• A suite of microsatellite markers optimized for amplification of DNA from addax (Addax nasomaculatus) blood preserved on FTA cards: Microsatellites for addax on FTA cards

      Heim, Brett C.; Ivy, Jamie A.; Latch, Emily K. (2012)
      The addax (Addax nasomaculatus) is a critically endangered antelope that is currently maintained in zoos through regional, conservation breeding programs. As for many captive species, incomplete pedigree data currently impedes the ability of addax breeding programs to confidently manage the genetics of captive populations and to select appropriate animals for reintroduction. Molecular markers are often used to improve pedigree resolution, thereby improving the long‐term effectiveness of genetic management....
    • California condor North American studbook (Gymnogyps californianus)

      Mace, Michael E.; (Zoological Society of San DiegoEscondido, CA, 2010)
    • 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.
    • Genetic signatures of a demographic collapse in a large-bodied forest dwelling primate (Mandrillus leucophaeus)

      Ting, Nelson; Astaras, Christos; Hearn, Gail; Honarvar, Shaya; Corush, Joel; Burrell, Andrew S.; Phillips, Naomi; Morgan, Bethan J.; Gadsby, Elizabeth L.; Raaum, Ryan; et al. (2012)
      It is difficult to predict how current climate change will affect wildlife species adapted to a tropical rainforest environment. Understanding how population dynamics fluctuated in such species throughout periods of past climatic change can provide insight into this issue. The drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) is a large-bodied rainforest adapted mammal found in West Central Africa. In the middle of this endangered monkey's geographic range is Lake Barombi Mbo, which has a well-documented palynological record of environmental change that dates to the Late Pleistocene. We used a Bayesian coalescent-based framework to analyze 2,076 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA across wild drill populations to infer past changes in female effective population size since the Late Pleistocene. Our results suggest that the drill underwent a nearly 15-fold demographic collapse in female effective population size that was most prominent during the Mid Holocene (approximately 3-5 Ka). This time period coincides with a period of increased dryness and seasonality across Africa and a dramatic reduction in forest coverage at Lake Barombi Mbo. We believe that these changes in climate and forest coverage were the driving forces behind the drill population decline. Furthermore, the warm temperatures and increased aridity of the Mid Holocene are potentially analogous to current and future conditions faced by many tropical rainforest communities. In order to prevent future declines in population size in rainforest-adapted species such as the drill, large tracts of forest should be protected to both preserve habitat and prevent forest loss through aridification.