• An assessment of wildlife use by northern Laos nationals

      Davis, Elizabeth Oneita; Glikman, Jenny A. (2020)
      Unsustainable wildlife trade is a well-publicized area of international concern in Laos. Historically rich in both ethnic and biological diversity, Laos has emerged in recent years as a nexus for cross-border trade in floral and faunal wildlife, including endangered and threatened species. However, there has been little sustained research into the scale and scope of consumption of wildlife by Laos nationals themselves. Here, we conducted 100 semistructured interviews to gain a snapshot of consumption of wildlife in northern Laos, where international and in some cases illegal wildlife trade is known to occur. We found that although bear bile for medicine was the most common product consumed, individuals also used a variety of other products, including animals considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN. The majority of animals we found consumed are classified as “Vulnerable” or “Least Threatened” by the IUCN; however, sufficient demand for a species can cause increased, rapid decline in the species’ population and significantly increase the challenge of conserving them. These results therefore illuminate where conservation priorities should shift towards, so that stable-yet-consumed species do not mirror the fate of highly trafficked animals.
    • An autonomous GPS geofence alert system to curtail avian fatalities at wind farms

      Sheppard, James; McGann, Andrew; Lanzone, Michael; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2015)
      Wind energy developments are increasingly proliferating as nations seek to secure clean and renewable energy supplies. Wind farms have serious impacts on avifauna populations through injuries sustained by collisions with turbines. Our aim was to develop new biotelemetric technologies to minimize collision risks, particularly for threatened and endangered bird species whose ranges overlap with current and future wind farm sites.
    • An experimental investigation of chemical communication in the polar bear

      Owen, Megan A.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Slocomb, C.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Durner, G. M.; Simac, Kristin S.; Pessier, Allan P. (2015)
      The polar bear (Ursus maritimus), with its wide-ranging movements, solitary existence and seasonal reproduction, is expected to favor chemosignaling over other communication modalities….These results suggest that pedal scent, regardless of origin, conveys information to conspecifics that may facilitate social and reproductive behavior, and that chemical communication in this species has been adaptively shaped by environmental constraints of its habitat. However, continuously distributed scent signals necessary for breeding behavior may prove less effective if current and future environmental conditions cause disruption of scent trails due to increased fracturing of sea ice.
    • An inexpensive and open-source method to study large terrestrial animal diet and behaviour using time-lapse video and GPS

      de la Rosa, Carlos A. (2019)
      The behaviour of free-ranging animals is difficult to study, especially on the large spatial and temporal scales relevant to long-lived large species. Animal-borne video and environmental data collection systems (AVEDs) record behaviour and other data in real time as animals conduct daily activities....
    • An updated analysis of the consumption of tiger products in urban Vietnam

      Davis, Elizabeth Oneita; Willemsen, Madelon; Dang, Vinh; O’Connor, David; Glikman, Jenny A. (2020)
      Tigers are indisputably in danger of extinction due to habitat loss and demand for their parts. Tigers are extirpated in the wild from every country bar one in mainland East and Southeast Asia. Although consumption of tiger products is known to be established in China, less is known about demand for tiger products in Southeast Asia. In this study, we investigate tiger product demand in Vietnam, a major illegal wildlife consumer country. There has been little research into consumption, in particular the level of use, the products being consumed, variation in use of products between areas, and the motivations of consuming tiger products. Through a quantitative survey of 1120 individuals, we show that use of tiger products could be as high as ~11% of the sample in both urban centers of Vietnam, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Tiger bone glue is the predominant product used, for medicinal purposes. In Hanoi, it is generally purchased by the individual for self-use, while in Ho Chi Minh City it is generally purchased as a gift. In both cities, individuals were generally highly satisfied with the product, indicating entrenched belief in efficacy among consumers. Ultimately, our results show that tiger product use is relatively pervasive. We suggest that conservation organizations should focus on behavior change campaigns that are informed by the results here, and that are specific to each area and to the specific use of tiger product glue for medicine. By reducing demand, beleaguered tiger populations will have a greater chance of stabilization and eventual growth.
    • Analyzing the past to understand the future: Natural mating yields better reproductive rates than artificial insemination in the giant panda

