• Diet Versus Phylogeny: a Comparison of Gut Microbiota in Captive Colobine Monkey Species

      Hale, Vanessa L; Tan, Chia L.; Niu, Kefeng; Yang, Yeqin; Knight, Rob; Zhang, Qikun; Cui, Duoying; Amato, Katherine R (2018)
      Both diet and host phylogeny shape the gut microbial community, and separating out the effects of these variables can be challenging. In this study, high-throughput sequencing was used to evaluate the impact of diet and phylogeny on the gut microbiota of nine colobine monkey species (N = 64 individuals)....
    • Dietary ecology of the Nigeria–Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti)

      Abwe, Ekwoge E.; Morgan, Bethan J.; Doudja, Roger; Kentatchime, Fabrice; Mba, Flaubert; Dadjo, Alvine; Venditti, Dana M.; Mitchell, Matthew W.; Fosso, Bernard; Mounga, Albert; et al. (2020)
      Examining the diets of primate populations inhabiting different habitat types could be useful in understanding local adaptation and divergence between these populations. In Cameroon, the Nigeria–Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti) is subdivided into two genetically distinct populations that occupy different habitat types; one occurs in forests to the west and the other in a forest–woodland–savanna mosaic (ecotone) in the center of the country....
    • Diet‐tissue stable isotope (Δ 13C and Δ 15N) discrimination factors for multiple tissues from terrestrial reptiles

      Steinitz Ronnie; Lemm, Jeffrey M.; Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Kurle, Carolyn M. (2015)
      Rationale Stable isotope analysis is a powerful tool for reconstructing trophic interactions to better understand drivers of community ecology. Taxon?specific stable isotope discrimination factors contribute to the best use of this tool. We determined the first ?13C and ?15N values for Rock Iguanas (Cyclura spp.) to better understand isotopic fractionation and estimate wild reptile foraging ecology. Methods The ?13C and ?15N values between diet and skin, blood, and scat were determined from juvenile and adult iguanas held for 1 year on a known diet. We measured relationships between iguana discrimination factors and size/age and quantified effects of lipid extraction and acid treatment on stable isotope values from iguana tissues. Isotopic and elemental compositions were determined by Dumas combustion using an elemental analyzer coupled to an isotope ratio mass spectrometer using standards of known composition. Results The ?13C and ?15N values ranged from ?2.5 to +6.5? and +2.2 to +7.5?, respectively, with some differences among tissues and between juveniles and adults. The ?13C values from blood and skin differed among species, but not the ?15N values. The ?13C values from blood and skin and ?15N values from blood were positively correlated with size/age. The ?13C values from scat were negatively correlated with size (not age). Treatment with HCl (scat) and lipid extraction (skin) did not affect the isotope values. Conclusions These results should aid in the understanding of processes driving stable carbon and nitrogen isotope discrimination factors in reptiles. We provide estimates of ?13C and ?15N values and linear relationships between iguana size/age and discrimination factors for the best interpretation of wild reptile foraging ecology. Copyright ? 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    • Differential success in obtaining gametes between male and female Australian temperate frogs by hormonal induction: A review

      Clulow, John; Pomering, Melissa; Herbert, Danielle; Upton, Rose; Calatayud, Natalie E.; Clulow, Simon; Mahony, Michael J.; Trudeau, Vance L. (2018)
      Most Australian frogs fall into two deeply split lineages, conveniently referred to as ground frogs (Myobatrachidae and Limnodynastidae) and tree frogs (Pelodryadidae). Species of both lineages are endangered because of the global chytrid pandemic, and there is increasing interest and research on the endocrine manipulation of reproduction to support the use of assisted reproductive technologies in conservation....
    • Discovery of species-wide tool use in the Hawaiian crow

      Rutz, Christian; Klump, Barbara C.; Komarczyk, Lisa; Leighton, Rosanna; Kramer, Joshua; Wischnewski, Saskia; Sugasawa, Shoko; Morrissey, Michael B.; James, Richard; St Clair, James J. H.; et al. (2016)
      ...Here we show that another tropical corvid, the ‘Alalā (C. hawaiiensis; Hawaiian crow), is a highly dexterous tool user. Although the ‘Alalā became extinct in the wild in the early 2000s, and currently survives only in captivity5, at least two lines of evidence suggest that tool use is part of the species’ natural behavioural repertoire: juveniles develop functional tool use without training, or social input from adults; and proficient tool use is a species-wide capacity....
    • Distributing samples and information

      Maschinski, Joyce; Walters, Christina; Heineman, Katherine D.; Blaik, Rowan; Frances, Anne; Horn, Christa M.; Tiller, Anita; Allenstein, Pam; Anderson, Stacy; Crews, Spencer; et al. (Center for Plant ConservationEscondido, California, 2019)
      Conservation collections ideally serve the conservation of the species in the wild. Distributions made for this purpose are encouraged. Permits, the collector’s institution collection policy, and the storage agreement with banking facilities will govern the distribution details for seeds, tissues, or whole plants in the future. Distribute in a manner that maintains collection health....
    • Diverse captive non-human primates with phytanic acid-deficient diets rich in plant products have substantial phytanic acid levels in their red blood cells

