A Black Swan Born in Lake Thai at Loro Parque

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The Lake Thai at Loro Parque has recently had a new occasion for celebration. This time, it is the family of the black swans or Cygnus atratus, which has increased by a new member. These majestic birds have recently laid several eggs, which have been in the centre of attention of the keepers of the park. Now, the birth of a new chick have brought joy both to the swan family and the team that watches after the birds.

The new chick is perfectly healthy and enjoys everybody’s attention and affection. The visitors of the park may already observe him swimming with his family in the beautiful Lake Thai, which is home to many different species of birds and vegetation. Among them, a special attention is received by a numerous group of brightly coloured Koi carps, which come in direct contact with the black swans.

The black swan or Cygnus atratus is a species, which usually breed during the rainy season, and this time was no different. These majestic birds normally build a nest using aquatic vegetation, which can measure up to two metres in diameter and one metre in height. Both parents are in charge of giving care to their offspring, and this period normally lasts 9 months since the moment of the hatching. They lay between 4 and 8 eggs, and the incubation lasts between 35 and 40 days. This is exactly the process in progress, and one of the first results is the birth of the new chick.

As for the appearance of these noble birds, their black feathers contrast significantly with the bright red colour of their peaks. They are exclusively herbivores, do not migrate and, like other swans, are characterised by their monogamy, as they maintain a life-long relationship with their couples.

Considering that breeding is one of the natural animal behaviours that take place when all the animals’ needs and necessities are properly fulfilled, this new birth confirms the excellent wellbeing of these birds in Loro Parque. It is yet another indication of the dedication and efforts of the team of experts that guarantee the best care for the animals of Loro Parque, recognized as the Best Zoo in the World by TripAdvisor.

Dr. Javier Almunia named new Director of Loro Parque Fundación

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Loro Parque Fundación has recently celebrated the appointment of its new director, Dr. Javier Almunia, who has held the position of Director of Environmental Affairs in the institution since 2003, in which he started as Education Manager in 1999.

Almunia is a Doctor of Marine Sciences at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria as well as an expert in cetacean bioacoustics, and has actively contributed to the implementation of numerous projects for the protection of biodiversity and for the conservation of endangered species.

Loro Parque Fundación, 100% for nature

Since 1994, Loro Parque implements the majority of its Corporate Social Responsibility actions through Loro Parque Fundación, a Spanish-based international non-profit organization specialized in activities armed at preserving and protecting the most endangered species of parrots and marine mammals, as well as other species facing critical situations in their natural habitats, such as turtles and sharks.

Each year, Loro Parque covers all the operational costs of the Foundation, thus, making it possible that 100% of all donations received from partners, donors and friends goes directly to the “in situ” and “ex situ” conservation or/and educational projects. So, 100% for nature is not only the motto of Loro Parque Fundación, but a reality!

The results and accomplishments of the Foundation speak by themselves: more than $18.000.000 has been invested to carry out more than 130 conservation and educational projects, and 9 species of parrots have been saved from the imminent extinction.

Loro Parque follows closely the growth of two Scarlet Ibis chicks

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Loro Parque has recently celebrated two new births at its sumptuous South American aviaries. On this occasion, two Scarlet Ibis chicks have brought joy to the entire team of the park with their vibrant, reddish feathers.

It is the first time that this species, original of South America, has bred in the park. The entire process has developed naturally which demonstrates that the environment created for them is optimal and that they can express their natural behaviour in the spacious, innovative aviaries, which they share with different other species of the same geographic origin.

The gestation process of the Scarlet Ibis, scientifically known as Eudocimus ruber, lasts 23 days. A chick hatches covered in black down that later develops into reddish feathers. After about a year and a half, the hatchlings obtain scarlet red plumage. The bright colour is an effect that is produced by a special pigment that the birds receive by ingesting small crustaceans, which form their principal source of nutrition.

While they are still hatchlings, they maintain darker feathers and look quite different from the adult specimen. This serves them as a perfect camouflage that protects them from the numerous predators. The visitors of Loro Parque are able to observe how the new hatchlings are evolving, growing and gradually developing the colourful feathers.

This species maintains the “Least Concern” status, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), although their populations in the wild tend to decline. This occurs due to continuous degradation of their natural habitats as a result of adverse human activities, including poaching and creation of artificial water channels. Therefore, the situation requires close monitoring and proactive action.

