• Emerging trends for biobanking amphibian genetic resources: The hope, reality and challenges for the next decade

      Kouba, Andrew J.; Lloyd, Rhiannon E.; Houck, Marlys L.; Silla, Aimee J.; Calatayud, Natalie E.; Trudeau, Vance L.; Clulow, John; Molinia, Frank; Langhorne, Cecilia; Vance, Carrie; et al. (2013)
      …Although many institutions have responded by establishing captive assurance colonies for several critically endangered amphibians, the resources provided by these conservation organizations will not be enough to save all species ‘at risk’ without a multi-pronged approach… Several international workshops on amphibian gene banking and assisted reproductive technologies have been held between 2010 and 2012, bringing together leading experts in the fields of amphibian ecology, physiology, and cryobiology to synthesize emerging trends for biobanking amphibian genetic resources, provide opportunities for collaboration, and discuss future research directions.…
    • 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….
    • Incorporating indels as phylogenetic characters: Impact for interfamilial relationships within Arctoidea (Mammalia: Carnivora)

      Luan, P.T.; Ryder, Oliver A.; Davis, H.; Zhang, Y.P.; Yu, L. (2013)
      Insertion and deletion events (indels) provide a suite of markers with enormous potential for molecular phylogenetics. Using many more indel characters than those in previous studies, we here for the first time address the impact of indel inclusion on the phylogenetic inferences of Arctoidea (Mammalia: Carnivora)….
    • Conservation genomics of threatened animal species

      Steiner, Cynthia C.; Putnam, Andrea S.; Hoeck, Paquita E. A.; Ryder, Oliver A. (2013)
      The genomics era has opened up exciting possibilities in the field of conservation biology by enabling genomic analyses of threatened species that previously were limited to model organisms. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) and the collection of genome-wide data allow for more robust studies of the demographic history of populations and adaptive variation associated with fitness and local adaptation.…
    • 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….
    • Mauritia flexuosa palm swamps: Composition, structure and implications for conservation and management

      Endress, Bryan A.; Horn, Christa M.; Gilmore, Michael P. (2013)
      Swamp forests dominated by the dioecious palm, Mauritia flexuosa, cover vast areas of the Amazon Basin and are poorly studied despite their recognized ecological and economic importance. This knowledge gap confounds current conservation and management efforts. In this study, we documented overstory structure and composition of M. flexuosa palm swamps (aguajales) as part of a broader effort to understand their ecology and assist in developing best practices for multi-use management for the Maijuna, an indigenous group in Loreto, Peru.…
    • Righting past wrongs and ensuring the future

      Moehrenschlager, Axel; Shier, Debra M.; Moorhouse, Tom P.; Price, Mark R. Stanley (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2013)
      The near-exponential growth in the frequency of reintroductions surely indicates that reintroductions are now a highly effective tool to combat the increasing loss of global biodiversity. This chapter discusses the questions regarding risks, the initiation of reintroductions, the refinement of reintroduction techniques and evaluations of reintroduction programme success. It examines key components that comprise the status quo of reintroduction science and proposed crucial advancements where appropriate. The remainder of this chapter also examines the increasing challenges and possible responses of the future, particularly within the context of emerging infectious diseases, increasing habitat loss and climate change. It outlines some of the ways in which rigour could be implemented to improve the success rates - and their definition - of reintroductions. The chapter poses the question of whether reintroductions are on the verge of a disciplinary shift within the conservation toolbox.
    • 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….
    • The distribution, status, and conservation outlook of the drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) in Cameroon

      Morgan, Bethan J.; Abwe, E.A.; Dixson, A.F.; Astaras, C. (2013)
      The populations of many endangered species are becoming increasingly fragmented, and accurate, current information on the status of these subpopulations is essential for the design of effective conservation strategies within a human-dominated landscape. The drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) is one of the most spectacular and endangered primates in Africa, yet up-to-date information on its distribution, population status, and conservation outlook is lacking. Cameroon has been estimated to encompass 80 % of the species’ range.…
    • Clinical challenge. Renal adenocarcinoma in a spitting cobra

      Belasco-Zeitz, Marianne; Pye, Geoffrey W.; Burns, Rachel E.; Pessier, Allan P. (2013)
      A 16-yr-old, male red spitting cobra (Naja pallida) (weight, 1.9 kg) presented with caudal coelomic swelling…. Blood from a male sibling (weight, 1.35 kg) was collected for comparison purposes and was reported with WBC < 5,000 × 106 cells/μl; uric acid, 6.4 mg/dl; calcium, 14.8 mg/dl; phosphorous, 6.6 mg/dl; total protein, 6.9 g/dl; and globulins, 4.2 g/dl…
    • Why we know so little: The challenges of fieldwork on the Pitheciids

      Pinto, L.P.; Barnett, A.A.; Bezerra, B.M.; Boubli, J.P.; Bowler, Mark; Barnett, A.A.; Veiga, L.M.; Ferrari, S.F.; Norconk, M.A. (Cambridge University PressCambridge, 2013)
      Possessing a suite of unusual and interesting features, Pitheciids are at the extremes of many of primatology’s ecological and sociological continua (see Norconk 2011). Pitheciids should provide acute tests of many primatological models; however, this is frequently thwarted by the lack of even the most basic quantitative information concerning ecology, behavior and social organization....
    • Functional morphology of the female genital organs in the Peruvian red uakari monkey (Cacajao calvus ucayalii)

