• Reproductive techniques for ovarian monitoring and control in amphibians

      Calatayud, Natalie E.; Chai, Norin; Gardner, Nicole R.; Curtis, Michelle J.; Stoops, Monica A. (2019)
      Ovarian control and monitoring in amphibians require a multi-faceted approach. There are several applications that can successfully induce reproductive behaviors and the acquisition of gametes and embryos for physiological or molecular research. Amphibians contribute to one-quarter to one-third of vertebrate research, and of interest in this context is their contribution to the scientific community's knowledge of reproductive processes and embryological development. However, most of this knowledge is derived from a small number of species. In recent times, the decimation of amphibians across the globe has required increasing intervention by conservationists. The captive recovery and assurance colonies that continue to emerge in response to the extinction risk make existing research and clinical applications invaluable to the survival and reproduction of amphibians held under human care. The success of any captive population is founded on its health and reproduction and the ability to develop viable offspring that carry forward the most diverse genetic representation of their species. For researchers and veterinarians, the ability to monitor and control ovarian development and health is, therefore, imperative. The focus of this article is to highlight the different assisted reproductive techniques that can be used to monitor and, where appropriate or necessary, control ovarian function in amphibians. Ideally, any reproductive and health issues should be reduced through proper captive husbandry, but, as with any animal, issues of health and reproductive pathologies are inevitable. Non-invasive techniques include behavioral assessments, visual inspection and palpation and morphometric measurements for the calculation of body condition indices and ultrasound. Invasive techniques include hormonal injections, blood sampling, and surgery. Ovarian control can be exercised in a number of ways depending on the application required and species of interest.
    • Research priorities from animal behaviour for maximising conservation progress

      Greggor, Alison L.; Berger-Tal, Oded; Blumstein, Daniel T.; Angeloni, Lisa; Bessa-Gomes, Carmen; Blackwell, Bradley F.; St. Clair, Colleen Cassady; Crooks, Kevin; de Silva, Shermin; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban; et al. (2016)
      Poor communication between academic researchers and wildlife managers limits conservation progress and innovation. As a result, input from overlapping fields, such as animal behaviour, is underused in conservation management despite its demonstrated utility as a conservation tool and countless papers advocating its use. Communication and collaboration across these two disciplines are unlikely to improve without clearly identified management needs and demonstrable impacts of behavioural-based conservation management. To facilitate this process, a team of wildlife managers and animal behaviour researchers conducted a research prioritisation exercise, identifying 50 key questions that have great potential to resolve critical conservation and management problems. The resulting agenda highlights the diversity and extent of advances that both fields could achieve through collaboration.
    • Resolution of a localized granuloma caused by Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex on the cere of a Bruce's green pigeon (Treron waalia)

      Zikovitz, Andrea E.; Stalis, Ilse H.; Bicknese, Elizabeth; Rideout, Bruce; Pye, Geoffrey W. (2018)
      A 3-year-old female Bruce's green pigeon (Treron waalia) was presented with granulomatous inflammation of the cere and underlying tissues with osteomyelitis and bone proliferation of the dorsal premaxilla. Biopsy and culture revealed the presence of Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex, and multi-antimicrobial treatment was initiated with clarithromycin, ethambutol, rifabutin, and enrofloxacin....
    • Revised Regional Action Plan for the Conservation of the Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) 2014–2019

      Dunn, Andrew; Bergl, Richard; Byler, Dirck; Eben-Ebai, Samuel; Etiendem, Denis Ndeloh; Fotso, Roger; Ikfuingei, Romanus; Imong, Inaoyom; Jameson, Chris; Macfie, Elizabeth J.; et al. (IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group and Wildlife Conservation SocietyNew York, NY, USA, 2014)
      This plan outlines measures that should ensure that Cross River gorilla numbers are able to increase at key core sites, allowing them to extend into areas where they have been absent for many years.
    • Rewinding the process of mammalian extinction

