• Early 1900s Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Korean Amphibians

      Fong, Jonathan J.; Cheng, Tina L.; Bataille, Arnaud; Pessier, Allan P.; Waldman, Bruce; Vredenburg, Vance T. (2015)
      The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a major conservation concern because of its role in decimating amphibian populations worldwide. We used quantitative PCR to screen 244 museum specimens from the Korean Peninsula, collected between 1911 and 2004, for the presence of Bd to gain insight into its history in Asia. Three specimens of Rugosa emeljanovi (previously Rana or Glandirana rugosa), collected in 1911 from Wonsan, North Korea, tested positive for Bd. Histology of these positive specimens revealed mild hyperkeratosis – a non-specific host response commonly found in Bd-infected frogs – but no Bd zoospores or zoosporangia. Our results indicate that Bd was present in Korea more than 100 years ago, consistent with hypotheses suggesting that Korean amphibians may be infected by endemic Asian Bd strains.
    • Early-life exposures and Johne’s disease risk in zoo ruminants

      Burgess, Tristan L.; Witte, Carmel L.; Rideout, Bruce (2017)
      Johne’s disease, caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP), is a chronic, progressive bacterial enteritis of ruminants that can cause serious losses in both livestock and exotic species. Infection risk in exotic ruminants is associated with maternal infection status, but the effect of other herdmates on risk of infection has not been reported, to our knowledge....
    • Ecological and socio-economic factors influencing aguaje (Mauritia flexuosa) resource management in two indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon

      Horn, Christa M.; Gilmore, Michael P.; Endress, Bryan A. (2012)
      In this study, we sought to better understand the social, economic, and ecological factors influencing the development of sustainable management practices for Mauritia flexuosa (aguaje) in two Maijuna indigenous communities. Focus groups, semi-structured interviews and household surveys were conducted to document current and historical patterns of aguaje harvest and management, the importance of aguaje to household income, and to identify current harvesting strategies and key perceptions regarding management….
    • Ecological context influences scent-marking behavior in the giant panda

      Zhou, W.; Nie, Y.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Li, Y.; Liu, D.; Wei, F. (2019)
      Signal detection theory predicts that animals should select scent-marking sites in a way that maximizes their probability of detection by target receivers. Many studies have been conducted with a focus on signaling behavior and function....
    • Ecological determinants of herd size in the Thornicroft’s giraffe of Zambia: Giraffe herd size in Zambia

      Bercovitch, Fred B.; Berry, Philip S.M.; (2010)
      Given that giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) live in an extremely flexible social system, and that breeding is nonseasonal, they are an ideal species for examining how ecological variables contribute to fluctuations in herd size. We present an analysis of 34 years of data on a population of Thornicroft’s giraffe (G. c. thornicrofti Lydekker 1911) that reveal how herd size changes with season and habitat....
    • Ecological scale and seasonal heterogeneity in the spatial behaviors of giant pandas

      Zhang, Zejun; Sheppard, James; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Wang, Guan; Nie, Yonggang; Wei, Wei; Zhao, Naxun; Wei, Fuwen (2014)
      We report on the first study to track the spatial behaviors of wild giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca ) using high‐resolution global positioning system (GPS) telemetry.... Despite a high degree of spatial overlap between panda home ranges, particularly in winter, we detected neither avoidance nor attraction behavior between conspecifics.
    • Ecological specialization and morphological diversification in Greater Antillean boas

      Reynolds, R. Graham; Collar David C.; Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Niemiller Matthew L.; Puente-Rolón, Alberto R.; Revell, Liam J. (2016)
      Colonization of islands can dramatically influence the evolutionary trajectories of organisms, with both deterministic and stochastic processes driving adaptation and diversification. Some island colonists evolve extremely large or small body sizes, presumably in response to unique ecological circumstances present on islands. One example of this phenomenon, the Greater Antillean boas, includes both small (<90 cm) and large (4 m) species occurring on the Greater Antilles and Bahamas, with some islands supporting pairs or trios of body‐size divergent species. These boas have been shown to comprise a monophyletic radiation arising from a Miocene dispersal event to the Greater Antilles, though it is not known whether co‐occurrence of small and large species is a result of dispersal or in situ evolution. Here, we provide the first comprehensive species phylogeny for this clade combined with morphometric and ecological data to show that small body size evolved repeatedly on separate islands in association with specialization in substrate use. Our results further suggest that microhabitat specialization is linked to increased rates of head shape diversification among specialists. Our findings show that ecological specialization following island colonization promotes morphological diversity through deterministic body size evolution and cranial morphological diversification that is contingent on island‐ and species‐specific factors.
    • Ecology and behavior of uacaris (genus Cacajao)

