• Cache pilfering in a granivore guild: Implications for reintroduction management

      Chock, Rachel Y.; Grether, Gregory F.; Shier, Debra M. (2019)
      Reintroduction programs that release endangered species back into areas from which they have been extirpated rarely take competitive interactions between species into account....
    • California condor recovery: a work in progress

      Wallace, Michael P.; Lamont, Miles M. (Hancock House PublishersToronto, Ontario, Canada. Surrey, BC, Canada., 2014)
    • California condors and DDT: Examining the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals in a critically endangered species

      Tubbs, Christopher W. (2016)
      In 1987, the last free-flying California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) was captured and brought into captivity, rendering the species extinct in the wild. At the time, only 27 condors remained. Today, the population numbers approximately 430 individuals and though condors continue their remarkable recovery, they still face numerous challenges. One challenge, specific to condors inhabiting coastal regions, is exposure to the endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) p,p'-DDE, through the scavenging of marine mammal carcasses. The exposure levels these birds currently experience appears to be causing eggshell thinning, reminiscent of the phenomenon that nearly collapsed populations of several avian species decades ago. We were interested in further exploring the potential effects of EDCs on California condors. Investigating EDC effects on a critically endangered species like the condor can be difficult, with limited options for studies that can be feasibly conducted. Therefore, we conducted non-invasive, in vitro estrogen receptor (ESR) activation assays to characterize activation by EDCs that coastal condors encounter. Here, I give a brief history of EDCs effects on birds, and in particular the California condor. Additionally, our ESR data are summarized and mechanisms of eggshell thinning are reviewed, highlighting the potential implications of EDC exposure on the continued recovery of the California condor.
    • Captive breeding and re-introductions of the Monuriki Island Crested Iguana in Fiji

      Chand, R; Niukula, J; Vadada, J; Fisher, R; Lovich, Kim; Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Rasalato, S; Thaman, B; Seniloli, E; Tuamoto, T; et al. (IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group and Abu Dhabi, UAE: Environment Agency-Abu DhabiGland, Gland, Switzerland, 2016)
      The Fijian crested iguana (Brachylophus vitiensis) is an arboreal, herbivorous lizard found on only a small number of islands with native dry or littoral forest in western Fiji. Its population is secure only on the sanctuary island of Yadua Taba, where >12,000 individuals exist; this equates to over 200 individuals/ha in the best forest habitat. All other island populations appear to be low and declining (mostly <100 individuals), and survive on communally owned land which is mostly outside the control of central government legislation (Harlow et al., 2007)....
    • Capturing pests and releasing ecosystem engineers: translocation of common but diminished species to re-establish ecological roles

      Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Montagne, J.P.; Lenihan, C. M.; Wisinski, Colleen L.; Nordstrom, Lisa A.; Shier, Debra M. (2019)
      Translocation of abundant but declining ecologically important species for re-establishing more sustainable ecosystem function is a neglected but promising form of conservation intervention. Here, we developed a translocation program in which we capture pests and release ecosystem engineers, by relocating California ground squirrels Otospermophilus beecheyi from areas where they are unwanted to conserved lands where they can perform ecosystem services such as burrowing and vegetation alteration. We accomplished this using an experimental approach in which some factors were measured or experimentally manipulated, while others were held constant. We translocated 707 squirrels and examined survival and movement patterns as a function of several translocation tactics and ecological factors. We released squirrels at 9 different plots with varying ecological contexts and at each plot experimentally manipulated post-release habitat using mowing, mowing plus the use of augers to establish starter burrows, and controls that remained unmanipulated. The most influential variables affecting short-term survival, dispersal, and long-term persistence were factors relating to soils and vegetation structure. Translocated squirrels had higher initial survival on plots where dense exotic grasses were experimentally altered, greater dispersal when released at sites with less friable clay soils, and improved long-term persistence at sites characterized by more friable soils associated with metavolcanic than alluvial geological layers. Squirrel persistence was also improved when translocations supplemented previous translocation sites than during initial translocations to sites containing no resident squirrels. Our results demonstrate how California ground squirrels can be successfully translocated as part of a larger objective to favorably alter ecological function in novel grassland ecosystems dominated by non-native vegetation. In broader context, our study highlights the importance of testing release strategies, and examining habitat variables and restoration techniques more closely when selecting release sites to improve translocation outcomes.
    • Case series: clinical salmonellosis in four black rhinoceros (diceros bicornis) calves

