• Fat-soluble vitamin and mineral comparisons between zoo-based and free-ranging koalas (phascolarctos cinereus)

      Schmidt, Debra A.; Pye, Geoffrey W.; Hamlin-Andrus, Chris C.; Ellis, William A.; Ellersieck, Mark R.; Chen, Tai C.; Holick, Michael F. (2013)
      As part of a health investigation on koalas at San Diego Zoo, serum samples were analyzed from 18 free-ranging and 22 zoo-based koalas, Phascolarctos cinereus. Serum concentrations of calcium, chloride, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc, and vitamins A, E, and 25(OH)D3 were quantified....
    • Fear of failure in conservation: The problem and potential solutions to aid conservation of extremely small populations

      Meek, Mariah H.; Wells, Caitlin; Tomalty, Katharine M.; Ashander, Jaime; Cole, Esther M.; Gille, Daphne A.; Putman, Breanna J.; Rose, Jonathan P.; Savoca, Matthew S.; Yamane, Lauren; et al. (2015)
      …We describe methods for increased information sharing and improved decision-making in the face of uncertainty, and recommend a shift in focus to cooperative actions and improving methods for evaluating success. Our hope is that by tackling stumbling blocks due to the apprehension of failure, conservation and management organizations can take steps to move from fear to action.
    • Field genebanks or inter situ collection

      Maschinski, Joyce; Westwood, Murphy; Havens, Kayri; Hoban, Sean; Anderson, Stacy; Walsh, Seana; Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) (Center for Plant ConservationEscondido, California, 2019)
      Maintaining small populations of plants in protected places may be a necessary conservation strategy for some species; these are known as field genebanks. At botanical gardens, these are often part of living display collections....
    • First evidence for crossbreeding between invasive Iguana iguana and the native rock iguana (Genus Cyclura) on Little Cayman Island

      Moss, Jeanette B.; Welch, Mark E.; Burton, Frederic J.; Vallee, Michael V.; Houlcroft, Edward W.; Laaser, Tanja; Gerber, Glenn P. (2017)
      Green iguanas (Iguana iguana) are invasive throughout the West Indies and co-occur on several islands with native rock iguanas (Genus Cyclura). In August 2016, three hybrid hatchlings were captured on Little Cayman Island, providing the first evidence for a successful crossbreeding event between I. iguana and any Cyclura rock iguana species in the wild.....
    • First evidence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and ranavirus in Hong Kong amphibian trade

      Kolby, Jonathan E.; Smith, Kristine M.; Berger, Lee; Karesh, William B.; Preston, Asa; Pessier, Allan P.; Skerratt, Lee F. (2014)
      The emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trade in live amphibians. The territory of Hong Kong reports frequent, high volume trade in amphibians, and yet the presence of Bd and ranavirus have not previously been detected in either traded or free-ranging amphibians. In 2012, a prospective surveillance project was conducted to investigate the presence of these pathogens in commercial shipments of live amphibians exported from Hong Kong International Airport. Analysis of skin (Bd) and cloacal (ranavirus) swabs by quantitative PCR detected pathogen presence in 31/265 (11.7%) and in 105/185 (56.8%) of amphibians, respectively. In addition, the water in which animals were transported tested positive for Bd, demonstrating the risk of pathogen pollution by the disposal of untreated wastewater. It is uncertain whether Bd and ranavirus remain contained within Hong Kong’s trade sector, or if native amphibians have already been exposed. Rapid response efforts are now urgently needed to determine current pathogen distribution in Hong Kong, evaluate potential trade-associated exposure to free-ranging amphibians, and identify opportunities to prevent disease establishment.
    • First video footage of the elusive Ebo gorillas in Cameroon

      Mfossa, D.; Ndimbe, M.; Abwe, Ekwoge E.; Morgan, Bethan J. (2019)
    • Fish hatchery genetic management techniques: Integrating theory with implementation

      Fisch, Kathleen M.; Kozfkay, Christine C.; Ivy, Jamie A.; Ryder, Oliver A.; Waples, Robin S. (2015)
      ...This article reviews the application of small‐population management techniques to conservation hatcheries in an effort to increase their utility in recovery plans for endangered fish species.
    • Fitness costs associated with ancestry to isolated populations of an endangered species

      Wilder, Aryn P.; Navarro, Asako Y.; King, Shauna N. D.; Miller, William B.; Thomas, Steven M.; Steiner, Cynthia C.; Ryder, Oliver A.; Shier, Debra M. (2020)
      ... The endangered Pacific pocket mouse (Perognathus longimembris pacificus) persists in three isolated populations in southern California. Mitochondrial and microsatellite data indicated that effective population sizes were extremely small (Ne< 50), and continued declines prompted a conservation breeding program founded by individuals from each population....
    • Foraging behavior, contaminant exposure risk, and the stress response in wild California condors (Gymnogyps californianus)

