• Kinkajou - the tree top specialist

      Brooks, Melody; Kays, Roland; Macdonald, David W.; Newman, Chris; Harrington, Lauren A. (Oxford University PressOxford, UK, 2017)
    • Kinship-based management strategies for captive breeding programs when pedigrees are unknown or uncertain

      Putnam, Andrea S.; Ivy, Jamie A. (2014)
      …Using the demographic parameters of a North American captive population of Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx), 2 kinship-based breeding-pair selection strategies were modeled for their performance in handling pedigrees with varying degrees of parentage uncertainty…. Both kinship-based breeding-pair selection strategies significantly outperformed the nonkinship-based strategies.
    • Koala bellows and their association with the spatial dynamics of free-ranging koalas

      Ellis, William A.; Bercovitch, Fred B.; FitzGibbon, S.; Roe, P.; Wimmer, J.; Melzer, A.; Wilson, R. (2011)
      Acoustic communication mediates sociality in a variety of animals. One of the more ubiquitous vocal signals to have evolved is the sexual advertisement call of males. Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) males emit a sonorous bellow call during the breeding season, but no detailed studies of the calling context appear to have been published. We used a novel remote sound detection network to monitor koala bellowing while simultaneously collecting koala behavioral data using collar-mounted GPS units. Our approach enabled us to examine fine scale temporal variation in vocalization and spatial movements of free-ranging koalas without direct behavioral observations. Bellow occurrence was susceptible to weather conditions, with fewer calls occurring when wind speed and temperatures were high. The number of bellow vocalizations recorded during an annual period mirrored breeding activity, with nearly all male bellows recorded during peak mating season. The distance traveled by koalas and the occurrence of koala bellows both peaked around midnight, but only female travel distance during the breeding season was temporally correlated with bellow occurrence. We conclude that environmental factors might trigger male bellowing to launch the breeding season and that these male vocal signals function more to attract females than to repel males. Female mate selection is probably an important component of male reproductive success in koalas, which is partly mediated by male bellow characteristics.
    • Koala birth seasonality and sex ratios across multiple sites in Queensland, Australia

      Ellis, William A.H.; Bercovitch, Fred B.; FitzGibbon, S.; Melzer, A.; de Villers, D.; Dique, D.; (2010)
      ...he annual pattern of births was identical for males and females within locations, but overall annual patterns of births differed between the southern and northern sites. We conclude that koalas can bear offspring in every month of the year, but breed seasonally across Australia, and that a sex bias in the timing of births is absent from most regions.
    • Koala retrovirus diversity, transmissibility, and disease associations

      Zheng, HaoQiang; Pan, Yi; Tang, Shaohua; Pye, Geoffrey W.; Stadler, Cynthia K; Vogelnest, Larry; Herrin, Kimberly Vinette; Rideout, Bruce; Switzer, William M. (2020)
      Background Koalas are infected with the koala retrovirus (KoRV) that exists as exogenous or endogenous viruses. KoRV is genetically diverse with co-infection with up to ten envelope subtypes (A-J) possible; KoRV-A is the prototype endogenous form. KoRV-B, first found in a small number of koalas with an increased leukemia prevalence at one US zoo, has been associated with other cancers and increased chlamydial disease. To better understand the molecular epidemiology of KoRV variants and the effect of increased viral loads (VLs) on transmissibility and pathogenicity we developed subtype-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays and tested blood and tissue samples from koalas at US zoos (n=78), two Australian zoos (n=27) and wild-caught (n=21) in Australia. We analyzed PCR results with available clinical, demographic, and pedigree data. Results All koalas were KoRV-A-infected. A small number of koalas (10.3%) at one US zoo were also infected with non-A subtypes, while a higher non-A subtype prevalence (59.3%) was found in koalas at Australian zoos. Wild koalas from one location were only infected with KoRV-A. We observed a significant association of infection and plasma VLs of non-A subtypes in koalas that died of leukemia/lymphoma and other neoplasias and report cancer diagnoses in KoRV-A-positive animals. Infection and VLs of non-A subtypes was not associated with age or sex. Transmission of non-A subtypes occurred from dam-to-offspring and likely following adult-to-adult contact, but associations with contact type were not evaluated. Brief antiretroviral treatment of one leukemic koala infected with high plasma levels of KoRV-A, -B, and -F did not affect VL or disease progression. Conclusions Our results show a significant association of non-A KoRV infection and plasma VLs with leukemia and other
    • Laboratory diagnostics

