RATEL is published every two months by the Association of British Wild Animal Keepers (ABWAK) and includes articles, letters and reviews for the interest of keeping staff. However, these pieces are often useful for conservation educators as the journal often details new exhibits, and educational articles are occassionally submitted. It is a resource that may inspire you in new developments that you are involved in.
Reports of projects supported by zoo conservation departments, ABWAK and other organisations are published here. Behaviour enrichment is a common theme in this journal and this makes RATEL an excellent resource for case studies on this increasingly popular subject in zoo conservation education.
Stereotypies (repeated unnatural behaviours) are a disturbing part of the activity budgets of some captive animals. However, zoos are finding a large range of low-cost enrichment techniques to reduce the occurrence of these behaviours. These techniques may include the modification of the enclosure, a change in social situation, new feeding devices or techniques, and sensory stimulation. Zoo garden departments assist with these activities by selecting suitable crops and vegetables to be planted in animal enclosures.
You can subscribe to Ratel magazine as well as other ABWAK publications and access information at http://www.abwak.co.uk/
Association of British Wild Animal Keepers. Darren McGarry, ABWAK membership, Edinburgh Zoo, 134 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh, EH12 6TS
Annual subscription £14 to £22.