• Elaeophora in the meninges of a Malayan sambar (Rusa unicolor equina)

      Bernard, Jennifer; Grunenwald, Caroline; Stalis, Ilse H.; Varney, Megan; Zuba, Jeffery R.; Gerhold, Richard (2016)
      An adult nematode was grossly identified in the meninges of a Malayan sambar (Rusa unicolor equina), with numerous microfilariae associated with encephalitis and vasculitis on histopathology. The nematode was confirmed to be Elaeophora schneideri by sequencing a portion of the 18S rRNA gene. Our report highlights the potential for aberrant migration of E. schneideri in exotic deer species and the use of advanced testing to specifically identify this metazoan parasite, avoiding misidentification of Parelaphostrongylus tenuis.
    • Elephant behavior toward the dead: A review and insights from field observations

      Goldenberg, Shifra Z.; Wittemyer, George (2020)
      Many nonhuman animals have been documented to take an interest in their dead. A few socially complex and cognitively advanced taxa—primates, cetaceans, and proboscideans—stand out for the range and duration of behaviors that they display at conspecific carcasses....
    • 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.…
    • Energetic costs of locomotion in bears: is plantigrade locomotion energetically economical?

      Pagano, Anthony M.; Carnahan, Anthony M.; Robbins, Charles T.; Owen, Megan A.; Batson, Tammy; Wagner, Nate; Cutting, Amy; Nicassio-Hiskey, Nicole; Hash, Amy; Williams, Terrie M. (2018)
      Ursids are the largest mammals to retain a plantigrade posture. This primitive posture has been proposed to result in reduced locomotor speed and economy relative to digitigrade and unguligrade species, particularly at high speeds....
    • Environmental variability supports chimpanzee behavioural diversity

      Kalan, Ammie K.; Kulik, Lars; Arandjelovic, Mimi; Boesch, Christophe; Haas, Fabian; Dieguez, Paula; Barratt, Christopher D.; Abwe, Ekwoge E.; Agbor, Anthony; Angedakin, Samuel; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020)
      Large brains and behavioural innovation are positively correlated, species-specific traits, associated with the behavioural flexibility animals need for adapting to seasonal and unpredictable habitats. Similar ecological challenges would have been important drivers throughout human evolution. However, studies examining the influence of environmental variability on within-species behavioural diversity are lacking despite the critical assumption that population diversification precedes genetic divergence and speciation. Here, using a dataset of 144 wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) communities, we show that chimpanzees exhibit greater behavioural diversity in environments with more variability — in both recent and historical timescales. Notably, distance from Pleistocene forest refugia is associated with the presence of a larger number of behavioural traits, including both tool and non-tool use behaviours. Since more than half of the behaviours investigated are also likely to be cultural, we suggest that environmental variability was a critical evolutionary force promoting the behavioural, as well as cultural diversification of great apes.
    • Enzyme immunoassay analysis for androgens in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) urine using enzyme hydrolysis

      Steinman, Karen J.; O'Brien, Justine K.; Fetter, G. Alan; Curry, Erin; Roth, Terri L.; Owen, Megan A.; Robeck, Todd R. (2017)
      Validation of androgen enzyme immunoassays (EIA) using purified antiserum with a high cross-reactivity for testosterone and 5α-dihydrotestosterone in polar bear urine (PBU) has previously been reported. However, the cross-reactivity of this antiserum with urinary testosterone metabolites was not determined....
    • Epidemiology of clinical feline herpesvirus infection in zoo-housed cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

      Witte, Carmel L.; Lamberski, Nadine; Rideout, Bruce; Vaida, Florin; Citino, Scott B.; Barrie, Michael T.; Haefele, Holly J.; Junge, Randall E.; Murray, Suzan; Hungerford, Laura L. (2017)
      OBJECTIVE To determine the incidence of and risk factors for clinical feline herpesvirus (FHV) infection in zoo-housed cheetahs and determine whether dam infection was associated with offspring infection. DESIGN Retrospective cohort study....
    • Estimating jaguar densities with camera traps: Problems with current designs and recommendations for future studies

      Tobler, Mathias W.; Powell, G.V.N. (2013)
      Camera traps have become the main method for estimating jaguar (Panthera onca) densities. Over 74 studies have been carried out throughout the species range following standard design recommendations. We reviewed the study designs used by these studies and the results obtained. Using simulated data we evaluated the performance of different statistical methods for estimating density from camera trap data including the closed-population capture–recapture models Mo and Mh with a buffer of ½ and the full mean maximum distance moved (MMDM) and spatially explicit capture–recapture (SECR) models under different study designs and scenarios….
    • Estimating mammalian species richness and occupancy in tropical forest canopies with arboreal camera traps