      Rideout, Bruce; Braun, Josephine; Pessier, Allan P.; Terio, Karen A.; McAloose, Denise; St. Leger, Judy (Academic PressSan Diego, CA, 2018)
      This chapter focuses on the challenges of using laboratory diagnostics in wildlife and how to choose an appropriate test and interpret the results. Very few diagnostic tests have been validated for use in wildlife, which creates challenges for the diagnostician because some of these tests must be used anyway, while others should be avoided....
    • Lack of genetic diversity across diverse immune genes in an endangered mammal, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)

      Morris, K.M.; Wright, B.; Grueber, Catherine E.; Hogg, Carolyn J.; Belov, Katherine (2015)
      The Tasmanian devil (S arcophilus harrisii ) is threatened with extinction due to the spread of devil facial tumour disease. Polymorphisms in immune genes can provide adaptive potential to resist diseases. Previous studies in diversity at immune loci in wild species have almost exclusively focused on genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC ); however, these genes only account for a fraction of immune gene diversity. Devils lack diversity at functionally important immunity loci, including MHC and Toll‐like receptor genes. Whether there are polymorphisms at devil immune genes outside these two families is unknown. Here, we identify polymorphisms in a wide range of key immune genes, and develop assays to type single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP s) within a subset of these genes. A total of 167 immune genes were examined, including cytokines, chemokines and natural killer cell receptors. Using genome‐level data from ten devils, SNP s within coding regions, introns and 10 kb flanking genes of interest were identified. We found low polymorphism across 167 immune genes examined bioinformatically using whole‐genome data. From this data, we developed long amplicon assays to target nine genes. These amplicons were sequenced in 29–220 devils and found to contain 78 SNP s, including eight SNPS within exons. Despite the extreme paucity of genetic diversity within these genes, signatures of balancing selection were exhibited by one chemokine gene, suggesting that remaining diversity may hold adaptive potential. The low functional diversity may leave devils highly vulnerable to infectious disease, and therefore, monitoring and preserving remaining diversity will be critical for the long‐term management of this species. Examining genetic variation in diverse immune genes should be a priority for threatened wildlife species. This study can act as a model for broad‐scale immunogenetic diversity analysis in threatened species.
    • Land use change and the future of biodiversity

      Hobohm, Carsten; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Börtitz, Christine; Ralph Clark, V.; El Balti, Nadja; Fichtner, Andreas; Franklin, Scott; Gaens, Thomas; Härdtle, Werner; Hansen, Andreas Skriver; et al. (Springer International PublishingCham, Switzerland, 2021)
      This synthesis report is a meta-analysis of perspectives for biodiversity and ecosystems, with a strong focus on human impacts on the environment, and a work order to enable and manage the protection, survival and evolution of all species on Earth. The goal is to protect nature without any further species loss (Zero Extinction)....
    • Landscape-level changes to large mammal space use in response to a pastoralist incursion

