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Recent Submissions

  • Reproductive life history of Thornicroft’s giraffe in Zambia: Giraffe reproduction in Zambia

    Bercovitch, Fred B.; Berry, Philip S.M.; (2010)
    Knowledge of the reproductive life history of giraffe in the wild is sparse. Giraffe have two fairly unusual reproductive patterns among large mammals: they can become pregnant while lactating, and calf mortality is extremely high. Longitudinal records are largely absent, so tracking reproductive parameters tends to combine information from captive and field studies. In this study, we examine longitudinal data obtained over a 33‐year period in one population of Thornicroft’s giraffe in order to chart their reproductive careers. We found that age at first parturition was 6.4 years, or slightly later than in captivity. Giraffe bred throughout the year, with cows producing offspring on average every 677.7 days. About half of the calves died before one year of age, but death of a calf did not reduce interbirth interval. We conclude that the lifetime reproductive success of giraffe is more dependent on longevity and calf survivorship than on reproductive rate.
  • Ecological determinants of herd size in the Thornicroft’s giraffe of Zambia: Giraffe herd size in Zambia

    Bercovitch, Fred B.; Berry, Philip S.M.; (2010)
    Given that giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) live in an extremely flexible social system, and that breeding is nonseasonal, they are an ideal species for examining how ecological variables contribute to fluctuations in herd size. We present an analysis of 34 years of data on a population of Thornicroft’s giraffe (G. c. thornicrofti Lydekker 1911) that reveal how herd size changes with season and habitat....
  • AMPHIBIAN DISEASES-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Adult Notophthalmus viridescens in North-Central Alabama, USA

    Bakkegard, K. A.; Pessier, Allan P.; (2010)
    ...We report on a haphazard collection of dead adult Notophthalmus viridescens discovered during a field zoology class trip conducted by KAB in Birmingham, Alabama....
  • Genetic aspects of equids with particular reference to their hybrids

    Benirschke, Kurt; Ryder, Oliver A.; (1985)
    This paper gives a brief review of the cytogenetic knowlege of equine species, the chromosomal errors currently known to exist, and an account of the interspecific hybrids that have served man during the 4500 years of domestication of horse and donkey.
  • Feather lead concentrations and 207Pb/20Ppb ratios reveal lead exposure history of California condors (Gymnogyps californianus)

    Finkelstein, M. E.; George, D.; Scherbinski, S.; Gwiazda, R.; Johnson, M.; Burnett, J.; Brandt, J.; Lawrey, S.; Pessier, Allan P.; Clark, M.; et al. (2010)
    Lead poisoning is a primary factor impeding the survival and recovery of the critically endangered California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus). However, the frequency and magnitude of lead exposure in condors is not well-known in part because most blood lead monitoring occurs biannually, and biannual blood samples capture only ?10% of a bird’s annual exposure history. We investigated the use of growing feathers from free-flying condors in California to establish a bird’s lead exposure history. We show that lead concentration and stable lead isotopic composition analyses of sequential feather sections and concurrently collected blood samples provided a comprehensive history of lead exposure over the 2?4 month period of feather growth. Feather analyses identified exposure events not evident from blood monitoring efforts, and by fitting an empirically derived timeline to actively growing feathers, we were able to estimate the time frame for specific lead exposure events. Our results demonstrate the utility of using sequentially sampled feathers to reconstruct lead exposure history. Since exposure risk in individuals is one determinant of population health, our findings should increase the understanding of population-level effects from lead poisoning in condors; this information may also be helpful for other avian species potentially impacted by lead poisoning.
  • The evolution of two homologues of the core protein VP6 of epizootic haemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV), which correspond to the geographical origin of the virus

    Anthony, S. J.; Darpel, K. E.; Maan, S.; Sutton, G.; Attoui, H.; Mertens, P. P. C.; (2010)
    Epizootic haemorrhagic disease virus is a 10-segmented, double-stranded RNA virus. When these ten segments of dsRNA are run on 1% agarose, eastern (Australia, Japan) and western (North America, Africa, Middle-East) strains of the virus can be separated phenotypically based on the migration of genome segments 7–9....
  • Successful treatment of chronic periapical osteomyelitis in a parma wallaby (Macropus parma) using comprehensive endodontic therapy with apicoectomy

    Kilgallon, Conor P.; Bicknese, Elizabeth; Fagan, David A.; (2010)
    Although necrobacillosis remains a common condition of captive macropods, there have been limited reports of successful treatment modalities by which it can be treated.…This report describes a case of periapical osteomyelitis involving a mandibular incisor in a Parma wallaby (Macropus parma) that was successfully treated using these techniques in conjunction with low-level laser therapy at 810 nm, which was used for decontamination of the pulp cavity, anti-inflammatory, and biostimulatory effects….
  • An enigmatic mortality event in the only population of the Critically Endangered Cameroonian frog Xenopus longipes

    Blackburn, David C.; Evans, Ben J.; Pessier, Allan P.; Vredenburg, Vance T.; (2010)
    Contemporary global declines and mortality events in amphibian populations have been often attributed to infectious disease and climate change, separately and in combination. We report on an enigmatic mortality event in the only known population of the Critically Endangered frog species Xenopus longipes....
  • A novel herpesvirus of the proposed genus chelonivirus from an asymptomatic bowsprit tortoise (Chersina angulata)

