• Characterization of reproductive gene diversity in the endangered Tasmanian devil

      Brandies, Parice A.; Wright, Belinda R.; Hogg, Carolyn J.; Grueber, Catherine E.; Belov, Katherine (2020)
      ...We characterized single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 214 genes involved in reproduction in 37 Tasmanian devils…. We will use this information in future to examine the interplay between reproductive gene variation and reproductive fitness in Tasmanian devil populations.
    • Cross-cultural consensus for waist–hip ratio and women's attractiveness

      Singh, Devendra; Dixson, B. J.; Jessop, T. S.; Morgan, Bethan J.; Dixson, Alan F.; (2010)
      In women of reproductive age, a gynoid body fat distribution as measured by the size of waist–hip ratio (WHR) is a reliable indicator of their sex hormone profile, greater success in pregnancy and less risk for major diseases. According to evolutionary mate selection theory, such indicators of health and fertility should be judged as attractive….
    • Estimating daily walking distance of captive African elephants using an accelerometer

      Rothwell, E. S.; Bercovitch, Fred B.; Andrews, Jeff R. M.; Anderson, Matthew J. (2011)
      Two central concerns for elephant husbandry and management are whether zoological enclosures are appropriately sized and the degree to which naturalistic exercise and activity are observed in such enclosures. In order to address these issues, accurate data on the daily walking distance of elephants both in situ and ex situ are necessary. We used an accelerometer, a pedometer that measures step count and activity level, to estimate walking distance in African elephants (Loxodonta africana) at the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park….
    • Evaluating potential effects of solar power facilities on wildlife from an animal behavior perspective

      Chock, Rachel Y.; Clucas, Barbara; Peterson, Elizabeth K.; Blackwell, Bradley F.; Blumstein, Daniel T.; Church, Kathleen; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban; Francescoli, Gabriel; Greggor, Alison L.; Kemp, Paul; et al. (2021)
      Solar power is a renewable energy source with great potential to help meet increasing global energy demands and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. However, research is scarce on how solar facilities affect wildlife. With input from professionals in ecology, conservation, and energy, we conducted a research-prioritization process and identified key questions needed to better understand impacts of solar facilities on wildlife. We focused on animal behavior, which can be used to identify population responses before mortality or other fitness consequences are documented. Behavioral studies can also offer approaches to understand the mechanisms leading to negative interactions (e.g., collision, singeing, avoidance) and provide insight into mitigating effects. Here, we review how behavioral responses to solar facilities, including perception, movement, habitat use, and interspecific interactions are priority research areas. Addressing these themes will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of solar power on wildlife and guide future mitigation.
    • Fitness costs of neighborhood disruption in translocations of a solitary mammal

      Shier, Debra M.; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2011)
      We translocated Stephens’ kangaroo rats (Dipodomys stephensi), a solitary species listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, with and without neighboring kangaroo rats.… This study is the first empirical demonstration of the fitness consequences of disrupting social relationships among territorial neighbors.
    • Physiological consequences of Arctic sea ice loss on large marine carnivores: Unique responses by polar bears and narwhals

      Pagano, Anthony M.; Williams, Terrie M. (2021)
      Rapid environmental changes in the Arctic are threatening the survival of marine species that rely on the predictable presence of the sea ice. Two Arctic marine mammal specialists, the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and narwhal (Monodon monoceros), appear especially vulnerable to the speed and capriciousness of sea ice deterioration as a consequence of their unique hunting behaviors and diet, as well as their physiological adaptations for slow-aerobic exercise….
    • The effects of GPS collars on African elephant (Loxodonta africana) behavior at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

      Horback, Kristina Marie; Miller, Lance J.; Andrews, Jeffrey; Kuczaj, Stanley Abraham; Anderson, Matthew J. (2012)
      The use of tracking devices (e.g., VHF radio collars, GPS collars, ear transmitters) enables researchers to assess activity budgets, species-specific movement patterns, effects of environmental enrichment, and exercise levels in zoo animals….The present study examined solitary and social behavior rates, as well as overall activity budgets, in eight African elephants living at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Escondido, CA, USA....
    • Twenty-four hour activity levels and walking rates of African elephants in a zoological setting

      Miller, Lance J.; Andrews, Jeff; Anderson, Mathew J.; (Houston, TX, 2010)
      …While there are many questions that need to be addressed surrounding the management of elephants, a first step is to examine the daily activity levels and walking rates of elephants within these facilities. The current study examined these questions for African elephants (Loxodonta africana) at the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park....