• A meta-analysis of birth-origin effects on reproduction in diverse captive environments

      Farquharson, Katherine A.; Hogg, Carolyn J.; Grueber, Catherine E. (2018)
      Successfully establishing captive breeding programs is a priority across diverse industries to address food security, demand for ethical laboratory research animals, and prevent extinction. Differences in reproductive success due to birth origin may threaten the long-term sustainability of captive breeding. Our meta-analysis examining 115 effect sizes from 44 species of invertebrates, fish, birds, and mammals shows that, overall, captive-born animals have a 42% decreased odds of reproductive success in captivity compared to their wild-born counterparts. The largest effects are seen in commercial aquaculture, relative to conservation or laboratory settings, and offspring survival and offspring quality were the most sensitive traits. Although a somewhat weaker trend, reproductive success in conservation and laboratory research breeding programs is also in a negative direction for captive-born animals. Our study provides the foundation for future investigation of non-genetic and genetic drivers of change in captivity, and reveals areas for the urgent improvement of captive breeding.
    • Animal Welfare in Conservation Breeding: Applications and Challenges

      Greggor, Alison L.; Vicino, Greg A.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Fidgett, Andrea; Brenner, Deena; 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.
    • Applying SNP-derived molecular coancestry estimates to captive breeding programs

      Ivy, Jamie A.; Putnam, Andrea S.; Navarro, Asako Y.; Gurr, Jessica; Ryder, Oliver A. (2016)
      ...Although pedigree-based breeding strategies are quite effective at retaining long-term genetic variation, management of zoo-based breeding programs continues to be hampered when pedigrees are poorly known. The objective of this study was to evaluate 2 options for generating single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data to resolve unknown relationships within captive breeding programs...
    • Are any populations ‘safe’? Unexpected reproductive decline in a population of Tasmanian devils free of devil facial tumour disease

      Farquharson, Katherine A.; Gooley, Rebecca M.; Fox, S.; Huxtable, Stewart J.; Belov, Katherine; Pemberton, David; Hogg, Carolyn J.; Grueber, Catherine E. (2018)
      Conservation management relies on baseline demographic data of natural populations. For Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii), threatened in the wild by two fatal and transmissible cancers (devil facial tumour disease DFTD: DFT1 and DFT2), understanding the characteristics of healthy populations is crucial for developing adaptive management strategies to bolster populations in the wild....
    • Assessing possible hybridization among managed Nubian ibex in North America

      Putnam, Andrea S.; Nguyen, Tram N.; Mott, Alison; Korody, Marisa L.; Ryder, Oliver A. (2020)
      Hybridization among closely related species is a concern in zoo and aquarium populations where unpedigreed animals are frequently exchanged with the private sector. In this study, we examine possible hybridization in a group of Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana) imported into the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Program (SSP) from a private institution....
    • 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.
    • California Condor North American Studbook (Gymnogyps californianus)

      Mace, Michael E. (Diego Zoo GlobalEscondido, CA, 2014)
    • Captive breeding and re-introductions of the Monuriki Island Crested Iguana in Fiji

      Chand, R; Niukula, J; Vadada, J; Fisher, R; Lovich, Kim; Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Rasalato, S; Thaman, B; Seniloli, E; Tuamoto, T; et al. (IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group and Abu Dhabi, UAE: Environment Agency-Abu DhabiGland, Gland, Switzerland, 2016)
      The Fijian crested iguana (Brachylophus vitiensis) is an arboreal, herbivorous lizard found on only a small number of islands with native dry or littoral forest in western Fiji. Its population is secure only on the sanctuary island of Yadua Taba, where >12,000 individuals exist; this equates to over 200 individuals/ha in the best forest habitat. All other island populations appear to be low and declining (mostly <100 individuals), and survive on communally owned land which is mostly outside the control of central government legislation (Harlow et al., 2007)....
    • Cerebral Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection in a captive African pygmy falcon (Polihierax semitorquatus) in southern California

