BPZOO Rescues Two Fawns

BPZOO Rescues Two Fawns

Introducing Autumn and Olive

The Buttonwood Park Zoo has a long history of providing forever homes to orphaned and injured native wildlife, thanks to a strong partnership with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, or MassWildlife – and 2021 has proven to be no exception.

In early summer months, MassWildlife placed a young white-tailed deer fawn at BPZOO, who was believed to have been orphaned at less than ten days old in South Dartmouth. Weeks later, she was joined by a second fawn found alone in Western Massachusetts. They are the first white-tailed deer to inhabit BPZOO since 2017.

The two fawns, now affectionately referred to as Autumn and Olive, were only weeks old when they arrived at BPZOO and required hand-rearing by animal care staff. After approximately two months of bottle feeding, weight checks and completing the required quarantine, the fawns are ready to venture into a temporary habitat near their future home in the Zoo’s bison habitat.

In discussing the new arrivals, Zoo Director, Keith Lovett stated that “as part of our mission related to environmental education and the conservation of wildlife, the Zoo is proud to provide homes to many native species that are injured or orphaned in the wild. The Zoo, who has a long history in managing deer, will work to educate our guests on the impact humans can have on local wildlife and actions that can be taken to minimize our imprint on the environment.”

Eventually, Autumn and Olive will move into the bison habitat, a roughly ½ acre space that the fawns will share with Sarah the bison and approximately 16 species of waterfowl.  For now, the two fawns can be viewed in the side yard to the right of the entrance plaza.

About White-tailed Deer

White-tailed deer can survive in a variety of terrestrial habitats, from the big woods of northern Maine to the deep saw grass and hammock swamps of Florida. Ideal white-tailed deer habitat would contain dense thickets (in which to hide and move about) and edges (which furnish food). White-tailed deer fawns nurse for 8 to 10 weeks before they are weaned. Young males leave their mother after one year, but young females often stay with their mother for two years. Nervous and shy animals, white-tailed deer wave their tails characteristically from side to side when they are startled and fleeing. They are extremely agile and may bound at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. White-tailed deer are also good swimmers and often enter large streams and lakes to escape predators, insects or to visit islands.

Junior Duck Stamp On Display

Junior Duck Stamp On Display

This Artwork is Just Ducky

On your next trip, stop into the Wildlife Education Center and enjoy U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s Junior Duck Stamp artwork from students in Massachusetts. Now on display through mid-September.

The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program is an art- and science-based curriculum that teaches wetland and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. The program encourages students to explore their natural world, invites them to investigate biology and wildlife management principles and challenges them to express and share what they have learned with others.

The winning artwork from a national art contest serves as the design for the Junior Duck Stamp, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service produces annually. One hundred percent of the revenue from the sale of Junior Duck stamps goes to support recognition and environmental education activities for students who participate in the program.

What is a Duck Stamp?

In 1934, President Franklin D Roosevelt signed the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act (or Duck Stamp Act), and an increasingly concerned nation took firm action to stop the destruction of wetlands vital to the survival of migratory waterfowl. Under the act, all waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and over must annually buy and carry a Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp – better know today as a Federal Duck Stamp.

The artwork for the stamp is chosen through the Federal Duck Stamp Art contest. While waterfowl hunters are required to purchase them, stamp collectors, birders, nature photographers and other outdoor and art enthusiasts buy Duck Stamps as collector’s items and to help protect wildlife habitat.

BPZOO Welcomes a New Lynx

BPZOO Welcomes a New Lynx

Meet, Hutch!

The Buttonwood Park Zoo recently welcomed a new resident to the seven-acre campus. Hutch, a nine-year old Canada lynx, came to BPZOO in March from the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, MA and is now residing in the Lynx habitat, just beyond the Bison pasture.

