WorldWideScience

Sample records for carnivores

  1. Carnivorous heterotopias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lapina, Linda; Leer, Jonatan

    2016-01-01

    and decorations), appeasing a presumed masculine appetite and conveying ideas about masculine, carnivorous bonding/community and a masculine, heterosexual, middle class gaze. This article examines two manifestations of these celebrations of meat and masculinity: the hotdog restaurant Foderbrættet (‘The Bird Table......’, opened in 2014 and elected as the 2014 Best New Restaurant in Copenhagen) and WarPigs, a Texas-inspired barbecue opened in 2015. We discuss negotiations of masculinity in these meatscapes that challenge contemporary ideals for (sustainable, moderate, wholesome) food consumption and gender performances....... We argue that these spaces of consumption express nostalgia and longing for authenticity that are simultaneously articulated as progressive and emancipatory. Consequently, these sites represent middle class masculine counter-spaces where archaic, working class modes of doing masculinity (such...

  2. Carnivores of Syria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Masseti

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research is to outline the local occurrence and recent distribution of carnivores in Syria (Syrian Arab Republic in order to offer a starting point for future studies. The species of large dimensions, such as the Asiatic lion, the Caspian tiger, the Asiatic cheetah, and the Syrian brown bear, became extinct in historical times, the last leopard being reputed to have been killed in 1963 on the Alauwit Mountains (Al Nusyriain Mountains. The checklist of the extant Syrian carnivores amounts to 15 species, which are essentially referable to 4 canids, 5 mustelids, 4 felids – the sand catbeen reported only recently for the first time – one hyaenid, and one herpestid. The occurrence of the Blandford fox has yet to be confirmed. This paper is almost entirely the result of a series of field surveys carried out by the author mainly between 1989 and 1995, integrated by data from several subsequent reports and sightings by other authors.

  3. Global large carnivore conservation and international law

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trouwborst, A.

    2015-01-01

    International cooperation, including through international legal instruments, appears important for the conservation of large carnivores worldwide. This is due to, inter alia, the worrying conservation status and population trends of many large carnivore species; the importance of large carnivores f

  4. Plant-carnivore mutualism through herbivore-induced carnivore attractants.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Takabayashi, J.; Dicke, M.

    1996-01-01

    Plants and carnivorous arthropods can interact mutualistically. A recent discovery is that such mutualisms can be mediated by volatile compounds — produced by plants in response to herbivore damage — that attract carnivores. However, after emission of these attractants, the plant has no control over

  5. The Carnivore Connection Hypothesis: Revisited

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    Jennie C. Brand-Miller

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The “Carnivore Connection” hypothesizes that, during human evolution, a scarcity of dietary carbohydrate in diets with low plant : animal subsistence ratios led to insulin resistance providing a survival and reproductive advantage with selection of genes for insulin resistance. The selection pressure was relaxed at the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution when large quantities of cereals first entered human diets. The “Carnivore Connection” explains the high prevalence of intrinsic insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in populations that transition rapidly from traditional diets with a low-glycemic load, to high-carbohydrate, high-glycemic index diets that characterize modern diets. Selection pressure has been relaxed longest in European populations, explaining a lower prevalence of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, despite recent exposure to famine and food scarcity. Increasing obesity and habitual consumption of high-glycemic-load diets worsens insulin resistance and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes in all populations.

  6. Normal glucose metabolism of healthy carnivores mimics diabetes pathology of non-carnivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eSchermerhorn

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Carnivores, such as the dolphin and the domestic cat, have numerous adaptations that befit consumption of diets with high protein and fat content, with little carbohydrate content. Consequently, nutrient metabolism in carnivorous species differs substantially from that of non-carnivores. Important metabolic pathways known to differ between carnivores and non-carnivores are implicated in the development of diabetes and insulin resistance in non-carnivores: 1. the hepatic glucokinase (GCK pathway is absent in healthy carnivores yet GCK deficiency may result in diabetes in rodents and humans, 2. healthy dolphins and cats are prone to periods of fasting hyperglycemia and exhibit insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for diabetes in non-carnivores. Similarly, carnivores develop naturally-occurring diseases such as hemachromatosis, fatty liver, obesity and diabetes that have strong parallels with the same disorders in humans. Understanding how evolution, environment, diet and domestication may play a role with nutrient metabolism in the dolphin and cat may also be relevant to human diabetes.

  7. Are carnivores universally good sentinels of plague?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkerhoff, R Jory; Collinge, Sharon K; Bai, Ying; Ray, Chris

    2009-10-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a flea-borne disease that primarily affects rodents but has been detected in over 200 mammal species worldwide. Mammalian carnivores are routinely surveyed as sentinels of local plague activity, since they can present antibodies to Y. pestis infection but show few clinical signs. In Boulder County, Colorado, USA, plague epizootic events are episodic and occur in black-tailed prairie dogs. Enzootic hosts are unidentified as are plague foci. For three years, we systematically sampled carnivores in two distinct habitat types to determine whether carnivores may play a role in maintenance or transmission of Y. pestis and to identify habitats associated with increased plague prevalence. We sampled 83 individuals representing six carnivore species and found only two that had been exposed to Y. pestis. The low overall rate of plague exposure in carnivores suggests that plague may be ephemeral in this study system, and thus we cannot draw any conclusions regarding habitat-associated plague foci or temporal changes in plague activity. Plague epizootics involving prairie dogs were confirmed in this study system during two of the three years of this study, and we therefore suggest that the targeting carnivores to survey for plague may not be appropriate in all ecological systems.

  8. Conservation management of large carnivores in Africa

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    M.G.L. Mills

    1991-09-01

    Full Text Available The conservation management of large carnivores in Africa is reviewed. In large protected areas the complexity of the relations between predators and prey, and between competing predators, indicate that these relationships should not be disturbed, even though, superficially, there may seem to be sound reasons to do so. Management action, however, may have to be taken against carnivores that break out of reserves. The related questions of translocation and re-introduction are also complex. Guidelines for considering whether to and how to implement these strategies are presented. It is stressed that adequate follow-up observations should be made after translocating or re- introducing carnivores, so that more information on the success of these strategies can be obtained. Much of Africa comprises rural areas inhabited by pastoralists. It may be possible to manage some large carnivore species in these areas to the mutual benefit of man and beast, but for this type of program to be successful, a well planned public relations campaign is essential.

  9. Global priorities for national carnivore conservation under land use change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Minin, Enrico; Slotow, Rob; Hunter, Luke T B; Montesino Pouzols, Federico; Toivonen, Tuuli; Verburg, Peter H; Leader-Williams, Nigel; Petracca, Lisanne; Moilanen, Atte

    2016-04-01

    Mammalian carnivores have suffered the biggest range contraction among all biodiversity and are particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation. Therefore, we identified priority areas for the conservation of mammalian carnivores, while accounting for species-specific requirements for connectivity and expected agricultural and urban expansion. While prioritizing for carnivores only, we were also able to test their effectiveness as surrogates for 23,110 species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles and 867 terrestrial ecoregions. We then assessed the risks to carnivore conservation within each country that makes a contribution to global carnivore conservation. We found that land use change will potentially lead to important range losses, particularly amongst already threatened carnivore species. In addition, the 17% of land targeted for protection under the Aichi Target 11 was found to be inadequate to conserve carnivores under expected land use change. Our results also highlight that land use change will decrease the effectiveness of carnivores to protect other threatened species, especially threatened amphibians. In addition, the risk of human-carnivore conflict is potentially high in countries where we identified spatial priorities for their conservation. As meeting the global biodiversity target will be inadequate for carnivore protection, innovative interventions are needed to conserve carnivores outside protected areas to compliment any proposed expansion of the protected area network.

  10. Origin and evolution of carnivorism in the Ascomycota (fungi).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ence; Xu, Lingling; Yang, Ying; Zhang, Xinyu; Xiang, Meichun; Wang, Chengshu; An, Zhiqiang; Liu, Xingzhong

    2012-07-03

    Carnivorism is one of the basic life strategies of fungi. Carnivorous fungi possess the ability to trap and digest their preys by sophisticated trapping devices. However, the origin and development of fungal carnivorism remains a gap in evolution biology. In this study, five protein-encoding genes were used to construct the phylogeny of the carnivorous fungi in the phylum Ascomycota; these fungi prey on nematodes by means of specialized trapping structures such as constricting rings and adhesive traps. Our analysis revealed a definitive pattern of evolutionary development for these trapping structures. Molecular clock calibration based on two fossil records revealed that fungal carnivorism diverged from saprophytism about 419 Mya, which was after the origin of nematodes about 550-600 Mya. Active carnivorism (fungi with constricting rings) and passive carnivorism (fungi with adhesive traps) diverged from each other around 246 Mya, shortly after the occurrence of the Permian-Triassic extinction event about 251.4 Mya. The major adhesive traps evolved around 198-208 Mya, which was within the time frame of the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event about 201.4 Mya. However, no major carnivorous ascomycetes divergence was correlated to the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, which occurred more recently (about 65.5 Mya). Therefore, a causal relationship between mass extinction events and fungal carnivorism evolution is not validated in this study. More evidence including additional fossil records is needed to establish if fungal carnivorism evolution was a response to mass extinction events.

  11. Are Carnivores Universally Good Sentinels of Plague?

    OpenAIRE

    Brinkerhoff, R. Jory; Collinge, Sharon K.; Bai, Ying; Ray, Chris

    2009-01-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a flea-borne disease that primarily affects rodents but has been detected in over 200 mammal species worldwide. Mammalian carnivores are routinely surveyed as sentinels of local plague activity, since they can present antibodies to Y. pestis infection but show few clinical signs. In Boulder County, Colorado, USA, plague epizootic events are episodic and occur in black-tailed prairie dogs. Enzootic hosts are unidentified as are plagu...

  12. Phthiraptera from some wild carnivores in Spain

    OpenAIRE

    1990-01-01

    During 1987 and the first months of 1988, several carnivores were surveyed for ecological studies by means of radio-tracking techniques and in order to identify the ischnoceran species parasitising these animals. The hosts belonged to the following species: Felis pardina, Felis silvestris, Herpestes ichneumon, Genetta genetta, Vulpes vulpes and Metes meles. While no lice were found on the two first species, the remaining ones were parasitised by Felicola (Felicola) inaequalis, Lorisicol...

  13. Overcoming DNA extraction problems from carnivorous plants

    OpenAIRE

    Fleischmann, Andreas; Heubl, Günther

    2009-01-01

    We tested previously published protocols for DNA isolation from plants with high contents of polyphenols and polysaccharides for several taxa of carnivorous plants. However, we did not get satisfying results with fresh or silica dried leaf tissue obtained from field collected or greenhouse grown plants, nor from herbarium specimens. Therefore, we have developed a simple modified protocol of the commercially available Macherey- Nagel NucleoSpin® Plant kit for rapid, effective and reproducible ...

  14. Phylogenetic and functional diversity in large carnivore assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalerum, F

    2013-06-07

    Large terrestrial carnivores are important ecological components and prominent flagship species, but are often extinction prone owing to a combination of biological traits and high levels of human persecution. This study combines phylogenetic and functional diversity evaluations of global and continental large carnivore assemblages to provide a framework for conservation prioritization both between and within assemblages. Species-rich assemblages of large carnivores simultaneously had high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but species contributions to phylogenetic and functional diversity components were not positively correlated. The results further provide ecological justification for the largest carnivore species as a focus for conservation action, and suggests that range contraction is a likely cause of diminishing carnivore ecosystem function. This study highlights that preserving species-rich carnivore assemblages will capture both high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but that prioritizing species within assemblages will involve trade-offs between optimizing contemporary ecosystem function versus the evolutionary potential for future ecosystem performance.

  15. Radio telemetry equipment and applications for carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Mark R.; Fuller, Todd K.; Boitani, Luigi; Powell, Roger A.

    2012-01-01

    Radio-telemetry was not included in the first comprehensive manual of wildlife research techniques (Mosby 1960) because the first published papers were about physiological wildlife telemetry (LeMunyan et al. 1959) and because research using telemetry in field ecology was just being initiated (Marshall et al. 1962; Cochran and Lord 1963). Among the first uses of telemetry to study wildlife, however, was a study of carnivores (Craighead et al. 1963), and telemetry has become a common method for studying numerous topics of carnivore biology. Our goals for this chapter are to provide basic information about radio-telemetry equipment and procedures. Although we provide many references to studies using telemetry equipment and methods, we recommend Kenward's (2001) comprehensive book, A manual of wildlife radio tagging for persons who are unfamiliar with radio-telemetry, Fuller et al. (2005), and Tomkiewicz et al. (2010). Compendia of uses of radio-telemetry in animal research appear regularly as chapters in manuals (Cochran 1980; Samuel and Fuller 1994), in books about equipment, field procedures, study design, and applications (Amlaner and Macdonald 1980; Anderka 1987; Amlaner 1989; White and Garrott 1990; Priede and Swift 1992; Kenward 2001; Millspaugh and Marzluff 2001; Mech and Barber 2002), and in reviews highlighting new developments (Cooke et al. 2004; Rutz and Hays 2009; Cagnacci et al. 2010). Some animal telemetry products and techniques have remained almost unchanged for years, but new technologies and approaches emerge and replace previously available equipment at an increasing pace. Here, we emphasize recent studies for which telemetry was used with carnivores.

  16. Wild carnivores (Mammalia) as hosts for ticks (Ixodida) in Panama

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bermudez, S.E.; Esser, H.J.; Miranda, R.; Moreno, R.S.

    2015-01-01

    This study reports ticks collected from wild carnivores from different habitat types in Panama. We examined 94 individual wild carnivores and we found 87 parasitized by ticks: seven coyotes, six crab-eating foxes, 54 coatis, four raccoons, five ocelots, two pumas, two gray foxes, two skunks, and one

  17. The Miocene carnivore assemblage of Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koufos, G. D.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The Miocene carnivore assemblage of Greece includes a great number of taxa, described in numerous articles since the first decades of the 19th Century. The present article is a revision of all these taxa, providing information about their history, localities, age, as well as their stratigraphic distribution and palaeoenvironment. The Early/Middle Miocene carnivore record of Greece is poor as the available fossiliferous sites and material are rare. However, the Late Miocene one is quite rich, including numerous taxa. The Miocene localities with carnivores and their age are given in a stratigraphic table covering the European Mammal zones from MN 4 to MN 13. The type locality, holotype, and some historical and morphological remarks are given for each taxon. Several carnivore taxa were erected from Greek material and new photos of their holotypes are given. The stratigraphic distribution of the Greek carnivore taxa indicates that they are covering the time span from ~19.0-5.3Ma. The majority of the Miocene taxa (Adcrocuta, Hyaenictitherium, Plioviverrops, Protictitherium, Ictitherium, Indarctos, Dinocrocuta, Promephitis disappeared at the end of Miocene. The composition of the Early/Middle Miocene carnivore assemblage of Greece includes mainly viverrids (Lophocyon, Euboictis, while the hyaenids, percrocutids, felids and mustelids are very few. On the contrary the Late Miocene assemblage is richer, including more subfamilies and species; the hyaenids and mustelids dominate, while the viverrids are absent. The Late Miocene carnivore guild structure is similar to that of the modern Serengeti, indicating a relatively open, savannah-like environment.

    La asociación de carnívoros miocenos de Grecia incluye un gran número de taxones, descritos en numerosos artículos desde las primeras décadas del siglo XIX. El presente artículo supone un esfuerzo de síntesis de todos estos taxones, suministrando información sobre su

  18. Catapulting tentacles in a sticky carnivorous plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Poppinga

    Full Text Available Among trapping mechanisms in carnivorous plants, those termed 'active' have especially fascinated scientists since Charles Darwin's early works because trap movements are involved. Fast snap-trapping and suction of prey are two of the most spectacular examples for how these plants actively catch animals, mainly arthropods, for a substantial nutrient supply. We show that Drosera glanduligera, a sundew from southern Australia, features a sophisticated catapult mechanism: Prey animals walking near the edge of the sundew trigger a touch-sensitive snap-tentacle, which swiftly catapults them onto adjacent sticky glue-tentacles; the insects are then slowly drawn within the concave trap leaf by sticky tentacles. This is the first detailed documentation and analysis of such catapult-flypaper traps in action and highlights a unique and surprisingly complex mechanical adaptation to carnivory.

  19. Catapulting tentacles in a sticky carnivorous plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Hartmeyer, Siegfried Richard Heinrich; Seidel, Robin; Masselter, Tom; Hartmeyer, Irmgard; Speck, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Among trapping mechanisms in carnivorous plants, those termed 'active' have especially fascinated scientists since Charles Darwin's early works because trap movements are involved. Fast snap-trapping and suction of prey are two of the most spectacular examples for how these plants actively catch animals, mainly arthropods, for a substantial nutrient supply. We show that Drosera glanduligera, a sundew from southern Australia, features a sophisticated catapult mechanism: Prey animals walking near the edge of the sundew trigger a touch-sensitive snap-tentacle, which swiftly catapults them onto adjacent sticky glue-tentacles; the insects are then slowly drawn within the concave trap leaf by sticky tentacles. This is the first detailed documentation and analysis of such catapult-flypaper traps in action and highlights a unique and surprisingly complex mechanical adaptation to carnivory.

  20. Overcoming DNA extraction problems from carnivorous plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fleischmann, Andreas

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available We tested previously published protocols for DNA isolation from plants with high contents of polyphenols and polysaccharides for several taxa of carnivorous plants. However, we did not get satisfying results with fresh or silica dried leaf tissue obtained from field collected or greenhouse grown plants, nor from herbarium specimens. Therefore, we have developed a simple modified protocol of the commercially available Macherey- Nagel NucleoSpin® Plant kit for rapid, effective and reproducible isolation of high quality genomic DNA suitable for PCR reactions. DNA extraction can be conducted from both fresh and dried leaf tissue of various carnivorous plant taxa, irrespective of high contents of polysaccharides, phenolic compounds and other secondary plant metabolites that interfere with DNA isolation and amplification.

    Probamos algunos protocolos publicados previamente para el aislamiento del ADN de plantas con alto contenido de polifenoles y polisacáridos para varios táxones de plantas carnívoras. Sin embargo, no conseguimos muy buenos resultados ni con tejidos de hojas frescas, ni con tejidos de hojas secadas en gel de sílice obtenidas de plantas colectadas en el campo o cultivadas en los invernaderos, ni de especímenes de herbario. Por lo tanto, hemos desarrollado un protocolo sencillo, modificado del Macherey- Nagel NucleoSpin® Plant kit disponible en el mercado para el aislamiento rápido, eficaz y reproducible de ADN genómico de alta calidad conveniente para la reacción en cadena de la polimerasa. La extracción del ADN se puede realizar en tejidos de hojas frescas o secas de varios táxones de plantas carnívoras, sin importar el grado de contenido de polisacáridos, compuestos fenólicos u otros metabolitos secundarios que interfieren con el aislamiento y la amplificación del ADN.

  1. Human Perceptions Mirror Realities of Carnivore Attack Risk for Livestock: Implications for Mitigating Human-Carnivore Conflict.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jennifer R B; Jhala, Yadvendradev V; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2016-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflict is challenging to quantify because it is shaped by both the realities and people's perceptions of carnivore threats. Whether perceptions align with realities can have implications for conflict mitigation: misalignments can lead to heightened and indiscriminant persecution of carnivores whereas alignments can offer deeper insights into human-carnivore interactions. We applied a landscape-scale spatial analysis of livestock killed by tigers and leopards in India to model and map observed attack risk, and surveyed owners of livestock killed by tigers and leopards for their rankings of threats across habitats to map perceived attack risk. Observed tiger risk to livestock was greatest near dense forests and at moderate distances from human activity while leopard risk was greatest near open vegetation. People accurately perceived spatial differences between tiger and leopard hunting patterns, expected greater threat in areas with high values of observed risk for both carnivores. Owners' perception of threats largely did not depend on environmental conditions surrounding their village (spatial location, dominant land-use or observed carnivore risk). Surveys revealed that owners who previously lost livestock to carnivores used more livestock protection methods than those who had no prior losses, and that owners who had recently lost livestock for the first time expressed greater interest in changing their protection methods than those who experienced prior losses. Our findings suggest that in systems where realities and perceptions of carnivore risk align, conservation programs and policies can optimize conservation outcomes by (1) improving the effectiveness of livestock protection methods and (2) working with owners who have recently lost livestock and are most willing to invest effort in adapting protection strategies to mitigate human-carnivore conflict.

  2. The large terrestrial carnivore guild in Quaternary Southeast Asia

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    Louys, Julien

    2014-07-01

    Much of Southeast Asia's large terrestrial carnivores appeared, evolved and disappeared from the region for reasons that remain poorly understood. Two of the most significant extinctions are represented by the charismatic Pleistocene megacarnivores Pachycrocuta and Pliocrocuta. Southeast Asia hosts the last populations of these species globally. Their persistence in southern China until the late Pleistocene suggests their extinction was not tied to that of the machairodont cats, which like the rest of the world became extinct sometime in the early Pleistocene in this region. Instead the disappearance of the hyenids is probably related to climate change and deteriorating environmental conditions. There is some evidence that the wolf and domesticated dog first appeared in Southeast Asia, although confirmation of this awaits more detailed fossil records. There does not appear to be a large carnivore guild turnover of the same scale or time as recorded in Europe and Africa, although an extinction event in the late Pleistocene is provisionally recorded. Environmental changes and fluctuating sea levels have had a unique impact on the region's large carnivore guild. Several large carnivores from Java show unique genetic and morphological variations, and this could potentially be related to the connection between Java and the Indochinese mainland sometime during the middle Pleistocene. The effects of islands on the large carnivores are complicated and at times contradictory. Nevertheless, periods of isolation of large carnivores on Java, Sumatra and Borneo from the continent had impacts on both extinctions and speciations, with at least one well documented endemic large carnivore evolving in Sundaland (Sunda clouded leopard). Hunting and deforestation ongoing since the mid- to late Holocene means that many extant members of the large carnivore guild are at high risk of extinction.

  3. CARNIVORE: A Disruption-Tolerant System for Studying Wildlife

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Williams TerrieM

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We present CARNIVORE, a system for in situ, unobtrusive monitoring of cryptic, difficult-to-catch/observe wildlife in their natural habitat. CARNIVORE is a network of mobile and static nodes with sensing, processing, storage, and wireless communication capabilities. CARNIVORE's compact, low-power, mobile animal-borne nodes collect sensor data and transmit it to static nodes, which then relay it to the Internet. Depending on the wildlife being studied, the network can be quite sparse and therefore disconnected frequently for arbitrarily long periods of time. To support "disconnected operation", CARNIVORE uses an "opportunistic routing" approach taking advantage of every encounter between nodes (mobile-to-mobile and mobile-to-static to propagate data. With a lifespan of 50–100 days, a CARNIVORE mobile node, outfitted on a collar, collects and transmits 1 GB of data compared to 450 kB of data from comparable commercially available wildlife collars. Each collar records 3-axis accelerometer and GPS data to infer animal behavior and energy consumption.Testing in both laboratory and free-range settings with domestic dogs shows that galloping and trotting behavior can be identified. Data collected from first deployments on mountain lions (Puma concolor near Santa Cruz, CA, USA show that the system is a viable and useful tool for wildlife research.

  4. Trichinella nelsoni in carnivores from the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozio, E; De Meneghi, D; Roelke-Parker, M E; La Rosa, G

    1997-12-01

    A survey of trichinellosis among sylvatic carnivore mammals from the Serengeti ecosystem (Tanzania) demonstrated the presence of Trichinella nelsoni in 5 of 9 species examined. Muscle samples were collected from carcasses of 56 carnivores from 1993 to 1995 and frozen before transport and examination. Following artificial digestion of the samples, collected larvae were analyzed by the random amplified polymorphic DNA technique. Trichinella nelsoni was identified in 1 bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis), 1 cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), 1 leopard (Panthera pardus), 3 lions (Panthera leo), and 3 spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta). The numbers of bat-eared foxes (6), cheetahs (5), and leopards (3) examined were too small to reveal the roles of these carnivore species in the ecology of T. nelsoni. The numbers of lions and spotted hyenas examined, with a prevalence of 12% and 23%, respectively, suggest that these species may be reservoirs of T. nelsoni in the area under study.

  5. Simplified large African carnivore density estimators from track indices

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    Christiaan W. Winterbach

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background The range, population size and trend of large carnivores are important parameters to assess their status globally and to plan conservation strategies. One can use linear models to assess population size and trends of large carnivores from track-based surveys on suitable substrates. The conventional approach of a linear model with intercept may not intercept at zero, but may fit the data better than linear model through the origin. We assess whether a linear regression through the origin is more appropriate than a linear regression with intercept to model large African carnivore densities and track indices. Methods We did simple linear regression with intercept analysis and simple linear regression through the origin and used the confidence interval for ß in the linear model y = αx + ß, Standard Error of Estimate, Mean Squares Residual and Akaike Information Criteria to evaluate the models. Results The Lion on Clay and Low Density on Sand models with intercept were not significant (P > 0.05. The other four models with intercept and the six models thorough origin were all significant (P < 0.05. The models using linear regression with intercept all included zero in the confidence interval for ß and the null hypothesis that ß = 0 could not be rejected. All models showed that the linear model through the origin provided a better fit than the linear model with intercept, as indicated by the Standard Error of Estimate and Mean Square Residuals. Akaike Information Criteria showed that linear models through the origin were better and that none of the linear models with intercept had substantial support. Discussion Our results showed that linear regression through the origin is justified over the more typical linear regression with intercept for all models we tested. A general model can be used to estimate large carnivore densities from track densities across species and study areas. The formula observed track density = 3.26 × carnivore

  6. The Microbiome and Occurrence of Methanotrophy in Carnivorous Sponges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hestetun, Jon T.; Dahle, Håkon; Jørgensen, Steffen L.; Olsen, Bernt R.; Rapp, Hans T.

    2016-01-01

    As shown by recent studies, filter-feeding sponges are known to host a wide variety of microorganisms. However, the microbial community of the non-filtering carnivorous sponges (Porifera, Cladorhizidae) has been the subject of less scrutiny. Here, we present the results from a comparative study of the methanotrophic carnivorous sponge Cladorhiza methanophila from a mud volcano-rich area at the Barbados Accretionary Prism, and five carnivorous species from the Jan Mayen Vent Field (JMVF) at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge. Results from 16S rRNA microbiome data indicate the presence of a diverse assemblage of associated microorganisms in carnivorous sponges mainly from the Gamma- and Alphaproteobacteria, Flavobacteriaceae, and Thaumarchaeota. While the abundance of particular groups varied throughout the dataset, we found interesting similarities to previous microbiome results from non-carnivorous deep sea sponges, suggesting that the carnivorous sponges share characteristics of a previously hypothesized putative deep-sea sponge microbial community. Chemolithoautotrophic symbiosis was confirmed for C. methanophila through a microbial community with a high abundance of Methylococcales and very light isotopic δ13C and δ15N ratios (-60 to -66‰/3.5 to 5.2‰) compared to the other cladorhizid species (-22 to -24‰/8.5 to 10.5‰). We provide evidence for the presence of putative sulfur-oxidizing Gammaproteobacteria in the arctic cladorhizids; however, δ13C and δ15N signatures did not provide evidence for significant chemoautotrophic symbiosis in this case, and the slightly higher abundance of cladorhizids at the JMVF site compared to the nearby deep sea likely stem from an increased abundance of prey rather than a more direct vent association. The phylogenetic position of C. methanophila in relation to other carnivorous sponges was established using a three-gene phylogenetic analysis, and it was found to be closely related to other non-methanotrophic Cladorhiza species

  7. Postcopulatory sexual selection influences baculum evolution in primates and carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brindle, Matilda

    2016-01-01

    The extreme morphological variability of the baculum across mammals is thought to be the result of sexual selection (particularly, high levels of postcopulatory selection). However, the evolutionary trajectory of the mammalian baculum is little studied and evidence for the adaptive function of the baculum has so far been elusive. Here, we use Markov chain Monte Carlo methods implemented in a Bayesian phylogenetic framework to reconstruct baculum evolution across the mammalian class and investigate the rate of baculum length evolution within the primate order. We then test the effects of testes mass (postcopulatory sexual selection), polygamy, seasonal breeding and intromission duration on the baculum in primates and carnivores. The ancestral mammal did not have a baculum, but both ancestral primates and carnivores did. No relationship was found between testes mass and baculum length in either primates or carnivores. Intromission duration correlated with baculum presence over the course of primate evolution, and prolonged intromission predicts significantly longer bacula in extant primates and carnivores. Both polygamous and seasonal breeding systems predict significantly longer bacula in primates. These results suggest the baculum plays an important role in facilitating reproductive strategies in populations with high levels of postcopulatory sexual selection. PMID:27974519

  8. Small carnivores of Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve, Karnataka, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Honnavalli N. Kumara

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available During the present study in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve (BRT, nine species of small carnivores viz., Jungle Cat Felis chaus, Rusty-spotted Cat Prionalilurus rubiginosus, Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis, Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica, Asian Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, Striped-necked Mongoose Herpestes vitticollis, Ruddy Mongoose Herpestes smithii, Common Mongoose Herpestes edwardsii and Smooth-coated Otter Lutrogale perspicillata, were recorded using camera-trapping technique, transect walks, and night surveys. Vegetation type strongly influences the presence and abundance of each species. The most sightings of small carnivores occurred in dry deciduous forests. Among all the species, the Asian Palm Civet was the most abundant and was followed by the small Indian Civet. Compared to many other forests or regions in India, the sight records of the Rusty-spotted Cat were relatively higher in BRT. Although we were unable to use statistical methods to search for higher levels of interdependencies between forest types and small carnivore abundance, our study sheds light on patterns of small carnivore distribution in this unique habitat which bridges the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats.

  9. Presence of Bartonella species in wild carnivores of northern Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerrikagoitia, Xeider; Gil, Horacio; García-Esteban, Coral; Anda, Pedro; Juste, R A; Barral, Marta

    2012-02-01

    The genus Bartonella was detected by PCR in 5.7% (12/212) of wild carnivores from Northern Spain. Based on hybridization and sequence analyses, Bartonella henselae was identified in a wildcat (Felis silvestris), Bartonella rochalimae in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and in a wolf (Canis lupus), and Bartonella sp. in badgers (Meles meles).

  10. Presence of Bartonella Species in Wild Carnivores of Northern Spain

    OpenAIRE

    Gerrikagoitia, Xeider; Gil, Horacio; García-Esteban, Coral; Anda, Pedro; R.A. Juste; Barral, Marta

    2012-01-01

    The genus Bartonella was detected by PCR in 5.7% (12/212) of wild carnivores from Northern Spain. Based on hybridization and sequence analyses, Bartonella henselae was identified in a wildcat (Felis silvestris), Bartonella rochalimae in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and in a wolf (Canis lupus), and Bartonella sp. in badgers (Meles meles).

  11. NEOSPORA CANINUM ANTIBODIES IN WILD CARNIVORES FROM SPAIN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serum samples from 251 wild carnivores from different regions of Spain were tested for antibodies to Neospora caninum by the commercial competitive screening enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (c-ELISA) and confirmed by Neospora agglutination test (NAT) and/or by indirect fluorescent antibody test (I...

  12. Functional diversity among seed dispersal kernels generated by carnivorous mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Varo, Juan P; López-Bao, José V; Guitián, José

    2013-05-01

    1. Knowledge of the spatial scale of the dispersal service provided by important seed dispersers (i.e. common and/or keystone species) is essential to our understanding of their role on plant ecology, ecosystem functioning and, ultimately, biodiversity conservation. 2. Carnivores are the main mammalian frugivores and seed dispersers in temperate climate regions. However, information on the seed dispersal distances they generate is still very limited. We focused on two common temperate carnivores differing in body size and spatial ecology - red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and European pine marten (Martes martes) - for evaluating possible functional diversity in their seed dispersal kernels. 3. We measured dispersal distances using colour-coded seed mimics embedded in experimental fruits that were offered to the carnivores in feeding stations (simulating source trees). The exclusive colour code of each simulated tree allowed us to assign the exact origin of seed mimics found later in carnivore faeces. We further designed an explicit sampling strategy aiming to detect the longest dispersal events; as far we know, the most robust sampling scheme followed for tracking carnivore-dispersed seeds. 4. We found a marked functional heterogeneity among both species in their seed dispersal kernels according to their home range size: multimodality and long-distance dispersal in the case of the fox and unimodality and short-distance dispersal in the case of the marten (maximum distances = 2846 and 1233 m, respectively). As a consequence, emergent kernels at the guild level (overall and in two different years) were highly dependent on the relative contribution of each carnivore species. 5. Our results provide the first empirical evidence of functional diversity among seed dispersal kernels generated by carnivorous mammals. Moreover, they illustrate for the first time how seed dispersal kernels strongly depend on the relative contribution of different disperser species, thus on the

  13. Financial costs of large carnivore translocations--accounting for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weise, Florian J; Stratford, Ken J; van Vuuren, Rudolf J

    2014-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflict continues to present a major conservation challenge around the world. Translocation of large carnivores is widely implemented but remains strongly debated, in part because of a lack of cost transparency. We report detailed translocation costs for three large carnivore species in Namibia and across different translocation scenarios. We consider the effect of various parameters and factors on costs and translocation success. Total translocation cost for 30 individuals in 22 events was $80,681 (US Dollars). Median translocation cost per individual was $2,393, and $2,669 per event. Median cost per cheetah was $2,760 (n = 23), and $2,108 per leopard (n = 6). One hyaena was translocated at a cost of $1,672. Tracking technology was the single biggest cost element (56%), followed by captive holding and feeding. Soft releases, prolonged captivity and orphaned individuals also increased case-specific costs. A substantial proportion (65.4%) of the total translocation cost was successfully recovered from public interest groups. Less than half the translocations were confirmed successes (44.4%, 3 unknown) with a strong species bias. Four leopards (66.7%) were successfully translocated but only eight of the 20 cheetahs (40.0%) with known outcome met these strict criteria. None of the five habituated cheetahs was translocated successfully, nor was the hyaena. We introduce the concept of Individual Conservation Cost (ICC) and define it as the cost of one successfully translocated individual adjusted by costs of unsuccessful events of the same species. The median ICC for cheetah was $6,898 and $3,140 for leopard. Translocations are costly, but we demonstrate that they are not inherently more expensive than other strategies currently employed in non-lethal carnivore conflict management. We conclude that translocation should be one available option for conserving large carnivores, but needs to be critically evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  14. Financial costs of large carnivore translocations--accounting for conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian J Weise

    Full Text Available Human-carnivore conflict continues to present a major conservation challenge around the world. Translocation of large carnivores is widely implemented but remains strongly debated, in part because of a lack of cost transparency. We report detailed translocation costs for three large carnivore species in Namibia and across different translocation scenarios. We consider the effect of various parameters and factors on costs and translocation success. Total translocation cost for 30 individuals in 22 events was $80,681 (US Dollars. Median translocation cost per individual was $2,393, and $2,669 per event. Median cost per cheetah was $2,760 (n = 23, and $2,108 per leopard (n = 6. One hyaena was translocated at a cost of $1,672. Tracking technology was the single biggest cost element (56%, followed by captive holding and feeding. Soft releases, prolonged captivity and orphaned individuals also increased case-specific costs. A substantial proportion (65.4% of the total translocation cost was successfully recovered from public interest groups. Less than half the translocations were confirmed successes (44.4%, 3 unknown with a strong species bias. Four leopards (66.7% were successfully translocated but only eight of the 20 cheetahs (40.0% with known outcome met these strict criteria. None of the five habituated cheetahs was translocated successfully, nor was the hyaena. We introduce the concept of Individual Conservation Cost (ICC and define it as the cost of one successfully translocated individual adjusted by costs of unsuccessful events of the same species. The median ICC for cheetah was $6,898 and $3,140 for leopard. Translocations are costly, but we demonstrate that they are not inherently more expensive than other strategies currently employed in non-lethal carnivore conflict management. We conclude that translocation should be one available option for conserving large carnivores, but needs to be critically evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  15. Carnivore activity in the Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca, Spain) hominin sample

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana

    2014-08-01

    The Sima de los Huesos (SH) site is the largest accumulation of human remains from the Middle Pleistocene known to date. Studies in the last two decades have proposed different hypotheses to explain carnivore activity in the SH human sample. This study provides new data in order to test these different interpretations, and therefore to understand the role of the carnivores in site formation at SH. Carnivores are usually not the origin of large accumulations of hominin fossils in the Eurasian record. The results show that marks of carnivore activity in the SH sample appear very infrequently, which we interpret as indicating that carnivore activity was very sporadic at the site. This is in stark contrast with previous studies. The comparison of bone modification patterns at SH to actualistic carnivore data allows us to suggest that bears were likely to have been the carnivore responsible for the modification observed on both human and bear fossils.

  16. Bigger brains may make better problem-solving carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, Jennifer

    2016-06-01

    Benson-Amram, Dantzer, Stricker, Swanson, & Holekamp's (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, 25321-25376, 2016) recent demonstration that larger-brained carnivores were more successful in a single problem-solving task, relative to smaller-brained carnivores, irrespective of social complexity, poses a challenge to proponents of the social intelligence hypothesis (Humphrey, 1976) and provides some support for the idea that larger relative brain sizes have evolved to support greater problem-solving abilities. However, an important question, neglected by the authors, is the extent to which foraging ecology, rather than social environment, more accurately predicts problem solving, and whether this relationship would be observed in noncarnivore, noncaptive animals across a range of tasks.

  17. Genetic characterization of canine distemper virus in Serengeti carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, M A; Appel, M J; Roelke-Parker, M E; Munson, L; Hofer, H; East, M; O'Brien, S J

    1998-10-23

    The lion (Panthera leo) population in the Serengeti ecosystem was recently afflicted by a fatal epidemic involving neurological disease, encephalitis and pneumonia. The cause was identified as canine distemper virus (CDV). Several other species in the Serengeti were also affected. This report presents CDV H and P gene sequences isolated from Serengeti lions (Panthera leo), spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis) and domestic dog (Canis familiaris). Sequence analyses demonstrated that the four Serengeti species carry closely related CDV isolates which are genetically distinct from other CDV isolates from various species and locations. The results are consistent with the conclusions that: (1) a particularly virulent strain of CDV emerged among Serengeti carnivores within the last few years; (2) that strain has recognizable shared-derived (synapomorphic) genetic differences in both H and P genes when compared to CDV from other parts of the world; and (3) that the CDV strain has frequently crossed host species among Serengeti carnivores.

  18. Pathogenic role of gastric Helicobacter sp in domestic carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecoindre, P; Chevallier, M; Peyrol, S; Boude, M; Ferrero, R L; Labigne, A

    1997-01-01

    As a result of phylogenic studies using new molecular biology techniques and fundamental experimental studies, we now know more about helicobacteria in domestic carnivores, their morphologic characteristics, their taxonomia and more important we know more about their ecological niche. Few clinical studies have been carried out, but the ones that have been undertaken are interesting in that they confirm the extensive prevalence of Helicobacter infections in domestic carnivores and underline their role in the genesis of the inflammatory gastropathies observed in these species. Finally, recent observations have demonstrated the ubiquitous character of these helicobacteria by showing their presence in the stomach of man, dog and cat. This ubiquitous character has led some scientists to consider the potential zoonotic risk of the human infection by Helicobacter heilmannii, felis or pylori.

  19. Nomenclatural review of long digital forelimb flexors in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spoor, C F; Badoux, D M

    1986-12-01

    A hitherto-unknown atavistic muscle in the dog initiated a review of the literature on the homologies and nomenclature of the forelimb flexors in carnivores and man. A consequence is that we recommend a revision of the nomenclature in the Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria (Ithaca, New York, 1983) so that it is in agreement with the Nomina Anatomica (Wilkins, Baltimore, 1983). This revision mainly consists of the incorporation of the terms M. palmaris longus and Mm. flexores breves manus.

  20. Conservation genetics of Nordic carnivores: lessons from zoos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laikre, L

    1999-01-01

    This paper summarizes results from genetic studies of Nordic carnivore populations bred in captivity. The conservation genetic implications of those results for the management of wild populations of the same species are discussed. Inbreeding depression has been documented in the brown bear (Ursus arctos), wolf (Canis lupus), and lynx (Lynx lynx) populations held in Nordic zoos. The characters negatively affected by inbreeding include litter size (brown bear and wolf), longevity (lynx and wolf), female reproduction, and weight (wolf). In addition, hereditary defects caused by single autosomal alleles occur in the wolf and brown bear populations. These deleterious alleles cause blindness (wolf) and albinism (brown bear) in the homozygous state. The amount of inbreeding depression observed in Nordic carnivores are similar to that documented in other species. The captive populations have the same genetic background as the current wild ones and inbreeding depression is therefore a potential threat to wild carnivore populations in Sweden. This threat is presently not being adequately recognized in the management of these species. Frequently occurring misunderstandings regarding the kind of conclusions that can be drawn from the presented genetic observations are also discussed.

  1. A conceptual framework for understanding illegal killing of large carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Neil H; López-Bao, José Vicente; Bruskotter, Jeremy T; Gore, Meredith; Chapron, Guillaume; Johnson, Arlyne; Epstein, Yaffa; Shrestha, Mahendra; Frank, Jens; Ohrens, Omar; Treves, Adrian

    2017-04-01

    The growing complexity and global nature of wildlife poaching threaten the survival of many species worldwide and are outpacing conservation efforts. Here, we reviewed proximal and distal factors, both social and ecological, driving illegal killing or poaching of large carnivores at sites where it can potentially occur. Through this review, we developed a conceptual social-ecological system framework that ties together many of the factors influencing large carnivore poaching. Unlike most conservation action models, an important attribute of our framework is the integration of multiple factors related to both human motivations and animal vulnerability into feedbacks. We apply our framework to two case studies, tigers in Laos and wolverines in northern Sweden, to demonstrate its utility in disentangling some of the complex features of carnivore poaching that may have hindered effective responses to the current poaching crisis. Our framework offers a common platform to help guide future research on wildlife poaching feedbacks, which has hitherto been lacking, in order to effectively inform policy making and enforcement.

  2. Assessing sloth bears as surrogates for carnivore conservation in Sri Lanka

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratnayeke, Shyamala; Van Manen, Frank T.

    2012-01-01

    Bears are large, charismatic mammals whose presence often garners conservation attention. Because healthy bear populations typically require large, contiguous areas of habitat, land conservation actions often are assumed to benefit co-occurring species, including other mammalian carnivores. However, we are not aware of an empirical test of this assumption. We used remote camera data from 2 national parks in Sri Lanka to test the hypothesis that the frequency of detection of sloth bears (Melursus ursinus) is associated with greater richness of carnivore species. We focused on mammalian carnivores because they play a pivotal role in the stability of ecological communities and are among Sri Lanka's most endangered species. Seven of Sri Lanka's carnivores are listed as endangered, vulnerable, or near threatened, and little empirical information exists on their status and distribution. During 2002–03, we placed camera traps at 152 sites to document carnivore species presence. We used Poisson regression to develop predictive models for 3 categories of dependent variables: species richness of (1) all carnivores, (2) carnivores considered at risk, and (3) carnivores of least conservation concern. For each category, we analyzed 8 a priori models based on combinations of sloth bear detections, sample year, and study area and used Akaike's information criterion (AICc) to test our research hypothesis. We detected sloth bears at 55 camera sites and detected 13 of Sri Lanka's 14 Carnivora species. Species richness of all carnivores showed positive associations with the number of sloth bear detections, regardless of study area. Sloth bear detections were also positively associated with species richness of carnivores at risk across both study years and study areas, but not with species richness of common carnivores. Sloth bears may serve as a valuable surrogate species whose habitat protection would contribute to conservation of other carnivores in Sri Lanka.

  3. Ecological preferences of exophilic and endophilic ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) parasitizing wild carnivores in the Iberian Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobrino, Raquel; Millán, Javier; Oleaga, Alvaro; Gortázar, Christian; de la Fuente, José; Ruiz-Fons, Francisco

    2012-03-23

    Ticks parasitizing wild carnivores and the tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) that they transmit may affect domestic carnivores and humans. Thus, investigating the role of wild carnivores as tick hosts is of relevance for understanding the life cycle of ticks in natural foci and the epidemiology of TBPs shared with domestic animals and humans. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to determine the ixodid tick fauna of wild carnivores in Peninsular Spain and the environmental factors driving the risk of wild carnivores to be parasitized by ixodid ticks. We hypothesized that the adaptation of tick species to differing climatic conditions may be reflected in a similar parasitization risk of wild carnivores by ticks between bioclimatic regions in our study area. To test this, we surveyed ixodid ticks in wild carnivores in oceanic, continental-Mediterranean, and thermo-Mediterranean bioclimatic regions of Peninsular Spain. We analyzed the influence of environmental factors on the risk of wild carnivores to be parasitized by ticks by performing logistic regression models. Models were separately performed for exophilic and endophilic ticks under the expected differing influence of environmental conditions on their life cycle. We found differences in the composition of the tick community parasitizing wild carnivores from different bioclimatic regions. Modelling results partially confirmed our null hypothesis because bioclimatic region was not a relevant factor influencing the risk of wild carnivores to be parasitized by exophilic ticks. Bioclimatic region was however a factor driving the risk of wild carnivores to be parasitized by endophilic ticks. Spanish wild carnivores are hosts to a relevant number of tick species, some of them being potential vectors of pathogens causing serious animal and human diseases. Information provided herein can be of help to understand tick ecology in Spanish wildlife, the epidemiology of tick-borne diseases, and to prevent the risks of

  4. Paws without claws? Ecological effects of large carnivores in anthropogenic landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahlén, E.; Elmhagen, B.; Chamaillé-Jammes, S.; Sand, H.; Lone, K.; Cromsigt, J. P. G. M.

    2016-01-01

    Large carnivores are frequently presented as saviours of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning through their creation of trophic cascades, an idea largely based on studies coming primarily out of relatively natural landscapes. However, in large parts of the world, particularly in Europe, large carnivores live in and are returning to strongly human-modified ecosystems. At present, we lack a coherent framework to predict the effects of large carnivores in these anthropogenic landscapes. We review how human actions influence the ecological roles of large carnivores by affecting their density or behaviour or those of mesopredators or prey species. We argue that the potential for density-mediated trophic cascades in anthropogenic landscapes is limited to unproductive areas where even low carnivore numbers may impact prey densities or to the limited parts of the landscape where carnivores are allowed to reach ecologically functional densities. The potential for behaviourally mediated trophic cascades may be larger and more widespread, because even low carnivore densities affect prey behaviour. We conclude that predator–prey interactions in anthropogenic landscapes will be highly context-dependent and human actions will often attenuate the ecological effects of large carnivores. We highlight the knowledge gaps and outline a new research avenue to study the role of carnivores in anthropogenic landscapes. PMID:27798302

  5. Smallest bitter taste receptor(T2Rs)gene repertoire in carnivores%Smallest bitter taste receptor (T2Rs) gene repertoire in carnivores

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ling-Ling HU; Peng SHI

    2013-01-01

    Bitter taste reception is presumably associated with dietary selection,preventing animals from ingesting potentially harmful compounds.Accordingly,carnivores,who encounter these toxic substances less often,should have fewer genes associated with bitter taste reception compared with herbivores and omnivores.To investigate the genetic basis of bitter taste reception,we confirmed bitter taste receptor (T2R) genes previously found in the genome sequences of two herbivores (cow and horse),two omnivores (mouse and rat) and one carnivore (dog).We also identified,for the first time,the T2R repertoire from the genome of other four carnivore species (ferret,giant panda,polar bear and cat) and detected 17-20 bitter receptor genes from the five carnivore genomes,including 12-16 intact genes,0-1 partial but putatively functional genes,and 3-8 pseudogenes.Both the intact T2R genes and the total T2R gene number among carnivores were the smallest among the tested species,supporting earlier speculations that carnivores have fewer T2R genes,herbivores an intermediate number,and omnivores the largest T2R gene repertoire.To further explain the genetic basis for this disparity,we constructed a phylogenetic tree,which showed most of the T2R genes from the five carnivores were one-to-one orthologs across the tree,suggesting that carnivore T2Rs were conserved among mammals.Similarly,the small carnivore T2R family size was likely due to rare duplication events.Collectively,these results strengthen arguments for the connection between T2R gene family size,diet and habit.

  6. Glucose transporter 1 localisation throughout pregnancy in the carnivore placenta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wooding, F.B.P.; Dantzer, Vibeke; Klisch, K.

    2007-01-01

    Glucose is one of the major fetal nutrients. Maternofetal transfer requires transport across the several placental membranes. This transfer is mediated by one or more of the fourteen known isoforms of glucose transporter. So far only Glucose Transporters 1 and 3 (GT1, GT3) have been shown...... to be located in placental membranes. GT1 may be the only one on the syncytiotrophoblast (human) or both may be present on the same membrane (rodents) or be required in sequence (ruminants, horses and elephant). This paper shows GT1 to be the only transporter demonstrable by immunocytochemistry in carnivore...

  7. First findings and prevalence of adult heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) in wild carnivores from Serbia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Penezic, Aleksandra; Selakovic, Sanja; Pavlovic, Ivan; Cirovic, Dusko

    2014-01-01

    Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is a parasitic roundworm that causes a zoonotic disease known as dirofilariosis. Little is known about the role of wild carnivores serving as reservoirs in nature. Therefore, we examined 738 hearts and lungs of free ranging wild carnivores from Serbia to determine the

  8. The evolution of cursorial carnivores in the Tertiary: implications of elbow-joint morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Ki; Werdelin, Lars

    2003-11-01

    The evolution of cursorial adaptations in Tertiary (65-1.65 Myr ago) carnivores has been a contentious issue. Most such studies have focused on the relationship between hind limb proportions and running speed. Here, we show morphometrically that in extant carnivores, the elbow joint has evolved in two distinct directions with mutually exclusive implications for locomotor ability and prey procurement. Some carnivores retain supinatory ability, allowing them to manipulate prey and other items with the forepaws. Such carnivores can become very large. Other carnivores lose the ability to supinate and become cursors. This allows for only moderate size increase. Modern carnivores above ca. 20 kg body mass are committed to one or other of these strategies. This threshold coincides with a postulated threshold in carnivore physiology. The biaxial pattern mostly follows phylogenetic lines, but a strong selective regime can override this signal, as shown by the extant cheetah. Oligocene (33.7-23.8 Myr ago) and early-middle Miocene (23.8-11.2 Myr ago) carnivores follow the same pattern, though in the Miocene the pattern is shifted towards larger body mass, which may be owing to the extraordinary richness of browsing ungulates at this time.

  9. European quaternary refugia: a factor in large carnivore extinction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Regan, Hannah J.; Turner, Alan; Wilkinson, David M.

    2002-12-01

    The extinction of large carnivores in Europe during the Quaternary is reviewed and the potential role of glacial refugia in these extinctions is investigated using the VORTEX model for population viability analysis. A model was built for a medium sized big cat similar to the extinct Panthera gombaszoegensis utilising life history data from the modern jaguar Panthera onca. This approach highlighted the potential importance of glacial refugia in the extinction process. Even model refugia the size of the Italian peninsula did not guarantee persistence of a population over a 1000 yr time span, illustrating the role of chance in survival in such a refugium. An area the size of the largest Mediterranean island was unable to support a big cat population for a period of 1000 yr. The models also demonstrated the importance of inbreeding as a mechanism for extinction in refugia. It is suggested that repeated genetic bottlenecks during successive glaciations would tend to remove lethal recessive alleles from the population, increasing the probability of survival in refugia in subsequent glaciations. The history of extinction of large carnivores in the European Quaternary is interpreted in the light of these results.

  10. Genetic characterization of feline parvovirus sequences from various carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinel, A; Munson, L; van Vuuren, M; Truyen, U

    2000-02-01

    Infections with viruses of the feline parvovirus subgroup such as feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), mink enteritis virus (MEV) and canine parvovirus (CPV-2) [together with its new antigenic types (CPV-2a, CPV-2b)] have been reported from several wild carnivore species. To examine the susceptibility of different species to the various parvoviruses and their antigenic types, samples from wild carnivores with acute parvovirus infections were collected. Viral DNA was amplified, and subsequently analysed, from faeces or formalin-fixed small intestines from an orphaned bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis), a free-ranging honey badger (Mellivora capensis), six captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), a captive Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) and a free-ranging African wild cat (Felis lybica). Parvovirus infection in bat-eared fox and honey badger was demonstrated for the first time. FPV-sequences were detected in tissues of the African wild cat and in faeces of one cheetah and the honey badger, whereas CPV-2b sequences were found in five cheetahs and the bat-eared fox. The Siberian tiger (from a German zoo) was infected with a CPV-type 2a virus. This distribution of feline parvovirus antigenic types in captive large cats suggests an interspecies transmission from domestic dogs. CPV-2 sequences were not detected in any of the specimens and no sequences with features intermediate between FPV and CPV were found in any of the animals examined.

  11. Fungal root endophytes of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quilliam, Richard S; Jones, David L

    2010-06-01

    As carnivorous plants acquire substantial amounts of nutrients from the digestion of their prey, mycorrhizal associations are considered to be redundant; however, fungal root endophytes have rarely been examined. As endophytic fungi can have profound impacts on plant communities, we aim to determine the extent of fungal root colonisation of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia at two points in the growing season (spring and summer). We have used a culture-dependent method to isolate fungal endophytes and diagnostic polymerase chain reaction methods to determine arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonisation. All of the roots sampled contained culturable fungal root endophytes; additionally, we have provided molecular evidence that they also host arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Colonisation showed seasonal differences: Roots in the spring were colonised by Articulospora tetracladia, two isolates of uncultured ectomycorrhizal fungi, an unidentified species of fungal endophyte and Trichoderma viride, which was present in every plant sampled. In contrast, roots in the summer were colonised by Alatospora acuminata, an uncultured ectomycorrhizal fungus, Penicillium pinophilum and an uncultured fungal clone. Although the functional roles of fungal endophytes of D. rotundifolia are unknown, colonisation may (a) confer abiotic stress tolerance, (b) facilitate the acquisition of scarce nutrients particularly at the beginning of the growing season or (c) play a role in nutrient signalling between root and shoot.

  12. [Helicobacter infections of man and of domestic carnivores: comparative data].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecoindre, P; Chevalier, M; Peyrol, S; Boude, M; Labigne, A; Lamouliatte, H; Pilet, C

    1997-03-18

    The role of Helicobacter pylori in generating of the chronic gastritis and in the maintaining of the gastroduodenal ulcerous disease, has been a major medical discovery of these past years in human gastroenterology. More recently in Man, studies have showed that the gastric tumours (adenocarcinoma, lymphoma) are epidemiologically associated with the H. pylori infection. Although the H. pylori infection is the one of the most frequent in the word, the epidemiologic and ecologic aspects of this infections are still not very well known. Thanks to phylogenic studies using the new molecular biology techniques and to fundamental experimental studies, we know more about helicobacteria in domestic carnivores as well as their morphologic characteristic, their taxonomia and more importantly details concerning their ecological niche. Few clinical studies have been made to this day, but the ones that have been undertaken are interesting in confirming the extensive prevalence of Helicobacter infections in domestic carnivores and in underlining their role in the genesis of the inflammatory gastropathies observed in these species. Recent observations have demonstrated the ubiquitous character of these helicobacteria by showing their presence in the stomach of man, dogs and cats. This ubiquitous character has led some scientists to consider the potential zoonotic risk of the human infection by Helicobacter heilmannii, felis or pylori. Finally, the Helicobacter infection of animals seems to be an interesting model not only in the study of the affections caused by these bacteria, but also in the elaboration of a future vaccine against the H. pylori infection in man.