      Masiaine, Symon; Pilfold, Nicholas W.; Moll, Remington J.; O'Connor, David; Larpei, Lexson; Stacy-Dawes, Jenna; Ruppert, Kirstie; Glikman, Jenny A.; Roloff, Gary; Montgomery, Robert A. (2021)
      Pastoralists and their livestock have long competed with wildlife over access to grazing on shared rangelands. In the dynamic 21st century however, the configuration and quality of these rangelands is changing rapidly. Climate change processes, human range expansion, and the fragmentation and degradation of rangeland habitat have increased competition between pastoralist livestock and wildlife. Interactions of this type are particularly apparent in East Africa, and perhaps most obvious in northern Kenya. In 2017, following months of intense drought, a pastoralist incursion of a protected area (Loisaba Conservancy) occurred in Laikipia County, Kenya. An estimated 40,000 livestock were herded onto the conservancy by armed pastoralists where the cattle were grazed for approximately three months. Using 53 camera trap sites across the 226 km2 conservancy, we quantified spatial patterns in site visitation rates (via spatially-explicit, temporally-dynamic Bayesian models) for seven species of large mammalian herbivores in the three-month period directly before, during, and after the incursion. We detected significant changes in space use of all large mammalian herbivores during the incursion. Furthermore, these patterns did not return to their pre-incursion state in the three-month period after the pastoralists and their livestock left the conservancy. Thus, in addition to reduced site vitiation rates for these large mammalian herbivores, we also detected considerable displacement in response to the livestock incursion. Our results illustrate that pastoralist incursions can cause large-scale disruptions of wildlife space use, supporting the notion that livestock can competitively exclude large mammalian herbivores from grazing access. We discuss the implications of this research for applied management decisions designed to alleviate competition among wildlife and pastoralist livestock for the benefit of wildlife conservation and pastoralist well-being.
    • Laparoscopic vasectomy in african savannah elephant (loxodonta africana); surgical technique and results

      Marais, Hendrik J; Hendrickson, Dean A; Stetter, Mark; Zuba, Jeffery R.; Penning, Mark; Siegal-Willott, Jess; Hardy, Christine (2013)
      Several small, enclosed reserves in southern Africa are experiencing significant elephant population growth, which has resulted in associated environmental damage and changes in biodiversity. Although several techniques exist to control elephant populations, e.g., culling, relocation, and immunocontraception, the technique of laparoscopic vasectomy of free-ranging bull elephants was investigated....
    • Large carnivores and zoos as catalysts for engaging the public in the protection of biodiversity

      Consorte-McCrea, Adriana; Fernandez, Ana; Bainbridge, Alan; Moss, Andrew; Prévot, Anne-Caroline; Clayton, Susan; Glikman, Jenny A.; Johansson, Maria; López-Bao, José Vicente; Bath, Alistair J.; et al. (2019)
      Addressing the biodiversity crisis requires renewed collaborative approaches. Large carnivores are ambassador species, and as such they can aid the protection of a wide range of species, including evolutionarily distinct and threatened ones, while being popular for conservation marketing. However, conflicts between carnivores and people present a considerable challenge to biodiversity conservation. Our cross disciplinary essay brings together original research to discuss key issues in the conservation of large carnivores as keystone species for biodiversity rich, healthy ecosystems. Our findings suggest the need to promote coexistence through challenging ‘wilderness’ myths; to consider coexistence/conflict as a continuum; to include varied interest groups in decision making; to address fear through positive mediated experiences, and to explore further partnerships with zoos. As wide-reaching institutions visited by over 700 million people/year worldwide, zoos combine knowledge, emotion and social context creating ideal conditions for the development of care towards nature, pro-environmental behaviors and long-term connections between visitors and carnivores. Based on current research, we provide evidence that large carnivores and zoos are both powerful catalysts for public engagement with biodiversity conservation, recognizing barriers and suggesting future ways to collaborate to address biodiversity loss.
    • Large numbers of vertebrates began rapid population decline in the late 19th century

      Li, Haipeng; Xiang-Yu, Jinggong; Dai, Guangyi; Gu, Zhili; Ming, Chen; Yang, Zongfeng; Ryder, Oliver A.; Li, Wen-Hsiung; Fu, Yun-Xin; Zhang, Ya-Ping (2016)
      ...Here we analyzed the genetic diversity data of nuclear and mitochondrial loci of 2,764 vertebrate species and found that the mean genetic diversity is lower in threatened species than in related nonthreatened species. Our coalescence-based modeling suggests that in many threatened species the RPD began ∼123 y ago (a 95% confidence interval of 20–260 y)....
    • Large-scale ruminant genome sequencing provides insights into their evolution and distinct traits

      Chen, Lei; Qiu, Qiang; Jiang, Yu; Wang, Kun; Lin, Zeshan; Li, Zhipeng; Bibi, Faysal; Yang, Yongzhi; Wang, Jinhuan; Nie, Wenhui; et al. (2019)
      The ruminants are one of the most successful mammalian lineages, exhibiting morphological and habitat diversity and containing several key livestock species. To better understand their evolution, we generated and analyzed de novo assembled genomes of 44 ruminant species, representing all six Ruminantia families....
    • Lead exposure risk from trash ingestion by the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus)

