Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Zoo

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Sources and care of animals[edit]

Hello good people at WikiProject Zoo. I recently read the main article on wiki for "Zoo" and while I think there is a lot of good work there, as a journalist, I have raised a couple of issues about the quality of articles sourced for the "Sources and care of animals" section. I thought I'd bring my comments from the Zoo Discussion page to your attention:

My apologies for this comment being a bit on the long side...

I think this section needs a lot of tightening a cleaning. Many parts don't read as encyclopaedic and deal more with allegations and accusations against specific zoos rather than examples of common animal abuse at zoo facilities. Also, PETA is not the only organization that deals with abuse and quality of life issues for animals, but they seem to get a high degree of mention in this section. I think other sources should be used to compliment the PETA findings.

In addition, I think this Guardian article gets more weight than it deserves as a source:

For a reputable paper like The Guardian, this is a poorly written piece and is not encyclopedic as it deals with accusations but few proven facts - If Ms Claudia Hämmerling's evidence proved true, where are the followup articles? I looked her up on the German language Wikipedia page and while it outlines her political activities, there is only one line about animal welfare. Surely if there was an serious investigation into her claims then there are more supporting periodicals and they should be included in this zoo article. The general writing of The Guardian article is also problematic, granted, papers do not have footnotes or citations, however, when a journalist writes:

'It is believed standard practice for zoos to kill "surplus" animals. Nuremberg zoo's deputy director, Helmut Mägdefrau, was reported as saying: "If we cannot find good homes for the animals, we kill them and use them as feed." Recently an antelope in Nuremberg was fed to caged lions in front of visitors, causing outrage.'

Then if "It is believed..." it is the journalist's responsibility to address: By whom it is believed. The "whom" is important as it leads to credibility. Is it Claudia Hämmerling who believes or another entity? As it is written we have no idea who the journalist is talking about. Further, if Mr Helmut Mägdefrau is "reported" as saying something (especially something controversial), then it is imperative that the journalist cites who reported Mägdefrau's quote. Right now it is an anonymous source which should be avoided by both newspapers and encyclopedias. This is simply proper journalisitc standards and practice. I am not saying what is here is incorrect, but I am saying it needs to be quoted from better material.

This Zoo article should be designed around informing the reader about the negative and positive aspects of zoos. As such, proper sourcing should be used properly and carefully because the ethical treatment of animals is an important, sensitive and an emotional issue. It is important that the information here is accurate and reliable or it should be removed. OK, time for your thoughts (I'd like to get a bit of feedback before I spend time working on this, only to get it reverted)? (talk) 17:17, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

I am reluctant to make changes without first getting feedback from the people at the WikiProject Zoo group as I work in TV journalism and my writing skills tend to be expository/spoken word writing and not encyclopedic. I thought it to be more prudent to see if someone with more knowledge of zoos and more experience as a wiki writer/editor might want to take a crack at it. However, as a regular wiki reader and occasional contributor, I think this section of your zoo article is in need of work. Sophus Bie, a Wiki regular contributor seems to agree for the most part based on her reply to my original post. Codymr (talk) 00:38, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

I agree in principle with your comments, but do not have time to do major work on an article right now. If you write it and it's cited (see WP:CITE), and it's written from a neutral point of view (see WP:NPOV), then nobody is likely to complain. If you are worried about the mechanics of citing, go ahead and just leave a url for the source and let me know -- I can help expand the citation and format it properly. If you work in TV Journalism you are already used to reporting in as few words as possible -- just avoid subjective words (biggest, fantastic, etc.), and you should be just fine. Just think of it as investigative journalism -- except that you are looking for written sources instead of interviewees. Don Lammers (talk) 01:15, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Request for Comment: Capitalization of common names of animal species[edit]


Wikipedia:HighBeam describes a limited opportunity for Wikipedia editors to have access to HighBeam Research.
Wavelength (talk) 16:24, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Potawatomi Zoo Clean Up[edit]

