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Zoo Biology

Julie Beaudin-Judd, Robert B Weladji, Louis Lazure, Patrick Paré
Although many studies investigating the impacts of zoo exhibit designs on captive animals exist, none have been performed on how they influence the behavior and welfare of captive Bennett's wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus). Here, we assess the impact of exhibit design on the activity budget and spatial distribution of Bennett's wallabies. We compared animal behavior in two open exhibits (i.e. physical interaction between animals and visitors permitted) to two closed exhibits (i.e. physical interaction between animals and visitors prohibited)...
April 17, 2019: Zoo Biology
Roshan M Sarode, Asit Das, Ashok K Verma, Putan Singh, Mohini Saini, Yogesh Bhardwaj, Anil K Sharma
This experiment was conducted to study the effect of gradual replacement of dietary buffalo meat on the bone (BMB) with chicken carcass (CC) on nutrient utilization, serum cortisol, and total serum antioxidant profile of zoo-housed Indian leopard. Twelve adult leopards were randomly distributed into a replicated Latin square design comprising three treatments, three periods, four animals, and three sequences. Leopards in group T1 were fed normal zoo diet of BMB. On the basis of dry matter, 10% and 20% of BMB was replaced with CC in groups T2 and T3 , respectively...
April 5, 2019: Zoo Biology
Thomas Jensen, Sarah E Jamieson, Isabel Castro, Brett Gartrell, John F Cockrem, Barbara Durrant
In brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli), the male is the primary incubator, a trait that is relatively rare among birds. The maintenance of avian incubation behavior is controlled by the protein hormone prolactin (PRL). Although steroid hormone concentrations in both wild and captive kiwi have previously been reported, this study is the first to report levels of PRL in captive and wild male and female kiwi through the prebreeding and breeding seasons, and to directly compare testosterone (T) concentrations between captive and wild males during the breeding and incubation periods...
April 1, 2019: Zoo Biology
Ana I Soriano, Dolors Vinyoles, Carme Maté
We studied the behavioral responses of three brown bears (Ursus arctos) to different types of enrichment devices to assess the predominant pattern of animal-enrichment interaction (PAI) to each type of enrichment. We assessed the bears' responses to feeding, sensory, and occupational enrichments over nine sessions. Using Pearson's correlation (r) and the coefficient of variation (CV)-we describe four models of PAIs: habituation, increasing, continuous, and fluctuating. The habituation model (r < 0 and p < 0...
March 25, 2019: Zoo Biology
Grégory Breton, Sophie Thibault, Mathieu Werts, Emmanuelle Baudry
The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), one of the most iconic and widely recognized primates in the world, is threatened in its native range and classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The global conservation strategy for the species includes ex situ conservation efforts led by zoological institutions in the framework of regional captive breeding programs. To maximize the conservation of genetic diversity and optimize breeding programs, an accurate pedigree must be established in captive populations...
March 19, 2019: Zoo Biology
Alannah M Biega, Myles Lamont, Arne Mooers, Andrew E Bowkett, Thomas E Martin
Zoos have played a pivotal role in the successful reinforcement and reintroduction of species threatened with extinction, but prioritization is required in the face of increasing need and limited capacity. One means of prioritizing between species of equal threat status when establishing new breeding programs is the consideration of evolutionary distinctness (ED). More distinct species have fewer close relatives such that their extinction would result in a greater overall loss to the Tree of Life. Considering global ex situ holdings of birds (a group with a complete and well-detailed evolutionary tree), we investigate the representation of at-risk and highly evolutionarily distinct species in global zoo holdings...
March 13, 2019: Zoo Biology
Edward Bell, Eluned Price, Samantha Balthes, Matthew Cordon, Dominic Wormell
Maintaining the capacity for sustained flight in captivity is a key goal for the management of threatened fruit bats. We developed quantifiable descriptions of flight complexity and used them to assess the suitability of an enclosure for two species of fruit bat of differing size, the large Livingstone's fruit bat, Pteropus livingstonii, and the smaller Rodrigues fruit bat, Pteropus rodricensis, in a two-part study. In Phase 1, Rodrigues fruit bats flew more often than Livingstone's fruit bats and although the majority of flights in both species were linear, Rodrigues fruit bats were more likely to display complex flight paths involving turns, while flights by Livingstone's fruit bats were more likely to end in a crash-landing than Rodrigues fruit bat flights...
