• 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....
    • 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….
    • 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.
    • Lessons from a retrospective analysis of a 5-yr period of preshipment testing at San Diego Zoo: a risk-based approach to preshipment testing may benefit animal welfare

      Marinkovich, Matt; Wallace, Chelsea; Morris, Pat J.; Rideout, Bruce; Pye, Geoffrey W. (2016)
      ...An alternative disease risk-based approach, based on a comprehensive surveillance program including necropsy and preventive medicine examination testing and data, has been in practice since 2006 between the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. A retrospective analysis, evaluating comprehensive necropsy data and preshipment testing over a 5-yr study period, was performed to determine the viability of this model for use with sending animals to other institutions. Animals (607 birds, 704 reptiles and amphibians, and 341 mammals) were shipped to 116 Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited and 29 non–AZA-accredited institutions....
    • Leukoencephalomyelopathy of mature captive cheetahs and other large felids: A novel neurodegenerative disease that came and went?

      Brower, A. I.; Munson, L.; Radcliffe, R. W.; Citino, S. B.; Lackey, L. B.; Van Winkle, T. J.; Stalis, Ilse H.; Terio, K. A.; Summers, B. A.; de Lahunta, A. (2014)
      A novel leukoencephalomyelopathy was identified in 73 mature male and female large captive felids between 1994 and 2005. While the majority of identified cases occurred in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), the disease was also found in members of 2 other subfamilies of Felidae: 1 generic tiger (Panthera tigris) and 2 Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi). The median age at time of death was 12 years, and all but 1 cheetah were housed in the United States. Characteristic clinical history included progressive loss of vision leading to blindness, disorientation, and/or difficulty eating. Neurologic deficits progressed at a variable rate over days to years. Mild to severe bilateral degenerative lesions were present in the cerebral white matter and variably and to a lesser degree in the white matter of the brain stem and spinal cord. Astrocytosis and swelling of myelin sheaths progressed to total white matter degeneration and cavitation. Large, bizarre reactive astrocytes are a consistent histopathologic feature of this condition. The cause of the severe white matter degeneration in these captive felids remains unknown; the lesions were not typical of any known neurotoxicoses, direct effects of or reactions to infectious diseases, or nutritional deficiencies. Leukoencephalomyelopathy was identified in 70 cheetahs, 1 tiger, and 2 panthers over an 11-year period, and to our knowledge, cases have ceased without planned intervention. Given what is known about the epidemiology of the disease and morphology of the lesions, an environmental or husbandry-associated source of neurotoxicity is suspected., A novel leukoencephalomyelopathy was identified in 73 mature male and female large captive felids between 1994 and 2005. While the majority of identified cases occurred in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), the disease was also found in members of 2 other subfamilies of Felidae: 1 generic tiger (Panthera tigris) and 2 Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi). The median age at time of death was 12 years, and all but 1 cheetah were housed in the United States. Characteristic clinical history included progressive loss of vision leading to blindness, disorientation, and/or difficulty eating. Neurologic deficits progressed at a variable rate over days to years. Mild to severe bilateral degenerative lesions were present in the cerebral white matter and variably and to a lesser degree in the white matter of the brain stem and spinal cord. Astrocytosis and swelling of myelin sheaths progressed to total white matter degeneration and cavitation. Large, bizarre reactive astrocytes are a consistent histopathologic feature of this condition. The cause of the severe white matter degeneration in these captive felids remains unknown; the lesions were not typical of any known neurotoxicoses, direct effects of or reactions to infectious diseases, or nutritional deficiencies. Leukoencephalomyelopathy was identified in 70 cheetahs, 1 tiger, and 2 panthers over an 11-year period, and to our knowledge, cases have ceased without planned intervention. Given what is known about the epidemiology of the disease and morphology of the lesions, an environmental or husbandry-associated source of neurotoxicity is suspected.
    • Lifetime changes in vocal syntactic complexity of rock hyrax males are determined by social class

      Demartsev, Vlad; Kershenbaum, Arik; Ilany, Amiyaal; Barocas, Adi; Weissman, Yishai; Koren, Lee; Geffen, Eli (2019)
      The ontogeny of quality-based signals has been studied in numerous animal systems but the degradation of vocal signals with age has received much less attention. Investigating age-related changes in quality-based acoustic signals and the associated social processes (e.g. rank changes, competition intensity) can expand our understanding of the information content of signals and their perception by receivers....
    • Linking Behavioral Diversity with Genetic and Ecological Variation in the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti)

      Abwe, Ekwoge E. (Drexel UniversityPhiladelphia, PA, 2018)
      The chimpanzees of Cameroon present a unique opportunity to investigate how ecological variation contributes to promoting intraspecific divergences in the endemic mammals of the region.... This thesis explores environmental and ecological differences between rainforest and ecotone habitats at a fine geographic scale, and compares and contrasts chimpanzee socioecology patterns between these habitats.
    • Local attitudes toward Apennine brown bears: Insights for conservation issues

      Glikman, Jenny A.; Ciucci, Paolo; Marino, Agnese; Davis, Elizabeth Oneita; Bath, Alistair J.; Boitani, Luigi (2019)
      Human-carnivore coexistence is a multi-faceted issue that requires an understanding of the diverse attitudes and perspectives of the communities living with large carnivores. To inform initiatives that encourage behaviors in line with conservation goals, we focused on assessing the two components of attitudes (i.e., feelings and beliefs), as well as norms of local communities coexisting with Apennine brown bears (Ursus arctos marsicanus) for a long time. This bear population is under serious extinction risks due to its persistently small population size, which is currently confined to the long-established protected area of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park (PNALM) and its surrounding region in central Italy. We interviewed 1,611 residents in the PNALM to determine attitudes and values toward bears. We found that support for the bear's legal protection was widespread throughout the area, though beliefs about the benefits of conserving bears varied across geographic administrative districts. Our results showed that residents across our study areas liked bears. At the same time, areas that received more benefits from tourism were more strongly associated with positive feelings toward bears. Such findings provide useful information to improve communication efforts of conservation authorities with local communities.
    • Local knowledge and use of the Valle de Aguan Spiny-tailed Iguana, Ctenosaura melanosterna, in Honduras

      Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Danoff-Burg, James A.; Antunes, E.E.; Corneil, J.P. (2014)
      The harvesting of wildlife has had a devastating effect on global biodiversity. Here we investigate the perceived status of the Critically Endangered Valle de Aguán Spiny-tailed Iguana, Ctenosaura melanosterna. We interviewed 132 residents of the Valle de Aguán, Honduras to: (1) examine their knowledge of the range and habitat preference; (2) document the use and trade; and (3) understand the level of awareness and openness to protection of this species. Our results indicate that these iguanas are primarily used for food. Though they are a small component of the local diet, consumption is occurring with a preference for gravid females. There are significant gender and geographic differences in consumption by humans. Though these harvesting actions contribute to the continuing decline of this species, our results demonstrate that there is a local belief that these iguanas are in danger of extinction, that conservation actions should occur, and that international involvement is welcome.
    • Local knowledge and use of the valle de aguán spinytailed iguana, Ctenosaura melanosterna, in Honduras

      Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Danoff-Burg, James A.; Antúnez, Edoardo E.; Corneil, Jeffrey P. (2014)
      The harvesting of wildlife has had a devastating effect on global biodiversity. Here we investigate the perceived status of the Critically Endangered Valle de Aguán Spiny-tailed Iguana, Ctenosaura melanosterna. We interviewed 132 residents of the Valle de Aguán, Honduras to: (1) examine their knowledge of the range and habitat preference; (2) document the use and trade; and (3) understand the level of awareness and openness to protection of this species. Our results indicate that these iguanas are primarily used for food. Though they are a small component of the local diet, consumption is occurring with a preference for gravid females. There are significant gender and geographic differences in consumption by humans. Though these harvesting actions contribute to the continuing decline of this species, our results demonstrate that there is a local belief that these iguanas are in danger of extinction, that conservation actions should occur, and that international involvement is welcome.
    • Local people’s knowledge and attitudes matter for the future conservation of the endangered Guizhou snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus brelichi) in Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, China

      Ellwanger, Amanda L.; Riley, Erin P.; Niu, Kefeng; Tan, Chia L. (2015)
      Ethnoprimatology seeks to untangle the complex relationship between human and nonhuman primates, and in doing so, can provide a better understanding of how the local cultural context affects conservation initiatives. Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve in China is the last stronghold for the remaining global population of the Endangered Guizhou snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus brelichi). In an effort to contribute to conservation management plans, we aimed to explore local people’s knowledge and attitudes toward the Guizhou snub-nosed monkey and conservation in the reserve using an ethnoprimatological approach. We conducted ethnographic interviews, involving structured, semistructured, and open-ended interview techniques, with 104 households in 11 villages located in and around the reserve. The results indicate that knowledge about the reserve and the monkey is unevenly distributed among respondents; men are significantly more knowledgeable about the reserve than women and women are significantly more knowledgeable about the monkey than men. Respondents are aware of the rules of the reserve but do not always agree with the rules or understand the rationale behind them. Nonetheless, respondents describe conservation as a trade-off and their attitudes toward the monkey and efforts to conserve it are generally positive and supportive. They expressed a feeling of connectedness with the Guizhou snub-nosed monkey because of its observable, humanlike behaviors; a mutual dependence on the forest; and a shared ancestry. Although our goal was to provide specific recommendations to park officials at our study site, our results also more broadly inform conservation management efforts for protected areas globally. For example, we recommend improving communication between reserve officials and local communities, appreciating the role local folklore can play in conservation, incorporating villagers’ perspectives into conservation planning, and implementing educational programs that target a wide demographic, with a particular emphasis on women.
    • Lorenz Von Liburnau's woolly lemur (Avahi occidentalis). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020

      Eppley, Timothy M.; Patel, E.; Reuter, K.E; Steffens, T.S. (2020)
      The species is distributed in two disjunct ranges which, calculated separately, sum up to 3,057 km2; the minimum convex polygon of the total range measures 8,619 km2. This extent of occurrence (EOO) is severely fragmented and undergoing continuing decline in area, extent and quality of habitat with no overall improvement. It has been estimated that there will be a 78% reduction in the species' range from 2000 to 2080 due to climate change (Brown and Yoder 2015). Based on the EOO, the species is listed as Vulnerable.
    • Lost iguanas: Trouble in paradise

      Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Carreras De Leon, R. (2014)
      Hispaniola is second only to Cuba in size and biodiversity among West Indian islands, and is unique in being the only island with two native species of Rock Iguanas, the Rhinoceros Iguana (Cyclura cornuta; Fig. 1) and Ricord’s Iguana (C. ricordii). The island’s geologic history is likely responsible. Hispaniola was formed during the middle Miocene when North and South paleoislands joined (Graham 2003). A logical hypothesis suggests that each paleoisland held one species, and when the two islands joined, the ranges of both species shifted, eventually resulting in the distributions seen today. Cyclura ricordii is restricted to the southwestern Dominican Republic (DR) and just across the southern border into Haiti, whereas C. cornuta has a larger distribution throughout much of the arid lowlands across the entire island.