• A comparison of strategies for selecting breeding pairs to maximize genetic diversity retention in managed populations

      Ivy, Jamie A.; Lacy, Robert C. (2012)
      Captive breeding programs aim to maintain populations that are demographically self-sustaining and genetically healthy. It has been well documented that the best way for managed breeding programs to retain gene diversity (GD) and limit inbreeding is to select breeding pairs that minimize a population's average kinship....
    • 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....
    • 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....
    • 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.
    • Clinical challenge. Renal adenocarcinoma in a spitting cobra

      Belasco-Zeitz, Marianne; Pye, Geoffrey W.; Burns, Rachel E.; Pessier, Allan P. (2013)
      A 16-yr-old, male red spitting cobra (Naja pallida) (weight, 1.9 kg) presented with caudal coelomic swelling…. Blood from a male sibling (weight, 1.35 kg) was collected for comparison purposes and was reported with WBC < 5,000 × 106 cells/μl; uric acid, 6.4 mg/dl; calcium, 14.8 mg/dl; phosphorous, 6.6 mg/dl; total protein, 6.9 g/dl; and globulins, 4.2 g/dl…
    • Conservation genomics of threatened animal species

      Steiner, Cynthia C.; Putnam, Andrea S.; Hoeck, Paquita E. A.; Ryder, Oliver A. (2013)
      The genomics era has opened up exciting possibilities in the field of conservation biology by enabling genomic analyses of threatened species that previously were limited to model organisms. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) and the collection of genome-wide data allow for more robust studies of the demographic history of populations and adaptive variation associated with fitness and local adaptation.…
    • 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….
    • Does placental invasiveness lead to higher rates of malignant transformation in mammals?Response to: ‘Available data suggests positive relationship between placental invasion an malignancy’

      Boddy, Amy M.; Abegglen, Lisa M.; Aktipis, Athena; Schiffman, Joshua D.; Maley, Carlo C.; Witte, Carmel L. (2020)
      In our study, Lifetime cancer prevalence and life history traits in mammals, we reported the prevalence of neoplasia and malignancy in a select group of mammals housed at San Diego Zoo Global from 1964 to 1978 and 1987 to 2015 [1]. We also used these data to evaluate associations between life history traits and measures of population health. Our analysis showed placental invasiveness could not predict the proportion of animals diagnosed with neoplasia or malignancy. In a response to our article, Drs Wagner and colleagues describe a different calculation to test for a relationship between placental invasiveness and malignancy. They identified and included previously published veterinary neoplasia and malignancy data with our published dataset and suggest a positive relationship between placental invasiveness and development of malignancy (referred to as malignancy rate in Wagner and colleagues’ response). These data provided support for the Evolved Levels of Invasiveness (ELI) hypothesis [2]. We are pleased that other investigators find our data useful, and wholeheartedly agree with Drs Wagner and colleagues in the need to identify more data on cancer in a wide variety of species. Notwithstanding, this updated analysis brings up a number of topics that we would like to address....
    • Epidemiology of ulcerative shell disease in Colombian slider turtles (Trachemys callirostris) in a wildlife facility in Colombia between 2005 and 2009

      Castro, Andrés Alejandro; Vivas, Zoila A.; Brieva, Claudia I.; Witte, Carmel L. (2014)
      ...This is the first epidemiological study of this disease in turtles in a wildlife rehabilitation facility anywhere in the world.
    • Evaluation of two doses of butorphanol-medetomidine-midazolam for the immobilization of wild versus captive black-footed cats (Felis nigripes)

      Eggers, Birgit; Tordiffe, Adrian S. W.; Lamberski, Nadine; Lawrenz, Arne; Sliwa, Alexander; Wilson, Beryl; Meyer, Leith C. R. (2020)
      The efficacy, safety, physiologic effects, and reversibility of butorphanol-medetomidine-midazolam (BMM) immobilization were evaluated in black-footed cats (Felis nigripes) and compared between captive and wild animals. Nine captive and 14 wild black-footed cats were hand injected into an accessible hind limb muscle group with the BMM combination…. The capture methods exerted a greater influence on the physiology of the immobilized animals than did the doses of the drugs used….
    • Fat-soluble vitamin and mineral comparisons between zoo-based and free-ranging koalas (phascolarctos cinereus)

      Schmidt, Debra A.; Pye, Geoffrey W.; Hamlin-Andrus, Chris C.; Ellis, William A.; Ellersieck, Mark R.; Chen, Tai C.; Holick, Michael F. (2013)
      As part of a health investigation on koalas at San Diego Zoo, serum samples were analyzed from 18 free-ranging and 22 zoo-based koalas, Phascolarctos cinereus. Serum concentrations of calcium, chloride, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc, and vitamins A, E, and 25(OH)D3 were quantified....
    • 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 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....
    • Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

