• Saiga horn user characteristics, motivations, and purchasing behaviour in Singapore

      Doughty, Hunter; Veríssimo, Diogo; Tan, Regina Chun Qi; Lee, Janice Ser Huay; Carrasco, L. Roman; Oliver, Kathryn; Milner-Gulland, E. J. (2019)
      Unsustainable wildlife trade is a pervasive issue affecting wildlife globally. To address this issue, a plethora of demand reduction efforts have been carried out. These necessitate consumer research which provides crucial knowledge for designing and evaluating targeted interventions. We implemented a rigorous consumer survey on saiga (Saiga tatarica) horn use in Singapore, where usage is legal and widely sold. Saiga are Critically Endangered antelopes from Central Asia with horns (often marketed as ling yang) used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Few past studies have assessed saiga horn consumers. This work is the most extensive consumer research to date specifically characterising saiga horn consumers and usage. We conducted 2294 in-person surveys on saiga horn use with Chinese Singaporeans, employing neutral questioning approaches. We found 19% of individuals reported saiga horn as a product they choose most often for themselves and/or others when treating fever and/or heatiness (a TCM state of illness), indicating a minimum estimate of high-frequency usage, not including possible low-frequency users. Overall saiga users were most characterised as middle-aged Buddhists and Taoists. However, saiga users were found in a range of demographic groups. Women preferred saiga shavings (the more traditional form), while men preferred saiga cooling water (the more modern form). About 53% of individuals who used saiga horn themselves also bought it for someone else. Buyers for others were most likely to be female middle-aged Buddhists or Taoists. Key motivating reasons for usage were “it works” and “someone recommended it to me.” The top two reported recommenders were family and TCM shopkeepers. Saiga users were more likely than non-saiga users to perceive saiga as a common species in the wild. This research holds significance for interventions targeting saiga horn consumption within Singapore and throughout Asia, by identifying potential target audiences, product types, non-desirable alternatives, and motivations for use.
    • Sambirano lesser bamboo lemur (Hapalemur occidentalis). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020

      Eppley, Timothy M.; Razafindramanana, J.; Borgerson, C.; Patel, E.; Louis, E.E. (2020)
      Listed as Vulnerable as the species is suspected to have undergone a population decline of greater than or equal to 30% over a period of 24 years (three generations), due primarily to continuing decline in the area, extent and quality of habitat, in addition to exploitation through unsustainable hunting pressure. These causes have not ceased, and will to a large extent not be easily reversible.
    • San Basilio: Biodiversidad y Conservación/Biodiversity and Conservation

      Vanderplank, Sula E.; Favoretto, F.; Mascareñas, I.; Aburto, O.; Vanderplank, Sula E.; Favoretto, F.; Mascareñas, I.; Aburto, O. (International Community Foundation, 2020)
      The bay of San Basilio, Baja California Sur, is immediately remarkable to any visitor for its stunning landscape and heterogeneity of landforms and habitats. This secret corner of the peninsula quietly boasts abundant natural resources and phenomenal biodiversity. The whole bay is alive, above and below the rich lands and waters of this coastal paradise. The marine elements include rocky reefs, and both sandy and rocky shores, which span an ecotone of taxonomic biodiversity. The land-sea fringe is home to mangroves, salt-marshes, dunes and estuaries. The influences of land and sea support the presence of a plethora of coastal species, and further inland a healthy arid scrub complex with seasonal lagoons and permanent freshwater pools is home to several rare and endangered species, and elevated numbers of species in general. The mangroves show the distinct footprint of sea-level rise with areas of die-off towards the coast and areas of new colonization occurring above the current water-line. The biological riches of San Basilio remain threatened. Biodiversity at the coast is certainly impacted by the presence of humans and free-roaming dogs. Tourism on the beaches is putting considerable pressure on the coastal habitats, especially with regard to waste, trash, and mis-use of the beaches. Overfishing, through both industrial harvest and unsustainable take of top predators (e.g., sharks and groupers) is adversely affecting the marine ecosystems. Cattle are reducing the inland terrestrial biodiversity and abundance; more restrictions to cattle entry and the fencing of priority habitats are advised. Through the findings of this report we connect the conservation challenges of marine and terrestrial biodiversity, with recommendations for the long-term conservation of the San Basilio region.
    • San Clemente loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus mearnsi) 2010 Studbook

      Grant, Tandora D. (San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, 2011)
    • Scent anointing in mammals: functional and motivational insights from giant pandas

      Charlton, Benjamin D.; Owen, Megan A.; Zhang, H.; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2020)
      Although several mammals impregnate their fur with environmental odors, a phenomenon termed scent anointing or rubbing, the functional relevance of this behavior often is unclear. One theory is that scent anointing could be a form of scent matching with environmental odors to signal competitiveness and home range occupation....
    • Scent-marking behavior by female sloth bears during estrus