      Saragusty, Joseph; Diecke, Sebastian; Drukker, Micha; Durrant, Barbara S.; Friedrich Ben-Nun, Inbar; Galli, Cesare; Göritz, Frank; Hayashi, Katsuhiko; Hermes, Robert; Holtze, Susanne; et al. (2016)
      With only three living individuals left on this planet, the northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) could be considered doomed for extinction. It might still be possible, however, to rescue the (sub)species by combining novel stem cell and assisted reproductive technologies. To discuss the various practical options available to us, we convened a multidisciplinary meeting under the name “Conservation by Cellular Technologies.” The outcome of this meeting and the proposed road map that, if successfully implemented, would ultimately lead to a self-sustaining population of an extremely endangered species are outlined here. The ideas discussed here, while centered on the northern white rhinoceros, are equally applicable, after proper adjustments, to other mammals on the brink of extinction. Through implementation of these ideas we hope to establish the foundation for reversal of some of the effects of what has been termed the sixth mass extinction event in the history of Earth, and the first anthropogenic one. Zoo Biol. 35:280–292, 2016. © 2016 The Authors. Zoo Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    • 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.
    • Rigorous wildlife disease surveillance

      Watsa, Mrinalini; Wildlife Disease Surveillance Focus Group; Erkenswick, G.; Prost, S.; Davis, Elizabeth Oneita; Moore, Caroline; Kubiski, Steven V.; Witte, Carmel L.; Ogden, R.; Meredith, A.; et al. (2020)
      Evidence suggests that zoonotic (animal origin) coronaviruses have caused three recent emerging infectious disease (EID) outbreaks: severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In the search for an intermediate host for SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19), studies have identified SARS-CoV-2–like strains in bats (1) and pangolins (2), but these do not contain the same polybasic cleavage site that is present in SARS-CoV-2 (3). It is unknown what the intermediate host for this spillover event was because to date there are no international or national conventions on pathogen screening associated with animals, animal products, or their movements, and capacity for EID diagnostics is limited along much of the human-wildlife interface....
    • Ringed seal (Pusa hispida) tooth annuli as an index of reproduction in the Beaufort Sea

      Nguyen, Linda; Pilfold, Nicholas W.; Derocher, Andrew E.; Stirling, Ian; Bohart, Alyssa M.; Richardson, Evan (2017)
      Multi-decadal time-series of biological indices that reflect the state of a population are rare in ecological studies, but invaluable for assessing environmental regulation of population dynamics. We utilized canine teeth extracted from ringed seals (Pusa hispida) killed by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the Beaufort Sea, Canada, in 1985–2011, to obtain widths of annual growth layers in the cementum....
    • Roatán spiny-tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura oedirhina): Conservation Action Plan 2020—2025

      Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Goode, Ashley B.C.; Grant, Tandora D. (IUCN SSC Iguana Specialist GroupGland, Switzerland, 2020)
      The Endangered Roatán spiny-tailed iguana, Ctenosaura oedirhina, is found only on the islands of Roatán, Barbareta, and some surrounding cays. Although dense populations can be found in some privately protected locations, threats persist and management efforts are needed. This document presents a comprehensive five-year plan for the conservation and management actions considered essential to ensuring the long-term survival of Ctenosaura oedirhina in the wild. This plan combines knowledge and expertise from government, nongovernmental organizations, and the community of Roatán and greater Honduras, with the collective expertise of the IUCN SSC Iguana Specialist Group....
    • Rock iguana studbook (Genus Cyclura)

      Grant, Tandora D. (San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, 2014)
    • Rub-tree selection by Andean bears in the Peruvian dry forest

      Kleiner, Jack D.; Van Horn, Russell C.; Swenson, Jon E.; Steyaert, Sam M.J.G. (2018)
      To advance our knowledge on the rubbing behavior of Andean bears (Tremarctos ornatus), we assessed characteristics of their rub-trees in the Peruvian tropical dry forest, where water is a rare and critical resource. We registered characteristics of rubbed and unrubbed trees and shrubs along bear trails in an area of approximately 100 km2 surrounding 7 waterholes in the western Andes foothills of Peru during austral summer 2014–2015....
    • Saiga horn user characteristics, motivations, and purchasing behaviour in Singapore