      Mayor, Pedro; Bowler, Mark; López-Plana, Carlos (2013)
      Functional morphology may provide important information that could improve methodologies for the diagnosis of the reproductive phase of females, and develop assisted breeding techniques for wildlife. This study examined features of genital organs in 19 Peruvian red uakari monkey (Cacajao calvus ucayalii) females in different reproductive stages, collected from wild animals hunted for food by rural communities in the North-eastern Peruvian Amazon, in order to provide knowledge on the reproductive physiology of this species …
    • Growth, reproduction and diet of Roatan Spiny-tailed Iguanas, Ctenosaura oedirhina, with notes on the status of the species

      Pasachnik, Stesha A. (2013)
      Roatan Spiny-tailed Iguanas, Ctenosaura oedirhina, are listed as Endangered by the IUCN Redlist Assessment and under Appendix II of Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). These iguanas occur primarily on Roatan and Barbaretta, off the Caribbean coast of Honduras. Habitat destruction associated with development, small-scale agriculture, and exploitation for food and the pet trade are contributing to the decline of these iguanas. This species was described in 1987 (de Queiroz) when it was split from the sister taxon C. bakeri, found on the island of Utila, Honduras. Since its description little has been done to understand its biology or protect this narrow-range endemic. Herein, I examined the morphology and body condition of this species across its range and report on its reproductive biology and diet. Similar to many members of the Iguaninae, males are larger on average and have relatively longer tails than females. Likewise, reproductive and dietary data are consistent with those for closely related species. The body condition of both males and females was lower in more pristine study sites, indicating that supplemental feeding in developed areas may be having an effect. A female-biased sex ratio was found in sites protected by grassroots efforts, where the populations were large enough to be studied. Conservation measures should focus on alleviating the threats of harvesting and habitat destruction through increased law enforcement, outreach, and education.
    • 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....
    • Utilizing first occurrence, nursing behavior, and growth data to enhance animal management: An example with African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

      Miller, Lance J.; Andrews, J. (2013)
      One of the many goals of zoological institutions is to actively breed endangered species to enhance conservation efforts. Unfortunately, many of these species are not reproducing at high enough levels to sustain populations within zoos. Low reproductive success and high infant mortality are two areas of concern for some of these species. Collecting behavioral data on developmental milestones following successful births can create a database of information to aide animal management to help make more informed decisions during subsequent births. The current study provides valuable information for African elephant calf developmental norms and demonstrates how data on first occurrences, nursing behavior and growth patterns can aide animal management. Data were collected on eleven African elephants (Loxodonta africana) at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, CA of which ten have survived. Results show that on average African elephant calves were standing within 40 minutes, attempted to nurse within an hour and a half, and successfully nursed within six hrs. There were no significant differences in nursing rates, growth patterns, or first occurrence behaviors between males and females during the first 75 days of life and elephants gained on average 0.59 kg/day over that same period of time. Results also show a significant change in nursing behavior on day 22 for the elephant calf that died. This information is intended to serve as a resource for elephant managers with newborn African elephants and to serve as a model to develop similar type databases for other species in need within zoological institutions.
    • Fat-soluble vitamin and mineral comparisons between zoo-based and free-ranging koalas (phascolarctos cinereus)

      Schmidt, Debra A.; Pye, Geoffrey W.; Hamlin-Andrus, Chris C.; Ellis, William A.; Ellersieck, Mark R.; Chen, Tai C.; Holick, Michael F. (2013)
      As part of a health investigation on koalas at San Diego Zoo, serum samples were analyzed from 18 free-ranging and 22 zoo-based koalas, Phascolarctos cinereus. Serum concentrations of calcium, chloride, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc, and vitamins A, E, and 25(OH)D3 were quantified....
    • Mapping open space in an old-growth, secondary-growth, and selectively-logged tropical rainforest using discrete return LIDAR

      Jung, Jinha; Pekin, Burak K.; Pijanowski, Bryan C. (2013)
      Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) is a valuable tool for mapping vegetation structure in dense forests. Although several LIDAR-derived metrics have been proposed for characterizing vertical forest structure in previous studies, none of these metrics explicitly measure open space, or vertical gaps, under a forest canopy. We develop new LIDAR metrics that characterize vertical gaps within a forest for use in forestry and forest management applications....
    • 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....
    • 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....
    • Jamaican Iguana: Species Recovery Plan, 2006-2013

      Grant, Tandora D.; Pagni, L; Wilson, B (IUCNGland, Switzerland, 2013)
      Thought to be extinct by the mid 1900s, the Jamaican Iguana was rediscovered in 1970, and again in 1990. The 1970 rediscovery generated surprisingly little interest, either within Jamaica or among international conservation organizations. But when pig hunter Edwin Duffus brought a live specimen to the Hope Zoo in 1990, the local Jamaican Iguana Research and Conservation Group (JIRCG) was rapidly formed, and international support quickly materialized. The renamed Jamaican Iguana Recovery Group (JIRG) is a consortium of local Jamaican organizations and international conservation groups that held a workshop in July 2006 to formulate the present Species Recovery Plan (SRP)...