      Khadpekar, Yaduraj; Whiteman, John P.; Durrant, Barbara S.; Owen, Megan A.; Prakash, Sant (2021)
      … Important aspects of sloth bear biology and ecology, such as reproductive physiology and behavior, are largely unknown. Increased scent-marking by anogenital rubbing during breeding season has been recorded in other bear species. We studied the genital rubbing behavior of 37 captive female sloth bears (2–18 yr of age) at the Agra Bear Rescue Facility, India, for 4 breeding seasons over a period of 3.5 years (1 Jun 2015 to 31 Dec 2018)….
    • Scott's sportive lemur (Lepilemur scottorum). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020

      Eppley, Timothy M.; Borgerson, C.; Sawyer, R.M.; Fenosoa, Z.S.E. (2020)
      The extent of occurrence (EOO) of this species is estimated to be 2,544 km2 . This geographic range is severely fragmented and undergoing continuing decline in area, extent and quality of habitat. The number of mature individuals is also thought to be in decline. Based on these premises, the species is listed as Endangered.
    • Seasonal and diurnal patterns of behavior exhibited by Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Mississippi Sound

      Miller, Lance J.; Solangi, M.; SA, Kuczaj, II; (2010)
      Many of the threats to bottlenose dolphins are anthropogenic factors including overfishing, high‐speed boats, chemical runoff, and noise pollution. Having a thorough understanding of the behavior and behavioral patterns of these animals can help with conservation plans to protect this species. This study examined the behavioral states and behavioral events of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Mississippi Sound....
    • Seasonal and reproductive variation in chemical constituents of scent signals in wild giant pandas

      Zhou, Wenliang; Nie, Yonggang; Hu, Yibo; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Zhang, Yaohua; Liu, Dingzhen; Wei, Fuwen (2019)
      Seasonally reproducing animals show many behavioral and physiological changes during the mating period, including increased signaling for intrasexual competition and mate attraction. We collected 102 anogenital gland secretions (AGS) from marking trees in Foping Nature Reserve, and used gas chromatography mass spectrometry analyze these chemical composition....
    • Seasonal competition between sympatric species for a key resource: Implications for conservation management

      Nie, Yonggang; Zhou, Wenliang; Gao, Kai; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Wei, Fuwen (2019)
      Competition often occurs between two or more sympatric species that use similar ecological niches. During competition, a superior species may exclude the competitor from parts of its fundamental niche or make it go extinct....
    • Seed dispersal by a captive corvid: the role of the ‘Alalā (Corvus hawaiiensis) in shaping Hawai‘i's plant communities

      Culliney, Susan; Pejchar, Liba; Switzer, Richard A.; Ruiz-Gutierrez, Viviana (2012)
      ...The endangered ‘Alalā (Corvus hawaiiensis), the largest remaining species of native Hawaiian forest bird, was once common in mesic and dry forests on the Big Island of Hawai‘i, but today it exists solely in captivity. Prior to its extinction in the wild, the ‘Alalā may have helped to establish and maintain native Hawaiian forest communities by dispersing seeds of a wide variety of native plants....
    • Seed dynamics of an endemic palm in a Northwestern Mexican tropical dry forest: implications for population spatial structure

      López-Toledo, Leonel; Portillo-Cruz, Y.; Pulido, M.T.; Endress, Bryan A. (2013)
      Seed dynamics are an important part of the life history of plants and may have strong implications on abundance and spatial distribution of populations. In this study, we explored how seed dynamics (removal, predation, germination) interact with micro-environmental conditions to affect the spatial structure of populations of Brahea aculeata (Arecaceae) in a tropical dry forest. B. aculeata is distributed throughout arroyo basins and attains its highest densities near to arroyos/rivers....
    • Selection on MHC class II supertypes in the New Zealand endemic Hochstetter’s frog

      Lillie, Mette; Grueber, Catherine E.; Sutton, Jolene T.; Howitt, Robyn; Bishop, Phillip J.; Gleeson, Dianne; Belov, Katherine (2015)
      The New Zealand native frogs, family Leiopelmatidae, are among the most archaic in the world. Leiopelma hochstetteri (Hochstetter’s frog) is a small, semi-aquatic frog with numerous, fragmented populations scattered across New Zealand’s North Island. We characterized a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II B gene (DAB) in L. hochstetteri from a spleen transcriptome, and then compared its diversity to neutral microsatellite markers to assess the adaptive genetic diversity of five populations (“evolutionarily significant units”, ESUs).
    • Semi-quantitative tests of cyanide in foods and excreta of three Hapalemur species in Madagascar

      Yamashita, N.; Tan, Chia L.; Vinyard, C.J.; Williams, C.; (2010)
      Three sympatric Hapalemur species (H. g. griseus, H. aureus, and H. (Prolemur) simus) in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar are known to eat bamboo food parts that contain cyanide…. In this study, we tested for the presence/absence of cyanide in bamboo lemur foods and excreta to (1) document patterns of cyanide consumption among species with respect to diet, (2) identify routes of elimination of cyanide from the gastrointestinal tract, and (3) determine whether cyanide is absorbed from the diet….
    • Sentiment analysis as a measure of conservation culture in scientific literature