      Bowler, Mark; Tobler, Mathias W.; Endress, Bryan A.; Gilmore, Michael P.; Anderson, Matthew J. (2017)
      Large and medium-bodied rainforest canopy mammals are typically surveyed using line transects, but these are labour intensive and usually ignore nocturnal species. Camera traps have become the preferred tool for assessing terrestrial mammal communities, but have rarely been used for arboreal species. Here, we compare the efficiency of arboreal camera trapping with line transects for inventorying medium and large-sized arboreal mammals, and assess the viability of using camera traps in trees to model habitat occupancy. We installed 42 camera traps, spaced 2 km apart, in the canopy of the Maijuna-Kichwa Regional Conservation Area, Peru and walked 2014 km of diurnal line transects on 22 trails at the same site. We compared the efficiency of each method using species accumulation curves. We applied a multi-species occupancy model, while examining the effect of camera height on detection probabilities, including the distance from a village and from a river as covariates to examine variability in habitat occupancy. In 3147 camera days, 18 species of arboreal medium and large-sized mammals were detected by cameras, while 11 species were recorded on line transects. Ten of these species were detected by both methods. Diurnal species were detected more quickly and with less effort using arboreal camera trapping than using diurnal line transects at the same site, although some species were more easily detected during line transects. Habitat occupancy was positively correlated with distance from the village for two species, and negatively correlated with distance from the river for one. Detection probabilities increased modestly with camera height. Practical limitations of arboreal camera trapping include the requirement for specialized climbing techniques, as well as increased potential for false triggers, requiring extended processing time. Arboreal camera trapping is an efficient method for inventorying arboreal mammals and a viable option for studying their distribution relative to environmental or anthropogenic variables when abundance or density estimates are not required.
    • Estimating past and future male loss in three Zambian lion populations

      Becker, Matthew S.; Watson, Fred G.R.; Droge, Egil; Leigh, Kellie; Carlson, Ron S.; Carlson, Anne A. (2013)
      …Zambia contains viable lion populations of considerable importance for photographic and hunting tourism, but long‐term lion demographic data do not exist to guide recent management directives and population projections under different strategies. We described population size, as well as age and sex structure of lions in 3 Zambian national park populations bordering hunting areas, and found them to be male‐depleted relative to other systems….
    • Estrogenicity of captive southern white rhinoceros diets and their association with fertility

      Tubbs, Christopher W.; Moley, Laura A.; Ivy, Jamie A.; Metrione, Lara C.; LaClaire, Sydney; Felton, Rachel G.; Durrant, Barbara S.; Milnes, Matthew R. (2016)
      …In this study, we investigate the role of dietary phytoestrogens in this reproductive phenomenon by characterizing activation of southern white rhinoceros (SWR) estrogen receptors (ESRs) 1 and 2 by diet items from nine North American institutions and comparing female SWR fertility to total diet estrogenicity. Of the diet items tested, alfalfa hay and soy and alfalfa-based commercial pellets were found to be the most potent activators of SWR ESRs.…
    • Ethical considerations when conservation research involves people

      Brittain, Stephanie; Ibbett, Harriet; Lange, Emiel; Dorward, Leejiah; Hoyte, Simon; Marino, Agnese; Milner-Gulland, E. J.; Newth, Julia; Rakotonarivo, Sarobidy; Veríssimo, Diogo; et al. (2020)
      Social science is becoming increasingly important in conservation, with more studies involving methodologies that collect data from and about people. Conservation science is a normative and applied discipline designed to support and inform management and practice....
    • Evaluating recovery potential of the northern white rhinoceros from cryopreserved somatic cells

      Tunstall, Tate S.; Kock, Richard; Vahala, Jiri; Diekhans, Mark; Fiddes, Ian; Armstrong, Joel; Paten, Benedikt; Ryder, Oliver A.; Steiner, Cynthia C. (2018)
      The critically endangered northern white rhinoceros is believed to be extinct in the wild, with the recent death of the last male leaving only two remaining individuals in captivity. Its extinction would appear inevitable, but the development of advanced cell and reproductive technologies such as cloning by nuclear transfer and the artificial production of gametes via stem cells differentiation offer a second chance for its survival. In this work, we analyzed genome-wide levels of genetic diversity, inbreeding, population history, and demography of the white rhinoceros sequenced from cryopreserved somatic cells, with the goal of informing how genetically valuable individuals could be used in future efforts toward the genetic rescue of the northern white rhinoceros. We present the first sequenced genomes of the northern white rhinoceros, which show relatively high levels of heterozygosity and an average genetic divergence of 0.1% compared with the southern subspecies. The two white rhinoceros subspecies appear to be closely related, with low genetic admixture and a divergent time <80,000 yr ago. Inbreeding, as measured by runs of homozygosity, appears slightly higher in the southern than the northern white rhinoceros. This work demonstrates the value of the northern white rhinoceros cryopreserved genetic material as a potential gene pool for saving this subspecies from extinction.
    • Evaluating seed banking capacity and propagation potential of endangered Sierra Bermeja grasses: Aristida chaseae and Aristida portoricensis