  13. Ticks (Acari: Ixodida) on wild carnivores in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labruna, Marcelo B; Jorge, Rodrigo S P; Sana, Dênis A; Jácomo, Anah Tereza A; Kashivakura, Cyntia K; Furtado, Mariana M; Ferro, Claudia; Perez, Samuel A; Silveira, Leandro; Santos, Tarcísio S; Marques, Samuel R; Morato, Ronaldo G; Nava, Alessandra; Adania, Cristina H; Teixeira, Rodrigo H F; Gomes, Albério A B; Conforti, Valéria A; Azevedo, Fernando C C; Prada, Cristiana S; Silva, Jean C R; Batista, Adriana F; Marvulo, Maria Fernanda V; Morato, Rose L G; Alho, Cleber J R; Pinter, Adriano; Ferreira, Patrícia M; Ferreira, Fernado; Barros-Battesti, Darci M

    2005-01-01

    The present study reports field data of ticks infesting wild carnivores captured from July 1998 to September 2004 in Brazil. Additional data were obtained from one tick collection and from previous published data of ticks on carnivores in Brazil. During field work, a total of 3437 ticks were collected from 89 Cerdocyon thous (crab-eating fox), 58 Chrysocyon brachyurus (maned wolf), 30 Puma concolor (puma), 26 Panthera onca (jaguar), 12 Procyon cancrivorus (crab-eating raccoon), 4 Speothos venaticus (bush dog), 6 Pseudalopex vetulus (hoary fox), 6 Nasua nasua (coati), 6 Leopardus pardalis (ocelot), 2 Leopardus tigrinus (oncilla), 1 Leopardus wiedii (margay), 1 Herpailurus yagouaroundi (jaguarundi), 1 Oncifelis colocolo (pampas cat), 1 Eira barbara (tayara), 1 Galictis vittata (grison), 1 Lontra longicaudis (neotropical otter), and 1 Potus flavus (kinkajou). Data obtained from the Acari Collection IBSP included a total of 381 tick specimens collected on 13 C. thous, 8 C. brachyurus, 3 P. concolor, 10 P. onca, 3 P. cancrivorus, 4 N. nasua, 1 L. pardalis, 1 L. wiedii, 4 H. yagouaroundi, 1 Galictis cuja (lesser grison), and 1 L. longicaudis. The only tick-infested carnivore species previously reported in Brazil, for which we do not present any field data are Pseudalopex gymnocercus (pampas fox), Conepatus chinga (Molina's hog-nosed skunk), and Conepatus semistriatus (striped hog-nosed skunk). We report the first tick records in Brazil on two Felidae species (O. colocolo, H. yagouaroundi), two Canidae species (P. vetulus, S. venaticus), one Procyonidae species (P. flavus) and one Mustelidae (E. barbara). Tick infestation remains unreported for 5 of the 26 Carnivora species native in Brazil: Oncifelis geoffroyi (Geoffroy's cat), Atelocynus microtis (short-eared dog), Pteronura brasiliensis (giant otter), Mustela africana (Amazon weasel), and Bassaricyon gabbii (olingo). Our field data comprise 16 tick species represented by the genera Amblyomma (12 species), Ixodes (1

  14. A hairy case: The evolution of filtering carnivorous Drusinae (Limnephilidae, Trichoptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitecek, Simon; Graf, Wolfram; Previšić, Ana; Kučinić, Mladen; Oláh, János; Bálint, Miklós; Keresztes, Lujza; Pauls, Steffen U; Waringer, Johann

    2015-12-01

    The caddisfly subfamily Drusinae BANKS comprises roughly 100 species inhabiting mountain ranges in Europe, Asia Minor and the Caucasus. A 3-gene phylogeny of the subfamily previously identified three major clades that were corroborated by larval morphology and feeding ecologies: scraping grazers, omnivorous shredders and filtering carnivores. Larvae of filtering carnivores exhibit unique head capsule complexities, unknown from other caddisfly larvae. Here we assess the species-level relationships within filtering carnivores, hypothesizing that head capsule complexity is derived from simple shapes observed in the other feeding groups. We summarize the current systematics and taxonomy of the group, clarify the systematic position of Cryptothrix nebulicola, and present a larval key to filtering carnivorous Drusinae. We infer relationships of all known filtering carnivorous Drusinae and 34 additional Drusinae species using Bayesian species tree analysis and concatenated Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of 3805bp of sequence data from six gene regions (mtCOI5-P, mtCOI3-P, 16S mrDNA, CADH, WG, 28S nrDNA), morphological cladistics from 308 characters, and a total evidence analysis. All analyses support monophyly of the three feeding ecology groups but fail to fully resolve internal relationships. Within filtering carnivores, variation in head setation and frontoclypeus structure may be associated with progressive niche adaptation, with less complex species recovered at a basal position. We propose that diversification of complex setation and frontoclypeus shape represents a recent evolutionary development, hypothetically enforcing speciation and niche specificity within filtering carnivorous Drusinae.

  15. Remote camera-trap methods and analyses reveal impacts of rangeland management on Namibian carnivore communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauffman, M.J.; Sanjayan, M.; Lowenstein, J.; Nelson, A.; Jeo, R.M.; Crooks, K.R.

    2007-01-01

    Assessing the abundance and distribution of mammalian carnivores is vital for understanding their ecology and providing for their long-term conservation. Because of the difficulty of trapping and handling carnivores many studies have relied on abundance indices that may not accurately reflect real abundance and distribution patterns. We developed statistical analyses that detect spatial correlation in visitation data from combined scent station and camera-trap surveys, and we illustrate how to use such data to make inferences about changes in carnivore assemblages. As a case study we compared the carnivore communities of adjacent communal and freehold rangelands in central Namibia. We used an index of overdispersion to test for repeat visits to individual camera-trap scent stations and a bootstrap simulation to test for correlations in visits to camera neighbourhoods. After distilling our presence-absence data to the most defensible spatial scale, we assessed overall carnivore visitation using logistic regression. Our analyses confirmed the expected pattern of a depauparate fauna on the communal rangelands compared to the freehold rangelands. Additionally, the species that were not detected on communal sites were the larger-bodied carnivores. By modelling these rare visits as a Poisson process we illustrate a method of inferring whether or not such patterns are because of local extinction of species or are simply a result of low sample effort. Our Namibian case study indicates that these field methods and analyses can detect meaningful differences in the carnivore communities brought about by anthropogenic influences. ?? 2007 FFI.

  16. Multiplex PCR identification of Taenia spp. in rodents and carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Sabi, Mohammad N S; Kapel, Christian M O

    2011-11-01

    The genus Taenia includes several species of veterinary and public health importance, but diagnosis of the etiological agent in definitive and intermediate hosts often relies on labor intensive and few specific morphometric criteria, especially in immature worms and underdeveloped metacestodes. In the present study, a multiplex PCR, based on five primers targeting the 18S rDNA and ITS2 sequences, produced a species-specific banding patterns for a range of Taenia spp. Species typing by the multiplex PCR was compared to morphological identification and sequencing of cox1 and/or 12S rDNA genes. As compared to sequencing, the multiplex PCR identified 31 of 32 Taenia metacestodes from rodents, whereas only 14 cysts were specifically identified by morphology. Likewise, the multiplex PCR identified 108 of 130 adult worms, while only 57 were identified to species by morphology. The tested multiplex PCR system may potentially be used for studies of Taenia spp. transmitted between rodents and carnivores.

  17. A new carnivorous dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Solnhofen archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Göhlich, Ursula B; Chiappe, Luis M

    2006-03-16

    Small Late Jurassic theropod dinosaurs are rare worldwide. In Europe these carnivorous dinosaurs are represented primarily by only two skeletons of Compsognathus, neither of which is well preserved. Here we describe a small new theropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic period of Schamhaupten in southern Germany. Being exquisitely preserved and complete from the snout to the distal third of the tail, the new fossil is the best-preserved predatory, non-avian dinosaur in Europe. It possesses a suite of characters that support its identification as a basal coelurosaur. A cladistic analysis indicates that the new taxon is closer to maniraptorans than to tyrannosauroids, grouping it with taxa often considered to be compsognathids. Large portions of integument are preserved along its tail. The absence of feathers or feather-like structures in a fossil phylogenetically nested within feathered theropods indicates that the evolution of these integumentary structures might be more complex than previously thought.

  18. Neospora caninum antibodies in wild carnivores from Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobrino, R; Dubey, J P; Pabón, M; Linarez, N; Kwok, O C; Millán, J; Arnal, M C; Luco, D F; López-Gatius, F; Thulliez, P; Gortázar, C; Almería, S

    2008-08-17

    Serum samples from 251 wild carnivores from different regions of Spain were tested for antibodies to Neospora caninum by the commercial competitive screening enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (c-ELISA) and confirmed by Neospora agglutination test (NAT) and/or by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Samples with antibodies detected by at least two serological tests were considered seropositive. Antibodies to N. caninum were found in 3.2% of 95 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes); in 21.4% of 28 wolves (Canis lupus); in 12.0% of 25 Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus); in 16.7% of 6 European wildcats (Felis silvestris); in 6.4% of 31 Eurasian badgers (Meles meles); in 21.4% of 14 stone martens (Martes foina); in 66.7% of 3 pine martens (M. martes) and in 50% of 2 polecats (Mustela putorius). Antibodies to N. caninum in common genets (Genetta genetta) and Egyptian mongooses (Herpestes ichneumon) were only observed by c-ELISA but were not confirmed by IFAT and/or NAT. No antibodies were detected in 5 Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) by any technique. Statistically significant differences were observed among species and among geographical areas. The highest seroprevalence of N. caninum infection was observed in the Cantabric Coastal region characterized by high humidity. To our knowledge, this is the first report of antibodies to N. caninum in free ranging wild carnivores, other than wild canids, in Europe. The existence of a possible sylvatic cycle could have important implications in both sylvatic and domestic cycles since they might influence the prevalence of infection in cattle farms in those areas.

  19. Living with large carnivores: predation on livestock by the snow leopard (Uncia uncia)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bagchi, S.; Mishra, C.

    2006-01-01

    Livestock predation by large carnivores and their retaliatory persecution by pastoralists are worldwide conservation concerns. Poor understanding of the ecological and social underpinnings of this human¿wildlife conflict hampers effective conflict management programs. The endangered snow leopard Unc

  20. Understanding patch departure rules for large carnivores: lion movements support a patch-disturbance hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valeix, Marion; Chamaillé-Jammes, Simon; Loveridge, Andrew J; Davidson, Zeke; Hunt, Jane E; Madzikanda, Hillary; Macdonald, David W

    2011-08-01

    We test two hypotheses that could account for patch departure by large mammalian carnivores. One hypothesis is the unsuccessful-hunt hypothesis, where carnivores leave an area after an unsuccessful hunt but continue hunting in the same area after a successful hunt. The second hypothesis is the patch-disturbance hypothesis, where carnivores depart the area after a successful hunt because of behavioral responses of prey to predator presence. We used global positioning system collars to monitor the movements of African lions (Panthera leo) and identified their kill sites to distinguish between these two hypotheses. Lions moved to a different area (≥ 5 km away) after 87% of the kills, which supports the patch-disturbance hypothesis for patch-departure behavior of large mammalian carnivores.

  1. Locomotor adaptations in Plio-Pleistocene large carnivores from the Italian Peninsula: Palaeoecological implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Carlo MELORO

    2011-01-01

    Mammalian carnivores are rarely considered for environmental reconstructions because they are extremely adaptable and their geographic range is usually large. However, the functional morphology of carnivore long bones can be indicative of locomotor behaviour as well as adaptation to specific kind of habitats. Here, different long bone ratios belonging to a subsample of extant large carnivores are used to infer palaeoecology of a comparative sample of Plio-Pleistocene fossils belonging to Italian paleo-communities. A multivariate long bone shape space reveals similarities between extant and fossil carnivores and multiple logistic regression models suggest that specific indices (the brachial and the Mt/F) can be applied to predict adaptations to grassland and tropical biomes. These functional indices exhibit also a phylogenetic signal to different degree. The brachial index is a significant predictor of adaptations to tropical biomes when phylogeny is taken into account, while Mt/F is not correlated anymore to habitat adaptations. However, the proportion of grassland-adapted carnivores in Italian paleo-communities exhibits a negative relationship with mean oxygen isotopic values, which are indicative of past climatic oscillations. As climate became more unstable during the Ice Ages, large carnivore guilds from the Italian peninsula were invaded by tropical/closed-adapted species. These species take advantage of the temperate forest cover that was more spread after 1.0 Ma than in the initial phase of the Quaternary (2.0 Ma) when the climate was more arid.

  2. Metabolite profiling of the carnivorous pitcher plants Darlingtonia and Sarracenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seppänen-Laakso, Tuulikki

    2017-01-01

    Sarraceniaceae is a New World carnivorous plant family comprising three genera: Darlingtonia, Heliamphora, and Sarracenia. The plants occur in nutrient-poor environments and have developed insectivorous capability in order to supplement their nutrient uptake. Sarracenia flava contains the alkaloid coniine, otherwise only found in Conium maculatum, in which its biosynthesis has been studied, and several Aloe species. Its ecological role and biosynthetic origin in S. flava is speculative. The aim of the current research was to investigate the occurrence of coniine in Sarracenia and Darlingtonia and to identify common constituents of both genera, unique compounds for individual variants and floral scent chemicals. In this comprehensive metabolic profiling study, we looked for compound patterns that are associated with the taxonomy of Sarracenia species. In total, 57 different Sarracenia and D. californica accessions were used for metabolite content screening by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The resulting high-dimensional data were studied using a data mining approach. The two genera are characterized by a large number of metabolites and huge chemical diversity between different species. By applying feature selection for clustering and by integrating new biochemical data with existing phylogenetic data, we were able to demonstrate that the chemical composition of the species can be explained by their known classification. Although transcriptome analysis did not reveal a candidate gene for coniine biosynthesis, the use of a sensitive selected ion monitoring method enabled the detection of coniine in eight Sarracenia species, showing that it is more widespread in this genus than previously believed. PMID:28222171

  3. Brain size predicts problem-solving ability in mammalian carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson-Amram, Sarah; Dantzer, Ben; Stricker, Gregory; Swanson, Eli M; Holekamp, Kay E

    2016-03-01

    Despite considerable interest in the forces shaping the relationship between brain size and cognitive abilities, it remains controversial whether larger-brained animals are, indeed, better problem-solvers. Recently, several comparative studies have revealed correlations between brain size and traits thought to require advanced cognitive abilities, such as innovation, behavioral flexibility, invasion success, and self-control. However, the general assumption that animals with larger brains have superior cognitive abilities has been heavily criticized, primarily because of the lack of experimental support for it. Here, we designed an experiment to inquire whether specific neuroanatomical or socioecological measures predict success at solving a novel technical problem among species in the mammalian order Carnivora. We presented puzzle boxes, baited with food and scaled to accommodate body size, to members of 39 carnivore species from nine families housed in multiple North American zoos. We found that species with larger brains relative to their body mass were more successful at opening the boxes. In a subset of species, we also used virtual brain endocasts to measure volumes of four gross brain regions and show that some of these regions improve model prediction of success at opening the boxes when included with total brain size and body mass. Socioecological variables, including measures of social complexity and manual dexterity, failed to predict success at opening the boxes. Our results, thus, fail to support the social brain hypothesis but provide important empirical support for the relationship between relative brain size and the ability to solve this novel technical problem.

  4. Feliform carnivores have a distinguished constitutive innate immune response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinrich, Sonja K; Wachter, Bettina; Aschenborn, Ortwin H K; Thalwitzer, Susanne; Melzheimer, Jörg; Hofer, Heribert; Czirják, Gábor Á

    2016-05-15

    Determining the immunological phenotype of endangered and threatened populations is important to identify those vulnerable to novel pathogens. Among mammals, members of the order Carnivora are particularly threatened by diseases. We therefore examined the constitutive innate immune system, the first line of protection against invading microbes, of six free-ranging carnivore species; the black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas), the brown hyena (Hyena brunnea), the caracal (Caracal caracal), the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), the leopard (Panthera pardus) and the lion (Panthera leo) using a bacterial killing assay. The differences in immune responses amongst the six species were independent of their foraging behaviour, body mass or social organisation but reflected their phylogenetic relatedness. The bacterial killing capacity of black-backed jackals, a member of the suborder Caniformia, followed the pattern established for a wide variety of vertebrates. In contrast, the five representatives of the suborder Feliformia demonstrated a killing capacity at least an order of magnitude higher than any species reported previously, with a particularly high capacity in caracals and cheetahs. Our results suggest that the immunocompetence of threatened felids such as the cheetah has been underestimated and its assessment ought to consider both innate and adaptive components of the immune system.

  5. Feliform carnivores have a distinguished constitutive innate immune response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonja K. Heinrich

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Determining the immunological phenotype of endangered and threatened populations is important to identify those vulnerable to novel pathogens. Among mammals, members of the order Carnivora are particularly threatened by diseases. We therefore examined the constitutive innate immune system, the first line of protection against invading microbes, of six free-ranging carnivore species; the black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas, the brown hyena (Hyena brunnea, the caracal (Caracal caracal, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus, the leopard (Panthera pardus and the lion (Panthera leo using a bacterial killing assay. The differences in immune responses amongst the six species were independent of their foraging behaviour, body mass or social organisation but reflected their phylogenetic relatedness. The bacterial killing capacity of black-backed jackals, a member of the suborder Caniformia, followed the pattern established for a wide variety of vertebrates. In contrast, the five representatives of the suborder Feliformia demonstrated a killing capacity at least an order of magnitude higher than any species reported previously, with a particularly high capacity in caracals and cheetahs. Our results suggest that the immunocompetence of threatened felids such as the cheetah has been underestimated and its assessment ought to consider both innate and adaptive components of the immune system.

  6. Angiostrongylus species in wild carnivores in the Iberian Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerrikagoitia, X; Barral, M; Juste, R A

    2010-11-24

    A survey of Angiostrongylus parasites was carried out between 2003 and 2006 in wild carnivore species in the Basque Country (Northern Spain). Parasitological examination consisted in the dissection of heart and lungs for the extraction of adult worms. Nematodes were identified using morphometrical features and also PCR amplification and sequencing analysis. The animal species included in this study were Eurasian badger (Meles meles), Weasel (Mustela nivalis), Beech marten (Martes foina), Pine marten (Martes martes), Polecat (Mustela putorius), American mink (Mustela vison), Red fox (Vulpes vulpes), Wolf (Canis lupus), Wild cat (Felis silvestris), and Small-spotted genet (Genetta genetta). Angiostrongylus parasites were only found in foxes and badgers at prevalences of 33.3% and 24%, respectively. Identification of the nematodes by morphometrical features revealed that foxes were infected with A. vasorum while badgers were infected by a different species of Angiostrongylus most likely A. daskalovi. Sequencing data of the second internal transcribed spacer region of ribosomal DNA (ITS2) of isolates from each species confirmed the species difference. The high prevalence of Angiostrongylus found in the present survey, indicates that the wild cycle of two different species of Angiostrongylus is present in the Basque Country. To our knowledge this is the first report of A. daskalovi in the Iberian Peninsula.

  7. Sport hunting, predator control and conservation of large carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig Packer

    Full Text Available Sport hunting has provided important economic incentives for conserving large predators since the early 1970's, but wildlife managers also face substantial pressure to reduce depredation. Sport hunting is an inherently risky strategy for controlling predators as carnivore populations are difficult to monitor and some species show a propensity for infanticide that is exacerbated by removing adult males. Simulation models predict population declines from even moderate levels of hunting in infanticidal species, and harvest data suggest that African countries and U.S. states with the highest intensity of sport hunting have shown the steepest population declines in African lions and cougars over the past 25 yrs. Similar effects in African leopards may have been masked by mesopredator release owing to declines in sympatric lion populations, whereas there is no evidence of overhunting in non-infanticidal populations of American black bears. Effective conservation of these animals will require new harvest strategies and improved monitoring to counter demands for predator control by livestock producers and local communities.

  8. Strategy of nitrogen acquisition and utilization by carnivorous Dionaea muscipula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruse, Jörg; Gao, Peng; Honsel, Anne; Kreuzwieser, Jürgen; Burzlaff, Tim; Alfarraj, Saleh; Hedrich, Rainer; Rennenberg, Heinz

    2014-03-01

    Plant carnivory represents an exceptional means to acquire N. Snap traps of Dionaea muscipula serve two functions, and provide both N and photosynthate. Using (13)C/(15)N-labelled insect powder, we performed feeding experiments with Dionaea plants that differed in physiological state and N status (spring vs. autumn plants). We measured the effects of (15)N uptake on light-saturated photosynthesis (A(max)), dark respiration (R(D)) and growth. Depending on N status, insect capture briefly altered the dynamics of R(D)/A(max), reflecting high energy demand during insect digestion and nutrient uptake, followed by enhanced photosynthesis and growth. Organic N acquired from insect prey was immediately redistributed, in order to support swift renewal of traps and thereby enhance probability of prey capture. Respiratory costs associated with permanent maintenance of the photosynthetic machinery were thereby minimized. Dionaea's strategy of N utilization is commensurate with the random capture of large prey, occasionally transferring a high load of organic nutrients to the plant. Our results suggest that physiological adaptations to unpredictable resource availability are essential for Dionaea's success with regards to a carnivorous life style.

  9. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XLIV. Fleas (Insecta : Siphonaptera : Pulicidae collected from 15 carnivore species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.G. Horak

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Fleas were collected from 61 wild carnivores belonging to 13 species in various nature reserves and on farms, two feral domestic cats in a nature reserve and a domestic dog in the city of Johannesburg. Eleven flea species, including two subspecies of one of these, belonging to six genera were recovered. Amongst these only Ctenocephalides felis felis and Ctenocephalides felis strongylus are considered specific parasites of carnivores. The remaining ten species normally infest the prey animals of the various carnivores.

  10. Examining the prey mass of terrestrial and aquatic carnivorous mammals: minimum, maximum and range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Marlee A; Rogers, Tracey L

    2014-01-01

    Predator-prey body mass relationships are a vital part of food webs across ecosystems and provide key information for predicting the susceptibility of carnivore populations to extinction. Despite this, there has been limited research on the minimum and maximum prey size of mammalian carnivores. Without information on large-scale patterns of prey mass, we limit our understanding of predation pressure, trophic cascades and susceptibility of carnivores to decreasing prey populations. The majority of studies that examine predator-prey body mass relationships focus on either a single or a subset of mammalian species, which limits the strength of our models as well as their broader application. We examine the relationship between predator body mass and the minimum, maximum and range of their prey's body mass across 108 mammalian carnivores, from weasels to baleen whales (Carnivora and Cetacea). We test whether mammals show a positive relationship between prey and predator body mass, as in reptiles and birds, as well as examine how environment (aquatic and terrestrial) and phylogenetic relatedness play a role in this relationship. We found that phylogenetic relatedness is a strong driver of predator-prey mass patterns in carnivorous mammals and accounts for a higher proportion of variance compared with the biological drivers of body mass and environment. We show a positive predator-prey body mass pattern for terrestrial mammals as found in reptiles and birds, but no relationship for aquatic mammals. Our results will benefit our understanding of trophic interactions, the susceptibility of carnivores to population declines and the role of carnivores within ecosystems.

  11. Landscape suitability in Botswana for the conservation of its six large African carnivores.

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    Hanlie E K Winterbach

    Full Text Available Wide-ranging large carnivores often range beyond the boundaries of protected areas into human-dominated areas. Mapping out potentially suitable habitats on a country-wide scale and identifying areas with potentially high levels of threats to large carnivore survival is necessary to develop national conservation action plans. We used a novel approach to map and identify these areas in Botswana for its large carnivore guild consisting of lion (Panthera leo, leopard (Panthera pardus, spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta, brown hyaena (Hyaena brunnea, cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus and African wild dog (Lycaon pictus. The habitat suitability for large carnivores depends primarily on prey availability, interspecific competition, and conflict with humans. Prey availability is most likely the strongest natural determinant. We used the distribution of biomass of typical wild ungulate species occurring in Botswana which is preyed upon by the six large carnivores to evaluate the potential suitability of the different management zones in the country to sustain large carnivore populations. In areas where a high biomass of large prey species occurred, we assumed interspecific competition between dominant and subordinated competitors to be high. This reduced the suitability of these areas for conservation of subordinate competitors, and vice versa. We used the percentage of prey biomass of the total prey and livestock biomass to identify areas with potentially high levels of conflict in agricultural areas. High to medium biomass of large prey was mostly confined to conservation zones, while small prey biomass was more evenly spread across large parts of the country. This necessitates different conservation strategies for carnivores with a preference for large prey, and those that can persist in the agricultural areas. To ensure connectivity between populations inside Botswana and also with its neighbours, a number of critical areas for priority management actions exist

  12. Spatial patterns of African ungulate aggregation reveal complex but limited risk effects from reintroduced carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Remington J; Killion, Alexander K; Montgomery, Robert A; Tambling, Craig J; Hayward, Matt W

    2016-05-01

    The "landscape of fear" model, recently advanced in research on the non-lethal effects of carnivores on ungulates, predicts that prey will exhibit detectable antipredator behavior not only during risky times (i.e., predators in close proximity) but also in risky places (i.e., habitat where predators kill prey or tend to occur). Aggregation is an important antipredator response in numerous ungulate species, making it a useful metric to evaluate the strength and scope of the landscape of fear in a multi-carnivore, multi-ungulate system. We conducted ungulate surveys over a 2-year period in South Africa to test the influence of three broad-scale sources of variation in the landscape on spatial patterns in aggregation: (1) habitat structure, (2) where carnivores tended to occur (i.e., population-level utilization distributions), and (3) where carnivores tended to kill ungulate prey (i.e., probabilistic kill site maps). We analyzed spatial variation in aggregation for six ungulate species exposed to predation from recently reintroduced lion (Panthera leo) and spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). Although we did detect larger aggregations of ungulates in "risky places," these effects existed primarily for smaller-bodied (lion, an ambush (stalking) carnivore, had stronger influence on ungulate aggregation than the hyena, an active (coursing) carnivore. In addition, places where lions tended to kill prey had a greater effect on ungulate aggregation than places where lions tended to occur, but an opposing pattern existed for hyena. Our study reveals heterogeneity in the landscape of fear and suggests broad-scale risk effects following carnivore reintroduction only moderately influence ungulate aggregation size and vary considerably by predator hunting mode, type of predation risk, and prey species.

  13. Space use of African wild dogs in relation to other large carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela M Darnell

    Full Text Available Interaction among species through competition is a principle process structuring ecological communities, affecting behavior, distribution, and ultimately the population dynamics of species. High competition among large African carnivores, associated with extensive diet overlap, manifests in interactions between subordinate African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus and dominant lions (Panthera leo and spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta. Using locations of large carnivores in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa, we found different responses from wild dogs to their two main competitors. Wild dogs avoided lions, particularly during denning, through a combination of spatial and temporal avoidance. However, wild dogs did not exhibit spatial or temporal avoidance of spotted hyenas, likely because wild dog pack sizes were large enough to adequately defend their kills. Understanding that larger carnivores affect the movements and space use of other carnivores is important for managing current small and fragmented carnivore populations, especially as reintroductions and translocations are essential tools used for the survival of endangered species, as with African wild dogs.

  14. Does litter size variation affect models of terrestrial carnivore extinction risk and management?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleanor S Devenish-Nelson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Individual variation in both survival and reproduction has the potential to influence extinction risk. Especially for rare or threatened species, reliable population models should adequately incorporate demographic uncertainty. Here, we focus on an important form of demographic stochasticity: variation in litter sizes. We use terrestrial carnivores as an example taxon, as they are frequently threatened or of economic importance. Since data on intraspecific litter size variation are often sparse, it is unclear what probability distribution should be used to describe the pattern of litter size variation for multiparous carnivores. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used litter size data on 32 terrestrial carnivore species to test the fit of 12 probability distributions. The influence of these distributions on quasi-extinction probabilities and the probability of successful disease control was then examined for three canid species - the island fox Urocyon littoralis, the red fox Vulpes vulpes, and the African wild dog Lycaon pictus. Best fitting probability distributions differed among the carnivores examined. However, the discretised normal distribution provided the best fit for the majority of species, because variation among litter-sizes was often small. Importantly, however, the outcomes of demographic models were generally robust to the distribution used. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: These results provide reassurance for those using demographic modelling for the management of less studied carnivores in which litter size variation is estimated using data from species with similar reproductive attributes.

  15. The comparative effects of large carnivores on the acquisition of carrion by scavengers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Maximilian L; Elbroch, L Mark; Wilmers, Christopher C; Wittmer, Heiko U

    2015-06-01

    Pumas (Puma concolor) and black bears (Ursus americanus) are large carnivores that may influence scavenger population dynamics. We used motion-triggered video cameras deployed at deer carcasses to determine how pumas and black bears affected three aspects of carrion acquisition by scavengers: presence, total feeding time, and mean feeding-bout duration. We found that pumas were unable to limit acquisition of carrion by large carnivores but did limit aspects of carrion acquisition by both birds and mesocarnivores. Through their suppression of mesocarnivores and birds, pumas apparently initiated a cascading pattern and increased carrion acquisition by small carnivores. In contrast, black bears monopolized carrion resources and generally had larger limiting effects on carrion acquisition by all scavengers. Black bears also limited puma feeding behaviors at puma kills, which may require pumas to compensate for energetic losses through increasing their kill rates of ungulates. Our results suggest that pumas provide carrion and selectively influence species acquiring carrion, while black bears limit carrion availability to all other scavengers. These results suggest that the effects of large carnivores on scavengers depend on attributes of both carnivores and scavengers (including size) and that competition for carcasses may result in intraguild predation as well as mesocarnivore release.

  16. Carnivore use of avocado orchards across an agricultural-wildland gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogeire, Theresa M; Davis, Frank W; Duggan, Jennifer M; Crooks, Kevin R; Boydston, Erin E

    2013-01-01

    Wide-ranging species cannot persist in reserves alone. Consequently, there is growing interest in the conservation value of agricultural lands that separate or buffer natural areas. The value of agricultural lands for wildlife habitat and connectivity varies as a function of the crop type and landscape context, and quantifying these differences will improve our ability to manage these lands more effectively for animals. In southern California, many species are present in avocado orchards, including mammalian carnivores. We examined occupancy of avocado orchards by mammalian carnivores across agricultural-wildland gradients in southern California with motion-activated cameras. More carnivore species were detected with cameras in orchards than in wildland sites, and for bobcats and gray foxes, orchards were associated with higher occupancy rates. Our results demonstrate that agricultural lands have potential to contribute to conservation by providing habitat or facilitating landscape connectivity.

  17. Carnivore use of avocado orchards across an agricultural-wildland gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theresa M Nogeire

    Full Text Available Wide-ranging species cannot persist in reserves alone. Consequently, there is growing interest in the conservation value of agricultural lands that separate or buffer natural areas. The value of agricultural lands for wildlife habitat and connectivity varies as a function of the crop type and landscape context, and quantifying these differences will improve our ability to manage these lands more effectively for animals. In southern California, many species are present in avocado orchards, including mammalian carnivores. We examined occupancy of avocado orchards by mammalian carnivores across agricultural-wildland gradients in southern California with motion-activated cameras. More carnivore species were detected with cameras in orchards than in wildland sites, and for bobcats and gray foxes, orchards were associated with higher occupancy rates. Our results demonstrate that agricultural lands have potential to contribute to conservation by providing habitat or facilitating landscape connectivity.

  18. Carnivore use of avocado orchards across an agricultural-wildland gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogeire, Theresa M.; Davis, Frank W.; Duggan, Jennifer M.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Boydston, Erin E.

    2013-01-01

    Wide-ranging species cannot persist in reserves alone. Consequently, there is growing interest in the conservation value of agricultural lands that separate or buffer natural areas. The value of agricultural lands for wildlife habitat and connectivity varies as a function of the crop type and landscape context, and quantifying these differences will improve our ability to manage these lands more effectively for animals. In southern California, many species are present in avocado orchards, including mammalian carnivores. We examined occupancy of avocado orchards by mammalian carnivores across agricultural-wildland gradients in southern California with motion-activated cameras. More carnivore species were detected with cameras in orchards than in wildland sites, and for bobcats and gray foxes, orchards were associated with higher occupancy rates. Our results demonstrate that agricultural lands have potential to contribute to conservation by providing habitat or facilitating landscape connectivity.

  19. Characterization of a western North American carnivore community using PCR-RFLP of cytochrome b obtained from fecal samples

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bidlack, Allison L.; Reed, Sarah E.; Palsboll, Per J.; Getz, Wayne M.

    2007-01-01

    We developed a simple and reliable method to identify carnivore scats to species using PCR and RFLP of a portion of the mtDNA cytochrome b gene, which works for seven of the most common carnivores in western North America. We identified a short (196 bp) polymorphic region of cytochrome b which would

  20. Within-population isotopic niche variability in savanna mammals: disparity between carnivores and herbivores

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    Daryl eCodron

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Large mammal ecosystems have relatively simple food webs, usually comprising three – and sometimes only two – trophic links. Since many syntopic species from the same trophic level therefore share resources, dietary niche partitioning features prominently within these systems. In African and other subtropical savannas, stable carbon isotopes readily distinguish between herbivore species for which foliage and other parts of dicot plants (13C-depleted C3 vegetation are the primary resource (browsers and those for which grasses (13C-enriched C4 vegetation are staples (grazers. Similarly, carbon isotopes distinguish between carnivore diets that may be richer in either browser, grazer, or intermediate-feeding prey. Here, we investigate levels of carbon and nitrogen isotopic niche variation and niche partitioning within populations (or species of carnivores and herbivores from South African savannas. We emphasize predictable differences in within-population trends across trophic levels: we expect that herbivore populations, which require more foraging effort due to higher intake requirements, are far less likely to display within-population resource partitioning than carnivore populations. Our results reveal generally narrower isotopic niche breadths in herbivore than carnivore populations, but more importantly we find lower levels of isotopic differentiation across individuals within herbivore species. While these results offer some support for our general hypothesis, the current paucity of isotopic data for African carnivores limits our ability to test the complete set of predictions arising from our hypothesis. Nevertheless, given the different ecological and ecophysiological constraints to foraging behaviour within each trophic level, comparisons across carnivores and herbivores, which are possible within such simplified foodwebs, make these systems ideal for developing a process-based understanding of conditions underlying the evolution of

  1. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiyama, Nawa; Somerville, Andrew D; Schoeninger, Margaret J

    2015-01-01

    From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1-550), one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches expressing state ideology and militarism during the construction of the Moon and the Sun Pyramids. The caches contain the remains of nearly 200 carnivorous animals, human sacrificial victims and other symbolic artifacts. This paper argues the presence of skeletal pathologies of infectious disease and injuries manifest on the carnivore remains show direct evidence of captivity. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N) of bones and teeth confirms that some of these carnivores were consuming high levels of C4 foods, likely reflecting a maize-based anthropocentric food chain. These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma's zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica. It also represents the first systematic isotopic exploration of a population of archaeological eagles (n = 24) and felids (n = 29).

  2. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nawa Sugiyama

    Full Text Available From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1-550, one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches expressing state ideology and militarism during the construction of the Moon and the Sun Pyramids. The caches contain the remains of nearly 200 carnivorous animals, human sacrificial victims and other symbolic artifacts. This paper argues the presence of skeletal pathologies of infectious disease and injuries manifest on the carnivore remains show direct evidence of captivity. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N of bones and teeth confirms that some of these carnivores were consuming high levels of C4 foods, likely reflecting a maize-based anthropocentric food chain. These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma's zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica. It also represents the first systematic isotopic exploration of a population of archaeological eagles (n = 24 and felids (n = 29.

  3. Locating Human-Wildlife Interactions: Landscape Constructions and Responses to Large Carnivore Conservation in India and Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunetro Ghosal

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available People′s reactions to large carnivores take many forms, ranging from support and coexistence to resistance and conflict. While these reactions are the outcome of many different factors, in this paper we specifically explore the link between social constructions of landscapes and divergent responses to large carnivore presence. We compare case studies from four different landscapes shared by people and large carnivores, in India and Norway. We use social construction of landscapes as a key concept to explore responses to large carnivores in the context of ecological, economic, social, and cultural changes in these areas. Based on this comparison, we argue that the process of change is complex, with a plurality of responses from the groups affected by it. The response to large carnivore presence is influenced by many different factors, of which the interpretation of change-particularly landscape change-plays a significant role.

  4. On the rarity of big fierce carnivores and primacy of isolation and area: tracking large mammalian carnivore diversity on two isolated continents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wroe, Stephen; Argot, Christine; Dickman, Christopher

    2004-06-07

    The hypothesis that low productivity has uniquely constrained Australia's large mammalian carnivore diversity, and by inference the biota in general, has become an influential backdrop to interpretations of ecology on the island continent. Whether low productivity has been primary impacts broadly on our understanding of mammalian biogeography, but investigation is complicated by two uniquely Australian features: isolation and the dominance of marsupials. However, until the great American biotic interchange (GABI), South America was also isolated and dominated by pouched carnivores. Here, we examine the low-productivity hypothesis empirically, by comparing large mammalian carnivore diversities in Australia and South America over the past 25 Myr. We find that pre-GABI diversity in Australia was generally comparable to or higher than diversity in South America. Post-GABI, South American diversity rose dramatically, pointing to isolation and phylogenetic constraint as primary influences. Landmass area is another important factor. Comparisons of diversity among the world's seven largest inhabited landmasses show that large mammalian hypercarnivore diversity in Australia approached levels predicted on the basis of landmass area in Late Pleistocene-Recent times, but large omnivore diversity was low. Large marsupial omnivores also appear to have been rare in South America. Isolation and competition with large terrestrial birds and cryptic omnivore taxa may have been more significant constraints in this respect. Relatively high diversity has been achieved in Late Quaternary America, possibly as a result of 'artificially' high immigration or origination rates, whereas that in contemporaneous Africa has been surprisingly poor. We conclude that isolation and landmass area, rather than productivity, are the primary constraints on large mammalian carnivore diversity. Our results quantify the rarity of large hypercarnivorous mammals worldwide.

  5. Notes on some smaller carnivores from the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. G. L Mills

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available Notes on relative densities, habitat choice, food and foraging, social organisation and anti-predatory behaviour of certain small and medium-sized carnivores are presented. Possible mechanisms of niche separation and the evolution of different anti- predatory behaviours are briefly discussed.

  6. Nutrient-specific compensatory feeding in a mammalian carnivore, the mink, Neovison vison

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kim; Simpson, Stephen J; Nielsen, Vivi H

    2014-01-01

    occurred for all the three macronutrients, including carbohydrate, which is particularly interesting as carbohydrate is not a major macronutrient for obligate carnivores in nature. However, there was also a ceiling to carbohydrate intake, as has been demonstrated previously in domestic cats. The results...

  7. Feed based on vegetable materials changes the muscle proteome of the carnivore rainbow trout

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jessen, Flemming; Wulff, Tune; Bach Mikkelsen, J.

    2011-01-01

    Feed production for aquaculture of carnivore fish species relies heavily on protein and lipid from the limited resources of wild fish and other sea living organisms. Thus the development of alternative feeds replacing fish meal and oil with components of vegetable origin is important for a sustai...

  8. A new carnivorous sponge, Chondrocladia robertballardi sp. nov. (Porifera: Cladorhizidae) from two Northeast Atlantic seamounts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cristobo, J.; Rios, P.; Pomponi, S.A.; Xavier, J.R.

    2015-01-01

    Carnivorous sponges (Porifera: Cladorhizidae) are a particularly interesting group of species typically occurring in deep-sea habitats. In this study a new species, Chondrocladia (Chondrocladia) robertballardi sp. nov., is described from specimens collected on two large north-east Atlantic seamounts

  9. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous Nepenthes plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    F. Buch; W.E. Kaman; F.J. Bikker; A. Yilamujiang; A. Mithöfer

    2015-01-01

    Carnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the plants themse

  10. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous Nepenthes plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buch, F. (Franziska); W.E. Kaman (Wendy); F.J. Bikker (Floris); Yilamujiang, A. (Ayufu); Mithöfer, A. (Axel)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractCarnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the p

  11. A proposed ethogram of large-carnivore predatory behavior, exemplified by the wolf

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNulty, D.R.; Mech, L.D.; Smith, D.W.

    2007-01-01

    Although predatory behavior is traditionally described by a basic ethogram composed of 3 phases (search, pursue, and capture), behavioral studies of large terrestrial carnivores generally use the concept of a "hunt" to classify and measure foraging. This approach is problematic because there is no consensus on what behaviors constitute a hunt. We therefore examined how the basic ethogram could be used as a common framework for classifying large-carnivore behavior. We used >2,150 h of observed wolf (Canis lupus) behavior in Yellowstone National Park, including 517 and 134 encounters with elk (Cervus elaphus) and American bison (Bison bison), respectively, to demonstrate the functional importance of several frequently described, but rarely quantified, patterns of large-carnivore behavior not explicitly described by the basic ethogram (approaching, watching, and attacking groups). To account for these additionally important behaviors we propose a modified form of the basic ethogram (search, approach, watch, attack-group, attack-individual, and capture). We tested the applicability of this ethogram by comparing it to 31 previous classifications and descriptions involving 7 other species and 5 other wolf populations. Close correspondence among studies suggests that this ethogram may provide a generally useful scheme for classifying large-carnivore predatory behavior that is behaviorally less ambiguous than the concept of a hunt. ?? 2007 American Society of Mammalogists.

  12. Spatial-temporal patterns in Mediterranean carnivore road casualties: Consequences for mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grilo, C.; Bissonette, J.A.; Santos-Reis, M.

    2009-01-01

    Many carnivores have been seriously impacted by the expansion of transportation systems and networks; however we know little about carnivore response to the extent and magnitude of road mortality, or which age classes may be disproportionately impacted. Recent research has demonstrated that wildlife-vehicle-collisions (WVC) involving carnivores are modulated by temporal and spatial factors. Thus, we investigated road mortality on a guild of small and medium-sized carnivores in southern Portugal using road-kill data obtained from a systematic 36 months monitoring period along highways (260 km) and national roads (314 km) by addressing the following questions: (a) which species and age class are most vulnerable to WVC? (b) are there temporal and/or spatial patterns in road-kill? and (c) which life-history and/or spatial factors influence the likelihood of collisions? We recorded a total of 806 carnivore casualties, which represented an average of 47 ind./100 km/year. Red fox and stone marten had the highest mortality rates. Our findings highlight three key messages: (1) the majority of road-killed individuals were adults of common species; (2) all carnivores, except genets, were more vulnerable during specific life-history phenological periods: higher casualties were observed when red fox and stone marten were provisioning young, Eurasian badger casualties occurred more frequently during dispersal, and higher Egyptian mongoose mortality occurred during the breeding period; and (3) modeling demonstrated that favorable habitat, curves in the road, and low human disturbance were major contributors to the deadliest road segments. Red fox carcasses were more likely to be found on road sections with passages distant from urban areas. Conversely, stone marten mortalities were found more often on national roads with high of cork oak woodland cover; Egyptian mongoose and genet road-kills were found more often on road segments close to curves. Based on our results, two key

  13. Differential Habitat Use or Intraguild Interactions: What Structures a Carnivore Community?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gompper, Matthew E.; Lesmeister, Damon B.; Ray, Justina C.; Malcolm, Jay R.; Kays, Roland

    2016-01-01

    Differential habitat use and intraguild competition are both thought to be important drivers of animal population sizes and distributions. Habitat associations for individual species are well-established, and interactions between particular pairs of species have been highlighted in many focal studies. However, community-wide assessments of the relative strengths of these two factors have not been conducted. We built multi-scale habitat occupancy models for five carnivore taxa of New York’s Adirondack landscape and assessed the relative performance of these models against ones in which co-occurrences of potentially competing carnivore species were also incorporated. Distribution models based on habitat performed well for all species. Black bear (Ursus americanus) and fisher (Martes pennanti) distribution was similar in that occupancy of both species was negatively associated with paved roads. However, black bears were also associated with larger forest fragments and fishers with smaller forest fragments. No models with habitat features were more supported than the null habitat model for raccoons (Procyon lotor). Martens (Martes americana) were most associated with increased terrain ruggedness and elevation. Weasel (Mustela spp.) occupancy increased with the cover of deciduous forest. For most species dyads habitat-only models were more supported than those models with potential competitors incorporated. The exception to this finding was for the smallest carnivore taxa (marten and weasel) where habitat plus coyote abundance models typically performed better than habitat-only models. Assessing this carnivore community as whole, we conclude that differential habitat use is more important than species interactions in maintaining the distribution and structure of this carnivore guild. PMID:26731404

  14. Spatial overlap in a solitary carnivore: support for the land tenure, kinship or resource dispersion hypotheses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elbroch, L Mark; Lendrum, Patrick E; Quigley, Howard; Caragiulo, Anthony

    2016-03-01

    There are several alternative hypotheses about the effects of territoriality, kinship and prey availability on individual carnivore distributions within populations. The first is the land-tenure hypothesis, which predicts that carnivores regulate their density through territoriality and temporal avoidance. The second is the kinship hypothesis, which predicts related individuals will be clumped within populations, and the third is the resource dispersion hypothesis, which suggests that resource richness may explain variable sociality, spatial overlap or temporary aggregations of conspecifics. Research on the socio-spatial organization of animals is essential in understanding territoriality, intra- and interspecific competition, and contact rates that influence diverse ecology, including disease transmission between conspecifics and courtship behaviours. We explored these hypotheses with data collected on a solitary carnivore, the cougar (Puma concolor), from 2005 to 2012 in the Southern Yellowstone Ecosystem, Wyoming, USA. We employed 27 annual home ranges for 13 cougars to test whether home range overlap was better explained by land tenure, kinship, resource dispersion or some combination of the three. We found support for both the land tenure and resource dispersion hypotheses, but not for kinship. Cougar sex was the primary driver explaining variation in home range overlap. Males overlapped significantly with females, whereas the remaining dyads (F-F, M-M) overlapped significantly less. In support for the resource dispersion hypothesis, hunting opportunity (the probability of a cougar killing prey in a given location) was often higher in overlapping than in non-overlapping portions of cougar home ranges. In particular, winter hunt opportunity rather than summer hunt opportunity was higher in overlapping portions of female-female and male-female home ranges. Our results may indicate that solitary carnivores are more tolerant of sharing key resources with unrelated

  15. An advanced method to assess the diet of free-ranging large carnivores based on scats.

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    Bettina Wachter

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The diet of free-ranging carnivores is an important part of their ecology. It is often determined from prey remains in scats. In many cases, scat analyses are the most efficient method but they require correction for potential biases. When the diet is expressed as proportions of consumed mass of each prey species, the consumed prey mass to excrete one scat needs to be determined and corrected for prey body mass because the proportion of digestible to indigestible matter increases with prey body mass. Prey body mass can be corrected for by conducting feeding experiments using prey of various body masses and fitting a regression between consumed prey mass to excrete one scat and prey body mass (correction factor 1. When the diet is expressed as proportions of consumed individuals of each prey species and includes prey animals not completely consumed, the actual mass of each prey consumed by the carnivore needs to be controlled for (correction factor 2. No previous study controlled for this second bias. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we use an extended series of feeding experiments on a large carnivore, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus, to establish both correction factors. In contrast to previous studies which fitted a linear regression for correction factor 1, we fitted a biologically more meaningful exponential regression model where the consumed prey mass to excrete one scat reaches an asymptote at large prey sizes. Using our protocol, we also derive correction factor 1 and 2 for other carnivore species and apply them to published studies. We show that the new method increases the number and proportion of consumed individuals in the diet for large prey animals compared to the conventional method. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results have important implications for the interpretation of scat-based studies in feeding ecology and the resolution of human-wildlife conflicts for the conservation of large carnivores.

  16. Landscape-level Connectivity in Coastal Southern California, USA, as Assessed through Carnivore Habitat Suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, R.D.; Fisher, R.N.; Crooks, K.R.

    2003-01-01

    Although the fragmentation of the natural landscape of coastal southern California, USA, is accelerating, large-scale assessments of regional connectivity are lacking. Because of their large area requirements and long dispersal movements, mammalian carnivores can be effective focal species to use when evaluating landscape-level connectivity. Our goal was to make an initial assessment of the extent of landscape-level connectivity in coastal southern California using mountain lions (Felis concolor [Linnaeusl) and bobcats (Felis rufus [Shreber]) as focal species. We first characterized habitat preferences for mountain lions and bobcats from previously derived habitat relationship models for these species; the resulting maps provided a coarse view of habitat preferences for use at regional scales. We then constructed GIS models to evaluate the disturbance impact of roadways and development, major determinants of carnivore distribution and abundance in the south coast region. Finally, we combined the habitat relationship models with the disturbance impact models to characterize habitat connectivity for mountain lions and bobcats in the ecoregion. Habitat connectivity in the ecoregion appeared higher for bobcats than for mountain lions due in part to higher habitat suitability for bobcats in coastal lowland areas. Our models suggest that much of the key carnivore habitat in the coastal southern California is at risk; over 80% of high suitability habitat and over 90% of medium suitability habitat for carnivores is found in the least protected land management classes. Overall, these models allow for (1) identification of core habitat blocks for carnivores and key landscape connections between core areas, (2) evaluation of the level of protection of these areas, and (3) a regional framework within which to develop and coordinate local management and conservation plans.

  17. Nitrogen deposition and prey nitrogen uptake control the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Millett, J., E-mail: j.millett@lboro.ac.uk [Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science, Department of Geography, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU (United Kingdom); Foot, G.W. [Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science, Department of Geography, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU (United Kingdom); Svensson, B.M. [Department of Plant Ecology and Evolution, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18 D, SE-752 36 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2015-04-15

    Nitrogen (N) deposition has important negative impacts on natural and semi-natural ecosystems, impacting on biotic interactions across trophic levels. Low-nutrient systems are particularly sensitive to changes in N inputs and are therefore more vulnerable to N deposition. Carnivorous plants are often part of these ecosystems partly because of the additional nutrients obtained from prey. We studied the impact of N deposition on the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia growing on 16 ombrotrophic bogs across Europe. We measured tissue N, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) concentrations and prey and root N uptake using a natural abundance stable isotope approach. Our aim was to test the impact of N deposition on D. rotundifolia prey and root N uptake, and nutrient stoichiometry. D. rotundifolia root N uptake was strongly affected by N deposition, possibly resulting in reduced N limitation. The contribution of prey N to the N contained in D. rotundifolia ranged from 20 to 60%. N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey, but this varied below this maximum. D. rotundifolia tissue N concentrations were a product of both root N availability and prey N uptake. Increased prey N uptake was correlated with increased tissue P concentrations indicating uptake of P from prey. N deposition therefore reduced the strength of a carnivorous plant–prey interaction, resulting in a reduction in nutrient transfer between trophic levels. We suggest that N deposition has a negative impact on D. rotundifolia and that responses to N deposition might be strongly site specific. - Highlights: • We measured nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia across Europe. • We measured tissue nutrient concentrations and prey and root N uptake at 16 sites. • Tissue N concentrations were a product of root N availability and prey N uptake. • N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey. • N deposition reduced the strength of a

  18. Big cats in our backyards: persistence of large carnivores in a human dominated landscape in India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidya Athreya

    Full Text Available Protected areas are extremely important for the long term viability of biodiversity in a densely populated country like India where land is a scarce resource. However, protected areas cover only 5% of the land area in India and in the case of large carnivores that range widely, human use landscapes will function as important habitats required for gene flow to occur between protected areas. In this study, we used photographic capture recapture analysis to assess the density of large carnivores in a human-dominated agricultural landscape with density >300 people/km(2 in western Maharashtra, India. We found evidence of a wide suite of wild carnivores inhabiting a cropland landscape devoid of wilderness and wild herbivore prey. Furthermore, the large carnivores; leopard (Panthera pardus and striped hyaena (Hyaena hyaena occurred at relatively high density of 4.8±1.2 (sd adults/100 km(2 and 5.03±1.3 (sd adults/100 km(2 respectively. This situation has never been reported before where 10 large carnivores/100 km(2 are sharing space with dense human populations in a completely modified landscape. Human attacks by leopards were rare despite a potentially volatile situation considering that the leopard has been involved in serious conflict, including human deaths in adjoining areas. The results of our work push the frontiers of our understanding of the adaptability of both, humans and wildlife to each other's presence. The results also highlight the urgent need to shift from a PA centric to a landscape level conservation approach, where issues are more complex, and the potential for conflict is also very high. It also highlights the need for a serious rethink of conservation policy, law and practice where the current management focus is restricted to wildlife inside Protected Areas.

  19. Determinants of persistence and tolerance of carnivores on Namibian ranches: implications for conservation on Southern African private lands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsey, Peter Andrew; Havemann, Carl Peter; Lines, Robin; Palazy, Lucille; Price, Aaron Ernest; Retief, Tarryn Anne; Rhebergen, Tiemen; Van der Waal, Cornelis

    2013-01-01

    Changing land use patterns in southern Africa have potential to dramatically alter the prospects for carnivore conservation. Understanding these influences is essential for conservation planning. We interviewed 250 ranchers in Namibia to assess human tolerance towards and the distribution of large carnivores. Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), leopards (Panthera pardus) and brown hyaenas (Hyaena brunnea) were widely distributed on Namibian farmlands, spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) had a narrower distribution, and wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) and lions (Panthera leo) are largely limited to areas near source populations. Farmers were most tolerant of leopards and least tolerant of lions, wild dogs and spotted hyaenas. Several factors relating to land use correlated consistently with carnivore-presence and landowner tolerance. Carnivores were more commonly present and/or tolerated where; wildlife diversity and biomass were higher; income from wildlife was higher; income from livestock was lower; livestock biomass was lower; in conservancies; game fencing was absent; and financial losses from livestock depredation were lower. Efforts to create conditions whereby the costs associated with carnivores are lowest, and which confer financial value to them are likely to be the most effective means of promoting carnivore conservation. Such conditions are achieved where land owners pool land to create conservancies where livestock are replaced with wildlife (or where livestock husbandry is improved) and where wildlife generates a significant proportion of ranch income. Additional measures, such as promoting improved livestock husbandry and educational outreach efforts may also help achieve coexistence with carnivores. Our findings provide insights into conditions more conducive to the persistence of and tolerance towards large carnivores might be increased on private (and even communal) lands in Namibia, elsewhere in southern and East Africa and other parts of the world where

  20. Determinants of persistence and tolerance of carnivores on Namibian ranches: implications for conservation on Southern African private lands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Andrew Lindsey

    Full Text Available Changing land use patterns in southern Africa have potential to dramatically alter the prospects for carnivore conservation. Understanding these influences is essential for conservation planning. We interviewed 250 ranchers in Namibia to assess human tolerance towards and the distribution of large carnivores. Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus, leopards (Panthera pardus and brown hyaenas (Hyaena brunnea were widely distributed on Namibian farmlands, spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta had a narrower distribution, and wild dogs (Lycaon pictus and lions (Panthera leo are largely limited to areas near source populations. Farmers were most tolerant of leopards and least tolerant of lions, wild dogs and spotted hyaenas. Several factors relating to land use correlated consistently with carnivore-presence and landowner tolerance. Carnivores were more commonly present and/or tolerated where; wildlife diversity and biomass were higher; income from wildlife was higher; income from livestock was lower; livestock biomass was lower; in conservancies; game fencing was absent; and financial losses from livestock depredation were lower. Efforts to create conditions whereby the costs associated with carnivores are lowest, and which confer financial value to them are likely to be the most effective means of promoting carnivore conservation. Such conditions are achieved where land owners pool land to create conservancies where livestock are replaced with wildlife (or where livestock husbandry is improved and where wildlife generates a significant proportion of ranch income. Additional measures, such as promoting improved livestock husbandry and educational outreach efforts may also help achieve coexistence with carnivores. Our findings provide insights into conditions more conducive to the persistence of and tolerance towards large carnivores might be increased on private (and even communal lands in Namibia, elsewhere in southern and East Africa and other parts of the world

  1. Large carnivores, moose, and humans: A changing paradigm of predator management in the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Charles C.; Swenson, J.E.; Miller, Sterling D.

