• 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….
    • Early 1900s Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Korean Amphibians

      Fong, Jonathan J.; Cheng, Tina L.; Bataille, Arnaud; Pessier, Allan P.; Waldman, Bruce; Vredenburg, Vance T. (2015)
      The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a major conservation concern because of its role in decimating amphibian populations worldwide. We used quantitative PCR to screen 244 museum specimens from the Korean Peninsula, collected between 1911 and 2004, for the presence of Bd to gain insight into its history in Asia. Three specimens of Rugosa emeljanovi (previously Rana or Glandirana rugosa), collected in 1911 from Wonsan, North Korea, tested positive for Bd. Histology of these positive specimens revealed mild hyperkeratosis – a non-specific host response commonly found in Bd-infected frogs – but no Bd zoospores or zoosporangia. Our results indicate that Bd was present in Korea more than 100 years ago, consistent with hypotheses suggesting that Korean amphibians may be infected by endemic Asian Bd strains.
    • Early-life exposures and Johne’s disease risk in zoo ruminants

      Burgess, Tristan L.; Witte, Carmel L.; Rideout, Bruce (2017)
      Johne’s disease, caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP), is a chronic, progressive bacterial enteritis of ruminants that can cause serious losses in both livestock and exotic species. Infection risk in exotic ruminants is associated with maternal infection status, but the effect of other herdmates on risk of infection has not been reported, to our knowledge....
    • Ecological context influences scent-marking behavior in the giant panda

      Zhou, W.; Nie, Y.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Li, Y.; Liu, D.; Wei, F. (2019)
      Signal detection theory predicts that animals should select scent-marking sites in a way that maximizes their probability of detection by target receivers. Many studies have been conducted with a focus on signaling behavior and function....
    • Ecological scale and seasonal heterogeneity in the spatial behaviors of giant pandas

      Zhang, Zejun; Sheppard, James; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Wang, Guan; Nie, Yonggang; Wei, Wei; Zhao, Naxun; Wei, Fuwen (2014)
      We report on the first study to track the spatial behaviors of wild giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca ) using high‐resolution global positioning system (GPS) telemetry.... Despite a high degree of spatial overlap between panda home ranges, particularly in winter, we detected neither avoidance nor attraction behavior between conspecifics.
    • Ecological specialization and morphological diversification in Greater Antillean boas

      Reynolds, R. Graham; Collar David C.; Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Niemiller Matthew L.; Puente-Rolón, Alberto R.; Revell, Liam J. (2016)
      Colonization of islands can dramatically influence the evolutionary trajectories of organisms, with both deterministic and stochastic processes driving adaptation and diversification. Some island colonists evolve extremely large or small body sizes, presumably in response to unique ecological circumstances present on islands. One example of this phenomenon, the Greater Antillean boas, includes both small (<90 cm) and large (4 m) species occurring on the Greater Antilles and Bahamas, with some islands supporting pairs or trios of body‐size divergent species. These boas have been shown to comprise a monophyletic radiation arising from a Miocene dispersal event to the Greater Antilles, though it is not known whether co‐occurrence of small and large species is a result of dispersal or in situ evolution. Here, we provide the first comprehensive species phylogeny for this clade combined with morphometric and ecological data to show that small body size evolved repeatedly on separate islands in association with specialization in substrate use. Our results further suggest that microhabitat specialization is linked to increased rates of head shape diversification among specialists. Our findings show that ecological specialization following island colonization promotes morphological diversity through deterministic body size evolution and cranial morphological diversification that is contingent on island‐ and species‐specific factors.
    • Ecology and behavior of uacaris (genus Cacajao)

      Barnett, Adrian A.; Bowler, Mark; Bezerra, Bruna M.; Defler, Thomas R.; Veiga, Liza M.; Barnett, Adrian A.; Ferrari, Stephen F.; Norconk, Marilyn A. (Cambridge University PressCambridge, 2013)