      Barnett, Adrian A.; Bowler, Mark; Bezerra, Bruna M.; Defler, Thomas R.; Veiga, Liza M.; Barnett, Adrian A.; Ferrari, Stephen F.; Norconk, Marilyn A. (Cambridge University PressCambridge, 2013)
    • Ecology and conservation of the Turks Island boa (Epicrates chrysogaster chrysogaster: Squamata: Boidae) on Big Ambergris Cay

      Reynolds, R.G.; Gerber, Glenn P. (2012)
      The boid genus Epicrates contains 10 species in the West Indies, several of which are listed as threatened or endangered, whereas the status of the others remains unknown. Little is known about Turks Island Boas (Epicrates chrysogaster chrysogaster), a subspecies of the Southern Bahamas Boa endemic to the Turks and Caicos Islands, and no published ecological studies exist for this subspecies. A long history of human habitation, greatly exacerbated by exponentially increasing development in the last several decades, appears to be threatening the remaining populations of these boas. However, a lack of basic ecological information is holding back conservation efforts. Here we report on the first multiyear ecological study of Turks Island Boas, focusing on an important population located on the small island of Big Ambergris Cay in the southeastern margin of the Caicos Bank. Encounter rates of up to 3.5 snakes per person-hour make this population especially easy to study. We captured 249 snakes, 11 of which were recaptures. We provide basic natural history information including size, color pattern, girth, body temperature, abundance, diet, activity, diurnal refuge selection, and population size. We also clarify the known distribution and discuss the conservation concerns of this species. This study fills a gap in our ecological knowledge of Bahamian boas and will provide important baseline data for the Big Ambergris Cay population of Turks Island Boas as this small island undergoes extensive development over the next several decades.
    • Ecology, livelihoods, and management of the Mauritia flexuosa palm in South America

      Virapongse, Arika; Endress, Bryan A.; Gilmore, Michael P.; Horn, Christa M.; Romulo, Chelsie (2017)
      Mauritia flexuosa is a key ecological and economic palm found throughout tropical South America. To inform improved management of M. flexuosa, we conducted a systematic review of published information about the ecology, livelihoods, and management of M. flexuosa, synthesized the information and identified knowledge gaps, and analyzed the spatial distribution of publications. A total of 143 documents (primary research, literature reviews, and grey literature) were reviewed. Most published information originates from Peru and Brazil, with a disproportionate number of documents based in the Loreto Department of Peru. Significant geographical gaps in published information exist, especially in the northern portion of the species range. Existing literature emphasizes M. flexuosa fruit, although leaves, oil, and other products play important roles economically. To improve M. flexuosa management, we recommend that future research focuses on: (1) M. flexuosa availability; (2) harvest and cultivation; (3) development of consistent methods and standards; (4) landscape-level issues like land use change; (5) M. flexuosa within broader systems; (6) spatial gaps in research; (7) long-term research; and (8) multi- and interdisciplinary approaches.
    • Efectos del manejo tradicional sobre la palma Brahea aculeata en una selva seca del sur de Sonora, México