I did some major clean up on this zoo. It was a stub article with one photograph and just a couple of sentences. I have a ton of pictures (some will be added to the gallery section over the next week). Anyone willing to assist with making this article larger is more than welcome. This article is close to home and having the opportunity to edit it has led me to this project (WikiProjectZoo) as a new contributor. --Morning277 (talk) 20:42, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

I have done some work on infrastructure, and re-assessed the article as start-class. Right now I'm really only doing triage on Zoo articles, and assessing, but I will try to help as I can. Don Lammers (talk) 01:15, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. Anything is better than nothing. --Morning277 (talk) 21:05, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Just a note on galleries. They are discouraged now that we have Wikimedia Commons and can point to it. Photos should be in the article text next to what they illustrate. Generally nobody will touch galleries until the article reaches a reasonable length though, since the article isn't yet long enough to actually contain the images. By the time something becomes B-class the photos should be absorbed into the body. Don Lammers (talk) 01:51, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
That makes sense. I still have some additions to make to the article. When this happens, I will take the time to move the pictures form the gallery to the article contents and then remove any extra gallery photos. --Morning277 (talk) 12:14, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Popcorn Park Zoo[edit]

I added some additional information to the page that can be see HERE. I will also be adding an info box for the zoo as well as the logo. Not sure if it should be removed from being a "stub" or removed from "request for content" under the zoo project. Thoughts? --Morning277 (talk) 14:21, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

A bit of infrastructure work, and I removed the stub tags and reassessed as start-class. Removal from the stub list will happen automatically. Not sure where you see a stub listing for Popcorn Park Zoo in the Zoo project pages, but I have removed Potawatomi Zoo from the Wikipedia:WikiProject Zoo/Article requests page (and some others I found there that are now start-class).
Thank you for the good work. I am watching all of the zoo pages, so if you edit something from stub to start (or otherwise add significant content), I should spot it and check it for reassessment within a couple of days. Don Lammers (talk) 01:51, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. Please reach out if there is a specific project that you would like me to work on. I have some extra time right now. --Morning277 (talk) 12:13, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Request for Comments Columbian Park Zoo[edit]

New page just created for Columbian Park Zoo. Welcome any comments and/or suggestions. Thanks. --Morning277 (talk) 17:19, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Zoos template[edit]

Note: Some of this discussion has been copied from other locations so that it appears in a single location.

The zoos template is in every article about a zoo, and has been for years. Is there some particular reason that you have decided that it is "unnecessary" at this time? This template provides links that used to be placed in See also sections. It seems to me that this kind of overall change to zoo articles should have been discussed first at WikiProject Zoo rather than implemented unilaterally. This is hardly TCREEP, as the templates have been around for at least since I have been editing (admittedly only three years), and in in many cases they replaced fairly long See also sections. Don Lammers (talk) 09:50, 23 May 2012 (UTC) (originally at User talk:Bearcat)

Templates are only supposed to be used to link articles of direct, not marginal, relevance to the topic. Having the basic "zoos" overview template on every individual zoo, when it features broadly chosen links like "bear pit", "animal training", "ex-situ conservation" and "nocturnal house" that may not actually be of any functional relevance to that particular zoo, would be very much like placing an overview template about general topics in economics on every individual economist, or placing an overview template about general topics in politics on every individual politician. The links are simply too broad in scope to be useful or relevant or necessary on every single article about every individual zoo.
And at any rate, there's a conscious effort in place (see WP:TCREEP) to keep the number of templates on articles under control — some of the ones I removed it from already have four or five other navbox templates on them, which is far too many. Edmonton Valley Zoo, for example, does not need five different navboxes on it — even four is overkill and should be trimmed further, but {{Zoos}} was the only one of the five that was not clearly essential as they're currently constituted, because normally no article should ever actually have any navbox on it which doesn't itself contain a link to that same article within a list of immediately related topics. The "Zoos in particular province" template should be more than sufficient; the articles simply don't need both templates simultaneously.
And if it's really that important that the general zoos template be accessible, then the "zoos in province" templates can also be modified to provide a text link to the general zoos template if necessary. Bearcat (talk) 21:22, 23 May 2012 (UTC) (copied here from User talk:Donlammers#Zoos template)

My understanding for the basic "original intent" of the template (I was not involved in its creation) was that it replaced long See also lists (it is much less distraction than 12-15 See also entries). This is essentially how I have been using the template over the last couple of years. I'm not particularly wedded to the idea of this template being in every zoo article, but that is the current guidance in this project, and if it's going to change, the change should be discussed here, along with what needs to be done with all the other articles that would need to be updated. There are probably close to 1,000 articles that currently contain this template, and we should be at least consistent in its usage.