    2003-01-01

    We compare and contrast the evolution of human attitudes toward large carnivores between Europe and North America. In general, persecution of large carnivores began much earlier in Europe than North America. Likewise, conservation programs directed at restoration and recovery appeared in European history well before they did in North America. Together, the pattern suggests there has been an evolution in how humans perceive large predators. Our early ancestors were physically vulnerable to large carnivores and developed corresponding attitudes of respect, avoidance, and acceptance. As civilization evolved and man developed weapons, the balance shifted. Early civilizations, in particular those with pastoral ways, attempted to eliminate large carnivores as threats to life and property. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) and wolves (Canis lupus) were consequently extirpated from much of their range in Europe and in North America south of Canada. Efforts to protect brown bears began in the late 1880s in some European countries and population reintroductions and augmentations are ongoing. They are less controversial than in North America. On the other hand, there are no wolf introductions, as has occurred in North America, and Europeans have a more negative attitude towards wolves. Control of predators to enhance ungulate harvest varies. In Western Europe, landowners own the hunting rights to ungulates. In the formerly communistic Eastern European countries and North America, hunting rights are held in common, although this is changing in some Eastern European countries. Wolf control to increase harvests of moose (Alces alces) occurs in parts of North America and Russia; bear control for similar reasons only occurs in parts of North America. Surprisingly, bears and wolves are not controlled to increase ungulates where private landowners have the hunting rights in Europe, although wolves were originally exterminated from these areas. Both the inability of scientific research to

  2. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dario Moreira-Arce

    Full Text Available Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250 m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250 m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500 m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in

  3. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira-Arce, Dario; Vergara, Pablo M; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250 m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250 m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500 m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in native forest remnants

  4. Straminipilous organisms growing on herbivorous pirapitinga (Piaractus brachypomus) and carnivorous piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri) from Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czeczuga, B; Godlewska, A; Mazalska, B; Muszyńska, E

    2010-05-01

    We investigated the growth of straminipilous organisms on the skin, muscles and liver of herbivorous pirapitinga (Piaractus brachypomus) and carnivorous piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri) in water of three different eutrophication levels. Sixteen straminipilous organism species were found growing on the investigated body parts of both species of fish used as baits. The higher number of species was found on the baits of carnivorous species (15) when compared with the ones from the herbivorous pirapitinga (10 species). The highest number of straminipilous organisms species developed on the skin of both species of fish. The highest number of species of straminipilous organisms was observed growing in the water of the BiaBa river (middle eutrophication), while the lowest number occurred in the baits of vessels with water from the Dojlidy pond (low eutrophication).

  5. PREVALENCE OF ANTIBODIES TO SELECTED VIRUSES AND PARASITES IN INTRODUCED AND ENDEMIC CARNIVORES IN WESTERN MADAGASCAR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomerantz, Julie; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa T; Dollar, Luke; Rahajanirina, Leon Pierrot; Andrianaivoarivelo, Radosoa; Parker, Patricia; Dubovi, Edward

    2016-07-01

    Introduced animals impact endemic populations through predation, competition, and disease transmission. Populations of endemic carnivores in Madagascar are declining, and pathogens transmitted from introduced species may further endanger these unique species. We assessed the exposure of introduced and endemic carnivores to common viral and parasitic pathogens in two national parks of Madagascar (Kirindy Mitea National Park and Ankarafantsika National Park) and their neighboring villages. We also identified variables associated with the presence of antibodies to these pathogens in fosa ( Cryptoprocta ferox ). Introduced and endemic species were exposed to canine parvovirus, canine herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, and Toxoplasma gondii . Domestic dogs ( Canis familiaris ) and cats ( Felis catus ) may be sources of infection for these pathogens. Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma in captured fosa was >93%, and adults were more likely to be exposed than immature individuals. Our data provide a basis upon which to evaluate and manage risks of pathogen transmission between species.

  6. Carnivores from the mexican state of Puebla: Distribution, taxonomy, and conservation

    OpenAIRE

    2005-01-01

    We examined 96 museum specimens belonging to 14 species of Carnivora from the Mexican State of Puebla. In addition, four species were documented based on literature records and by indirect evidence. The carnivorous mammals of Puebla belong to 5 families, 18 genera, 18 species and 23 subspecies. Eight of these 23 taxa are reported herein for the first time from the state of Puebla. Of the 18 species, Herpailurus yagouaroundi, Lontra longicaudis, Taxidea taxus, and Galictis vittata are consider...

  7. Periodontal disease diagnosis in a group of captive native carnivores at Jaime Duque Zoo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviana Vásquez C.

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available A diagnose of periodontal diseases was performed in 12 species of carnivores at Jaime Duque Zoo. 23 animals were sampled under different general anesthesia protocols. A protocol of the oral cavity examination was designed and implemented, making emphasis in the periodontal anomalies. 16 of the 23 individuals presented periodontal disease. A microbiological culture was performed from the oral cavity of 9 individuals, this results indicated mostly normal bacterial flora.

  8. A semi-aquatic Arctic mammalian carnivore from the Miocene epoch and origin of Pinnipedia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rybczynski, Natalia; Dawson, Mary R; Tedford, Richard H

    2009-04-23

    Modern pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and the walrus) are semi-aquatic, generally marine carnivores the limbs of which have been modified into flippers. Recent phylogenetic studies using morphological and molecular evidence support pinniped monophyly, and suggest a sister relationship with ursoids (for example bears) or musteloids (the clade that includes skunks, badgers, weasels and otters). Although the position of pinnipeds within modern carnivores appears moderately well resolved, fossil evidence of the morphological steps leading from a terrestrial ancestor to the modern marine forms has been weak or contentious. The earliest well-represented fossil pinniped is Enaliarctos, a marine form with flippers, which had appeared on the northwestern shores of North America by the early Miocene epoch. Here we report the discovery of a nearly complete skeleton of a new semi-aquatic carnivore from an early Miocene lake deposit in Nunavut, Canada, that represents a morphological link in early pinniped evolution. The new taxon retains a long tail and the proportions of its fore- and hindlimbs are more similar to those of modern terrestrial carnivores than to modern pinnipeds. Morphological traits indicative of semi-aquatic adaptation include a forelimb with a prominent deltopectoral ridge on the humerus, a posterodorsally expanded scapula, a pelvis with relatively short ilium, a shortened femur and flattened phalanges, suggestive of webbing. The new fossil shows evidence of pinniped affinities and similarities to the early Oligocene Amphicticeps from Asia and the late Oligocene and Miocene Potamotherium from Europe. The discovery suggests that the evolution of pinnipeds included a freshwater transitional phase, and may support the hypothesis that the Arctic was an early centre of pinniped evolution.

  9. Book review: Large carnivore conservation: Integrating science and policy in the North American West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albertsen, A. J.; Cox, M. M.; Ernst, E. E.; Haley, H. J.; Klaver, Robert W.; Loney, D. A.; Mackert, M. M.; McCombs, A. L.; Piatscheck, F.; Pocius, V. M.; Stein, D. S.

    2016-01-01

    Dr. Klaver reviewed Large Carnivore Conservation as part of a graduate seminar and seminar participants represented the full range of readers who might be interested in the book: natural resource managers, citizen advocates, researchers, and students. Although we encountered a variety of opinions based on our different backgrounds and orientations, we discovered a surprising amount of consensus both about what the book does well and where it falls short of our expectations.

  10. Integrating resource selection into spatial capture-recapture models for large carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proffitt, Kelly M.; Goldberg, Joshua; Hebblewite, Mark; Russell, Robin E.; Jimenez, Ben; Robinson, Hugh S.; Pilgrim, Kristine; Schwartz, Michael K.

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife managers need reliable methods to estimate large carnivore densities and population trends; yet large carnivores are elusive, difficult to detect, and occur at low densities making traditional approaches intractable. Recent advances in spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models have provided new approaches for monitoring trends in wildlife abundance and these methods are particularly applicable to large carnivores. We applied SCR models in a Bayesian framework to estimate mountain lion densities in the Bitterroot Mountains of west central Montana. We incorporate an existing resource selection function (RSF) as a density covariate to account for heterogeneity in habitat use across the study area and include data collected from harvested lions. We identify individuals through DNA samples collected by (1) biopsy darting mountain lions detected in systematic surveys of the study area, (2) opportunistically collecting hair and scat samples, and (3) sampling all harvested mountain lions. We included 80 DNA samples collected from 62 individuals in the analysis. Including information on predicted habitat use as a covariate on the distribution of activity centers reduced the median estimated density by 44%, the standard deviation by 7%, and the width of 95% credible intervals by 10% as compared to standard SCR models. Within the two management units of interest, we estimated a median mountain lion density of 4.5 mountain lions/100 km2 (95% CI = 2.9, 7.7) and 5.2 mountain lions/100 km2 (95% CI = 3.4, 9.1). Including harvested individuals (dead recovery) did not create a significant bias in the detection process by introducing individuals that could not be detected after removal. However, the dead recovery component of the model did have a substantial effect on results by increasing sample size. The ability to account for heterogeneity in habitat use provides a useful extension to SCR models, and will enhance the ability of wildlife managers to reliably and

  11. Selection for Adaptation to Dietary Shifts: Towards Sustainable Breeding of Carnivorous Fish

    OpenAIRE

    Richard Le Boucher; Mathilde Dupont-Nivet; Marc Vandeputte; Thierry Kerneïs; Lionel Goardon; Laurent Labbé; Béatrice Chatain; Marie Josée Bothaire; Laurence Larroquet; Françoise Médale; Edwige Quillet

    2012-01-01

    Genetic adaptation to dietary environments is a key process in the evolution of natural populations and is of great interest in animal breeding. In fish farming, the use of fish meal and fish oil has been widely challenged, leading to the rapidly increasing use of plant-based products in feed. However, high substitution rates impair fish health and growth in carnivorous species. We demonstrated that survival rate, mean body weight and biomass can be improved in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus myk...

  12. Attract them anyway: benefits of large, showy flowers in a highly autogamous, carnivorous plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salces-Castellano, A; Paniw, M; Casimiro-Soriguer, R; Ojeda, F

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive biology of carnivorous plants has largely been studied on species that rely on insects as pollinators and prey, creating potential conflicts. Autogamous pollination, although present in some carnivorous species, has received less attention. In angiosperms, autogamous self-fertilization is expected to lead to a reduction in flower size, thereby reducing resource allocation to structures that attract pollinators. A notable exception is the carnivorous pyrophyteDrosophyllum lusitanicum(Drosophyllaceae), which has been described as an autogamous selfing species but produces large, yellow flowers. Using a flower removal and a pollination experiment, we assessed, respectively, whether large flowers in this species may serve as an attracting device to prey insects or whether previously reported high selfing rates for this species in peripheral populations may be lower in more central, less isolated populations. We found no differences between flower-removed plants and intact, flowering plants in numbers of prey insects trapped. We also found no indication of reduced potential for autogamous reproduction, in terms of either seed set or seed size. However, our results showed significant increases in seed set of bagged, hand-pollinated flowers and unbagged flowers exposed to insect visitation compared with bagged, non-manipulated flowers that could only self-pollinate autonomously. Considering that the key life-history strategy of this pyrophytic species is to maintain a viable seed bank, any increase in seed set through insect pollinator activity would increase plant fitness. This in turn would explain the maintenance of large, conspicuous flowers in a highly autogamous, carnivorous plant.

  13. Experimental Evidence for the Population-Dynamic Mechanisms Underlying Extinction Cascades of Carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Dirk; Kehoe, Rachel; van Veen, F J Frank

    2015-12-01

    Species extinction rates due to human activities are high, and initial extinctions can trigger cascades of secondary extinctions, leading to further erosion of biodiversity. A potential major mechanism for secondary extinction cascades is provided by the long-standing theory that the diversity of consumer species is maintained due to the positive indirect effects that these species have on each other by reducing competition among their respective resource species. This means that the loss of one carnivore species could lead to competitive exclusion at the prey trophic level, leading to extinctions of further carnivore species. Evidence for these effects is difficult to obtain due to many confounding factors in natural systems, but extinction cascades that could be due to this mechanism have been demonstrated in simplified laboratory microcosms. We established complex insect food webs in replicated field mesocosms and found that the overharvesting of one parasitoid wasp species caused increased extinction rates of other parasitoid species, compared to controls, but only when we manipulated the spatial distribution of herbivore species such that the potential for interspecific competition at this level was high. This provides clear evidence for horizontal extinction cascades at high trophic levels due to the proposed mechanism. Our results demonstrate that the loss of carnivores can have widespread effects on other species at the same trophic level due to indirect population-dynamic effects that are rarely considered in this context.

  14. Human attacks by large felid carnivores in captivity and in the wild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Suzanne M; Mills, Angela; Shoff, William H

    2014-06-01

    Whereas those who live in the native ranges of the large feline carnivores are well aware of the risks of cat and human encounters, North Americans and Europeans are increasingly exposed to exotic animals through travel, ecotourism, leisure pursuits in rural areas, occupational exposure, zoo and animal park visits, wild habitat encroachment at the urban-wildlands interface, and contact with exotic pets. In encounters during which persons have been severely injured, lapses in animal management protocols, lack of appropriate adult supervision, and intoxication have been reported. Unlike common domestic pets that have lived in close association with humans for thousands of years, no matter where individual large felines may have been raised, they remain wild carnivores with strong prey-drive and territorial instincts. The emergency management of large felid attacks is similar to that of other major trauma: stabilization; management of significant orthopedic, neurologic, vascular, and soft tissue injuries; antibiotic coverage provided for the number of organisms that inhabit their mouths and the potential for tetanus and rabies; and early management in survivors of likely posttraumatic stress disorder. We must actively explore responsible measures globally that can be taken to ensure biologically appropriate, ethical, safe, and sustainable conservation of these large carnivores in both their natural habitats and captivity.

  15. The carnivore remains from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, N; Arsuaga, J L; Torres, T

    1997-01-01

    Remains of carnivores from the Sima de los Huesos site representing at least 158 adult individuals of a primitive (i.e., not very speleoid) form of Ursus deningeri Von Reichenau 1906, have been recovered through the 1995 field season. These new finds extend our knowledge of this group in the Sierra de Atapuerca Middle Pleistocene. Material previously classified as Cuoninae indet, is now assigned to Canis lupus and a third metatarsal assigned in 1987 to Panthera of gombaszoegensis, is in our opinion only attributable to Panthera sp. The family Mustelidae is added to the faunal list and includes Martes sp. and a smaller species. The presence of Panthera leo cf. fossilis, Lynx pardina spelaea and Felis silvestris, is confirmed. The presence of a not very speloid Ursus deningeri, together with the rest of the carnivore assemblage, points to a not very late Middle Pleistocene age, i.e., oxygen isotope stage 7 or older. Relative frequencies of skeletal elements for the bear and fox samples are without major biases. The age structure of the bear sample, based on dental wear stages, does not follow the typical hibernation mortality profile and resembles a catastrophic profile. The site was not a natal or refuge den. The hypothesis that the site was a natural trap is the most plausible. If the Sima de los Huesos functioned as a natural trap (without an egress out), the human accumulation cannot be attributed to carnivore: activities and must be explained differently.

  16. Successful carnivore identification with faecal DNA across a fragmented Amazonian landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, Fernanda; Valdez, Fernanda Pedone; Norris, Darren; Zieminski, Chris; Kashivakura, Cyntia Kayo; Trinca, Cristine S; Smith, Heath B; Vynne, Carly; Wasser, Samuel K; Metzger, Jean Paul; Eizirik, Eduardo

    2011-09-01

    The use of scat surveys to obtain DNA has been well documented in temperate areas, where DNA preservation may be more effective than in tropical forests. Samples obtained in the tropics are often exposed to high humidity, warm temperatures, frequent rain and intense sunlight, all of which can rapidly degrade DNA. Despite these potential problems, we demonstrate successful mtDNA amplification and sequencing for faeces of carnivores collected in tropical conditions and quantify how sample condition and environmental variables influence the success of PCR amplification and species identification. Additionally, the feasibility of genotyping nuclear microsatellites from jaguar (Panthera onca) faeces was investigated. From October 2007 to December 2008, 93 faecal samples were collected in the southern Brazilian Amazon. A total of eight carnivore species was successfully identified from 71% of all samples obtained. Information theoretic analysis revealed that the number of PCR attempts before a successful sequence was an important negative predictor across all three responses (success of species identification, success of species identification from the first sequence and PCR amplification success), whereas the relative importance of the other three predictors (sample condition, season and distance from forest edge) varied between the three responses. Nuclear microsatellite amplification from jaguar faeces had lower success rates (15-44%) compared with those of the mtDNA marker. Our results show that DNA obtained from faecal samples works efficiently for carnivore species identification in the Amazon forest and also shows potential for nuclear DNA analysis, thus providing a valuable tool for genetic, ecological and conservation studies.

  17. Balancing macronutrient intake in a mammalian carnivore: disentangling the influences of flavour and nutrition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewson-Hughes, Adrian K.; Colyer, Alison; Simpson, Stephen J.; Raubenheimer, David

    2016-01-01

    There is a large body of research demonstrating that macronutrient balancing is a primary driver of foraging in herbivores and omnivores, and more recently, it has been shown to occur in carnivores. However, the extent to which macronutrient selection in carnivores may be influenced by organoleptic properties (e.g. flavour/aroma) remains unknown. Here, we explore the roles of nutritional and hedonic factors in food choice and macronutrient balancing in a mammalian carnivore, the domestic cat. Using the geometric framework, we determined the amounts and ratio of protein and fat intake in cats allowed to select from combinations of three foods that varied in protein : fat (P : F) composition (approx. 10 : 90, 40 : 60 and 70 : 30 on a per cent energy basis) to which flavours of different ‘attractiveness’ (fish, rabbit and orange) were added. In two studies, in which animal and plant protein sources were used, respectively, the ratio and amounts of protein and fat intake were very consistent across all groups regardless of flavour combination, indicating regulation of both protein and fat intake. Our results suggest that macronutrient balancing rather than hedonistic rewards based on organoleptic properties of food is a primary driver of longer-term food selection and intake in domestic cats. PMID:27429768

  18. Trypanosoma cruzi infection in neotropical wild carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora: at the top of the T. cruzi transmission chain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiana Lopes Rocha

    Full Text Available Little is known on the role played by Neotropical wild carnivores in the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles. We investigated T. cruzi infection in wild carnivores from three sites in Brazil through parasitological and serological tests. The seven carnivore species examined were infected by T. cruzi, but high parasitemias detectable by hemoculture were found only in two Procyonidae species. Genotyping by Mini-exon gene, PCR-RFLP (1f8/Akw21I and kDNA genomic targets revealed that the raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus harbored TcI and the coatis (Nasua nasua harbored TcI, TcII, TcIII-IV and Trypanosoma rangeli, in single and mixed infections, besides four T. cruzi isolates that displayed odd band patterns in the Mini-exon assay. These findings corroborate the coati can be a bioaccumulator of T. cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTU and may act as a transmission hub, a connection point joining sylvatic transmission cycles within terrestrial and arboreal mammals and vectors. Also, the odd band patterns observed in coatis' isolates reinforce that T. cruzi diversity might be much higher than currently acknowledged. Additionally, we assembled our data with T. cruzi infection on Neotropical carnivores' literature records to provide a comprehensive analysis of the infection patterns among distinct carnivore species, especially considering their ecological traits and phylogeny. Altogether, fifteen Neotropical carnivore species were found naturally infected by T. cruzi. Species diet was associated with T. cruzi infection rates, supporting the hypothesis that predator-prey links are important mechanisms for T. cruzi maintenance and dispersion in the wild. Distinct T. cruzi infection patterns across carnivore species and study sites were notable. Musteloidea species consistently exhibit high parasitemias in different studies which indicate their high infectivity potential. Mesocarnivores that feed on both invertebrates and mammals, including the coati, a host that

  19. Exposure of free-ranging wild carnivores, horses and domestic dogs to Leptospira spp in the northern Pantanal, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorge, Rodrigo Silva Pinto; Ferreira, Fernando; Ferreira Neto, José Soares; Vasconcellos, Silvio de Arruda; Lima, Edson de Souza; Morais, Zenaide Maria de; Souza, Gisele Oliveira de

    2011-06-01

    Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease affecting most mammals and is distributed throughout the world. Several species of domestic and wild animals may act as reservoirs for this disease. The purpose of this study was to assess the exposure of free-ranging wild carnivores, horses and domestic dogs on a private reserve located in the northern Pantanal (Brazil) and the surrounding areas to Leptospira spp from 2002-2006, 75 free-ranging wild carnivores were captured in the Pantanal and serum samples were collected. In addition, samples from 103 domestic dogs and 23 horses in the region were collected. Serum samples were tested for the presence of Leptospira antibodies using the microscopic agglutination test. Thirty-two wild carnivores (42.7%) were considered positive with titres ≥ 100, and 18 domestic dogs (17.5%) and 20 horses (74.1%) were also found to be positive. Our study showed that horses, dogs and several species of free-ranging wild carnivores have been exposed to Leptospira spp in the Pantanal, suggesting that the peculiar characteristics of this biome, such as high temperatures and an extended period of flooding, may favour bacterial persistence and transmission. In this region, wild carnivores and horses seem to be important hosts for the epidemiology of Leptospira species.

  20. Implications of Harvest on the Boundaries of Protected Areas for Large Carnivore Viewing Opportunities.

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    Bridget L Borg

    Full Text Available The desire to see free ranging large carnivores in their natural habitat is a driver of tourism in protected areas around the globe. However, large carnivores are wide-ranging and subject to human-caused mortality outside protected area boundaries. The impact of harvest (trapping or hunting on wildlife viewing opportunities has been the subject of intense debate and speculation, but quantitative analyses have been lacking. We examined the effect of legal harvest of wolves (Canis lupus along the boundaries of two North American National Parks, Denali (DNPP and Yellowstone (YNP, on wolf viewing opportunities within the parks during peak tourist season. We used data on wolf sightings, pack sizes, den site locations, and harvest adjacent to DNPP from 1997-2013 and YNP from 2008-2013 to evaluate the relationship between harvest and wolf viewing opportunities. Although sightings were largely driven by wolf population size and proximity of den sites to roads, sightings in both parks were significantly reduced by harvest. Sightings in YNP increased by 45% following years with no harvest of a wolf from a pack, and sightings in DNPP were more than twice as likely during a period with a harvest buffer zone than in years without the buffer. These findings show that harvest of wolves adjacent to protected areas can reduce sightings within those areas despite minimal impacts on the size of protected wolf populations. Consumptive use of carnivores adjacent to protected areas may therefore reduce their potential for non-consumptive use, and these tradeoffs should be considered when developing regional wildlife management policies.

  1. Detection of Echinococcus multilocularis in carnivores in Razavi Khorasan province, Iran using mitochondrial DNA.

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    Molouk Beiromvand

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Echinococcus multilocularis is the source of alveolar echinococcosis, a potentially fatal zoonotic disease. This investigation assessed the presence of E. multilocularis infection in definitive hosts in the Chenaran region of Razavi Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Fecal samples from 77 domestic and stray dogs and 14 wild carnivores were examined using the flotation/sieving method followed by multiplex PCR of mitochondrial genes. The intestinal scraping technique (IST and the sedimentation and counting technique (SCT revealed adult Echinococcus in the intestines of five of 10 jackals and of the single wolf examined. Three jackals were infected only with E. multilocularis but two, and the wolf, were infected with both E. multilocularis and E. granulosus. Multiplex PCR revealed E. multilocularis, E. granulosus, and Taenia spp. in 19, 24, and 28 fecal samples, respectively. Echinococcus multilocularis infection was detected in the feces of all wild carnivores sampled including nine jackals, three foxes, one wolf, one hyena, and five dogs (6.5%. Echinococcus granulosus was found in the fecal samples of 16.9% of dogs, 66.7% of jackals, and all of the foxes, the wolf, and the hyena. The feces of 16 (21.8% dogs, 7 of 9 (77.8% jackals, and all three foxes, one wolf and one hyena were infected with Taenia spp. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The prevalence of E. multilocularis in wild carnivores of rural areas of the Chenaran region is high, indicating that the life cycle is being maintained in northeastern Iran with the red fox, jackal, wolf, hyena, and dog as definitive hosts.

  2. Implications of Harvest on the Boundaries of Protected Areas for Large Carnivore Viewing Opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borg, Bridget L; Arthur, Stephen M; Bromen, Nicholas A; Cassidy, Kira A; McIntyre, Rick; Smith, Douglas W; Prugh, Laura R

    2016-01-01

    The desire to see free ranging large carnivores in their natural habitat is a driver of tourism in protected areas around the globe. However, large carnivores are wide-ranging and subject to human-caused mortality outside protected area boundaries. The impact of harvest (trapping or hunting) on wildlife viewing opportunities has been the subject of intense debate and speculation, but quantitative analyses have been lacking. We examined the effect of legal harvest of wolves (Canis lupus) along the boundaries of two North American National Parks, Denali (DNPP) and Yellowstone (YNP), on wolf viewing opportunities within the parks during peak tourist season. We used data on wolf sightings, pack sizes, den site locations, and harvest adjacent to DNPP from 1997-2013 and YNP from 2008-2013 to evaluate the relationship between harvest and wolf viewing opportunities. Although sightings were largely driven by wolf population size and proximity of den sites to roads, sightings in both parks were significantly reduced by harvest. Sightings in YNP increased by 45% following years with no harvest of a wolf from a pack, and sightings in DNPP were more than twice as likely during a period with a harvest buffer zone than in years without the buffer. These findings show that harvest of wolves adjacent to protected areas can reduce sightings within those areas despite minimal impacts on the size of protected wolf populations. Consumptive use of carnivores adjacent to protected areas may therefore reduce their potential for non-consumptive use, and these tradeoffs should be considered when developing regional wildlife management policies.

  3. Small rodents as paratenic or intermediate hosts of carnivore parasites in Berlin, Germany

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    Maaz, Denny; Demeler, Janina; Ramünke, Sabrina; Antolová, Daniela; Schaper, Roland; von Samson-Himmelstjerna, Georg

    2017-01-01

    Rodents are important intermediate and paratenic hosts for carnivore parasites, including the important zoonotic agents Toxoplasma, Echinococcus and Toxocara. Monitoring of such parasites in rodents can be used to detect increasing risks for human and veterinary public health. Rodents were trapped at four sites in Berlin, two near the city center, two at the periphery. PCRs were conducted to detect Coccidia (target ITS-1) and specifically Toxoplasma gondii (repetitive element) in brain and ascarids (ITS-2) in muscle or brain tissue. During necropsies, metacestodes were collected and identified using ITS-2 and 12S rRNA PCRs. An ELISA to detect antibodies against Toxocara canis ES antigens was performed. Within the 257 examined rodents, the most frequently observed parasite was Frenkelia glareoli predominantly found in Myodes glareolus. T. gondii was only detected in 12 rodents and Microtus spp. (although strongly underrepresented) had a significantly increased chance of being positive. Neither Echinococcus nor typical Taenia parasites of dogs and cats were found but Mesocestoides litteratus and Taenia martis metacestodes were identified which can cause severe peritoneal or ocular cysticercosis in dogs, primates and humans. Using PCR, the ascarids T. canis (n = 8), Toxocara cati (4) and Parascaris sp. (1) were detected predominantly in muscles. Seroprevalence of T. canis was 14.2% and ELISA was thus more sensitive than PCR to detect infection with this parasite. Non-parametric multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis revealed that parasite communities could be grouped into an urban and a peri-urban cluster with high frequency of ascarid-positive rodents in urban and high frequency of F. glareoli in peri-urban sites. Prevalence rates of parasites in rodents with potential impact for human or veterinary public health are considerable and the monitoring of transmission cycles of carnivore parasites in intermediate rodent hosts is recommended to estimate the health

  4. Carnivore distributions across chaparral habitats exposed to wildfire and rural housing in southern California

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    Schuette, P.A.; Diffendorfer, J.E.; Deutschman, D.H.; Tremor, S.; Spencer, W.

    2014-01-01

    Chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitats in southern California support biologically diverse plant and animal communities. However, native plant and animal species within these shrubland systems are increasingly exposed to human-caused wildfires and an expansion of the human–wildland interface. Few data exist to evaluate the effects of fire and anthropogenic pressures on plant and animal communities found in these environments. This is particularly true for carnivore communities. To address this knowledge gap, we collected detection–non-detection data with motion-sensor cameras and track plots to measure carnivore occupancy patterns following a large, human-caused wildfire (1134 km2) in eastern San Diego County, California, USA, in 2003. Our focal species set included coyote (Canis latrans), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), bobcat (Lynx rufus) and striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis). We evaluated the influence on species occupancies of the burned environment (burn edge, burn interior and unburned areas), proximity of rural homes, distance to riparian area and elevation. Gray fox occupancies were the highest overall, followed by striped skunk, coyote and bobcat. The three species considered as habitat and foraging generalists (gray fox, coyote, striped skunk) were common in all conditions. Occupancy patterns were consistent through time for all species except coyote, whose occupancies increased through time. In addition, environmental and anthropogenic variables had weak effects on all four species, and these responses were species-specific. Our results helped to describe a carnivore community exposed to frequent fire and rural human residences, and provide baseline data to inform fire management policy and wildlife management strategies in similar fire-prone ecosystems.

  5. Weed seed predation by granivorous carabids as influenced by carnivorous carabids

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    de Mol, Friederike

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Weed seed predation is influenced for both biological and abiotic factors. Knowledge about these factors is necessary to optimize seed predation as a biological weed control measure. Here, we asked whether carnivorous carabid beetles can affect the seed predation. Additionally, the effect of weather on seed predation rate was investigated. For this purpose, 12, 1m² enclosures were installed in a field (block design with four treatments and three replications in northeastern Germany over a period of 23 days. Treatments in the enclosures were 1 without carabids, 2 with a natural density and species composition of carabids, 3 with granivorous carabid beetles (Pseudoophonus rufipes, Harpulus affinis, and 4 as 3 but additionally with carnivorous carabids (Pterostichus melanarius, Poecilus cupreus Seed predation rate was determined daily using seed cards with Poa annua and Stellaria media seeds. Temperature, relative air humidity and daily precipitation were measured as covariables. In the treatment with granivorous carabids seed predation rate was 54.3 (P. annua resp. 14.3 (S. media seeds per enclosure and day. In the treatment with granivorous and carnivorous carabids, seed predation rate was significantly lower for P. annua (46.6 seeds per enclosure and day, paired Wilcoxon-Test, p = 0.04 and equally high for S. media (14.4 seeds per enclosure and day. In enclosures containing non-manipulated carabid densities 9.1 seeds of P. annua and 7.2 seeds of S. media were lost per enclosure and per day, which is significantly higher than from enclosures that were void of carabids. The minimum night temperature was the only weather variable that significantly influenced seed predation rate. This work contributes to a better understanding of the factors influencing seed predation rates in the field.

  6. Frequent cross-species transmission of parvoviruses among diverse carnivore hosts

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    Allison, Andrew B.; Kohler, Dennis J.; Fox, Karen A.; Brown, Justin D.; Gerhold, Richard W.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Dubovi, Edward J.; Parrish, Colin R.; Holmes, Edward C.

    2013-01-01

    Although parvoviruses are commonly described in domestic carnivores, little is known about their biodiversity in nondomestic species. A phylogenetic analysis of VP2 gene sequences from puma, coyote, gray wolf, bobcat, raccoon, and striped skunk revealed two major groups related to either feline panleukopenia virus (“FPV-like”) or canine parvovirus (“CPV-like”). Cross-species transmission was commonplace, with multiple introductions into each host species but, with the exception of raccoons, relatively little evidence for onward transmission in nondomestic species.

  7. Animal fibre: the forgotten nutrient in strict carnivores? First insights in the cheetah.

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    Depauw, S; Hesta, M; Whitehouse-Tedd, K; Vanhaecke, L; Verbrugghe, A; Janssens, G P J

    2013-02-01

    As wild felids are obligate carnivores, it is likely that poorly enzymatically digestible animal tissues determine hindgut fermentation, instead of plant fibre. Therefore, faecal concentrations of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA, including branched-chain fatty acids, BCFA), indole and phenol were evaluated in 14 captive cheetahs, fed two different diets differing in proportion of poorly enzymatically digestible animal tissue. Using a cross-over design, the cheetahs were fed exclusively whole rabbit or supplemented beef for 1 month each. Feeding whole rabbit decreased faecal propionic (p cheetahs and likely other felids.

  8. [Comparative histology of mushroom bodies in carnivorous beetles of the suborder polyphaga (Insecta, Coleoptera)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panov, A A

    2013-01-01

    Mushroom bodies in beetles of the families Histeridae, Staphylinidae, Cantharidae, Trogossitidae, Peltidae, Cleridae, Malachiidae, and Coccinellidae are shown to be rather poorly developed. The calyx region of the mushroom bodies in these beetles never forms two separate cups, and the peduncular apparatus includes a unified shaft almost over its entire length. Only the pedunculus contains two separate shafts in a few cases. Two proliferative centers consisting of one to three neuroblasts are often found in each Kenyon cell group. The shift from carnivorous to feeding on pollen or leaves, which has taken place in some taxa, does not visibly affect the degree of mushroom body development.

  9. Extensive production of Neospora caninum tissue cysts in a carnivorous marsupial succumbing to experimental neosporosis

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    King Jessica S

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Experimental infections of Sminthopsis crassicaudata, the fat-tailed dunnart, a carnivorous marsupial widely distributed throughout the arid and semi-arid zones of Australia, show that this species can act as an intermediate host for Neospora caninum. In contrast to existing models that develop relatively few N. caninum tissue cysts, dunnarts offer a new animal model in which active neosporosis is dominated by tissue cyst production. The results provide evidence for a sylvatic life cycle of N. caninum in Australia between marsupials and wild dogs. It establishes the foundation for an investigation of the impact and costs of neosporosis to wildlife.

  10. Forelimb anatomy and the discrimination of the predatory behavior of carnivorous mammals: the thylacine as a case study.

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    Janis, Christine M; Figueirido, Borja

    2014-12-01

    Carnivorous mammals use their forelimbs in different ways to capture their prey. Most terrestrial carnivores have some cursorial (running) adaptations, but ambush predators retain considerable flexibility in their forelimb movement, important for grappling with their prey. In contrast, predators that rely on pursuit to run down their prey have sacrificed some of this flexibility for locomotor efficiency, in the greater restriction of the forelimb motion to the parasagittal plane. In this article, we measured aspects of the forelimb anatomy (44 linear measurements) in 36 species of carnivorous mammals of known predatory behavior, and used multivariate analyses to investigate how well the forelimb anatomy reflects the predatory mode (ambush, pursuit, or pounce-pursuit). A prime intention of this study was to establish morphological correlates of behavior that could then be applied to fossil mammals: for this purpose, five individuals of the recently extinct thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) were also included as unknowns. We show that the three different types of predators can be distinguished by their morphology, both in analyses where all the forelimb bones are included together, and in the separate analyses of each bone individually. Of particular interest is the ability to distinguish between the two types of more cursorial predators, pursuit and pounce-pursuit, which have previously been considered as primarily size-based categories. Despite a prior consideration of the thylacine as a "pounce-pursuit" or an "ambush" type of predator, the thylacines did not consistently cluster with any type of predatory carnivores in our analyses. Rather, the thylacines appeared to be more generalized in their morphology than any of the extant carnivores. The absence of a large diversity of large carnivorous mammals in Australia, past and present, may explain the thylacine's generalized morphology.

  11. Responses of mammal dispersers to fruit availability: Rowan ( Sorbus aucuparia) and carnivores in mountain habitats of northern Spain

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    Guitián, José; Munilla, Ignacio

    2010-03-01

    Despite the well known fact that carnivore mammals are important fruit consumers and legitimate seed dispersers in temperate habitats, little is known about their quantitative responses to fruit availability. Here we show the results of two studies conducted at two different temporal and spatial scales, that were intended to assess the response of pine martens ( Martes martes) and red foxes ( Vulpes vulpes) to variations in the supply of rowan ( Sorbus aucuparia) fruits in the Cantabrian Range (northern Iberia). First, we studied the association between fruit availability and the importance of rowan fruit in the diet of carnivores during a period of 11 consecutive years. This was accomplished by comparing fruit-crop size in 54 trees and the analysis of faecal contents in a sample of 863 faeces. Secondly, we assessed the consumption of fruits by these two species underneath the canopy of 20 rowan trees along 10 consecutive days. In the first study, the diet of martens and foxes consistently tracked interannual variations in rowan fruit availability, despite large fluctuations in fruit yield that included three mast years of heavy rowanberry crops and three non-fruiting years. For both carnivores total crop size was correlated with the frequency of occurrence and the proportion of rowan by volume in faeces. The second study suggested that carnivores feeding on fallen fruit tended to visit the trees that exhibited a higher density of fruits under the canopy. Thus, carnivores apparently choose to feed on high-density patches of fruit, which in turn were located underneath the canopy of the trees that produced the larger crops. Our results stress the need to pay proper attention to the role of carnivores as seed dispersers, in order to disentangle the evolutionary and ecological outcomes of plant-animal interactions in mixed-dispersed plants.

  12. A review of piroplasmid infections in wild carnivores worldwide: importance for domestic animal health and wildlife conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarado-Rybak, Mario; Solano-Gallego, Laia; Millán, Javier

    2016-10-10

    Piroplasmids are tick-borne protozoan parasites that infect blood cells (erythrocytes, lymphocytes or other leukocytes) or endothelial cells of numerous wild and domestic vertebrates worldwide. They cause severe disease in livestock, dogs, cats, wild mammals and, occasionally, in humans. Piroplasmid infections are prevalent in wild carnivores worldwide although there is limited information about their clinical and epidemiological importance. There are currently nine recognized species of Babesia, two of Theileria, two of Cytauxzoon and one of Rangelia infecting captive and wild carnivores, including members of Canidae, Felidae, Mustelidae, Procyonidae, Ursidae, Viverridae, Hyaenidae and Herpestidae in the Americas, Eurasia and Africa. However, the number of piroplasmid species is likely higher than currently accepted due to the reported existence of DNA sequences that may correspond to new species and the lack of studies on many host species and biogeographical areas. Indeed, many species have been recognized in the last few years with the advancement of molecular analyses. Disease and mortality have been documented in some wild carnivores, whereas other species appear to act as natural, subclinical reservoirs. Various factors (e.g. unnatural hosts, stress due to captivity, habitat degradation, climate fluctuation or immunosuppression) have been associated with disease susceptibility to piroplasmid infections in some species in captivity. We aimed to review the current knowledge on the epidemiology of piroplasmid infections in wild carnivores and associated tick vectors. Emphasis is given to the role of wild carnivores as reservoirs of clinical piroplasmosis for domestic dogs and cats, and to the importance of piroplasmids as disease agents for endangered carnivores.

  13. Relative influence of human harvest, carnivores, and weather on adult female elk survival across western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodie, Jedediah; Johnson, Heather; Mitchell, Michael; Zager, Peter; Proffitt, Kelly; Hebblewhite, Mark; Kauffman, Matthew; Johnson, Bruce; Bissonette, John; Bishop, Chad; Gude, Justin; Herbert, Jeff; Hersey, Kent; Hurley, Mark; Lukacs, Paul M.; McCorquodale, Scott; McIntire, Eliot; Nowak, Josh; Sawyer, Hall; Smith, Douglas; White, P.J.

    2013-01-01

    Well-informed management of harvested species requires understanding how changing ecological conditions affect demography and population dynamics, information that is lacking for many species. We have limited understanding of the relative influence of carnivores, harvest, weather and forage availability on elk Cervus elaphus demography, despite the ecological and economic importance of this species. We assessed adult female survival, a key vital rate for population dynamics, from 2746 radio-collared elk in 45 populations across western North America that experience wide variation in carnivore assemblage, harvest, weather and habitat conditions. Proportional hazard analysis revealed that 'baseline' (i.e. not related to human factors) mortality was higher with very high winter precipitation, particularly in populations sympatric with wolves Canis lupus. Mortality may increase via nutritional stress and heightened vulnerability to predation in snowy winters. Baseline mortality was unrelated to puma Puma concolor presence, forest cover or summer forage productivity. Cause-specific mortality analyses showed that wolves and all carnivore species combined had additive effects on baseline elk mortality, but only reduced survival by <2%. When human factors were included, ‘total’ adult mortality was solely related to harvest; the influence of native carnivores was compensatory. Annual total mortality rates were lowest in populations sympatric with both pumas and wolves because managers reduced female harvest in areas with abundant or diverse carnivores. Mortality from native carnivores peaked in late winter and early spring, while harvest-induced mortality peaked in autumn. The strong peak in harvest-induced mortality during the autumn hunting season decreased as the number of native carnivore species increased. Synthesis and applications. Elevated baseline adult female elk mortality from wolves in years with high winter precipitation could affect elk abundance as

  14. An objective approach to determining the weight ranges of prey preferred by and accessible to the five large African carnivores.

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    Hayley S Clements

    Full Text Available Broad-scale models describing predator prey preferences serve as useful departure points for understanding predator-prey interactions at finer scales. Previous analyses used a subjective approach to identify prey weight preferences of the five large African carnivores, hence their accuracy is questionable. This study uses a segmented model of prey weight versus prey preference to objectively quantify the prey weight preferences of the five large African carnivores. Based on simulations of known predator prey preference, for prey species sample sizes above 32 the segmented model approach detects up to four known changes in prey weight preference (represented by model break-points with high rates of detection (75% to 100% of simulations, depending on number of break-points and accuracy (within 1.3±4.0 to 2.7±4.4 of known break-point. When applied to the five large African carnivores, using carnivore diet information from across Africa, the model detected weight ranges of prey that are preferred, killed relative to their abundance, and avoided by each carnivore. Prey in the weight ranges preferred and killed relative to their abundance are together termed "accessible prey". Accessible prey weight ranges were found to be 14-135 kg for cheetah Acinonyx jubatus, 1-45 kg for leopard Panthera pardus, 32-632 kg for lion Panthera leo, 15-1600 kg for spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta and 10-289 kg for wild dog Lycaon pictus. An assessment of carnivore diets throughout Africa found these accessible prey weight ranges include 88±2% (cheetah, 82±3% (leopard, 81±2% (lion, 97±2% (spotted hyaena and 96±2% (wild dog of kills. These descriptions of prey weight preferences therefore contribute to our understanding of the diet spectrum of the five large African carnivores. Where datasets meet the minimum sample size requirements, the segmented model approach provides a means of determining, and comparing, the prey weight range preferences of any carnivore

  15. Assessing the potential threat landscape of a proposed reintroduction site for carnivores.

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    Samantha K Page

    Full Text Available This study provides a framework to assess the feasibility of reintroducing carnivores into an area, using African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus as an example. The Great Fish River Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, has been identified as a potential reserve to reintroduce wild dogs, and we applied this framework to provide a threat assessment of the surrounding area to determine potential levels of human-wildlife conflict. Although 56% of neighbouring landowners and local communities were positive about a wild dog reintroduction, data collected from questionnaire surveys revealed that human-wild dog conflict is a potential threat to wild dog survival in the area. Additional potential threats include diseases, snaring, poaching and hunting wild dogs for the use of traditional medicine. A threat index was developed to establish which properties harboured the greatest threats to wild dogs. This index was significantly influenced by the respondent's first language (isiXhosa had more positive indices, education level (poorer education was synonymous with more positive threat indices, land use (wildlife ranching being the most negative and land tenure (community respondents had more positive indices than private landowners. Although threats are present, they can be effectively mitigated through strategies such as carnivore education programs, vaccination campaigns and anti-snare patrols to promote a successful reintroduction of this endangered canid.

  16. Protein sequence evidence for monophyly of the carnivore families Procyonidae and Mustelidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, W W

    1986-05-01

    The amino acid sequence of the eye lens protein alpha-crystallin A of the ring-tailed cat, Bassariscus astutus, has been determined. The sequence of the Bassariscus alpha A chain, which is 173 residues long, was compared with the previously determined set of 41 mammalian alpha A sequences. Among the investigated carnivores (dog, cat, sloth bear, American mink, gray seal, and California sea lion) the Bassariscus alpha A sequence exclusively shares two amino acid replacements with the alpha A chain of the mink, Mustela vison: 7 His----Gln and 61 Ile----Val. The Mustela and Bassariscus alpha A sequences differ at only three positions and have no replacements in common with any of the other investigated carnivore alpha A chains. Furthermore, the replacement 7 His----Gln has only been found in three-toed sloth, whereas 61 Ile----Val occurs scattered in three other taxa: pig, rhinoceros, and prosimians. It thus is most parsimonious to join Bassariscus and Mustela--and consequently their respective families, Procyonidae and Mustelidae--as sister groups in the phylogenetic tree of mammalian alpha A sequences.

  17. Spatial and temporal avoidance of risk within a large carnivore guild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dröge, Egil; Creel, Scott; Becker, Matthew S; M'soka, Jassiel

    2017-01-01

    Within a large carnivore guild, subordinate competitors (African wild dog, Lycaon pictus, and cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus) might reduce the limiting effects of dominant competitors (lion, Panthera leo, and spotted hyena, Crocuta crocuta) by avoiding them in space, in time, or through patterns of prey selection. Understanding how these competitors cope with one other can inform strategies for their conservation. We tested how mechanisms of niche partitioning promote coexistence by quantifying patterns of prey selection and the use of space and time by all members of the large carnivore guild within Liuwa Plain National Park in western Zambia. Lions and hyenas specialized on wildebeest, whereas wild dogs and cheetahs selected broader diets including smaller and less abundant prey. Spatially, cheetahs showed no detectable avoidance of areas heavily used by dominant competitors, but wild dogs avoided areas heavily used by lions. Temporally, the proportion of kills by lions and hyenas did not detectably differ across four time periods (day, crepuscular, early night, and late night), but wild dogs and especially cheetahs concentrated on time windows that avoided nighttime hunting by lions and hyenas. Our results provide new insight into the conditions under which partitioning may not allow for coexistence for one subordinate species, the African wild dog, while it does for cheetah. Because of differences in responses to dominant competitors, African wild dogs may be more prone to competitive exclusion (local extirpation), particularly in open, uniform ecosystems with simple (often wildebeest dominated) prey communities, where spatial avoidance is difficult.

  18. Replacement of moist ingredients in the feed training of carnivorous fish

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    Ana Lúcia Salaro

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The study evaluated the replacement of bovine heart by gelatin in the feed training of carnivorous fish, using giant trahira (Hoplias lacerdae as an experimental model. A completely randomized design with four treatments and five repetitions was employed. The treatments were composed of wet ingredients beef heart (control, gelatin diluted in water, gelatin diluted in beef heart broth, and gelatin diluted in water mixed with fish meal. The fish (3.22±0.03 cm and 0.57±0.01 g were conditioned to accept industrialized diets by the technique of gradual feed ingredients transition in the diet. Gains in weight and length, efficiency of feed training, specific growth rate, cannibalism, mortality and survival rates were evaluated. There was significant difference in weight and length gains and specific growth rate, whereby the use of bovine heart gave the best results. Greater efficiency of feed training was observed for fish fed diets containing beef heart and gelatin diluted in water mixed with fish meal. The high survival rates and the absence of significant differences among treatments for rates of cannibalism, mortality and survival indicate the feasibility of using gelatin as a moist ingredient in the feed training of carnivorous fish.

  19. Mapping trends of large and medium size carnivores of conservation interest in Romania

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    Mihai Cristian Adamescu

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available We analysed yearly estimates of population size data during 2001-2012 for five carnivores species of conservation interest (Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, Lynx lynx, Felis silvestris and Canis aureus. Population size estimations were done by the game management authorities and integrated by the competent authorities on the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Trends in data were detected using non-parametric Mann-Kendall test. This test was chosen considering the short length of data series and its usefulness for non-normal distributed data. The trend was tested at three spatial scales: game management units (n=1565, biogeographical region (n=5 and national. Trends depicted for each game management unit were plotted using ArcGIS, resulting species trend distribution maps. For the studied period increasing population trends were observed for Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, Canis aureus and Lynx lynx, while for Felis silvestris there was no trend recorded. Such an analysis in especially useful for conservation proposes, game management and reporting obligations under article 17 of the EC Habitat Directive, using population trend as a proxy for population dynamics. We conclude that the status of the five carnivore species is favourable during the study period.

  20. Exploring cultivable Bacteria from the prokaryotic community associated with the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma hypogea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupont, Samuel; Carre-Mlouka, Alyssa; Domart-Coulon, Isabelle; Vacelet, Jean; Bourguet-Kondracki, Marie-Lise

    2014-04-01

    Combining culture-dependent and independent approaches, we investigated for the first time the cultivable fraction of the prokaryotic community associated with the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma hypogea. The heterotrophic prokaryotes isolated from this tiny sponge were compared between specimens freshly collected from cave and maintained in aquarium. Overall, 67 isolates obtained in pure culture were phylogenetically affiliated to the bacterial phyla Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes. This cultivable diversity was lower than the prokaryotic diversity obtained by previous pyrosequencing study and comparable to that of another Mediterranean demosponge, the filter-feeding Phorbas tenacior. Furthermore, using fluorescence in situ hybridization, we visualized bacterial and archaeal cells, confirming the presence of both prokaryotes in A. hypogea tissue. Approximately 16% of the bacterial isolates tested positive for chitinolytic activity, suggesting potential microbial involvement in the digestion processes of crustacean prey by this carnivorous sponge. Additionally, 6% and 16% of bacterial isolates revealed antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, respectively. One Streptomyces sp. S1CA strain was identified as a promising candidate for the production of antimicrobial and antioxidant secondary metabolites as well as chitinolytic enzymes. Implications in the context of the sponge biology and prey-feeding strategy are discussed.

  1. Lipid metabolism in the adipose tissues of a carnivore, the raccoon dog, during prolonged fasting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustonen, Anne-Mari; Käkelä, Reijo; Käkelä, Anne; Pyykönen, Teija; Aho, Jari; Nieminen, Petteri

    2007-01-01

    Previous studies on laboratory rodents, rabbits, and humans have demonstrated that adipose tissue fatty acid (FA) mobilization is selective, and its efficiency is related to the molecular structure of FAs. This study was undertaken to find out whether such preferences of FA mobilization are a general feature of mammalian white adipose tissue (WAT) and are also manifested in carnivores. Fractional mobilization of a wide spectrum of FAs was studied by gas-liquid chromatography from six subcutaneous (scapular, rump, ventral) and intra-abdominal (omental, mesenteric, retroperitoneal) WAT depots of raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) fed or fasted for 2 months. Fasting stimulated the mobilization of shorter-chain saturated, mono-unsaturated (MUFAs), and polyunsaturated FAs (PUFAs). The effects of unsaturation and the position of the first double bond from the methyl end were more inconsistent. The effect of double-bond position may be due to chain shortening of longer-chain MUFAs and preferential utilization of n-3 PUFAs over n-6 PUFAs. Moreover, there were site-specific differences in fractional mobilization, the omental adipose tissue being the most divergent. The in vivo FA mobilization from the regional WAT depots of a carnivore was selective, and the molecular structure of the FA affected its efficiency.

  2. Evidence of the three main clonal Toxoplasma gondii lineages from wild mammalian carnivores in the UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrells, A; Bartley, P M; Zimmer, I A; Roy, S; Kitchener, A C; Meredith, A; Wright, S E; Innes, E A; Katzer, F

    2013-12-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic pathogen defined by three main clonal lineages (types I, II, III), of which type II is most common in Europe. Very few data exist on the prevalence and genotypes of T. gondii in the UK. Wildlife can act as sentinel species for T. gondii genotypes present in the environment, which may subsequently be transmitted to livestock and humans. DNA was extracted from tissue samples of wild British carnivores, including 99 ferrets, 83 red foxes, 70 polecats, 65 mink, 64 badgers and 9 stoats. Parasite DNA was detected using a nested ITS1 PCR specific for T. gondii, PCR positive samples were subsequently genotyped using five PCR-RFLP markers. Toxoplasma gondii DNA was detected within all these mammal species and prevalence varied from 6·0 to 44·4% depending on the host. PCR-RFLP genotyping identified type II as the predominant lineage, but type III and type I alleles were also identified. No atypical or mixed genotypes were identified within these animals. This study demonstrates the presence of alleles for all three clonal lineages with potential for transmission to cats and livestock. This is the first DNA-based study of T. gondii prevalence and genotypes across a broad range of wild British carnivores.

  3. Human-carnivore coexistence on communal land bordering the greater Kruger area, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagendijk, D D Georgette; Gusset, Markus

    2008-12-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the potential for coexistence between rural people (living adjacent to a protected area) and predators (from the same area) ranging onto communal land. Ninety members of local communities bordering Manyeleti Game Reserve, which is contiguous with Kruger National Park, South Africa were interviewed. Respondents expressed diverging attitudes toward predators, which were more favorable among participants with higher education. Negative views were particularly due to fear of human and livestock losses, especially to lions, Panthera leo. Lions were thought to be the most abundant predator both within and outside the reserve. Lions were also the best known predator and were most often held responsible for killing livestock. Despite these livestock losses and a lack of conservation education, most participants voiced favorable opinions about large carnivore conservation, as predators were considered an integral part of the respondents' natural heritage. Thanks to this cultural tolerance and also because of a largely accepted management policy regarding predator control, large carnivores and people can coexist in the vicinity of Kruger National Park.

  4. Ursodeoxycholic acid in the Ursidae: biliary bile acids of bears, pandas, and related carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagey, L R; Crombie, D L; Espinosa, E; Carey, M C; Igimi, H; Hofmann, A F

    1993-11-01

    The biliary bile acid composition of gallbladder bile obtained from six species of bears (Ursidae), the Giant panda, the Red panda, and 11 related carnivores were determined by reversed phase liquid chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Bile acids were conjugated solely with taurine (in N-acyl linkage) in all species. Ursodeoxycholic acid (3 alpha, 7 beta-dihydroxy-5 beta-cholan-24-oic acid) was present in all Ursidae, averaging 1-39% of biliary bile acids depending on the species; it was not detected or present as a trace constituent (bears, and its proportion averaged 34% (range 0-62%). Ursodeoxycholic acid averaged 17% of biliary bile acids in the Polar bear (n = 4) and 18% in the Brown bear (n = 6). Lower proportions (1-8%) were present in the Sun bear (n = 2), Ceylon Sloth bear (n = 1), and the Spectacled bear (n = 1). Bile of all species contained taurine-conjugated chenodeoxycholic acid and cholic acid. In some related carnivores, deoxycholic acid, the 7-dehydroxylation product of cholic acid, was also present. To determine whether the 7 beta hydroxy group of ursodeoxycholic acid was formed by hepatic or bacterial enzymes, bile acids were determined in hepatic bile obtained from bears with chronic biliary fistulae. Fistula bile samples contained ursodeoxycholic acid, chenodeoxycholic acid, and a trace amount of cholic acid, all as taurine conjugates, indicating that ursodeoxycholic acid is a primary bile acid formed in the liver in Ursidae.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  5. Human Carnivore Coexistence on Communal Land Bordering the Greater Kruger Area, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagendijk, D. D. Georgette; Gusset, Markus

    2008-12-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the potential for coexistence between rural people (living adjacent to a protected area) and predators (from the same area) ranging onto communal land. Ninety members of local communities bordering Manyeleti Game Reserve, which is contiguous with Kruger National Park, South Africa were interviewed. Respondents expressed diverging attitudes toward predators, which were more favorable among participants with higher education. Negative views were particularly due to fear of human and livestock losses, especially to lions, Panthera leo. Lions were thought to be the most abundant predator both within and outside the reserve. Lions were also the best known predator and were most often held responsible for killing livestock. Despite these livestock losses and a lack of conservation education, most participants voiced favorable opinions about large carnivore conservation, as predators were considered an integral part of the respondents’ natural heritage. Thanks to this cultural tolerance and also because of a largely accepted management policy regarding predator control, large carnivores and people can coexist in the vicinity of Kruger National Park.