      Lennox, Robert J.; Veríssimo, Diogo; Twardek, William M.; Davis, Colin R.; Jarić, Ivan (2020)
      Culturomics is emerging as an important field within science, as a way to measure attitudes and beliefs and their dynamics across time and space via quantitative analysis of digitized data from literature, news, film, social media, and more. Sentiment analysis is a culturomics tool that, within the last decade, has provided a means to quantify the polarity of attitudes expressed within various media....
    • Sequential ovulation and fertility of polyoestrus in American black bears (Ursus americanus)

      Himelright, Brendan M.; Moore, Jenna M.; Gonzales, Ramona L.; Mendoza, Alejandra V.; Dye, Penny S.; Schuett, Randall J.; Durrant, Barbara S.; Read, Betsy A.; Spady, Thomas J. (2014)
      American black bears (Ursus americanus) are seasonally polyoestrous and exhibit delayed implantation, which may allow equal and independent fertility of recurrent oestruses of a mating season. We postulated that the luteal inactivity during delayed implantation allows bears to have sequential ovulation during a polyoestrous mating season such that each oestrus of a polyoestrous female will have equivalent fertility, and pregnancy would not preclude subsequent ovulation and superfetation. Controlled mating experiments were conducted on semi-free-ranging female American black bears during three mating seasons, wherein females were bred by different male cohorts in each oestrus. Behavioural observation, vulva score ranking, genetic paternity analysis, gross morphology of ovaries and microscopic morphology of diapaused embryos were used to evaluate the fertility of each subsequent oestrus in polyoestrous females. Oestrus duration, number of successful mounts and median vulva scores were similar between first and subsequent oestruses of the season. Polyoestrus occurred in 81.3% of oestrous females, with a 9.7 ± 5.5 day (mean ± SD) inter-oestrous interval. Sequential ovulation was documented in three polyoestrous females, including one that possessed both a corpus haemorrhagicum and a developed corpus luteum. Among polyoestrous dams, four of nine embryos were conceived in the first oestrus and five of nine in the second oestrus. These results indicate that each oestrus of polyoestrous females is capable of fertility, even if the female is already pregnant from a prior oestrus. Although superfetation was not directly observed in the present study, our results strongly suggest the potential of superfetation in the American black bear and provide novel insight into the complex behavioural and physiological breeding mechanisms of bears. Given that most endangered bear species share similar reproductive traits with American black bears, captive breeding programmes could take advantage of superfetation by mating females with different males at each subsequent oestrus of the season in order to increase the genetic diversity of captive endangered bears.
    • Seroepidemiologic survey of potential pathogens in obligate and facultative scavenging avian species in California

      Straub, Mary H.; Kelly, Terra R.; Rideout, Bruce; Eng, Curtis; Wynne, Janna; Braun, Josephine; Johnson, Christine K. (2015)
      Throughout the world, populations of scavenger birds are declining rapidly with some populations already on the brink of extinction. Much of the current research into the factors contributing to these declines has focused on exposure to drug residues, lead, and other toxins. Despite increased monitoring of these declining populations, little is known about infectious diseases affecting scavenger bird species. To assess potential infectious disease risks to both obligate and facultative scavenger bird species, we performed a serosurvey for eleven potential pathogens in three species of scavenging birds in California: the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus), turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) and golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). California condors were seropositive for avian adenovirus, infectious bronchitis virus, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, avian paramyxovirus-2, West Nile virus (WNV) and Toxoplasma gondii. Golden eagles were seropositive for avian adenovirus, Chlamydophila psittaci and Toxoplasma gondii, and turkey vultures were seropositive for avian adenovirus, Chlamydophila psittaci, avian paramyxovirus-1, Toxoplasma gondii and WNV. Risk factor analyses indicated that rearing site and original release location were significantly associated with a positive serologic titer to WNV among free-flying condors. This study provides preliminary baseline data on infectious disease exposure in these populations for aiding in early disease detection and provides potentially critical information for conservation of the endangered California condor as it continues to expand its range and encounter new infectious disease threats.
    • Serologic and molecular evidence for testudinid herpesvirus 2 infection in wild Agassiz's desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii

      Jacobson, Elliott R.; Berry, Kristin H.; Wellehan, James F. X.; Origgi, Francesco; Childress, April L.; Braun, Josephine; Schrenzel, Mark D.; Yee, Julie; Rideout, Bruce (2012)
      Following field observations of wild Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) with oral lesions similar to those seen in captive tortoises with herpesvirus infection, we measured the prevalence of antibodies to Testudinid herpesvirus (TeHV) 3 in wild populations of desert tortoises in California. The survey revealed 30.9% antibody prevalence….
    • Serum prolactin and testosterone levels in captive and wild brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) during the prebreeding, breeding, and incubation periods

      Jensen, Thomas; Jamieson, Sarah E.; Castro, Isabel; Gartrell, Brett; Cockrem, John F.; Durrant, Barbara S. (2019)
      In brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli), the male is the primary incubator, a trait that is relatively rare among birds. The maintenance of avian incubation behavior is controlled by the protein hormone prolactin (PRL)....