March 12, 2019: Zoo Biology
Rosemary Booth, Traza-Jade Lack, Stephen M Jackson
The growth and development of the endangered Mahogany Glider (Petaurus gracilis) was monitored in a captive population at Burleigh Heads, Queensland, Australia. Video surveillance confirmed that the gestation period for this species was 16 days. Morphometric data and developmental milestones were recorded from 10 Mahogany Gliders from birth to weaning. Growth curves were developed for head length, ulna length, tail length, and body weight. Weekly inspections of female pouches revealed the young's eyelid margins were visible by Day 21, the first hair erupted on the bridge of the nose at Day 30, pigmentation of the body developed at Day 63, and they started detaching from the teat intermittently, and the body was covered in short fur by Day 70...
March 5, 2019: Zoo Biology
Kathy Traylor-Holzer, Kristin Leus, Karen Bauman
Most threatened species do not yet have an integrated conservation plan to guide zoos and aquariums in species selection and conservation action. To address this issue, the Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG), in collaboration with regional zoo and aquarium associations, has developed a new process-an Integrated Collection Assessment and Planning (ICAP) workshop. This brings in situ and ex situ communities together to apply the decision process of the IUCN SSC Guidelines on the Use of Ex Situ Management for Species Conservation to the task of regional or global collection planning...
January 22, 2019: Zoo Biology
Joseph Heaver, Michael Waters
IUCN currently classifies the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) as "Least Concern," however, across its six to nine subspecies, some isolated populations are classified as "Endangered" or "Critically Endangered." Despite this and the species' relative ubiquity in European zoos, a retrospective mortality study of a captive population has not previously been performed. By analyzing necropsy reports, animal records, and the European studbook, we were able to ascertain a cause of death for 38 (73%) of the 52 recorded lynx deaths in UK zoos during the study period (January 1, 2000 to November 1, 2015)...
January 22, 2019: Zoo Biology
Jessica J Harley, Aisling Power, John D Stack
Housing bachelor groups is a necessary aspect of the care and husbandry of non-breeding individuals in zoological collections. Intraspecific aggressive behaviors may occur in this setting despite management strategies designed to mitigate these behaviors. Androgens (including testosterone) are associated with aggression in male species and interventional techniques to alter the animals' physiology to modify aggressive behavior are sometimes required. When agonistic behavior and physical aggression in two mature male Amur leopards housed together at Tayto Park escalated, despite all strategic management involvements, further intervention to moderate aggression was required...
January 17, 2019: Zoo Biology
Karen Bauman, John Sahrmann, Ashley Franklin, Cheryl Asa, Mary Agnew, Kathy Traylor-Holzer, David Powell
Many animal populations managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plans® (SSPs) have low rates of reproductive success. It is critical that individuals recommended to breed are successful to achieve genetic and demographic goals set by the SSP. Identifying factors that impact reproductive success can inform managers on best practices and improve demographic predictions. A Reproductive Viability Analysis (RVA) utilizes data gathered from Breeding and Transfer Plans, studbooks, and SSP documents, and through modeling identifies factors associated with reproductive success in a given species...
January 16, 2019: Zoo Biology
David M Powell, Candice L Dorsey, Lisa J Faust
Over the last ten years, zoos and aquariums around the world have been coming to grips with the "sustainability crisis" - the realization that most of our collaboratively managed animal populations are not viable for the long-term. Many initiatives have been launched at the regional, zoological association, program, and institutional levels to improve the long-term trajectories of these populations. This Special Issue of Zoo Biology highlights some of the scientific approaches that are aimed at addressing population viability and sustainability challenges...
January 10, 2019: Zoo Biology
Ali Kiani, Marcus Clauss, Sylvia Ortmann, Catharina Vendl, Elizabeth R Congdon, Emilio A Herrera, Michael Kreuzer, Angela Schwarm
The capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), the largest living rodent, probably has a "mucus-trap" colonic separation mechanism. To test this hypothesis, we measured the mean retention time of a solute marker (MRTSolute ), 2 mm (MRT2 mm ), 10 mm (MRT10 mm ), and 20 mm (MRT20 mm ) particle markers and nutrient digestibility in adult captive capybaras (27-52 kg body mass (BM), 2-11 yr). In addition, total gut fill and the selectivity factor (MRTSolute /MRT2 mm ) were calculated, and mean faecal particle size and metabolic fecal nitrogen of captive capybaras were compared to those of free-ranging specimens...