      Swaisgood, Ronald R.; McShea, William M.; Wildt, David; Hull, Vanessa; Zhang, Jindong; Owen, Megan A.; Zhang, Zejun; Dvornicky-Raymond, Zachary; Valitutto, Marc; Li, Dihua; et al. (Cambridge University PressCambridge, 2020)
      This chapter comprises the following sections: names, taxonomy, subspecies and distribution, descriptive notes, habitat, movements and home range, activity patterns, feeding ecology, reproduction and growth, behavior, parasites and diseases, status in the wild, and status in captivity.
    • Giant Pandas: Biology, Veterinary Medicine and Management

      Wildt, David E.; Zhang, Anju; Zhang, Hemin; Janssen, Donald L.; Ellis, Susie (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
      The giant panda is one of the world's most recognized animals, but until now the biology of this threatened species has been a mystery....
    • Granulomatous myositis associated with a novel alveolate pathogen in an adult southern leopard frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus)

      Jones, Megan E. B.; Armién, Aníbal G.; Rothermel, Betsie B.; Pessier, Allan P. (2012)
      Since 1999, infections with an incompletely characterized alveolate protozoan variously reported as a Dermocystidium-like organism, a Perkinsus-like agent, and Dermomycoides sp. have been associated with mortality events in tadpoles of ranid frogs from the USA. However, disease or mortality events due to this organism have not been described in post-metamorphic animals. We describe infection with a morphologically similar protozoan presenting itself as a leg mass in a free-ranging adult southern leopard frog Lithobates sphenocephalus….
    • Identification of differences in human and great ape phytanic acid metabolism that could influence gene expression profiles and physiological functions

      Watkins, Paul A.; Moser, Ann B.; Toomer, Cicely B.; Steinberg, Steven J.; Moser, Hugo W.; Karaman, Mazen W.; Ramaswamy, Krishna; Siegmund, Kimberly D.; Lee, D. Rick; Ely, John J.; et al. (2010)
      It has been proposed that anatomical differences in human and great ape guts arose in response to species-specific diets and energy demands. To investigate functional genomic consequences of these differences, we compared their physiological levels of phytanic acid, a branched chain fatty acid that can be derived from the microbial degradation of chlorophyll in ruminant guts. Humans who accumulate large stores of phytanic acid commonly develop cerebellar ataxia, peripheral polyneuropathy, and retinitis pigmentosa in addition to other medical conditions. Furthermore, phytanic acid is an activator of the PPAR-alpha transcription factor that influences the expression of genes relevant to lipid metabolism.
    • In-air auditory psychophysics and the management of a threatened carnivore, the polar bear (Ursus maritimus)

      Owen, Megan A.; AE, Bowles (2011)
      Management criteria for preventing biologically-significant noise disturbance in large terrestrial mammals have not been developed based on a sound, empirical understanding of their sensory ecology. Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal denning areas on the coastal plain of Alaska’s North Slope hold large petroleum reserves and will be subject to increased development in the future. Anthropogenic noise could adversely affect polar bears by disrupting intra-specific communication, altering habitat use, or causing behavioral and physiological stress. However, little is known about the hearing of any large, carnivorous mammal, including bears; so, management criteria currently in use to protect denning female polar bears may or may not be proportionate and effective. As part of a comprehensive effort to develop efficient, defensible criteria we used behavioral psycho acousticmethods to test in-air hearing sensitivity of five polar bears at frequencies between 125 Hz and 31.5kHz. Results showed best sensitivity between 8 and 14 kHz. Sensitivity declined sharply between 14and 25 kHz, suggesting an upper limit of hearing 10-20 kHz below that of small carnivores. Low frequency sensitivity was comparable to that of the domestic dog, and a decline in functional hearingwas observed at 125 Hz. Thresholds will be used to develop efficient exposure metrics, which will be needed increasingly as the Arctic is developed and effects of disturbance are intensified by anticipated declines in polar bear health and reproduction associated with climate change driven sea ice losses.
    • Inbreeding, immune defence and ectoparasite load in different mockingbird populations and species in the Galápagos Islands

      Hoeck, Paquita E. A.; Keller, Lukas F. (2012)
      ...Using 26 microsatellite loci and genetic data from museum specimens and contemporary samples, we calculated short‐term and long‐term inbreeding in 13 different mockingbird populations covering the range of all 4 species in the Galápagos Islands and compared them with three different measures of innate immunity and ectoparasite load. We found no significant effect of either measure of inbreeding on natural antibody or complement enzyme titres, heterophil‐lymphocyte ratio or feather louse abundance....