These innovative installations at Loro Parque accommodate several different species that co-exist harmonically while developing their flying skills and interacting amongst themselves, which represents the best example of the environmental enrichment. Loro Parque recreates this complex environment within the South American Aviaries as an example of its continuous commitment to innovation and conservation of biodiversity, as well as to raising awareness among the public about the importance of protecting the wildlife and their natural habitats.

Loro Parque welcomes the Carnival Delegations from Duisburg, Vechta, Duesseldorf, Bonn, Mönchengladbach, Eschborn and the Duesseldorf Honour Guard

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Following the tradition celebrated each year, Loro Parque opened this week its doors to receive the carnival delegations from the German cities of Duisburg, Vechta, Duesseldorf, Bonn, Monchengladbach and Eschborn, as well as the Duesseldorf Honour Guard.

For over four decades, these carnival groups have been part of the Carnival of the city Puerto de la Cruz, and, yet again this year, they have come to spend a day Loro Parque, recognized as the Best Zoo in the World, according to 2017 Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice, and filled it with colour, joy and music.

The guests were welcomed by Loro Parque’s President, Wolfgang Kiessling, Puerto de la Cruz’s Tourism Councilor, Dimple Melwani, and Paula Viera, the newly elected Queen of the International Carnival of Puerto de la Cruz, in which she represented Loro Parque. The German Committee, consisting of over 50 carnivalists, has enjoyed the shows of sea lions, orcas and dolphins, as well as a tour through the entire park.

Such a long-awaited visit was made possible thanks to the friendship established between the cities of Puerto de la Cruz and Dusseldorf. Such a collaboration allows an amazing opportunity to present to the canarian residents one of the biggest carnival events in Europe.

Yet another day of fun at Loro Parque is due to come. Namely, more carnival groups are expected with a visit this Sunday as a perfect highlight of the week full of rhythm, colour and tradition in Puerto de la Cruz.

Loro Parque Foundation and ElasmoCan attach the first satellite tag to a shark in the Canary Islands

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Using the funding received from Loro Parque Foundation, the scientists of the Canarian Association of Research and Conservation of Elasmobranchs (ElasmoCan) were able to tag a shark with a satellite device for the first time in the Canary Islands. Thanks to this achievement, the experts will now be able to study the range and depth of movement of the specimen, as well as its preferences for water temperatures.

The specimen to be studied is a smooth or horned hammerhead shark. Currently, the limited knowledge about these animals confirms the presence of two species in the waters of the Canary Islands. In general, there is very little photographic evidence of their sightings available on the social networks. At the same time, hammerhead sharks are easily caught in varied fishing techniques and, consequently, their mortality rates are quite high. Due to their swimming capacities and behaviour, these statistics cover vast geographic areas and include several countries. This poses major difficulties for creation of effective measures for the conservation of the species.

In light of this situation, ElasmoCan has developed a research project called ‘Hammerhead Shark Research’, which aims at gaining basic understanding of these species, which would enable the management and protection of their regional populations. The research study focuses on tagging sharks in the islands of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. The research locations were chosen based on the registered sightings of these animals by professional and amateur fishermen. Such approach has enabled the scientists to confirm the presence of younger specimen of the sharks in these coastal waters, register their biological data and sample their tissues. These will prove useful in future studies of these species in the general geographic zones and the tropics.

Furthermore, the project has been able to expand its research capacity by using the telemetry technology, which allows remote data transmission. Dr. Filip Osaer, a project leader from ElasmoCan, highlighted the importance of this initiative, which uses cutting-edge technology, for the Canarian Archipelago. He explained that the research team utilizes a Pop-up Satellite Archival Tag (PAT tag) that is capable of storing information about temperature, depth, and light intensity.

Another interesting aspect of the project is that the tagging device will release itself from the animal after six months, while the data will be stored and transmitted via satellite. A reward will be offered to the person/s who will help to find the device and returns it to ElasmoCan.

Founded in 1994, Loro Parque Foundation has invested to date over US$ 17 million in research and conservation projects for numerous endangered species, and has developed more than 135 in situ and ex situ projects worldwide. Presently, there are several projects carried out to protect and conserve marine biodiversity in the Canary Islands, one of which is the hammerhead shark research project realized in collaboration with ElasmoCan.