    Bicknese, Elizabeth; Childress, April L.; Wellehan, James F. X.; (2010)
    A wild-caught Bowsprit tortoise (Chersina angulata) was received into quarantine and appeared clinically normal. Oral swabs for consensus herpesvirus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing were obtained during routine quarantine, and a novel herpesvirus was identified....
  • The gorillas of the Ebo Forest, Cameroon

    Morgan, Bethan J.; (2010)
    Cameroon is an important country for both gorillas and chimpanzees. To the south of the Sanaga River, western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) exist, often sympatrically with central chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes). To the forested region northwest of the Sanaga River the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes vellerosus) is present (Gonder et al. 1997), as well as a small remnant population of Cross River gorillas (Gorilla gorilla diehli) peppered along the Cameroon-Nigerian border area (Morgan & Sunderland-Groves 2004)....
  • California condor North American studbook (Gymnogyps californianus)

    Mace, Michael E.; (Zoological Society of San DiegoEscondido, CA, 2010)
  • Treatment of chytridiomycosis requires urgent clinical trials

    Berger, L; Speare, R; Pessier, Allan A.; Voyles, J; Skerratt, L.F.; (2010)
    Effective and safe treatments of amphibian chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), are needed to prevent mortality in captive programs, reduce the risk of disease spread, and better manage the disease in threatened wild populations. Bd is susceptible to a range of antifungal agents and low levels of heat (>30°C) when tested in vitro, but there are few proven methods for clearing adult amphibians of Bd, and acute drug toxicity is a problem for tadpoles and juveniles....
  • Vocalizations and associated behaviors of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) in captivity

    Berg, Judith Kay; (1983)
    This analysis presents the physical characteristics of the vocalizations of the African elephant and describes the associated behavioral contexts of the elephant's communicative system. One male and 8 female African elephants were systematically observed in a relatively large captive environment....
  • Molecular systematics of eastern North American Phalangodidae (Arachnida: Opiliones: Laniatores), demonstrating convergent morphological evolution in caves

    Hedin, Marshal; Thomas, Steven M.; (2010)
    The phalangodid harvestmen (Opiliones: Laniatores) fauna of the southeastern United States has remained obscure since original descriptions of many genera and species over 60 years ago. The obscurity of this interesting group is pervasive, with uncertainty regarding basic systematic information such as generic limits, species limits, and geographic distributions....
  • An optimal and near-optimal strategy to selecting individuals for transfer in captive breeding programs

    Allen, S.D.; Fathi, Y.; Gross, K.; Mace, Michael E.; (2010)
    As species extinction rates continue to rise, zoos have adopted a more active role in the conservation of endangered species. A central concern is to preserve genetic diversity of zoological populations....
  • Genetic characterization and epidemiology of Helicobacters in non-domestic animals

    Schrenzel, Mark D.; Witte, Carmel L.; Bahl, J.; Tucker, Tammy A.; Fabian, Niora; Greger, Heidi; Hollis, Chrissie; Hsia, Gary; Siltamaki, Erin; Rideout, Bruce; et al. (2010)
    ... To better understand the ecology of helicobacters, we did a PCR survey and epidemiologic analysis of 154 captive or wild vertebrate taxa originating from 6 continents....
  • Investigation of factors predicting disease among zoo birds exposed to avian mycobacteriosis

    Witte, Carmel L.; Hungerford, L.L.; Papendick, Rebecca; Stalis, Ilse H.; Rideout, Bruce; (2010)
    Objective—To characterize infection patterns and identify factors associated with avian mycobacteriosis among zoo birds that were housed with infected enclosure mates. Design—Matched case-control study. Animals—79 birds with avian mycobacteriosis (cases) and 316 nondiseased birds (controls) of similar age and taxonomic group that were present in the bird collection of the Zoological Society of San Diego from 1991 through 2005….
  • Comparison of thiafenantil-xylazine and carfentanil-xylazine for immobilization of gemsbok (Oryx gazella)

    Kilgallon, Conor P.; Lamberski, Nadine; Larsen, R. Scott; (2010)
    This study compared immobilization of gemsbok (Oryx gazella) using thiafentanil-xylazine (TX) versus carfentanil-xylazine (CX). Twelve adult gemsboks were divided into two groups, TX and CX. Each group received either 6 mg thiafentanil (0.036 µg/kg (0.032–0.040 µg/kg) and 20 mg xylazine (TX) or 3.6 mg carfentanil (0.021 µg/kg (0.017–0.024 µg/kg) and 20 mg xylazine (CX)….
  • Preventive medicine success: Thymoma removal in an African spot-necked otter (Lutra maculicollis)

    Pye, Geoffrey W.; White, Amanda; Robbins, P.K.; Burns, Rachel E.; Rideout, Bruce; (2010)
    During a preventive medicine examination on a 13-yr-old intact female African spot-necked otter (Lutra maculicollis), radiographs were obtained and a cranial thoracic mass was noted. Cytology from an ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspirate was suggestive of a thymoma. Surgical removal was performed and this diagnosis was confirmed by histopathology….
  • The one curator - one species challenge

    Wiese, Robert J.; Gray, J.; Dick, G. (2010)
    The One Curator-One Species Challenge is a plan that each zoo and aquarium commits long-term that they will lead the efforts to secure the survival of a number of species equal to the number of animal curators on staff. With this strategy the world’s zoos and aquariums could ensure survival of well over 1,000 species.

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