      Love, David; Madrigal, Rodolfo; Cerveny, Shannon; Raines, Janis; Rideout, Bruce; Lung, Nancy P. (2017)
      Although Salmonella spp. infection has been identified in captive and free-ranging rhinoceros, clinical cases in black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) calves have not been described. This case series describes clinical salmonellosis in four black rhinoceros calves....
    • Cathemeral

      Eppley, Timothy M.; Donati, Giuseppe; Vonk, Jennifer; Shackelford, Todd (Springer NatureNew York, 2019)
      Within this encyclopedia article, we provide an overview of the term “Cathemeral”. This is applied to the pattern of an organism’s activity that occurs during both the light and dark portions of the 24-h cycle....
    • Causes of mortality in anuran amphibians from an ex-situ survival assurance colony in Panama

      Pessier, Allan P.; Baitchman, E.J.; Crump, P.; Wilson, B.; Griffith, E.; Ross, H. (2014)
      …This study reviewed postmortem findings in 167 frogs from 13 species that died in a large Panamanian rescue and survival assurance population between 2006 and 2011…. Applied research efforts to improve sustainability of survival assurance populations should focus on elucidating optimal husbandry practices for diverse species, improving methods for nutritional supplementation of cultured insects and examination of the role of water composition in disease development.
    • Center for Plant Conservation's Best Practice Guidelines for the reintroduction of rare plants

      Maschinski, Joyce; Albrecht, Matthew A. (2017)
      Recent estimates indicate that one-fifth of botanical species worldwide are considered at risk of becoming extinct in the wild. One available strategy for conserving many rare plant species is reintroduction, which holds much promise especially when carefully planned by following guidelines and when monitored long-term. We review the Center for Plant Conservation Best Reintroduction Practice Guidelines and highlight important components for planning plant reintroductions. Before attempting reintroductions practitioners should justify them, should consider alternative conservation strategies, understand threats, and ensure that these threats are absent from any recipient site. Planning a reintroduction requires considering legal and logistic parameters as well as target species and recipient site attributes. Carefully selecting the genetic composition of founders, founder population size, and recipient site will influence establishment and population growth. Whenever possible practitioners should conduct reintroductions as experiments and publish results. To document whether populations are sustainable will require long-term monitoring for decades, therefore planning an appropriate monitoring technique for the taxon must consider current and future needs. Botanical gardens can play a leading role in developing the science and practice of plant reintroduction.
    • Cerebral Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection in a captive African pygmy falcon (Polihierax semitorquatus) in southern California

      Burns, Rachel E.; Bicknese, Elizabeth; Qvarnstrom, Yvonne; DeLeon-Carnes, Marlene; Drew, Clifton P.; Gardiner, Chris H.; Rideout, Bruce (2014)
      A 10-month-old, female African pygmy falcon (Polihierax semitorquatus) hatched and housed at the San Diego Zoo developed neurologic signs and died from a cerebral infection with the rat lungworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis…. To the authors’ knowledge, this infection has not previously been reported in a bird in the United States and has not been known to be naturally acquired in any species in this region of the world. The source of the infection was not definitively determined but was possibly feeder geckos (Hemidactylus frenatus) imported from Southeast Asia where the parasite is endemic.
    • Challenges in the development of semen cryopreservation protocols for snakes

      Young, Carly; Ravida, Nicole; Durrant, Barbara S. (2019)
    • Challenges of learning to escape evolutionary traps

      Greggor, Alison L.; Trimmer, Pete C.; Barrett, Brendan J.; Sih, Andrew (2019)
      Many animals respond well behaviorally to stimuli associated with human-induced rapid environmental change (HIREC), such as novel predators or food sources. Yet others make errors and succumb to evolutionary traps: approaching or even preferring low quality, dangerous or toxic options, avoiding beneficial stimuli, or wasting resources responding to stimuli with neutral payoffs. A common expectation is that learning should help animals adjust to HIREC; however, learning is not always expected or even favored in many scenarios that expose animals to ecological and evolutionary traps. We propose a conceptual framework that aims to explain variation in when learning can help animals avoid and escape traps caused by HIREC. We first clarify why learning to correct two main types of errors (avoiding beneficial options, and not avoiding detrimental options) might be difficult (limited by constraints). We then identify and discuss several key behavioral mechanisms (adaptive sampling, generalization, habituation, reversal learning) that can be targeted to help animals learn to avoid traps. Finally, we discuss how individual differences in neophobia/neophilia and personality relate to learning in the context of HIREC traps, and offer some general guidance for disarming traps. Given how devastating traps can be for animal populations, any breakthrough in mitigating trap outcomes via learning could make the difference in developing effective solutions.
    • Changes in vocal repertoire of the Hawaiian crow, Corvus hawaiiensis, from past wild to current captive populations