      Finkelstein, Myra E.; Brandt, Joseph; Sandhaus, Estelle; Grantham, Jesse; Mee, Allan; Schuppert, Patricia Jill; Smith, Donald R. (2015)
      Lead poisoning from ingestion of spent lead ammunition is one of the greatest threats to the recovery of California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus) in the wild…. Our results suggest that trash ingestion of nonammunition items does not pose a significant lead exposure risk to the California Condor population in California.
    • Lead in ammunition: A persistent threat to health and conservation

      Johnson, C. K.; Kelly, T. R.; Rideout, Bruce (2013)
      Many scavenging bird populations have experienced abrupt declines across the globe, and intensive recovery activities have been necessary to sustain several species, including the critically endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus). Exposure to lead from lead-based ammunition is widespread in condors and lead toxicosis presents an immediate threat to condor recovery, accounting for the highest proportion of adult mortality….
    • Lead poisoning and the deceptive recovery of the critically endangered California condor

      Finkelstein, M. E.; Doak, D. F.; George, D.; Burnett, J.; Brandt, J.; Church, Molly; Grantham, J.; Smith, D. R. (2012)
      ...California condors were brought to the brink of extinction, in part, because of lead poisoning, and lead poisoning remains a significant threat today. We evaluated individual lead-related health effects, the efficacy of current efforts to prevent lead-caused deaths, and the consequences of any reduction in currently intensive management actions....
    • Leaping forward in amphibian health and nutrition

      Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Ferrie, Gina M.; Morris, Cheryl; Pessier, Allan P.; Schad, Kristine; Stamper, M. Andrew; Gagliardo, Ron; Koutsos, Elizabeth; Valdes, Eduardo V. (2014)
      …In this manuscript, we describe and summarize the outcomes of this workshop with regards (a) the identified gaps in knowledge, (b) identified priorities for closing these gaps, and (c) compile a list of actions to address these priorities. Four general areas of improvement were identified in relation to how measurements are currently being taken to evaluate ex situ amphibian health: nutrition, infectious diseases, husbandry, and integrated biology including genetics and endocrinology….
    • Leiocephalus carinatus (Northern curly-tailed lizard). Turks and Caicos Islands.

      Colosimo, Giuliano; Gerber, Glenn P.; Clay, Cameron (2020)
      The adult lizard was observed at 1545 h basking in the parking lot of a restaurant next to Leeward Highway....
    • Lemurs in mangroves and other flooded habitats

      Donati, Giuseppe; Eppley, Timothy M.; Ralison, J.; Youssouf, J.; Ganzhorn, Jörg U.; Barnett, A. A.; Matsuda, I.; Nowak (Cambridge University PressCambridge, UK, 2019)
      Recent estimates indicate that mangroves in Madagascar occupy an area of approximately 2800 km2, representing about 2% of global mangroves. Being marginal habitats with extreme temperatures, solar radiation levels, winds, salinity and flooding, mangrove forests are relatively poor in species diversity....
    • Lesser Antillean Iguana: Iguana delicatissima: Conservation Action Plan, 2014-2016

      Knapp, Charles R.; Breuil, C.; Rodriguez, C.; Iverson, John (IUCN/SSC Iguana Specialist GroupGland, Switzerland, 2014)
      The Lesser Antillean iguana represents a unique component of the overall biodiversity of the Caribbean region. In October 2009, members of the IUCN SSC Iguana Specialist Group met on Dominica with regional experts and stakeholders to draft this comprehensive conservation action plan for the Lesser Antillean iguana. The overall goal of the plan is to prioritize the conservation actions necessary to ensure the long-term survival of the Lesser Antillean iguana throughout its natural range. The work presented here details managing the wild population, conducting ecological and genetic studies, implementing education awareness programs, establishing and managing a national park, and mobilizing financial, technical and human resources to preserve an important and unique component of Lesser Antillean natural heritage for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. The plan is also intended to guide decision makers in government, and inspire funding agencies and the international conservation community to provide the attention this unique iguana species deserves.