Zoo Deaths--Among the apparent victims of last week's heat wave were two golden lion tamarins, an endangered species of monkey, at the Santa Ana Zoo.
According to zoo director Claudia Collier, one of the animals was discovered dead in its cage late Tuesday. Although some modifications were made to the enclosure to help ward off the 100-degree-plus heat, the second tamarin was found dead Wednesday. She believes the deaths were caused by the heat, but a necropsy will be performed to determine the exact cause.
Because of the high temperatures, keepers had been taking extra precautions by hosing down the cages and checking the animals frequently. "Usually the keepers are so tuned in to these animals," Collier said, but in this case they "didn't notice anything unusual."
Golden lion tamarins, small monkeys with long golden fur, are severely threatened in their native habitat of the Atlantic rain forests in Brazil. The animals have been relatively successful in captivity, and some zoo animals have been reintroduced to the wild.
The Santa Ana Zoo had four golden lion tamarins as part of the Species Survival Program, a cooperative breeding and conservation program in U.S. zoos. The two tamarins that died were not on public display, and were on loan from zoos in Los Angeles and Oklahoma City.
Public Input--A draft environmental impact statement has been prepared for the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge--where two endangered bird species nest--the light-footed clapper rail and the California least tern. Public comment on the extensive document is being accepted through July 17.
The document is the result of court action over the current management program at the reserve, which includes the trapping of predatory non-native red foxes. The statement explores a number of options but comes out in favor of a plan that would couple expanded management of predators with efforts to restore upland habitats and reintroduce native top carnivores, such as the coyote, to control populations of smaller predators that feed on birds.
Copies of the document are available for review at public libraries in Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Rossmoor, Leisure World and Westminster. Written comments should be directed to: Charles J. Houghten, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2233 Watt Ave., Suite 375, Sacramento, Calif., 95825-0509.