  6. Biting through constraints: cranial morphology, disparity and convergence across living and fossil carnivorous mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Anjali; Milne, Nick; Wroe, Stephen

    2011-06-22

    Carnivory has evolved independently several times in eutherian (including placental) and metatherian (including marsupial) mammals. We used geometric morphometrics to assess convergences associated with the evolution of carnivory across a broad suite of mammals, including the eutherian clades Carnivora and Creodonta and the metatherian clades Thylacoleonidae, Dasyuromorphia, Didelphidae and Borhyaenoidea. We further quantified cranial disparity across eutherians and metatherians to test the hypothesis that the marsupial mode of reproduction has constrained their morphological evolution. This study, to our knowledge the first to extensively sample pre-Pleistocene taxa, analysed 30 three-dimensional landmarks, focused mainly on the facial region, which were digitized on 130 specimens, including 36 fossil taxa. Data were analysed with principal components (PC) analysis, and three measures of disparity were compared between eutherians and metatherians. PC1 showed a shift from short to long faces and seemed to represent diet and ecology. PC2 was dominated by the unique features of sabre-toothed forms: dramatic expansion of the maxilla at the expense of the frontal bones. PC3, in combination with PC1, distinguished metatherians and eutherians. Metatherians, despite common comparisons with felids, were more similar to caniforms, which was unexpected for taxa such as the sabre-toothed marsupial Thylacosmilus. Contrary to previous studies, metatherian carnivores consistently exhibited disparity which exceeded that of the much more speciose eutherian carnivore radiations, refuting the hypothesis that developmental constraints have limited the morphological evolution of the marsupial cranium.

  7. Low total mercury in Caiman yacare (Alligatoridae) as compared to carnivorous, and non-carnivorous fish consumed by Amazonian indigenous communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera, S J; Pacheco, L F; Achá, D; Molina, C I; Miranda-Chumacero, G

    2016-11-01

    Mercury contamination in the River Beni basin is an important health risk factor, primarily for indigenous communities that live along the river. Among them are the Tacana, living in their original territory with sustainable use of their natural resources, consuming fish, Caiman yacare, and other riverine resources as their main source of protein. To assess mercury exposure to Tacana people, total mercury (THg) was evaluated in the muscle of seven commercial fish, and Caiman yacare (yacare caiman) during 2007 and 2008. THg was extracted by acid digestion and concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. Mean mercury concentrations in C. yacare was 0.21 ± 0.22 μg g(-1)Hg w.w. (wet weight), which is lower than expected given its high trophic level, and its long life-span. It is possible that mercury in C. yacare is accumulated in other organs, not included in this study; but it is also possible that physiological mechanisms are involved that help caimans get rid of ingested mercury, or simply that C. yacare's diverse diet reduces THg accumulation. Carnivorous fishes (Pygocentrus nattereri, Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum, Zungaro zungaro, Plagioscion squamosissimus, and Leiarius marmoratus) had the highest total mercury concentrations, ranging from 0.35 to 1.27 μg g(-1)Hg w.w. moreover, most were above the limit recommended by WHO (0.5 μg g(-1)Hg w.w.); except for Leiarius marmuratus, which presented a mean of 0.353 ± 0.322 μg g(-1)Hg w.w. The two non-carnivorous fish species (Prochilodus nigricans, and Piaractus brachypomus) present mean concentrations of 0.099 ± 0.027, and 0.041 ± 0.019 μg g(-1)Hg w.w., respectively. Finally, recommendations on the consumption habits of Tacana communities are discussed.

  8. Carnivorous heterotopias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lapina, Linda; Leer, Jonatan

    2016-01-01

    The past years have seen an upsurge of burger and barbecue restaurants in a Copenhagen gastronomic scene otherwise dominated by trends toward sustainability, ‘wholesome’, local and organic food. In these new spaces, meat is glorified and consumed materially and symbolically (through design and de...

  9. Lima bean leaves exposed to herbivore-induced conspecific plant volatiles attract herbivores in addition to carnivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horiuchi, J.I.; Arimura, G.I.; Ozawa, R.; Shimoda, T.; Dicke, M.; Takabayashi, J.; Nishioka, T.

    2003-01-01

    We tested the response of the herbivorous mite Tetranychus urticae to uninfested lima bean leaves exposed to herbivore-induced conspecific plant volatiles by using a Y-tube olfactometer. First, we confirmed that exposed uninfested leaves next to infested leaves were more attractive to carnivorous mi

  10. Determinants of Persistence and Tolerance of Carnivores on Namibian Ranches: Implications for Conservation on Southern African Private Lands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lindsey, P.A.; Havemann, C.P.; Lines, R.M.; Palazy, L.; Price, A.E.; Retief, T.A.; Rhebergen, T.; Waal, van der C.

    2013-01-01

    Changing land use patterns in southern Africa have potential to dramatically alter the prospects for carnivore conservation. Understanding these influences is essential for conservation planning. We interviewed 250 ranchers in Namibia to assess human tolerance towards and the distribution of large c

  11. Exposure to selected Pathogens in to selected pathogens in Geoffroy's cats and domestic carnivores from central Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhart, Marcela M; Rago, M Virginia; Marull, Carolina A; Ferreyra, Hebe del Valle; Pereira, Javier A

    2012-10-01

    Wild carnivores share a high percentage of parasites and viruses with closely related domestic carnivores. Because of increased overlap and potential contact with domestic species, we conducted a retrospective serosurvey for 11 common carnivore pathogens in 40 Geoffroy's cats (Leopardus geoffroyi) sampled between 2000 and 2008 within or near two protected areas in central Argentina (Lihué Calel National Park, La Pampa, and Campos del Tuyú National Park, Buenos Aires), as well as five domestic cats and 11 domestic dogs from catde ranches adjacent to Lihué Calel Park. Geoffroy's cats had detectable antibody to canine distemper virus (CDV), feline calicivirus (FCV), feline coronavirus, feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), Toxoplasma gondii, Leptospira interrogans (serovars Ictero/Icter and Ballum), and Dirofilaria immitis. None of the wild cats had antibodies to feline herpesvirus, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline leukemia virus, or rabies virus. Domestic dogs had antibodies to CDV, canine adenovirus, canine herpesvirus, and canine parvovirus. Antibodies to FPV, FCV, FIV, and T. gondii were found in domestic cats. We provide the first data on exposure of free-ranging Geoffroy's cats to pathogens at two sites within the core area of the species distribution range, including the first report of antibodies to CDV in this species. We encourage continued monitoring for diseases in wild and domestic carnivores as well as preventive health care for domestic animals, particularly in park buffer zones where overlap is greatest.

  12. Host-specific parvovirus evolution in nature is recapitulated by in vitro adaptation to different carnivore species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew B Allison

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Canine parvovirus (CPV emerged as a new pandemic pathogen of dogs in the 1970s and is closely related to feline panleukopenia virus (FPV, a parvovirus of cats and related carnivores. Although both viruses have wide host ranges, analysis of viral sequences recovered from different wild carnivore species, as shown here, demonstrated that>95% were derived from CPV-like viruses, suggesting that CPV is dominant in sylvatic cycles. Many viral sequences showed host-specific mutations in their capsid proteins, which were often close to sites known to control binding to the transferrin receptor (TfR, the host receptor for these carnivore parvoviruses, and which exhibited frequent parallel evolution. To further examine the process of host adaptation, we passaged parvoviruses with alternative backgrounds in cells from different carnivore hosts. Specific mutations were selected in several viruses and these differed depending on both the background of the virus and the host cells in which they were passaged. Strikingly, these in vitro mutations recapitulated many specific changes seen in viruses from natural populations, strongly suggesting they are host adaptive, and which were shown to result in fitness advantages over their parental virus. Comparison of the sequences of the transferrin receptors of the different carnivore species demonstrated that many mutations occurred in and around the apical domain where the virus binds, indicating that viral variants were likely selected through their fit to receptor structures. Some of the viruses accumulated high levels of variation upon passage in alternative hosts, while others could infect multiple different hosts with no or only a few additional mutations. Overall, these studies demonstrate that the evolutionary history of a virus, including how long it has been circulating and in which hosts, as well as its phylogenetic background, has a profound effect on determining viral host range.

  13. Adaptive radiation with regard to nutrient sequestration strategies in the carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlovič, Andrej

    2012-02-01

    Carnivorous pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes have evolved a great diversity of pitcher morphologies. Selective pressures for maximizing nutrient uptake have driven speciation and diversification of the genus in a process known as adaptive radiation. This leads to the evolution of pitchers adapted to specific and often bizarre source of nutrients, which are not strictly animal-derived. One example is Nepenthes ampullaria with unusual growth pattern and pitcher morphology what enables the plant to capture a leaf litter from the canopy above. We showed that the plant benefits from nitrogen uptake by increased rate of photosynthesis and growth what may provide competitive advantage over others co-habiting plants. A possible impact of such specialization toward hybridization, an important mechanism in speciation, is discussed.

  14. Age determination methods in harbour seals (Phoca vitulina with a review of methods applicable to carnivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Lockyer

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The development of age determination methods in marine mammals is reviewed with particular reference to the use of teeth Growth Layer Groups (GLGs formed in the dentine and cement of carnivores. Using this background, practices for sampling, tooth extraction and collection, storage and different methods of preparation of teeth as well as reading and counting GLGs are discussed and evaluated for the harbour seal (Phoca vitulina. The paper includes comments on best practices for counting GLGs with new examples from known-age seals, and also a detailed examination of confounding factors in interpreting GLGs such as mineralization anomalies and the phenomena of accessory lines, “false annuli” and “paired laminae” which have not been discussed previously. The paper concludes with recommendations for undertaking age estimation in harbour seals from sampling through final GLG interpretation with special emphasis on standardization of methods with other researchers.

  15. Selection for adaptation to dietary shifts: towards sustainable breeding of carnivorous fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Le Boucher

    Full Text Available Genetic adaptation to dietary environments is a key process in the evolution of natural populations and is of great interest in animal breeding. In fish farming, the use of fish meal and fish oil has been widely challenged, leading to the rapidly increasing use of plant-based products in feed. However, high substitution rates impair fish health and growth in carnivorous species. We demonstrated that survival rate, mean body weight and biomass can be improved in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss after a single generation of selection for the ability to adapt to a totally plant-based diet (15.1%, 35.3% and 54.4%, respectively. Individual variability in the ability to adapt to major diet changes can be effectively used to promote fish welfare and a more sustainable aquaculture.

  16. Balancing of protein and lipid intake by a mammalian carnivore, the mink, Mustela vison

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mayntz, David; Nielsen, Vivi Hunnicke; Sørensen, Allan

    2009-01-01

    mink and found a pronounced ability to balance and regulate intake of protein and lipid. When faced with one of several different pairings of complementary foods varying in protein to lipid composition, mink apportioned intake between the two foods to defend a near constant ratio and amount (intake...... target) of the two macronutrients. When given only one food of fixed nutrient composition, mink balanced macronutrient intake relative to the intake target, without showing the excessive energy intake on diets with a low percentage of protein and energy deficit on diets with a high percentage of protein......Many herbivores and omnivores can balance their intake of macronutrients when faced with nutritionally variable environments. Carnivores, however, are widely believed to optimize their rates of prey capture and energy intake rather than balancing nutrients. We tested nutrient balancing in captive...

  17. Congestion Control in the Internet by Employing a Ratio dependent Plant Herbivore Carnivorous Model

    CERN Document Server

    Jamali, Shahram

    2009-01-01

    The demand for Internet based services has exploded over the last decade. Many organizations use the Internet and particularly the World Wide Web as their primary medium for communication and business. This phenomenal growth has dramatically increased the performance requirements for the Internet. To have a high performance Internet, a good congestion control system is essential for it. The current work proposes that the congestion control in the Internet can be inspired from the population control tactics of the nature. Toward this idea, each flow (W) in the network is viewed as a species whose population size is congestion window size of the flow. By this assumption, congestion control problem is redefined as population control of flow species. This paper defines a three trophic food chain analogy in congestion control area, and gives a ratio dependent model to control population size of W species within this plant herbivore carnivorous food chain. Simulation results show that this model achieves fair bandw...

  18. Phagocytosis of sperm by follicle cells of the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma occidentalis (Porifera, Demospongiae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riesgo, Ana

    2010-06-01

    During spermatogenesis of the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma occidentalis, follicle cells that lined the spermatocysts phagocytosed unreleased mature sperm. Such follicle cells are part of the complex envelope that limits spermatocysts of A. occidentalis, which is also comprised of a collagen layer, a thick layer of intertwined cells, and spicules. Follicle cells showed vesicles containing single phagocytosed spermatozoa within their cytoplasm. Additionally, lipids and other inclusions were observed within the cytoplasm of follicle cells. It is likely that follicle cells recapture nutrients by phagocytosing spermatozoa and use them to form lipids and other inclusions. Such sperm phagocytosis is usually performed in higher invertebrates and vertebrates by Sertoli cells that are located in the testis wall. While Sertoli cells develop a wide range of functions such as creating a blood-testis barrier, providing crucial factors to ensure correct progression of spermatogenesis, and phagocytosis of aberrant, degenerating, and unreleased sperm cells, sponge follicle cells may only display phagocytotic activity on spermatogenic cells.

  19. Conservation endocrinology: A noninvasive tool to understand relationships between carnivore colonization and ecological carrying capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, J.; Testa, J.W.; Roffe, T.; Monfort, S.L.

    1999-01-01

    Reproductive technology, especially the diagnosis of pregnancy by radioimmunoassay of fecal steroid metabolites, is an important component of captive propagation, but its role in our understanding of ecological interactions and in situ biological restoration has been more limited. Where large herbivores have been 'released' from predation by the extirpation of carnivores, controversy often exists about possible detrimental effects at the ecosystem level A related concern is that the reestablishment of large carnivores may decrease the availability of prey populations for human subsistence. We suggest that pregnancy assays can be a valuable tool to help distinguish between the roles of predation versus food-imposed limitations on population size and their effects on juvenile recruitment in wild species. We explored this issue through analyses of fecal progestagen concentration (FPC) levels to document pregnancy in moose (Alces alces) in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, a site where wolves (Canis lupus) and grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) are recolonizing former habitats after an absence of more than 60 years. Pregnancy was clearly discernible (mean FPC for pregnant and nonpregnant females, respectively: 10.60 vs. 2.57 ??g/g; p rates among the highest in North America. Pregnancy rates, however, dropped from 90% in 1966 to about 75% today, rendering them in the lowest fifteenth percentile among moose populations in North America. Our findings suggest that a relatively low frequency of juvenile moose is not the likely result of predation, and they illustrate how endocrinology can be applied to issues involving reproductive events within an ecological context. They also affirm that noninvasive and generally inexpensive endocrinological procedures will be applicable to understanding interactions between recolonizing predators and prey, an issue that will continue to arise because of global restoration efforts, and to the study of rare ungulates in remote systems

  20. Technical Note: Silica stable isotopes and silicification in a carnivorous sponge \\textit{Asbestopluma} sp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. R. Hendry

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The stable isotope composition of benthic sponge spicule silica is a potential source of palaeoceanographic information about past deep seawater chemistry. The silicon isotopic composition of spicules has been shown to relate to the silicic acid concentration of ambient water, although existing calibrations do exhibit a degree of scatter in the relationship. Less is known about how the oxygen isotope composition of sponge spicule silica relates to environmental conditions during growth. Here, we investigate the biological vital effects on silica silicon and oxygen isotope composition in a carnivorous sponge, Asbestopluma sp., from the Southern Ocean. We find significant variations in silicon and oxygen isotopic composition within the specimen that appear related to unusual spicule silicification. The largest variation in both isotope systems was associated to the differential distribution of an unconventional, hypersilicified spicule type (desma along the sponge body. The absence of an internal canal in the desmas suggests an unconventional silicification pattern leading to an unusually heavy isotopic signature. Additional internal variability derives from a systematic offset between the peripheral skeleton of the body having systematically a higher isotopic composition than the internal skeleton. A simplified silicon isotope fractionation model, in which desmas were excluded, suggests that the lack of a system for seawater pumping in carnivorous sponges favours a low replenishment of dissolved silicon within the internal tissues, causing kinetic fractionation during silicification that impacts the isotopic signature of the internal skeleton. Analysis of multiple spicules should be carried out to "average out" any artefacts in order to produce more robust downcore measurements.

  1. Serologic evidence of canine parvovirus in domestic dogs, wild carnivores, and marsupials in the Argentinean Chaco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orozco, María Marcela; Miccio, Luciano; Enriquez, Gustavo Fabián; Iribarren, Fabián Eduardo; Gürtler, Ricardo Esteban

    2014-09-01

    The transmission of pathogens between domestic dogs and generalist wildlife species may be modified by environmental degradation, biodiversity losses, host densities, and increased contact rates in remnant forest patches. A serologic survey of canine parvovirus (CPV) in rural domestic dogs and wild mammals was conducted in two neighboring rural areas (disturbed and protected) from Pampa del Indio, northeastern Argentina, between 2008 and 2011. A total of 174 domestic dogs and 26 wild mammals-4 crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous), 3 crab-eating raccoons (Procyon cancrivorus), 17 white-eared opossums (Didelphis albiventris), and 2 gray four-eyed opossums (Philander opossum)-were examined for antibodies to CPV using a hemagglutination inhibition assay. Domestic dogs were numerous and their movements unrestricted. The main function of dogs differed significantly between areas, with more dogs used for herding or hunting around the protected area. The seroprevalence of antibodies to CPV in dogs from both areas was very high (93.9-94.6%) and increased steeply with age. Nearly all carnivores and marsupials showed high exposure to CPV. Although a higher exposure to CPV was expected in wild mammals from disturbed areas as a result of enhanced contact between dogs and wildlife, no significant differences were found between areas. To the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to document exposure to CPV of free-ranging Pr. cancrivorus, D. albiventris, and Ph. opossum, and include a detailed demographic study of the domestic dog populations living in the area. This study highlights that dogs and wildlife have potential opportunities for contact and shows that the edges of the protected area may be as suitable as other fragmented areas for the transmission of CPV. Rural domestic dogs may pose serious threats to the health and conservation of wild carnivores in both disturbed and protected areas, especially in the Gran Chaco, where habitat fragmentation is severely

  2. Rabies, canine distemper, and canine parvovirus exposure in large carnivore communities from two Zambian ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berentsen, Are R; Dunbar, Mike R; Becker, Matthew S; M'soka, Jassiel; Droge, Egil; Sakuya, Nicholas M; Matandiko, Wigganson; McRobb, Rachel; Hanlon, Cathleen A

    2013-09-01

    Disease transmission within and among wild and domestic carnivores can have significant impacts on populations, particularly for threatened and endangered species. We used serology to evaluate potential exposure to rabies virus, canine distemper virus (CDV), and canine parvovirus (CPV) for populations of African lions (Panthera leo), African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), and spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park (SLNP) and Liuwa Plain National Park (LPNP) as well as community lands bordering these areas. In addition, domestic dogs in the study region were evaluated for exposure to CDV and rabies. We provide the first comprehensive disease exposure data for these species in these ecosystems. Twenty-one lions, 20 hyenas, 13 wild dogs, and 38 domestic dogs were sampled across both regions from 2009 to 2011. Laboratory results show 10.5% of domestic dogs, 5.0% of hyenas, and 7.7% of wild dogs sampled were positive for CDV exposure. All lions were negative. Exposure to CPV was 10.0% and 4.8% for hyenas and lions, respectively. All wild dogs were negative, and domestic dogs were not tested due to insufficient serum samples. All species sampled were negative for rabies virus neutralizing antibodies except lions. Forty percent of lions tested positive for rabies virus neutralizing antibodies. Because these lions appeared clinically healthy, this finding is consistent with seroconversion following exposure to rabies antigen. To our knowledge, this finding represents the first ever documentation of rabies virus neutralizing antibodies consistent with rabies exposure that did not lead to clinical disease in free-ranging African lions from this region. With ever-increasing human pressure on these ecosystems, understanding disease transmission dynamics is essential for proper management and conservation of these carnivore species.

  3. Pairing call-response surveys and distance sampling for a mammalian carnivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Sara J. K.; Frair, Jacqueline L.; Underwood, Harold B.; Gibbs, James P.

    2015-01-01

    Density estimates accounting for differential animal detectability are difficult to acquire for wide-ranging and elusive species such as mammalian carnivores. Pairing distance sampling with call-response surveys may provide an efficient means of tracking changes in populations of coyotes (Canis latrans), a species of particular interest in the eastern United States. Blind field trials in rural New York State indicated 119-m linear error for triangulated coyote calls, and a 1.8-km distance threshold for call detectability, which was sufficient to estimate a detection function with precision using distance sampling. We conducted statewide road-based surveys with sampling locations spaced ≥6 km apart from June to August 2010. Each detected call (be it a single or group) counted as a single object, representing 1 territorial pair, because of uncertainty in the number of vocalizing animals. From 524 survey points and 75 detections, we estimated the probability of detecting a calling coyote to be 0.17 ± 0.02 SE, yielding a detection-corrected index of 0.75 pairs/10 km2 (95% CI: 0.52–1.1, 18.5% CV) for a minimum of 8,133 pairs across rural New York State. Importantly, we consider this an index rather than true estimate of abundance given the unknown probability of coyote availability for detection during our surveys. Even so, pairing distance sampling with call-response surveys provided a novel, efficient, and noninvasive means of monitoring populations of wide-ranging and elusive, albeit reliably vocal, mammalian carnivores. Our approach offers an effective new means of tracking species like coyotes, one that is readily extendable to other species and geographic extents, provided key assumptions of distance sampling are met.

  4. Carnivores from the Middle Miocene Ngorora Formation (13-12 Ma, Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pickford, M.

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The late Middle Miocene Ngorora Formation has yielded several interesting carnivore fossils. Among these are a huge creodont, Megistotherium osteothlastes, at 12 Ma, possibly the youngest record of the species, an amphicyonid, two species of mustelids (an otter and a honey badger, two kinds of viverrids (one about the size of a civet, one the size of a genet and an extremely small herpestid the size of a dwarf mongoose. It has also yielded remains of a moderate sized percrocutid. Perhaps the most interesting carnivore is a new genus and species of bundont viverrid that is intermediate in size and morphology between Early Miocene Orangictis on the one hand and Plio-Pleistocene Pseudocivetta on the other. This lineage of bundont viverrids appears to have been restricted to Africa.La Formación Mioceno medio final de Ngorora (Kenia ha suministrado carnívoros muy interesantes. Entre los que se encuentran un enorme creodonto, Megistotherium osteothlastes, de 12 Ma, que posiblemente es el registro más moderno de la especie, un amphicyonido, dos especies de mustélidos (una nutria y un melivorino, dos diferentes tipos de vivérridos (uno de la talla de una civeta y el otro de la de una jineta y un herpéstido diminuto de la talla de una mangosta enana. También hay fósiles de un percrocútido de talla moderada. Tal vez el carnívoro más interesante es un nuevo género y especie de vivérrido bunodonto que presenta una talla y morfología intermedia entre Oragictis del Mioceno inferior y Pseudocivetta del Plio-Pleistoceno. Esta línea de vivérridos bunodontos parece estar restringida a Africa.

  5. Red trap colour of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foot, G; Rice, S P; Millett, J

    2014-01-01

    The traps of many carnivorous plants are red in colour. This has been widely hypothesized to serve a prey attraction function; colour has also been hypothesized to function as camouflage, preventing prey avoidance. We tested these two hypotheses in situ for the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia. We conducted three separate studies: (i) prey attraction to artificial traps to isolate the influence of colour; (ii) prey attraction to artificial traps on artificial backgrounds to control the degree of contrast and (iii) observation of prey capture by D. rotundifolia to determine the effects of colour on prey capture. Prey were not attracted to green traps and were deterred from red traps. There was no evidence that camouflaged traps caught more prey. For D. rotundifolia, there was a relationship between trap colour and prey capture. However, trap colour may be confounded with other leaf traits. Thus, we conclude that for D. rotundifolia, red trap colour does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function.

  6. Predatory behaviour of carnivorous dinosaurs: Ecological interpretations based on tooth marked dinosaur bones and wear patterns of theropod teeth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    Predation marks on bones are a source on information on the feeding behaviour of the carnivores involved. Although predator damaged bone is common in the fossil record, published reports of such marks on dinosaur bones are rare. Patterns of bone modification by mammalian carnivores overlap patterns...... left by theropod dinosaurs.Differences in tooth morphology can also be correlated with characteristics of the marks left by the teeth. In a study of tooth marks on dinosaur bones from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada, it was possible to identify the feeding theropods to family, generic...... different taxa and different skeletal elements produced some interesting results. The frequency of tooth marked dinosaur bones is higher than expected. Up to 14 % of the observed hadrosaur bones were predator damaged. The lower incidence of damage in ceratopsian bones can be explained by the fact...

  7. Venus Flytrap HKT1-Type Channel Provides for Prey Sodium Uptake into Carnivorous Plant Without Conflicting with Electrical Excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhm, J; Scherzer, S; Shabala, S; Krol, E; Neher, E; Mueller, T D; Hedrich, R

    2016-03-01

    The animal diet of the carnivorous Venus flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, contains a sodium load that enters the capture organ via an HKT1-type sodium channel, expressed in special epithelia cells on the inner trap lobe surface. DmHKT1 expression and sodium uptake activity is induced upon prey contact. Here, we analyzed the HKT1 properties required for prey sodium osmolyte management of carnivorous Dionaea. Analyses were based on homology modeling, generation of model-derived point mutants, and their functional testing in Xenopus oocytes. We showed that the wild-type HKT1 and its Na(+)- and K(+)-permeable mutants function as ion channels rather than K(+) transporters driven by proton or sodium gradients. These structural and biophysical features of a high-capacity, Na(+)-selective ion channel enable Dionaea glands to manage prey-derived sodium loads without confounding the action potential-based information management of the flytrap.

  8. Molecular, Biochemical, and Dietary Regulation Features of α-Amylase in a Carnivorous Crustacean, the Spiny Lobster Panulirus argus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro Rodríguez-Viera

    Full Text Available Alpha-amylases are ubiquitously distributed throughout microbials, plants and animals. It is widely accepted that omnivorous crustaceans have higher α-amylase activity and number of isoforms than carnivorous, but contradictory results have been obtained in some species, and carnivorous crustaceans have been less studied. In addition, the physiological meaning of α-amylase polymorphism in crustaceans is not well understood. In this work we studied α-amylase in a carnivorous lobster at the gene, transcript, and protein levels. It was showed that α-amylase isoenzyme composition (i.e., phenotype in lobster determines carbohydrate digestion efficiency. Most frequent α-amylase phenotype has the lowest digestion efficiency, suggesting this is a favoured trait. We revealed that gene and intron loss have occurred in lobster α-amylase, thus lobsters express a single 1830 bp cDNA encoding a highly conserved protein with 513 amino acids. This protein gives rise to two isoenzymes in some individuals by glycosylation but not by limited proteolysis. Only the glycosylated isoenzyme could be purified by chromatography, with biochemical features similar to other animal amylases. High carbohydrate content in diet down-regulates α-amylase gene expression in lobster. However, high α-amylase activity occurs in lobster gastric juice irrespective of diet and was proposed to function as an early sensor of the carbohydrate content of diet to regulate further gene expression. We concluded that gene/isoenzyme simplicity, post-translational modifications and low Km, coupled with a tight regulation of gene expression, have arose during evolution of α-amylase in the carnivorous lobster to control excessive carbohydrate digestion in the presence of an active α-amylase.

  9. Molecular, Biochemical, and Dietary Regulation Features of α-Amylase in a Carnivorous Crustacean, the Spiny Lobster Panulirus argus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Viera, Leandro; Perera, Erick; Martos-Sitcha, Juan Antonio; Perdomo-Morales, Rolando; Casuso, Antonio; Montero-Alejo, Vivian; García-Galano, Tsai; Martínez-Rodríguez, Gonzalo; Mancera, Juan Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Alpha-amylases are ubiquitously distributed throughout microbials, plants and animals. It is widely accepted that omnivorous crustaceans have higher α-amylase activity and number of isoforms than carnivorous, but contradictory results have been obtained in some species, and carnivorous crustaceans have been less studied. In addition, the physiological meaning of α-amylase polymorphism in crustaceans is not well understood. In this work we studied α-amylase in a carnivorous lobster at the gene, transcript, and protein levels. It was showed that α-amylase isoenzyme composition (i.e., phenotype) in lobster determines carbohydrate digestion efficiency. Most frequent α-amylase phenotype has the lowest digestion efficiency, suggesting this is a favoured trait. We revealed that gene and intron loss have occurred in lobster α-amylase, thus lobsters express a single 1830 bp cDNA encoding a highly conserved protein with 513 amino acids. This protein gives rise to two isoenzymes in some individuals by glycosylation but not by limited proteolysis. Only the glycosylated isoenzyme could be purified by chromatography, with biochemical features similar to other animal amylases. High carbohydrate content in diet down-regulates α-amylase gene expression in lobster. However, high α-amylase activity occurs in lobster gastric juice irrespective of diet and was proposed to function as an early sensor of the carbohydrate content of diet to regulate further gene expression. We concluded that gene/isoenzyme simplicity, post-translational modifications and low Km, coupled with a tight regulation of gene expression, have arose during evolution of α-amylase in the carnivorous lobster to control excessive carbohydrate digestion in the presence of an active α-amylase.

  10. Divergent Sapovirus Strains and Infection Prevalence in Wild Carnivores in the Serengeti Ecosystem: A Long-Term Study

    OpenAIRE

    Olarte-Castillo, Ximena A.; Hofer, Heribert; Goller, Katja V.; Martella, Vito; Moehlman, Patricia D.; East, Marion L

    2016-01-01

    The genus Sapovirus, in the family Caliciviridae, includes enteric viruses of humans and domestic animals. Information on sapovirus infection of wildlife is limited and is currently lacking for any free-ranging wildlife species in Africa. By screening a large number of predominantly fecal samples (n = 631) obtained from five carnivore species in the Serengeti ecosystem, East Africa, sapovirus RNA was detected in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta, family Hyaenidae), African lion (Panthera leo...

  11. Recent host range expansion of canine distemper virus and variation in its receptor, the signaling lymphocyte activation molecule, in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohishi, Kazue; Suzuki, Rintaro; Maeda, Taro; Tsuda, Miwako; Abe, Erika; Yoshida, Takao; Endo, Yasuyuki; Okamura, Maki; Nagamine, Takashi; Yamamoto, Hanae; Ueda, Miya; Maruyama, Tadashi

    2014-07-01

    The signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) is a receptor for morbilliviruses. To understand the recent host range expansion of canine distemper virus (CDV) in carnivores, we determined the nucleotide sequences of SLAMs of various carnivores and generated three-dimensional homology SLAM models. Thirty-four amino acid residues were found for the candidates binding to CDV on the interface of the carnivore SLAMs. SLAM of the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) were similar to those of other members of the suborder Caniformia, indicating that the animals in this group have similar sensitivity to dog CDV. However, they were different at nine positions from those of felids. Among the nine residues, four of domestic cat (Felis catus) SLAM (72, 76, 82, and 129) and three of lion (Panthera leo persica) SLAM (72, 82, and 129) were associated with charge alterations, suggesting that the felid interfaces have lower affinities to dog CDV. Only the residue at 76 was different between domestic cat and lion SLAM interfaces. The domestic cat SLAM had threonine at 76, whereas the lion SLAM had arginine, a positively charged residue like that of the dog SLAM. The cat SLAM with threonine is likely to have lower affinity to CDV-H and to confer higher resistance against dog CDV. Thus, the four residues (72, 76, 82, and 129) on carnivore SLAMs are important for the determination of affinity and sensitivity with CDV. Additionally, the CDV-H protein of felid strains had a substitution of histidine for tyrosine at 549 of dog CDV-H and may have higher affinity to lion SLAM. Three-dimensional model construction is a new risk assessment method of morbillivirus infectivity. Because the method is applicable to animals that have no information about virus infection, it is especially useful for morbillivirus risk assessment and wildlife conservation.

  12. Persistence of canine distemper virus in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's carnivore community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almberg, E.S.; Cross, P.C.; Smith, D.W.

    2010-01-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) is an acute, highly immunizing pathogen that should require high densities and large populations of hosts for long-term persistence, yet CDV persists among terrestrial carnivores with small, patchily distributed groups. We used CDV in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem's (GYE) wolves (Canis lupus) and coyotes (Canis latrans) as a case study for exploring how metapopulation structure, host demographics, and multi-host transmission affect the critical community size and spatial scale required for CDV persistence. We illustrate how host spatial connectivity and demographic turnover interact to affect both local epidemic dynamics, such as the length and variation in inter-epidemic periods, and pathogen persistence using stochastic, spatially explicit susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered simulation models. Given the apparent absence of other known persistence mechanisms (e.g., a carrier or environmental state, densely populated host, chronic infection, or a vector), we suggest that CDV requires either large spatial scales or multi-host transmission for persistence. Current GYE wolf populations are probably too small to support endemic CDV. Coyotes are a plausible reservoir host, but CDV would still require 50 000-100 000 individuals for moderate persistence (>50% over 10 years), which would equate to an area of 1-3 times the size of the GYE (60000-200000 km2). Coyotes, and carnivores in general, are not uniformly distributed; therefore, this is probably a gross underestimate of the spatial scale of CDV persistence. However, the presence of a second competent host species can greatly increase the probability of long-term CDV persistence at much smaller spatial scales. Although no management of CDV is currently recommended for the GYE, wolf managers in the region should expect periodic but unpredictable CDV-related population declines as often as every 2-5 years. Awareness and monitoring of such outbreaks will allow corresponding

  13. Where Is My Food? Brazilian Flower Fly Steals Prey from Carnivorous Sundews in a Newly Discovered Plant-Animal Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivadavia, Fernando; Gonella, Paulo M.; Pérez-Bañón, Celeste; Mengual, Ximo; Rojo, Santos

    2016-01-01

    A new interaction between insects and carnivorous plants is reported from Brazil. Larvae of the predatory flower fly Toxomerus basalis (Diptera: Syrphidae: Syrphinae) have been found scavenging on the sticky leaves of several carnivorous sundew species (Drosera, Droseraceae) in Minas Gerais and São Paulo states, SE Brazil. This syrphid apparently spends its whole larval stage feeding on prey trapped by Drosera leaves. The nature of this plant-animal relationship is discussed, as well as the Drosera species involved, and locations where T. basalis was observed. 180 years after the discovery of this flower fly species, its biology now has been revealed. This is (1) the first record of kleptoparasitism in the Syrphidae, (2) a new larval feeding mode for this family, and (3) the first report of a dipteran that shows a kleptoparasitic relationship with a carnivorous plant with adhesive flypaper traps. The first descriptions of the third instar larva and puparium of T. basalis based on Scanning Electron Microscope analysis are provided. PMID:27144980

  14. The competitor release effect applied to carnivore species: how red foxes can increase in numbers when persecuted

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lozano, J.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of our study was to numerically simulate the population dynamics of a hypothetical community of three species of small to medium–sized carnivores subjected to non–selective control within the context of the competitor release effect (CRE. We applied the CRE to three carnivore species, linking interspecific competition with predator control efforts. We predicted the population response of European badger, the red fox and the pine marten to this wildlife management tool by means of numerical simulations. The theoretical responses differed depending on the intrinsic rate of growth (r, although modulated by the competition coefficients. The red fox, showing the highest r value, can increase its populations despite predator control efforts if control intensity is moderate. Populations of the other two species, however, decreased with control efforts, even reaching extinction. Three additional theoretical predictions were obtained. The conclusions from the simulations were: 1 predator control can play a role in altering the carnivore communities; 2 red fox numbers can increase due to control; and 3 predator control programs should evaluate the potential of unintended effects on ecosystems.

  15. A hypothetico-deductive approach to assessing the social function of chemical signalling in a non-territorial solitary carnivore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Clapham

    Full Text Available The function of chemical signalling in non-territorial solitary carnivores is still relatively unclear. Studies on territorial solitary and social carnivores have highlighted odour capability and utility, however the social function of chemical signalling in wild carnivore populations operating dominance hierarchy social systems has received little attention. We monitored scent marking and investigatory behaviour of wild brown bears Ursus arctos, to test multiple hypotheses relating to the social function of chemical signalling. Camera traps were stationed facing bear 'marking trees' to document behaviour by different age sex classes in different seasons. We found evidence to support the hypothesis that adult males utilise chemical signalling to communicate dominance to other males throughout the non-denning period. Adult females did not appear to utilise marking trees to advertise oestrous state during the breeding season. The function of marking by subadult bears is somewhat unclear, but may be related to the behaviour of adult males. Subadults investigated trees more often than they scent marked during the breeding season, which could be a result of an increased risk from adult males. Females with young showed an increase in marking and investigation of trees outside of the breeding season. We propose the hypothesis that females engage their dependent young with marking trees from a young age, at a relatively 'safe' time of year. Memory, experience, and learning at a young age, may all contribute towards odour capabilities in adult bears.

  16. Debaryomyces hansenii and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa comprised the yeast core gut microbiota of wild and reared carnivorous salmonids, croaker and yellowtail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raggi, Patricia; Lopez, Paulina; Diaz, Angélica; Carrasco, Diana; Silva, Alfonso; Velez, Antonio; Opazo, Rafael; Magne, Fabien; Navarrete, Paola A

    2014-09-01

    This is the first study using molecular and culture-based methods aimed at investigating the composition of the intestinal yeast microbiota of wild and reared carnivorous salmonids, croaker and yellowtail, to characterize their cores and to evaluate the enzymatic activities of the cultivated yeast. Among 103 samples from salmonids, croaker and yellowtail, yeast were detected in 85.4%, with 43 species identified. The core of reared fish was composed of eight species, in contrast to the wild fish core, which consisted of two species: Debaryomyces hansenii and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa. Despite the smaller diversity of the wild fish core, similar enzymatic profiles were detected for the species from the wild and reared cores. For principal component analysis, samples grouped together independently of host species, domestication status and location. A high proportion of yeast produced aminopeptidases and lipases, which may be explained by the high proportion of protein and lipids in the carnivorous diet. This study reveals the presence of a yeast community in the fish gut that appears to be strongly shaped by a carnivorous diet. Yeast in the gut increases the repertoire of microorganisms interacting with the host intestine, which could influence health and disease.

  17. Stable isotopes reveal rail-associated behavior in a threatened carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, John B; Whittington, Jesse; Clevenger, Anthony P; Sawaya, Michael A; St Clair, Colleen Cassady

    2014-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflict is a leading cause of adult mortality for large carnivores worldwide. Train collision is the primary cause of mortality for threatened grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Banff National Park. We investigated the use of stable isotope analysis as a tool for identifying bears that use the railway in Banff. Rail-associated bears had higher δ(15)N and δ(34)S values than bears sampled away from the rail, but similar δ(13)C values. Because elevated δ(15)N values are indicative of higher animal protein consumption, rail-associated bears likely preyed on ungulates that foraged along the rail or scavenged on train-killed animals. The higher δ(34)S values in bear hair could have resulted from bears consuming sulfur pellets spilled on the rail or through the uptake of sulfur in the plants bears or animals consumed. Similar δ(13)C values suggest that the two types of bears had generally similar plant-based diets. Results from this study suggest that stable isotopes analysis could be used as a non-invasive, affordable, and efficient technique to identify and monitor bears that forage on the railway in Banff and potentially other transportation corridors worldwide.

  18. Proteomic characterization of the major arthropod associates of the carnivorous pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotelli, Nicholas J; Smith, Aidan M; Ellison, Aaron M; Ballif, Bryan A

    2011-06-01

    The array of biomolecules generated by a functioning ecosystem represents both a potential resource for sustainable harvest and a potential indicator of ecosystem health and function. The cupped leaves of the carnivorous pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea, harbor a dynamic food web of aquatic invertebrates in a fully functional miniature ecosystem. The energetic base of this food web consists of insect prey, which is shredded by aquatic invertebrates and decomposed by microbes. Biomolecules and metabolites produced by this food web are actively exchanged with the photosynthesizing plant. In this report, we provide the first proteomic characterization of the sacrophagid fly (Fletcherimyia fletcheri), the pitcher plant mosquito (Wyeomyia smithii), and the pitcher-plant midge (Metriocnemus knabi). These three arthropods act as predators, filter feeders, and shredders at distinct trophic levels within the S. purpurea food web. More than 50 proteins from each species were identified, ten of which were predominantly or uniquely found in one species. Furthermore, 19 peptides unique to one of the three species were identified using an assembled database of 100 metazoan myosin heavy chain orthologs. These molecular signatures may be useful in species monitoring within heterogeneous ecosystem biomass and may also serve as indicators of ecosystem state.

  19. Morphology and histochemistry of the digestive tract in carnivorous freshwater Hemisorubim platyrhynchos (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faccioli, Claudemir Kuhn; Chedid, Renata Alari; do Amaral, Antônio Carlos; Franceschini Vicentini, Irene Bastos; Vicentini, Carlos Alberto

    2014-09-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize the morphology and histochemistry of the digestive tract of Hemisorubim platyrhynchos, a freshwater carnivorous catfish found in Neotropical region, using gross anatomy, light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. This species presented a short and tubular esophagus with thick longitudinal folds. The esophageal mucosa was lined by stratified squamous epithelium containing epithelial cells, club cells and also numerous goblet cells, which secreted acidic and neutral mucins to protect and lubricate the epithelium. The stomach was a J-shaped saccular organ consisting of the cardiac, fundic and pyloric regions. The cardiac and fundic regions contained tubular gastric glands, whereas these glands were absent in the pyloric region. The gastric epithelial cells presented apical secretions that predominantly consisted of neutral mucins. The gastric musculature was, therefore, likely designed for retaining prey and the mechanical preparation of food. The intestine consisted of four regions: anterior, middle, posterior and rectal. The anterior intestine possessed thick folds to increase the surface area for absorption, the middle intestine was coiled and the posterior intestine presented thin folds and a thick musculature. The intestinal epithelium consisted mainly of enterocytes and goblet cells. Enterocytes were columnar cells with a PAS-positive brush border that contained lysosomes in the posterior intestine. Goblet cells were more numerous in the posterior intestine and secreted acidic and neutral mucins important for lubricating and protecting the epithelium. The rectum was lined by columnar epithelium with goblet cells and epithelial cells containing apical acidic and neutral mucins.

  20. Fermentation of animal components in strict carnivores: a comparative study with cheetah fecal inoculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Depauw, S; Bosch, G; Hesta, M; Whitehouse-Tedd, K; Hendriks, W H; Kaandorp, J; Janssens, G P J

    2012-08-01

    The natural diet of felids contains highly digestible animal tissues but also fractions resistant to small intestinal digestion, which enter the large intestine where they may be fermented by the resident microbial population. Little information exists on the microbial degradability of animal tissues in the large intestine of felids consuming a natural diet. This study aimed to rank animal substrates in their microbial degradability by means of an in vitro study using captive cheetahs fed a strict carnivorous diet as fecal donors. Fresh cheetah fecal samples were collected, pooled, and incubated with various raw animal substrates (chicken cartilage, collagen, glucosamine-chondroitin, glucosamine, rabbit bone, rabbit hair, and rabbit skin; 4 replicates per substrate) for cumulative gas production measurement in a batch culture technique. Negative (cellulose) and positive (casein and fructo-oligosaccharides; FOS) controls were incorporated in the study. Additionally, after 72 h of incubation, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), including branched-chain fatty acids (BCFA), and ammonia concentrations were determined for each substrate. Glucosamine and glucosamine-chondroitin yielded the greatest organic matter cumulative gas volume (OMCV) among animal substrates (P cheetah and other felid species.

  1. Parasite species of the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus and a sympatric widespread carnivore

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Figueiredo

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Parasites have a profound impact on wildlife population dynamics. However, until some years ago, studies on the occurrence and prevalence of wildlife parasites were neglected comparatively with the studies on humans and domestic animals. In this study, we determined the parasite prevalence of two sympatric wild canids: the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus and the widespread red fox (Vulpes vulpes, in central Portugal. From November 2014 to July 2015, fresh fecal samples from both species were collected monthly in several transects distributed throughout the study area. All samples were submitted to several coprological techniques. In total, 6 helminth parasites (Crenosoma vulpis, Angiostrongylus vasorum, Toxocara canis, Trichuris vulpis, Ancylostomatidae, Toxascaris leonina, and a protozoa (Balantidium coli were identified based on size and morphology. The red fox was infected by seven different parasites while the Iberian wolf was infected by four. All parasites present in wolf were also present in the red fox. C. vulpis had the higher prevalence in red fox, while Ancylostomatidae were the most prevalent parasites in wolf. To our knowledge, this is the first study in this isolated subpopulation of the Iberian wolf. Our results show that both carnivores carry parasites that are of concern as they are pathogenic to humans and other wild and domestic animals. We suggest that surveillance programs must also include monitoring protocols of wildlife; particularly endangered species.

  2. Emerging ecosystems change the spatial distribution of top carnivores even in poorly populated areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Facundo Barbar

    Full Text Available Humans affect biological diversity and species distribution patterns by modifying resource availability and generating novel environments where generalist species benefit and specialist species are rare. In particular, cities create local homogenization while roads fragment habitat, although both processes can increase food availability for some species that may be able to take advantage of this new source. We studied space use by birds of prey in relation to human construction, hypothesizing that these birds would be affected even in poorly populated areas. We worked in Northwestern Patagonia, Argentina, which is experiencing a high population growth, but still having very large unpopulated areas. We related the presence of raptors with different sources of human disturbance and found that both the abundance and richness of these birds were positively associated with anthropogenic environments. These results are driven mostly by a strong association between the medium-sized generalist species and these novel environments (mainly roads and cities. This may create an imbalance in intra-guild competitive abilities, modifying the normal structures of top carnivore hierarchies. Indeed, the structure of raptor communities seems to be changing, even in poorly populated areas, with anthropogenic constructions seemingly producing changes in wild areas more promptly than thought, a cause for concern in ecosystems conservation issues.

  3. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous nepenthes plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franziska Buch

    Full Text Available Carnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the plants themselves. In order to digest caught prey in their pitchers, Nepenthes plants produce various hydrolytic enzymes including aspartic proteases, nepenthesins (Nep. Knowledge about the generation and induction of these proteases is limited. Here, by employing a FRET (fluorescent resonance energy transfer-based technique that uses a synthetic fluorescent substrate an easy and rapid detection of protease activities in the digestive fluids of various Nepenthes species was feasible. Biochemical studies and the heterologously expressed Nep II from Nepenthes mirabilis proved that the proteolytic activity relied on aspartic proteases, however an acid-mediated auto-activation mechanism was necessary. Employing the FRET-based approach, the induction and dynamics of nepenthesin in the digestive pitcher fluid of various Nepenthes plants could be studied directly with insect (Drosophila melanogaster prey or plant material. Moreover, we observed that proteolytic activity was induced by the phytohormone jasmonic acid but not by salicylic acid suggesting that jasmonate-dependent signaling pathways are involved in plant carnivory.

  4. Elastic models of the fast traps of carnivorous Dionaea and Aldrovanda

    CERN Document Server

    Joyeux, Marc

    2013-01-01

    The carnivorous aquatic Waterwheel Plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa L.) and the closely related terrestrial Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula SOL. EX J. ELLIS) both feature elaborate snap-traps, which shut after reception of an external mechanical stimulus by prey animals. Although Aldrovanda is usually considered as a miniature aquatic Dionaea, the shutting mechanisms of the two plants are actually quite different. The fast shutting of Aldrovanda is indeed based on a simple swelling/shrinking mechanism, while the movement of Dionaea's traps is accelerated by the snap-buckling of the lobes. The purpose of this Report is to describe several key improvements to the elastic models that have recently been introduced to elucidate these movements [Poppinga and Joyeux, Phys. Rev. E 84, 041928 (2011)]. In particular, a precise mechanism for the action of the motor cells of Aldrovanda is proposed, the facts that the opening of the leaves of Dionaea is an irreversible mechanism based on growth and that the strain field is a...

  5. Parasite species of the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) and a sympatric widespread carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueiredo, Ana; Oliveira, Lucia; Madeira de Carvalho, Luís; Fonseca, Carlos; Torres, Rita Tinoco

    2016-08-01

    Parasites have a profound impact on wildlife population dynamics. However, until some years ago, studies on the occurrence and prevalence of wildlife parasites were neglected comparatively with the studies on humans and domestic animals. In this study, we determined the parasite prevalence of two sympatric wild canids: the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) and the widespread red fox (Vulpes vulpes), in central Portugal. From November 2014 to July 2015, fresh fecal samples from both species were collected monthly in several transects distributed throughout the study area. All samples were submitted to several coprological techniques. In total, 6 helminth parasites (Crenosoma vulpis, Angiostrongylus vasorum, Toxocara canis, Trichuris vulpis, Ancylostomatidae, Toxascaris leonina), and a protozoa (Balantidium coli) were identified based on size and morphology. The red fox was infected by seven different parasites while the Iberian wolf was infected by four. All parasites present in wolf were also present in the red fox. C. vulpis had the higher prevalence in red fox, while Ancylostomatidae were the most prevalent parasites in wolf. To our knowledge, this is the first study in this isolated subpopulation of the Iberian wolf. Our results show that both carnivores carry parasites that are of concern as they are pathogenic to humans and other wild and domestic animals. We suggest that surveillance programs must also include monitoring protocols of wildlife; particularly endangered species.

  6. Isolation and phylogenetic analysis of Bartonella species from wild carnivores of the suborder Caniformia in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Shingo; Kabeya, Hidenori; Miura, Tatsuya; Suzuki, Kazuo; Bai, Ying; Kosoy, Michael; Sentsui, Hiroshi; Kariwa, Hiroaki; Maruyama, Soichi

    2012-12-28

    The prevalence of Bartonella species was investigated among wild carnivores of the suborder Caniformia, including 15 Japanese badgers (Meles anakuma), 8 Japanese martens (Martes melampus), 2 Japanese weasels (Mustela itatsi), 1 Siberian weasel (Mustela sibirica), 171 raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides), and 977 raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Japan. Bartonella bacteria were isolated from one Japanese badger (6.7%) and from one Japanese marten (12.5%); however, no Bartonella species was found in other representatives of Caniformia. Phylogenetic analysis was based on concatenated sequences of six housekeeping genes (16S rRNA, ftsZ, gltA, groEL, ribC, and rpoB) and sequence of the 16S-23S internal transcribed spacer region. The sequence analysis indicated that the isolate derived from the Japanese badger (strain JB-15) can represent a novel Bartonella species and the isolate from the Japanese marten (strain JM-1) was closely related to Bartonella washoensis. This is the first report on isolation of Bartonella from badger and marten.

  7. GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES OF CAPTIVE AND FREE-LIVING LEMURS AND DOMESTIC CARNIVORES IN EASTERN MADAGASCAR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Amy B; Poirotte, Clémence; Porton, Ingrid J; Freeman, Karen L M; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa; Olson, Kimberly G; Iambana, Bernard; Deem, Sharon L

    2016-03-01

    Fecal samples from captive and free-living lemurs at Ivoloina Zoological Park (IZP) and domestic carnivores from six villages surrounding IZP were evaluated between July and August 2012. Free-living lemurs from Betampona Natural Reserve (BNR), a relatively pristine rainforest fragment 40 km away, were also evaluated in November 2013. All 33 dogs sampled (100%) and 16 of 22 cats sampled (72.7%) were parasitized, predominantly with nematodes (strongyles, ascarids, and spirurids) as well as cestodes and protozoans. Similar types of parasites were identified in the lemur populations. Identification of spirurid nematodes and protozoans in the lemur fecal samples were of concern due to previously documented morbidity and mortality in lemurs from these parasitic agents. Twelve of 13 free-living (93%) and 31 of 49 captive (63%) lemurs sampled at IZP had a higher parasite prevalence than lemurs at BNR, with 13 of 24 (54%) being parasitized. The lemurs in BNR are likely at risk of increased exposure to these parasites and, therefore, increased morbidity and mortality, as humans and their domestic animals are encroaching on this natural area.

  8. Coprological prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in carnivores and small mammals at Dhaka zoo, Bangladesh

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    M.M.R.U. Raja

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available A study on the coprological prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites using 94 faecal samples from different carnivores (n=32 and small mammals (n=15 was undertaken from January to May 2012 at Dhaka Zoo. The overall prevalence of parasitic infection was 78.72%, with a prevalence of 51.06% for helminths and 27.66% for protozoa. The identified parasites included—Toxascaris leonina (9.57%, Balantidium coli (25.53% Spirometra sp. (10.64%, Toxocara cati (12.76%, Hook worm (4.26%, unidentified strongyles (3.19%, Trichuris sp. (7.45%, Coccidia sp. (2.12%, Capillaria sp. (1.06%, Trichostrongylus sp. (1.06%, and Physaloptera sp. (1.06%. Mixed infection was observed in Indian Lion (Toxascaris leonina and Spirometra sp., Royal Bengal Tiger (Balantidium coli and Toxocara cati, Spotted Hyena (Balantidium coli and hook worm, Leopard (Balantidium coli and Spirometra/I> sp., Rhesus Macaque (Trichuris sp. and Coccidia sp., Pig-tailed Macaque (Balantidium coli and Trichuris sp., Hamadryas Baboon (Balantidium coli and Trichuris sp., Golden Mangabey (Trichuris sp., Balantidium coli and unidentified strongyles, Large Indian Civet (Balantidium coli and unidentified strongyles, Torior Dog (Balantidium coli and Physaloptera, Rabbit (Balantidium coli and Hook worm, Hanuman Langur (Balantidium coli and Capillaria sp.. Due to the high prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites, the present study suggests to apply control measures against these parasites in order to safeguard the health of housed wild animals, especially in case of threatened species.

  9. Emerging ecosystems change the spatial distribution of top carnivores even in poorly populated areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbar, Facundo; Werenkraut, Victoria; Morales, Juan Manuel; Lambertucci, Sergio Agustín

    2015-01-01

    Humans affect biological diversity and species distribution patterns by modifying resource availability and generating novel environments where generalist species benefit and specialist species are rare. In particular, cities create local homogenization while roads fragment habitat, although both processes can increase food availability for some species that may be able to take advantage of this new source. We studied space use by birds of prey in relation to human construction, hypothesizing that these birds would be affected even in poorly populated areas. We worked in Northwestern Patagonia, Argentina, which is experiencing a high population growth, but still having very large unpopulated areas. We related the presence of raptors with different sources of human disturbance and found that both the abundance and richness of these birds were positively associated with anthropogenic environments. These results are driven mostly by a strong association between the medium-sized generalist species and these novel environments (mainly roads and cities). This may create an imbalance in intra-guild competitive abilities, modifying the normal structures of top carnivore hierarchies. Indeed, the structure of raptor communities seems to be changing, even in poorly populated areas, with anthropogenic constructions seemingly producing changes in wild areas more promptly than thought, a cause for concern in ecosystems conservation issues.