      López-Toledo, Leonel; Espinosa-Hidalgo, Carlos; Horn, Christa M.; Endress, Bryan A. (2015)
      En este estudio se evaluaron los efectos del manejo tradicional de Brahea aculeata (Arecaceae), sobre algunos atributos funcionales (hojas totales, producción y tamaño de hojas) y demográficos (mortalidad, crecimiento y reproducción). Las hojas de la especie son utilizadas para techos de casas y artesanías; y debido al pastoreo libre de ganado vacuno en el bosque, la especie puede sufrir herbivoría. Para evaluar los efectos del pastoreo y la cosecha de hojas se estableció un experimento en la Reserva “Sierra de Álamos”, Sonora, México, en el que se simularon las diferentes prácticas del manejo tradicional. Se establecieron seis tratamientos que combinan el pastoreo (con/sin) e intensidades de cosecha (sin cosecha/baja/intensiva). En general, en palmas pequeñas (≤ 200 cm de largo de tallo), se encontraron efectos interactivos del pastoreo y la cosecha de hojas, mientras que en palmas grandes (> 200 cm) únicamente para la cosecha. En palmas pequeñas se encontraron efectos negativos en el número y tamaño de hojas; mientras que la producción de hojas, la mortalidad y el crecimiento, el efecto fue positivo. Para palmas grandes, el efecto fue positivo en todos los casos; excepto en la mortalidad, en los que no se encontraron efectos. Los efectos positivos se podrían explicar como una respuesta sobrecompensatoria en la que la pérdida de área foliar se puede suplir mediante la alteración de procesos relacionados con la fotosíntesis y/o la asignación de recursos. Este estudio contribuye con información útil para el establecimiento de un programa de manejo, basado en el aprovechamiento tradicional de la especie en el área.
    • Effect of preservation method on spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) fecal microbiota over 8 weeks

      Hale, Vanessa L.; Tan, Chia L.; Knight, Rob; Amato, Katherine R. (2015)
      …Gut microbes play an important role in human and animal health, and gut microbiome analysis holds great potential for evaluating health in wildlife, as microbiota can be assessed from non-invasively collected fecal samples. However, many common fecal preservation protocols (e.g. freezing at ?80°C) are not suitable for field conditions, or have not been tested for long-term (greater than 2weeks) storage. In this study, we collected fresh fecal samples from captive spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) at the Columbian Park Zoo (Lafayette, IN, USA)….
    • Effect of widespread agricultural chemical use on butterfly diversity across Turkish provinces

      Pekin, Burak K. (2013)
      …I assessed the effects of a major component of agricultural intensification, agricultural chemical use, and land-cover and climatic variables on butterfly diversity across 81 provinces in Turkey, where agriculture is practiced extensively but with varying degrees of intensity…. Although overall butterfly richness was primarily explained by climatic and land-cover variables, such as the area of natural vegetation cover, threatened butterfly richness and the relative number of threatened butterfly species decreased substantially as the proportion of agricultural households using pesticides increased. These findings suggest that widespread use of agricultural chemicals, or other components of agricultural intensification that may be collinear with pesticide use, pose an imminent threat to the biodiversity of Turkey.…
    • Effectiveness of animal conditioning interventions in reducing human–wildlife conflict: a systematic map protocol

      Snijders, Lysanne; Greggor, Alison L.; Hilderink, Femke; Doran, Carolina (2019)
      Human–wildlife conflict (HWC), is currently one of the most pressing conservation challenges. We restrict ourselves here to wildlife behaviour that is perceived to negatively impact social, economic or cultural aspects of human life or to negatively impact species of conservation concern. HWC often involves wild animals consuming anthropogenic resources, such as crops or livestock, either out of necessity (loss of habitat and natural prey) or as consequence of opportunistic behaviour. A variety of interventions are undertaken to reduce HWC, differing in practicability, costs and social acceptance. One such non-lethal intervention is animal conditioning, a technique to reduce conflict by modifying the behaviour of ‘problem’ animals long-term. Conditioning changes associations animals have with resources or behaviours. Both via ‘punishment’ of unwanted behaviour and ‘rewarding’ of alternative behaviour, researchers aim to make expression of unwanted behaviour relatively less desirable to animals. Despite the potential, however, studies testing conditioning interventions have reported seemingly contradictory outcomes. To facilitate reduction of HWC via conditioning, we thus need to better understand if and when conditioning interventions are indeed effective. With this systematic map we intend to make the global evidence base for conditioning of free-ranging vertebrates more accessible to practitioners, to identify potential evidence clusters and effect modifiers for a subsequent systematic review and to highlight evidence gaps for future research.
    • Effects of artificial light at night on the foraging behavior of an endangered nocturnal mammal

