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THE NUMBERS OF EXHIBITS, BIRTHS AND DEATHS IN THE MENAGERIE AT REGENT'S PARK: 1835–1957, AND IN WHIPSNADE PARK: 1931–1957

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SUMMARY

  • 1Comparisons have been made, between the present-day conditions and those existing during earlier phases of the Society's history in respect to:
  • a. the numbers of vertebrates (excluding fish) exhibited in the menagerie.
  • b. the proportion of the total vertebrate exhibits accounted for by (i) mammals (ii) birds (iii) reptiles and amphibians.
  • c. the birth rate.
  • d. the survival rate of vertebrates born in the menagerie.
  • e. the mortality rate.
  • 2Apart from the period during the Second World War when the numbers of vertebrates dropped sharply, the collections have, since the mid-1930's, fluctuated around a level of some 5000 exhibits. The numbers of species and subspecies have, during the past seven years, varied slightly around an average of approximately 1200.
  • 3Mammals now account for some 30 per cent of the total exhibits, birds for 60 per cent while reptiles and amphibians comprise 10 per cent. Approximately 90 per cent of the mammals and birds exhibited are from wild species.
  • 4The birth rate in the collections as a whole now stands at 14 per 100 exhibits. The corresponding value for wild species is 11.8. These figures are among the highest attained during the periods for which records are available.
  • 5ore than 90 per cent of the animals born in the menagerie during 1957 survived to the end of the year. The average survival rate for the past three years is higher than at any time since the opening of Whipsnade Park in 1931.
  • 6The mortality rate for the entire vertebrate collections stood, during 1957, at 21. This figure is less than at any time either before or after the Second World War.
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