      Maschinski, Joyce; Possley, Jennifer; Lange, James; Monsegur Rivera, Omar A.; Heineman, Katherine D. (2018)
      Of the 2329 plant species that are native to Puerto Rico, 188 are grasses (Poaceae) and nearly 20% of those are critically imperiled. To address gaps in knowledge of US endangered Aristida chaseae (Chase’s Threeawn) and Aristida portoricensis (Pelos del Diablo) from Sierra Bermeja in southwestern Puerto Rico, we conducted experiments to determine viability of seeds produced in the wild, germination requirements, and ability to be stored under cold, dry conditions.
    • Evaluating the application of scale frequency to estimate the size of pangolin scale seizures

      Ullmann, Tessa; Veríssimo, Diogo; Challender, Daniel W. S. (2019)
      All eight species of pangolin are principally threatened by overexploitation, both for international trafficking and local use. Much illegal trade involves scales, but there is an absence of robust conversion parameters for estimating the number of different pangolin species in given seizures. Such parameters are critical in order to accurately characterize pangolin trafficking and understand the magnitude and impact of exploitation on populations. In this study, we calculated the number of scales on 66 museum specimens representing all eight extant pangolin species from the genera Manis, Phataginus, and Smutsia, and developed a method for estimating the number of pangolins in given seizures of scales based on scale frequency. Our statistical analyses found significant variation in scale number in inter-species terms (ranging from 382 for Temminck's ground pangolin to 940 for the Philippine pangolin), and in intra-species terms, with substantial variation in the giant pangolin (509–664 scales) and minimal variation in the Chinese pangolin (527–581 scales). We discuss application of the developed sampling method in a real world context and critically appraise it against existing methods. The knowledge generated in this study should assist in understanding pangolin trafficking dynamics, though there remains a need for accurate conversion parameters for estimating the number of pangolins in illegal trade, especially for the Indian and African species.
    • Everybody loses: intraspecific competition induces tragedy of the commons in Allenby's gerbils

      Berger-Tal, Oded; Embar, Keren; Kotler, Burt P.; Saltz, David (2015)
      Interference competition may lead to a tragedy of the commons in which individuals driven by self‐interest reduce the fitness of the entire group. We investigated this hypothesis in Allenby's gerbils, Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi , by comparing foraging behaviors of single vs. pairs of gerbils....
    • Everything you want to know about the giant panda

      Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2015)
      Book review of Pan, Wenshi, Lu Zhi, Zhu Xiaojian, Wang Dajun, Wang Hao, Long Yu, Fu Dali, and Zhou Xin. 2014 (Chinese edition, 2001). A chance for lasting survival: ecology and behavior of wild giant pandas. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington, D.C. xx þ 349 p. $39.95, ISBN: 978-1-935623-17-5 (alk. paper).
    • Evidence for dominant males but not choosy females in an insular rock iguana

      Moss, Jeanette B.; Gerber, Glenn P.; Schwirian, Aumbriel; Jackson, Anna C.; Welch, Mark E. (2018)
      In natural populations susceptible to inbreeding depression, behaviors such as female promiscuity and disassortative mating may enhance the production of outbred progeny and help maintain genetic variation at the population-level. However, empirical tests of such hypotheses have largely focused on mating systems in which female choice is known to play a large role....
    • Evolutionary and functional novelty of pancreatic ribonuclease: a study of Musteloidea (order Carnivora)

      Liu, Jiang; Wang, Xiao-ping; Cho, Soochin; Lim, Burton K.; Irwin, David M.; Ryder, Oliver A.; Zhang, Ya-ping; Yu, Li (2014)
      Pancreatic ribonuclease (RNASE1) is a digestive enzyme that has been one of the key models in studies of evolutionary innovation and functional diversification. It has been believed that the RNASE1 gene duplications are correlated with the plant-feeding adaptation of foregut-fermenting herbivores. Here, we characterized RNASE1 genes from Caniformia, which has a simple digestive system and lacks microbial digestion typical of herbivores, in an unprecedented scope based on both gene sequence and tissue expression analyses. Remarkably, the results yielded new hypotheses regarding the evolution and the function of Caniformia RNASE1 genes. Four independent gene duplication events in the families of superfamily Musteloidea, including Procyonidae, Ailuridae, Mephitidae and Mustelidae, were recovered, rejecting previous Mustelidae-specific duplication hypothesis, but supporting Musteloidea duplication hypothesis. Moreover, our analyses revealed pronounced differences among the RNASE1 gene copies regarding their selection pressures, pI values and tissue expression patterns, suggesting the differences in their physiological functions. Notably, the expression analyses detected the transcription of a RNASE1 pseudogene in several tissues, raising the possibility that pseudogenes are also a potential source during the RNase functional diversification. In sum, the present work demonstrated a far more complex and intriguing evolutionary pattern and functional diversity of mammalian ribonuclease than previously thought.