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Zoo biology [journal]
- Paternity testing using microsatellite DNA markers in captive Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Aug 26.
We investigated the paternity of 39 Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) hatched at the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium between 1995 and 2005 breeding seasons using microsatellite DNA markers. Among the 13 microsatellite marker loci tested in this study, eight markers amplified and were found to be polymorphic in the colony's founders of the captive population (n = 26). Multiple marker analysis confirmed that all the hatchlings shared alleles with their social fathers and that none of them were sired by any male (all males ≥4 years old in the exhibit tank during each reproductive season; n = 9-15) other than the one carrying out parental duties, except in the case of two inbred hatchlings whose half-sibling parents shared the same father. These results demonstrated that extra-pair paternity (EPP) did not occur in this captive population and that even if EPP has been detected among them, the probability of excluding all other possible fathers in the exhibit tank is extremely high based on paternity exclusion probabilities across the investigated loci. The paternity exclusion probabilities were almost the same between 1994 and 2005. The probability of identity across the investigated loci declined between the two time points, but was still high. These results are reflected in a very short history of breeding in this captive population. In other words, the parentage analyses using a suite of microsatellite markers will be less effective as generations change in small closed populations, such as zoo and aquarium populations. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Pathologic changes associated with suspected hypovitaminosis A in amphibians under managed care. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Aug 19.
Vitamin A deficiency is a recently recognized nutritional disease in amphibians fed insect-based diets. The classic pathologic lesion that has been associated with hypovitaminosis A in amphibians is squamous metaplasia of the lingual and oral mucosa. In an attempt to further characterize the range of lesions that may be associated with vitamin A deficiency, we reviewed archived amphibian necropsy reports from three facilities. As previously reported, the tongue was the most commonly affected site in animals presenting with squamous metaplasia. However, metaplastic changes were also observed in a variety of locations that included the oral cavity, nasal cavity, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, cloaca, skin, urinary bladder, ureter, and reproductive tract. In addition, species and age-specific differences were noted in the development of squamous metaplasia. This review highlights the need to establish standardized guidelines for optimal postmortem tissue sampling of amphibians in order to maximize the accurate diagnosis of pathologic lesions that may be associated with hypovitaminosis A. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- Enrichment options for African painted dogs (Lycaon pictus). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Aug 19.
Best practices for carnivore enrichment encourage the diversity of species-typical behaviors, increased activity, and reduced stereotypic behavior; ideally considering the life-history and behavior of each species. African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), or painted dogs, are social carnivores that have large home ranges and complex pack dynamics (e.g., variation in group size, relatedness, etc.). As there are relatively few studies on painted dog enrichment, the goal of this study was to compile a list of enrichment options used by institutions participating in the species survival plan (SSP). Representatives were asked to describe social groups (n = 45), enclosures (n = 21), enrichment practices (options, delivery frequency, perceived success), and overall best practices. Respondents (61%, n = 23) reported using options for all six enrichment categories recommended by the Canid Taxon Advisory Group: environmental enrichment devices, habitat, sensory, food, behavioral, and social. Perceived success was significantly higher for the food category, followed by the sensory and behavioral categories. All respondents reported delivering enrichment at least multiple times a month, and most reported multiple times per week. Enclosure size did not differ significantly for mixed-sex groups (n = 28) compared to single-sex groups (n = 17). We discuss respondents' suggestions for best practices and the need to record data to compare perceived success with actual behavioral effects, controlling for variation in group size and composition. Overall, respondents recommended a flexible approach, since not all painted dogs and groups respond in the same way to the enrichment options. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- Immobilization of captive tigers (Panthera tigris) with a combination of tiletamine, zolazepam, and detomidine. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Aug 18.
The aims of this study were to evaluate the effects of the administration of a combination of tiletamine-zolazepam and detomidine (TZD) in 9 tigers (Panthera tigris). Nine captive tigers were immobilized with tiletamine-zolazepam and detomidine administered intramuscularly. At the end of the procedure immobilization was partially reversed with atipamezole. Lateral recumbency was achieved in 15.6 ± 5.9 min. The median induction score [scored 1 (excellent) to 4 (poor)] was 1. The immobilization score [scored 1 (poor) to 6 (too deep)] was 5 (4-5) at all study times. After atipamezole administration, all tigers experienced severe ataxia and incoordination. Median recovery score [scored 1 (excellent) to 4 (poor)] was 2.5 (range 2-3). No neurologic and/or important adverse reactions were noticed within 5 days after recovery. The combination tiletamine-zolazepam with detomidine proved to be effective in immobilizing captive healthy tigers but it maybe associated with hypertension and ataxia during recovery. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Nutrition of the captive western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla): A dietary survey. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Aug 13.
The successful management of captive animals requires attention to multiple interconnected factors. One critical aspect of the daily life of a captive animal is the recommended and/or provisioned diet. This study focuses on the diets of zoo-housed gorillas. A national survey of diets among zoo-housed gorillas was conducted to examine diets being offered to captive gorillas in the United States and Canada. This survey serves as a follow-up to a 1995 dietary survey of zoo-housed gorillas and goes further to quantify nutritional profiles at responding institutions. Results are encouraging, as zoos have made clear improvements in dietary nutrient profiles offered over the past 15 years. However, we suggest that zoological and sanctuary institutions follow Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommendations and work to continuously improve diets provided, which could improve gorillas' health and well-being. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- The birth of an infant decreases group spacing in a zoo-housed lowland gorilla group (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Aug 7.