January 9, 2019: Zoo Biology
Lisa J Faust, Sarah T Long, Kaitlyn Perišin, Juniper L Simonis
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) cooperatively manages Species Survival Plans® to create demographically and genetically viable populations. SSPs issue animal-specific recommendations to participating institutions via Breeding and Transfer Plans (BTPs). Fulfillment of recommendations is a crucial step in maintaining viable populations, but there have been no comprehensive evaluations of the system. Using PMCTrack, a database of over 110,000 breeding and transfer recommendations issued from over 200 SSPs from 1999 to 2013, we analyzed fulfillment of recommendations...
January 6, 2019: Zoo Biology
Qiyu Li, Shuyi Luo, Chunsheng Yang, Shuran Li, Jun Guo, Jiasong He, Yaohuan Chen, Chengming Huang, Zhengjun Wu, Weiguo Du
Captive breeding is an important conservation measure that may restore and enhance wild populations of rare and endangered species. Multiple anthropogenic hazards have brought the crocodile lizard, Shinisaurus crocodilurus, to the brink of extinction. We initiated a captive breeding program and quantified female reproductive traits, including reproductive timing, litter size, litter mass, and neonate size. To identify the internal and external factors affecting female reproductive function, we then analyzed how maternal age is related to body size, temperature, and female reproductive traits...
January 6, 2019: Zoo Biology
Lauren Wilson, Candice Dorsey, Donald Moore
Zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) cooperatively manage Species Survival Plan(R) (SSP) Program populations to maximize genetic and demographic health and work toward long-term population sustainability. However, recent analyses suggest that only a minority of populations were projected to maintain their sustainability goals over 100 years. As one of the initial steps in addressing this concern, the AZA collaborated with hundreds of members of the zoo and aquarium community to develop the SSP Sustainability Database, a repository of quantitative and qualitative data on SSP Program challenges, population data, and management needs...
January 6, 2019: Zoo Biology
Judy Che-Castaldo, Brent Johnson, Nicole Magrisso, Lauren Mechak, Kayla Melton, Katelyn Mucha, Lauren Terwilliger, Melissa Theis, Sarah Long, Lisa Faust
Recent concerns about the viability of zoo populations have motivated studies on the historic and current status of animal populations in North American and European zoos. However, these evaluations may not accurately reflect the populations' long-term viability in the decades to come. Here, we assessed the projected future status of North American zoo populations by conducting standardized population viability analyses (PVAs) for 137 cooperative breeding programs. We summarized PVA results to describe patterns in viability across populations, and examined whether viability can be predicted by biological or management-based factors...
January 4, 2019: Zoo Biology
Nilda Ferrer, Lynn McDuffie
The global management of animal populations to ensure sustainability depends on inter-regional transfers of animals in many cases. Regulatory and permitting requirements can be significant challenges to effective population management. This brief communication lays out practice advice for easing the regulatory burden and facilitating successful permitting. Advice is provided on meeting enhancement requirements at the institutional and TAG levels, and TAGs are encouraged to make longer term plans for imports of animals so that blanket permits can be obtained...
January 2019: Zoo Biology
Colleen McCann, David M Powell
Zoos select species for exhibition to meet goals of recreation, education, research, and conservation. However, many zoo populations are not sustainable and institutional collection plans (ICPs) come under criticism for their lack of conservation importance. We explore the species selection process with two main questions. First, are zoos doing all they can with their available space to maintain sustainable populations? And second, are the species recommended for management in Regional Collection Plans (RCPs) important for conservation? To answer the former, we assessed how much space is allocated to recommended species versus non-recommended species in four mammalian taxa in ICPs of 36 zoos and whether species occur in populations that are minimally robust (n = 100) or robust (n > 250) for meeting viability goals...
December 31, 2018: Zoo Biology
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