  10. Evaluating the responses of a territorial solitary carnivore to potential mates and competitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Maximilian L; Yovovich, Veronica; Wilmers, Christopher C

    2016-06-02

    Successful communication is critical to the fitness of individuals and maintenance of populations, but less is known regarding the social contexts and reactions to scent marking by other individuals in solitary carnivores, including pumas. We evaluated the responses of resident male pumas to visitation and scent marking by potential competitors (other male pumas) and potential mates (female pumas) by capturing and marking 46 pumas (Puma concolor), and documenting scent marking behaviours using motion-triggered video cameras. By comparing resident male puma visitation rates and communication behaviours in response to either male or female visitors, we found that their visitation and communication behaviours were best explained by the combination of visitation by both competitors and potential mates. Resident males returned to scent marking sites more quickly and increased their rate of flehmen response after visitation by a females, while they increased their rate of visitation and duration of visits in response to other males. Male pumas also visited less frequently in summer and autumn when female visitation rates were lower, but males created nearly twice as many scrapes during these visits. This study suggests that advertising for mates when scent marking may sometimes overshadow the importance of deterring competitors and claiming territory.

  11. Trichinella patagoniensis n. sp. (Nematoda), a new encapsulated species infecting carnivorous mammals in South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krivokapich, Silvio J; Pozio, Edoardo; Gatti, Graciana M; Prous, Cinthia L Gonzalez; Ribicich, Mabel; Marucci, Gianluca; La Rosa, Giuseppe; Confalonieri, Viviana

    2012-09-01

    Until a few years ago, Trichinella spiralis was the only taxon of the genus Trichinella detected in both domestic and wild animals of South America. Recently, a new genotype, named Trichinella T12, was identified in cougars (Puma concolor) from Argentina, on the basis of molecular studies using mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal markers. In the present study, cross-breeding experiments indicated that Trichinella T12 is reproductively isolated from all other encapsulated Trichinella spp. and suggested that it is biologically more similar to Trichinella britovi and Trichinella murrelli than to the other encapsulated species/genotypes. Biological assays revealed that the reproductive capacity index of Trichinella T12 was ~4 and >2000 times lower than those of T. spiralis in mice and rats, respectively. The reproductive capacity index of Trichinella T12 in domestic pigs ranged from 0.0 to 0.05. Larvae parasitising the muscles of carnivores were infective to mice after freezing at -5°C for 3 months, but they lost infectivity after freezing at -18°C for 1 week. The region within the rDNA, known as the expansion segment V, showed a unique sequence which differs from those of all other known Trichinella spp./genotypes. The biological, geographical and molecular data support the classification of the genotype Trichinella T12 as a new species widespread in the Neotropical region, for which we propose the name Trichinella patagoniensis n. sp.

  12. Stable isotopes reveal rail-associated behavior in a threatened carnivore

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    Hopkins, John B.; Whittington, Jesse; Clevenger, Anthony P.; Sawaya, Michael A.; St. Clair, Colleen Cassady

    2014-01-01

    Human–wildlife conflict is a leading cause of adult mortality for large carnivores worldwide. Train collision is the primary cause of mortality for threatened grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Banff National Park. We investigated the use of stable isotope analysis as a tool for identifying bears that use the railway in Banff. Rail-associated bears had higher δ15N and δ34S values than bears sampled away from the rail, but similar δ13C values. Because elevated δ15N values are indicative of higher animal protein consumption, rail-associated bears likely preyed on ungulates that foraged along the rail or scavenged on train-killed animals. The higher δ34S values in bear hair could have resulted from bears consuming sulfur pellets spilled on the rail or through the uptake of sulfur in the plants bears or animals consumed. Similar δ13C values suggest that the two types of bears had generally similar plant-based diets. Results from this study suggest that stable isotopes analysis could be used as a non-invasive, affordable, and efficient technique to identify and monitor bears that forage on the railway in Banff and potentially other transportation corridors worldwide. PMID:24936982

  13. Carnivorous dinocephalian from the Middle Permian of Brazil and tetrapod dispersal in Pangaea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisneros, Juan Carlos; Abdala, Fernando; Atayman-Güven, Saniye; Rubidge, Bruce S.; Celâl Şengör, A. M.; Schultz, Cesar L.

    2012-01-01

    The medial Permian (∼270-260 Ma: Guadalupian) was a time of important tetrapod faunal changes, in particular reflecting a turnover from pelycosaurian- to therapsid-grade synapsids. Until now, most knowledge on tetrapod distribution during the medial Permian has come from fossils found in the South African Karoo and the Russian Platform, whereas other areas of Pangaea are still poorly known. We present evidence for the presence of a terrestrial carnivorous vertebrate from the Middle Permian of South America based on a complete skull. Pampaphoneus biccai gen. et sp. nov. was a dinocephalian "mammal-like reptile" member of the Anteosauridae, an early therapsid predator clade known only from the Middle Permian of Russia, Kazakhstan, China, and South Africa. The genus is characterized, among other features, by postorbital bosses, short, bulbous postcanines, and strongly recurved canines. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the Brazilian dinocephalian occupies a middle position within the Anteosauridae, reinforcing the model of a global distribution for therapsids as early as the Guadalupian. The close phylogenetic relationship of the Brazilian species to dinocephalians from South Africa and the Russian Platform suggests a closer faunistic relationship between South America and eastern Europe than previously thought, lending support to a Pangaea B-type continental reconstruction.

  14. A carnivorous plant fed by its ant symbiont: a unique multi-faceted nutritional mutualism.

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    Vincent Bazile

    Full Text Available Scarcity of essential nutrients has led plants to evolve alternative nutritional strategies, such as myrmecotrophy (ant-waste-derived nutrition and carnivory (invertebrate predation. The carnivorous plant Nepenthes bicalcarata grows in the Bornean peatswamp forests and is believed to have a mutualistic relationship with its symbiotic ant Camponotus schmitzi. However, the benefits provided by the ant have not been quantified. We tested the hypothesis of a nutritional mutualism, using foliar isotopic and reflectance analyses and by comparing fitness-related traits between ant-inhabited and uninhabited plants. Plants inhabited by C. schmitzi produced more leaves of greater area and nitrogen content than unoccupied plants. The ants were estimated to provide a 200% increase in foliar nitrogen to adult plants. Inhabited plants also produced more and larger pitchers containing higher prey biomass. C. schmitzi-occupied pitchers differed qualitatively in containing C. schmitzi wastes and captured large ants and flying insects. Pitcher abortion rates were lower in inhabited plants partly because of herbivore deterrence as herbivory-aborted buds decreased with ant occupation rate. Lower abortion was also attributed to ant nutritional service. The ants had higher δ(15N values than any tested prey, and foliar δ(15N increased with ant occupation rate, confirming their predatory behaviour and demonstrating their direct contribution to the plant-recycled N. We estimated that N. bicalcarata derives on average 42% of its foliar N from C. schmitzi wastes, (76% in highly-occupied plants. According to the Structure Independent Pigment Index, plants without C. schmitzi were nutrient stressed compared to both occupied plants, and pitcher-lacking plants. This attests to the physiological cost of pitcher production and poor nutrient assimilation in the absence of the symbiont. Hence C. schmitzi contributes crucially to the nutrition of N. bicalcarata, via protection

  15. A carnivorous plant fed by its ant symbiont: a unique multi-faceted nutritional mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazile, Vincent; Moran, Jonathan A; Le Moguédec, Gilles; Marshall, David J; Gaume, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Scarcity of essential nutrients has led plants to evolve alternative nutritional strategies, such as myrmecotrophy (ant-waste-derived nutrition) and carnivory (invertebrate predation). The carnivorous plant Nepenthes bicalcarata grows in the Bornean peatswamp forests and is believed to have a mutualistic relationship with its symbiotic ant Camponotus schmitzi. However, the benefits provided by the ant have not been quantified. We tested the hypothesis of a nutritional mutualism, using foliar isotopic and reflectance analyses and by comparing fitness-related traits between ant-inhabited and uninhabited plants. Plants inhabited by C. schmitzi produced more leaves of greater area and nitrogen content than unoccupied plants. The ants were estimated to provide a 200% increase in foliar nitrogen to adult plants. Inhabited plants also produced more and larger pitchers containing higher prey biomass. C. schmitzi-occupied pitchers differed qualitatively in containing C. schmitzi wastes and captured large ants and flying insects. Pitcher abortion rates were lower in inhabited plants partly because of herbivore deterrence as herbivory-aborted buds decreased with ant occupation rate. Lower abortion was also attributed to ant nutritional service. The ants had higher δ(15)N values than any tested prey, and foliar δ(15)N increased with ant occupation rate, confirming their predatory behaviour and demonstrating their direct contribution to the plant-recycled N. We estimated that N. bicalcarata derives on average 42% of its foliar N from C. schmitzi wastes, (76% in highly-occupied plants). According to the Structure Independent Pigment Index, plants without C. schmitzi were nutrient stressed compared to both occupied plants, and pitcher-lacking plants. This attests to the physiological cost of pitcher production and poor nutrient assimilation in the absence of the symbiont. Hence C. schmitzi contributes crucially to the nutrition of N. bicalcarata, via protection of assimilatory

  16. Assessing Genetic Structure in Common but Ecologically Distinct Carnivores: The Stone Marten and Red Fox.

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    Mafalda P Basto

    Full Text Available The identification of populations and spatial genetic patterns is important for ecological and conservation research, and spatially explicit individual-based methods have been recognised as powerful tools in this context. Mammalian carnivores are intrinsically vulnerable to habitat fragmentation but not much is known about the genetic consequences of fragmentation in common species. Stone martens (Martes foina and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes share a widespread Palearctic distribution and are considered habitat generalists, but in the Iberian Peninsula stone martens tend to occur in higher quality habitats. We compared their genetic structure in Portugal to see if they are consistent with their differences in ecological plasticity, and also to illustrate an approach to explicitly delineate the spatial boundaries of consistently identified genetic units. We analysed microsatellite data using spatial Bayesian clustering methods (implemented in the software BAPS, GENELAND and TESS, a progressive partitioning approach and a multivariate technique (Spatial Principal Components Analysis-sPCA. Three consensus Bayesian clusters were identified for the stone marten. No consensus was achieved for the red fox, but one cluster was the most probable clustering solution. Progressive partitioning and sPCA suggested additional clusters in the stone marten but they were not consistent among methods and were geographically incoherent. The contrasting results between the two species are consistent with the literature reporting stricter ecological requirements of the stone marten in the Iberian Peninsula. The observed genetic structure in the stone marten may have been influenced by landscape features, particularly rivers, and fragmentation. We suggest that an approach based on a consensus clustering solution of multiple different algorithms may provide an objective and effective means to delineate potential boundaries of inferred subpopulations. sPCA and progressive

  17. Impact of climate change in the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases in domestic carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beugnet, F; Chalvet-Monfray, K

    2013-12-01

    Vector-borne diseases are medically important in humans and animals but were long considered tropical and known to first affect production animals. This is no longer true and we can see today that they are common in domestic animals and that they are also present in temperate countries, especially in Europe. In recent years, an increase in the diagnosis of vector borne diseases among humans and animals has been observed, which may partly due to the development of diagnostic tools. Their study requires exchanges and collaborations between the many actors involved, especially since the epidemiology seems to be constantly evolving. The veterinary practitioner is the first one to notice the emergence of cases and to implement prevention measures. He also acts as a sentinel to alert epidemiologists. Many factors can explain the epidemiological changes, i.e. all human factors, such as the increase in commercial transportation, but also owners traveling with their pet during the holidays, the development of "outdoor" activities, the increase of individual housings with gardens; to these human factors must be added the ignorance of the risks, linked to animals in general and to wildlife in particular; then the environmental changes: forest fragmentation, establishment of parks; the increase of wild mammal populations (deer, carnivores, rodents, etc.); finally, climate changes. Climate change is a reality which may explain the increase of density of arthropod vectors, but also of their hosts, changes in periods of activity and variations in geographical distribution. The authors show the proof of the climate modifications and then explain how it has an impact in Europe on ticks, mosquitoes, sandflies and even fleas. They conclude on the practical consequences for veterinary practitioners, especially with the diagnosis of parasitic diseases or diseases in areas where they usually do not occur. However, not any epidemiological modification should be linked to climate change

  18. Can rare positive interactions become common when large carnivores consume livestock?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundararaj, Vijayan; McLaren, Brian E; Morris, Douglas W; Goyal, S P

    2012-02-01

    Livestock populations in protected areas are viewed negatively because of their interaction with native ungulates through direct competition for food resources. However, livestock and native prey can also interact indirectly through their shared predator. Indirect interactions between two prey species occur when one prey modifies either the functional or numerical responses of a shared predator. This interaction is often manifested as negative effects (apparent competition) on one or both prey species through increased predation risk. But indirect interactions can also yield positive effects on a focal prey if the shared predator modifies its functional response toward increased consumption of an abundant and higher-quality alternative prey. Such a phenomenon between two prey species is underappreciated and overlooked in nature. Positive indirect effects can be expected to occur in livestock-dominated wildlife reserves containing large carnivores. We searched for such positive effects in Acacia-Zizhypus forests of India's Gir sanctuary where livestock (Bubalus bubalis and Bos indicus) and a coexisting native prey (chital deer, Axis axis) are consumed by Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica). Chital vigilance was higher in areas with low livestock density than in areas with high livestock density. This positive indirect effect occurred because lion predation rates on livestock were twice as great where livestock were abundant than where livestock density was low. Positive indirect interactions mediated by shared predators may be more common than generally thought with rather major consequences for ecological understanding and conservation. We encourage further studies to understand outcomes of indirect interactions on long-term predator-prey dynamics in livestock-dominated protected areas.

  19. Serosurvey of infectious disease agents of carnivores in captive red pandas (Ailurus fulgens) in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Qin; Wei, Fuwen; Li, Ming; Dubovi, Edward J; Loeffler, I Kati

    2007-03-01

    The future of the endangered red panda (Ailurusfulgens) depends in part on the development of protective measures against infectious diseases. The present study is a first step toward improved understanding of infectious diseases in the species' home regions. Serum samples obtained from 73 red pandas in 10 captive facilities in southwest, east, and northeast China from October to December 2004 were tested for antibodies against nine common infectious pathogens of carnivores. Antibody titers against canine distemper virus (CDV), canine parvovirus (CPV), and canine adenovirus (CAV) in the three facilities in which red pandas were vaccinated were highly variable. The CAV titer in one vaccinated red panda was high enough to suggest infection with the field virus following vaccination. Together with anecdotal reports of vaccine-associated morbidity and mortality, our results suggest that the Chinese vaccine is not suitable for this species. In the seven unvaccinated groups, CDV titers were low and occurred in 20-100% of the animals; antibody titers against CPV were found in seven of eight areas. Only one of 61 and two of 61 unvaccinated red pandas had CAV and canine coronavirus titers, respectively, and these titers were all low. Positive titers to Toxoplasma gondii were found in four locations (33-94% seropositive); the titers in 52% of seropositive individuals were of a magnitude consistent with active disease in other species (1:1,024 to > or = 1:4,096). One red panda in each of three locations was seropositive for Neospora caninum. Antibodies against canine herpesvirus and Brucella canis were not detected in any of the samples. Only one of the 73 red pandas had a weak positive influenza A titer. The results of this study emphasize the need for research on and protection against infectious diseases of red pandas and other endangered species in China.

  20. Wild carnivore acceptance of baits for delivery of liquid rabies vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachmann, P; Bramwell, R N; Fraser, S J; Gilmore, D A; Johnston, D H; Lawson, K F; MacInnes, C D; Matejka, F O; Miles, H E; Pedde, M A

    1990-10-01

    A series of experiments are described on the acceptance, by red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and other species, of two types of vaccine-baits intended to deliver liquid rabies vaccine. The baits consisted of a cube of sponge coated in a mixture of tallow and wax, or a plastic blister-pack embedded in tallow. All baits contained tetracycline as a biological marking agent: examination of thin sections of carnivore canines under an ultraviolet microscope revealed a fluorescent line of tetracycline if an individual had eaten baits. Baits were dropped from fixed-wing aircraft flying about 100 m above ground at approximately 130 km/h. Flight lines followed the edges of woodlots midway between parallel roads. Baits were dropped at one/sec, resulting in one bait/36 m on the ground, or 17 to 25 baits per km2. Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) removed many baits, but did not appear to lower the percent of the fox population which took bait. Dropping baits only into corn and woodland to conceal baits, to reduce depredation by crows, reduced acceptance by foxes. Acceptance by foxes ranged between 37 and 68%. Meat added as an attractant did not raise acceptance. Presence, absence, color and perforations of plastic bags did not alter bait acceptance. Dispersal by juvenile foxes probably lowered the estimates of bait acceptance. It took 7 to 17 days for 80% (n = 330) of foxes to eat their first bait. The rapidity with which foxes picked up their first bait appeared more affected by unknown characteristics of years or study areas than by experimental variables. Skunks (Mephitis mephitis) and raccoons (Procyon lotor) also ate these baits, but acceptance was lower. Small mammals contacted baits, but rarely contacted the vaccine, which had the potential for vaccine-induced rabies in some species. Aerial distribution of baits was more cost-effective than ground distribution as practiced in Europe. This system has potential for field control of rabies, although higher acceptance will be desirable.

  1. Susceptibility of carnivore hosts to strains of canine distemper virus from distinct genetic lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolin, Veljko M; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Michler, Frank-Uwe F; Wolf, Peter; East, Marion L

    2012-04-23

    Using the complete haemagglutinin (HA) gene and partial phosphoprotein (P) gene we investigated the genotype of canine distemper virus (CDV) strains recovered from two wildlife species in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated significant differences between the strains from raccoons Procyon lotor (family Procyonidae) obtained in 2007 and strains from red foxes Vulpes vulpes (family Canidae) obtained in 2008. The raccoon strains belonged to the CDV European wildlife lineage whereas the red fox strains belonged to the CDV Europe lineage. We combined our genetic sequence data with published data from 138 CDV stains worldwide to investigate the proposed importance of amino acid substitutions in the SLAM binding region of the CDV HA protein at position 530 (G/E to R/D/N) and 549 (Y to H) to the spread of domestic dog-adapted CDV strains to other carnivores. We found no evidence that amino acid 530 was strongly affected by host species. Rather, site 530 was conserved within CDV lineages, regardless of host species. Contrary to expectation, strains from non-dog hosts did not exhibit a bias towards the predicted substitution Y549H. Wild canid hosts were more frequently infected by strains with 549Y, a pattern similar to domestic dogs. Non-canid strains showed no significant bias towards either H or Y at site 549, although there was a trend towards 549H. Significant differences between the prevalence of 549Y and 549H in wild canid strains and non-canid strains suggests a degree of virus adaptation to these categories of host.

  2. Comparative neuronal morphology of the cerebellar cortex in afrotherians, carnivores, cetartiodactyls, and primates

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    Bob eJacobs

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Although the basic morphological characteristics of neurons in the cerebellar cortex have been documented in several species, virtually nothing is known about the quantitative morphological characteristics of these neurons across different taxa. To that end, the present study investigated cerebellar neuronal morphology among eight different, large-brained mammalian species comprising a broad phylogenetic range: afrotherians (African elephant, Florida manatee, carnivores (Siberian tiger, clouded leopard, cetartiodactyls (humpback whale, giraffe and primates (human, common chimpanzee. Specifically, several neuron types (e.g., stellate, basket, Lugaro, Golgi, and granule neurons; N = 317 of the cerebellar cortex were stained with a modified rapid Golgi technique and quantified on a computer-assisted microscopy system. There was a 64-fold variation in brain mass across species in our sample (from clouded leopard to the elephant and a 103-fold variation in cerebellar volume. Most dendritic measures tended to increase with cerebellar volume. The cerebellar cortex in these species exhibited the trilaminate pattern common to all mammals. Morphologically, neuron types in the cerebellar cortex were generally consistent with those described in primates (Fox et al., 1967 and rodents (Palay and Chan-Palay, 1974, although there was substantial quantitative variation across species. In particular, Lugaro neurons in the elephant appeared to be disproportionately larger than those in other species. To explore potential quantitative differences in dendritic measures across species, MARSplines analyses were used to evaluate whether species could be differentiated from each other based on dendritic characteristics alone. Results of these analyses indicated that there were significant differences among all species in dendritic measures.

  3. Mark-recapture and mark-resight methods for estimating abundance with remote cameras: a carnivore case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alanso, Robert S.; McClintock, Brett T.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Boydston, Erin E.; Crooks, Kevin R.

    2015-01-01

    Abundance estimation of carnivore populations is difficult and has prompted the use of non-invasive detection methods, such as remotely-triggered cameras, to collect data. To analyze photo data, studies focusing on carnivores with unique pelage patterns have utilized a mark-recapture framework and studies of carnivores without unique pelage patterns have used a mark-resight framework. We compared mark-resight and mark-recapture estimation methods to estimate bobcat (Lynx rufus) population sizes, which motivated the development of a new "hybrid" mark-resight model as an alternative to traditional methods. We deployed a sampling grid of 30 cameras throughout the urban southern California study area. Additionally, we physically captured and marked a subset of the bobcat population with GPS telemetry collars. Since we could identify individual bobcats with photos of unique pelage patterns and a subset of the population was physically marked, we were able to use traditional mark-recapture and mark-resight methods, as well as the new “hybrid” mark-resight model we developed to estimate bobcat abundance. We recorded 109 bobcat photos during 4,669 camera nights and physically marked 27 bobcats with GPS telemetry collars. Abundance estimates produced by the traditional mark-recapture, traditional mark-resight, and “hybrid” mark-resight methods were similar, however precision differed depending on the models used. Traditional mark-recapture and mark-resight estimates were relatively imprecise with percent confidence interval lengths exceeding 100% of point estimates. Hybrid mark-resight models produced better precision with percent confidence intervals not exceeding 57%. The increased precision of the hybrid mark-resight method stems from utilizing the complete encounter histories of physically marked individuals (including those never detected by a camera trap) and the encounter histories of naturally marked individuals detected at camera traps. This new estimator

  4. Direct comparisons of 2D and 3D dental microwear proxies in extant herbivorous and carnivorous mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeSantis, Larisa R G; Scott, Jessica R; Schubert, Blaine W; Donohue, Shelly L; McCray, Brian M; Van Stolk, Courtney A; Winburn, Amanda A; Greshko, Michael A; O'Hara, Mackie C

    2013-01-01

    The analysis of dental microwear is commonly used by paleontologists and anthropologists to clarify the diets of extinct species, including herbivorous and carnivorous mammals. Currently, there are numerous methods employed to quantify dental microwear, varying in the types of microscopes used, magnifications, and the characterization of wear in both two dimensions and three dimensions. Results from dental microwear studies utilizing different methods are not directly comparable and human quantification of wear features (e.g., pits and scratches) introduces interobserver error, with higher error being produced by less experienced individuals. Dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA), which analyzes microwear features in three dimensions, alleviates some of the problems surrounding two-dimensional microwear methods by reducing observer bias. Here, we assess the accuracy and comparability within and between 2D and 3D dental microwear analyses in herbivorous and carnivorous mammals at the same magnification. Specifically, we compare observer-generated 2D microwear data from photosimulations of the identical scanned areas of DMTA in extant African bovids and carnivorans using a scanning white light confocal microscope at 100x magnification. Using this magnification, dental microwear features quantified in 2D were able to separate grazing and frugivorous bovids using scratch frequency; however, DMTA variables were better able to discriminate between disparate dietary niches in both carnivorous and herbivorous mammals. Further, results demonstrate significant interobserver differences in 2D microwear data, with the microwear index remaining the least variable between experienced observers, consistent with prior research. Overall, our results highlight the importance of reducing observer error and analyzing dental microwear in three dimensions in order to consistently interpret diets accurately.

  5. Direct comparisons of 2D and 3D dental microwear proxies in extant herbivorous and carnivorous mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larisa R G DeSantis

    Full Text Available The analysis of dental microwear is commonly used by paleontologists and anthropologists to clarify the diets of extinct species, including herbivorous and carnivorous mammals. Currently, there are numerous methods employed to quantify dental microwear, varying in the types of microscopes used, magnifications, and the characterization of wear in both two dimensions and three dimensions. Results from dental microwear studies utilizing different methods are not directly comparable and human quantification of wear features (e.g., pits and scratches introduces interobserver error, with higher error being produced by less experienced individuals. Dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA, which analyzes microwear features in three dimensions, alleviates some of the problems surrounding two-dimensional microwear methods by reducing observer bias. Here, we assess the accuracy and comparability within and between 2D and 3D dental microwear analyses in herbivorous and carnivorous mammals at the same magnification. Specifically, we compare observer-generated 2D microwear data from photosimulations of the identical scanned areas of DMTA in extant African bovids and carnivorans using a scanning white light confocal microscope at 100x magnification. Using this magnification, dental microwear features quantified in 2D were able to separate grazing and frugivorous bovids using scratch frequency; however, DMTA variables were better able to discriminate between disparate dietary niches in both carnivorous and herbivorous mammals. Further, results demonstrate significant interobserver differences in 2D microwear data, with the microwear index remaining the least variable between experienced observers, consistent with prior research. Overall, our results highlight the importance of reducing observer error and analyzing dental microwear in three dimensions in order to consistently interpret diets accurately.

  6. Divergent Sapovirus Strains and Infection Prevalence in Wild Carnivores in the Serengeti Ecosystem: A Long-Term Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olarte-Castillo, Ximena A; Hofer, Heribert; Goller, Katja V; Martella, Vito; Moehlman, Patricia D; East, Marion L

    The genus Sapovirus, in the family Caliciviridae, includes enteric viruses of humans and domestic animals. Information on sapovirus infection of wildlife is limited and is currently lacking for any free-ranging wildlife species in Africa. By screening a large number of predominantly fecal samples (n = 631) obtained from five carnivore species in the Serengeti ecosystem, East Africa, sapovirus RNA was detected in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta, family Hyaenidae), African lion (Panthera leo, family Felidae), and bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis, family Canidae), but not in golden or silver-backed jackals (Canis aureus and C. mesomelas, respectively, family Canidae). A phylogenetic analysis based on partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene sequences placed the sapovirus strains from African carnivores in a monophyletic group. Within this monophyletic group, sapovirus strains from spotted hyenas formed one independent sub-group, and those from bat-eared fox and African lion a second sub-group. The percentage nucleotide similarity between sapoviruses from African carnivores and those from other species was low (< 70.4%). Long-term monitoring of sapovirus in a population of individually known spotted hyenas from 2001 to 2012 revealed: i) a relatively high overall infection prevalence (34.8%); ii) the circulation of several genetically diverse variants; iii) large fluctuations in infection prevalence across years, indicative of outbreaks; iv) no significant difference in the likelihood of infection between animals in different age categories. The likelihood of sapovirus infection decreased with increasing hyena group size, suggesting an encounter reduction effect, but was independent of socially mediated ano-genital contact, or the extent of the area over which an individual roamed.

  7. Landscape-scale accessibility of livestock to tigers: implications of spatial grain for modeling predation risk to mitigate human-carnivore conflict.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jennifer R B; Jhala, Yadvendradev V; Jena, Jyotirmay; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2015-03-01

    Innovative conservation tools are greatly needed to reduce livelihood losses and wildlife declines resulting from human-carnivore conflict. Spatial risk modeling is an emerging method for assessing the spatial patterns of predator-prey interactions, with applications for mitigating carnivore attacks on livestock. Large carnivores that ambush prey attack and kill over small areas, requiring models at fine spatial grains to predict livestock depredation hot spots. To detect the best resolution for predicting where carnivores access livestock, we examined the spatial attributes associated with livestock killed by tigers in Kanha Tiger Reserve, India, using risk models generated at 20, 100, and 200-m spatial grains. We analyzed land-use, human presence, and vegetation structure variables at 138 kill sites and 439 random sites to identify key landscape attributes where livestock were vulnerable to tigers. Land-use and human presence variables contributed strongly to predation risk models, with most variables showing high relative importance (≥0.85) at all spatial grains. The risk of a tiger killing livestock increased near dense forests and near the boundary of the park core zone where human presence is restricted. Risk was nonlinearly related to human infrastructure and open vegetation, with the greatest risk occurring 1.2 km from roads, 1.1 km from villages, and 8.0 km from scrubland. Kill sites were characterized by denser, patchier, and more complex vegetation with lower visibility than random sites. Risk maps revealed high-risk hot spots inside of the core zone boundary and in several patches in the human-dominated buffer zone. Validation against known kills revealed predictive accuracy for only the 20 m model, the resolution best representing the kill stage of hunting for large carnivores that ambush prey, like the tiger. Results demonstrate that risk models developed at fine spatial grains can offer accurate guidance on landscape attributes livestock should

  8. Mitochondrial genome sequences illuminate maternal lineages of conservation concern in a rare carnivore

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilgrim Kristine

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Science-based wildlife management relies on genetic information to infer population connectivity and identify conservation units. The most commonly used genetic marker for characterizing animal biodiversity and identifying maternal lineages is the mitochondrial genome. Mitochondrial genotyping figures prominently in conservation and management plans, with much of the attention focused on the non-coding displacement ("D" loop. We used massively parallel multiplexed sequencing to sequence complete mitochondrial genomes from 40 fishers, a threatened carnivore that possesses low mitogenomic diversity. This allowed us to test a key assumption of conservation genetics, specifically, that the D-loop accurately reflects genealogical relationships and variation of the larger mitochondrial genome. Results Overall mitogenomic divergence in fishers is exceedingly low, with 66 segregating sites and an average pairwise distance between genomes of 0.00088 across their aligned length (16,290 bp. Estimates of variation and genealogical relationships from the displacement (D loop region (299 bp are contradicted by the complete mitochondrial genome, as well as the protein coding fraction of the mitochondrial genome. The sources of this contradiction trace primarily to the near-absence of mutations marking the D-loop region of one of the most divergent lineages, and secondarily to independent (recurrent mutations at two nucleotide position in the D-loop amplicon. Conclusions Our study has two important implications. First, inferred genealogical reconstructions based on the fisher D-loop region contradict inferences based on the entire mitogenome to the point that the populations of greatest conservation concern cannot be accurately resolved. Whole-genome analysis identifies Californian haplotypes from the northern-most populations as highly distinctive, with a significant excess of amino acid changes that may be indicative of molecular

  9. Tracking cats: problems with placing feline carnivores on δO, δD isoscapes.

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    Stephanie J Pietsch

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Several felids are endangered and threatened by the illegal wildlife trade. Establishing geographic origin of tissues of endangered species is thus crucial for wildlife crime investigations and effective conservation strategies. As shown in other species, stable isotope analysis of hydrogen and oxygen in hair (δD(h, δ(18O(h can be used as a tool for provenance determination. However, reliably predicting the spatial distribution of δD(h and δ(18O(h requires confirmation from animal tissues of known origin and a detailed understanding of the isotopic routing of dietary nutrients into felid hair. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: We used coupled δD(h and δ(18O(h measurements from the North American bobcat (Lynx rufus and puma (Puma concolor with precipitation-based assignment isoscapes to test the feasibility of isotopic geo-location of felidae. Hairs of felid and rabbit museum specimens from 75 sites across the United States and Canada were analyzed. Bobcat and puma lacked a significant correlation between H/O isotopes in hair and local waters, and also exhibited an isotopic decoupling of δ(18O(h and δD(h. Conversely, strong δD and δ(18O coupling was found for key prey, eastern cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus; hair and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; collagen, bone phosphate. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Puma and bobcat hairs do not adhere to expected pattern of H and O isotopic variation predicted by precipitation isoscapes for North America. Thus, using bulk hair, felids cannot be placed on δ(18O and δD isoscapes for use in forensic investigations. The effective application of isotopes to trace the provenance of feline carnivores is likely compromised by major controls of their diet, physiology and metabolism on hair δ(18O and δD related to body water budgets. Controlled feeding experiments, combined with single amino acid isotope analysis of diets and hair, are needed to reveal mechanisms and physiological traits

  10. Molecular cloning and ontogenic mRNA expression of fatty acid desaturase in the carnivorous striped snakehead fish (Channa striata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaya-Ram, Annette; Ishak, Sairatul Dahlianis; Enyu, Yee-Ling; Kuah, Meng-Kiat; Wong, Kah-Loon; Shu-Chien, Alexander Chong

    2011-04-01

    There is very little information on the capacity of freshwater carnivorous fish to biosynthesize highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA). The striped snakehead fish (Channa striata) is a carnivorous species cultured inland of several Southeast Asian countries due to its pharmaceutical properties in wound healing enhancement. We described here the full-length cDNA cloning of a striped snakehead fatty acid desaturase (fads), which is responsible for desaturation of unsaturated fatty acids in the HUFA biosynthesis. Bioinformatics analysis reveals a protein coding region with length of 445 amino acids containing all characteristic features of desaturase enzyme, including a cytochrome b5-domain with the heme-binding motif, two transmembrane domains and three histidine-rich regions. The striped snakehead fads amino acid sequence shares high similarity with known fads of other teleosts. The mRNA expression of striped snakehead fads also showed an ontogenic-related increase in expression in 0-20 days after hatch larva. Using ISH, we localized the presence of fads in larva brain, liver and intestinal tissues.

  11. Peculiarities of One-Carbon Metabolism in the Strict Carnivorous Cat and the Role in Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

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    Marica Bakovic

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Research in various species has indicated that diets deficient in labile methyl groups (methionine, choline, betaine, folate produce fatty liver and links to steatosis and metabolic syndrome, but also provides evidence of the importance of labile methyl group balance to maintain normal liver function. Cats, being obligate carnivores, rely on nutrients in animal tissues and have, due to evolutionary pressure, developed several physiological and metabolic adaptations, including a number of peculiarities in protein and fat metabolism. This has led to specific and unique nutritional requirements. Adult cats require more dietary protein than omnivorous species, maintain a consistently high rate of protein oxidation and gluconeogenesis and are unable to adapt to reduced protein intake. Furthermore, cats have a higher requirement for essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Hastened use coupled with an inability to conserve certain amino acids, including methionine, cysteine, taurine and arginine, necessitates a higher dietary intake for cats compared to most other species. Cats also seemingly require higher amounts of several B-vitamins compared to other species and are predisposed to depletion during prolonged inappetance. This carnivorous uniqueness makes cats more susceptible to hepatic lipidosis.

  12. Pleistocene Hominins as a Resource for Carnivores: A c. 500,000-Year-Old Human Femur Bearing Tooth-Marks in North Africa (Thomas Quarry I, Morocco.

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    Camille Daujeard

    Full Text Available In many Middle Pleistocene sites, the co-occurrence of hominins with carnivores, who both contributed to faunal accumulations, suggests competition for resources as well as for living spaces. Despite this, there is very little evidence of direct interaction between them to-date. Recently, a human femoral diaphysis has been recognized in South-West of Casablanca (Morocco, in the locality called Thomas Quarry I. This site is famous for its Middle Pleistocene fossil hominins considered representatives of Homo rhodesiensis. The bone was discovered in Unit 4 of the Grotte à Hominidés (GH, dated to c. 500 ky and was associated with Acheulean artefacts and a rich mammalian fauna. Anatomically, it fits well within the group of known early Middle Pleistocene Homo, but its chief point of interest is that the diaphyseal ends display numerous tooth marks showing that it had been consumed shortly after death by a large carnivore, probably a hyena. This bone represents the first evidence of consumption of human remains by carnivores in the cave. Whether predated or scavenged, this chewed femur indicates that humans were a resource for carnivores, underlining their close relationships during the Middle Pleistocene in Atlantic Morocco.

  13. Pleistocene Hominins as a Resource for Carnivores: A c. 500,000-Year-Old Human Femur Bearing Tooth-Marks in North Africa (Thomas Quarry I, Morocco).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daujeard, Camille; Geraads, Denis; Gallotti, Rosalia; Lefèvre, David; Mohib, Abderrahim; Raynal, Jean-Paul; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2016-01-01

    In many Middle Pleistocene sites, the co-occurrence of hominins with carnivores, who both contributed to faunal accumulations, suggests competition for resources as well as for living spaces. Despite this, there is very little evidence of direct interaction between them to-date. Recently, a human femoral diaphysis has been recognized in South-West of Casablanca (Morocco), in the locality called Thomas Quarry I. This site is famous for its Middle Pleistocene fossil hominins considered representatives of Homo rhodesiensis. The bone was discovered in Unit 4 of the Grotte à Hominidés (GH), dated to c. 500 ky and was associated with Acheulean artefacts and a rich mammalian fauna. Anatomically, it fits well within the group of known early Middle Pleistocene Homo, but its chief point of interest is that the diaphyseal ends display numerous tooth marks showing that it had been consumed shortly after death by a large carnivore, probably a hyena. This bone represents the first evidence of consumption of human remains by carnivores in the cave. Whether predated or scavenged, this chewed femur indicates that humans were a resource for carnivores, underlining their close relationships during the Middle Pleistocene in Atlantic Morocco.

  14. Exposure of Lima bean leaves to volatiles from herbivore-induced conspecific plants results in emission of carnivore attractants: active or passive process?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Choh, Y.; Shimoda, T.; Ozawa, R.; Dicke, M.; Takabayashi, J.

    2004-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that volatiles emitted by herbivore-damaged plants can cause responses in downwind undamaged neighboring plants, such as the attraction of carnivorous enemies of herbivores. One of the open questions is whether this involves an active (production of volatiles) or passive

  15. Piroplasmosis in wildlife: Babesia and Theileria affecting free-ranging ungulates and carnivores in the Italian Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Piroplasmosis are among the most relevant diseases of domestic animals. Babesia is emerging as cause of tick-borne zoonosis worldwide and free-living animals are reservoir hosts of several zoonotic Babesia species. We investigated the epidemiology of Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. in wild ungulates and carnivores from Northern Italy to determine which of these apicomplexan species circulate in wildlife and their prevalence of infection. Methods PCR amplification of the V4 hyper-variable region of the 18S rDNA of Babesia sp./Theileria sp was carried out on spleen samples of 1036 wild animals: Roe deer Capreolus capreolus (n = 462), Red deer Cervus elaphus (n = 52), Alpine Chamois Rupicapra rupicapra (n = 36), Fallow deer Dama dama (n = 17), Wild boar Sus scrofa (n = 257), Red fox Vulpes vulpes (n = 205) and Wolf Canis lupus (n = 7). Selected positive samples were sequenced to determine the species of amplified Babesia/Theileria DNA. Results Babesia/Theileria DNA was found with a mean prevalence of 9.94% (IC95% 8.27-11.91). The only piroplasms found in carnivores was Theileria annae, which was detected in two foxes (0.98%; IC95% 0.27-3.49). Red deer showed the highest prevalence of infection (44.23%; IC95% 31.6-57.66), followed by Alpine chamois (22.22%; IC95% 11.71-38.08), Roe deer (12.55%; IC95% 9.84-15.89), and Wild boar (4.67%; IC95% 2.69-7.98). Genetic analysis identified Babesia capreoli as the most prevalent piroplasmid found in Alpine chamois, Roe deer and Red deer, followed by Babesia bigemina (found in Roe deer, Red deer and Wild boar), and the zoonotic Babesia venatorum (formerly Babesia sp. EU1) isolated from 2 Roe deer. Piroplasmids of the genus Theileria were identified in Wild boar and Red deer. Conclusions The present study offers novel insights into the role of wildlife in Babesia/Theileria epidemiology, as well as relevant information on genetic variability of piroplasmids infecting wild ungulates and

  16. Different mechanics of snap-trapping in the two closely related carnivorous plants Dionaea muscipula and Aldrovanda vesiculosa

    CERN Document Server

    Poppinga, Simon

    2011-01-01

    The carnivorous aquatic Waterwheel Plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa L.) and the closely related terrestrial Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula SOL. EX J. ELLIS) both feature elaborate snap-traps, which shut after reception of an external mechanical stimulus by prey animals. Traditionally, Aldrovanda is considered as a miniature, aquatic Dionaea, an assumption which was already established by Charles Darwin. However, videos of snapping traps from both species suggest completely different closure mechanisms. Indeed, the well-described snapping mechanism in Dionaea comprises abrupt curvature inversion of the two trap lobes, while the closing movement in Aldrovanda involves deformation of the trap midrib but not of the lobes, which do not change curvature. In this paper, we present the first detailed mechanical models for these plants, which are based on the theory of thin solid membranes and explain this difference by showing that the fast snapping of Aldrovanda is due to kinematic amplification of the bending deforma...

  17. A rapid and efficient method for isolating high quality DNA from leaves of carnivorous plants from the Drosera genus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biteau, Flore; Nisse, Estelle; Hehn, Alain; Miguel, Sissi; Hannewald, Paul; Bourgaud, Frédéric

    2012-07-01

    Drosera rotundifolia, Drosera capensis, and Drosera regia are carnivorous plants of the sundew family, characterized by the presence of stalked and sticky glands on the upper leaf surface, to attract, trap, and digest insects. These plants contain exceptionally high amounts of polysaccharides, polyphenols, and other secondary metabolites that interfere with DNA isolation and subsequent enzymatic reactions such as PCR amplification. We present here a protocol for quick isolation of Drosera DNA with high yield and a high level of purity, by combining a borate extraction buffer with a commercial DNA extraction kit, and a proteinase K treatment during extraction. The yield of genomic DNA is from 13.36 μg/g of fresh weight to 35.29 μg/g depending of the species of Drosera, with a A₂₆₀/A₂₈₀ ratio of 1.43-1.92. Moreover, the procedure is quick and can be completed in 2.5 h.

  18. Canine distemper outbreak in raccoons suggests pathogen interspecies transmission amongst alien and native carnivores in urban areas from Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rentería-Solís, Zaida; Förster, Christine; Aue, Angelika; Wittstatt, Ulrich; Wibbelt, Gudrun; König, Matthias

    2014-11-07

    From December 2012 to May 2013, an outbreak occurred among urban wild carnivores from Berlin. We collected 97 free-ranging raccoons from the city area. PCR assays, histopathology and immunohistochemistry confirmed canine distemper virus (CDV) infection in 74 raccoons. Phylogenetic analysis of haemagglutinin gene fragments (1767 nucleotides) of CDV isolated from four raccoons showed close relation to CDV isolates from foxes from Germany and a domestic dog from Hungary; all belonging to the "Europe" lineage of CDV. These study results suggest an inter-species transmission of CDV as the origin for the outbreak among the raccoon population. Implications for domestic pets and suggested interspecies transmission between urban wildlife and raccoons are discussed. This is the first major outbreak of CDV amongst free-ranging raccoons in Europe.

  19. Carnivore re-colonisation: Reality, possibility and a non-equilibrium century for grizzly bears in the southern Yellowstone ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyare, Sanjay; Cain, S.; Moody, D.; Schwartz, C.; Berger, J.

    2004-01-01

    Most large native carnivores have experienced range contractions due to conflicts with humans, although neither rates of spatial collapse nor expansion have been well characterised. In North America, the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) once ranged from Mexico northward to Alaska, however its range in the continental USA has been reduced by 95-98%. Under the U. S. Endangered Species Act, the Yellowstone grizzly bear population has re-colonised habitats outside Yellowstone National Park. We analysed historical and current records, including data on radio-collared bears, (1) to evaluate changes in grizzly bear distribution in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) over a 100-year period, (2) to utilise historical rates of re-colonisation to project future expansion trends and (3) to evaluate the reality of future expansion based on human limitations and land use. Analysis of distribution in 20-year increments reflects range reduction from south to north (1900-1940) and expansion to the south (1940-2000). Expansion was exponential and the area occupied by grizzly bears doubled approximately every 20 years. A complementary analysis of bear occurrence in Grand Teton National Park also suggests an unprecedented period of rapid expansion during the last 20-30 years. The grizzly bear population currently has re-occupied about 50% of the southern GYE. Based on assumptions of continued protection and ecological stasis, our model suggests total occupancy in 25 years. Alternatively, extrapolation of linear expansion rates from the period prior to protection suggests total occupancy could take > 100 years. Analyses of historical trends can be useful as a restoration tool because they enable a framework and timeline to be constructed to pre-emptively address the social challenges affecting future carnivore recovery. ?? 2004 The Zoological Society of London.

  20. Behavioral responses to mammalian blood odor and a blood odor component in four species of large carnivores.

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    Sara Nilsson

    Full Text Available Only little is known about whether single volatile compounds are as efficient in eliciting behavioral responses in animals as the whole complex mixture of a behaviorally relevant odor. Recent studies analysing the composition of volatiles in mammalian blood, an important prey-associated odor stimulus for predators, found the odorant trans-4,5-epoxy-(E-2-decenal to evoke a typical "metallic, blood-like" odor quality in humans. We therefore assessed the behavior of captive Asian wild dogs (Cuon alpinus, African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus, South American bush dogs (Speothos venaticus, and Siberian tigers (Panthera tigris altaica when presented with wooden logs that were impregnated either with mammalian blood or with the blood odor component trans-4,5-epoxy-(E-2-decenal, and compared it to their behavior towards a fruity odor (iso-pentyl acetate and a near-odorless solvent (diethyl phthalate as control. We found that all four species displayed significantly more interactions with the odorized wooden logs such as sniffing, licking, biting, pawing, and toying, when they were impregnated with the two prey-associated odors compared to the two non-prey-associated odors. Most importantly, no significant differences were found in the number of interactions with the wooden logs impregnated with mammalian blood and the blood odor component in any of the four species. Only one of the four species, the South American bush dogs, displayed a significant decrease in the number of interactions with the odorized logs across the five sessions performed per odor stimulus. Taken together, the results demonstrate that a single blood odor component can be as efficient in eliciting behavioral responses in large carnivores as the odor of real blood, suggesting that trans-4,5-epoxy-(E-2-decenal may be perceived by predators as a "character impact compound" of mammalian blood odor. Further, the results suggest that odorized wooden logs are a suitable manner of environmental

  1. Snapshot of viral infections in wild carnivores reveals ubiquity of parvovirus and susceptibility of Egyptian mongoose to feline panleukopenia virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Margarida D; Henriques, Ana Margarida; Barros, Sílvia Carla; Fagulha, Teresa; Mendonça, Paula; Carvalho, Paulo; Monteiro, Madalena; Fevereiro, Miguel; Basto, Mafalda P; Rosalino, Luís Miguel; Barros, Tânia; Bandeira, Victor; Fonseca, Carlos; Cunha, Mónica V

    2013-01-01

    The exposure of wild carnivores to viral pathogens, with emphasis on parvovirus (CPV/FPLV), was assessed based on the molecular screening of tissue samples from 128 hunted or accidentally road-killed animals collected in Portugal from 2008 to 2011, including Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon, n = 99), red fox (Vulpes vulpes, n = 19), stone marten (Martes foina, n = 3), common genet (Genetta genetta, n = 3) and Eurasian badger (Meles meles, n = 4). A high prevalence of parvovirus DNA (63%) was detected among all surveyed species, particularly in mongooses (58%) and red foxes (79%), along with the presence of CPV/FPLV circulating antibodies that were identified in 90% of a subset of parvovirus-DNA positive samples. Most specimens were extensively autolysed, restricting macro and microscopic investigations for lesion evaluation. Whenever possible to examine, signs of active disease were not present, supporting the hypothesis that the parvovirus vp2 gene fragments detected by real-time PCR possibly correspond to viral DNA reminiscent from previous infections. The molecular characterization of viruses, based on the analysis of the complete or partial sequence of the vp2 gene, allowed typifying three viral strains of mongoose and four red fox's as feline panleukopenia virus (FPLV) and one stone marten's as newCPV-2b type. The genetic similarity found between the FPLV viruses from free-ranging and captive wild species originated in Portugal and publicly available comparable sequences, suggests a closer genetic relatedness among FPLV circulating in Portugal. Although the clinical and epidemiological significance of infection could not be established, this study evidences that exposure of sympatric wild carnivores to parvovirus is common and geographically widespread, potentially carrying a risk to susceptible populations at the wildlife-domestic interface and to threatened species, such as the wildcat (Felis silvestris) and the critically

  2. Snapshot of viral infections in wild carnivores reveals ubiquity of parvovirus and susceptibility of Egyptian mongoose to feline panleukopenia virus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margarida D Duarte

    Full Text Available The exposure of wild carnivores to viral pathogens, with emphasis on parvovirus (CPV/FPLV, was assessed based on the molecular screening of tissue samples from 128 hunted or accidentally road-killed animals collected in Portugal from 2008 to 2011, including Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon, n = 99, red fox (Vulpes vulpes, n = 19, stone marten (Martes foina, n = 3, common genet (Genetta genetta, n = 3 and Eurasian badger (Meles meles, n = 4. A high prevalence of parvovirus DNA (63% was detected among all surveyed species, particularly in mongooses (58% and red foxes (79%, along with the presence of CPV/FPLV circulating antibodies that were identified in 90% of a subset of parvovirus-DNA positive samples. Most specimens were extensively autolysed, restricting macro and microscopic investigations for lesion evaluation. Whenever possible to examine, signs of active disease were not present, supporting the hypothesis that the parvovirus vp2 gene fragments detected by real-time PCR possibly correspond to viral DNA reminiscent from previous infections. The molecular characterization of viruses, based on the analysis of the complete or partial sequence of the vp2 gene, allowed typifying three viral strains of mongoose and four red fox's as feline panleukopenia virus (FPLV and one stone marten's as newCPV-2b type. The genetic similarity found between the FPLV viruses from free-ranging and captive wild species originated in Portugal and publicly available comparable sequences, suggests a closer genetic relatedness among FPLV circulating in Portugal. Although the clinical and epidemiological significance of infection could not be established, this study evidences that exposure of sympatric wild carnivores to parvovirus is common and geographically widespread, potentially carrying a risk to susceptible populations at the wildlife-domestic interface and to threatened species, such as the wildcat (Felis silvestris and the critically

  3. Using molecular epidemiology to track Toxoplasma gondii from terrestrial carnivores to marine hosts: implications for public health and conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth VanWormer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Environmental transmission of the zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which is shed only by felids, poses risks to human and animal health in temperate and tropical ecosystems. Atypical T. gondii genotypes have been linked to severe disease in people and the threatened population of California sea otters. To investigate land-to-sea parasite transmission, we screened 373 carnivores (feral domestic cats, mountain lions, bobcats, foxes, and coyotes for T. gondii infection and examined the distribution of genotypes in 85 infected animals sampled near the sea otter range. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Nested PCR-RFLP analyses and direct DNA sequencing at six independent polymorphic genetic loci (B1, SAG1, SAG3, GRA6, L358, and Apico were used to characterize T. gondii strains in infected animals. Strains consistent with Type X, a novel genotype previously identified in over 70% of infected sea otters and four terrestrial wild carnivores along the California coast, were detected in all sampled species, including domestic cats. However, odds of Type X infection were 14 times higher (95% CI: 1.3-148.6 for wild felids than feral domestic cats. Type X infection was also linked to undeveloped lands (OR = 22, 95% CI: 2.3-250.7. A spatial cluster of terrestrial Type II infection (P = 0.04 was identified in developed lands bordering an area of increased risk for sea otter Type II infection. Two spatial clusters of animals infected with strains consistent with Type X (P ≤ 0.01 were detected in less developed landscapes. CONCLUSIONS: Differences in T. gondii genotype prevalence among domestic and wild felids, as well as the spatial distribution of genotypes, suggest co-existing domestic and wild T. gondii transmission cycles that likely overlap at the interface of developed and undeveloped lands. Anthropogenic development driving contact between these cycles may increase atypical T. gondii genotypes in domestic cats and facilitate transmission

  4. Cortical cyto- and chemoarchitecture in three small Australian marsupial carnivores: Sminthopsis macroura, Antechinus stuartii and Phascogale calura.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashwell, K W S; McAllan, B M; Mai, J K; Paxinos, G

    2008-11-01

    The cyto- and chemoarchitecture of the cerebral cortex has been examined in three small (mouse-sized) polyprotodont marsupial carnivores from Australia (the stripe-faced dunnart, Sminthopsis macroura; the brown antechinus, Antechinus stuartii; and the red-tailed phascogale, Phascogale calura) in order to compare the cortical topography of these marsupials with that of diprotodontids, didelphids and eutherians. All three species studied had similar cortical cytoarchitecture. The isocortical surface was dominated by primary somatosensory (S1) and visual (V1) areas. Putative secondary sensory areas (S2, V2M, V2L) were also identified. The primary somatosensory cortex demonstrated clumps of granule cells in the presumptive mystacial field, whereas the primary visual area showed a distinctive chemical signature of intense calbindin immunoreactivity in layer IV. On the other hand, the primary auditory area was small and indistinct, but flanked by a temporal association area (TeA). A cytoarchitecturally distinct primary motor cortex (M1) with prominent pyramidal neurons in layer V and poor layer IV was identified medially to S1, and at rostral levels a putative secondary motor area was identified medial to M1. Transitional areas between isocortex and allocortical regions showed many cyto- and chemoarchitectural similarities to those reported for eutherian (and in particular rodent) cortex. Medially, two cingulate regions were found at rostral levels, with dysgranular and granular 'retrosplenial' areas identified caudally. Laterally, granular and agranular areas surrounded the rostral rhinal fissure, to be replaced by ectorhinal and perirhinal areas caudally. The findings indicate that the cyto- and chemoarchitectural features which characterize the iso- and allocortex in these small marsupial carnivores are similar to those reported in didelphids and eutherians and our findings suggest the existence of putative dedicated motor areas medial to the S1 field.

  5. Fish culture data - Stable isotope analysis as a tool to determine the metabolic fates of dietary carbohydrates from plant-based alternative feed ingredients in the carnivorous sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Development of specialized feeds for carnivorous species such as sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in which fishmeal and oil from marine sources are replaced by more...

  6. Chemical composition of fish and diets - Stable isotope analysis as a tool to determine the metabolic fates of dietary carbohydrates from plant-based alternative feed ingredients in the carnivorous sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Development of specialized feeds for carnivorous species such as sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in which fishmeal and oil from marine sources are replaced by more...

  7. Growth data - Stable isotope analysis as a tool to determine the metabolic fates of dietary carbohydrates from plant-based alternative feed ingredients in the carnivorous sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Development of specialized feeds for carnivorous species such as sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in which fishmeal and oil from marine sources are replaced by more...

