• Panda downlisted but not out of the woods

      Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Wang, Dajun; Wei, Fuwen (2018)
      The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is no longer Endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) storied Red List. The decision to downlist the panda to Vulnerable has its foundation in a systematic assessment of population parameters as determined by China State Forestry Administration's circa decadal national survey and other scientific outputs, compared to standardized criteria used by IUCN to determine the status of all species. This decision has not been without controversy and disagreement, perhaps reflecting disparities between how people view the term “Endangered” and the criteria established by the IUCN. Here, we explore the architecture of recovery of this iconic “Endangered” species, make transparent the process of the IUCN downlisting decision, evaluate emerging threats to pandas on the horizon, and contemplate the meaning of this milestone for endangered species conservation. Through this revelation, we find profound reasons for hope for species conservation everywhere, and a useful example of success in the making. However, this positive message comes with measured caution. The Chinese government and conservation community must maintain its focus and investment on panda conservation, and contend with strategies to address new threats. If they do not, the panda will return to “Endangered” status once again.
    • Past experiences and future expectations generate context-dependent costs of foraging

      Berger-Tal, Oded; Embar, Keren; Kotler, Burt P.; Saltz, David (2014)
      We released Allenby’s gerbils (Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi) into an enclosure containing rich patches with equal amounts of food and manipulated the quality of the environment over time by reducing the amount of food in most (but not all) food patches and then increasing it again…. Specifically, in the second rich period, the gerbils spent more time foraging and harvested more food from the patches. Thus, seemingly identical environments can be treated as strikingly different by foragers as a function of their past experiences and future expectations.
    • Pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of amphibian chytridiomycosis

      Baitchman, Eric J.; Pessier, Allan P. (2013)
      Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by the chytridiomycete fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is responsible for a global pandemic that has dramatically reduced global amphibian populations and diversity. Species declines, extirpations, and extinctions attributed to chytridiomycosis have occurred in Australia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States….
    • Pathologic changes associated with suspected hypovitaminosis A in amphibians under managed care

      Rodríguez, Carlos E.; Pessier, Allan P. (2014)
      Vitamin A deficiency is a recently recognized nutritional disease in amphibians fed insect-based diets…. This review highlights the need to establish standardized guidelines for optimal postmortem tissue sampling of amphibians in order to maximize the accurate diagnosis of pathologic lesions that may be associated with hypovitaminosis A.
    • Personality assessment in African elephants (Loxodonta africana): Comparing the temporal stability of ethological coding versus trait rating

      Horback, Kristina M.; Miller, Lance J.; Kuczaj, Stan A. (2013)
      The consistency of personality assessment was addressed in this study of 12 zoological African elephants living at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, CA, USA during the 2010 and 2011 summer seasons. Using 480 h of observational behavior data, three personality traits were determined based on behavior events, with the most significant correlations (two-tailed rs > 0.77, P < 0.005) being playful, curious, and sociable….
    • Peters anomaly in a red kangaroo (macropus rufus)

      Suedmeyer, Wm. Kirk; Pearce, Jacqueline; Persky, Meredith; Houck, Marlys L. (2014)
      A 10-mo-old female red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) presented with a unilateral congenital corneal opacity OD…. The maternal and paternal adult pairing has been discontinued in an effort to prevent future offspring anomalies.
    • Peyrieras' woolly lemur (Avahi peyrierasi). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020

      Eppley, Timothy M.; Patel, E. (2020)
      A population reduction of greater than or equal to 30% is predicted to occur over a three-generation time period (30 years) in the future, based on continuing and projected decline in area, extent and quality of habitat, in addition to ongoing and projected exploitation through unsustainable hunting pressure. The extent of occurrence (EOO) of this species is 6,991 km2 and extremely fragmented. Based on these premises, the species is listed as Vulnerable.
    • Phenotypic plasticity in the timing of reproduction in Andean bears

      Appleton, R. D.; Van Horn, Russell C.; Noyce, K. V.; Spady, T. J.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Arcese, P. (2018)
      Many factors influence whether mammals reproduce seasonally or continuously but disentangling them can be challenging in free‐living species that are hard to observe. We described the seasonality of reproduction in Andean bears (Tremarctos ornatus) in NW Peru (6°26′S, 79°33′W) to test for phenotypic plasticity in response to extrinsic cues.
    • Phenotypic variability along a climatic gradient in a perennial afrotropical rainforest understorey herb

      Ley, Alexandra C.; Herzog, Patrick; Lachmuth, Susanne; Abwe, Abwe E.; Christian, Mbella F.; Sesink Clee, Paul R.; Abwe, Ekwoge E.; Morgan, Bethan J.; Gonder, Mary K. (2018)
      Plants evolved in response to climatic conditions, which shaped their geographic distribution, functional traits and genetic composition. In the face of climatic changes, plants have to react by either genetic adaptation, phenotypic plasticity or geographic range shift....
    • Photos provide information on age, but not kinship, of Andean bear

