• A demonstration of conservation genomics for threatened species management

      Wright, Belinda R.; Farquharson, Katherine A.; McLennan, Elspeth A.; Belov, Katherine; Hogg, Carolyn J.; Grueber, Catherine E. (2020)
      ... We conducted whole genome sequencing (WGS) of 25 individuals from the captive breeding programme and reduced‐representation sequencing (RRS) of 98 founders of the same programme. A subset of the WGS samples was also sequenced by RRS, allowing us to directly compare genome‐wide heterozygosity with estimates from RRS data. We found good congruence in interindividual variation and gene‐ontology classifications between the two data sets, indicating that our RRS data reflect the genome well....
    • Abomasal impaction in captive bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus)

      Gyimesi, Zoltan S.; Burns, Roy B.; Campbell, Mark; Knightly, Felicia; Kramer, Lynn W.; Wack, Raymund F.; Zuba, Jeffery R.; Rings, D. Michael (2011)
      Fatal abomasal impaction, often combined with omasal impaction, was diagnosed in 11 bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus) from five different zoologic collections in the United States between 1981 and 2009. Nine of 11 cases occurred in young females (10 mo–7 yr old) and typical clinical signs prior to diagnosis or death included partial or complete anorexia, dehydration, and scant fecal production....
    • 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....
    • Appendix 4: Annotated bibliography of books, journals, and web sites on captive management.

      Kenyon Barboza, K.; Coates, Linda L.; Kleiman, Devra G. (University of Chicago Press, 2010)
      ...Wild Mammals in Captivity presents the most current thinking and practice in the care and management of wild mammals in zoos and other institutions. In one comprehensive volume, the editors have gathered the most current information from studies of animal behavior; advances in captive breeding; research in physiology, genetics, and nutrition; and new thinking in animal management and welfare.....
    • Clinical infection of captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) with elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 4

      Fuery, Angela; Browning, Geoffrey R.; Tan, Jie; Long, Simon; Hayward, Gary S.; Cox, Sherry K.; Flanagan, Joseph P.; Tocidlowski, Maryanne E.; Howard, Lauren L.; Ling, Paul D. (2016)
      Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) can cause lethal hemorrhagic disease in juvenile Asian elephants…. In this brief communication, two cases of EEHV4 infection in juvenile elephants at the Houston Zoo are described, where both cases were resolved following intensive treatment and administration of famciclovir….
    • Development of a case definition for clinical feline herpesvirus infection in cheetahs (acinonyx jubatus) housed in zoos

      Witte, Carmel L.; Lamberski, Nadine; Rideout, Bruce; Fields, Victoria; Teare, Cyd Shields; Barrie, Michael; Haefele, Holly; Junge, Randall; Murray, Suzan; Hungerford, Laura L. (2013)
      The identification of feline herpesvirus (FHV) infected cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) and characterization of shedding episodes is difficult due to nonspecific clinical signs and limitations of diagnostic tests. The goals of this study were to develop a case definition for clinical FHV and describe the distribution of signs. Medical records from six different zoologic institutions were reviewed to identify cheetahs with diagnostic test results confirming FHV….
    • Developmental milestones among African elephant calves on their first day of life

      Bercovitch, Fred B.; Andrews, Jeff; (2010)
      ...We show that calves born in a zoo stand and walk on their own for the first time at the same age as those born in the wild. Calves born in the zoo take a little longer until first successful nursing, but the difference in age between wild and zoo is not statistically significant....
    • Dietary specialization and Eucalyptus species preferences in Queensland koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus)

      Higgins, Alexis L.; Bercovitch, Fred B.; Tobey, Jennifer R.; Andrus, Chris Hamlin (2011)
      Koalas specialize on�Eucalyptus�leaves, but also feed selectively. Food choice is not random, but depends on various factors that are not well understood, although most research has focused on the role of secondary plant compounds. We studied the feeding choices of four adult male koalas housed at the San Diego Zoo....
    • Efforts to restore the California condor to the wild

      Wallace, Michael P. (2012)
      By the early 1980s new studies using radio telemetry and moult patterns to identify individuals indicated that only 21 California condors (Gymnogyps californianus) existed, with five pairs sporadically breeding. With continuous and poorly understood mortality, the decision was made to capture the remaining animals and in 1987 all 27 birds were placed in the protective custody of the San Diego and Los Angeles zoos, at which time the species was considered Extinct in the Wild....
    • Elephant training in zoos

      Vicino, Greg A.; Melfi, Vicky A.; Dorey, Nicole R.; Ward, Samantha J. (Wiley-BlackwellHoboken, NJ, 2020)
    • Epidemiology of clinical feline herpesvirus infection in zoo-housed cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

      Witte, Carmel L.; Lamberski, Nadine; Rideout, Bruce; Vaida, Florin; Citino, Scott B.; Barrie, Michael T.; Haefele, Holly J.; Junge, Randall E.; Murray, Suzan; Hungerford, Laura L. (2017)
      OBJECTIVE To determine the incidence of and risk factors for clinical feline herpesvirus (FHV) infection in zoo-housed cheetahs and determine whether dam infection was associated with offspring infection. DESIGN Retrospective cohort study....
    • 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….
    • Evaluation of antibody response to vaccination against West Nile virus in thick billed parrots (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha)

      Glavis, Jennifer; Larsen, R. Scott; Lamberski, Nadine; Gaffney, Patricia M.; Gardner, Ian (2011)
      West Nile virus (WNV) was first documented in North America in New York City in 1999. Several deaths attributable to WNV have been reported in captive thick-billed parrots (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha), an endangered psittacine native to North America. The serologic responses in 12 captive adult thick-billed parrots after a series of three initial WNV vaccine injections with annual boosters over 6 yr was evaluated....
    • Genetic structure of Rhinoceros Rock Iguanas, Cyclura cornuta, in the Dominican Republic, with insights into the impact of captive facilities and the taxonomic status of Cyclura on Mona Island

      Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Colosimo, Giuliano; Carreras-De León, Rosanna; Gerber, Glenn P. (2020)
      …To better understand the population structure of this species, we used a combination of mtDNA and nuclear markers to elucidate the genetic variation of wild populations across 13 sampling regions in the Dominican Republic (DR), as well as neighboring Mona Island, home to a Cyclura population of uncertain taxonomic status…. Our results suggest that the captive facilities may pose a threat to wild populations and increased regulation of these facilities is needed….
    • Guidelines for zoo and aquarium veterinary medical programs and veterinary hospitals

      Backues, Kay; Clyde, Vickie; Denver, Mary; Fiorello, Christine; Hilsenroth, Rob; Lamberski, Nadine; Larson, Scott; Meehan, Tom; Murray, Mike; Ramer, Jan (2011)
      ... The following document is the fifth edition developed by the Veterinary Standards Committee of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians to be used as a guideline for zoos and aquariums in developing and evaluating the medical programs in their institutions. The Veterinary Medical Program encompasses the routine medical and surgical care of the collection and the preventive medicine program. In order for the veterinary staff to support these programs of veterinary care, a hospital facility appropriate to the collection's needs is required. It is hoped that this document will be an aid in the accreditation of zoos and aquariums by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.
    • 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….
    • Kinship-based management strategies for captive breeding programs when pedigrees are unknown or uncertain

      Putnam, Andrea S.; Ivy, Jamie A. (2014)
      …Using the demographic parameters of a North American captive population of Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx), 2 kinship-based breeding-pair selection strategies were modeled for their performance in handling pedigrees with varying degrees of parentage uncertainty…. Both kinship-based breeding-pair selection strategies significantly outperformed the nonkinship-based strategies.
    • Koala retrovirus diversity, transmissibility, and disease associations

      Zheng, HaoQiang; Pan, Yi; Tang, Shaohua; Pye, Geoffrey W.; Stadler, Cynthia K; Vogelnest, Larry; Herrin, Kimberly Vinette; Rideout, Bruce; Switzer, William M. (2020)
      Background Koalas are infected with the koala retrovirus (KoRV) that exists as exogenous or endogenous viruses. KoRV is genetically diverse with co-infection with up to ten envelope subtypes (A-J) possible; KoRV-A is the prototype endogenous form. KoRV-B, first found in a small number of koalas with an increased leukemia prevalence at one US zoo, has been associated with other cancers and increased chlamydial disease. To better understand the molecular epidemiology of KoRV variants and the effect of increased viral loads (VLs) on transmissibility and pathogenicity we developed subtype-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays and tested blood and tissue samples from koalas at US zoos (n=78), two Australian zoos (n=27) and wild-caught (n=21) in Australia. We analyzed PCR results with available clinical, demographic, and pedigree data. Results All koalas were KoRV-A-infected. A small number of koalas (10.3%) at one US zoo were also infected with non-A subtypes, while a higher non-A subtype prevalence (59.3%) was found in koalas at Australian zoos. Wild koalas from one location were only infected with KoRV-A. We observed a significant association of infection and plasma VLs of non-A subtypes in koalas that died of leukemia/lymphoma and other neoplasias and report cancer diagnoses in KoRV-A-positive animals. Infection and VLs of non-A subtypes was not associated with age or sex. Transmission of non-A subtypes occurred from dam-to-offspring and likely following adult-to-adult contact, but associations with contact type were not evaluated. Brief antiretroviral treatment of one leukemic koala infected with high plasma levels of KoRV-A, -B, and -F did not affect VL or disease progression. Conclusions Our results show a significant association of non-A KoRV infection and plasma VLs with leukemia and other
    • Lack of genetic diversity across diverse immune genes in an endangered mammal, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)

      Morris, K.M.; Wright, B.; Grueber, Catherine E.; Hogg, Carolyn J.; Belov, Katherine (2015)
      The Tasmanian devil (S arcophilus harrisii ) is threatened with extinction due to the spread of devil facial tumour disease. Polymorphisms in immune genes can provide adaptive potential to resist diseases. Previous studies in diversity at immune loci in wild species have almost exclusively focused on genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC ); however, these genes only account for a fraction of immune gene diversity. Devils lack diversity at functionally important immunity loci, including MHC and Toll‐like receptor genes. Whether there are polymorphisms at devil immune genes outside these two families is unknown. Here, we identify polymorphisms in a wide range of key immune genes, and develop assays to type single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP s) within a subset of these genes. A total of 167 immune genes were examined, including cytokines, chemokines and natural killer cell receptors. Using genome‐level data from ten devils, SNP s within coding regions, introns and 10 kb flanking genes of interest were identified. We found low polymorphism across 167 immune genes examined bioinformatically using whole‐genome data. From this data, we developed long amplicon assays to target nine genes. These amplicons were sequenced in 29–220 devils and found to contain 78 SNP s, including eight SNPS within exons. Despite the extreme paucity of genetic diversity within these genes, signatures of balancing selection were exhibited by one chemokine gene, suggesting that remaining diversity may hold adaptive potential. The low functional diversity may leave devils highly vulnerable to infectious disease, and therefore, monitoring and preserving remaining diversity will be critical for the long‐term management of this species. Examining genetic variation in diverse immune genes should be a priority for threatened wildlife species. This study can act as a model for broad‐scale immunogenetic diversity analysis in threatened species.