• 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.
    • 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....
    • 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 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 dynamics of an endemic palm in a Northwestern Mexican tropical dry forest: implications for population spatial structure

      López-Toledo, L.; 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....
    • 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.
    • 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)....
    • Sexually opposite effects of testosterone on mating success in wild rock hyrax

      Koren, Lee; Weissman, Yishai; Schnitzer, Inbar; Beukeboom, Rosanne; Bar Ziv, Einat; Demartsev, Vlad; Barocas, Adi; Ilany, Amiyaal; Geffen, Eli (2019)
      Although males and females share traits, their motivations and needs may be different, due to life-history disparities that lead to divergent selection pressures. Proximate mechanisms underlying differences between the sexes include hormones that mediate the development and activation of suites of traits....
    • Short tongue syndrome and hypovitaminosis A

      Pessier, Allan P.; Divers, S.; Mader, D. (ElsevierSt. Louis, 2014)
    • Signalling behaviour is influenced by transient social context in a spontaneously ovulating mammal

      Owen, Megan A.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Zhou, Xiaoping; Blumstein, Daniel T. (2016)
      ...Using female giant pandas at the Wolong Breeding Centre in Sichuan, China, we explored the interaction between social context and reproductive status on signalling and maintenance behaviours. To do so, we used linear mixed models and an information-theoretic approach to assess the temporal relationship between signalling behaviours and the timing of first mating....
    • Social influences on the estrous cycle of the captive sun bear (Helarctos Malayanus): Sun bear social influences

      Frederick, Cheryl; Hunt, Kathleen; Kyes, Randall; Collins, Darin; Durrant, Barbara S.; Ha, James; Wasser, Samuel K. (2013)
      We examined the potential influences of existing social housing arrangements on captive sun bear female reproductive cycling. Three social conditions were studied: 1.2, 1.1, and 0.2. Fecal hormone metabolites of total estrogens, progestins and glucocorticoids were compared between the three social conditions and were analyzed along with vaginal cytology data in individuals that experienced a change in social condition....
    • Social learning in captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana africana)

      Greco, Brian J.; Brown, Tracey K.; Andrews, Jeff R. M.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Caine, Nancy G. (2013)
      …Social learning is assumed to be important for elephants, but evidence in support of that claim is mostly anecdotal. Using a herd of six adult female African bush elephants (Loxodonta africana africana) at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park, we evaluated whether viewing a conspecific’s interactions facilitated learning of a novel task….
    • Social marketing and conservation

      Smith, Robert J.; Salazar, Gabby; Starinchak, Joseph; Thomas-Walters, Laura; Veríssimo, Diogo; Sutherland, William J.; Brotherton, Peter N. M.; Davies, Zoe G.; Ockendon, Nancy; Pettorelli, Nathalie; et al. (CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESSS.l., 2020)
    • Soil and species effects on bark nutrient storage in a premontane tropical forest

      Jones, Jennifer M.; Heineman, Katherine D.; Dalling, James W. (2019)
      Background and aims Bark contains a substantial fraction of the nutrients stored in woody biomass, however the degree of functional coordination of bark, wood, and foliar nutrient pools, and its relationship to soil nutrient availability remains poorly understood....
    • Sound transmission in a bamboo forest and its implications for information transfer in giant panda ( Ailuropoda melanoleuca ) bleats

      Charlton, Benjamin D.; Owen, Megan A.; Keating, Jennifer L.; Martin-Wintle, Meghan S.; Zhang, Hemin; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2018)
      Although mammal vocalisations signal attributes about the caller that are important in a range of contexts, relatively few studies have investigated the transmission of specific types of information encoded in mammal calls. In this study we broadcast and re-recorded giant panda bleats in a bamboo plantation, to assess the stability of individuality and sex differences in these calls over distance, and determine how the acoustic structure of giant panda bleats degrades in this species’ typical environment. Our results indicate that vocal recognition of the caller’s identity and sex is not likely to be possible when the distance between the vocaliser and receiver exceeds 20 m and 10 m, respectively. Further analysis revealed that the F0 contour of bleats was subject to high structural degradation as it propagated through the bamboo canopy, making the measurement of mean F0 and F0 modulation characteristics highly unreliable at distances exceeding 10 m. The most stable acoustic features of bleats in the bamboo forest environment (lowest % variation) were the upper formants and overall formant spacing. The analysis of amplitude attenuation revealed that the fifth and sixth formant are more prone to decay than the other frequency components of bleats, however, the fifth formant still remained the most prominent and persistent frequency component over distance. Paired with previous studies, these results show that giant panda bleats have the potential to signal the caller’s identity at distances of up to 20 m and reliably transmit sex differences up to 10 m from the caller, and suggest that information encoded by F0 modulation in bleats could only be functionally relevant during close-range interactions in this species’ natural environment.