and donates offspring for a release program operated by Manitoba Conservation — examples of endangered species contributions abroad and at home. Other efforts are board and committee memberships for a number of conservation organizations such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and Manitoba Endangered Species and Ecological Reserves Advisory committees. Wildlife publications are reviewed, including the topic of human overpopulation and wildlife extinction. A biodiversity of Manitoba table is presented and an All-taxa Biodiversity Inventory for Manitoba is proposed.”

Dr. Wrigley will give his talk — in the 2011 Winter Semester’s Science Seminar Series at Brandon University — at 3 p.m., on Friday, March 25, in Room 3-42, Brodie Building. Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend.

For more information, please contact:

Joanne F. Villeneuve
Brandon University
270 – 18th Street
Brandon, MB R7A 6A9
Tel. 204-727-9762