      Li, Disheng; Wintle, Nathan J. P.; Zhang, Guiquan; Wang, Chengdong; Luo, Bo; Martin-Wintle, Meghan S.; Owen, Megan A.; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2017)
      ...Here we analyze 21 years (1996–2016) of giant panda reproductive data from 304 insemination events to determine relative success rates of insemination methods and evaluate management strategies. The birth rate after natural mating was 60.7%, 50.6% for combined natural mating and artificial insemination techniques, and 18.5% for artificial insemination (AI)....
    • Androgen and glucocorticoid production in the male killer whale (Orcinus orca): influence of age, maturity, and environmental factors

      O'Brien J. K.; Steinman K. J.; Fetter, G. Alan; Robeck T. R. (2016)
      Circulating concentrations of testosterone and its precursor androstenedione, as well as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA ) and the adrenal hormones cortisol and corticosterone were measured at monthly intervals in 14 male killer whales (Orcinus orca ) aged 0.8–38 years. Analyses were performed for examination of the relationships of age, sexual maturation status (STATUS ), season, and environmental temperature (monthly air ambient temperature, A‐TEMP ) with hormone production using a mixed effects linear regression model with animal ID as the random variable....
    • Animal Welfare in Conservation Breeding: Applications and Challenges

      Greggor, Alison L.; Vicino, Greg A.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Fidgett, Andrea; Brenner, Deena J.; Kinney, Matthew E.; Farabaugh, Susan M.; Masuda, Bryce M.; Lamberski, Nadine (2018)
      Animal welfare and conservation breeding have overlapping and compatible goals that are occasionally divergent. Efforts to improve enclosures, provide enriching experiences, and address behavioral and physical needs further the causes of animal welfare in all zoo settings. However, by mitigating stress, increasing behavioral competence, and enhancing reproduction, health, and survival, conservation breeding programs must also focus on preparing animals for release into the wild. Therefore conservation breeding facilities must strike a balance of promoting high welfare, while minimizing the effects of captivity to increase population sustainability. As part of the Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Program, San Diego Zoo Global operates two captive breeding facilities that house a number of endangered Hawaiian bird species. At our facilities we aim to increase captive animal welfare through husbandry, nutrition, behavior-based enrichment, and integrated veterinary practices. These efforts help foster a captive environment that promotes the development of species-typical behaviors. By using the “Opportunities to Thrive” guiding principles, we outline an outcome-based welfare strategy, and detail some of the related management inputs, such as transitioning to parental rearing, and conducting veterinary exams remotely. Throughout we highlight our evidence-based approach for evaluating our practices, by monitoring welfare and the effectiveness of our inputs. Additionally we focus on some of the unique challenges associated with improving welfare in conservation breeding facilitates and outline concrete future steps for improving and evaluating welfare outcomes that also meet conservation goals.
    • Anthropogenic and topographic correlates of natural vegetation cover within agricultural landscape mosaics in Turkey

      Pekin, Burak K. (2016)
      ...I assessed the influence of anthropogenic and topographic variables on the extent of agricultural mosaics with high natural vegetation cover in the country of Turkey where a large extent of natural and semi-natural vegetation is maintained by traditional agriculture. GIS layers depicting human land use, elevation, slope, roads and population data were obtained and summarized at two spatial scales, within provinces and for 100km2 grid cells covering the country’s entire agricultural land area.…
    • Anthropogenic change alters ecological relationships via interactive changes in stress physiology and behavior within and among organisms

      Hammond, Talisin T.; Ortiz-Jimenez, Chelsea A; Smith, Jennifer E (2020)
      ...Human-induced changes in the stress physiology of one species and the downstream impacts on behavior can therefore interact with the physiological and behavioral responses of other organisms to alter emergent ecological phenomena. Here, we highlight three scenarios in which the stress physiology and behavior of individuals on different sides of an ecological relationship are interactively impacted by anthropogenic change....
    • Applying SNP-derived molecular coancestry estimates to captive breeding programs