Sent to New Bedford based on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), Hutch is slowly being introduced to female Canada lynx, Sylvie, who has called BPZOO home since 2014. The goal of the SSP is to cooperatively manage lynx populations within AZA accredited zoos to ensure a healthy and genetically diverse population.

Hutch was born in Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, Canada in 2011. A year later, he was transferred to the Stone Zoo, where he has resided until his match with Sylvie. The recommendation came a few months after the passing of beloved Calgary, a male Canada lynx who called BPZOO home for 11 years. At 20 years and seven months, Calgary was recognized as the oldest Canada lynx living in an AZA facility.

As Hutch completed his required 30-day quarantine, he has bonded with his caretakers and has been adjusting to his new home quite well. Hutch is described as a laid back and mellow cat, who has been very patient during his introductions with Sylvie and quite vocal – Canada lynx are known to have unique vocalizations.

“We have a long, successful history managing this northern small cat species,” said BPZOO Director Keith Lovett. “We are excited to welcome Hutch to the Zoo. We are hopefully that in the near future Hutch and Sylvie will produce kittens which will significantly add to the sustainability of this population in AZA.”

About Canada lynx:
Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) are listed as Threatened under the United States Endangered Species Act due to lower population size and inadequate protection of habitat on Federal lands. Within the northern boreal forest regions of North America, they are listed as Least Concern according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature as they are more widespread and abundant. Their range coincides with that of their main prey, the snowshoe hare.

There are currently 62 Canada lynx residing in 25 AZA accredited institutions, including the two here at BPZOO.

Earth Day 2021

Earth Day 2021

Let’s Do Our Part

Every day is Earth Day for the BPZOO and our supporters!

As we all do our part to protect and preserve habitats and ecosystems by our actions, collectively we are making an impact. This year as we continue to celebrate virtually, we are asking you to share pictures of how you help the environment in your daily lives.

Send pictures to contest@bpzoo.org during the month of April 🌎 and be entered to win prizes!

By submitting a picture, you are allowing the Buttonwood Park Zoological Society
to share your picture on social media.

If you wish to keep your picture private, please
clearly state so in your email. 

The first 100 submissions will receive an AZA Party for the Planet kit. Head to the Zoo for a visit and pickup your kit at the front desk!

Each kit is packed in a reusable produce mesh produce bag. Contents include:
•  Information card explaining contents of the bag
•  Garden trowel for digging in the dirt
•  Nature journal to record observations in nature
•  Window Cling as a reminder to cover windows to prevent bird strikes
•  Post Card for families to thank a person or business that is helping to save wild places for wildlife
•  Lights out for Wildlife light switch sticker
•  3 SAFE trading cards; Songbirds, Monarchs, and Sea Turtles

Plus, for every picture you send we will enter you into a raffle for a BPZOO reusable kit – everything you need to be plastic free in 2021! This pack includes a reusable straw, utensil travel kit, water bottle and a BPZOO t-shirt.

Looking for inspiration?
Join Team SouthCoast for the EcoChallenge for some great examples of how you can help the environment every day.

Earth Month Ecochallenge: Drawdown is a solutions-oriented engagement program focused on individuals taking action to reduce greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. The actions in the Ecochallenge connect to global solutions highlighted by Project Drawdown, a research-based organization that is leading the efforts to map, measure, model, and describe existing, amazing solutions to climate change.

Participate in a Southcoast Shoreline Clean Up:

🌎 Saturday April 10th @ 1:30pm Fort Phoenix, Fairhaven- registration link

🌎 Saturday April 17th @ 9am – 12pm Quequechan Rail Trail Park – registration link

🌎 Thursday, April 22nd – Shingle Island River Reserve – registration link

🌎 Saturday April 24th @ 11:30am Palmers Island & West Beach, New Bedford – registration link

New Species at BPZOO

New Species at BPZOO

BPZOO Debuts New Species this Spring

Winter is in full effect in New England, but BPZOO is looking ahead towards spring – and looking forward to introducing three brand new species to Zoo guests when it finally arrives! These three unique species were sent to New Bedford as part of collaborative programs of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The Zoo participates in many collaborative programs, including AZA Species Survival Plans (SSP). The goal of an SSP is to cooperatively manage animal populations to ensure the sustainability of a healthy and genetically diverse population while enhancing the conservation of this species in the wild.