Changes in group composition can alter the behavior of social animals such as gorillas. Although gorilla births are presumed to affect group spacing patterns, there is relatively little data about how these events affect gorilla group cohesion. We investigated how members of a western lowland gorilla group (n = 6) at Lincoln Park Zoo (Chicago, IL, USA) spaced themselves prior to and after the birth of an infant, to investigate changes in group cohesion. Gorillas were housed in an indoor-outdoor enclosure in which access to the outdoors was permitted when temperatures exceeded 5°C. We recorded spatial locations of each group member using 30-min group scans on tablet computers with an electronic map interface, as well as noting their access to outdoor areas. Data from the 4 months following the birth was compared to a control period corresponding to early pregnancy. We measured distances between all possible group dyads for each scan and subsequently calculated a mean distance between all group members. An ANOVA revealed that access to the outdoors had no effect on group spacing (F(1,56) = 0.066, P = 0.799). However, the presence of an infant resulted in a significant reduction in inter-individual distance (F(1,56) = 23.988, P = 0.000), decreasing inter-individual spacing by 12.5%. This information helps characterize the behavioral impact of a new birth on captive gorilla social structure and could potentially inform future management of breeding gorilla groups. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- Diurnal and nocturnal activity budgets of zoo elephants in an outdoor facility. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Aug 11.
The present study examined the activity budgets of 15 African elephants (1 bull, 6 cows, 2 male juveniles, 2 female juveniles, and 4 male calves) living at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park during the summers of 2010 and 2011. Onsite behavioral data (n = 600 hr) were collected for approximately 12 weeks from 0400 to 0830 and 1100 to 2400 during the 2010 and 2011 summer season. Foraging was the most common behavior state during the day followed by resting, and walking. During the evening hours, the elephants spent majority of their time foraging, resting, and sleeping. The average rate of self-maintenance behavior events (dust, wallow, etc.) increased from 0600 to 0700, 1100 to 1500, and from 1700 to 1900. Positive social behavior events (touch other, play, etc.) remained high from 0500 to 2300, with peaks at 0600, 1300, 1500, and 1900. Negative social events occurred at low rates throughout the day and night, with peaks at 0600, 1900, and 2200. The majority of positive behavior events during the daylight and nighttime hours involved the mother-calf pairs. Furthermore, the calves and juveniles initiated approximately 60% of all social events during the daytime and 57% of all social interactions at night. The results of this study demonstrate the differences between diurnal and nocturnal activity budgets of a multi-age and sex elephant herd in a zoological facility, which highlights the importance of managing elephants to meet their 24 hr behavioral needs. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- Urolithiasis in a captive group of Tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Aug 8.
Urolithiasis is a well-known disease of the urogenital system in domestic animals, and it has also been described in captive and free-ranging wildlife. This article reports 15 cases of urolithiasis in a captive group of Tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii) between 2004 and 2011. The analyzed stones were composed of pure calcium carbonate (n = 5), calcium carbonate with traces of calcium phosphate (n = 6), carbonate apatite (n = 2), and carbonate apatite mixed with calcium oxalate (n = 2). In 12 out of 15 cases uroliths were situated only in the renal pelvis; in two cases they were found in the renal pelvis and the ureter; while in one case in the ureter only. No common infectious agents were identified either by microbiological or histopathological methods. Although the exact cause remains unknown, the repetitive occurrence of calcium carbonate urolithiasis suggests husbandry-related causes. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first report on recurrent appearance of urolithiasis in a captive group of Tammar wallabies. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Early development and growth in captive-born Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Jul 31.
Knowledge on the growth and early development patterns of endangered species can become a useful conservation tool because it may allow detecting anomalous growth in newborns, both in captivity breeding and in the wild. We studied the growth and early development of 40 Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) cubs belonging to 21 litters born in captivity between 2005 and 2012 at "El Acebuche" Iberian Lynx Breeding Centre. This is the first study on growth in this critically endangered species. The Iberian lynx cubs were not fully developed at birth. During the first 3 weeks of life, cubs underwent many of the physical changes that allowed them to improve their interaction with the environment, such as the opening of eye and auditory channels, teeth eruptions, and the ability to walk. When the cubs were 1 month old, they were ready to leave the den and develop new behaviors such as the exploration of their environment, play, or hunt. Three different models had been fitted to the body mass growth of the Iberian lynx. The von Bertalanffy curve provided the best fit. The asymptotic adult mass was the only parameter that differed between males and females (males being 8% larger), due to the higher growth rate of males. The adult weight of hand-reared cubs (i.e., those abandoned at born) did not differ from that of cubs reared by their mothers. Both growth and development showed differences from other lynx species. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- A horizon scan for species conservation by zoos and aquariums. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Jul 25.
We conducted the first horizon scan for zoos and aquariums to identify the 10 most important emerging issues for species conservation. This involved input from more than 100 experts from both the wider conservation community and the world zoo and aquarium community. Some of the issues are globally important: diseases, zoonoses, and biosecurity issues; new (communication) technologies; global water shortage and food insecurity; developing economies and markets for wildlife consumption; changes in wildlife population dynamics; and political instability and conflicts. Other issues are more specific to zoos and aquariums: need for extractive reserves; space shortage in zoos and aquariums; need for metapopulation management; and demand for caring of more species in zoos and aquariums. We also identified some broad approaches to these issues. Addressing the emerging issues identified in our horizon scan will further increase the contribution of the world zoo and aquarium community to global biodiversity conservation. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.