Analysis of the maintenance diet offered to lories and lorikeets (Psittaciformes; Loriinae) at Loro Parque Fundación, Tenerife

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Abstract

Field observations and anatomical adaptations of wild Loriinae show a high degree of diet specialization. Although these birds are commonly maintained in captivity, there are limited data about adequate diet and nutritional requirements. The aim of this study is to make qualitative and quantitative reviews of the diet and nutrition of these birds at Loro Parque, Tenerife, and identify possible nutrient excesses or deficiencies, in order to provide a basis for future investigations and improved feeding and nutrition of lories and lorikeets in captivity. The daily maintenance diet of 35 pairs of four genera (Chalcopsitta, Eos, Lorius and Trichoglossus) was analysed over 10 days and the amounts of various food items ingested were recorded in order to deter mine the nutritional content of the diet consumed. Daily intake values for each food were calculated from the difference between the mass of each item offered and the mass left over, corrected for evaporative wet-mass loss. The concentrations of 36 essential nutrients of diets offered and ingested were calculated and compared with the requirements for psittacines recommended in the literature. Each pair ingested a daily average of: 26.3 × 3.1 g fruit and vegetables (c. 53% of the amount offered), 18.3 × 5.2 g pellet (c. 80% of the amount offered) and 153.4 × 7.3 ml nectar (c. 99% of the amount offered). The analyses show important differences in the nutritional content between the diet offered and the diet ingested, and nutritional deficiencies and excesses in the diet ingested.

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