      Ivy, Jamie A.; Putnam, Andrea S.; Navarro, Asako Y.; Gurr, Jessica; Ryder, Oliver A. (2016)
      ...Although pedigree-based breeding strategies are quite effective at retaining long-term genetic variation, management of zoo-based breeding programs continues to be hampered when pedigrees are poorly known. The objective of this study was to evaluate 2 options for generating single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data to resolve unknown relationships within captive breeding programs...
    • Approaches to studying behavior in captive sloth bears through animal keeper feedback

      Khadpekar, Yaduraj; Whiteman, John P.; Durrant, Barbara S.; Owen, Megan A.; Prakash, Sant (2018)
      Animal keepers at zoos and wildlife rescue centers often possess in-depth knowledge of the health and behavior of the individuals under their care. While it is often not feasible for keepers to regularly collect behavior data through formal scientific methods, efforts should be made to find alternative means to capture this knowledge.....
    • Are current research funding structures sufficient to address rapid Arctic change in a meaningful way?

      Ibarguchi, Gabriela; Rajdev, Vinay; Murray, Maribeth S. (Norwegian Polar Institute, 2018)
      Arctic environmental changes already impact regional ecosystems, economies and northerncommunities, and are having increasing influence on many aspects of the global system.Interest in the Arctic has increased in concert with our improved awareness of potentialchanges; however, research funding has not necessarily kept pace with the need to improveour understanding of Arctic system change to inform evidence-based decision making.Analyses of data on research funding trends (2003–14) in Canada, the USA and the EUindicate that less than 3% of the total budget the funding agencies considered is allocatedin any given year to Arctic-related research. Furthermore, alignment is uneven amongestablished scientific research priorities, existing societal needs and projects awarded fund-ing. New support mechanisms and improved alignment among resources, expertise andpriorities, including Indigenous research priorities, are vital to planning and adaptation inthe face of ongoing Arctic change.
    • Assessing the effectiveness of China’s panda protection system

      Wei, Wei; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Pilfold, Nicholas W.; Owen, Megan A.; Dai, Qiang; Wei, Fuwen; Han, Han; Yang, Zhisong; Yang, Xuyu; Gu, Xiaodong; et al. (2020)
      ...Together these findings indicate that China’s panda reserves have been effective and that they are functioning better over time, conserving more and better habitats and containing more pandas. While China’s protected area system still has much room for improvement [4, 5], including to support pandas [16], these findings underscore the progress made in China’s nascent environmental movement.
    • Assessment and validation of miniaturized technology for the remote tracking of critically endangered Galápagos pink land iguana (Conolophus marthae)

      Loreti, Pierpaolo; Bracciale, Lorenzo; Colosimo, Giuliano; Vera, Carlos; Gerber, Glenn P.; De Luca, Massimiliano; Gentile, Gabriele (2020)
      Background: Gathering ecological data for species of conservation concern inhabiting remote regions can be daunting and, sometimes, logistically infeasible. We built a custom-made GPS tracking device that allows to remotely and accurately collect animal position, environmental, and ecological data, including animal temperature and UVB radiation. We designed the device to track the critically endangered Galápagos pink land iguana, Conolophus marthae. Here we illustrate some technical solutions adopted to respond to challenges associated with such task and present some preliminary results from controlled trial experiments and feld implementation. Results: Our tests show that estimates of temperature and UVB radiation are affected by the design of our device, in particular by its casing. The introduced bias, though, is systematic and can be corrected using linear and quadratic regressions on collected values. Our data show that GPS accuracy loss, although introduced by vegetation and orientation of the devices when attached to the animals, is acceptable, leading to an average error gap of less than 15 m in more than 50% of the cases. Conclusions: We address some technical challenges related to the design, construction, and operation of a custom made GPS tracking device to collect data on animals in the wild. Systematic bias introduced by the technological implementation of the device exists. Understanding the nature of the bias is crucial to provide correction models. Although designed to track land iguanas, our device could be used in other circumstances and is particularly useful to track organisms inhabiting locations that are diffcult to reach or for which classic telemetry approaches are unattainable.
    • Assessment of in situ nest decay rate for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes ellioti Matschie, 1914) in Mbam-Djerem National Park, Cameroon: implications for long-term monitoring