      Glucs, Zeka E.; Smith, Donald R.; Tubbs, Christopher W.; Bakker, Victoria J.; Wolstenholme, Rachel; Dudus, Kristina; Burnett, Joseph; Clark, Melissa; Clark, Michael; Finkelstein, Myra E. (2020)
      Wild California condors (Gymnogyps californianus) are frequently exposed to lead via lead-based ammunition ingestion, and recent studies indicate significant exposure to organochlorines (e.g. dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)) for condors feeding on beach-cast marine mammals. We investigated the influence of contaminant exposure on condor glucocorticoid response through comparisons between wild and captive populations and identified modifiers of glucocorticoid release….
    • Foraging ecologies of giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) and camels (Camelus dromedarius) in northern Kenya: effects of habitat structure and possibilities for competition?

      O'Connor, David; Butt, Bilal; Foufopoulos, Johannes B. (2015)
      …The foraging ecologies of reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) and domestic camels (Camelus dromedarius) were examined in the Laikipia District of Kenya, where these species have recently become sympatric…. These findings have important implications in achieving the twin objectives of wildlife conservation and pastoralist livestock production in northern Kenya.
    • Forward

      Alberts, Allison C.; Iverson, John B.; Grant, Tandora D.; Knapp, Charles R.; Pasachnik, Stesha A. (2016)
      This compilation represents the third time that iguana researchers from around the world have collaborated to publish a diversity of papers on the behavior, ecology, evolution, and conservation of this unique taxonomic group....
    • Fostering "Little Green Guards" through a collaborative partnership to create an effective conservation education program in Guizhou, China

      Tan, Chia L.; Yang, Y.; Niu, K.; Shi, L.; Zhang, W.; Riondato, I.; Giacoma, C.; Balleto, E.; Gamba, M.; Phillips, J.A. (Turin, 2014)
      San Diego Zoo Global (USA), Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve Administration (China), and the University of Torino (Italy) have partnered in a collaborative effort to promote environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation in Guizhou, China. The objectives of the partnership are twofold: (i) train researchers and wildlife professionals using a multidisciplinary program that employs the latest methods and tools in order to deepen their understanding of wildlife and the environment, and (ii) foster positive attitudes and behaviour toward wildlife in rural children through a creative education program called the Little Green Guards.…
    • Fostering “Little Green Guards ” through a collaborative partnership to create an effective conservation education program for rural children in Guizhou, China

      Tan, Chia L.; Yang, Y.; Niu, Kefeng; Lei, Shi; Weiyong, Zhang; Riondato, Isidoro; Giacoma, Cristina; Balletto, Emilio; Gamba, Marco; John, A. Phillips (2013)
      San Diego Zoo Global (USA), Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve Administration (China), and the University of Torino (Italy) have partnered in a collaborative effort to promote environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation in Guizhou, China. The objectives of the partnership are twofold: (i) train researchers and wildlife professionals using a multidisciplinary program that employs the latest methods and tools in order to deepen their understanding of wildlife and the environment, and (ii) foster positive attitudes and behaviour toward wildlife in rural children through a creative education program called the Little Green Guards. A recent development of the education program is the Little Green Guards Club for children whose houses border nature reserves. During club meetings, staff of the three cooperating institutions and volunteers participated in teaching English and natural history lessons. Club activities included animal themed art projects, games, movies, and field trips designed to cultivate empathy for animals and appreciation for nature in these children. Evaluations conducted before and after implementation of the education program showed a significant increase in children’s knowledge of and affection for wildlife, and sometimes coincided with positive behavioural changes toward native species. Here we feature our collaborative effort in China as a model which can be adopted in other geographic regions where species and habitat conservation must become a top priority. We will discuss the role of Universities in critical assessment of previous experiences in order to enhance the effectiveness of cooperation with other development stakeholders (e.g. governmental and local authorities, civil society and NGOs, foundations and private companies, and local associations).
    • Free mate choice enhances conservation breeding in the endangered giant panda

      Martin-Wintle, Meghan S.; Shepherdson, David; Zhang, Guiquan; Zhang, Hemin; Li, Desheng; Zhou, Xiaoping; Li, Rengui; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2015)
      Conservation breeding programmes have become an increasingly important tool to save endangered species, yet despite the allocation of significant resources, efforts to create self-sustaining populations have met with limited success. The iconic giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) embodies the struggles associated with ex situ species conservation. Here we show that behavioural mate preferences in giant pandas predict reproductive outcomes. Giant pandas paired with preferred partners have significantly higher copulation and birth rates. Reproductive rates increase further when both partners show mutual preference for one another. If managers were to incorporate mate preferences more fully into breeding management, the production of giant panda offspring for China’s reintroduction programme might be greatly expedited. When extended to the increasing numbers of species dependent on ex situ conservation breeding to avoid extinction, our findings highlight that mate preference and other aspects of informed behavioural management could make the difference between success and failure of these programmes.
    • Frequency of behavior witnessed and conformity in an everyday social context