The "Zoos in a province/state/country" template do not currently contain these "See also" entries. As you point out, we can add the ones we think are critical to the other templates, or point to some other location. However, this should be discussed in a location where that discussion can be easily referenced in the future, and for zoo articles this is the best we have. Don Lammers (talk) 00:29, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

I just started a "sweep" of start-class zoo articles to "normalize" their templates & categorization. One of my current tasks is to add the Zoos template, so if we are going to reverse that trend, this is a good time to do it. I think bearcat is correct that the Zoos template information might be better handled in other ways. I would like to propose the following as a starting point:

  • Make sure that all zoos are categorized under a "Zoos in <jurisdiction>" category (I will need to add categories to accomplish this -- Bearcat is already doing this for Canada zoos).
  • Remove {{Zoos}} from zoo articles in favor of the jurisdiction templates. {{Zoos}} would still be used in the articles that it references, which is most likely where someone will care about those links.
  • Make sure that there is a link in the lead of every article about a zoo the points to one of the "soo type" articles in {{Zoos}} (Zoo, Public aquarium, Bird park, etc.).
  • Add one line at the bottom of jurisdiction templates with links we think are important (see {{Zoos of Colorado}} for the current state of this line).
  • Possibly provide a link to the list of zoos of the country in the infobox or in the "one-liner" mentioned previously.
  • Remove {{CAZA}} from Canadian zoo articles. It is the only zoo association template we have besides WAZA, the information is duplicated in the "jurisdiction" templates, and in each of those articles we point to the actual CAZA web site list anyway.

Enough for now. If you don't comment, Bearcat and I will end up making the decision and I will publish our conclusions. Don Lammers (talk) 11:31, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

I have modified the Colorado template to add a line of links at the bottom. Obviously, this can be changed. I have then removed the {{Zoos}} template from the Colorado articles. It seemed like a fairly decent sample without being a huge project, and I can reverse the edits quickly if there is a lot of disagreement now that I've actually done something. I have made the colorado template so it's always collapsed (I hate it when you end up with a huge open template at the bottom, and I added the Denver template (it's amazingly ugly and takes up three whole lines when collapsed) to the Denver venues that it lists. Don Lammers (talk) 22:56, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
No comments yet, so I am starting gradually. You can see what I'm doing by going to Colorado, South Korea, or Rhode Island zoos. I have added {{Zoos of South Korea}} in the new format, and modified {{Zoos of Rhode Island}}. I have created {{Zoos footer}} so that we can modify the "below" information in the "Zoos of <jurisdiction>" templates easily and consistently. Don Lammers (talk) 17:26, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Aquariums vs. aquaria[edit]

I went and changed the titles in the "Zoos of" templates (though I missed a few somehow) to "Zoos and aquaria of...", which seemed to be the majority in that particyular set of templates, and now I'm regretting it. IMHO, it looks and sounds terrible. It really should be Zoos and aqwuariums of...". AZA uses Aquariums in its name. WAZA uses Aquariums. Only EAZA uses "Aquaria". The disambiguation article is "Aquariums", not "Aquaria".