      Van Horn, Russell C.; Zug, Becky; Appleton, Robyn D.; Velez-Liendo, Ximena; Paisley, Susanna; LaCombe, Corrin (2015)
      Using photos of captive Andean bears of known age and pedigree, and photos of wild Andean bear cubs <6 months old, we evaluated the degree to which visual information may be used to estimate bears’ ages and assess their kinship. We demonstrate that the ages of Andean bear cubs ≤6 months old may be estimated from their size relative to their mothers with an average error of <0.01 ± 13.2 days (SD; n = 14), and that ages of adults ≥10 years old may be estimated from the proportion of their nose that is pink with an average error of <0.01 ± 3.5 years (n = 41). We also show that similarity among the bears’ natural markings, as perceived by humans, is not associated with pedigree kinship among the bears (R2 < 0.001, N = 1,043, p = 0.499). Thus, researchers may use photos of wild Andean bears to estimate the ages of young cubs and older adults, but not to infer their kinship. Given that camera trap photos are one of the most readily available sources of information on large cryptic mammals, we suggest that similar methods be tested for use in other poorly understood species.
    • Phylogeography of the endangered Lesser Antillean iguana, Iguana delicatissima: a recent diaspora in an archipelago known for ancient herpetological endemism

      Martin, Jessica L.; Knapp, Charles R.; Gerber, Glenn P.; Thorpe, Roger S; Welch, Mark E. (2015)
      Iguana delicatissima is an endangered endemic of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Phylogeographic analyses for many terrestrial vertebrate species in the Caribbean, particularly lizards, suggest ancient divergence times. Often, the closest relatives of species are found on the same island, indicating that colonization rates are so low that speciation on islands is often more likely to generate biodiversity than subsequent colonization events…. Despite the great distances between islands and habitat heterogeneity within islands, this species is characterized by low haplotype diversity.
    • Pitheciins: Use of time and space

      Setz, E.Z.F.; Pinto, L.P.; Bowler, Mark; Barnett, A.A.; Vie, J.C.; Barnett, A.A.; Veiga, L.M.; Ferrari, S.F.; Norconk, M.A. (Cambridge University PressCambridge, 2013)
    • Polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ) migration from maternal dens in western Hudson Bay

      Yee, Meredith; Reimer, Jody; Lunn, Nicholas J.; Togunov, Ron R.; Pilfold, Nicholas W.; McCall, Alysa G.; Derocher, Andrew E. (2017)
      Migration is a common life history strategy among Arctic vertebrates, yet some of its aspects remain poorly described for some species. In February-March, post-parturient polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in western Hudson Bay, Canada, migrate from maternity den sites on land to the sea ice with three- to four-month-old cubs....
    • Population abundance and habitat utilization of bottlenose dolphins in the Mississippi Sound. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater

      Miller, Lance J.; Mackey, A.D.; Solangi, M.; Kuczaj, S.A. (2013)
      Distance sampling principles were utilized to examine population density and abundance for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Mississippi Sound. Information was collected during summer and winter to allow for examination of habitat utilization and abundance during two different seasons. Within the study area of the Mississippi Sound there are approximately 2225 bottlenose dolphins. The population was larger during the summer than during the winter months....
    • Population Analysis & Breeding and Transfer Plan, Grand Cayman Blue Iguana (Cyclura lewisi), AZA Species Survival Plan Yellow Program

      Grant, Tandora D.; Ivy, Jamie A. (Population Management Center. Associaton of Zoos and Aquariums, Lincoln Park Zoo, San Diego Zoo Global, 2020)
    • Population genetic analysis of the recently rediscovered Hula painted frog ( Latonia nigriventer ) reveals high genetic diversity and low inbreeding

      Perl, R. G. Bina; Geffen, Eli; Malka, Yoram; Barocas, Adi; Renan, Sharon; Vences, Miguel; Gafny, Sarig (2018)
      After its recent rediscovery, the Hula painted frog (Latonia nigriventer) has remained one of the world’s rarest and least understood amphibian species. Together with its apparently low dispersal capability and highly disturbed niche, the low abundance of this living fossil calls for urgent conservation measures. We used 18 newly developed microsatellite loci and four different models to calculate the effective population size (Ne) of a total of 125 Hula painted frog individuals sampled at a single location. We compare the Ne estimates to the estimates of potentially reproducing adults in this population (Nad) determined through a capture-recapture study on 118 adult Hula painted frogs captured at the same site. Surprisingly, our data suggests that, despite Nad estimates of only ~234–244 and Ne estimates of ~16.6–35.8, the species appears to maintain a very high genetic diversity (HO = 0.771) and low inbreeding coefficient (FIS = −0.018). This puzzling outcome could perhaps be explained by the hypotheses of either genetic rescue from one or more unknown Hula painted frog populations nearby or by recent admixture of genetically divergent subpopulations. Independent of which scenario is correct, the original locations of these populations still remain to be determined.