• 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.
    • Approaches to management and care of the neonatal nondomestic ruminant

      Wolfe, B.A.; Lamberski, Nadine (2012)
      ...These differences become apparent quickly when the nondomestic neonate requires treatment, and an understanding of the special needs and risks involved can prevent unnecessary problems and losses. The aim of this article is to discuss the unique challenges presented by nondomestic ruminants and approaches to management of neonatal and pediatric cases.
    • Behavioral diversity as a potential indicator of positive animal welfare

      Miller, Lance J.; Vicino, Greg A.; Sheftel, Jessica; Lauderdale, Lisa K. (2020)
      Modern day zoos and aquariums continuously assess the welfare of their animals and use evidence to make informed management decisions. Historically, many of the indicators of animal welfare used to assess the collection are negative indicators of welfare, such as stereotypic behavior. However, a lack of negative indicators of animal welfare does not demonstrate that an individual animal is thriving. There is a need for validated measures of positive animal welfare and there is a growing body of evidence that supports the use of behavioral diversity as a positive indicator of welfare. This includes an inverse relationship with stereotypic behavior as well as fecal glucocorticoid metabolites and is typically higher in situations thought to promote positive welfare. This review article highlights previous research on behavioral diversity as a potential positive indicator of welfare. Details are provided on how to calculate behavioral diversity and how to use it when evaluating animal welfare. Finally, the review will indicate how behavioral diversity can be used to inform an evidence-based management approach to animal care and welfare.
    • Conservation and animal behavior

      Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Breed, Michael D.; Moore, Janice (Academic Press, 2010)
    • Conservation behaviour

      Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Mills, D.S.; Marchant-Forde, J.N.; McGreevy, P.D.; Morton, D.B.; Nicol, C.J.; Phillips, C.J.C.; Sandoe, P.; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (CABICambridge, MA, 2010)
    • Conspecific attraction

      Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Mills, D.S.; Marchant-Forde, J.N.; McGreevy, P.D.; Morton, D.B.; Nicol, C.J.; Phillips, C.J.C.; Sandoe, P.; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (CABICambridge, MA, 2010)
    • Critically endangered

      Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Mills, D.S.; Marchant-Forde, J.N.; McGreevy, P.D.; Morton, D.B.; Nicol, C.J.; Phillips, C.J.C.; Sandoe, P.; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (CABICambridge, MA, 2010)
    • Endangered species

      Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Mills, D.S.; Marchant-Forde, J.N.; McGreevy, P.D.; Morton, D.B.; Nicol, C.J.; Phillips, C.J.C.; Sandoe, P.; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (CABICambridge, MA, 2010)
    • Impacts of natural history and exhibit factors on carnivore welfare

      Miller, Lance J.; Ivy, Jamie A.; Vicino, Greg A.; Schork, Ivana G. (2019)
      To improve the welfare of nonhuman animals under professional care, zoological institutions are continuously utilizing new methods to identify factors that lead to optimal welfare. Comparative methods have historically been used in the field of evolutionary biology but are increasingly being applied in the field of animal welfare....
    • Intensity of play behavior as a potential measure of welfare: A novel method for quantifying the integrated intensity of behavior in African elephants

      Vicino, Greg A.; Marcacci, Emily S. (2015)
      This study was developed to test an equation that quantified the intensity and duration of play bouts in a particularly gregarious mammal, African elephants (Loxodonta africana ) housed at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, CA.… Here we present the methods and technique used to calculate a standardized Integrated Play Index (IPI) that has potential for use in other socially living species that are known to exhibit play behavior
    • Preference assessments as a tool to evaluate environmental enrichment

      Woods, Jocelyn M.; Lane, Erin K.; Miller, Lance J. (2020)
      …Ten-minute free operant, paired-choice preference assessments were implemented in Study 1 to determine the enrichment preferences of African lions (N = 3). Following Study 1, Study 2 was conducted, which examined the behavior of African lions with enrichment items over the course of 30, 24-hr trials to evaluate the relationship between preferences established in Study 1 and long-term interaction with the enrichment….
    • Relationship between behavioural diversity and faecal glucocorticoid metabolites: a case study with cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

      Miller, Lance J.; Pisacane, CB; Vicino, Greg A. (2016)
      ... The goal of the current study was to continue efforts to validate behavioural diversity as an indicator of welfare using cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) as a model species. Behavioural and faecal glucocorticoid metabolite data were collected on 18 cheetah at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park over a period of three months to explore the relationship between behavioural diversity and adrenal hormones related to the stress response.....
    • Space use as an indicator of enclosure appropriateness in African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus)

      Hunter, Sally C.; Gusset, Markus; Miller, Lance J.; Somers, Michael J. (2014)
      A clear understanding of space use is required to more fully understand biological requirements of nonhuman animals in zoos, aid the design of exhibits, and maximize the animals' welfare. This study used electivity indexes to assess space use of two packs of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) and the appropriateness of two naturalistic, outdoor enclosures at the San Diego Zoo and Bronx Zoo....
    • The Elephant Welfare Initiative: a model for advancing evidence-based zoo animal welfare monitoring, assessment and enhancement

      Meehan, C.; Greco, B.; Lynn, B.; Morfeld, K.; Vicino, Greg A.; Orban, D.; Gorsuch, C.; Quick, M.; Ripple, L.; Fournier, K.; et al. (2019)
      The Elephant Welfare Initiative (EWI) is an effort supported by a community of member zoos with the common goal of advancing evidence-based elephant-care practices that enhance welfare. The idea for the EWI came about following the completion of a large-scale North American elephant welfare study, which demonstrated that daily practices, such as social management, enrichment and exercise, play a critical role in improving the welfare of elephants in zoos....
    • Validating methods to determine walking rates of elephants within a zoological institution

      Miller, Lance J.; Andrews, J; Anderson, Matthew J. (2012)
      ...The purpose of the current research was to validate methods for examining the walking rates of elephants in a zoological facility. This included testing GPS units, examining walking rates of eight elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park using collars and conducting trials on a subset of elephants wearing both a collar and anklet outfitted with GPS devices to determine reliability....
    • Validation of lactate measurement in american flamingo (phoenicopterus ruber) plasma and correlation with duration and difficulty of capture

      Burgdorf-Moisuk, Anne; Wack, Raymund; Ziccardi, Michael; Larsen, R. Scott; Hopper, Kate (2012)
      Capture myopathy and associated death have been reported with capture and restraint of greater flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber roseus) and lesser flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor)…. The goals of this study were to validate two common methods for measuring lactate (i-STAT® and VetTest® analyzers) in flamingo plasma by comparing measurements to a reference analyzer; and to correlate blood lactate concentration levels in captured flamingos with the duration and difficulty of capture as a possible indicator of capture myopathy…..
    • Visitor reaction to pacing behavior: influence on the perception of animal care and interest in supporting zoological institutions

      Miller, Lance J. (2012)
      Many publications within the field of zoo animal welfare have stated the importance of decreasing stereotypic behavior (e.g., pacing) to help ensure a positive visitor experience. The idea behind these statements is that visitors want to see animals engaged in natural behavior...