      Moser, Ann B.; Hey, Jody; Dranchak, Patricia K.; Karaman, Mazen W.; Zhao, Junsong; Cox, Laura A.; Ryder, Oliver A.; Hacia, Joseph G. (2013)
      Background Humans and rodents with impaired phytanic acid (PA) metabolism can accumulate toxic stores of PA that have deleterious effects on multiple organ systems. Ruminants and certain fish obtain PA from the microbial degradation of dietary chlorophyll and/or through chlorophyll-derived precursors. In contrast, humans cannot derive PA from chlorophyll and instead normally obtain it only from meat, dairy, and fish products. Results Captive apes and Old world monkeys had significantly higher red blood cell (RBC) PA levels relative to humans when all subjects were fed PA-deficient diets. Given the adverse health effects resulting from PA over accumulation, we investigated the molecular evolution of thirteen PA metabolism genes in apes, Old world monkeys, and New world monkeys. All non-human primate (NHP) orthologs are predicted to encode full-length proteins with the marmoset Phyh gene containing a rare, but functional, GA splice donor dinucleotide. Acox2, Scp2, and Pecr sequences had amino acid positions with accelerated substitution rates while Amacr had significant variation in evolutionary rates in apes relative to other primates. Conclusions Unlike humans, diverse captive NHPs with PA-deficient diets rich in plant products have substantial RBC PA levels. The favored hypothesis is that NHPs can derive significant amounts of PA from the degradation of ingested chlorophyll through gut fermentation. If correct, this raises the possibility that RBC PA levels could serve as a biomarker for evaluating the digestive health of captive NHPs. Furthermore, the evolutionary rates of the several genes relevant to PA metabolism provide candidate genetic adaptations to NHP diets.
    • Do functional traits offset the effects of fragmentation? The case of large-bodied diurnal lemur species

      Eppley, Timothy M.; Santini, Luca; Tinsman, Jen C.; Donati, Giuseppe (2020)
      Primates worldwide are faced with increasing threats making them more vulnerable to extinction. Anthropogenic disturbances, such as habitat degradation and fragmentation, are among the main concerns, and in Madagascar, these issues have become widespread....
    • Do large birds experience previously undetected levels of hunting pressure in the forests of Central and West Africa?

      Whytock, Robin C.; Buij, Ralph; Virani, Munir Z.; Morgan, Bethan J. (2016)
      ...Village-based surveys of hunter offtake and surveys of bushmeat markets have shown that mammals and reptiles are affected most, followed by birds. However, hunters also consume some animals in forest camps and these may have been overlooked in surveys that have focused on bushmeat extracted from the forest....
    • Do opposites attract? Effects of personality matching in breeding pairs of captive giant pandas on reproductive success

      Martin-Wintle, Meghan S.; Shepherdson, David; Zhang, Guiquan; Huang, Yan; Luo, Bo; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2017)
      Successful and cost-effective conservation breeding programs rely largely on animals doing what should come naturally: mate & reproduce. Behavioral management, especially that targeting mate compatibility and choice, will be important to achieve breeding goals efficiently. The endangered giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, was once notorious for its poor reproductive performance in captivity. Although the panda breeding program has experienced great improvement in recent years, we hypothesized that a better understanding of the role personality traits play in mating behavior could further improve reproductive performance. We used animal caretaker surveys and novel object tests to characterize pandas according to several personality traits—including exploratory, aggressiveness, excitability, fearfulness, and general activity—and tested how variation in these traits influenced mate compatibility and offspring production. Our findings indicate that specific combinations of personality traits showed better reproductive performance than others. Sometimes personality trait similarity enhanced reproduction and sometimes it impaired reproduction, depending on the trait. For example, Excitable males paired with Low-Excitable females had better reproductive outcomes, but pairs with Low-Fearful males regardless of the female's Fearfulness performed better. Males that were more Aggressive than their female partner were more likely to mate and produce cubs than when the female had a higher level of Aggressiveness than the male. Applying these results to breeding management strategies should result in higher reproductive rates and the production of more candidates for China's panda reintroduction program. These results highlight the potential importance of associative mating patterns based on personality for conservation breeding programs for a large number of other species.
    • Do responsibly managed logging concessions adequately protect jaguars and other large and medium-sized mammals? Two case studies from Guatemala and Peru

      Tobler, Mathias W.; Garcia Anleu, Rony; Carrillo-Percastegui, Samia E.; Ponce Santizo, Gabriela; Polisar, John; Zuñiga Hartley, Alfonso; Goldstein, Isaac (2018)
      Large areas of tropical forest have been designated for timber production but logging practices vary widely. Reduced-impact logging is considered best practice and third-party certification aims to ensure that strict standards are met....
    • Documentation

      Maschinski, Joyce; Heineman, Katherine D.; Randall, Johnny; Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) (Center for Plant ConservationEscondido, California, 2019)
      Conservation collections require appropriate documentation to retain their highest conservation value. When documentation is kept according to international standards, it can be easily shared with other institutions
    • Documentation and data sharing: Introduction

      Maschinski, Joyce; Heineman, Katherine D.; Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) (Center for Plant ConservationEscondido, California, 2019)
      ...The rapidly improving information technology and bioinformatics fields are increasing the speed and convenience of data input and data sharing for both research and conservation actions. However, key to the efficacy of any database is timely input and ongoing updates from practitioners.
    • Does forest management and researchers’ presence reduce hunting and forest exploitation by local communities in Tsitongambarika, south-east Madagascar?