  8. Transcriptomics and molecular evolutionary rate analysis of the bladderwort (Utricularia, a carnivorous plant with a minimal genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herrera-Estrella Alfredo

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba (bladderwort is remarkable in having a minute genome, which at ca. 80 megabases is approximately half that of Arabidopsis. Bladderworts show an incredible diversity of forms surrounding a defined theme: tiny, bladder-like suction traps on terrestrial, epiphytic, or aquatic plants with a diversity of unusual vegetative forms. Utricularia plants, which are rootless, are also anomalous in physiological features (respiration and carbon distribution, and highly enhanced molecular evolutionary rates in chloroplast, mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal sequences. Despite great interest in the genus, no genomic resources exist for Utricularia, and the substitution rate increase has received limited study. Results Here we describe the sequencing and analysis of the Utricularia gibba transcriptome. Three different organs were surveyed, the traps, the vegetative shoot bodies, and the inflorescence stems. We also examined the bladderwort transcriptome under diverse stress conditions. We detail aspects of functional classification, tissue similarity, nitrogen and phosphorus metabolism, respiration, DNA repair, and detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS. Long contigs of plastid and mitochondrial genomes, as well as sequences for 100 individual nuclear genes, were compared with those of other plants to better establish information on molecular evolutionary rates. Conclusion The Utricularia transcriptome provides a detailed genomic window into processes occurring in a carnivorous plant. It contains a deep representation of the complex metabolic pathways that characterize a putative minimal plant genome, permitting its use as a source of genomic information to explore the structural, functional, and evolutionary diversity of the genus. Vegetative shoots and traps are the most similar organs by functional classification of their transcriptome, the traps expressing hydrolytic enzymes for prey

  9. A fatty acyl desaturase (fads2) with dual Δ6 and Δ5 activities from the freshwater carnivorous striped snakehead Channa striata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuah, Meng-Kiat; Jaya-Ram, Annette; Shu-Chien, Alexander Chong

    2016-11-01

    There is a lack of understanding on how the environment and trophic niche affect the capability of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) in freshwater carnivorous teleost. In this present study, we isolated and functionally characterised a fatty acyl desaturase (Fads) from the striped snakehead Channa striata. Sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis suggested a Fads2 protein that is closely related to previously characterised Fads2 proteins from freshwater carnivorous and marine herbivorous fish species. We further demonstrated the capacity of Δ6 and Δ5 desaturation activities for this particular desaturase, with highest activities towards the conversion of omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Low Δ4 desaturation activity was also detected, although the significance of this at a physiological level remains to be studied. The expression of this striped snakehead Δ6/Δ5 fads2 gene was highest in brain, followed by liver and intestine. In liver, diet fortified with high LC-PUFA concentration impeded the expression of Δ6/Δ5 fads2 gene compared to vegetable oil (VO) based diets. The discovery of Δ6/Δ5 Fads2 desaturase here complements the previous discovery of a Δ4 Fads2 desaturase and an Elovl5 elongase, lending proof to the existence of all the required enzymatic machinery to biosynthesise LC-PUFA from C18 PUFA in a freshwater carnivorous species.

  10. Influence of dietary feathers on the fecal microbiota in captive Arctic fox: do dietary hair or feathers play a role in the evolution of carnivorous mammals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Liang; Yang, Shuhui; Xu, Yanchun; Dahmer, Thomas D

    2014-11-01

    Hair and feathers are composed of keratin and are indigestible, inalimental and unpalatable for carnivores. However, carnivores often ingest hair and feathers during feeding or when grooming. We hypothesized that ingestion of hair and feathers changes species diversity and relative abundance of bacteria in the gut of carnivores. To test this hypothesis, we added disinfected poultry down feathers to the normal diet of captive Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus). We then used fluorescently labeled terminal restriction fragments (T-RFs) to examine changes in fecal bacterial diversity and abundance. The results showed that the number of bacterial species increased significantly after feather ingestion, but that total abundance was unchanged. This demonstrated that addition of disinfected feathers to the diet stimulated increased production among less abundant bacteria, resulting in a balancing of relative abundance of different bacterial species, or that some newly-ingested microbial species would colonize the gut because a suitable microhabitat had become available. This implies that the overall production of bacterial metabolites would be made up of a greater range of substances after feather ingestion. On one hand, the host's immune response would be more diverse, increasing the capacity of the immune system to regulate gut microflora. On the other hand, the animal's physiological performance would also be affected. For wild animals, such altered physiological traits would be subjected to natural selection, and, hence, persistent geographic differences in the character of ingested feathers or fur would drive speciation.

  11. Patterns of Natural and Human-Caused Mortality Factors of a Rare Forest Carnivore, the Fisher (Pekania pennanti in California.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mourad W Gabriel

    Full Text Available Wildlife populations of conservation concern are limited in distribution, population size and persistence by various factors, including mortality. The fisher (Pekania pennanti, a North American mid-sized carnivore whose range in the western Pacific United States has retracted considerably in the past century, was proposed for threatened status protection in late 2014 under the United States Endangered Species Act by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in its West Coast Distinct Population Segment. We investigated mortality in 167 fishers from two genetically and geographically distinct sub-populations in California within this West Coast Distinct Population Segment using a combination of gross necropsy, histology, toxicology and molecular methods. Overall, predation (70%, natural disease (16%, toxicant poisoning (10% and, less commonly, vehicular strike (2% and other anthropogenic causes (2% were causes of mortality observed. We documented both an increase in mortality to (57% increase and exposure (6% from pesticides in fishers in just the past three years, highlighting further that toxicants from marijuana cultivation still pose a threat. Additionally, exposure to multiple rodenticides significantly increased the likelihood of mortality from rodenticide poisoning. Poisoning was significantly more common in male than female fishers and was 7 times more likely than disease to kill males. Based on necropsy findings, suspected causes of mortality based on field evidence alone tended to underestimate the frequency of disease-related mortalities. This study is the first comprehensive investigation of mortality causes of fishers and provides essential information to assist in the conservation of this species.

  12. Patterns of prey capture and prey availability among populations of the carnivorous plant Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) along an environmental gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcalá, Raúl E; Domínguez, César A

    2003-09-01

    In this study we explored the effect of the physical environment and the availability of prey (biomass and taxonomic composition) on the patterns of prey capture and reproduction on five populations of Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) in areas ranging from pine-oak forests to desert scrublands. Environmental variation was summarized using principal factor analysis. Prey availability and prey capture increased toward the shadiest, most humid, and fertile population. The probability of reproduction and average bud production per population did not follow the same tendency because both fitness components peaked at the middle of the environmental gradient. These results suggest that the benefits derived from carnivory are maximized at sites fulfilling a trade-off between light, moisture, and prey availability. We also found that the taxonomic composition of both the available prey and that of the prey captured by plants varied among populations. The results also indicated that the prey captured by plants are not a random sample of prey available within populations. Overall, the results from this study revealed a marked amount of heterogeneity in the physical and biotic environment among the populations of P. moranensis, which has the potential to affect the outcome of the interaction between this carnivorous species and its prey.

  13. Perspectives provided by leopard and other cat genomes: how diet determined the evolutionary history of carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soonok; Cho, Yun Sung; Bhak, Jong; O’Brian, Stephen J.; Yeo, Joo-Hong

    2017-01-01

    Recent advances in genome sequencing technologies have enabled humans to generate and investigate the genomes of wild species. This includes the big cat family, such as tigers, lions, and leopards. Adding the first high quality leopard genome, we have performed an in-depth comparative analysis to identify the genomic signatures in the evolution of felid to become the top predators on land. Our study focused on how the carnivore genomes, as compared to the omnivore or herbivore genomes, shared evolutionary adaptations in genes associated with nutrient metabolism, muscle strength, agility, and other traits responsible for hunting and meat digestion. We found genetic evidence that genomes represent what animals eat through modifying genes. Highly conserved genetically relevant regions were discovered in genomes at the family level. Also, the Felidae family genomes exhibited low levels of genetic diversity associated with decreased population sizes, presumably because of their strict diet, suggesting their vulnerability and critical conservation status. Our findings can be used for human health enhancement, since we share the same genes as cats with some variation. This is an example how wildlife genomes can be a critical resource for human evolution, providing key genetic marker information for disease treatment. PMID:28042784

  14. Indole-3-acetic acid-producing yeasts in the phyllosphere of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Pei-Feng; Fang, Wei-Ta; Shin, Li-Ying; Wei, Jyuan-Yu; Fu, Shih-Feng; Chou, Jui-Yu

    2014-01-01

    Yeasts are widely distributed in nature and exist in association with other microorganisms as normal inhabitants of soil, vegetation, and aqueous environments. In this study, 12 yeast strains were enriched and isolated from leaf samples of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L., which is currently threatened because of restricted habitats and use in herbal industries. According to similarities in large subunit and small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences, we identified 2 yeast species in 2 genera of the phylum Ascomycota, and 5 yeast species in 5 genera of the phylum Basidiomycota. All of the isolated yeasts produced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) when cultivated in YPD broth supplemented with 0.1% L-tryptophan. Growth conditions, such as the pH and temperature of the medium, influenced yeast IAA production. Our results also suggested the existence of a tryptophan-independent IAA biosynthetic pathway. We evaluated the effects of various concentrations of exogenous IAA on yeast growth and observed that IAA produced by wild yeasts modifies auxin-inducible gene expression in Arabidopsis. Our data suggest that yeasts can promote plant growth and support ongoing prospecting of yeast strains for inclusion into biofertilizer for sustainable agriculture.

  15. Indole-3-acetic acid-producing yeasts in the phyllosphere of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pei-Feng Sun

    Full Text Available Yeasts are widely distributed in nature and exist in association with other microorganisms as normal inhabitants of soil, vegetation, and aqueous environments. In this study, 12 yeast strains were enriched and isolated from leaf samples of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L., which is currently threatened because of restricted habitats and use in herbal industries. According to similarities in large subunit and small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences, we identified 2 yeast species in 2 genera of the phylum Ascomycota, and 5 yeast species in 5 genera of the phylum Basidiomycota. All of the isolated yeasts produced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA when cultivated in YPD broth supplemented with 0.1% L-tryptophan. Growth conditions, such as the pH and temperature of the medium, influenced yeast IAA production. Our results also suggested the existence of a tryptophan-independent IAA biosynthetic pathway. We evaluated the effects of various concentrations of exogenous IAA on yeast growth and observed that IAA produced by wild yeasts modifies auxin-inducible gene expression in Arabidopsis. Our data suggest that yeasts can promote plant growth and support ongoing prospecting of yeast strains for inclusion into biofertilizer for sustainable agriculture.

  16. Cell death and renewal during prey capture and digestion in the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma hypogea (Porifera: Poecilosclerida).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinand-Mari, Camille; Vacelet, Jean; Nickel, Michael; Wörheide, Gert; Mangeat, Paul; Baghdiguian, Stephen

    2012-11-15

    The sponge Asbestopluma hypogea is unusual among sponges due to its peculiar carnivorous feeding habit. During various stages of its nutrition cycle, the sponge is subjected to spectacular morphological modifications. Starved animals are characterized by many elongated filaments, which are crucial for the capture of prey. After capture, and during the digestion process, these filaments actively regress before being regenerated during a subsequent period of starvation. Here, we demonstrate that these morphological events rely on a highly dynamic cellular turnover, implying a coordinated sequence of programmed cell death (apoptosis and autophagy), cell proliferation and cell migration. A candidate niche for cell renewal by stem cell proliferation and differentiation was identified at the base of the sponge peduncle, characterized by higher levels of BrdU/EdU incorporation. Therefore, BrdU/EdU-positive cells of the peduncle base are candidate motile cells responsible for the regeneration of the prey-capturing main sponge body, i.e. the dynamic filaments. Altogether, our results demonstrate that dynamics of cell renewal in sponge appear to be regulated by cellular mechanisms as multiple and complex as those already identified in bilaterian metazoans.

  17. Contribution of pitcher fragrance and fluid viscosity to high prey diversity in a Nepenthes carnivorous plant from Borneo

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Bruno Di Giusto; Vladimir Grosbois; Elodie Fargeas; David J Marshall; Laurence Gaume

    2008-03-01

    Mechanisms that improve prey richness in carnivorous plants may involve three crucial phases of trapping: attraction, capture and retention. Nepenthes rafflesiana var. typica is an insectivorous pitcher plant that is widespread in northern Borneo. It exhibits ontogenetic pitcher dimorphism with the upper pitchers trapping more flying prey than the lower pitchers. While this difference in prey composition has been ascribed to differences in attraction, the contribution of capture and retention has been overlooked. This study focused on distinguishing between the prey trapping mechanisms, and assessing their relative contribution to prey diversity. Arthropod richness and diversity of both visitors and prey in the two types of pitchers were analysed to quantify the relative contribution of attraction to prey trapping. Rate of insect visits to the different pitcher parts and the presence or absence of a sweet fragrance was recorded to clarify the origin and mechanism of attraction. The mechanism of retention was studied by insect bioassays and measurements of fluid viscosity. Nepenthes rafflesiana was found to trap a broader prey spectrum than that previously described for any Nepenthes species, with the upper pitchers attracting and trapping a greater quantity and diversity of prey items than the lower pitchers. Capture efficiency was low compared with attraction or retention efficiency. Fragrance of the peristome, or nectar rim, accounted mainly for the observed non-specific, better prey attraction by the upper pitchers, while the retentive properties of the viscous fluid in these upper pitchers arguably explains the species richness of their flying prey. The pitchers of N. rafflesiana are therefore more than simple pitfall traps and the digestive fluid plays an important yet unsuspected role in the ecological success of the species.

  18. Macroecological evidence for competitive regional-scale interactions between the two major clades of mammal carnivores (Feliformia and Caniformia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, Rasmus Østergaard; Sandel, Brody; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2014-01-01

    Geographical gradients in species diversity are often explained by environmental factors such as climate and productivity. Biotic interactions play a key role in evolutionary diversification and may therefore also affect diversity patterns, but this has rarely been assessed. Here, we investigate whether negative competitive interactions shape the diversity patterns of the two major mammalian clades of carnivores, the suborders Caniformia (dogs and allies) and Feliformia (cats and allies) within the order Carnivora. We specifically test for a negative effect of feliform species richness on caniform species richness by a natural experiment, The Great American Interchange, which due to biogeographic lineage history and climate patterns caused tropical South America to be colonized by most caniform families, but only one feliform family. To this end we used regression modelling to investigate feliform and caniform richness patterns and their determinants with emphasis on contrasting the Old and New World tropics. We find that feliform richness is elevated in the Old World Tropics, while caniform richness is elevated in the New World Tropics. Models based on environmental variables alone underpredict caniform richness and overpredict feliform richness in the New World and vice versa in the Old World. We further show that models including feliform richness as a predictor for caniform species richness significantly improve predictions at the continental scale, albeit not at finer scales. Our results are consistent with a negative effect of feliforms on regional-scale caniform diversification within the tropics, probably indicating that niche space occupancy by the one clade constrains diversification in the other in the build-up of regional faunas, while negative interactions at smaller scales may be unimportant due to niche differentiation within the regional faunas.

  19. Macroecological evidence for competitive regional-scale interactions between the two major clades of mammal carnivores (Feliformia and Caniformia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rasmus Østergaard Pedersen

    Full Text Available Geographical gradients in species diversity are often explained by environmental factors such as climate and productivity. Biotic interactions play a key role in evolutionary diversification and may therefore also affect diversity patterns, but this has rarely been assessed. Here, we investigate whether negative competitive interactions shape the diversity patterns of the two major mammalian clades of carnivores, the suborders Caniformia (dogs and allies and Feliformia (cats and allies within the order Carnivora. We specifically test for a negative effect of feliform species richness on caniform species richness by a natural experiment, The Great American Interchange, which due to biogeographic lineage history and climate patterns caused tropical South America to be colonized by most caniform families, but only one feliform family. To this end we used regression modelling to investigate feliform and caniform richness patterns and their determinants with emphasis on contrasting the Old and New World tropics. We find that feliform richness is elevated in the Old World Tropics, while caniform richness is elevated in the New World Tropics. Models based on environmental variables alone underpredict caniform richness and overpredict feliform richness in the New World and vice versa in the Old World. We further show that models including feliform richness as a predictor for caniform species richness significantly improve predictions at the continental scale, albeit not at finer scales. Our results are consistent with a negative effect of feliforms on regional-scale caniform diversification within the tropics, probably indicating that niche space occupancy by the one clade constrains diversification in the other in the build-up of regional faunas, while negative interactions at smaller scales may be unimportant due to niche differentiation within the regional faunas.

  20. Effects of trophy hunting leftovers on the ranging behaviour of large carnivores: a case study on spotted hyenas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Cozzi

    Full Text Available Human-related food resources such as garbage dumps and feeding sites have been shown to significantly influence space use, breeding success and population dynamics in a variety of animal species. In contrast, relatively little is known on the effects of unpredictable sources of food, such as carcasses discarded by hunters, on carnivore species. We evaluated the effect of elephant carcasses, mainly deriving from trophy hunting, on the ranging and feeding behavior of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Using data from hyenas monitored before and during carcass availability via GPS radio-collars and camera traps, we investigated changes in ranging and feeding behavior over time. Carcass availability influenced hyenas' ranging behavior for an average of 10-12 days, after which their movements returned to patterns observed before carcass availability. In particular, we observed an increased spatial clustering of locations and reduced speeds (up to 15% less between successive locations with carcass availability. Consistent feeding at carcasses during the first two weeks was typical, and some individuals fed from elephant carcasses for as long as 50 days. The impact and conservation value of hunting are often assessed based solely on the effects on the hunted species. Our results show that hunting remains can influence other species and suggest that such extra food could have important effects on critical life history processes and ultimately population dynamics. We recommend conservationists and wildlife managers evaluate management strategies and hunting practices regarding carcass disposal in order to incorporate the potential collateral impacts of hunting on non-hunted species in the same community.

  1. Effects of trophy hunting leftovers on the ranging behaviour of large carnivores: a case study on spotted hyenas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cozzi, Gabriele; Börger, Luca; Hutter, Pascale; Abegg, Daniela; Beran, Céline; McNutt, J Weldon; Ozgul, Arpat

    2015-01-01

    Human-related food resources such as garbage dumps and feeding sites have been shown to significantly influence space use, breeding success and population dynamics in a variety of animal species. In contrast, relatively little is known on the effects of unpredictable sources of food, such as carcasses discarded by hunters, on carnivore species. We evaluated the effect of elephant carcasses, mainly deriving from trophy hunting, on the ranging and feeding behavior of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Using data from hyenas monitored before and during carcass availability via GPS radio-collars and camera traps, we investigated changes in ranging and feeding behavior over time. Carcass availability influenced hyenas' ranging behavior for an average of 10-12 days, after which their movements returned to patterns observed before carcass availability. In particular, we observed an increased spatial clustering of locations and reduced speeds (up to 15% less) between successive locations with carcass availability. Consistent feeding at carcasses during the first two weeks was typical, and some individuals fed from elephant carcasses for as long as 50 days. The impact and conservation value of hunting are often assessed based solely on the effects on the hunted species. Our results show that hunting remains can influence other species and suggest that such extra food could have important effects on critical life history processes and ultimately population dynamics. We recommend conservationists and wildlife managers evaluate management strategies and hunting practices regarding carcass disposal in order to incorporate the potential collateral impacts of hunting on non-hunted species in the same community.

  2. Taste preferences and taste thresholds to classical taste substances in the carnivorous fish, kutum Rutilus frisii kutum (Teleostei: Cyprinidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goli, Sheyda; Jafari, Valiollah; Ghorbani, Rassol; Kasumyan, Alexander

    2015-03-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the taste preferences in the closely related sympatric fish species with different feeding patterns. For this purpose, palatability for four classical taste substances was evaluated for carnivorous kutum Rutilus frisii kutum and the results were compared with the taste preferences of the omnivorous roach Rutilus rutilus which had been studied earlier. In addition, the threshold concentration and the dose-response relationship of the most palatable tastants were evaluated and the ability of kutum to differentiate food with tastants in different concentrations was estimated. It was found that citric acid significantly increases the agar gel pellet consumption within the range of concentrations from 0.01M to 0.52M; the pellets with a concentration of 0.026M were the most palatable. The pellet consumption is significantly different if the concentration of citric acid in the pellets differs more than two times. The absolute threshold concentration is 0.01M, or 2.74μg of citric acid per pellet. Sucrose and NaCl have deterrent taste at the highest concentrations tested (0.29 and 1.73M, respectively). Both substances are palatable at 10 times lower concentrations and become indifferent after further gradual decrease in their concentration. CaCl2 decreases the pellets consumption at 0.9M but is an indifferent tastant at lower concentrations (0.45, 0.09 and 0.045M). The number of rejections and repeated grasps of a food pellet is fewness and is not related to the pellet's palatability, while the retention time of pellet in the oral cavity positively and highly correlates with the pellet's palatability. Kutum have opposite taste preferences for most substances tested in comparison with the roach. It indicates that the taste preferences mediated by the oral taste receptors are different in closely related sympatric fish displayed diet divergences.

  3. New insights into the nutritional regulation of gluconeogenesis in carnivorous rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): a gene duplication trail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marandel, Lucie; Seiliez, Iban; Véron, Vincent; Skiba-Cassy, Sandrine; Panserat, Stéphane

    2015-07-01

    The rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is considered to be a strictly carnivorous fish species that is metabolically adapted for high catabolism of proteins and low utilization of dietary carbohydrates. This species consequently has a "glucose-intolerant" phenotype manifested by persistent hyperglycemia when fed a high-carbohydrate diet. Gluconeogenesis in adult fish is also poorly, if ever, regulated by carbohydrates, suggesting that this metabolic pathway is involved in this specific phenotype. In this study, we hypothesized that the fate of duplicated genes after the salmonid-specific 4th whole genome duplication (Ss4R) may have led to adaptive innovation and that their study might provide new elements to enhance our understanding of gluconeogenesis and poor dietary carbohydrate use in this species. Our evolutionary analysis of gluconeogenic genes revealed that pck1, pck2, fbp1a, and g6pca were retained as singletons after Ss4r, while g6pcb1, g6pcb2, and fbp1b ohnolog pairs were maintained. For all genes, duplication may have led to sub- or neofunctionalization. Expression profiles suggest that the gluconeogenesis pathway remained active in trout fed a no-carbohydrate diet. When trout were fed a high-carbohydrate diet (30%), most of the gluconeogenic genes were non- or downregulated, except for g6pbc2 ohnologs, whose RNA levels were surprisingly increased. This study demonstrates that Ss4R in trout involved adaptive innovation via gene duplication and via the outcome of the resulting ohnologs. Indeed, maintenance of ohnologous g6pcb2 pair may contribute in a significant way to the glucose-intolerant phenotype of trout and may partially explain its poor use of dietary carbohydrates.

  4. Anticoagulant rodenticides on our public and community lands: spatial distribution of exposure and poisoning of a rare forest carnivore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mourad W Gabriel

    Full Text Available Anticoagulant rodenticide (AR poisoning has emerged as a significant concern for conservation and management of non-target wildlife. The purpose for these toxicants is to suppress pest populations in agricultural or urban settings. The potential of direct and indirect exposures and illicit use of ARs on public and community forest lands have recently raised concern for fishers (Martes pennanti, a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act in the Pacific states. In an investigation of threats to fisher population persistence in the two isolated California populations, we investigate the magnitude of this previously undocumented threat to fishers, we tested 58 carcasses for the presence and quantification of ARs, conducted spatial analysis of exposed fishers in an effort to identify potential point sources of AR, and identified fishers that died directly due to AR poisoning. We found 46 of 58 (79% fishers exposed to an AR with 96% of those individuals having been exposed to one or more second-generation AR compounds. No spatial clustering of AR exposure was detected and the spatial distribution of exposure suggests that AR contamination is widespread within the fisher's range in California, which encompasses mostly public forest and park lands Additionally, we diagnosed four fisher deaths, including a lactating female, that were directly attributed to AR toxicosis and documented the first neonatal or milk transfer of an AR to an altricial fisher kit. These ARs, which some are acutely toxic, pose both a direct mortality or fitness risk to fishers, and a significant indirect risk to these isolated populations. Future research should be directed towards investigating risks to prey populations fishers are dependent on, exposure in other rare forest carnivores, and potential AR point sources such as illegal marijuana cultivation in the range of fishers on California public lands.

  5. Modeling the response of top-down control exerted by gelatinous carnivores on the Black Sea pelagic food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oguz, Temel; Ducklow, Hugh W.; Purcell, Jennifer E.; Malanotte-Rizzoli, Paola

    2001-03-01

    Recent changes in structure and functioning of the interior Black Sea ecosystem are studied by a series of simulations using a one-dimensional, vertically resolved, coupled physical-biochemical model. The simulations are intended to provide a better understanding of how the pelagic food web structure responds to increasing grazing pressure by gelatinous carnivores (medusae Aurelia aurita and ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi) during the past 2 decades. The model is first shown to represent typical eutrophic ecosystem conditions of the late 1970s and early 1980s. This simulation reproduces reasonably well the observed planktonic food web structure at a particular location of the Black Sea for which a year-long data set is available from 1978. Additional simulations are performed to explore the role of the Mnemiopsis-dominated ecosystem in the late 1980s. They are also validated by extended observations from specific years. The results indicate that the population outbreaks of the gelatinous species, either Aurelia or Mnemiopsis, reduce mesozooplankton grazing and lead to increased phytoplankton blooms as observed throughout the 1980s and 1990s in the Black Sea. The peaks of phytoplankton, mesozooplankton, Noctiluca, and gelatinous predator biomass distributions march sequentially as a result of prey-predator interactions. The late winter diatom bloom and a subsequent increase in mesozooplankton stocks are robust features common to all simulations. The autotrophs and heterotrophs, however, have different responses during the rest of the year, depending on the nature of grazing pressure exerted by the gelatinous predators. In the presence of Mnemiopsis, phytoplankton have additional distinct and pronounced bloom episodes during the spring and summer seasons. These events appear with a 2 month time shift in the ecosystem prior to introduction of Mnemiopsis.

  6. Trophic strategies in carnivorous fishes: their significance in energy transfer in the deep-sea benthic ecosystem (Meriadzek Terrace — Bay of Biscay)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaut, Marie-Laure; Geistdoerfer, Patrick; Sibuet, Myriam

    Trophic relationships between fish species have been analyzed as a contribution to the construction of an energy transfer model between various groups in the benthic ecosystem of Meriadzek Terrace, located at 170 miles off the west French coast at a depth of 2100m. Attention was given to the carnivorous megafaunal compartment. The importance of the carnivore megafaunal biomass and its part in energy transfer is still unresolved. On the Meriadzek Terrace, numerous Chondrichthyes (sharks and chimeroids) were frequently observed from the manned submersible Cyana or by baited camera; their biomass appears to be exceptionally large. Results of a photographic survey conducted using the unmanned free vehicle Epaulard have given estimates of 22 per 10 4m 2 of teleost fishes (belonging to 8 different families and one suborder) but included no Chondrichthyes (except one specimen of Rajidae). From baited camera observations, however, we conclude that carcasses falling to the bottom on the Terrace are exploited only by selacians as the bait was never seen to be eaten by macrourids, morids or synaphobranchids although they always attended the baits before the arrival of large scavengers. Trophic specialization strategies occur in this deep-sea ecosystem and our further studies on the energy transfer model for the Meriadzek Terrace will differentiate between strategies exploiting two sources of organic input to the bottom environment: organic particles and large carcasses. In one case, carbon transfer is via the whole benthic food web in which each link is specified by size and trophic behaviour. This pathway ends in the carnivorous megafaunal compartment, which includes benthic fishes, consumers of the local epibenthic and sometimes inbenthic, macro- and megafauna. The second pathway originates with carcass falls, and carbon transfer is direct to the benthopelagic scavengers observed frequently at the Meriadzek Terrace.

  7. The Chloroplast Genome of Utricularia reniformis Sheds Light on the Evolution of the ndh Gene Complex of Terrestrial Carnivorous Plants from the Lentibulariaceae Family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Saura R.; Diaz, Yani C. A.; Penha, Helen Alves; Pinheiro, Daniel G.; Fernandes, Camila C.; Miranda, Vitor F. O.; Michael, Todd P.

    2016-01-01

    Lentibulariaceae is the richest family of carnivorous plants spanning three genera including Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia. Utricularia is globally distributed, and, unlike Pinguicula and Genlisea, has both aquatic and terrestrial forms. In this study we present the analysis of the chloroplast (cp) genome of the terrestrial Utricularia reniformis. U. reniformis has a standard cp genome of 139,725bp, encoding a gene repertoire similar to essentially all photosynthetic organisms. However, an exclusive combination of losses and pseudogenization of the plastid NAD(P)H-dehydrogenase (ndh) gene complex were observed. Comparisons among aquatic and terrestrial forms of Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia indicate that, whereas the aquatic forms retained functional copies of the eleven ndh genes, these have been lost or truncated in terrestrial forms, suggesting that the ndh function may be dispensable in terrestrial Lentibulariaceae. Phylogenetic scenarios of the ndh gene loss and recovery among Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia to the ancestral Lentibulariaceae cladeare proposed. Interestingly, RNAseq analysis evidenced that U. reniformis cp genes are transcribed, including the truncated ndh genes, suggesting that these are not completely inactivated. In addition, potential novel RNA-editing sites were identified in at least six U. reniformis cp genes, while none were identified in the truncated ndh genes. Moreover, phylogenomic analyses support that Lentibulariaceae is monophyletic, belonging to the higher core Lamiales clade, corroborating the hypothesis that the first Utricularia lineage emerged in terrestrial habitats and then evolved to epiphytic and aquatic forms. Furthermore, several truncated cp genes were found interspersed with U. reniformis mitochondrial and nuclear genome scaffolds, indicating that as observed in other smaller plant genomes, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, and the related and carnivorous Genlisea nigrocaulis and G. hispidula, the

  8. Inferring Population Genetic Structure in Widely and Continuously Distributed Carnivores: The Stone Marten (Martes foina as a Case Study.

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    María Vergara

    Full Text Available The stone marten is a widely distributed mustelid in the Palaearctic region that exhibits variable habitat preferences in different parts of its range. The species is a Holocene immigrant from southwest Asia which, according to fossil remains, followed the expansion of the Neolithic farming cultures into Europe and possibly colonized the Iberian Peninsula during the Early Neolithic (ca. 7,000 years BP. However, the population genetic structure and historical biogeography of this generalist carnivore remains essentially unknown. In this study we have combined mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA sequencing (621 bp and microsatellite genotyping (23 polymorphic markers to infer the population genetic structure of the stone marten within the Iberian Peninsula. The mtDNA data revealed low haplotype and nucleotide diversities and a lack of phylogeographic structure, most likely due to a recent colonization of the Iberian Peninsula by a few mtDNA lineages during the Early Neolithic. The microsatellite data set was analysed with a spatial and non-spatial Bayesian individual-based clustering (IBC approaches (STRUCTURE, TESS, BAPS and GENELAND, and b multivariate methods [discriminant analysis of principal components (DAPC and spatial principal component analysis (sPCA]. Additionally, because isolation by distance (IBD is a common spatial genetic pattern in mobile and continuously distributed species and it may represent a challenge to the performance of the above methods, the microsatellite data set was tested for its presence. Overall, the genetic structure of the stone marten in the Iberian Peninsula was characterized by a NE-SW spatial pattern of IBD, and this may explain the observed disagreement between clustering solutions obtained by the different IBC methods. However, there was significant indication for contemporary genetic structuring, albeit weak, into at least three different subpopulations. The detected subdivision could be attributed to the influence

  9. SEROPREVALENCE OF NINE LEPTOSPIRA INTERROGANS SEROVARS IN WILD CARNIVORES, UNGULATES, AND PRIMATES FROM A ZOO POPULATION IN A METROPOLITAN REGION OF CHILE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Beas, Eduardo; Abalos, Pedro; Hidalgo-Hermoso, Ezequiel

    2015-12-01

    Serum samples from 130 individuals representing 42 species of carnivores, ungulates, and primates from a population of captive mammals in Metropolitan Region in Chile were tested for antibodies against nine serovars of Leptospira interrogans using the microscopic agglutination test. Ten percent of the animals were seropositive to one or more serovars. Seroprevalence was significantly higher in ungulates (20.4%) compared to carnivores (3.8%) and primates (3.4%). There were no significant differences in seroprevalence among sex and age ranges. The most frequent serovar detected was Autumnalis, present in 53.4% of antibody-positive animals. Most positive animals had titers of ≤1 : 200, except for a maned wolf ( Chrysocyon brachyurus ) with titers of 1 : 400 against serovar Hardjo. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of Leptospira exposure detected in native endangered pudu ( Pudu puda ) and the first confirmation of exposure to L. interrogans in captive wild mammals in Chile. Leptospirosis should be considered as a differential diagnosis in future disease presentation for hepatitis or abortions in captive mammals in Chile.

  10. Was FLK North levels 1-2 a classic ``living floor'' of Oldowan hominins or a taphonomically complex palimpsest dominated by large carnivore feeding behavior?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunn, H. T.; Mabulla, A. Z. P.; Domínguez-Rodrigo, M.; Ashley, G. M.; Barba, R.; Diez-Martín, F.; Remer, K.; Yravedra, J.; Baquedano, E.

    2010-11-01

    From excavation at FLK North levels 1-2 in 1960-1962, Mary Leakey reported approximately 1200 Oldowan artifacts and 3300 large mammal fossils as a hominin "living floor". Preliminary taphonomic analysis by Bunn seemed supportive, based on the presence of some cut-marked bones, the concentration of several dozen bovid individuals, and the relative abundance of limbs and mandibles over other axial elements. Recent taphonomic analysis of Leakey's entire fossil assemblage by Domínguez-Rodrigo and Barba, however, documents a minor hominin role at the site, contrasted to the dominant role of carnivores. Felids brought prey animals; hyenas scavenged from abandoned felid meals. At different times, hominins butchered several bovids and discarded artifacts at this dynamic location. Since 2006, renewed excavations at FLK North and other sites by the Olduvai Paleoanthropology and Paleoecology Project (TOPPP) have expanded artifact and fossil samples and implemented new analytical approaches to clarify taphonomic histories of the Olduvai paleolandscape. At FLK North, > 1000 new large mammal fossils from levels 1 to 2 show minimal butchery evidence amid abundant evidence of carnivore gnawing/fracture, rodent gnawing, and sediment abrasion. To help guide future excavation and analyses, we have developed several alternative working hypotheses of site formation.

  11. Trypanosoma cruzi TcI and TcII transmission among wild carnivores, small mammals and dogs in a conservation unit and surrounding areas, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Fabiana Lopes; Roque, André Luiz Rodrigues; Arrais, Ricardo Corassa; Santos, Jean Pierre; Lima, Valdirene dos Santos; Xavier, Samanta Cristina das Chagas; Cordeir-Estrela, Pedro; D'Andrea, Paulo Sérgio; Jansen, Ana Maria

    2013-02-01

    Aiming to better understand the ecological aspects of Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles, wild carnivores, small mammals and dogs were examined for T. cruzi infection in the Serra da Canastra National Park region, Brazil. Isolates were genotyped using mini-exon gene and PCR-RFLP (1f8 and H3) genomic targets. Trypanosoma cruzi transmission was well established in the area and occurred in both wild and peridomestic environments. Dog seroprevalence was 29·4% (63/214) and TcI and TcII genotypes, besides mixed infections were observed. Only TcI was detected in wild mammals. Marsupials displayed lower relative abundance, but a high prevalence of positive haemocultures (4/22), whereas rodents displayed positive haemocultures (9/113) mainly in the abundant Akodon montensis and Cerradomys subflavus species. The felid Leopardus pardalis was the only carnivore to display positive haemoculture and was captured in the same region where the small mammal prevalence of T. cruzi infection was high. Two canid species, Chrysocyon brachyurus and Cerdocyon thous, were serologically positive for T. cruzi infection (4/8 and 8/39, respectively), probably related to their capacity to exploit different ecological niches. Herein, dog infection not only signals T. cruzi transmission but also the genotypes present. Distinct transmission strategies of the T. cruzi genotypes are discussed.

  12. Empathy for Carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-23

    Anthropology, 3rd ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2007), 43. 20 An exception in the natural sciences might be zoology , where an emic understanding of primates...Center for the Study of Intelligence, 1999), 31, https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of- intelligence/csi-publications/ books -and-monographs...Contract Report 2007-01 (16 May 2007), http://www.culture.af.mil/library/ pdf /selmeskimay2007. pdf (accessed 30 January 2013). 13 briefings, awareness

  13. Previously unsuspected dietary habits of hydrothermal vent fauna: the bactivorous shrimp Rimicaris hybisae can be carnivorous or even cannibalistic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Versteegh, Emma; Van Dover, Cindy; Coleman, Max

    2014-05-01

    Most hydrothermal vents support productive communities, with chemosynthetic bacteria at the base of the food web. They form a potentially important link in global geochemical cycles. However, few data yet exist on their significance in ocean biogeochemistry and related ecological processes. We present results on the structure of part of the food web around hydrothermal vents of the Mid-Cayman Rise (MCR), revealing previously unknown life-history traits of the alvinocarid shrimp species Rimicaris hybisae. We also demonstrate that stable carbon isotope ratios (δ13C values) are an excellent tracer of trophic positions in these ecosystems, in spite of recent findings arguing otherwise. Two hydrothermal vent fields have been described at the ultra-slow spreading ridge of the MCR. These include the world's deepest hydrothermal vents (Piccard field ~4985 m), which support a food web, which includes bactivorous shrimp and carnivorous anemones. The nearby Von Damm vent field (~2300 m) supports a more complex food web, with more primary producers, and probably some influx of photosynthetically produced carbon. Rimicaris hybisae is abundant at both known MCR vent fields and shows a high degree of spatial variability in population structure and reproductive features. In previous work it has been considered bactivorous. Large variations in tissue δ13C values remained largely unexplained, and it has been argued that δ13C values are not a good food web tracer in hydrothermal vent ecosystems. We observed that shrimp tended to be either in dense aggregations on active chimneys or more sparsely distributed, peripheral shrimp in ambient or near-ambient temperatures. With the hypothesis that varying δ13C values show real differences in food sources between individuals and that shrimp in different locales might have different diets, we collected shrimp from both environments at the Von Damm site during E/V Nautilus (NA034, August 2013) and examined their gut contents. Stomach

  14. Determination of the variability of both hydrophilic and lipophilic toxins in endemic wild bivalves and carnivorous gastropods from the southern part of Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamorano, Ruben; Marín, Michelle; Cabrera, Fabiola; Figueroa, Diego; Contreras, Cristóbal; Barriga, Andrés; Lagos, Néstor; García, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse and determine the composition of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins and lipophilic toxins in the Region of Aysén, Chile, in wild endemic mussels (Mytilus chilensis, Venus antiqua, Aulacomya ater, Choromytilus chorus, Tagelus dombeii and Gari solida) and in two endemic carnivorous molluscs species (Concholepas concholepas and Argobuccinum ranelliforme). PSP-toxin contents were determined by using HPLC with fluorescence detection, while lipophilic toxins were determined by using LC-MS/MS. Mean concentrations for the total of PSP toxins were in the range 55-2505 μg saxitoxin-equivalent/100 g. The two most contaminated samples for PSP toxicity were bivalve Gari solida and carnivorous Argobuccinum ranelliforme with 2505 ± 101 and 1850 ± 137 μg saxitoxin-equivalent/100 g, respectively (p < 0.05). The lipophilic toxins identified were okadaic acid, dinophysistoxin-1 (DTX-1), azaspiracid-1 (AZA-1), pectenotoxin-2 (PTX-2) and yessotoxins (YTX). All analysed molluscs contained lipophilic toxins at levels ranging from 56 ± 4.8 to 156.1 ± 8.2 μg of okadaic acid-equivalent/kg shellfish together with YTX at levels ranging from 1.0 ± 0.1 to 18 ± 0.9 μg of YTX-equivalent/kg shellfish and AZA at levels ranging from 3.6 ± 0.2 to 31 ± 2.1 μg of AZA-equivalent/kg shellfish. Furthermore, different bivalves and gastropods differ in their capacity of retention of lipophilic toxins, as shown by the determination of their respective lipophilic toxins levels. In all the evaluated species, the presence of lipophilic toxins associated with biotransformation in molluscs and carnivorous gastropods was not identified, in contrast to the identification of PSP toxins, where the profiles identified in the different species are directly related to biotransformation processes. Thus, this study provides evidence that the concentration of toxins in the food intake of the evaluated species (Bivalvia and Gastropoda class) determines the degree of

  15. Autumn-winter diet of three carnivores, European mink (Mustela lutreola, Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra and small-spotted genet (Genetta genetta, in northern Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Palazón, S.

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available This study describes the autumn-winter diet of three carnivores (Mustela lutreola, Lutra lutra and Genetta genetta in northern Spain. Diet composition was analysed from 85 European mink, 156 otter and 564 spotted genet fecal samples The European mink diet was based on small mammals (relative frequency of occurrences 38.1%, fish (30.9% and birds (16.7%. Spotted genet consumed mainly small mammals, birds and fruits, whilst otter predated practically only fish (95%. Using Levins’ index, trophic-niche widths in European mink, small-spotted genet and Eurasian otter were 3.76, 3.77 and 1.10, respectively. The trophic niche overlap by Pianka index for autumn-winter was 0.77 for European mink vs. Small-spotted genet, and 0.60 for European mink vs. otter. The average size of brown trout taken by otter was larger than those consumed by European mink.

  16. Composite structure and properties of the pitcher surface of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes and its influence on the insect attachment system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lixin Wang; Qiang Zhou; Yongjun Zheng; Shuyan Xu

    2009-01-01

    Pitchers of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes have evolved specialized organs serving the purpose of attracting,capturing,retaining and digesting small animals,mostly insects.They consist of several well distinguishable zones,including a leaf-like lid,a collar-like peristome,a slippery zone and a digestive zone,differing in morphology,microstructure,chemical composition and physical properties.Discriminating zones display different functions,and the combined effects of several zones result in great trapping efficiency.The principal aim of this review is to introduce the structure and physiochemical properties of the pitcher surface,as well as the interaction between the pitcher surface and the insect attachment systems.Combining with our present study,the potential application of the pitcher surface being utilized in bionics to manufacture insect slippery trapping plates is discussed,and the original research direction of the pitcher surface and its application on agricultural pest control is highlighted.

  17. Long-range gene flow and the effects of climatic and ecological factors on genetic structuring in a large, solitary carnivore: the Eurasian lynx.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirosław Ratkiewicz

    Full Text Available Due to their high mobility, large terrestrial predators are potentially capable of maintaining high connectivity, and therefore low genetic differentiation among populations. However, previous molecular studies have provided contradictory findings in relation to this. To elucidate patterns of genetic structure in large carnivores, we studied the genetic variability of the Eurasian lynx, Lynx lynx throughout north-eastern Europe using microsatellite, mitochondrial DNA control region and Y chromosome-linked markers. Using SAMOVA we found analogous patterns of genetic structure based on both mtDNA and microsatellites, which coincided with a relatively little evidence for male-biased dispersal. No polymorphism for the cytochrome b and ATP6 mtDNA genes and Y chromosome-linked markers were found. Lynx inhabiting a large area encompassing Finland, the Baltic countries and western Russia formed a single genetic unit, while some marginal populations were clearly divergent from others. The existence of a migration corridor was suggested to correspond with distribution of continuous forest cover. The lowest variability (in both markers was found in lynx from Norway and Białowieża Primeval Forest (BPF, which coincided with a recent demographic bottleneck (Norway or high habitat fragmentation (BPF. The Carpathian population, being monomorphic for the control region, showed relatively high microsatellite diversity, suggesting the effect of a past bottleneck (e.g. during Last Glacial Maximum on its present genetic composition. Genetic structuring for the mtDNA control region was best explained by latitude and snow cover depth. Microsatellite structuring correlated with the lynx's main prey, especially the proportion of red deer (Cervus elaphus in its diet. Eurasian lynx are capable of maintaining panmictic populations across eastern Europe unless they are severely limited by habitat continuity or a reduction in numbers. Different correlations of mtDNA and

  18. A novel type of nutritional ant-plant interaction: ant partners of carnivorous pitcher plants prevent nutrient export by dipteran pitcher infauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharmann, Mathias; Thornham, Daniel G; Grafe, T Ulmar; Federle, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Many plants combat herbivore and pathogen attack indirectly by attracting predators of their herbivores. Here we describe a novel type of insect-plant interaction where a carnivorous plant uses such an indirect defence to prevent nutrient loss to kleptoparasites. The ant Camponotus schmitzi is an obligate inhabitant of the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes bicalcarata in Borneo. It has recently been suggested that this ant-plant interaction is a nutritional mutualism, but the detailed mechanisms and the origin of the ant-derived nutrient supply have remained unexplained. We confirm that N. bicalcarata host plant leaves naturally have an elevated (15)N/(14)N stable isotope abundance ratio (δ(15)N) when colonised by C. schmitzi. This indicates that a higher proportion of the plants' nitrogen is insect-derived when C. schmitzi ants are present (ca. 100%, vs. 77% in uncolonised plants) and that more nitrogen is available to them. We demonstrated direct flux of nutrients from the ants to the host plant in a (15)N pulse-chase experiment. As C. schmitzi ants only feed on nectar and pitcher contents of their host, the elevated foliar δ(15)N cannot be explained by classic ant-feeding (myrmecotrophy) but must originate from a higher efficiency of the pitcher traps. We discovered that C. schmitzi ants not only increase the pitchers' capture efficiency by keeping the pitchers' trapping surfaces clean, but they also reduce nutrient loss from the pitchers by predating dipteran pitcher inhabitants (infauna). Consequently, nutrients the pitchers would have otherwise lost via emerging flies become available as ant colony waste. The plants' prey is therefore conserved by the ants. The interaction between C. schmitzi, N. bicalcarata and dipteran pitcher infauna represents a new type of mutualism where animals mitigate the damage by nutrient thieves to a plant.

  19. Occurrence of oral diseases in neotropical wild carnivores kept in captivity at the zoo from Federal University of Mato Grosso – Cuiabá

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Márcia Marques de Campos Andrade

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Control of oral lesions contributes directly to the health, survival and welfare of captive animals. In order to investigate the occurrence of oral diseases in neotropical wild carnivores kept at the zoo at the Federal University of Mato Grosso – Cuiabá, we evaluated 31 oral cavities from three families of carnivores (Felidae, Canidae and Procyonidae between July 2012 and June 2013. Twelve coatis (Nasua nasua, three raccoons (Procyon cancrivorus, two maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus, six crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous, one hoary fox (Pseudalopex vetulus, three ocelots (Leopardus pardalis, one cougar (Puma concolor and three wild cats (Puma yagouaroundi, Leopardus wiedii and Leopardus colocolo were reviewed. The most frequent lesions were dental absences 21/31 (67.7%, dental fractures 20/31 (64.5% and tooth wear 19/31 (61.3%, which were suggestive of trauma caused from stress. Of lesser importance, we also observed occurrence of dental calculus grade I in 18/31 (58%, caries 1/31 (3.2%, foreign bodies 2/31 (6.4%, orofacial fistulas 1/31 (3.2%, hyperplasia in the oral mucosa 1/31 (3.2%, dental dimming 3/31 (9.7% and chafing of the soft tissue 5/31 (16.1%. Therefore, it was concluded that environmental enrichment strategies and oral routine evaluation must be implemented to ensure the welfare of these animals, reducing local and systemic adverse effects of oral lesions. The diet has been successful in preventing periodontal disease, suggesting that this diet for the captive animals in the institution should be maintained.

  20. Improvements on GPS Location Cluster Analysis for the Prediction of Large Carnivore Feeding Activities: Ground-Truth Detection Probability and Inclusion of Activity Sensor Measures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin A Blecha

    Full Text Available Animal space use studies using GPS collar technology are increasingly incorporating behavior based analysis of spatio-temporal data in order to expand inferences of resource use. GPS location cluster analysis is one such technique applied to large carnivores to identify the timing and location of feeding events. For logistical and financial reasons, researchers often implement predictive models for identifying these events. We present two separate improvements for predictive models that future practitioners can implement. Thus far, feeding prediction models have incorporated a small range of covariates, usually limited to spatio-temporal characteristics of the GPS data. Using GPS collared cougar (Puma concolor we include activity sensor data as an additional covariate to increase prediction performance of feeding presence/absence. Integral to the predictive modeling of feeding events is a ground-truthing component, in which GPS location clusters are visited by human observers to confirm the presence or absence of feeding remains. Failing to account for sources of ground-truthing false-absences can bias the number of predicted feeding events to be low. Thus we account for some ground-truthing error sources directly in the model with covariates and when applying model predictions. Accounting for these errors resulted in a 10% increase in the number of clusters predicted to be feeding events. Using a double-observer design, we show that the ground-truthing false-absence rate is relatively low (4% using a search delay of 2-60 days. Overall, we provide two separate improvements to the GPS cluster analysis techniques that can be expanded upon and implemented in future studies interested in identifying feeding behaviors of large carnivores.

  1. Serosurvey for selected viral infections in free-ranging jaguars (Panthera onca) and domestic carnivores in Brazilian Cerrado, Pantanal, and Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furtado, Mariana Malzoni; de Ramos Filho, José Domingues; Scheffer, Karin Corrêa; Coelho, Claudio José; Cruz, Paula Sônia; Ikuta, Cassia Yumi; Jácomo, Anah Tereza de Almeida; Porfírio, Grasiela Edith de Oliveira; Silveira, Leandro; Sollmann, Rahel; Tôrres, Natália Mundim; Ferreira Neto, José Soares

    2013-07-01

    We investigated the exposure of jaguar (Panthera onca) populations and domestic carnivores to selected viral infections in the Cerrado, Amazon, and Pantanal biomes of Brazil. Between February 2000 and January 2010, we collected serum samples from 31 jaguars, 174 dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), and 35 domestic cats (Felis catus). Serologic analyses for antibodies to rabies virus, canine distemper virus (CDV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) antigen were conducted. The jaguars from Cerrado and Pantantal were exposed to rabies virus, while the jaguars from the Pantanal and the dogs from all three areas were exposed to CDV. Two cats from the Amazonian site were antigen-positive for FeLV, but no jaguars had FeLV antigen or FIV antibody. Canine distemper and rabies viruses should be carefully monitored and considered potential threats to these jaguar populations. Currently FIV and FeLV do not appear to represent a health threat for jaguar populations in this area. Domestic dogs and cats in these areas should be vaccinated, and the movement of domestic animals around protected areas should be restricted.

  2. Emergence of canine distemper virus strains with modified molecular signature and enhanced neuronal tropism leading to high mortality in wild carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Origgi, F C; Plattet, P; Sattler, U; Robert, N; Casaubon, J; Mavrot, F; Pewsner, M; Wu, N; Giovannini, S; Oevermann, A; Stoffel, M H; Gaschen, V; Segner, H; Ryser-Degiorgis, M-P

    2012-11-01

    An ongoing canine distemper epidemic was first detected in Switzerland in the spring of 2009. Compared to previous local canine distemper outbreaks, it was characterized by unusually high morbidity and mortality, rapid spread over the country, and susceptibility of several wild carnivore species. Here, the authors describe the associated pathologic changes and phylogenetic and biological features of a multiple highly virulent canine distemper virus (CDV) strain detected in and/or isolated from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), stone (Martes foina) and pine (Martes martes) martens, from a Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), and a domestic dog. The main lesions included interstitial to bronchointerstitial pneumonia and meningopolioencephalitis, whereas demyelination--the classic presentation of CDV infection--was observed in few cases only. In the brain lesions, viral inclusions were mainly in the nuclei of the neurons. Some significant differences in brain and lung lesions were observed between foxes and mustelids. Swiss CDV isolates shared together with a Hungarian CDV strain detected in 2004. In vitro analysis of the hemagglutinin protein from one of the Swiss CDV strains revealed functional and structural differences from that of the reference strain A75/17, with the Swiss strain showing increased surface expression and binding efficiency to the signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM). These features might be part of a novel molecular signature, which might have contributed to an increase in virus pathogenicity, partially explaining the high morbidity and mortality, the rapid spread, and the large host spectrum observed in this outbreak.

  3. Western rock lobsters ( Panulirus cygnus) in Western Australian deep coastal ecosystems (35-60 m) are more carnivorous than those in shallow coastal ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waddington, Kris I.; Bellchambers, Lynda M.; Vanderklift, Mathew A.; Walker, Diana I.

    2008-08-01

    The western rock lobster ( Panurilus cygnus George.) is a conspicuous consumer in the coastal ecosystems of temperate Western Australia. We used stable isotope analysis and gut content analysis to determine the diet and trophic position of western rock lobsters from mid-shelf coastal ecosystems (35-60 m depth) at three locations. Lobsters were primarily carnivorous, and no consistent differences in diet were detected with varying lobster size, sex or among locations. The main components of the diet were bait (from the fishery) and small crustaceans - crabs and amphipods/isopods. Foliose red algae, bivalves/gastropods and sponges were minor contributors to diet. The diet of lobsters in deep coastal ecosystems differed from the results of previous studies of diets of lobsters from shallow coastal ecosystems. In particular, coralline algae and molluscs - important prey in studies of lobsters from shallow coastal ecosystems - were minor components of the diet. These differences are likely to reflect differences in food availability between these systems and potentially, differences in choice of prey by lobsters that inhabit deeper water. Given the high contribution of bait to lobster diet, bait is likely to be subsidizing lobster production in deep coastal ecosystems during the fishing season.

  4. Interspecific and geographic variation in the diets of sympatric carnivores: dingoes/wild dogs and red foxes in south-eastern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Naomi E; Forsyth, David M; Triggs, Barbara; Pascoe, Charlie; Benshemesh, Joe; Robley, Alan; Lawrence, Jenny; Ritchie, Euan G; Nimmo, Dale G; Lumsden, Lindy F

    2015-01-01

    Dingoes/wild dogs (Canis dingo/familiaris) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are widespread carnivores in southern Australia and are controlled to reduce predation on domestic livestock and native fauna. We used the occurrence of food items in 5875 dingo/wild dog scats and 11,569 fox scats to evaluate interspecific and geographic differences in the diets of these species within nine regions of Victoria, south-eastern Australia. The nine regions encompass a wide variety of ecosystems. Diet overlap between dingoes/wild dogs and foxes varied among regions, from low to near complete overlap. The diet of foxes was broader than dingoes/wild dogs in all but three regions, with the former usually containing more insects, reptiles and plant material. By contrast, dingoes/wild dogs more regularly consumed larger mammals, supporting the hypothesis that niche partitioning occurs on the basis of mammalian prey size. The key mammalian food items for dingoes/wild dogs across all regions were black wallaby (Wallabia bicolor), brushtail possum species (Trichosurus spp.), common wombat (Vombatus ursinus), sambar deer (Rusa unicolor), cattle (Bos taurus) and European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). The key mammalian food items for foxes across all regions were European rabbit, sheep (Ovis aries) and house mouse (Mus musculus). Foxes consumed 6.1 times the number of individuals of threatened Critical Weight Range native mammal species than did dingoes/wild dogs. The occurrence of intraguild predation was asymmetrical; dingoes/wild dogs consumed greater biomass of the smaller fox. The substantial geographic variation in diet indicates that dingoes/wild dogs and foxes alter their diet in accordance with changing food availability. We provide checklists of taxa recorded in the diets of dingoes/wild dogs and foxes as a resource for managers and researchers wishing to understand the potential impacts of policy and management decisions on dingoes/wild dogs, foxes and the food resources they

  5. Modern and ancient red fox (Vulpes vulpes in Europe show an unusual lack of geographical and temporal structuring, and differing responses within the carnivores to historical climatic change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Jessica A

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite phylogeographical patterns being well characterised in a large number of species, and generalised patterns emerging, the carnivores do not all appear to show consistent trends. While some species tend to fit with standard theoretical phylogeographic expectations (e.g. bears, others show little obvious modern phylogeographic structure (e.g. wolves. In this study we briefly review these studies, and present a new phylogeographical study of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes throughout Europe, using a combination of ancient DNA sequences obtained from museum specimens, and modern sequences collated from GenBank. We used cytochrome b (250 bp and the mitochondrial control region (268 bp to elucidate both current and historical phylogeographical patterning. Results We found evidence for slight isolation by distance in modern populations, as well as differentiation associated with time, both of which can likely be attributed to random genetic drift. Despite high sequence diversity (11.2% cytochrome b, 16.4% control region, no evidence for spatial structure (from Bayesian trees is found either in modern samples or ancient samples for either gene, and Bayesian skyline plots suggested little change in the effective population size over the past 40,000 years. Conclusions It is probable that the high dispersal ability and adaptability of the red fox has contributed to the lack of observable differentiation, which appears to have remained consistent over tens of thousands of years. Generalised patterns of how animals are thought to have responded to historical climatic change are not necessarily valid for all species, and so understanding the differences between species will be critical for predicting how species will be affected by future climatic change.

