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Zoo biology [journal]
- Wellness as Welfare. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2013 May 3.
- Predicting How Individuals Approach Enrichment: Regulatory Focus in Cotton-Top Tamarins (Sanguinus oedipus). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2013 May 6.
Evidence is mounting that personality is associated with health and well-being in humans and other animals. In a step towards increasing our understanding of this link, we applied regulatory focus theory, a motivational perspective from social psychology, to the behavior of zoo-housed cotton top tamarins. We tested whether regulatory focus "personality," that is stable differences in whether an individual is motivated by gains versus safety, would 1) produce individual differences in behavior and 2) predict how individuals interact with enrichment. First, we characterized individuals with respect to several key behaviors: eating in the open, hiding, and time spent near the front of the exhibit. The monkeys were consistent in their behavioral tendencies across the 6-month study, allowing regulatory focus classification. One monkey showed evidence of being a promotion-individual, that is, more motivated by gains than safety. One monkey showed evidence of being a prevention-individual, that is, more motivated by safety than gains. The other monkeys were stable in their behavior and showed evidence of being intermediate-individuals, that is, they favored neither gains nor safety. Using these characterizations, we predicted distinct patterns of individual-object interactions with enrichment. For example, we predicted that a promotion-individual (favoring gains over safety) would approach potential gains faster than a prevention-individual (favoring safety over gains). Counter-intuitively, however, we also predicted that a promotion-individual would approach non-gains slower than a prevention-individual concerned with safety. We found support for our predictions, which suggests that regulatory focus theory could be a useful tool for understanding how and why individuals interact with environmental enrichment. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- Anticipatory Behavior in Captive Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): A Preliminary Study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2013 Apr 30.
This study examined whether a group of captive dolphins displayed anticipatory behaviors before shows. In general, anticipation occurs when an event is being predicted. Anticipatory behavior is defined by Spruijt et al. as "responses elicited by rewarding stimuli that lead to and facilitate consummatory behavior (Spruijt et al., 2001, Appl Anim Behav Sci 72: 145-171)." Using behavioral recording techniques, the behaviors, breathing rates, space use, and activity levels of all dolphins was recorded both before and after shows. Analysis compared pre- and post-show data in addition to looking at gradual changes in behavior prior to show sessions. Significant changes were found in the behavior and space use prior to sessions with the dolphins decreasing their activity levels, spending more time at the surface and moving towards the starting point of a session before it took place. There was a significant increase in the vigilant behavior before sessions, indicating that the dolphins were becoming more alert towards their trainers and other activities around the pool. This result mirrors previous research with other captive species; as feeding time was approaching, the animals seemed to "wait" and look for the handlers. Any behavioral change that may be regarded as anticipatory behavior was not evidently abnormal or stereotypic in nature, and breathing rates remained stable indicating that the animals do not perceive the shows as stressful or as an aversive experience. Additionally, behavior and level of activity remained stable following the sessions. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- The Quality and Fertility of Sperm Collected From European Common Frog (Rana temporaria) Carcasses Refrigerated for up to 7 Days. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2013 Apr 22.
There is a catastrophic decrease in the biodiversity of amphibians coupled with the loss of genetic variation. The perpetuation of amphibian biodiversity demands a multifaceted approach, including the use of reproduction technologies (RTs), to enable efficient reproduction in captivity and to prevent the loss of genetic variation. Reproduction technologies for the storage of amphibian sperm for days to weeks, when refrigerated at 4°C, or for millennia when cryopreserved have recently undergone rapid development. Sperm from amphibians may be obtained through excision and maceration of testes; however, this is sometimes not possible with rare or endangered species. Alternate methods of obtaining sperm are through hormonal induction, or as spermatozoa from the carcasses of recently dead amphibians. The use of sperm from carcasses of recently dead amphibians is particularly valuable when sampled from genetically important founders in conservation breeding programs, or where catastrophic mortality is occurring in natural population. Sperm harvested over a period of 7 days from the testes of European common frog (Rana temporaria) carcasses stored in a refrigerator were assessed for percentage and progressive motility, cell membrane integrity, nuclear DNA fragmentation, and fertilizing ability. In addition, the survival of resulting embryos to hatch was recorded. Results indicated that some sperm of R. temporaria remain motile and fertile when harvested from frog carcasses refrigerated up to 7 days post-mortem, and resulting embryos can develop to hatch. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- Digestibility of Two Diet Items by Captive Eastern Quolls (Dasyurus viverrinus). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2013 Apr 18.
The eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus) is a carnivorous Australian marsupial that has undergone significant geographical range contraction since European settlement, and is extinct on the mainland. Nutrition is not well researched in captive eastern quolls, and captive diets often consist of commercial pet foods as opposed to raw meat or insect diets. Improving nutrition will enhance reproductive output and ensure suitable numbers of quolls are bred to be used in translocation programs. The present study analyzed the composition of kangaroo mince and chicken necks, and the digestibility of these items, in a captive environment. The quolls had high apparent total tract digestibility on the chicken neck and kangaroo mince treatments (DM 83-88%, GE 95-97%, protein 94-97%, and lipids 94-95%, respectively). The apparent total tract digestibility of DM, GE, and proteins was significantly higher (t14 = 2.465, P < 0.05; t14 = 2.489, P < 0.05; t14 = 5.470, P < 0.01, respectively) on the kangaroo mince treatment compared with the chicken neck treatment. This study provides the first data on Cu (-18-37%), S (86-95%), and Zn (26-28%) apparent total tract digestibility in a Dasyurid. Data gathered during this study can be used to improve management practices for captive quolls, including diet formulation and mineral supplementation. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- Behavioral correlates of post-breeding weight change in a captive flock of American flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber). [Journal Article]
- Zoo Biol 2013 Mar; 32(2):204-9.
In a captive flock of American flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber), a pattern of weight loss after the breeding season was observed in the majority of individuals of both sexes, but weights eventually stabilized after several months. Social dominance (as determined by a 6-month behavioral study) was a highly significant predictor of early post-breeding weight loss, with dominant individuals undergoing less severe weight loss over this period; and behavioral observations supported the hypothesis that social dominance enhanced access to food in both males and females. Later in the study period, social dominance was no longer a significant predictor of weight changes, but rather individuals that had undergone previous large weight losses seemed to spend a greater amount of time feeding in an apparent effort to offset weight loss. Over the course of the study, there was a marked decline in both the proportion of agonistic encounters that were resolved and in the proportion of agonistic encounters that occurred at the feeder. These trends occurred even though there was no evidence of a decrease in overall use of the feeder. Thus, dominance-related differences with respect to food access and post-breeding weight loss appeared to be transitory phenomena, which corrected themselves as levels of aggression eventually declined. Intervention to increase the equality of food access in the post-breeding period may not be necessary in captive flamingo flocks, since low social rank in most cases appears not to have harmful long-term consequences.
- Survival patterns and mortality in the North American population of silvered leaf monkeys (Trachypithecus cristatus). [Journal Article]
- Zoo Biol 2013 Mar; 32(2):177-88.
This study examines mortality in the North American (N.A.) population of silvered leaf monkeys (Trachypithecus cristatus) maintained in Association of Zoos and Aquarium's zoos. Understanding the causes of death associated with mortality rates (MR) can highlight relative susceptibility to intrinsic/extrinsic factors and differences between age and sex classes. Overall, life tables can provide insight into a species' population dynamics. We expect that the MR will fit the general mammalian and primate trends of a U-shaped curve when graphed, that males will have a higher MR and shorter life expectancy than females and that infant survival will be higher in captivity than in wild populations. Our results indicate that the N.A. captive population fits expected MR trends of a U-shaped curve. However, no differences in MR or life expectancy were found between the sexes. Infant survivorship did not differ from the wild or other leaf monkey populations (both captive and wild). The majority of infant deaths occurred on day 1 of life (52.8% of all infant deaths) and infant survivorship to 1 year was 66%. Neonates (n = 6, 31.6%) and infants (n = 4, 44.4%) died from trauma, juveniles (n = 2, 33.3%) from nutritional reasons, adults from non-infectious diseases (n = 7, 29.2%) and from post-surgical complications (n = 7, 29.2%), and older adults from idiopathic diseases (n = 4, 26.7%) and non-infectious diseases (n = 4, 26.7%). Only older adult males died from degenerative diseases (i.e., heart failure, n = 3, 42.9%). In general, this captive population demonstrated some similar trends to those observed in mammalian and Old World monkey populations.
