Oasys MiniHollywood is in luck. Recently, several species have joined our big family at our zoological reserve. More specifically, the newly arrived animals include several sand cats (Felis Margarita), several yellow-necked spurfowls (Pternistis leucoscepus), and a pair of Blanford’s foxes (Vulpes cana).
All of these species come from different zoological reserves that Oasys MiniHollywood has collaborations agreements with.
Felis margarita at Oasys MiniHollywood
The sand cats (Felis margarita) come from a zoo in Lyon, France and from the Parken Zoo in Sweden. Its population in the wild is seriously threatened mainly due to human activity, poaching, habitat degradation, and competition with feral domestic cats. All of these factors have led to its disappearance in some of its places of origin.
Sand cats, along with the black-footed cat (Felis nigripes), are the smallest members of the Felis genus. These felines are the best adapted to life in the desert and they live in areas that range from Africa and the Arabian Peninsula to Pakistan.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), its current degree of threat is least concern due to a lack of precise data. However, it is believed that on the next census, they will be elevated to near threatened or vulnerable, like the Felis margarita margarita, a subspecies from the Sahara, and Felis margarita scheffeli, a Pakistani subspecies.
One peculiarity of the Felis margarita is that the sole of its paws are entirely covered in fur, which protects them from coming into contact with the burning desert sands. It is preferably active at twilight or at night and they stay hidden under bushes or among rocks. They have also been observed occupying the dens of other species, such as the fennec fox (Vulpes zerda), for example.
These small felines eat rodents, hares, birds, snakes, and insects, among other things. In addition to the pressure on their population caused by man, they are also preyed upon by jackals and birds of prey.
Oasys MiniHollywood is the only member of the European Associations of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) in Spain and the only member of the Iberian Association of Zoos and Aquaria (IAZA) which has this beautiful species and actively participants in the program for its conservation (EEP).
After a journey of more than 1,350 miles from the Rotterdam zoo, three yellow-necked spurfowls (Pternistis leucoscepus) have arrived at Oasys MiniHollywood. These birds belong to the pheasant family and are originally from Somalia, Kenya, and other countries in east Africa.
The males sing a very striking song when they are in heat and their necks turn an intense yellow. They become fertile after one year of life and lay small numbers of eggs. Laying begins at the beginning of March and the eggs are incubated for around 20 days.
They have been introduced to the Mamili aviary, in the middle of the Okavango area, where they share the facilities with violet turacos, guinea turacos, and hamerkops. These three males have been together since their birth in the Netherlands. At Oasys MiniHollywood, we are searching for mates in order to breed this beautiful species in our facilities.
Blanford’s foxes from the Arabian Peninsula
Oasys MiniHollywood has signed an agreement with Arabia’s Wildlife Center, located in Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates. Thus, some of the animals from our zoological reserve will travel to this wildlife center.
Likewise, a pair of Blanford’s foxes (Vulpes cana) from the Emirates has joined our collection. After a period of adaptation, they are now enjoying life in a well-deserved enclosure in the Small Carnivores area along with other species of foxes and felines. All of these animals are perfectly adapted to the climate of Tabernas.
With this last addition, Oasys MiniHollywood has become the only park in the Iberian Peninsula and indeed all of Europe that has this beautiful species of fox.
Come visit them at Oasys MiniHollywood!