Currently residing in BPZOO’s innovative Rainforests Rivers & Reefs building, which showcases South American primates, birds, reptiles and fish among four mixed species rotational habitats, is a pair of Ma’s night monkeys, also known as owl monkeys. Alexander, 10, and Supressa, 7, are two of only five Ma’s night monkeys at just three AZA accredited institutions. The pair came to BPZOO from a conservancy in Miami, Florida and have been acclimating to their new home since their arrival. Ma’s night monkeys are nocturnal primates with short, dense and soft fur. They have characteristically large eyes to aid in their nocturnal lifestyle and their hands are well developed for grasping.

Hailing from north central Amazonian neotropics of northern Peru and western Brazil in South America, Ma’s night monkeys form small groups of two to five individuals who are all directly related and remain in constant contact with each other through a sequence of squeaks, whistles, and trills. Typically found in lowland tropical rainforests, Ma’s night monkeys occupy the upper levels of the canopy at night, foraging for fruits and flowers. They are listed as Vulnerable on IUCN’s Red List due to habitat loss in Peru through conversion of forests for rice cultivation, pasture and, more recently, palm oil.

Another species debuting at BPZOO this spring is a pair of southern screamers. Also known as crested screamers, these long-legged, non-migratory birds are most closely related to ducks, geese and swans – although one would not know that just by looking at them!

Native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, southern screamers have large feet and long toes that aid them in navigating the marshes, lakes, lagoons and flooded grasslands that they typically call home. Their large feet also lack webbing, although they are still very capable swimmers.

The trumpet-like call of a southern screamer, which has helped them earn their name, carries for several miles and warns other birds of approaching danger. Between their loud, far-reaching call, and the two sharp spurs they carry on each wing, southern screamers are the “guard birds” of their wetland habitat. As the weather warms, they can be seen on guard in the Chilean pudu habitat that opened in the summer of 2020, opposite of the Asian elephant habitat.

“At first glance, many think this incredible species with their long, scaly legs, large bony spurs on the edge of their wings, and cautious gait look pre-historic. The Zoo is home to many species of waterbirds, but the screamers are definitely visually unique,” said Lovett.

There are 81 southern screamers in 41 AZA accredited institutions – including the pair now residing here at BPZOO – and while their conservation status is currently listed as Least Concern, they are under increasing pressure from wetland habitat destruction.

The third and final species that will debut at BPZOO this spring is also the most critically endangered – the Panamanian golden frog. These four females, who arrived recently from the Nashville Zoo in Tennessee, are set to take up residence in one of the terrarium habitats in the admissions’ lobby of the Zoo.

Panamanian golden frogs exhibit a unique behavior only seen in a few frog species called ‘semaphore’ – a type of sign language – to signal to each other. They will “wave” their hands or raise and move their feet to defend their territory, try to attract a mate, or even to greet one another.

Panamanian golden frogs are critically endangered and it is believed that they may possibly be extinct in the wild. Scientists believe that an infectious disease called chytridiomycosis, coupled with pressure from illegal pet trade have caused the drastic decline in population – an estimated 80% in the last 10 years. Habitat loss due to deforestation and stream toxification from agricultural chemicals have also put pressure on this species. Panamanian golden frogs haven’t been seen in the wild since 2009 and if a population remains, it may include fewer than 50 mature individuals.

“The community is mostly aware of the Zoo’s efforts to conserve iconic species like Asian elephants and red pandas, but many smaller, less known species including the Panamanian golden frogs are at significant risk of extinction in the wild and are equally the focus of accredited zoos and aquariums of AZA,” stated Lovett.