- Factors Associated With Uterine Endometrial Hyperplasia and Pyometra in Wild Canids: Implications for Fertility. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2013 Apr 1.
The ability to safely and effectively manage reproduction is central to the success of AZA captive-breeding programs. Although the AZA Wildlife Contraception Center routinely monitors contraceptive safety, there have been no studies that compare the effects of contraceptive use to separation of males from females, the other option for preventing reproduction. We used retrospective medical records and pathology reports submitted by AZA and related facilities for the seven AZA-managed canid species to assess rates of uterine pathology relative to female reproductive life histories. Our results showed that the prevalence of both pyometra and endometrial hyperplasia (EH) was associated not only with treatment with the two most common contraceptives (Suprelorin® and MGA implants) but also with the number of years barren (i.e., not producing a litter and not contracepted). Rates of pyometra and EH were especially high in African painted dogs and red wolves, but lowest in swift and fennec foxes. The number of years producing a litter had a low association, suggesting it could be protective against uterine pathology. A more recently developed Suprelorin® protocol using Ovaban® to prevent the initial stimulation phase, followed by implant removal when reversal is desired, may be a safer contraceptive option. These results concerning the relationship between reproductive management and uterine health have important implications for AZA-managed programs, since the unsustainability of many captive populations may be due at least in part to infertility. Managing a female's reproductive lifespan to optimize or maintain fertility will require a reconsideration of how breeding recommendations are formulated. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2013. (c) 2013 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- Differential Effects of Dietary Protein on Early Life-History and Morphological Traits in Natterjack Toad (Epidalea calamita) Tadpoles Reared in Captivity. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2013 Mar 18.
The production of high quality amphibian larvae through optimal diets is a critical component of amphibian conservation breeding programs. Larval period, survival, body weight and total length are frequently used as metrics of adequate nutrition. However, the effects of nutrition on tadpole and metamorph morphology are rarely tested in detail. In the present study, we analyzed the most common metrics and six other larval and post-metamorphic morphological traits in natterjack toads (Epidalea calamita) fed with three different commercial fish diets, varying in protein content (32.0%, 38.3%, and 46.2%). Our results suggest that early life-history (tadpole growth, development, and survival) and morphological traits of E. calamita tadpoles are differentially affected by the percentage of dietary protein. As protein content increased, tadpoles exhibited larger bodies along with shorter tail fins; however, with no significant differences in total length. Larval period was similar across treatments but mortality was lower in high-protein diet. At high-protein diets the metamorphs revealed significantly longer bodies, and wider heads and hind legs, but there was no significant difference in the average weight across all dietary treatments. Based on our results, feed containing 46.2% protein promotes growth, development and survival of E. calamita tadpoles better than either of the other two feeds tested. The use of other body measures beyond weight, tadpole total length, and snout-vent length in studies of amphibian nutrition in captivity may assist the selection of appropriate diets to optimize tadpole survival and metamorph fitness. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- Growth and Development of Captive Geocrinia rosea (Myobatrachidae): A Rare Species Analogue. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2013 Mar 12.
Using Geocrinia rosea as an analogue of the two threatened frog species, G. alba and G. vitellina, techniques were developed which contribute to an ex situ rearing program. We tested the effect of two levels of enclosure complexity on metamorph growth, and tested the effect of different substrate types on the success of egg clutch hatching and the subsequent development and growth of metamorph frogs. We found that the simplest enclosure was associated with the highest growth rates and better bone density of metamorphs, while a low pH sphagnum peat substrate was the better substrate for egg clutch survival and subsequent growth of metamorphs. Success of the program was highlighted by the rearing of second-generation frogs. These recommendations have now been applied to the captive management of the two endangered Geocrinia species. Zoo Biol. xx:xx-xx, 2012. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals Inc. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals Inc.