      Burns, Rachel E.; Bicknese, Elizabeth; Qvarnstrom, Yvonne; DeLeon-Carnes, Marlene; Drew, Clifton P.; Gardiner, Chris H.; Rideout, Bruce (2014)
      A 10-month-old, female African pygmy falcon (Polihierax semitorquatus) hatched and housed at the San Diego Zoo developed neurologic signs and died from a cerebral infection with the rat lungworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis…. To the authors’ knowledge, this infection has not previously been reported in a bird in the United States and has not been known to be naturally acquired in any species in this region of the world. The source of the infection was not definitively determined but was possibly feeder geckos (Hemidactylus frenatus) imported from Southeast Asia where the parasite is endemic.
    • Chlamydia pneumoniae polioencephalomyelitis and ganglionitis in captive Houston toads (Anaxyrus houstonensis)

      Fratzke, Alycia; Howard, Lauren L.; Tocidlowski, Maryanne E.; Armién, Anibal; Oliveira, Fabiano; Ritchie, Branson; Berlin, Erin; Snook, Eric (2019)
      Chlamydia pneumoniae is a ubiquitous pathogen causing disease in humans, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Since 2012, C. pneumoniae infection has caused neurologic disease and mortality in a breeding colony of endangered Houston toads (Anaxyrus houstonensis) at the Houston Zoo....
    • 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….
    • Cocha Cashu Biological Station

      Groenendijk, Jessica; Swamy, Varun; Aliaga, Roxana P. Arauco; Ortiz, Verónica Chávez (2019)
    • Collecting and maintaining exceptional species in tissue culture and cryopreservation

      Pence, Valerie; Westwood, Murphy; Maschinski, Joyce; Powell, Christy; Sugii, Nellie; Fish, Diana; McGuinness, Julianne; Raven, Pat; Duval, Julian; Herrera-Mishler, Tomas; et al. (Center for Plant ConservationEscondido, California, 2019)
      Tissue culture and cryopreservation are alternative storage methods for exceptional species that produce few seeds or seed that are intolerant to drying or freezing. Adequately storing exceptional species requires specialized expertise, infrastructure, and greater resources than conventional seed storage....
    • Comparison of anesthesia of adult giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) using medetomidine-ketamine with and without a potent opioid

      Delk, Katie W.; Mama, Khursheed R.; Rao, Sangeeta; Radcliffe, Robin W.; Lamberski, Nadine (2019)
      Two anesthetic protocols in adult giraffe were compared by retrospective study. Thirteen anesthesia records for medetomidine-ketamine (MK) and seven for medetomidine-ketamine with a potent opioid (MKO) were evaluated for differences in demographic, behavioral, drug, and respiratory parameters....
    • Comparison of beak and feather disease virus prevalence and immunity-associated genetic diversity over time in an island population of red-crowned parakeets

      Knafler, Gabrielle J.; Ortiz-Catedral, Luis; Jackson, Bethany; Varsani, Arvind; Grueber, Catherine E.; Robertson, Bruce C.; Jamieson, Ian G. (2016)
      …Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) was detected for the first time in an island population of red-crowned parakeets (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) in 2008 on Little Barrier Island (Hauturu-o-Toi) of New Zealand. By 2013, the prevalence of the viral infection had significantly decreased within the population….
    • Computed tomography and magnetic resonance for the advanced imaging of the normal nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

      Bercier, Marjorie; Alexander, Kate; Gorow, April; Pye, Geoffrey W. (2014)
      The objective of this study is to describe computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) for the cross-sectional imaging of the normal anatomy of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), to provide reference figures for gross anatomy with corresponding CT and MR images, and to compare the features of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses of the normal koala with that reported in other domestic species. Advanced imaging can be used to aid in diagnosis, to plan surgical intervention, and to monitor therapeutic responses to diseases of the nasal passages in koalas....
    • Demographic, environmental and genetic determinants of mating success in captive koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus)

      Abts, Kendra C.; Ivy, Jamie A.; DeWoody, J. Andrew (2018)
      Many factors have been shown to affect mating behavior. For instance, genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are known to influence mate choice in a wide variety of vertebrate species....