      Kamgang, Serge Alexis; Carme, Tuneu Corral; Bobo, Kadiri Serge; Abwe, Ekwoge E.; Gonder, Mary Katherine; Sinsin, Brice (Springer, 2020)
      Accurate assessment of great ape populations is a prerequisite for conservation planning. Indirect survey methods using nest and dung, and a set of conversion parameters related to nest decay rates, are increasingly used. Most surveys use the standing crop nest count (SCNC) method, whereby nests are counted along transects and the estimated nest density is converted into chimpanzee density using an often non-local nest decay rate. The use of non-local decay rate is thought to introduce substantial bias to ape population estimates given that nest decay rates vary with location, season, rainfall, nest shape, and tree species used. SCNC method has previously been applied in Mbam-Djerem National Park (MDNP) in Cameroon, for chimpanzee surveys using a non-local nest decay rate. This current study aimed to measure a local nest decay rate for MDNP and implications for chimpanzee population estimates in the MDNP. The mean nest decay rate estimated using a logistic regression analysis was 127 [95% CI (100–160)] days. Moreover, the results suggested that rainfall strongly influenced the nest decay rate over the early stage of the lifetime of the nests. The study confirms that estimates of chimpanzee density and abundance using non-local decay rates should be treated with caution. Our research emphasized the importance of using local nest decay rates and other survey methods which do not depend on decay rates to obtain more accurate estimates of chimpanzee densities in order to inform conservation strategies of these great apes in MDNP.
    • Assessment of mammal reproduction for hunting sustainability through community-based sampling of species in the wild

      Mayor, Pedro; El Bizri Hani; Bodmer Richard E.; Bowler, Mark (2017)
      ...researchers face severe difficulties in obtaining reproductive data in the wild, so these assessments often rely on classic reproductive rates calculated mostly from studies of captive animals conducted 30 years ago. The result is a flaw in almost 50% of studies, which hampers management decision making....
    • Assisted reproductive technologies in captive rhinoceroses

      Pennington, Parker M.; Durrant, Barbara S. (2019)
      Survival of the five remaining rhinoceros species is threatened. Four of the five species are in managed collections, but captive populations are not self-sustaining and low reproductive rates make population growth slow. Slow population growth, coupled with behavioural incompatibilities, acyclicity, low genetic diversity, and disease susceptibility, creates the need for assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) to maintain genetic diversity while bolstering population numbers. Both published and unpublished data are included in this review of ARTs, to facilitate understanding consistencies and variations between and within each rhinoceros species. Progress has been made to address species-specific characteristics of reproductive physiology in rhinoceroses. This review outlines the ARTs that have been performed and identifies areas in need of research. In vivo technologies have resulted in live calves by artificial insemination, created genetic reservoirs through semen collection, and provided new avenues of gamete retrieval via ovum pickup. In vitro technologies have enabled genetic rescue post mortem and support early stage embryo production through oocyte maturation and fertilisation. As conservation efforts focus on rhinoceroses, improvement of existing techniques and development of new technologies will allow for a broader application of successful rhinoceros ARTs.
    • Attitudes towards returning wolves (Canis lupus) in Germany: Exposure, information sources and trust matter

      Arbieu, Ugo; Mehring, Marion; Bunnefeld, Nils; Kaczensky, Petra; Reinhardt, Ilka; Ansorge, Hermann; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Glikman, Jenny A.; Kluth, Gesa; Nowak, Carsten; et al. (2019)
      Understanding how exposure and information affect public attitudes towards returning large carnivores in Europe is critical for human-carnivore coexistence, especially for developing efficient and de-escalating communication strategies....
    • Behavior coding and ethogram of Guizhou snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus brelichi)

      Cui, Duoying; Niu, K.; Tan, Chia L.; Yang, M.; Zhang, Y.; Zhang, J.; Yang, Y. (2014)
      We observed the behavior processes and habitats of free-ranging Guizhou snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus brelichi) in Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve (FNNR) and captive Guizhousnub-nosed monkeys in Wildlife Rescue Center in FNNR and Beijing Zoo from October 2009 to April 2014…. We found that there were some behavioral differences among Guizhou snub-nosed monkey, Sichuan snub-nosed monkey and Yunnan snub-nosed monkey in individual and social behaviors, and these might be related to the different habitats.