      Campera, Marco; Phelps, Megan; Besnard, Fiona; Balestri, Michela; Eppley, Timothy M.; Nijman, Vincent; Donati, Giuseppe (2019)
      Hunting of wildlife is one of the major threats to biodiversity. For effective conservation programmes in countries where hunting and shifting agriculture are the main sources of subsistence, forest management should aim to reduce hunting pressure and forest exploitation....
    • Dolphin shows and interaction programs: Benefits for conservation education?

      Miller, Lance J.; Zeigler-Hill, V.; Mellen, J.; Koeppel, J.; Greer, T.; Kuczaj, S. (2013)
      Dolphin shows and dolphin interaction programs are two types of education programs within zoological institutions used to educate visitors about dolphins and the marine environment. The current study examined the short‐ and long‐term effects of these programs on visitors' conservation‐related knowledge, attitude, and behavior....
    • Drought reduces chytrid fungus (batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) infection intensity and mortality but not prevalence in adult crawfish frogs (lithobates areolatus)

      Terrell, Vanessa C. K.; Engbrecht, Nathan J.; Pessier, Allan P.; Lannoo, Michael J. (2014)
      To fully understand the impacts of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) on amphibians it is necessary to examine the interactions between populations and their environment. Ecologic variables can exacerbate or ameliorate Bd prevalence and infection intensity, factors that are positively related when Bd is acting on naive amphibian populations as an epidemic disease….
    • Duration of maternal antibodies against canine distemper virus and hendra virus in pteropid bats

      Epstein, Jonathan H.; Baker, Michelle L.; Zambrana-Torrelio, Carlos; Middleton, Deborah; Barr, Jennifer A.; DuBovi, Edward; Boyd, Victoria; Pope, Brian; Todd, Shawn; Crameri, Gary; et al. (2013)
      Old World frugivorous bats have been identified as natural hosts for emerging zoonotic viruses of significant public health concern, including henipaviruses (Nipah and Hendra virus), Ebola virus, and Marburg virus. Epidemiological studies of these viruses in bats often utilize serology to describe viral dynamics, with particular attention paid to juveniles, whose birth increases the overall susceptibility of the population to a viral outbreak once maternal immunity wanes. However, little is understood about bat immunology, including the duration of maternal antibodies in neonates. Understanding duration of maternally derived immunity is critical for characterizing viral dynamics in bat populations, which may help assess the risk of spillover to humans. We conducted two separate studies of pregnant Pteropus bat species and their offspring to measure the half-life and duration of antibodies to 1) canine distemper virus antigen in vaccinated captive Pteropus hypomelanus; and 2) Hendra virus in wild-caught, naturally infected Pteropus alecto. Both of these pteropid bat species are known reservoirs for henipaviruses. We found that in both species, antibodies were transferred from dam to pup. In P. hypomelanus pups, titers against CDV waned over a mean period of 228.6 days (95% CI: 185.4–271.8) and had a mean terminal phase half-life of 96.0 days (CI 95%: 30.7–299.7). In P. alecto pups, antibodies waned over 255.13 days (95% CI: 221.0–289.3) and had a mean terminal phase half-life of 52.24 days (CI 95%: 33.76–80.83). Each species showed a duration of transferred maternal immunity of between 7.5 and 8.5 months, which was longer than has been previously estimated. These data will allow for more accurate interpretation of age-related Henipavirus serological data collected from wild pteropid bats.
    • Dynamics of male-female multimodal signaling behavior across the estrous cycle in giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

      Owen, Megan A.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; McGeehan, L.; Zhou, X.; Lindburg, Donald G. (2013)
      Giant panda courtship behavior includes multimodal signaling assemblages consisting of olfactory, vocal, and postural elements. While signaling is generally conspicuous, successful copulation is inconsistently achieved in captivity, even when female behavioral and physiological data indicate that ovulation is imminent. We set out to characterize these complex patterns of social behavior by observing interactions between 26 unique pairs of giant pandas housed in adjoining pens throughout the females' reproductive cycle....
    • Dynamics of male-female multimodal signaling behavior across the estrous cycle in giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

      Owen, Megan A.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; McGeehan, Laura; Zhou, Xiaoping; Lindburg, Donald G.; Koenig, W. (2013)
      Giant panda courtship behavior includes multimodal signaling assemblages consisting of olfactory, vocal, and postural elements. While signaling is generally conspicuous, successful copulation is inconsistently achieved in captivity, even when female behavioral and physiological data indicate that ovulation is imminent. We set out to characterize these complex patterns of social behavior by observing interactions between 26 unique pairs of giant pandas housed in adjoining pens throughout the females' reproductive cycle….