      Doughty, Hunter; Veríssimo, Diogo; Tan, Regina Chun Qi; Lee, Janice Ser Huay; Carrasco, L. Roman; Oliver, Kathryn; Milner-Gulland, E. J. (2019)
      Unsustainable wildlife trade is a pervasive issue affecting wildlife globally. To address this issue, a plethora of demand reduction efforts have been carried out. These necessitate consumer research which provides crucial knowledge for designing and evaluating targeted interventions. We implemented a rigorous consumer survey on saiga (Saiga tatarica) horn use in Singapore, where usage is legal and widely sold. Saiga are Critically Endangered antelopes from Central Asia with horns (often marketed as ling yang) used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Few past studies have assessed saiga horn consumers. This work is the most extensive consumer research to date specifically characterising saiga horn consumers and usage. We conducted 2294 in-person surveys on saiga horn use with Chinese Singaporeans, employing neutral questioning approaches. We found 19% of individuals reported saiga horn as a product they choose most often for themselves and/or others when treating fever and/or heatiness (a TCM state of illness), indicating a minimum estimate of high-frequency usage, not including possible low-frequency users. Overall saiga users were most characterised as middle-aged Buddhists and Taoists. However, saiga users were found in a range of demographic groups. Women preferred saiga shavings (the more traditional form), while men preferred saiga cooling water (the more modern form). About 53% of individuals who used saiga horn themselves also bought it for someone else. Buyers for others were most likely to be female middle-aged Buddhists or Taoists. Key motivating reasons for usage were “it works” and “someone recommended it to me.” The top two reported recommenders were family and TCM shopkeepers. Saiga users were more likely than non-saiga users to perceive saiga as a common species in the wild. This research holds significance for interventions targeting saiga horn consumption within Singapore and throughout Asia, by identifying potential target audiences, product types, non-desirable alternatives, and motivations for use.
    • Sambirano lesser bamboo lemur (Hapalemur occidentalis). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020

      Eppley, Timothy M.; Razafindramanana, J.; Borgerson, C.; Patel, E.; Louis, E.E. (2020)
      Listed as Vulnerable as the species is suspected to have undergone a population decline of greater than or equal to 30% over a period of 24 years (three generations), due primarily to continuing decline in the area, extent and quality of habitat, in addition to exploitation through unsustainable hunting pressure. These causes have not ceased, and will to a large extent not be easily reversible.
    • San Basilio: Biodiversidad y Conservación/Biodiversity and Conservation

      Vanderplank, Sula E.; Favoretto, F.; Mascareñas, I.; Aburto, O.; Vanderplank, Sula E.; Favoretto, F.; Mascareñas, I.; Aburto, O. (International Community Foundation, 2020)
      The bay of San Basilio, Baja California Sur, is immediately remarkable to any visitor for its stunning landscape and heterogeneity of landforms and habitats. This secret corner of the peninsula quietly boasts abundant natural resources and phenomenal biodiversity. The whole bay is alive, above and below the rich lands and waters of this coastal paradise. The marine elements include rocky reefs, and both sandy and rocky shores, which span an ecotone of taxonomic biodiversity. The land-sea fringe is home to mangroves, salt-marshes, dunes and estuaries. The influences of land and sea support the presence of a plethora of coastal species, and further inland a healthy arid scrub complex with seasonal lagoons and permanent freshwater pools is home to several rare and endangered species, and elevated numbers of species in general. The mangroves show the distinct footprint of sea-level rise with areas of die-off towards the coast and areas of new colonization occurring above the current water-line. The biological riches of San Basilio remain threatened. Biodiversity at the coast is certainly impacted by the presence of humans and free-roaming dogs. Tourism on the beaches is putting considerable pressure on the coastal habitats, especially with regard to waste, trash, and mis-use of the beaches. Overfishing, through both industrial harvest and unsustainable take of top predators (e.g., sharks and groupers) is adversely affecting the marine ecosystems. Cattle are reducing the inland terrestrial biodiversity and abundance; more restrictions to cattle entry and the fencing of priority habitats are advised. Through the findings of this report we connect the conservation challenges of marine and terrestrial biodiversity, with recommendations for the long-term conservation of the San Basilio region.
    • Scent anointing in mammals: functional and motivational insights from giant pandas

      Charlton, Benjamin D.; Owen, Megan A.; Zhang, H.; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2020)
      Although several mammals impregnate their fur with environmental odors, a phenomenon termed scent anointing or rubbing, the functional relevance of this behavior often is unclear. One theory is that scent anointing could be a form of scent matching with environmental odors to signal competitiveness and home range occupation....
    • Scott's sportive lemur (Lepilemur scottorum). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020

