Helping Species Thrive: a Tale of the Marble Teal

Helping Species Thrive: A Tale of Our Marble Teal

The Reid Park Zoo has been fortunate to have had several notable births this year, but did you know there are other ways the Zoo helps zoo populations stay strong?

Reid Park Zoo is home to a bachelor group of marble teals. This year, the SSP (Species Survival Plan) recommended that we send some of our teals to Tracy Aviary for breeding and bring in teals that have previously bred. Teals can be territorial and breed best in pairs so having zoos willing to hold a flock of same-sex birds allows for a larger teal population overall and a more robust gene pool. By swapping birds, the SSP ensures that the marble teal population throughout AZA Zoos remains strong and diverse.

The process of swapping starts with a thorough vet exam of the birds. Once the veterinarians at both Zoos agree the birds are healthy. The Zoo Registrars file any needed permits and schedule travel arrangements. The birds are carefully placed in crates with food and water and taken to the airport. When the new birds arrive, they are placed in a quarantine area, separate from other zoo animals. This allows the veterinarians and hospital keepers to watch the birds to make sure that they are healthy and don’t have any issues during travel. After the quarantine period is over the birds are introduced to their new home and new friends.