Husbandry and breeding of Blue-eyed cockatoos Cacatua ophthalmica at Chester Zoo 1966–1998



Since 1966 Blue-eyed cockatoos Cacatua ophthalmica have been maintained at Chester Zoo and 38 young have been reared to independence, 27 of which were hand-reared. In October 1997 EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) approved a European studbook for C. ophthalmica, to be managed from Chester Zoo. Twenty-four of the Blue-eyed cockatoos bred at Chester Zoo have been placed in nine of the co-operating European institutions. As at 31 December 1998 the studbook listed 72 Blue-eyed cockatoos, 42 of which were living and maintained at nine institutions in Europe. Husbandry at Chester Zoo, natural breeding and techniques for artificial incubation, hand-rearing and enrichment are described. Data are also presented on chick development, age at first breeding and longevity. Chester Zoo, in collaboration with Manchester Metro University, supports in situ research on the biology and status of Blue-eyed cockatoos and other parrot species on the island of New Britain.