      Eppley, Timothy M.; Borgerson, C.; Sawyer, R.M.; Fenosoa, Z.S.E. (2020)
      The extent of occurrence (EOO) of this species is estimated to be 2,544 km2 . This geographic range is severely fragmented and undergoing continuing decline in area, extent and quality of habitat. The number of mature individuals is also thought to be in decline. Based on these premises, the species is listed as Endangered.
    • Seasonal and reproductive variation in chemical constituents of scent signals in wild giant pandas

      Zhou, Wenliang; Nie, Yonggang; Hu, Yibo; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Zhang, Yaohua; Liu, Dingzhen; Wei, Fuwen (2019)
      Seasonally reproducing animals show many behavioral and physiological changes during the mating period, including increased signaling for intrasexual competition and mate attraction. We collected 102 anogenital gland secretions (AGS) from marking trees in Foping Nature Reserve, and used gas chromatography mass spectrometry analyze these chemical composition....
    • Seed dynamics of an endemic palm in a Northwestern Mexican tropical dry forest: implications for population spatial structure

      López-Toledo, Leonel; Portillo-Cruz, Y.; Pulido, M.T.; Endress, Bryan A. (2013)
      Seed dynamics are an important part of the life history of plants and may have strong implications on abundance and spatial distribution of populations. In this study, we explored how seed dynamics (removal, predation, germination) interact with micro-environmental conditions to affect the spatial structure of populations of Brahea aculeata (Arecaceae) in a tropical dry forest. B. aculeata is distributed throughout arroyo basins and attains its highest densities near to arroyos/rivers....
    • Sentiment analysis as a measure of conservation culture in scientific literature

      Lennox, Robert J.; Veríssimo, Diogo; Twardek, William M.; Davis, Colin R.; Jarić, Ivan (2020)
      Culturomics is emerging as an important field within science, as a way to measure attitudes and beliefs and their dynamics across time and space via quantitative analysis of digitized data from literature, news, film, social media, and more. Sentiment analysis is a culturomics tool that, within the last decade, has provided a means to quantify the polarity of attitudes expressed within various media....
    • Sequential ovulation and fertility of polyoestrus in American black bears (Ursus americanus)

      Himelright, Brendan M.; Moore, Jenna M.; Gonzales, Ramona L.; Mendoza, Alejandra V.; Dye, Penny S.; Schuett, Randall J.; Durrant, Barbara S.; Read, Betsy A.; Spady, Thomas J. (2014)
      American black bears (Ursus americanus) are seasonally polyoestrous and exhibit delayed implantation, which may allow equal and independent fertility of recurrent oestruses of a mating season. We postulated that the luteal inactivity during delayed implantation allows bears to have sequential ovulation during a polyoestrous mating season such that each oestrus of a polyoestrous female will have equivalent fertility, and pregnancy would not preclude subsequent ovulation and superfetation. Controlled mating experiments were conducted on semi-free-ranging female American black bears during three mating seasons, wherein females were bred by different male cohorts in each oestrus. Behavioural observation, vulva score ranking, genetic paternity analysis, gross morphology of ovaries and microscopic morphology of diapaused embryos were used to evaluate the fertility of each subsequent oestrus in polyoestrous females. Oestrus duration, number of successful mounts and median vulva scores were similar between first and subsequent oestruses of the season. Polyoestrus occurred in 81.3% of oestrous females, with a 9.7 ± 5.5 day (mean ± SD) inter-oestrous interval. Sequential ovulation was documented in three polyoestrous females, including one that possessed both a corpus haemorrhagicum and a developed corpus luteum. Among polyoestrous dams, four of nine embryos were conceived in the first oestrus and five of nine in the second oestrus. These results indicate that each oestrus of polyoestrous females is capable of fertility, even if the female is already pregnant from a prior oestrus. Although superfetation was not directly observed in the present study, our results strongly suggest the potential of superfetation in the American black bear and provide novel insight into the complex behavioural and physiological breeding mechanisms of bears. Given that most endangered bear species share similar reproductive traits with American black bears, captive breeding programmes could take advantage of superfetation by mating females with different males at each subsequent oestrus of the season in order to increase the genetic diversity of captive endangered bears.