      Shier, Debra M.; Bird, Alicia K.; Wang, Thea B. (2020)
      ...The endangered Stephens’ kangaroo rat (SKR), Dipodomys stephensi, is a nocturnal rodent threatened by habitat destruction from urban expansion. The degree to which ALAN impacts their recovery is unknown....
    • Effects of body size on estimation of mammalian area requirements

      Noonan, Michael J.; Fleming, Christen H.; Tucker, Marlee A.; Kays, Roland; Harrison, Autumn-Lynn; Crofoot, Margaret C.; Abrahms, Briana; Alberts, Susan C.; Ali, Abdullahi H.; Altmann, Jeanne; et al. (2020)
      Accurately quantifying species’ area requirements is a prerequisite for effective area‐based conservation. This typically involves collecting tracking data on species of interest and then conducting home‐range analyses. Problematically, autocorrelation in tracking data can result in space needs being severely underestimated. Based on the previous work, we hypothesized the magnitude of underestimation varies with body mass, a relationship that could have serious conservation implications. To evaluate this hypothesis for terrestrial mammals, we estimated home‐range areas with global positioning system (GPS) locations from 757 individuals across 61 globally distributed mammalian species with body masses ranging from 0.4 to 4000 kg. We then applied block cross‐validation to quantify bias in empirical home‐range estimates. Area requirements of mammals <10 kg were underestimated by a mean approximately15%, and species weighing approximately100 kg were underestimated by approximately50% on average. Thus, we found area estimation was subject to autocorrelation‐induced bias that was worse for large species. Combined with the fact that extinction risk increases as body mass increases, the allometric scaling of bias we observed suggests the most threatened species are also likely to be those with the least accurate home‐range estimates. As a correction, we tested whether data thinning or autocorrelation‐informed home‐range estimation minimized the scaling effect of autocorrelation on area estimates. Data thinning required an approximately93% data loss to achieve statistical independence with 95% confidence and was, therefore, not a viable solution. In contrast, autocorrelation‐informed home‐range estimation resulted in consistently accurate estimates irrespective of mass. When relating body mass to home range size, we detected that correcting for autocorrelation resulted in a scaling exponent significantly >1, meaning the scaling of the relationship changed substantially at the upper end of the mass spectrum.
    • Effects of combination birth control on estrous behavior in captive western lowland gorillas, Gorilla gorilla gorilla

      Sarfaty, A.; Margulis, S.W.; Atsalis, Sylvia (2012)
      Combination birth control pills (CBC) are one of the most common birth control methods used for western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) housed in zoos. Since zoos are interested in maintaining as many natural behaviors as possible, it is important to know how contraception may affect social and sexual interactions among group members....
    • Effects of field conditions on fecal microbiota

      Hale, Vanessa L.; Tan, Chia L.; Niu, Kefeng; Yang, Yeqin; Cui, Duoying; Zhao, Hongxia; Knight, Rob; Amato, Katherine R. (2016)
      Gut microbiota can provide great insight into host health, and studies of the gut microbiota in wildlife are becoming more common. However, the effects of field conditions on gut microbial samples are unknown. This study addresses the following questions: 1) How do environmental factors such as sunlight and insect infestations affect fecal microbial DNA? 2) How does fecal microbial DNA change over time after defecation? 3) How does storage method affect microbial DNA? Fresh fecal samples were collected, pooled, and homogenized from a family group of 6 spider monkeys, Ateles geoffroyi....
    • Effects of inbreeding and parental incubation on captive breeding success in Hawaiian crows

      Hoeck, Paquita E. A.; Wolak, Matthew E.; Switzer, Richard A.; Kuehler, Cyndi M.; Lieberman, Alan A. (2015)
      We used 17 years of captive breeding records of the Hawaiian crow (Corvus hawaiiensis) to study the effects of individual and parental level of inbreeding on survival through early life…. Our study contributes to evidence that the strength of inbreeding depression is particularly severe in early life traits. It shows that the negative effects of inbreeding on reproductive success should be accounted for even in benign captive environments where survival is maximized and suggests that parental incubation should be favored over artificial incubation in avian captive breeding programs.