If there are no objections, I am going to go change them back eventually. Comments are welcome. Although nobody seems to be watching this page any more, I thought at least the intention needs to be recorded somewhere, even if there ends up being no discussion on the matter. Don Lammers (talk) 00:56, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm watching. As far as I am concerned, you are running the show with this project as there seems to be little involvement from others. There is no objection from me.--Morning277 (talk) 03:02, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
It's fine by me. Sorry I haven't been editing lately. Takinzinnia (talkcontribs) 18:36, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
All good by me, Sorry havn't contributed recently ZooPro 14:09, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Listing size (weight, and dimensions where applicable) for animals in a standardized manner[edit]

I personally think it would be a good idea to list average adult size (possibly size span as well if it is notable) for species in a standardized manner (similarly to how biological classification is in a template now). Size is probably of great interest for most readers who are unfamiliar with the species that an article handles, and only seek to gain a brief overview. Autharitus (talk) 11:38, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure what this has to do with WP Zoo. We don't list size or any other particulars about animals in zoo articles. Those should be part of the animal article. You may get better comments on changes like this at WikiProject Animals and its sub-projects, where they deal with the actual animal articles.
Oh, of course. We learn by making mistakes, and thus I will proudly add yet another mistake (if minor) to my list. Thanks for linking me to the relevant project page. Autharitus (talk) 18:24, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
If this is the worst mistake you ever make, you are doing a LOT better than I. Happy editing! Don Lammers (talk) 00:44, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Do not feed the animals[edit]

There is a discussion at Talk:Do not feed the animals#Article title which members of this project may be interested in. -- (talk) 04:48, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Shouldn't it be Wikiproject Zoos?[edit]

This project's name seems like it should be Wikipedia:WikiProject Zoos. Any particular reason why it's not? Jason Quinn (talk) 14:53, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

  • At this point, it's probably more a matter of the effort required to change it everywhere, including such issues as "do we rename the templates as well?" (project templates are transcluded in a bunch of places). I'm doubtful that there would be much enthusiasm for the work involved, and would think any efforts would be better spent improving articles. Don Lammers (talk) 18:22, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Animal welfare ratings[edit]

It seems to me that we should make it a high priority to have every article on a zoo to have a section concerning the animal welfare and conditions. But as far as I've been able to tell so far, there isn't any world-authority on the issue. I've found the accreditation database for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums but it seems mostly US centric and only covers a few other countries. Plus, it doesn't give much information on each zoo. I've found a few reports in zoos in specific countries like this one for the UK but there's an awful lot of zoos in the world so that's just a drop in the bucket. Is there really a void for a international zoo animal welfare organization that has unified, consistant standards? Geez, that's depressing if there isn't by the 21st century. Jason Quinn (talk) 15:10, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

  • The overall organization is WAZA, though it is not an accrediting institution. There is a partial list of member organizations in the WP article, and a link to the WAZA site where you can see a full list. The AZA is indeed primarily United States, though there are a few exceptions. Each region has its own accrediting organization, like CAZA, EAZA, etc. Some zoos will belong to multiple organizations (for instance, many zoos in Great Britain belong to both EAZA and BIAZA, and membership requirements are different for each. For instance, although I could get an individual membership to AZA by just paying money, Zoos must be accredited by the AZA to be members. This is not true of CAZA, where zoos can be members without being accredited. Some associations do not require accreditation, the theory evidently being that if they can get everyone to the table, they may be able to influence conditions. So yes, standards are different everywhere, and in some countries there are none. It is somewhat depressing for status in the 21st century. Don Lammers (talk) 17:57, 31 December 2013 (UTC)


Both the 2013 and 2010 versions of the file File:WikiProject Zoo Logo.JPG have possible copyright issues. I have tagged the image so the issues need to be addressed within a week. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 20:04, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Frozen Zoo[edit]

Please don't forget including and improving the Frozen Zoo article.

mrigthrishna (talk) 14:17, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

New article[edit]

Kolmarden Tropicarium in Sweden. Dan Koehl (talk) 14:54, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Page merger discussion[edit]

A discussion is taking place that may be of interest to some members of this project at Talk:XY sex-determination system#Proposed merge with Maternal influence on sex determination. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 12:47, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Columbus Zoo GAR[edit]

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, an article that you or your project may be interested in, has been nominated for an individual good article reassessment. If you are interested in the discussion, please participate by adding your comments to the reassessment page. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, the good article status may be removed from the article. --ThaddeusB (talk) 00:41, 6 May 2014 (UTC)