  6. Is It Necessary Managing Carnivores to Reverse the Decline of Endangered Prey Species? Insights from a Removal Experiment of Mesocarnivores to Benefit Demographic Parameters of the Pyrenean Capercaillie.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubén Moreno-Opo

    Full Text Available Mesopredator control has long been used to alleviate the effect of elevated predation pressure on vulnerable, threatened or valuable species. However, the convenience of using mesopredator controls is technically questionable and scientifically-sound research is therefore required to evaluate the impact of predation on prey case by case. In this study we evaluated the effect of the alteration of terrestrial mesopredator dynamics on the demographic parameters of a relict capercaillie Tetrao urogallus aquitanicus population currently in decline for which the impact of predation has not previously been assessed. We used a six-year mesocarnivore removal experiment (2008-2013 together with seven-years of previous demographic information on capercaillies (1999-2007 within a before-after control-impact (BACI design to evaluate the effect of mesocarnivore removal on capercaillie demographic parameters and on spatial behaviour of the most frequent predatory mesocarnivores of the capercaillie (Martes spp. and red fox Vulpes vulpes. Using a dynamic site-occupancy approach, the reduction of mesocarnivore population levels as a result of removal was clear for marten species, mainly during key months for capercaillie reproduction, but not for the red fox. Our results show that the breeding success of capercaillies was enhanced in areas where carnivores were removed and was inversely related to the occupation level of the studied mesocarnivores, although being only significant for Martes spp. Moreover, capercaillie predation rates were lower and adult survival seemingly higher in treatment during the removal phase. Cost-effective, long-term management interventions to ensure the recovery of this threatened capercaillie population are discussed in the light of the results. At our study area, the decision for implementing predation management should be included within a broader long-term conservation perspective. In this regard, a more feasible and sustainable

  7. Oligotyping reveals differences between gut-microbiomes of free-ranging sympatric Namibian carnivores (Acinonyx jubatus, Canis mesomelas on a bacterial species-like level

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    Sebastian eMenke

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Recent gut microbiome studies in model organisms emphasize the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on the variation of the bacterial composition and its impact on the overall health status of the host. Species occurring in the same habitat might share a similar microbiome, especially if they overlap in ecological and behavioral traits. So far, the natural variation in microbiomes of free-ranging wildlife species has not been thoroughly investigated. The few existing studies exploring microbiomes through 16S rRNA gene reads clustered sequencing reads into operational taxonomic units (OTUs based on a similarity threshold (e.g. 97%. This approach, in combination with the low resolution of target databases, generally limits the level of taxonomic assignments to the genus level. However, distinguishing natural variation of microbiomes in healthy individuals from abnormal microbial compositions that affect host health requires knowledge of the normal microbial flora at a high taxonomic resolution. This gap can now be addressed using the recently published oligotyping approach, which can resolve closely related organisms into distinct oligotypes by utilizing subtle nucleotide variation. Here, we used Illumina MiSeq to sequence amplicons generated from the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene to investigate the gut microbiome of two free-ranging sympatric Namibian carnivore species, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus and the black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas. Bacterial phyla with proportions > 0.2 % were identical for both species and included Firmicutes, Fusobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria. At a finer taxonomic resolution, black-backed jackals exhibited 69 bacterial taxa with proportions ≥ 0.1 %, whereas cheetahs had only 42. Finally, oligotyping revealed that shared bacterial taxa consisted of distinct oligotype profiles. Thus, in contrast to 3 % OTUs, oligotyping can detect fine-scale taxonomic differences between

  8. Interacting effects of climate change, landscape conversion, and harvest on carnivore populations at the range margin: marten and lynx in the northern Appalachians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Carlos

    2007-08-01

    Assessing the effects of climate change on threatened species requires moving beyond simple bioclimatic models to models that incorporate interactions among climatic trends, landscape change, environmental stochasticity, and species life history. Populations of marten (Martes americana) and lynx (Lynx canadensis) in southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States represent peninsular extensions of boreal ranges and illustrate the potential impact of these threats on semi-isolated populations at the range margin. Decreased snowfall may affect marten and lynx through decreased prey vulnerability and decreased competitive advantage over sympatric carnivores. I used a spatially explicit population model to assess potential effects of predicted changes in snowfall by 2055 on regional marten and lynx populations. The models' habitat rankings were derived from previous static models that correlated regional distribution with snowfall and vegetation data. Trapping scenarios were parameterized as a 10% proportional decrease in survival, and logging scenarios were parameterized as a 10% decrease in the extent of older coniferous or mixed forest. Both species showed stronger declines in the simulations due to climate change than to overexploitation or logging. Marten populations declined 40% because of climate change, 16% because of logging, and 30% because of trapping. Lynx populations declined 59% because of climate change, 36% because of trapping, and 20% in scenarios evaluating the effects of population cycles. Climate change interacted with logging in its effects on the marten and with trapping in its effects on the lynx, increasing overall vulnerability. For both species larger lowland populations were vulnerable to climate change, which suggests that contraction may occur in the core of their current regional range as well as among smaller peripheral populations. Despite their greater data requirements compared with bioclimatic models, mesoscale spatial

  9. The Ancestral Carnivore Karyotype As Substantiated by Comparative Chromosome Painting of Three Pinnipeds, the Walrus, the Steller Sea Lion and the Baikal Seal (Pinnipedia, Carnivora.

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    Violetta R Beklemisheva

    Full Text Available Karyotype evolution in Carnivora is thoroughly studied by classical and molecular cytogenetics and supplemented by reconstructions of Ancestral Carnivora Karyotype (ACK. However chromosome painting information from two pinniped families (Odobenidae and Otariidae is noticeably missing. We report on the construction of the comparative chromosome map for species from each of the three pinniped families: the walrus (Odobenus rosmarus, Odobenidae-monotypic family, near threatened Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus, Otariidae and the endemic Baikal seal (Pusa sibirica, Phocidae using combination of human, domestic dog and stone marten whole-chromosome painting probes. The earliest karyological studies of Pinnipedia showed that pinnipeds were characterized by a pronounced karyological conservatism that is confirmed here with species from Phocidae, Otariidae and Odobenidae sharing same low number of conserved human autosomal segments (32. Chromosome painting in Pinnipedia and comparison with non-pinniped carnivore karyotypes provide strong support for refined structure of ACK with 2n = 38. Constructed comparative chromosome maps show that pinniped karyotype evolution was characterized by few tandem fusions, seemingly absent inversions and slow rate of genome rearrangements (less then one rearrangement per 10 million years. Integrative comparative analyses with published chromosome painting of Phoca vitulina revealed common cytogenetic signature for Phoca/Pusa branch and supports Phocidae and Otaroidea (Otariidae/Odobenidae as sister groups. We revealed rearrangements specific for walrus karyotype and found the chromosomal signature linking together families Otariidae and Odobenidae. The Steller sea lion karyotype is the most conserved among three studied species and differs from the ACK by single fusion. The study underlined the strikingly slow karyotype evolution of the Pinnipedia in general and the Otariidae in particular.

  10. Interspecific and geographic variation in the diets of sympatric carnivores: dingoes/wild dogs and red foxes in south-eastern Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi E Davis

    Full Text Available Dingoes/wild dogs (Canis dingo/familiaris and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes are widespread carnivores in southern Australia and are controlled to reduce predation on domestic livestock and native fauna. We used the occurrence of food items in 5875 dingo/wild dog scats and 11,569 fox scats to evaluate interspecific and geographic differences in the diets of these species within nine regions of Victoria, south-eastern Australia. The nine regions encompass a wide variety of ecosystems. Diet overlap between dingoes/wild dogs and foxes varied among regions, from low to near complete overlap. The diet of foxes was broader than dingoes/wild dogs in all but three regions, with the former usually containing more insects, reptiles and plant material. By contrast, dingoes/wild dogs more regularly consumed larger mammals, supporting the hypothesis that niche partitioning occurs on the basis of mammalian prey size. The key mammalian food items for dingoes/wild dogs across all regions were black wallaby (Wallabia bicolor, brushtail possum species (Trichosurus spp., common wombat (Vombatus ursinus, sambar deer (Rusa unicolor, cattle (Bos taurus and European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus. The key mammalian food items for foxes across all regions were European rabbit, sheep (Ovis aries and house mouse (Mus musculus. Foxes consumed 6.1 times the number of individuals of threatened Critical Weight Range native mammal species than did dingoes/wild dogs. The occurrence of intraguild predation was asymmetrical; dingoes/wild dogs consumed greater biomass of the smaller fox. The substantial geographic variation in diet indicates that dingoes/wild dogs and foxes alter their diet in accordance with changing food availability. We provide checklists of taxa recorded in the diets of dingoes/wild dogs and foxes as a resource for managers and researchers wishing to understand the potential impacts of policy and management decisions on dingoes/wild dogs, foxes and the food

  11. Is It Necessary Managing Carnivores to Reverse the Decline of Endangered Prey Species? Insights from a Removal Experiment of Mesocarnivores to Benefit Demographic Parameters of the Pyrenean Capercaillie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Opo, Rubén; Afonso, Iván; Jiménez, José; Fernández-Olalla, Mariana; Canut, Jordi; García-Ferré, Diego; Piqué, Josep; García, Francisco; Roig, Job; Muñoz-Igualada, Jaime; González, Luis Mariano; López-Bao, José Vicente

    2015-01-01

    Mesopredator control has long been used to alleviate the effect of elevated predation pressure on vulnerable, threatened or valuable species. However, the convenience of using mesopredator controls is technically questionable and scientifically-sound research is therefore required to evaluate the impact of predation on prey case by case. In this study we evaluated the effect of the alteration of terrestrial mesopredator dynamics on the demographic parameters of a relict capercaillie Tetrao urogallus aquitanicus population currently in decline for which the impact of predation has not previously been assessed. We used a six-year mesocarnivore removal experiment (2008-2013) together with seven-years of previous demographic information on capercaillies (1999-2007) within a before-after control-impact (BACI) design to evaluate the effect of mesocarnivore removal on capercaillie demographic parameters and on spatial behaviour of the most frequent predatory mesocarnivores of the capercaillie (Martes spp. and red fox Vulpes vulpes). Using a dynamic site-occupancy approach, the reduction of mesocarnivore population levels as a result of removal was clear for marten species, mainly during key months for capercaillie reproduction, but not for the red fox. Our results show that the breeding success of capercaillies was enhanced in areas where carnivores were removed and was inversely related to the occupation level of the studied mesocarnivores, although being only significant for Martes spp. Moreover, capercaillie predation rates were lower and adult survival seemingly higher in treatment during the removal phase. Cost-effective, long-term management interventions to ensure the recovery of this threatened capercaillie population are discussed in the light of the results. At our study area, the decision for implementing predation management should be included within a broader long-term conservation perspective. In this regard, a more feasible and sustainable management

  12. Will Trespassers Be Prosecuted or Assessed According to Their Merits? A Consilient Interpretation of Territoriality in a Group-Living Carnivore, the European Badger (Meles meles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helga V Tinnesand

    Full Text Available Socio-spatial interactions of Carnivores have traditionally been described using the vocabulary of territoriality and aggression, with scent marks interpreted as 'scent fences'. Here, we investigate the role of olfactory signals in assumed territorial marking of group-living solitary foragers using European badgers Meles meles as a model. We presented anal gland secretions (n = 351 from known individuals to identifiable recipients (n = 187, to assess response-variation according to familiarity (own-group, neighbours, strangers and spatial context (in-context: at a shared border; out-of-context: at an unshared border/ the main sett. Sniffing and over-marking (with subcaudal gland secretion responses were strongest to anal gland secretions from strangers, intermediate to neighbouring-group and weakest to own-group members. Secretions from both, strangers and neighbours, were sniffed for longer than were own-group samples, although neighbour-secretion presented out-of-context evoked no greater interest than in-context. On an individual level, responses were further moderated by the relevance of individual-specific donor information encoded in the secretion, as it related to the physiological state of the responder. There was a trend bordering on significance for males to sniff for longer than did females, but without sex-related differences in the frequency of subcaudal over-marking responses, and males over-marked oestrous female secretions more than non-oestrous females. There were no age-class related differences in sniff-duration or in over-marking. Evaluating these results in the context of the Familiarity hypothesis, the Threat-level hypothesis, and the Individual advertisement hypothesis evidences that interpretations of territorial scent-marks depicting rigid and potentially agonistic discrimination between own- and foreign-group conspecifics are overly simplistic. We use our findings to advance conceptual understanding of badger socio

  13. Presencia y abundancia relativa de carnívoros en una selva dañada por el huracán Dean (2007 Occurrence and relative abundance of carnivores in a tropical forest impacted by Hurricane Dean (2007

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    Malú Hernández-Díaz

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Los huracanes son disturbios comunes en el Caribe, pero se desconocen sus efectos sobre los carnívoros. El objetivo de este estudio fue evaluar la presencia y la abundancia relativa de los carnívoros respecto al daño en la vegetación debido al paso del huracán Dean (2007 en la península de Yucatán, 18 meses después del evento. Mediante fototrampeo, se muestrearon 4 sitios afectados en diferentes intensidades por el huracán. Se exploraron las respuestas de los carnívoros a 4 escalas espaciales. Los daños a la vegetación se estimaron mediante imágenes de satélite MODIS como la diferencia en el índice de Vegetación Mejorado (dEVI antes y después de que el huracán tocara tierra. En la mayoría de las escalas, la relación entre presencia y abundancia relativa de los carnívoros y el daño a la vegetación fue poco o nada significativa, probablemente debido a su poca especificidad de hábitat. Sin embargo, la aparente resistencia de estas especies al paso de un huracán debe confirmarse con un mayor esfuerzo de muestreo y un enfoque temporal.Hurricanes are common disturbances in the Caribbean, but their effect on carnivores is unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the occurrence and relative abundance of carnivores in relation with vegetation damage 18 months after Hurricane Dean (2007 hit the Yucatan Peninsula. Using camera-trapping, 4 sites showing different intensities of hurricane damage were sampled. The response of carnivores was explored at 4 spatial scales. Vegetation damage was estimated as the difference in the Enhanced Vegetation Index (dEVI before and after the hurricane using MODIS satellite images. At most resolutions, carnivores' occurrence and relative abundance were weakly or not related with vegetation damage, probably due to their little habitat specificity. Nevertheless, the apparent resistance of the studied species should be confirmed using a larger sampling effort and temporal framework.

  14. Induction and recovery of morphofunctional changes in the intestine of juvenile carnivorous fish (Epinephelus coioides) upon exposure to foodborne benzo[a]pyrene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yuen, Bonny B.H. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC (United States); Wong, Chris K.C. [Department of Biology, Baptist University of Hong Kong, Waterloo Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Woo, N.Y.S. [Department of Biology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, New Territory, Hong Kong (China); Au, Doris W.T. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China)]. E-mail: bhdwtau@cityu.edu.hk

    2007-05-15

    The sublethal toxicity of dietary benzo[a]pyrene, B[a]P, on fish growth and intestinal morphofunctional changes [as measured by epithelial turnover, cell proliferation, hyperplasia, de novo crypt formation and protein absorption efficiency (i.e. expression of proton/peptide co-transporter, PepT-1, on the mucosal brush border)] were studied for the carnivorous orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides). Juvenile fish were force-fed daily with pellets containing environmentally realistic concentrations of B[a]P (dissolved in corn oil) at 0.25 {mu}g/g body weight (low-dose) and 12.5 {mu}g/g body weight (high-dose) for 4 weeks, followed by a control diet for a further 4 weeks to assess recovery. Although growth inhibition was observed in fish treated with high-dose B[a]P during the exposure period, no mortality was observed throughout the 8-week experiment. Significant hyperplasia of basal enterocytes of mucosal folds was detected shortly after 3-day exposure to the high-dose B[a]P. Moreover, a faster epithelial turnover was measured in the high-dose B[a]P exposed fish at exposure week 1, which was followed by an increase of basal cell proliferation and a reduction of PepT-1 expression at exposure week 2. The formation of de novo crypts, resemblance to the cancer predisposition syndrome 'juvenile polyposis', was significantly higher in the intestine of high-dose treated fish as compared to the control at exposure week 2 and onwards. Abnormal cytoplasmic extrusions were frequently observed in mucosal folds of high-dose fish at exposure week 4. In the low-dose treatment group, only the expression of PepT-1 was significantly reduced at exposure week 2 and an early adaptive response was observed at exposure week 4. Despite all these intestinal disturbances were reversible in fish upon the abatement to dietary B[a]P (within 1-4 weeks), environmental realistic levels of foodborne B[a]P could induce sublethal toxicity to E. coioides, and probably impose potential

  15. A 10-year wildlife survey of 15 species of Canadian carnivores identifies new hosts or geographic locations for Trichinella genotypes T2, T4, T5, and T6.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajadhar, Alvin A; Forbes, Lorry B

    2010-02-26

    A survey of wild carnivores in Canada was conducted over a 10-year period to determine the prevalence and genotypes of Trichinella. Muscle samples collected from 1409 animals representing 15 hosts species were enzymatically digested to recover Trichinella larvae. Larvae were recovered from a total of 287 (20.4%) animals and PCR identified four genotypes of Trichinella. Trichinella nativa was found in 5 host species and was the most commonly found genotype. Trichinella T6 was present in 7 species of carnivores, and coyote and badger are new host records for this genotype. The recovery of T. pseudospiralis and T. murrelli from cougars is the first documentation of these species in Canada and in cougars. The cougar was also the only host species in which all four genotypes of Trichinella were identified. Black bears and walruses had the highest tissue levels of larvae in this study and are also the species most frequently associated with human trichinellosis in Canada. This work identifies additional host species and expanded geographic ranges for 4 genotypes of Trichinella in North America. Failure to demonstrate T. spiralis in wildlife and continued negative results from ongoing surveillance activities in swine provide additional evidence that T. spiralis is not present in Canada.

  16. How does a carnivore guild utilise a substantial but unpredictable anthropogenic food source? Scavenging on hunter-shot ungulate carcasses by wild dogs/dingoes, red foxes and feral cats in south-eastern Australia revealed by camera traps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsyth, David M; Woodford, Luke; Moloney, Paul D; Hampton, Jordan O; Woolnough, Andrew P; Tucker, Mark

    2014-01-01

    There is much interest in understanding how anthropogenic food resources subsidise carnivore populations. Carcasses of hunter-shot ungulates are a potentially substantial food source for mammalian carnivores. The sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) is a large (≥ 150 kg) exotic ungulate that can be hunted throughout the year in south-eastern Australia, and hunters are not required to remove or bury carcasses. We investigated how wild dogs/dingoes and their hybrids (Canis lupus familiaris/dingo), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) utilised sambar deer carcasses during the peak hunting seasons (i.e. winter and spring). We placed carcasses at 1-km intervals along each of six transects that extended 4-km into forest from farm boundaries. Visits to carcasses were monitored using camera traps, and the rate of change in edible biomass estimated at ∼ 14-day intervals. Wild dogs and foxes fed on 70% and 60% of 30 carcasses, respectively, but feral cats seldom (10%) fed on carcasses. Spatial and temporal patterns of visits to carcasses were consistent with the hypothesis that foxes avoid wild dogs. Wild dog activity peaked at carcasses 2 and 3 km from farms, a likely legacy of wild dog control, whereas fox activity peaked at carcasses 0 and 4 km from farms. Wild dog activity peaked at dawn and dusk, whereas nearly all fox activity occurred after dusk and before dawn. Neither wild dogs nor foxes remained at carcasses for long periods and the amount of feeding activity by either species was a less important predictor of the loss of edible biomass than season. Reasons for the low impacts of wild dogs and foxes on sambar deer carcass biomass include the spatially and temporally unpredictable distribution of carcasses in the landscape, the rapid rate of edible biomass decomposition in warm periods, low wild dog densities and the availability of alternative food resources.

  17. The capacity for long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid synthesis in a carnivorous vertebrate: Functional characterisation and nutritional regulation of a Fads2 fatty acyl desaturase with Δ4 activity and an Elovl5 elongase in striped snakehead (Channa striata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuah, Meng-Kiat; Jaya-Ram, Annette; Shu-Chien, Alexander Chong

    2015-03-01

    The endogenous production of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) in carnivorous teleost species inhabiting freshwater environments is poorly understood. Although a predatory lifestyle could potentially supply sufficient LC-PUFA to satisfy the requirements of these species, the nutrient-poor characteristics of the freshwater food web could impede this advantage. In this study, we report the cloning and functional characterisation of an elongase enzyme in the LC-PUFA biosynthesis pathway from striped snakehead (Channa striata), which is a strict freshwater piscivore that shows high deposition of LC-PUFA in its flesh. We also functionally characterised a previously isolated fatty acyl desaturase cDNA from this species. Results showed that the striped snakehead desaturase is capable of Δ4 and Δ5 desaturation activities, while the elongase showed the characteristics of Elovl5 elongases. Collectively, these findings reveal that striped snakehead exhibits the genetic resources to synthesise docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-3). Both genes are expressed at considerable levels in the brain and the liver. In liver, both genes were up-regulated by dietary C18 PUFA, although this increase did not correspond to a significant rise in the deposition of muscle LC-PUFA. Brain tissue of fish fed with plant oil diets showed higher expression of fads2 gene compared to fish fed with fish oil-based diet, which could ensure DHA levels remain constant under limited dietary DHA intake. This suggests the importance of DHA production from EPA via the ∆4 desaturation step in order to maintain an optimal reserve of DHA in the neuronal tissues of carnivores.

  18. On the ecological context of the earliest human settlements in Europe: Resource availability and competition intensity in the carnivore guild of Barranco León-D and Fuente Nueva-3 (Orce, Baza Basin, SE Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Gómez, Guillermo; Palmqvist, Paul; Rodríguez, Jesús; Mateos, Ana; Martín-González, Jesús A.; Espigares, M. Patrocinio; Ros-Montoya, Sergio; Martínez-Navarro, Bienvenido

    2016-07-01

    With an age of ∼1.4 Ma, the Early Pleistocene archaeopaleontological sites of Barranco León and Fuente Nueva-3 (Orce, Baza Basin, SE Spain) provide the oldest evidence on human presence in Western Europe, including the finding of a deciduous tooth of Homo sp., huge lithic assemblages of Oldowan tradition and abundant cut-marks on large mammal bones. Here we use a mathematical approach based on Leslie matrices to quantify for the large mammal species preserved at the sites the biomass of primary consumers available, the distribution of meat resources among the secondary consumers and the competition intensity within the carnivore guild. The results obtained show a community of large mammals with a high diversity of secondary consumers that would satisfy slightly less than half of their dietary requirements under optimal ecological conditions. In the case of Homo sp., and considering that flesh resources were obtained through the scavenging of ungulate carcasses, the model indicates that the ecosystems of the basin could hold 10-14 individuals per 100 km2 during a year, a value that is close to the mean population density of recent hunter-gatherers. These density estimates decrease slightly when a mixed hunting-scavenging strategy is considered and even more in the case of a strict hunting behavior. In addition, the value of the species competition index obtained for Homo sp. is among the lowest of the carnivore guild. These results suggest that the hominin populations that inhabited Southeast Spain during the Early Pleistocene behaved more as opportunistic scavengers than as active predators.

  19. How does a carnivore guild utilise a substantial but unpredictable anthropogenic food source? Scavenging on hunter-shot ungulate carcasses by wild dogs/dingoes, red foxes and feral cats in south-eastern Australia revealed by camera traps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Forsyth

    Full Text Available There is much interest in understanding how anthropogenic food resources subsidise carnivore populations. Carcasses of hunter-shot ungulates are a potentially substantial food source for mammalian carnivores. The sambar deer (Rusa unicolor is a large (≥ 150 kg exotic ungulate that can be hunted throughout the year in south-eastern Australia, and hunters are not required to remove or bury carcasses. We investigated how wild dogs/dingoes and their hybrids (Canis lupus familiaris/dingo, red foxes (Vulpes vulpes and feral cats (Felis catus utilised sambar deer carcasses during the peak hunting seasons (i.e. winter and spring. We placed carcasses at 1-km intervals along each of six transects that extended 4-km into forest from farm boundaries. Visits to carcasses were monitored using camera traps, and the rate of change in edible biomass estimated at ∼ 14-day intervals. Wild dogs and foxes fed on 70% and 60% of 30 carcasses, respectively, but feral cats seldom (10% fed on carcasses. Spatial and temporal patterns of visits to carcasses were consistent with the hypothesis that foxes avoid wild dogs. Wild dog activity peaked at carcasses 2 and 3 km from farms, a likely legacy of wild dog control, whereas fox activity peaked at carcasses 0 and 4 km from farms. Wild dog activity peaked at dawn and dusk, whereas nearly all fox activity occurred after dusk and before dawn. Neither wild dogs nor foxes remained at carcasses for long periods and the amount of feeding activity by either species was a less important predictor of the loss of edible biomass than season. Reasons for the low impacts of wild dogs and foxes on sambar deer carcass biomass include the spatially and temporally unpredictable distribution of carcasses in the landscape, the rapid rate of edible biomass decomposition in warm periods, low wild dog densities and the availability of alternative food resources.

  20. Mamíferos carnívoros e sua relação com a diversidade de hábitats no Parque Nacional dos Aparados da Serra, sul do Brasil Carnivore mammals and their relation with habitat diversity in Aparados da Serra National Park, southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria de Fátima M. dos Santos

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available A survey of carnivore mammals was accomplished in Aparados da Serra National Park from February 1998 to March 2000. The park has 10,250 ha and is considered a biodiversity core area of the Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve in the Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. The landscape is characterized by relatively well preserved relicts of Araucaria angustifolia (Bertol. Kuntze forest, grasslands and Atlantic Forest, which have contributed for the survival of endangered carnivore mammals. The National Park was divided in a grid of 16 km² cells using a 1:50,000 scale map. The animals were recorded using indirect methods, by identifying signs (scats, tracks and direct observation in 2.5 km long and 5 m wide transects, with 10 replicates in each grid cell. Interviews with local people were also used to confirm the animal presence. A total of 13 species was recorded: Procyon cancrivorus (Cuvier, 1798, Pseudalopex gymnocercus (G. Fischer, 1814, Leopardus pardalis (Linnaeus, 1758 and Cerdocyon thous (Linnaeus, 1766 were the most frequent species registered. Nasua nasua (Linnaeus 1766, Herpailurus yaguarondi (Lacépède, 1809, Chrysocyon brachyurus (Illiger, 1815, Eira barbara (Linnaeus, 1758, Leopardus sp., Puma concolor (Linnaeus, 1771, Galictis cuja (Molina, 1782, Conepatus chinga (Molina, 1892 and Lontra longicaudis (Olfers, 1818 showed lower frequencies. The Park presented areas with significant differences (Mantel Test, P< 0.05 in species richness and composition related to habitat classes. Areas with high habitat richness presented high species richness. The Araucaria forest was the habitat that presented the higher carnivore richness. The border areas of the Park are influenced by several environmental degradation factors that could be affecting the distribution of carnivores.

  1. 阿尔金山国家级自然保护区食肉鸟兽调查%Survey on Carnivore Birds and Mammals in Altun Mountain National Natural Reserve

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李叶; 张翔; 时磊

    2012-01-01

    2011-2012年,对阿尔金山国家级自然保护区的鼠类天敌——食肉鸟兽开展专项调查.通过调查,初步查明了保护区内共分布有鼠类天敌27种,分属2纲3目7科17属,其中有国家一级保护动物5种,二级保护动物17种.赤狐为保护区首次记录物种.对主要天敌的种类、分布、食性和活动规律,以及对高原鼠兔防治的潜在作用进行了初步分析.藏狐和大鵟可以作为进一步开展天敌防治鼠害工作的目标物种.%A special investigation on carnivorous mammals and birds was carried out in the Altun Mountain National Nature Reserve in 2011-2012. Research found out total 27 kinds of predators on rodent pests belonging to 2 classes,3 orders,7 families,and 17 genera distributing in the protected areas. Among them there are 5 kinds of national first class protection animal and 17 kinds of national second class protection animal. The red fox(Vulpes vuLpes)was first recorded from this region. The first analysis was carried out on varieties,distribution,feeding habits and the patterns of the main natural enemies and the potential role in controlling plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) . Tibetan fox and Buzzard can be used as target species for a further natural enemies controlling pika project.

  2. Free-Living Species of Carnivorous Mammals in Poland: Red Fox, Beech Marten, and Raccoon as a Potential Reservoir of Salmonella, Yersinia, Listeria spp. and Coagulase-Positive Staphylococcus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aneta Nowakiewicz

    Full Text Available The objective of the study was to examine a population of free-living carnivorous mammals most commonly found in Poland (red fox, beech marten, and raccoon for the occurrence of bacteria that are potentially pathogenic for humans and other animal species and to determine their virulence potential (the presence of selected virulence genes. From the total pool of isolates obtained (n = 328, we selected 90 belonging to species that pose the greatest potential threat to human health: Salmonella spp. (n = 19; 4.51%, Yersinia enterocolitica (n = 10; 2.37%, Listeria monocytogenes and L. ivanovii (n = 21, and Staphylococcus aureus (n = 40; 9.5%. The Salmonella spp. isolates represented three different subspecies; S. enterica subsp. enterica accounted for a significant proportion (15/19, and most of the serotypes isolated (S. Typhimurium, S. Infantis, S. Newport and S. Enteritidis were among the 10 non-typhoidal Salmonella serotypes that are most often responsible for infections in Europe, including Poland. Y. enterococlitica was detected in the smallest percentage of animals, but 60% of strains among the isolates tested possessed the ail gene, which is responsible for attachment and invasion. Potentially pathogenic Listeria species were isolated from approx. 5% of the animals. The presence of all tested virulence genes was shown in 35% of L. monocytogenes strains, while in the case of the other strains, the genes occurred in varying numbers and configurations. The presence of the inlA, inlC, hlyA, and iap genes was noted in all strains, whereas the genes encoding PI-PLC, actin, and internalin Imo2821 were present in varying percentages (from 80% to 55%. S. aureus was obtained from 40 individuals. Most isolates possessed the hla, hld (95% for each, and hlb (32.5% genes encoding hemolysins as well as the gene encoding leukotoxin lukED (70%. In a similar percentage of strains (77.5%, the presence of at least one gene encoding enterotoxin was found, with 12

  3. Cutting food in terrestrial carnivores and herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanson, Gordon

    2016-06-06

    Insects and mammals cut their food up into small pieces to facilitate ingestion and chemical digestion. Teeth and jaws act as cutting tools, but, unlike engineering tools designed for a specific purpose, must generally cope with substantial variation in food properties and work at many scales. Knowing how teeth and jaws work effectively requires an understanding of the cutting on the edges and the mechanisms that remove cut material. Variability and heterogeneity of diet properties are not well known, and, for example, may be higher and overlap more in the browsing and grazing categories of plant diets. A reinterpretation of tooth function in large mammal browsers and grazers is proposed.

  4. Koch's postulates, carnivorous cows, and tuberculosis today.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabrah, Frank L

    2011-07-01

    With Koch's announcement in 1882 of his work with the tubercle bacillus, his famous postulates launched the rational world of infectious disease and an abrupt social change--strict patient isolation. The postulates, so successful at their inception, soon began to show some problems, particularly with cholera, which clearly violated some of Koch's requirements. Subsequent studies of other diseases and the discovery of entirely new ones have so altered and expanded the original postulates that they now are little but a precious touch of history. The present additions and replacements of the original concepts are skillful changes that several authors have devised to introduce new order into understanding complex viral and prion diseases. In 1988, this knowledge, with the totally rational response of the British population and its cattle industry, was critical in promptly blocking the threatened epidemic of human prion disease. In contrast, the recent upsurge of tuberculosis (TB) in the worldwide AIDS epidemic in developing countries, and the sudden increase in metabolic syndrome in wealthy ones, suggests the need for focused sociobiologic research seeking ways to affect the damaging lifestyle behavior of many less educated populations in both settings. The world awaits an equivalent of Koch's Postulates in sociobiology to explain and possibly avert large self-destructive behaviors.

  5. Novel gene acquisition on carnivore Y chromosomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William J Murphy

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite its importance in harboring genes critical for spermatogenesis and male-specific functions, the Y chromosome has been largely excluded as a priority in recent mammalian genome sequencing projects. Only the human and chimpanzee Y chromosomes have been well characterized at the sequence level. This is primarily due to the presumed low overall gene content and highly repetitive nature of the Y chromosome and the ensuing difficulties using a shotgun sequence approach for assembly. Here we used direct cDNA selection to isolate and evaluate the extent of novel Y chromosome gene acquisition in the genome of the domestic cat, a species from a different mammalian superorder than human, chimpanzee, and mouse (currently being sequenced. We discovered four novel Y chromosome genes that do not have functional copies in the finished human male-specific region of the Y or on other mammalian Y chromosomes explored thus far. Two genes are derived from putative autosomal progenitors, and the other two have X chromosome homologs from different evolutionary strata. All four genes were shown to be multicopy and expressed predominantly or exclusively in testes, suggesting that their duplication and specialization for testis function were selected for because they enhance spermatogenesis. Two of these genes have testis-expressed, Y-borne copies in the dog genome as well. The absence of the four newly described genes on other characterized mammalian Y chromosomes demonstrates the gene novelty on this chromosome between mammalian orders, suggesting it harbors many lineage-specific genes that may go undetected by traditional comparative genomic approaches. Specific plans to identify the male-specific genes encoded in the Y chromosome of mammals should be a priority.

  6. Importancia de la heterogeneidad ambiental en la ecología de plantas carnívoras mediterráneas: implicaciones para la conservación Environmental heterogeneity and the ecology of carnivorous plants: implications for conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regino Zamora

    2002-03-01

    Full Text Available En la cuenca mediterránea, la mayoría de las plantas carnívoras pertenecientes al género Pinguicula habitan las paredes húmedas de montañas calizas. Estos escenarios rocosos condicionan la ecología de las poblaciones situadas en distintos exposiciones (solana versus umbría. Las diferencias temporales en la floración entre plantas que crecen en distintos microhábitats, unido a las diferencias espaciales en la distribución y abundancia de las especies de polinizadores, provocan barreras al flujo genico vía polen entre microhábitats soleados y umbríos. Estos mecanismos ecológicos pueden actuar sinérgicamente con otros factores que limitan el flujo génico, como distancia geográfica y la compleja orografía de las montañas, favoreciendo la diferenciación local. Las poblaciones de Pinguicula vallisneriifolia muestran también diferentes abundancias y estructuras demográficas dependiendo del microhábitat donde crecen las plantas. El carácter perenne y la reproducción asexual de esta planta le permite ralentizar la extinción poblacional, incluso en ausencia de reclutamiento via plántula en los lugares secos y soleados. Sin embargo, con la actual tendencia hacia una mayor aridez, los escasos micrositios adecuados para la germinación y establecimiento de plántulas se desplazan hacia los sectores de las paredes más umbríos y húmedos, pero donde el desarrollo reproductivo está limitado por la escasez de luz. Para la conservación de esta planta carnívora hay que llevar a cabo medidas de manejo para mantener un número mínimo de nichos de regeneración efectivos. La conservación de P. vallisneriifolia pasa por mantener la riqueza de escenarios ecológicos (i.e., mantener poblaciones de sol versus de sombra, como parte de la variabilidad total a conservar, no solo geográfica, sino también de escenario microclimáticoMost carnivorous plants belonging to the Pinguicula genus inhabit mountains in the Mediterranean basin

  7. THE AGE AND ENVIRONMENT STUDY OF Gigantopithecus FAUNA OF PA'ERYAN, BIJIE, GUIZHOU, BASED ON THE CARNIVORE FOSSILS%贵州毕节扒耳岩巨猿动物群的年代与环境——来自食肉类化石的分析和研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘金毅; 赵凌霞; 陈津; 王新金; 蔡回阳; 张忠文

    2011-01-01

    Pa'eryan, a cave or fissure deposit at Bijie, Guizhou Province ( 27°22'12"N, 105°15'16"E, Fig. 1 ) , was identified as a Gigantopithecus site with of fossil mammals accumulation. Most carnivores, although small in number with only 19 pieces unearthed, are in good conditions; some of them can even be classified to species level. The carnivores unearthed from Pa'eryan include: hyaena ( Pachycrocuta licenti), black bear ( Ursus thibetanus primitinus) ,giant panda(Ailuropoda microta) ,jackal( Cuon dubius)and leopard(Panthera sp. ) ,namely 4 families, 5 genera and 5 species.The present fossil record indicates that Pachycrocuta licenti, Ailuropoda microta, Cuon dubius and Ursus thibetanus primitinus were endemic elements of the Early Pleistocene fauna in South China. The time period of these animals was short and only in the Early Pleistocene. Those of Ailuropoda microta and Cuon dubius were even shorter and possibly limited to the early Early Pleistocene. It can definitely be confirmed that Pa'eryan fauna is in Early Pleistocene according to its carnivore guild.All species mentioned above, except Panthera sp., are extinct species or subspecieces, which is a typical feature of mammalian assemblage of Early Pleistocene. The indexes for the extinct species and genera of Pa'eryan's carnivore guild are 80% and 20% respectively, which are similar to those of Juyuandong ( Liucheng) and Mehuidong ( Tiandong) , but somewhat lower than those from Longgupo ( Wushan) and higher than those from Longgudong( Jianshi) (Table 4). Moreove,the carnivore guild of Pa'eryan has 5 common or similar members with Juyuandong and Mehuidong, 4 with Longgupo ( Wushan ) , and only 3 with Longgudong ( Jianshi). The carnivore guild of Pa'eryan differs from that of Longgupo in hyaena fossils. The hyaenas from Longgupo are more primitive in morphology than those from Pa'eryan,and even identified as a different species,namely Pachycrocuta perrieri. The major differences between Pa'eryan and Longgudong

  8. Using fecal profiles of bile acids to assess habitat use by threatened carnivores in the Maulino forest of central Chile Empleo del perfil de ácidos biliares fecales para evaluar uso del hábitat por carnívoros amenazados en el bosque maulino de Chile central

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CARLA GUERRERO

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available The distribution and habitat use by carnivores can be assessed by studying their tracks or feces. If these methods are to be used confidently, they should not only unequivocally discriminate among species, but should also render the same patterns of spatial distributions. We assessed the fulfillment of these requirements with five carnivores inhabiting the Maulino forest of central Chile: Galictis cuja, Oncifelis guigna, Pseudalopex culpaeus, Pseudalopex griseus, and Puma concolor. Fecal bile acid thin layer chromatographic profiles were assessed, and shown to be species-specific, invariant within samples of a given individual and among individuals of a given species, but consistently different across species. The spatial distribution of feces in mixed stands of native forests and exotic pine plantations in the coastal Maule region of central Chile was compared with the expected distribution according to habitat offer, and also with the expected distribution based on earlier track records. The results revealed that Pseudalopex culpaeus makes extensive use of pine plantations; Oncifelis guigna prefers native forests, and Pseudalopex griseus thrives in pine plantations, native forests, and patches of native forest, in proportion to habitat availability. Results from scat distribution were similar to those obtained by tracks records. Feces and tracks were thus useful indicators of habitat use by carnivores, and could be used complementarily to study species with conservation problemsEl uso del hábitat por carnívoros puede ser examinado a partir de la distribución de sus huellas y fecas. Para que ambas aproximaciones sean usadas en forma segura y complementaria, ellas deberían no solamente discriminar inequívocamente entre especies, sino que también deberían entregar la misma información sobre los patrones de distribución espacial. Analizamos el cumplimiento de estos requisitos con cinco especies de carnívoros en el bosque maulino de Chile

  9. Fruits as unusual food items of the carnivorous bat Chrotopterus auritus (Mammalia, Phyllostomidae from southeastern Brazil Frutos como item alimentar não habitual do morcego carnívoro Chrotopterus auritus (Mammalia, Phyllostomidae da região sudeste do Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilson Uieda

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available We record here the occurrence of seeds of several plant species in feces found inside the day roost of Chrotoperus auritus, at the Estação Experimental de Itirapina, State of São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil, in July 2001. The roost was used by only one adult female, non pregnant, during about a month. In the feces, fur of rodent (Muridae, bone fragments, fragments of Scarabaeidae and other beetles and insects, leaves (not determined and many seeds of Piperaceae (Piper sp., Urticaceae (Cecropia sp. and Solanaceae (Solanum spp. and Cestrum sp. were found. In the gut content, insect fragments, fur of rodent (Muridae and plant remains were found. It was discussed why this carnivorous bat would be consuming plant items.Relatamos aqui a ocorrência de sementes de diversas espécies de plantas em fezes encontradas num abrigo diurno de C. auritus, localizado na Estação Experimental de Itirapina, São Paulo, em julho de 2001. O abrigo era utilizado por apenas uma fêmea adulta não grávida durante cerca de um mês. Nas fezes, foram encontrados pêlos de roedor (Muridae, fragmentos de ossos, fragmentos de Scarabaeidae e de outros Coleópteros e insetos, folhas (não identificáveis e muitas sementes de Piperaceae (Piper sp., Urticaceae (Cecropia sp. e Solanaceae (Solanum spp. e Cestrum sp.. No trato digestivo foram encontrados fragmentos de insetos, pêlos de roedores (Muridae e restos de vegetais. Discute-se porque esse morcego carnívoro poderia estar consumindo itens vegetais.

  10. PRODUCCIÓN Y USO DE OBJETOS ORNAMENTALES ELABORADOS SOBRE DIENTES DE CARNÍVOROS EN CONTEXTOS ARQUEOLÓGICOS DEL HUMEDAL DEL PARANÁ INFERIOR / Manufacture and use of ornaments made on carnivore teeth from archaeological sites of Low Paraná Wetland

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    Alejandro Alberto Acosta

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available En este trabajo se analizan una serie de piezas dentarias de carnívoros discutiendo su utilización como objetos ornamentales por las poblaciones humanas que ocuparon el sector meridional del humedal del Paraná inferior durante el Holoceno tardío. La identificación taxonómica de los distintos elementos dentarios se efectuó mediante estudios morfométricos, siendo de particular interés señalar el reconocimiento de especies que son poco frecuentes o que hasta ahora no estaban presentes en el registro arqueológico regional como Canis familiaris y Nasua nasua. A través del análisis microscópico, logramos identificar distintos rastros o huellas de transformación y utilización de los dientes, incluso en aquellos ejemplares que a ojo desnudo no presentaban modificaciones antrópicas. En función de los resultados obtenidos se discute la obtención y uso de estos objetos como objetos ornamentales y se realizan distintas consideraciones en cuanto a su potencial valor simbólico, señalando ciertas limitaciones interpretativas que existen sobre este tópico, así como las vías analíticas y conceptos desarrollados por otros autores para abordar problemáticas similares a las aquí estudiadas. AbstractThis paper analyses Carnivore dental items, discussing their use as ornaments by human societies that inhabited the southern sector of Low Paraná wetland during the Late Holocene. Taxonomic identification of dental items was made trough morphometric analysis. It is very interesting to show the presence of taxa not available in the area as Canis familiaris and Nasua nasua. Through microscopic analysis, we identified use and manufacture process, also in those items which do not show anthropic modification at the naked eye. On the basis of these results, we discuss the bone raw material acquisition and their use as ornaments, arguing their symbolic value but pointing the analytical restrictions on this subject, as well as the methodological and

  11. Viral metagenomic analysis of feces of wild small carnivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R. Bodewes (Rogier); A. Ruiz-Gonzalez (Aritz); C.M.E. Schapendonk (Claudia); J.M.A. van den Brand (Judith); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); S.L. Smits (Saskia)

    2014-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Recent studies have clearly demonstrated the enormous virus diversity that exists among wild animals. This exemplifies the required expansion of our knowledge of the virus diversity present in wildlife, as well as the potential transmission of these viruses to domestic animal

  12. Garbage in the diet of carnivores in an agricultural area

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    Jankowiak Łukasz

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Human food waste is considered to be richer in carbohydrates, lipids and proteins than most natural food supplies; however, it is very well digested in scats. So, as an indication of this kind of food in the diet, we have used each indigestible, anthropogenic origin element found in faeces (e.g., glass, plastic, rubber, etc.. There are few studies discussing the importance of garbage in the diet of mammalian predators living in farmland; definitely, most focus on this issue in urban areas. We studied the contribution of garbage in the diet of raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides, red fox (Vulpes vulpes, marten (Martes sp., polecat (Mustela putorius, stoat (Mustela erminea, American mink (Neovison vison and Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra in the agricultural areas of western Poland in 2006-2010. In addition, we examined the spatial changes in the diet of red fox and polecat. The largest contribution of garbage was found in scats of raccoon dog (8.8%, red fox (4.8% and marten (4.3%. The diet of polecat, stoat and Eurasian otter contained 2.5%, 1.7% and 0.2% garbage items respectively. The most frequent item was plastic. Our analysis showed that garbage consumption by red fox and polecat was greater closer to human settlements. The results reveal a continuous gradient in the garbage consumption that corresponds with the degree of synanthropization of particular species.

  13. Demographic side effects of selective hunting in ungulates and carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milner, Jos M; Nilsen, Erlend B; Andreassen, Harry P

    2007-02-01

    Selective harvesting regimes are often implemented because age and sex classes contribute differently to population dynamics and hunters show preferences associated with body size and trophy value. We reviewed the literature on how such cropping regimes affect the demography of the remaining population (here termed demographic side effects). First, we examined the implications of removing a large proportion of a specific age or sex class. Such harvesting strategies often bias the population sex ratio toward females and reduce the mean age of males, which may consequently delay birth dates, reduce birth synchrony, delay body mass development, and alter offspring sex ratios. Second, we reviewed the side effects associated with the selective removal of relatively few specific individuals, often large trophy males. Such selective harvesting can destabilize social structures and the dominance hierarchy and may cause loss of social knowledge, sexually selected infanticide, habitat changes among reproductive females, and changes in offspring sex ratio. A common feature of many of the reported mechanisms is that they ultimately depress recruitment and in some extreme cases even cause total reproductive collapse. These effects could act additively and destabilize the dynamics of populations, thus having a stronger effect on population growth rate than first anticipated. Although more experimental than observational studies reported demographic side effects, we argue that this may reflect the quite subtle mechanisms involved, which are unlikely to be detected in observational studies without rigorous monitoring regimes. We call for more detailed studies of hunted populations with marked individuals that address how the expression of these effects varies across mating systems, habitats, and with population density. Theoretical models investigating how strongly these effects influence population growth rates are also required.

  14. Carnivore-caused livestock mortality in Trans-Himalaya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Namgail, T.; Fox, J.L.; Bhatnagar, Y.V.

    2007-01-01

    The loss of livestock to wild predators is an important livelihood concern among Trans-Himalayan pastoralists. Because of the remoteness and inaccessibility of the region, few studies have been carried out to quantify livestock depredation by wild predators. In the present study, we assessed the int

  15. 'Nasty neighbours' rather than 'dear enemies' in a social carnivore

    OpenAIRE

    2007-01-01

    Territorial animals typically respond less aggressively to neighbours than to strangers. This ‘dear enemy effect’ has been explained by differing familiarity or by different threat levels posed by neighbours and strangers. In most species, both the familiarity and the threat-level hypotheses predict a stronger response to strangers than to neighbours. In contrast, the threat-level hypothesis predicts a stronger response to neighbours than to strangers in species with intense competition betwe...

  16. Sabretoothed carnivores and the killing of large prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ki Andersson

    Full Text Available Sabre-like canines clearly have the potential to inflict grievous wounds leading to massive blood loss and rapid death. Hypotheses concerning sabretooth killing modes include attack to soft parts such as the belly or throat, where biting deep is essential to generate strikes reaching major blood vessels. Sabretoothed carnivorans are widely interpreted as hunters of larger and more powerful prey than that of their present-day nonsabretoothed relatives. However, the precise functional advantage of the sabretooth bite, particularly in relation to prey size, is unknown. Here, we present a new point-to-point bite model and show that, for sabretooths, depth of the killing bite decreases dramatically with increasing prey size. The extended gape of sabretooths only results in considerable increase in bite depth when biting into prey with a radius of less than ∼10 cm. For sabretooths, this size-reversed functional advantage suggests predation on species within a similar size range to those attacked by present-day carnivorans, rather than "megaherbivores" as previously believed. The development of the sabretooth condition appears to represent a shift in function and killing behaviour, rather than one in predator-prey relations. Furthermore, our results demonstrate how sabretoothed carnivorans are likely to have evolved along a functionally continuous trajectory: beginning as an extension of a jaw-powered killing bite, as adopted by present-day pantherine cats, followed by neck-powered biting and thereafter shifting to neck-powered shear-biting. We anticipate this new insight to be a starting point for detailed study of the evolution of pathways that encompass extreme specialisation, for example, understanding how neck-powered biting shifts into shear-biting and its significance for predator-prey interactions. We also expect that our model for point-to-point biting and bite depth estimations will yield new insights into the behaviours of a broad range of extinct predators including therocephalians (gorgonopsian + cynodont, sabretoothed mammal-like reptiles, sauropterygians (marine reptiles and theropod dinosaurs.

  17. Possibilities of acupressure diagnostics indifferent diseases of carnivores

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    Petrović Branislav

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes the possibility of using acupressure on established points of stepped-up skin sensibility (puncta maxima - PM for the purpose of diagnosing certain diseases of internal organs or the state of the bone-joint system in carnivora. It presents the theoretical basis of acupressure diagnostics on the grounds of the existence of pathways for conducting pain and the familiar principle of viscero-cutaneous reflexes. It describes the technique of diagnosis using acupressure. Seven graphic pictures present the localization of optimal PM for acupressure diagnostics.

  18. Possibilities of acupressure diagnostics indifferent diseases of carnivores

    OpenAIRE

    Petrović Branislav

    2002-01-01

    The paper describes the possibility of using acupressure on established points of stepped-up skin sensibility (puncta maxima - PM) for the purpose of diagnosing certain diseases of internal organs or the state of the bone-joint system in carnivora. It presents the theoretical basis of acupressure diagnostics on the grounds of the existence of pathways for conducting pain and the familiar principle of viscero-cutaneous reflexes. It describes the technique of diagnosis using acupressure. Seven ...

  19. 内蒙古赛罕乌拉自然保护区4种小型食肉目动物的食性构成的初步分析%Preliminary comparison of diet composition of four small sized carnivores at Saihanwula Nature Reserve,Inner Mongolia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张逦嘉; 王安梦; 袁梨; 鲍伟东; 杨永昕; 巴特尔

    2011-01-01

    为了解同域分布动物的食物竞争关系,采用样线法收集粪便样品,依据残遗物鉴别物种的方法,于2007年8~12月对赛罕乌拉国家级自然保护区的赤狐、狗獾、香鼬和豹猫的食物构成进行比较.结果表明:赤狐取食所有15类食物,并捕食小型鼬类;在赤狐粪样(n=70)中出现率较大的植物(32.6%)以重量比率计算时其贡献极大下降(0.02%),而出现率较低的草兔和鸟类重量比率较高(草兔65.4%,鸟类22.9%),相对重要值的计算表示,赤狐的食物构成均一.狗獾(n=64)以取食昆虫和植物果实为主(出现率29.3%和57.8%).香鼬(n=14)集中取食鼠类(出现率73.7%,相对重量99.8%),豹猫(n=11)则以鸟类居多(出现率27.8%,相对重量69.0%).食物生态位的宽度以赤狐最大(0.2),其次为豹猫(0.07).根据食物生态位的重叠度分析,赤狐与狗獾(O=0.99)和豹猫(O=0.7)以及狗獾与豹猫(O=0.6)的种间竞争较强,但在主要食物上出现分离,实现捕食者之间的共存.赤狐对香鼬的捕食可能限制了其种群的发展.%Food habits and competition of sympatric carnivores at Saihanwula Nature Reserve, Inner Mongolia were compared from August to December 2007 by examining fecal content Food items were evaluated by rate of occurrence in the diet and in weight percentage of total diet. Our study included red fox ( Vulpes vulpes ), badger ( Meles meles ), mountain weasel (Mustela altaica) and leopard cat (Felis bengalensis). The data indicate red fox ingested 15 kinds of food with the following composition: plants (32.6% ), rodents (31.3% ) and birds ( 18. 6% ); weasels were occasionally preyed upon (0. 7% ). Although plant occurrence was high percentage, the role of vegetation decreased when calculated in relative weight percentage. Badger consumed more insects (29. 3% ) and fruit (57. 8% ) in terms of frequency, while mountain weasel preyed upon rodents at a very high rate of occurrence ( 73. 7% ) and weight

  20. Cotton Fabric Coated with Conducting Polymers and its Application in Monitoring of Carnivorous Plant Response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Václav Bajgar

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes the electrical plant response to mechanical stimulation monitored with the help of conducting polymers deposited on cotton fabric. Cotton fabric was coated with conducting polymers, polyaniline or polypyrrole, in situ during the oxidation of respective monomers in aqueous medium. Thus, modified fabrics were again coated with polypyrrole or polyaniline, respectively, in order to investigate any synergetic effect between both polymers with respect to conductivity and its stability during repeated dry cleaning. The coating was confirmed by infrared spectroscopy. The resulting fabrics have been used as electrodes to collect the electrical response to the stimulation of a Venus flytrap plant. This is a paradigm of the use of conducting polymers in monitoring of plant neurobiology.

  1. Fast carnivores and slow herbivores: differential foraging strategies among grizzly bears in the Canadian Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Mark A; Derocher, Andrew E; Hobson, Keith A; Branigan, Marsha; Nagy, John A

    2011-04-01

    Categorizing animal populations by diet can mask important intrapopulation variation, which is crucial to understanding a species' trophic niche width. To test hypotheses related to intrapopulation variation in foraging or the presence of diet specialization, we conducted stable isotope analysis (δ(13)C, δ(15)N) on hair and claw samples from 51 grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) collected from 2003 to 2006 in the Mackenzie Delta region of the Canadian Arctic. We examined within-population differences in the foraging patterns of males and females and the relationship between trophic position (derived from δ(15)N measurements) and individual movement. The range of δ(15)N values in hair and claw (2.0-11.0‰) suggested a wide niche width and cluster analyses indicated the presence of three foraging groups within the population, ranging from near-complete herbivory to near-complete carnivory. We found no linear relationship between home range size and trophic position when the data were continuous or when grouped by foraging behavior. However, the movement rate of females increased linearly with trophic position. We used multisource dual-isotope mixing models to determine the relative contributions of seven prey sources within each foraging group for both males and females. The mean bear dietary endpoint across all foraging groups for each sex fell toward the center of the mixing polygon, which suggested relatively well-mixed diets. The primary dietary difference across foraging groups was the proportional contribution of herbaceous foods, which decreased for both males and females from 42-76 to 0-27% and 62-81 to 0-44%, respectively. Grizzlies of the Mackenzie Delta live in extremely harsh conditions and identifying within-population diet specialization has improved our understanding of varying habitat requirements within the population.