      Tanimoto, Ann M.; Hart, Patrick J.; Pack, Adam A.; Switzer, Richard; Banko, Paul C.; Ball, Donna L.; Sebastián-González, Esther; Komarczyk, Lisa; Warrington, Miyako H. (2017)
      ...We compared the vocal repertoire of three of the last four wild 'alalā pairs from the early 1990s to three current captive pairs on the Island of Hawai'i to determine how acoustic behaviour has been affected by changes in their social and physical environment. Over 18 h of recordings from wild breeding pairs were analysed and compared with 44 h from captive breeding pairs....
    • Characterization of Prdm9 in equids and sterility in mules

      Steiner, Cynthia C.; Ryder, Oliver A. (2013)
      Prdm9 (Meisetz) is the first speciation gene discovered in vertebrates conferring reproductive isolation. This locus encodes a meiosis-specific histone H3 methyltransferase that specifies meiotic recombination hotspots during gametogenesis. Allelic differences in Prdm9, characterized for a variable number of zinc finger (ZF) domains, have been associated with hybrid sterility in male house mice via spermatogenic failure at the pachytene stage. The mule, a classic example of hybrid sterility in mammals also exhibits a similar spermatogenesis breakdown, making Prdm9 an interesting candidate to evaluate in equine hybrids. In this study, we characterized the Prdm9 gene in all species of equids by analyzing sequence variation of the ZF domains and estimating positive selection. We also evaluated the role of Prdm9 in hybrid sterility by assessing allelic differences of ZF domains in equine hybrids. We found remarkable variation in the sequence and number of ZF domains among equid species, ranging from five domains in the Tibetan kiang and Asiatic wild ass, to 14 in the Grevy’s zebra. Positive selection was detected in all species at amino acid sites known to be associated with DNA-binding specificity of ZF domains in mice and humans. Equine hybrids, in particular a quartet pedigree composed of a fertile mule showed a mosaic of sequences and number of ZF domains suggesting that Prdm9 variation does not seem by itself to contribute to equine hybrid sterility.
    • Characterizing efforts to reduce consumer demand for wildlife products

      Veríssimo, Diogo; Wan, Anita K. Y. (2019)
      The unsustainable trade in wildlife is a key threat to Earth's biodiversity. Efforts to mitigate this threat have traditionally focused on regulation and enforcement, and there is a growing interest in campaigns to reduce consumer demand for wildlife products....
    • Chelonian perivitelline membrane-bound sperm detection: A new breeding management tool

      Croyle, Kaitlin E.; Gibbons, Paul; Light, Christine; Goode, Eric; Durrant, Barbara S.; Jensen, Thomas (2016)
      Perivitelline membrane (PVM)-bound sperm detection has recently been incorporated into avian breeding programs to assess egg fertility, confirm successful copulation, and to evaluate male reproductive status and pair compatibility. Due to the similarities between avian and chelonian egg structure and development, and because fertility determination in chelonian eggs lacking embryonic growth is equally challenging, PVM-bound sperm detection may also be a promising tool for the reproductive management of turtles and tortoises....
    • Chemical signals of age, sex and identity in black rhinoceros

      Linklater, W. L.; Mayer, K.; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2013)
      Olfactory communication may be particularly important to black rhinoceros, Diceros bicornis, because they are solitary living and have comparatively poor eyesight but their populations are structured by inter-and intrasexual relationships. Understanding olfactory functions and processes might achieve better conservation management but their study in rhinoceros remains anecdotal or descriptive….
    • Chemical signatures of femoral pore secretions in two syntopic but reproductively isolated species of Galápagos land iguanas (Conolophus marthae and C. subcristatus)