      Claidière, Nicolas; Bowler, Mark; Brookes, Sarah; Brown, Rebecca; Whiten, Andrew (2014)
      Conformity is thought to be an important force in human evolution because it has the potential to stabilize cultural homogeneity within groups and cultural diversity between groups. However, the effects of such conformity on cultural and biological evolution will depend much on the particular way in which individuals are influenced by the frequency of alternative behavioral options they witness. In a previous study we found that in a natural situation people displayed a tendency to be ‘linear-conformist’. When visitors to a Zoo exhibit were invited to write or draw answers to questions on cards to win a small prize and we manipulated the proportion of text versus drawings on display, we found a strong and significant effect of the proportion of text displayed on the proportion of text in the answers, a conformist effect that was largely linear with a small non-linear component. However, although this overall effect is important to understand cultural evolution, it might mask a greater diversity of behavioral responses shaped by variables such as age, sex, social environment and attention of the participants. Accordingly we performed a further study explicitly to analyze the effects of these variables, together with the quality of the information participants' responses made available to further visitors. Results again showed a largely linear conformity effect that varied little with the variables analyzed.
    • Functional habitat heterogeneity and large herbivore seasonal habitat selection in Northern Botswana

      Fynn, Richard W.S.; Chase, Michael J.; Röder, Achim (2014)
      This study aimed to determine the functional seasonal attributes for herbivores of the major habitats and landscapes of the Savuti-Mababe-Linyanti ecosystem (SMLE) of northern Botswana and how various herbivore species responded to this heterogeneity. Floodplain grasslands and dambo grasslands provided the only significant green forage and biomass during the late dry season, whereas short grasslands of the Mababe Depression provided the highest forage quality of all habitats during the wet season....
    • Functional morphology of the female genital organs in the Peruvian red uakari monkey (Cacajao calvus ucayalii)

      Mayor, Pedro; Bowler, Mark; López-Plana, Carlos (2013)
      Functional morphology may provide important information that could improve methodologies for the diagnosis of the reproductive phase of females, and develop assisted breeding techniques for wildlife. This study examined features of genital organs in 19 Peruvian red uakari monkey (Cacajao calvus ucayalii) females in different reproductive stages, collected from wild animals hunted for food by rural communities in the North-eastern Peruvian Amazon, in order to provide knowledge on the reproductive physiology of this species …
    • Fund plant conservation to solve biodiversity crisis

      Roberson, Emily Brin; Frances, Anne; Havens, Kayri; Maschinski, Joyce; Meyer, Abby; Ott, Lisa; Sills, Jennifer (2020)
    • Ganzhorna's mouse lemur (Microcebus ganzhorni). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020

      Ganzhorn, J.; Donati, G; Eppley, Timothy M.; Hyde Roberts, S; Poelstra, J.W; Rakotondranary, S.J.; Ramanamanjato, J.-B.; Randriantafika, F.M.; Refaly, E.; Tsagnangara, C.; et al. (2020)
      Up to 2016, the south-eastern subpopulation of Grey Mouse Lemurs has been considered to represent a disjunct population of Microcebus murinus (Mittermeier et al. 2010). Based on samples from the littoral forest of Mandena a new form has been separated from M. murinus and been named as M. ganzhorni based on genetic grounds (Hotaling et al. 2016). Morphologically M. ganzhorni is indistinguishable from M. murinus and difficult to distinguish from M. griseorufus (M. griseorufus has a white belly with white underfur while M. murinus and M. ganzhorni have greyish underfur) and thus, taxonomic assignments in the field remain uncertain without genetic analyses. Given these uncertainty, the Extent of Occurrence was unclear at the time the species was described. New genetic analyses showed that M. ganzhorni does not occur in Andohahela National Park (Tiley, Poelstra, Yoder et al., unpubl. data) and does not move up the coastal mountains as this is the range of M. tanosi and M. manitatra (Rasoloarison et al. 2013, Donati et al. 2019). M. ganzhorni thus seems to be restricted to littoral forests east and possibly west of Fort Dauphin. In any case, the area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated to be above 10 km� but below 500 km�. These forests are severely fragmented with the largest fragments measuring less than 2 km�. The size of most forest fragments is declining and forests are being degraded. The species tolerates forest degradation and occurs in a wide range of different habitats, including gardens....