Wildlife Education Series Returns

Wildlife Education Series Returns

Wildlife Education Series Returns

Join us on Zoom for two incredible talks about two magnificent species.

April 1, 2021 at 7:00pm  – Care and Conservation of Elephants in Asia

April 28, 2021 at 7:00pm – Preserving a Future for Polar Bears Across the Arctic

Care and Conservation of Elephants in Asia

In this presentation Dr. Susan Mikota, Director of Veterinary Services and Research for Elephant Care International (ECI) will discuss the status of captive and wild elephants in Asia with a focus on ECI projects in select countries. ECI programs focus on Care (healthcare and welfare of individuals and groups), Conservation (mitigation of disease where captive and wild elephant interface) and Capacity Building (through training veterinarians and providing technical support, equipment, and supplies).

This programming is FREE. When registering, please consider making a donation to ensure we can stay connected; a portion of these donations will go to the speaker’s organization.

About Dr. Mikota:
Dr. Susan Mikota is the Director of Veterinary Programs and Research for Elephant Care International, a non-profit organization that she also co-founded. Elephant Care International is dedicated to the healthcare, welfare, and conservation of elephants and to facilitating data sharing among elephant professionals. She has written numerous scientific articles and book chapters and co-edited Biology, Medicine, and Surgery of Elephants, the first modern veterinary textbook dedicated to elephants. Dr. Mikota worked for the Audubon Zoo/Audubon Institute for almost 20 years, before moving to Indonesia for 3 years to care for elephants in government training centers on Sumatra. Dr. Mikota has also worked in Nepal, Myanmar, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. She is a member of the IUCN Asian Elephant Specialist Group, the IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group and the Asian Captive Elephant Working Group (acewg.org). In 2017 she became a Diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare, a specialty acknowledged by the American Veterinary Medical Association.


Preserving a Future for Polar Bears Across the Arctic

Polar Bears International (PBI) is the only conservation organization solely dedicated to wild polar bears. Through research, education, and advocacy we work to inspire people to care about the Arctic and its connection to our global climate. Join us to learn more about leading polar bear research and education presented by Alysa McCall, PBI Director of Conservation Outreach and Marissa Krouse, PBI Program Manager.

This programming is FREE. When registering, please consider making a donation to ensure we can stay connected; a portion of these donations will go to the speaker’s organization.

About Alysa McCall, Director of Conservation Outreach:
Alysa has a B.Sc. (Hon.) in Animal Biology from Thompson Rivers University and an M.Sc. in Ecology from the University of Alberta where her thesis focused on the polar bears of western Hudson Bay. She gained hands-on experience with polar bears from multiple fall and spring field seasons in Tuktoyaktuk and Churchill, and she has been heavily involved in the collaring and tracking of Hudson Bay polar bears. Prior to joining PBI’s staff, Alysa volunteered for several years in multiple capacities, including being a panelist on the Tundra Connections program and assisting with the Polar Bear Tracker. She is passionate about science education and polar bear conservation, and is dedicated to ensuring that future generations inherit a healthy planet. She lives in Whitehorse, Yukon.

About Marissa Krouse, Program Manager:
Marissa has a B.A. in psychology with a focus in animal behavior. She worked in a zoo setting for nine years, specifically in the fields of conservation education and animal husbandry. Her role at PBI includes coordinating our Arctic Ambassador Center network, Education and Outreach campaigns, and leading our annual Climate Alliance training sessions for zoo staff, helping them to communicate effectively. She is the co-author of a Polar Bear Diet Trial publication in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (2014) and has published in the American Association of Zookeepers National Conference Proceedings (2010, 2011). Marissa is a motivated conservationist who values teamwork and is dedicated to helping others lead their communities. She believes in the legacy she will leave behind and works to leave a healthy planet for future generations.

Wildlife Education Series 2021 is proudly sponsored by