      Colosimo, Giuliano; Di Marco, Gabriele; D’Agostino, Alessia; Gismondi, Angelo; Vera, Carlos A.; Gerber, Glenn P.; Scardi, Michele; Canini, Antonella; Gentile, Gabriele (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020)
      The only known population of Conolophus marthae (Reptilia, Iguanidae) and a population of C. subcristatus are syntopic on Wolf Volcano (Isabela Island, Galápagos). No gene flow occurs suggesting that effective reproductive isolating mechanisms exist between these two species. Chemical signature of femoral pore secretions is important for intra- and inter-specific chemical communication in squamates. As a first step towards testing the hypothesis that chemical signals could mediate reproductive isolation between C. marthae and C. subcristatus, we compared the chemical profiles of femoral gland exudate from adults caught on Wolf Volcano. We compared data from three different years and focused on two years in particular when femoral gland exudate was collected from adults during the reproductive season. Samples were processed using Gas Chromatography coupled with Mass Spectrometry (GC–MS). We identified over 100 different chemical compounds. Non-Metric Multidimensional Scaling (nMDS) was used to graphically represent the similarity among individuals based on their chemical profiles. Results from non-parametric statistical tests indicate that the separation between the two species is significant, suggesting that the chemical profile signatures of the two species may help prevent hybridization between C. marthae and C. subcristatus. Further investigation is needed to better resolve environmental influence and temporal reproductive patterns in determining the variation of biochemical profiles in both species.
    • Chilled frogs are hot: hibernation and reproduction of the Endangered mountain yellow-legged frog Rana muscosa

      Santana, Frank E.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Lemm, Jeffrey M.; Fisher, Robert N.; Clark, Rulon W. (2015)
      In the face of the sixth great extinction crisis, it is imperative to establish effective breeding protocols for amphibian conservation breeding programs. Captive efforts should not proceed by trial and error, nor should they jump prematurely to assisted reproduction techniques, which can be invasive, difficult, costly, and, at times, counterproductive. Instead, conservation practitioners should first look to nature for guidance, and replicate key conditions found in nature in the captive environment, according to the ecological and behavioral requirements of the species. We tested the effect of a natural hibernation regime on reproductive behaviors and body condition in the Endangered mountain yellow-legged frog Rana muscosa. Hibernation had a clear positive effect on reproductive behavior, manifesting in vocal advertisement signaling, female receptivity, amplexus, and oviposition. These behaviors are critical components of courtship that lead to successful reproduction. Our main finding was that captive R. muscosa require a hibernation period for successful reproduction, as only hibernated females produced eggs and only hibernated males successfully fertilized eggs. Although hibernation also resulted in a reduced body condition, the reduction appeared to be minimal with no associated mortality. The importance of hibernation for reproduction is not surprising, since it is a major component of the conditions that R. muscosa experiences in the wild. Other amphibian conservation breeding programs can also benefit from a scientific approach that tests the effect of natural ecological conditions on reproduction. This will ensure that captive colonies maximize their role in providing genetic reservoirs for assurance and reintroduction efforts.
    • Chimpanzee accumulative stone throwing

      Kühl, Hjalmar S.; Kalan, Ammie K.; Arandjelovic, Mimi; Aubert, Floris; D’Auvergne, Lucy; Goedmakers, Annemarie; Jones, Sorrel; Kehoe, Laura; Regnaut, Sebastien; Tickle, Alexander; et al. (2016)
      The study of the archaeological remains of fossil hominins must rely on reconstructions to elucidate the behaviour that may have resulted in particular stone tools and their accumulation. Comparatively, stone tool use among living primates has illuminated behaviours that are also amenable to archaeological examination, permitting direct observations of the behaviour leading to artefacts and their assemblages to be incorporated. Here, we describe newly discovered stone tool-use behaviour and stone accumulation sites in wild chimpanzees reminiscent of human cairns. In addition to data from 17 mid- to long-term chimpanzee research sites, we sampled a further 34 Pan troglodytes communities. We found four populations in West Africa where chimpanzees habitually bang and throw rocks against trees, or toss them into tree cavities, resulting in conspicuous stone accumulations at these sites. This represents the first record of repeated observations of individual chimpanzees exhibiting stone tool use for a purpose other than extractive foraging at what appear to be targeted trees. The ritualized behavioural display and collection of artefacts at particular locations observed in chimpanzee accumulative stone throwing may have implications for the inferences that can be drawn from archaeological stone assemblages and the origins of ritual sites.