  2. Trophic niche partitioning between two native and two exotic carnivores in SW Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Santos

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The introduction of exotic species is one of the most pervasive consequences of the increased human mobility. The most known negative effects are the decrease or extinction of natives. The common-genet, Genetta genetta, and the Egyptian mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, were introduced in the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th and 19th centuries, respectively. The competitive exclusion principle defines that two ecologically similar species cannot coexist. Thus, some degree of partitioning has to occur in species realized niche, which can occur at the trophic level. To test this hypothesis of partitioning we compared the diet of these two exotic species with that of two native species (stone marten, Martes foina, and red fox, Vulpes vulpes. The results show a high degree of overlap (>45% between the diets of species similar in their feeding strategies (arboreal and ground feeding. Nonetheless, at the finer scale of prey consumed at the species level some differences are found between the native and exotic species. These results suggest that if coexistence is due to trophic niche partitioning it only occurs at the level of the consumed species. However, coexistence may also be due to a combination of different strategies (home-range size, time and space use that structured the different realized niches of each species.

  3. Early sexing techniques in Lophiosilurus alexandri (Steindachner, 1876), a freshwater carnivorous catfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melillo Filho, Reinaldo; Gheller, Valentim Arabicano; Chaves, Glauco Vinício; de Souza E Silva, Walisson; Costa, Deliane Cristina; Figueiredo, Luis Gustavo; da Costa Julio, Gustavo Soares; Luz, Ronald Kennedy

    2016-10-01

    This study aimed to evaluate sexing techniques for juvenile Lophiosilurus alexandri. With this aim, we evaluated three techniques: coelioscopy, performed with the use of video surgery equipment; coeliotomy, a surgical procedure for direct visualization of the gonads; and sex determination using a urethral probe to compare the genital papillae. For coelioscopy, the survival rate was 100% 30 days after the procedure, and the fish restarted eating 10 days after surgery. This technique resulted in a 100% correct identification of individuals identified as females, whereas for males, it was 66.6%. There was no significant difference between males and females for anesthesia induction and recovery times. However, the procedure took longer for males because of the difficulty in observing the gonads, which can be attributed to the large amount of visceral fat in males. Coeliotomy also resulted in a 100% survival rate 30 days after surgery, and the efficiency of this technique was 96.3% for males and 93.9% for females. The fish restarted eating between 10 and 14 days after surgery, and there were no significant differences between males and females for anesthesia induction and recovery times for the surgical procedure to visualize the gonads (P > 0.05). The urethral probe technique was less efficient with an accuracy rate of 67.8% and 81.8% for males and females, respectively. We conclude that coeliotomy was more efficient for sexing both sexes of juvenile L. alexandri.

  4. The carnivore pregnancy: the development of the embryo and fetal membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miglino, Maria Angelica; Ambrósio, Carlos Eduardo; dos Santos Martins, Daniele; Wenceslau, Cristiane Valverde; Pfarrer, Christiane; Leiser, Rudolf

    2006-10-01

    The aim of this research was to compare the morphological aspects during the development of pregnancy in dogs and cats, distinguishing features of the fetal membranes, such as yolk sac evolution and differentiation of hemangioblasts, and the degree of elaboration of the amnion and allantois. Canine and feline placentae from 20, 24, 35, 45 and 55 d of pregnancy were perfusion-fixed for histological investigation and vascular corrosion casts were produced. The casts were prepared for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the embryo and fetal membrane development was analyzed. The growth patterns of the conceptuses were compared with the organization of the placentation process, and changes of the morphology during pregnancy were recorded. In feline placentae, an incomplete zonary shape was present in 62.5% out of 60 studied cases. This was located distal to the insertion of the umbilical cord. In the lamellar zone, the interhemal membrane or placental barrier resembled endotheliochorial conditions, and the maternal-fetal microvascular blood flow interrelationship was of simple crosscurrent type. Dogs have a zonary placenta, completely surrounding the fetus, and complex lamellar organization of maternal and fetal tissues. At the border, two marginal hematomes with green colouration delimited the central placental girdle. The yolk sac consisted of one large sacculation with an inverted "T" shape and an enormous number of blood vessels; it had hemangioblast cells in contact with the epithelium. The amnion was avascular in early stages, but became vascularized by blood vessels of the internal allantoic membrane in later stages of pregnancy by intrinsic relation.

  5. Poor health is associated with use of anthropogenic resources in an urban carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Maureen; Edwards, Mark A; Abercrombie, Bill; St Clair, Colleen Cassady

    2015-05-01

    Rates of encounters between humans and wildlife are increasing in cities around the world, especially when wildlife overlap with people in time, space and resources. Coyotes (Canis latrans) can make use of anthropogenic resources and reported rates of conflict have increased in cities across North America. This increase may be linked to individual differences in the use of human food and developed areas. We compared the relationships between coyote age, sex or health and the use of anthropogenic resources, which we defined as using developed areas over large home ranges, being active during the day, and consuming anthropogenic food. To do so, we applied GPS collars to 19 coyotes and sampled hair for stable isotope analysis. Eleven coyotes appeared to be healthy and eight were visibly infested with sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei), a mite that causes hair loss. Diseased coyotes used more developed areas, had larger monthly home ranges, were more active during the day, and assimilated less protein than coyotes that appeared to be healthy. We speculate that anthropogenic food provides a low-quality but easily accessible food source for diseased coyotes, which in turn may increase reliance on it and other anthropogenic resources to promote encounters with people.

  6. Population expansion and individual age affect endoparasite richness and diversity in a recolonising large carnivore population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesniak, Ines; Heckmann, Ilja; Heitlinger, Emanuel; Szentiks, Claudia A.; Nowak, Carsten; Harms, Verena; Jarausch, Anne; Reinhardt, Ilka; Kluth, Gesa; Hofer, Heribert; Krone, Oliver

    2017-01-01

    The recent recolonisation of the Central European lowland (CEL) by the grey wolf (Canis lupus) provides an excellent opportunity to study the effect of founder events on endoparasite diversity. Which role do prey and predator populations play in the re-establishment of endoparasite life cycles? Which intrinsic and extrinsic factors control individual endoparasite diversity in an expanding host population? In 53 individually known CEL wolves sampled in Germany, we revealed a community of four cestode, eight nematode, one trematode and 12 potential Sarcocystis species through molecular genetic techniques. Infections with zoonotic Echinococcus multilocularis, Trichinella britovi and T. spiralis occurred as single cases. Per capita endoparasite species richness and diversity significantly increased with population size and changed with age, whereas sex, microsatellite heterozygosity, and geographic origin had no effect. Tapeworm abundance (Taenia spp.) was significantly higher in immigrants than natives. Metacestode prevalence was slightly higher in ungulates from wolf territories than from control areas elsewhere. Even though alternative canid definitive hosts might also play a role within the investigated parasite life cycles, our findings indicate that (1) immigrated wolves increase parasite diversity in German packs, and (2) prevalence of wolf-associated parasites had declined during wolf absence and has now risen during recolonisation. PMID:28128348

  7. First report of Spirocerca sp. in Denmark – a tumor-inducing parasite in carnivores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al-Sabi, Mohammad Nafi Solaiman; Hansen, Mette Sif; Larsen, Gitte

    2014-01-01

    or sieving. Partial sequencing of two segments of the mitochondrial cox1 gene revealed unique sequences that were distinct from known isolates of S. lupi from Europe, Asia and Africa. Phylogenetic analysis supported the later finding by grouping Danish isolates in one separate node which was distant from...... other nodes including S. lupi from other countries. It is not known whether this case was an autochthonous infection or whether it was introduced by migrating paratenic or definitive hosts. This is the first report of Spirocerca sp. in Denmark. Additional molecular and/or biological studies...

  8. The ecology of large carnivores in the highlands of northern Ethiopia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yirga, Gidey; De Iongh, Hans H.; Leirs, Herwig

    2013-01-01

    ), leopard (Panthera pardus) and jackal (Canis aureus aureus) in the highlands of northern Ethiopia. The annual mean economic loss per household was approximately U.S.$ 20.2, about 7% of the average annual income of households in the area. Households surveyed reported losses of a total of 3122 livestock......; and jackal for goat and sheep. Livestock predation of spotted hyaena and leopard were mainly during the night. We conclude that assessing depredation problems is important to develop actions for management of either livestock practices or wildlife conservation....

  9. Late Pleistocene carnivores (Carnivora: Mammalia) from a cave sedimentary deposit in northern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Shirlley; Avilla, Leonardo S; Soibelzon, Leopoldo H; Bernardes, Camila

    2014-12-01

    The Brazilian Quaternary terrestrial Carnivora are represented by the following families: Canidae, Felidae, Ursidae, Procyonidae Mephitidae and Mustelidae. Their recent evolutionary history in South America is associated with the uplift of the Panamanian Isthmus, and which enabled the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). Here we present new fossil records of Carnivora found in a cave in Aurora do Tocantins, Tocantins, northern Brazil. A stratigraphical controlled collection in the sedimentary deposit of the studied cave revealed a fossiliferous level where the following Carnivora taxa were present: Panthera onca, Leopardus sp., Galictis cuja, Procyon cancrivorus, Nasua nasua and Arctotherium wingei. Dating by Electron Spinning Resonance indicates that this assemblage was deposited during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), at least, 22.000 YBP. The weasel, G. cuja, is currently reported much further south than the record presented here. This may suggest that the environment around the cave was relatively drier during the LGM, with more open vegetation, and more moderate temperatures than the current Brazilian Cerrado.

  10. Late Pleistocene carnivores (Carnivora: Mammalia from a cave sedimentary deposit in northern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SHIRLLEY RODRIGUES

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The Brazilian Quaternary terrestrial Carnivora are represented by the following families: Canidae, Felidae, Ursidae, Procyonidae Mephitidae and Mustelidae. Their recent evolutionary history in South America is associated with the uplift of the Panamanian Isthmus, and which enabled the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI. Here we present new fossil records of Carnivora found in a cave in Aurora do Tocantins, Tocantins, northern Brazil. A stratigraphical controlled collection in the sedimentary deposit of the studied cave revealed a fossiliferous level where the following Carnivora taxa were present: Panthera onca, Leopardus sp., Galictis cuja, Procyon cancrivorus, Nasua nasua and Arctotherium wingei. Dating by Electron Spinning Resonance indicates that this assemblage was deposited during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, at least, 22.000 YBP. The weasel, G. cuja, is currently reported much further south than the record presented here. This may suggest that the environment around the cave was relatively drier during the LGM, with more open vegetation, and more moderate temperatures than the current Brazilian Cerrado.

  11. Hominid and carnivore activity at Middle and Upper Paleolithic cave sites in eastern Spain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Lindly

    1988-01-01

    Full Text Available Recientes investigaciones zooarqueológicas han desarrollado métodos para distinguir entre residuos óseos producidos por depredadores carnívoros y animales de carroña, y residuos semejantes producidos por homínidos. Estas metodologías han sido aplicadas a yacimientos Pleistocénicos en Africa, mientras que sólo se han comenzado a utilizar para yacimientos paleolíticos de Europa Occidental. Un análisis preliminar del papel jugado por los carnívoros en la deposición del material faunístico en el norte de España (Straus, 1982 sugiere un alta implicación de carnívoros en la formación de depósitos musterienses con una disminución de su papel en el Paleolítico Superior. En este estudio, las relaciones entre carnívoros y ungulados de los yacimientos del Paleolítico Medio (Los Casares, Cova Negra y tres del Superior (Parpalló, Les Mallaetes, Volcán del Faro de la España levantina confirman la validez de este modelo. Sin embargo, métodos más precisos como el análisis de frecuencias de las partes del cuerpo y medidas de la atrición de los conjuntos faunísticos sugieren una implicación constante o mayor de carnívoros en la formación de estos conjuntos a lo largo del   tiempo, indicando que anteriores interpretaciones sobre estrategias de subsistencias en estos yacimientos pueden ser sospechosas e incluso completamente equivocadas.

  12. Behavior Data - The effect of dietary taurine on feed attraction and physiology of carnivorous marine fish

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — As the global population continues to rise, so does the demand for sustainable sources of protein. The worldwide harvest of wild fish has remained flat for three...

  13. Fermentation of animal components in strict carnivores: a comparative study with cheetah fecal inoculum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Depauw, S.; Bosch, G.; Hesta, M.; Whitehouse-Tedd, K.; Hendriks, W.H.; Kaandorp, J.; Janssens, G.P.J.

    2012-01-01

    The natural diet of felids contains highly digestible animal tissues but also fractions resistant to small intestinal digestion, which enter the large intestine where they may be fermented by the resident microbial population. Little information exists on the microbial degradability of animal tissue

  14. Large-scale genetic structuring of a widely distributed carnivore--the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eli K Rueness

    Full Text Available Over the last decades the phylogeography and genetic structure of a multitude of species inhabiting Europe and North America have been described. The flora and fauna of the vast landmasses of north-eastern Eurasia are still largely unexplored in this respect. The Eurasian lynx is a large felid that is relatively abundant over much of the Russian sub-continent and the adjoining countries. Analyzing 148 museum specimens collected throughout its range over the last 150 years we have described the large-scale genetic structuring in this highly mobile species. We have investigated the spatial genetic patterns using mitochondrial DNA sequences (D-loop and cytochrome b and 11 microsatellite loci, and describe three phylogenetic clades and a clear structuring along an east-west gradient. The most likely scenario is that the contemporary Eurasian lynx populations originated in central Asia and that parts of Europe were inhabited by lynx during the Pleistocene. After the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM range expansions lead to colonization of north-western Siberia and Scandinavia from the Caucasus and north-eastern Siberia from a refugium further east. No evidence of a Berinigan refugium could be detected in our data. We observed restricted gene flow and suggest that future studies of the Eurasian lynx explore to what extent the contemporary population structure may be explained by ecological variables.

  15. Selecting habitat to survive: the impact of road density on survival in a large carnivore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Basille

    Full Text Available Habitat selection studies generally assume that animals select habitat and food resources at multiple scales to maximise their fitness. However, animals sometimes prefer habitats of apparently low quality, especially when considering the costs associated with spatially heterogeneous human disturbance. We used spatial variation in human disturbance, and its consequences on lynx survival, a direct fitness component, to test the Hierarchical Habitat Selection hypothesis from a population of Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx in southern Norway. Data from 46 lynx monitored with telemetry indicated that a high proportion of forest strongly reduced the risk of mortality from legal hunting at the home range scale, while increasing road density strongly increased such risk at the finer scale within the home range. We found hierarchical effects of the impact of human disturbance, with a higher road density at a large scale reinforcing its negative impact at a fine scale. Conversely, we demonstrated that lynx shifted their habitat selection to avoid areas with the highest road densities within their home ranges, thus supporting a compensatory mechanism at fine scale enabling lynx to mitigate the impact of large-scale disturbance. Human impact, positively associated with high road accessibility, was thus a stronger driver of lynx space use at a finer scale, with home range characteristics nevertheless constraining habitat selection. Our study demonstrates the truly hierarchical nature of habitat selection, which aims at maximising fitness by selecting against limiting factors at multiple spatial scales, and indicates that scale-specific heterogeneity of the environment is driving individual spatial behaviour, by means of trade-offs across spatial scales.

  16. High Trypanosoma cruzi infection prevalence associated with minimal cardiac pathology among wild carnivores in central Texas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Curtis-Robles

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Infection with the zoonotic vector-borne protozoal parasite Trypanosoma cruzi causes Chagas disease in humans and dogs throughout the Americas. Despite the recognized importance of various wildlife species for perpetuating Trypanosoma cruzi in nature, relatively little is known about the development of cardiac disease in infected wildlife. Using a cross-sectional study design, we collected cardiac tissue and blood from hunter-donated wildlife carcasses- including raccoon (Procyon lotor, coyote (Canis latrans, gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus, and bobcat (Lynx rufus – from central Texas, a region with established populations of infected triatomine vectors and increasing diagnoses of Chagas disease in domestic dogs. Based on PCR analysis, we found that 2 bobcats (14.3%, 12 coyotes (14.3%, 8 foxes (13.8%, and 49 raccoons (70.0% were positive for T. cruzi in at least one sample (right ventricle, apex, and/or blood clot. Although a histologic survey of right ventricles showed that 21.1% of 19 PCR-positive hearts were characterized by mild lymphoplasmocytic infiltration, no other lesions and no amastigotes were observed in any histologic section. DNA sequencing of the TcSC5D gene revealed that raccoons were infected with T. cruzi strain TcIV, and a single racoon harbored a TcI/TcIV mixed infection. Relative to other wildlife species tested here, our data suggest that raccoons may be important reservoirs of TcIV in Texas and a source of infection for indigenous triatomine bugs. The overall high level of infection in this wildlife community likely reflects high levels of vector contact, including ingestion of bugs. Although the relationship between the sylvatic cycle of T. cruzi transmission and human disease risk in the United States has yet to be defined, our data suggest that hunters and wildlife professionals should take precautions to avoid direct contact with potentially infected wildlife tissues.

  17. A framework for inference about carnivore density from unstructured spatial sampling of scat using detector dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Craig M.; Royle, J. Andrew; Garner, James D.

    2012-01-01

    Wildlife management often hinges upon an accurate assessment of population density. Although undeniably useful, many of the traditional approaches to density estimation such as visual counts, livetrapping, or mark–recapture suffer from a suite of methodological and analytical weaknesses. Rare, secretive, or highly mobile species exacerbate these problems through the reality of small sample sizes and movement on and off study sites. In response to these difficulties, there is growing interest in the use of non-invasive survey techniques, which provide the opportunity to collect larger samples with minimal increases in effort, as well as the application of analytical frameworks that are not reliant on large sample size arguments. One promising survey technique, the use of scat detecting dogs, offers a greatly enhanced probability of detection while at the same time generating new difficulties with respect to non-standard survey routes, variable search intensity, and the lack of a fixed survey point for characterizing non-detection. In order to account for these issues, we modified an existing spatially explicit, capture–recapture model for camera trap data to account for variable search intensity and the lack of fixed, georeferenced trap locations. We applied this modified model to a fisher (Martes pennanti) dataset from the Sierra National Forest, California, and compared the results (12.3 fishers/100 km2) to more traditional density estimates. We then evaluated model performance using simulations at 3 levels of population density. Simulation results indicated that estimates based on the posterior mode were relatively unbiased. We believe that this approach provides a flexible analytical framework for reconciling the inconsistencies between detector dog survey data and density estimation procedures.

  18. Prey selection and feeding habits of the large carnivores in the Southern Kalahari

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. G. L Mills

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available Prey selection and feeding habits of lions Panthera leo, spotted hyaenas Crocuta crocuta, cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus and leopards Panthera pardus are investigated. Lions kill mainly adult gemsbok Oryx gazella and blue wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus, tending to select older animals of both species and males in the case of gemsbok. Spotted hyaenas also prey mainly on gemsbok and wildebeest, but select for juveniles, particularly from gemsbok. Cheetahs prey heavily on springbok Antidorcas marsupialis lambs and then on adult males and older individuals. Leopards also prey relatively heavily on springbok, but appear to have a wider diet than cheetahs do. It is concluded that predators generally have a small impact on their prey populations in the southern Kalahari, although in the case of springbok they do appear to influence the structure of the population.

  19. Genetic structure of the carnivorous plant Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) on the transvolcanic Mexican belt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcalá, Raúl E; Domínguez, César A

    2012-06-01

    Most species of Pinguicula present a montane distribution with populations located at high altitudes. In this context, we proposed that populations of Pinguicula species could be genetically differentiated even at a local scale. This study supported that prediction, as a RAPD-based analysis of molecular variance revealed a high degree of genetic structure (Φ (st) = 0.157, P = 0.001) and low gene flow (Nm = 1.0) among four central populations of Pinguicula moranensis in Mexico, with a maximum geographic separation of about 140 km. The four populations also exhibited high levels of genetic diversity (mean Nei's genetic diversity = 0.3716; % polymorphism = 95.45%). The evolutionary implications of the genetic structure found in P. moranensis for other species in the genus are discussed in the context of the naturally fragmented distribution and a set of life history traits shared by most Pinguicula species that could promote geographic isolation and limited gene flow.

  20. Evolution of separate predation- and defence-evoked venoms in carnivorous cone snails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutertre, Sébastien; Jin, Ai-Hua; Vetter, Irina; Hamilton, Brett; Sunagar, Kartik; Lavergne, Vincent; Dutertre, Valentin; Fry, Bryan G; Antunes, Agostinho; Venter, Deon J; Alewood, Paul F; Lewis, Richard J

    2014-03-24

    Venomous animals are thought to inject the same combination of toxins for both predation and defence, presumably exploiting conserved target pharmacology across prey and predators. Remarkably, cone snails can rapidly switch between distinct venoms in response to predatory or defensive stimuli. Here, we show that the defence-evoked venom of Conus geographus contains high levels of paralytic toxins that potently block neuromuscular receptors, consistent with its lethal effects on humans. In contrast, C. geographus predation-evoked venom contains prey-specific toxins mostly inactive at human targets. Predation- and defence-evoked venoms originate from the distal and proximal regions of the venom duct, respectively, explaining how different stimuli can generate two distinct venoms. A specialized defensive envenomation strategy is widely evolved across worm, mollusk and fish-hunting cone snails. We propose that defensive toxins, originally evolved in ancestral worm-hunting cone snails to protect against cephalopod and fish predation, have been repurposed in predatory venoms to facilitate diversification to fish and mollusk diets.

  1. Seasonal and biogeographical patterns of gastrointestinal parasites in large carnivores: wolves in a coastal archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, Heather M; Darimont, Chris T; Hill, Janet E; Paquet, Paul C; Thompson, R C Andrew; Wagner, Brent; Smits, Judit E G

    2012-05-01

    Parasites are increasingly recognized for their profound influences on individual, population and ecosystem health. We provide the first report of gastrointestinal parasites in gray wolves from the central and north coasts of British Columbia, Canada. Across 60 000 km(2), wolf feces were collected from 34 packs in 2005-2008. At a smaller spatial scale (3300 km(2)), 8 packs were sampled in spring and autumn. Parasite eggs, larvae, and cysts were identified using standard flotation techniques and morphology. A subset of samples was analysed by PCR and sequencing to identify tapeworm eggs (n=9) and Giardia cysts (n=14). We detected ≥14 parasite taxa in 1558 fecal samples. Sarcocystis sporocysts occurred most frequently in feces (43·7%), followed by taeniid eggs (23·9%), Diphyllobothrium eggs (9·1%), Giardia cysts (6·8%), Toxocara canis eggs (2·1%), and Cryptosporidium oocysts (1·7%). Other parasites occurred in ≤1% of feces. Genetic analyses revealed Echinococcus canadensis strains G8 and G10, Taenia ovis krabbei, Diphyllobothrium nehonkaiense, and Giardia duodenalis assemblages A and B. Parasite prevalence differed between seasons and island/mainland sites. Patterns in parasite prevalence reflect seasonal and spatial resource use by wolves and wolf-salmon associations. These data provide a unique, extensive and solid baseline for monitoring parasite community structure in relation to environmental change.

  2. Crenosoma vulpis in wild and domestic carnivores from Italy: a morphological and molecular study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latrofa, Maria Stefania; Lia, Riccardo Paolo; Giannelli, Alessio; Colella, Vito; Santoro, Mario; D'Alessio, Nicola; Campbell, Bronwyn Evelyn; Parisi, Antonio; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Mutafchiev, Yasen; Veneziano, Vincenzo; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-10-01

    Crenosoma vulpis is a metastrongyloid nematode primarily associated with respiratory tract infections of red foxes in North America and Europe. Sporadic cases have also been reported in domestic dogs. The present study aimed to provide morphological, molecular, and epidemiological data on the geographical distribution of this nematode throughout Italy. From 2012 to 2014, 12 of the 138 foxes examined, three dogs and one badger scored positive for C. vulpis. Forty adults were isolated from foxes and the badger, whereas first-stage larvae were detected in the three dogs. All specimens were morphologically identified as C. vulpis, and 28 nematodes were also molecularly characterized by sequencing mitochondrial (12S ribosomal DNA (rDNA)) and nuclear (18S rDNA) ribosomal genes. Four haplotypes were identified based on the 12S rDNA target gene, with the most representative (78.5%) designated as haplotype I. No genetic variability was detected for the 18S rDNA gene. The molecular identification was consistent with the distinct separation of species-specific clades inferred by the phylogenetic analyses of both mitochondrial and ribosomal genes. Data herein reported indicates that C. vulpis has a wide distribution in foxes from southern Italy, and it also occurs in dogs from southern and northern regions of the country. Practitioners should consider the occurrence of this nematode in the differential diagnosis of canine respiratory disease, particularly in dogs living close to rural areas where foxes are present.

  3. Basal metabolic rate in carnivores is associated with diet after controlling for phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz-Garcia, Agusti; Williams, Joseph B

    2005-01-01

    Studies of basal metabolic rate (BMR), the minimum metabolic rate of postabsorptive, inactive endotherms while in their rest phase and thermal neutral zone, have contributed significantly to our understanding of animal energetics. Besides body mass, the main determinant of BMR, researchers have invoked diet and phylogenetic history as important factors that influence BMR, although their relative importance has been controversial. For 58 species within the Carnivora, we tested the hypothesis that BMR is correlated with home range size, a proxy for level of activity, and diet, using conventional least squares regression (CLSR) and regression based on phylogenetic independent contrasts (PIC). Results showed that BMR of Carnivora was positively correlated with home range size after controlling for body mass, regardless of the statistical method employed. We also found that diet and mass-adjusted home range size were correlated. When we simultaneously tested the effect of diet and mass-adjusted home range on mass-adjusted BMR, home range size was insignificant because of its colinearity with diet. Then we eliminated home range size from our model, and diet proved to be significant with both CLSR and PIC. We concluded that species that eat meat have larger home ranges and higher BMR than species that eat vegetable matter. To advance our understanding of the potential mechanisms that might explain our results, we propose the "muscle performance hypothesis," which suggests that selection for different muscle fiber types can account for the differences in BMR observed between meat eaters and vegetarian species within the Carnivora.

  4. Game auction prices are not related to biodiversity contributions of southern African ungulates and large carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalerum, Fredrik; Miranda, Maria

    2016-02-01

    There is an urgent need for human societies to become environmentally sustainable. Because public policy is largely driven by economic processes, quantifications of the relationship between market prices and environmental values can provide important information for developing strategies towards sustainability. Wildlife in southern Africa is often privately owned and traded at game auctions to be utilized for commercial purposes mostly related to tourism. This market offers an interesting opportunity to evaluate how market prices relate to biologically meaningful species characteristics. In this market, prices were not correlated with species contributions to either phylogenetic or functional diversity, and species contributions to phylogenetic or functional diversity did not influence the trends in prices over time for the past 20 years. Since this economic market did not seem to appreciate evolutionary or ecologically relevant characteristics, we question if the game tourism market may contribute towards biodiversity conservation in southern Africa. We suggest that market prices in general may have limited values as guides for directing conservation and environmental management. We further suggest that there is a need to evaluate what humans value in biological organisms, and how potentially necessary shifts in such values can be instigated.

  5. Late Pleistocene carnivores (Carnivora: Mammalia) from a cave sedimentary deposit in northern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Shirlley; Avilla, Leonardo S; Soibelzon, Leopoldo H; Bernardes, Camila

    2014-11-28

    The Brazilian Quaternary terrestrial Carnivora are represented by the following families: Canidae, Felidae, Ursidae, Procyonidae Mephitidae and Mustelidae. Their recent evolutionary history in South America is associated with the uplift of the Panamanian Isthmus, and which enabled the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). Here we present new fossil records of Carnivora found in a cave in Aurora do Tocantins, Tocantins, northern Brazil. A stratigraphical controlled collection in the sedimentary deposit of the studied cave revealed a fossiliferous level where the following Carnivora taxa were present: Panthera onca, Leopardus sp., Galictis cuja, Procyon cancrivorus, Nasua nasua and Arctotherium wingei. Dating by Electron Spinning Resonance indicates that this assemblage was deposited during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), at least, 22.000 YBP. The weasel, G. cuja, is currently reported much further south than the record presented here. This may suggest that the environment around the cave was relatively drier during the LGM, with more open vegetation, and more moderate temperatures than the current Brazilian Cerrado.

  6. Territoriality and inter-pack aggression in gray wolves: shaping a social carnivore's life history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy, Kira A.; Smith, Douglas W.; Mech, L. David; MacNulty, Daniel R.; Stahler, Daniel R.; Metz, Matthew C.

    2016-01-01

    When Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book in 1894 and included the famous line "For the strength of the Wolf is the Pack, and the strength of the Pack is the Wolf," he would have had no idea that over a century later, scientific research would back up his poetic phrase. Recent studies in Yellowstone have found that both the individual wolf and the collective pack rely on each other and play important roles in territoriality. At a time when most fairy tales and fables were portraying wolves as demonic killers or, at best, slapstick gluttons, Kipling seemed to have a respect or even reverence for the wolf. Wolves in The Jungle Book raise and mentor the main character Mowgli, with the pack's leader eventually dying to save the "man-cub" from a pack of wolves. Kipling may have extended intra- pack benevolence to a human boy for literary sake, but he was clearly enthralled with how pack members treat each other. As wolf packs are almost always family units, most commonly comprised of a breeding pair and their offspring from several years, amiable behavior within the pack is unsurprising. By contrast, wolf packs are fiercely intolerant of their neighbors, their rivals. And this competition is proving to be an important facet in the life of a wolf and its pack.

  7. Life on wood - the carnivorous deep-sea mussel Idas argenteus (Bathymodiolinae, Mytilidae, Bivalvia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ockelmann, Kurt W.; Dinesen, Grete E.

    2011-01-01

    Deep-sea mussels associated with sunken wood are less well known in terms of anatomy, biology and evolution than their bathymodioline allies from cold seeps and hydrothermal vents. During the Danish 'Ingolf Expedition' (1895-96) to the Northeast Atlantic, two pieces of pinewood were collected fro...... to its shell development, alimentary system, gill anatomy and life habits provide important clues to the evolution of the Bathymodiolinae....

  8. Population expansion and individual age affect endoparasite richness and diversity in a recolonising large carnivore population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesniak, Ines; Heckmann, Ilja; Heitlinger, Emanuel; Szentiks, Claudia A.; Nowak, Carsten; Harms, Verena; Jarausch, Anne; Reinhardt, Ilka; Kluth, Gesa; Hofer, Heribert; Krone, Oliver

    2017-01-01

    The recent recolonisation of the Central European lowland (CEL) by the grey wolf (Canis lupus) provides an excellent opportunity to study the effect of founder events on endoparasite diversity. Which role do prey and predator populations play in the re-establishment of endoparasite life cycles? Which intrinsic and extrinsic factors control individual endoparasite diversity in an expanding host population? In 53 individually known CEL wolves sampled in Germany, we revealed a community of four cestode, eight nematode, one trematode and 12 potential Sarcocystis species through molecular genetic techniques. Infections with zoonotic Echinococcus multilocularis, Trichinella britovi and T. spiralis occurred as single cases. Per capita endoparasite species richness and diversity significantly increased with population size and changed with age, whereas sex, microsatellite heterozygosity, and geographic origin had no effect. Tapeworm abundance (Taenia spp.) was significantly higher in immigrants than natives. Metacestode prevalence was slightly higher in ungulates from wolf territories than from control areas elsewhere. Even though alternative canid definitive hosts might also play a role within the investigated parasite life cycles, our findings indicate that (1) immigrated wolves increase parasite diversity in German packs, and (2) prevalence of wolf-associated parasites had declined during wolf absence and has now risen during recolonisation.

  9. Timing of translocation influences birth rate and population dynamics in a forest carnivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Facka, Aaron N; Lewis, Jeffrey C.; Happe, Patricia; Jenkins, Kurt J.; Callas, Richard; Powell, Roger A.

    2016-01-01

    Timing can be critical for many life history events of organisms. Consequently, the timing of management activities may affect individuals and populations in numerous and unforeseen ways. Translocations of organisms are used to restore or expand populations but the timing of translocations is largely unexplored as a factor influencing population success. We hypothesized that the process of translocation negatively influences reproductive rates of individuals that are moved just before their birthing season and, therefore, the timing of releases could influence translocation success. Prior to reintroducing fishers (Pekania pennanti) into northern California and onto the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, we predicted that female fishers released in November and December (early) would have a higher probability of giving birth to kits the following March or April than females released in January, February, and March (late), just prior to or during the period of blastocyst implantation and gestation. Over four winters (2008–2011), we translocated 56 adult female fishers that could have given birth in the spring immediately after release. Denning rates, an index of birth rate, for females released early were 92% in California and 38% in Washington. In contrast, denning rates for females released late were 40% and 11%, in California and Washington, a net reduction in denning rate of 66% across both sites. To understand how releasing females nearer to parturition could influence population establishment and persistence, we used stochastic population simulations using three-stage Lefkovitch matrices. These simulations showed that translocating female fishers early had long-term positive influences on the mean population size and on quasi-extinction thresholds compared to populations where females were released late. The results from both empirical data and simulations show that the timing of translocation, with respect to life history events, should be considered during planning of translocations and implemented before the capture, movement, and release of organisms for translocation.

  10. Surveillance and control of anthrax and rabies in wild herbivores and carnivores in Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, H H

    1993-03-01

    Anthrax has been studied intensively in Etosha National Park, Namibia since 1966; in addition, since 1975, mortality due to rabies and all other causes has been recorded, totalling 6,190 deaths. Standard diagnostic procedures demonstrated that at least 811 deaths (13%) were due to anthrax and 115 deaths (2%) were caused by rabies. Of the total number of deaths due to anthrax, 97% occurred in zebra (Equus burchelli), elephant (Loxodonta africana), wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) and springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) while 96% of rabies deaths occurred in kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), jackal (Canis mesomelas), bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis) and lion (Panthera leo). Anthrax deaths were highest in the rainy season for zebra, wildebeest and springbok, while elephant mortality peaked during dry seasons. No statistical relationship existed between seasonal rainfall and overall incidence of either anthrax or rabies. Control of anthrax is limited to prophylactic inoculation when rare or endangered species are threatened. Incineration of anthrax carcasses and chemical disinfection of drinking water are not feasible at Etosha. Rabies control consists of the destruction of rabid animals and incineration of their carcasses when possible.

  11. Canine distemper virus (CDV) in another big cat: should CDV be renamed carnivore distemper virus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terio, Karen A; Craft, Meggan E

    2013-09-17

    One of the greatest threats to the conservation of wild cat populations may be dogs or, at least, one of their viruses. Canine distemper virus (CDV), a single-stranded RNA virus in the Paramyxoviridae family and genus Morbillivirus, infects and causes disease in a variety of species, not just canids. An outbreak of CDV in wild lions in the Serengeti, Tanzania, in 1994 was a wake-up call for conservationists, as it demonstrated that an infectious disease could swiftly impact a previously healthy felid population. To understand how this virus causes disease in noncanid hosts, researchers have focused on specific mutations in the binding site of the CDV hemagglutinin gene. Now, Seimon et al. provide information on CDV in its latest feline victim, the endangered wild Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) [T. A. Seimon et al., mBio 4(4):e00410-13, 2013, doi:10.1128/mBio.00410-13]. Their findings of CDV strains infecting tigers, in combination with recent information from other felids, paints a different picture, one in which CDV strains from a variety of geographic lineages and with a variety of amino acid residues in the hemagglutinin gene binding site can infect cats and cause disease. Although CDV has been known as a multihost disease since its discovery in domestic dogs in 1905, perhaps it is time to reconsider whether these noncanid species are not just incidental or "spillover" hosts but, rather, a normal part of the complex ecology of this infectious disease.

  12. Social living mitigates the costs of a chronic illness in a cooperative carnivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almberg, Emily S.; Cross, Paul C.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Smith, Douglas W.; Metz, Matthew C; Stahler, Daniel R.; Hudson, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Infection risk is assumed to increase with social group size, and thus be a cost of group living. We assess infection risk and costs with respect to group size using data from an epidemic of sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei) among grey wolves (Canis lupus). We demonstrate that group size does not predict infection risk and that individual costs of infection, in terms of reduced survival, can be entirely offset by having sufficient numbers of pack-mates. Infected individuals experience increased mortality hazards with increasing proportions of infected pack-mates, but healthy individuals remain unaffected. The social support of group hunting and territory defence are two possible mechanisms mediating infection costs. This is likely a common phenomenon among other social species and chronic infections, but difficult to detect in systems where infection status cannot be measured continuously over time.

  13. Catastrophic decline of a top carnivore in the gulf of california rocky intertidal zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dungan, M L; Miller, T E; Thomson, D A

    1982-05-28

    The predatory sun star, Heliaster kubiniji, once the commonest rocky intertidal asteroid of the Gulf of California, has been rare throughout this region since summer 1978 when a devastating disease outbreak occurred. This unprecedented phenomenon and several other exceptional ecological events in marine communities of the northeastern Pacific appear to be linked to large-scale climatic changes that occurred during 1977 and 1978. Implications of the decline in Heliaster kubiniji are discussed.

  14. Body temperature and oxygen uptake in the kinkajou (Potos flavus, Schreber), a nocturnal tropical carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, E; Kulzer, E

    1978-02-01

    Two kinkajous (Potos flavus, Procyonidae) showed marked nycthemeral variations in their rectal temperature. The mean Tr at night was 38.1 +/- 0.4 degrees C SD and 36.0 +/- 0.6 degrees C SD while resting during the day. Body temperature and O2-consumption were measured at ambient temperatures from 5-35 degrees C. With one exception at 35 degrees C, hypo- or hyperthermia was never observed. At air temperatures above 30 degrees C the bears reacted with behavioural responses. O2-consumption was minimal at Ta's from 23-30 degrees C. The mean basal metabolic rate was 0.316 ml O2 g-1 h-1 which is only 65% of the expected value according to the Kleiber formula. Below 23 degrees C heat production followed the equation : y (ml O2 g-1 h-1) = 0.727--0.018 Ta. The minimal thermal conductance was 90% of the predicted value according to the formula : C (ml O2 g-1 h-1 degrees C-1) = 1.02 W-0.505 (HERREID & KESSEL, 1967). Kinkajous are another distinct exception to the mouse to elephant curve.

  15. Phylogenetic analysis of Austrian canine distemper virus strains from clinical samples from dogs and wild carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benetka, V; Leschnik, M; Affenzeller, N; Möstl, K

    2011-04-01

    Austrian field cases of canine distemper (14 dogs, one badger [Meles meles] and one stone marten [Martes foina]) from 2002 to 2007 were investigated and the case histories were summarised briefly. Phylogenetic analysis of fusion (F) and haemagglutinin (H) gene sequences revealed different canine distemper virus (CDV) lineages circulating in Austria. The majority of CDV strains detected from 2002 to 2004 were well embedded in the European lineage. One Austrian canine sample detected in 2003, with a high similarity to Hungarian sequences from 2005 to 2006, could be assigned to the Arctic group (phocine distemper virus type 2-like). The two canine sequences from 2007 formed a clearly distinct group flanked by sequences detected previously in China and the USA on an intermediate position between the European wildlife and the Asia-1 cluster. The Austrian wildlife strains (2006 and 2007) could be assigned to the European wildlife group and were most closely related to, yet clearly different from, the 2007 canine samples. To elucidate the epidemiological role of Austrian wildlife in the transmission of the disease to dogs and vice versa, H protein residues related to receptor and host specificity (residues 530 and 549) were analysed. All samples showed the amino acids expected for their host of origin, with the exception of a canine sequence from 2007, which had an intermediate position between wildlife and canine viral strains. In the period investigated, canine strains circulating in Austria could be assigned to four different lineages reflecting both a high diversity and probably different origins of virus introduction to Austria in different years.

  16. The evolution of fetal membranes and placentation in carnivores and ungulates (Ferungulata)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Anthony Michael; Mess, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Molecular phylogenetics has made a substantial contribution to our understanding of the relationships between mammalian orders and has generated trees that can be used to examine the evolution of anatomical and physiological traits. We here summarize findings on fetal membranes and placentation i...... proteins including placental lactogens and pregnancy-associated glycoproteins. Evolutionary innovations of the placental system may contribute to the high diversity of lifestyles within Ferungulata and be linked to the evolution of highly precocial offspring in ungulates....

  17. Grazers, shredders and filtering carnivores--the evolution of feeding ecology in Drusinae (Trichoptera: Limnephilidae): insights from a molecular phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauls, Steffen U; Graf, Wolfram; Haase, Peter; Lumbsch, H Thorsten; Waringer, Johann

    2008-02-01

    We examined the phylogenetic relationships between species and genera within the caddisfly subfamily Drusinae (Trichoptera: Limnephilidae) using sequence data from two mitochondrial loci (cytochrome oxidase 1, large subunit rRNA) and one nuclear gene (wingless). Sequence data were analysed for 28 species from five genera from the subfamily. We analysed individual and combined data sets using a Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo and a maximum parsimony approach and compared the performance of each partition for resolving phylogenetic relationships at this level. In terms of resolution and phylogenetic utility wingless outperformed the two mitochondrial gene partitions. Using both Shimodaira-Hasegawa and expected likelihood weights tests we tested several hypotheses of relationships previously inferred based on adult morphological characters. The data did not support the generic concept, or many previously proposed species groupings, based on adult morphology. In contrast, the molecular data correlated with the morphology and feeding ecology of larvae. Using Bayesian ancestral character state reconstructions we inferred the evolution of feeding ecology and relevant larval morphological characters. Our analyses showed that within the subfamily Drusinae two derived feeding types evolved. One of these--grazing epilithic algae--is otherwise unusual in the Limnephilidae and may have promoted the high degree of diversity in the Drusinae.

  18. A Demo-Genetic Analysis of a Small Reintroduced Carnivore Population: The Otter (Lutra lutra in The Netherlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maelle Seignobosc

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Assessing the viability of reintroduced animal populations is a complicated task. Reintroductions are usually carried out with a small number of individuals, thereby, limiting the possibilities for monitoring because of the possible negative effects of intensive monitoring on survival and reproduction. Moreover, reintroduction studies are part of a socioeconomic interplay of forces, thereby, also limiting monitoring possibilities. Also, knowledge of population demography and abundance can be incomplete or unattainable. Here, we illustrate how we combined traditional telemetry and novel non-invasive genetic methodology to construct a detailed life table of a small reintroduced otter population in The Netherlands. Combining an appropriate capture-mark-recapture framework with a matrix modelling approach provides, in general, useful insights for such populations. The data indicated that (i male survival is lower than female survival, (ii the reintroduced population is currently growing (estimated λ=1.26: range [1.06, 1.42] and seems viable, (iii increasing adult survival is currently the critical stage at which efforts of field managers should concentrate, and (iv the modelling framework allowed us to determine the boundary conditions for the vital rates under which the population would go extinct. The applied approach directs at measurements that help field managers to implement the right conservation strategy after reintroductions.

  19. Propionate absorbed from the colon acts as gluconeogenic substrate in a strict carnivore, the domestic cat (Felis catus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Verbrugghe, A; Hesta, M; Daminet, S

    2012-01-01

    In six normal-weight and six obese cats, the metabolic effect of propionate absorbed from the colon was assessed. Two colonic infusions were tested in a crossover design with intervals of 4 weeks. The test solution contained 4 mmol sodium propionate per kg ideal body weight in a 0.2% NaCl solution...

  20. Linking noninvasive genetic sampling and traditional monitoring to aid management of a trans-border carnivore population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bischof, Richard; Swenson, Jon E

    2012-01-01

    Noninvasive genetic sampling has been embraced by wildlife managers and ecologists, especially those charged with monitoring rare and elusive species over large areas. Challenges arise when desired population measures are not directly attainable from genetic data and when monitoring targets trans-border populations. Norwegian management authorities count individual brown bears (Ursus arctos) using noninvasive genetic sampling but express management goals in the annual number of bear reproductions (females that produce cubs), a measure that is not directly available from genetic data. We combine noninvasive genetic sampling data with information obtained from a long-term intensive monitoring study in neighboring Sweden to estimate the number of annual reproductions by females detected within Norway. Most female brown bears in Norway occur near the border with neighboring countries (Sweden, Finland, and Russia) and their potential reproduction can therefore only partially be credited to Norway. Our model includes a simulation-based method that corrects census data to account for this. We estimated that 4.3 and 5.7 reproductions can be credited to females detected with noninvasive genetic sampling in Norway in 2008 and 2009, respectively. These numbers fall substantially short of the national target (15 annual reproductions). Ignoring the potential for home ranges to extend beyond Norway's borders leads to an increase in the estimate of the number of reproductions by -30%. Our study shows that combining noninvasive genetic sampling with information obtained from traditional intensive/invasive monitoring can help answer contemporary management questions in the currency desired by managers and policy makers. Furthermore, combining methodologies and thereby accounting for space use increases the accuracy of the information on which decisions are based. It is important that the information derived from multiple approaches is applicable to the same focal population and that predictions are cross-validated. When monitoring and management are constrained to administrative units, census data should be adjusted by discounting portions of individual space utilization that extend beyond the focal jurisdiction. Our simulation-based approach for making such an adjustment may be useful in other situations where management authorities target portions of trans-border populations.

  1. An approach to scoring cursorial limb proportions in carnivorous dinosaurs and an attempt to account for allometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persons Iv, W Scott; Currie, Philip J

    2016-01-27

    From an initial dataset of 53 theropod species, the general relationship between theropod lower-leg length and body mass is identified. After factoring out this allometric relationship, theropod hindlimb proportions are assessed irrespective of body mass. Cursorial-limb-proportion (CLP) scores derived for each of the considered theropod taxa offer a measure of the extent to which a particular species deviates in favour of higher or lower running speeds. Within the same theropod species, these CLP scores are found to be consistent across multiple adult specimens and across disparate ontogenetic stages. Early theropods are found to have low CLP scores, while the coelurosaurian tyrannosauroids and compsognathids are found to have high CLP scores. Among deinonychosaurs, troodontids have consistently high CLP scores, while many dromaeosaur taxa, including Velociraptor and Deinonychus, have low CLP scores. This indicates that dromaeosaurs were not, overall, a particularly cursorily adapted group. Comparisons between the CLP scores of Tyrannosaurus and specimens referred to the controversial genus Nanotyrannus indicate a strong discrepancy in cursorial adaptations, which supports the legitimacy of Nanotyrannus and the previous suggestions of ecological partitioning between Nanotyrannus and the contemporaneous Tyrannosaurus.

  2. Insights into the management of large carnivores for profitable wildlife-based land uses in African savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funston, Paul J; Groom, Rosemary J; Lindsey, Peter A

    2013-01-01

    Large African predators, especially lions (Panthera leo) and leopards (Panthera pardus), are financially valuable for ecotourism and trophy hunting operations on land also utilized for the production of other wildlife species for the same purpose. Predation of ungulates used for trophy hunting can create conflict with landholders and trade off thus exists between the value of lions and leopards and their impact on ungulate populations. Therefore productionist and conservation trade-offs are complexly graded and difficult to resolve. We investigated this with a risk-benefit analysis on a large private wildlife production area in Zimbabwe. Our model showed that lions result in substantial financial costs through predation on wild ungulates that may not be offset by profits from hunting them, whereas the returns from trophy hunting of leopards are projected to exceed the costs due to leopard predation. In the absence of additional income derived from photo-tourism the number of lions may need to be managed to minimize their impact. Lions drive important ecological processes, but there is a need to balance ecological and financial imperatives on wildlife ranches, community wildlife lands and other categories of multiple use land used for wildlife production. This will ensure the competitiveness of wildlife based land uses relative to alternatives. Our findings may thus be limited to conservancies, community land-use areas and commercial game ranches, which are expansive in Africa, and should not necessarily applied to areas where biodiversity conservation is the primary objective, even if hunting is allowed there.

  3. Insights into the management of large carnivores for profitable wildlife-based land uses in African savannas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul J Funston

    Full Text Available Large African predators, especially lions (Panthera leo and leopards (Panthera pardus, are financially valuable for ecotourism and trophy hunting operations on land also utilized for the production of other wildlife species for the same purpose. Predation of ungulates used for trophy hunting can create conflict with landholders and trade off thus exists between the value of lions and leopards and their impact on ungulate populations. Therefore productionist and conservation trade-offs are complexly graded and difficult to resolve. We investigated this with a risk-benefit analysis on a large private wildlife production area in Zimbabwe. Our model showed that lions result in substantial financial costs through predation on wild ungulates that may not be offset by profits from hunting them, whereas the returns from trophy hunting of leopards are projected to exceed the costs due to leopard predation. In the absence of additional income derived from photo-tourism the number of lions may need to be managed to minimize their impact. Lions drive important ecological processes, but there is a need to balance ecological and financial imperatives on wildlife ranches, community wildlife lands and other categories of multiple use land used for wildlife production. This will ensure the competitiveness of wildlife based land uses relative to alternatives. Our findings may thus be limited to conservancies, community land-use areas and commercial game ranches, which are expansive in Africa, and should not necessarily applied to areas where biodiversity conservation is the primary objective, even if hunting is allowed there.

  4. Determining causes of genetic isolation in a large carnivore (Ursus americanus) population to direct contemporary conservation measures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obbard, Martyn E.; Harnden, Matthew; McConnell, Sabine; Howe, Eric J.; Burrows, Frank G.; White, Bradley N.; Kyle, Christopher J.

    2017-01-01

    The processes leading to genetic isolation influence a population’s local extinction risk, and should thus be identified before conservation actions are implemented. Natural or human-induced circumstances can result in historical or contemporary barriers to gene flow and/or demographic bottlenecks. Distinguishing between these hypotheses can be achieved by comparing genetic diversity and differentiation in isolated vs. continuous neighboring populations. In Ontario, American black bears (Ursus americanus) are continuously distributed, genetically diverse, and exhibit an isolation-by-distance structuring pattern, except on the Bruce Peninsula (BP). To identify the processes that led to the genetic isolation of BP black bears, we modelled various levels of historical and contemporary migration and population size reductions using forward simulations. We compared simulation results with empirical genetic indices from Ontario black bear populations under different levels of geographic isolation, and conducted additional simulations to determine if translocations could help achieve genetic restoration. From a genetic standpoint, conservation concerns for BP black bears are warranted because our results show that: i) a recent demographic bottleneck associated with recently reduced migration best explains the low genetic diversity on the BP; and ii) under sustained isolation, BP black bears could lose between 70% and 80% of their rare alleles within 100 years. Although restoring migration corridors would be the most effective method to enhance long-term genetic diversity and prevent inbreeding, it is unrealistic to expect connectivity to be re-established. Current levels of genetic diversity could be maintained by successfully translocating 10 bears onto the peninsula every 5 years. Such regular translocations may be more practical than landscape restoration, because areas connecting the peninsula to nearby mainland black bear populations have been irreversibly modified by humans, and form strong barriers to movement. PMID:28235066

  5. An approach to scoring cursorial limb proportions in carnivorous dinosaurs and an attempt to account for allometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persons, W. Scott, IV; Currie, Philip J.

    2016-01-01

    From an initial dataset of 53 theropod species, the general relationship between theropod lower-leg length and body mass is identified. After factoring out this allometric relationship, theropod hindlimb proportions are assessed irrespective of body mass. Cursorial-limb-proportion (CLP) scores derived for each of the considered theropod taxa offer a measure of the extent to which a particular species deviates in favour of higher or lower running speeds. Within the same theropod species, these CLP scores are found to be consistent across multiple adult specimens and across disparate ontogenetic stages. Early theropods are found to have low CLP scores, while the coelurosaurian tyrannosauroids and compsognathids are found to have high CLP scores. Among deinonychosaurs, troodontids have consistently high CLP scores, while many dromaeosaur taxa, including Velociraptor and Deinonychus, have low CLP scores. This indicates that dromaeosaurs were not, overall, a particularly cursorily adapted group. Comparisons between the CLP scores of Tyrannosaurus and specimens referred to the controversial genus Nanotyrannus indicate a strong discrepancy in cursorial adaptations, which supports the legitimacy of Nanotyrannus and the previous suggestions of ecological partitioning between Nanotyrannus and the contemporaneous Tyrannosaurus.

  6. [Toxicity and toxin profile of scavenging and carnivorous gastropods from the coastal waters of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taniyama, Shigeto; Takatani, Tomohiro; Sorimachi, Taiki; Sagara, Takefumi; Kubo, Hirofumi; Oshiro, Naomasa; Ono, Kaname; Xiao, Ning; Tachibana, Katsuyasu; Arakawa, Osamu

    2013-01-01

    From January to June 2009, a total of 64 gastropod specimens of 15 species were collected from the coastal waters of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, and examined for toxicity by means of mouse bioassay. Among the specimens tested, 5 species, Nassarius glans, Nassariuscoronatus, Olivaannulata, Oliva concavospira and Zeuxis sp., were toxic. The toxicity scores of N. glans were very high; 39.6-461 MU/g in muscle, and 98.6-189 MU/g in viscera including digestive gland, followed by Zeuxis sp. (12.7 MU/g in whole body), N. coronatus (5.64-11.1 MU/g in whole body), O. annulata (10.8 MU/g in the whole body), O. concavospira (6.65 MU/g in the muscle). Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC-MS) revealed that the major toxic component was tetrodotoxin (TTX), which accounting for 13-82% of the total toxicity. As for the remaining toxicity in the case of N. glans, 4,9-anhydroTTX, 4-epiTTX and 11-oxoTTX were contributors. Moreover, Niotha albescens showed no toxicity (less than 10 MU/g) in mouse bioassay, but TTX (5.08 MU/g) was detected by LC-MS. Paralytic shellfish poison was not detected in any of the specimens by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorometric detection (HPLC-FLD).

  7. A new family of bizarre durophagous carnivorous marsupials from Miocene deposits in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, northwestern Queensland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archer, M.; Hand, S. J.; Black, K. H.; Beck, R. M. D.; Arena, D. A.; Wilson, L. A. B.; Kealy, S.; Hung, T.-T.

    2016-05-01

    A new specimen of the bizarrely specialised Malleodectes mirabilis from middle Miocene deposits in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area provides the first and only information about the molar dentition of this strange group of extinct marsupials. Apart from striking autapomorphies such as the enormous P3, other dental features such as stylar cusp D being larger than B suggest it belongs in the Order Dasyuromorphia. Phylogenetic analysis of 62 craniodental characters places Malleodectes within Dasyuromorphia albeit with weak support and without indication of specific relationships to any of the three established families (Dasyuridae, Myrmecobiidae and Thylacinidae). Accordingly we have allocated Malleodectes to the new family, Malleodectidae. Some features suggest potential links to previously named dasyuromorphians from Riversleigh (e.g., Ganbulanyi) but these are too poorly known to test this possibility. Although the original interpretation of a steeply declining molar row in Malleodectes can be rejected, it continues to seem likely that malleodectids specialised on snails but probably also consumed a wider range of prey items including small vertebrates. Whatever their actual diet, malleodectids appear to have filled a niche in Australia’s rainforests that has not been occupied by any other mammal group anywhere in the world from the Miocene onwards.

  8. Carnivorous diving beetles of the genus Desmopachria (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae) from Brazil: new species, new records, and a checklist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braga, Rafael Benzi; Ferreira-Jr, Nelson

    2014-04-19

    Eight new species of Desmopachria Babington, 1841 are described and illustrated from Brazil: D. dicrophallica sp nov., D. disticta sp nov., D. grammosticta sp nov., D. grandinigra sp nov., D. itamontensis sp nov., D. leptophallica sp nov., D. stethothrix sp nov., and D. ukuki sp nov. The species D. amyae Miller, 2001, D. chei Miller, 1999, D. margarita Young, 1990, and D. volatidisca Miller, 2001 are recorded for the first time from Brazil. From species of the Desmopachria reported in Brazil, D. aldessa Young, 1980 has a new record from Pará state and D. fossulata Zimmermann, 1928, D. granoides Young, 1986, and D. laevis Sharp, 1882 have new records from Rio de Janeiro State. A checklist of all Desmopachria recorded from Brazil is presented with notes about some of the localities.

  9. Foraging modality and plasticity in foraging traits determine the strength of competitive interactions among carnivorous plants, spiders and toads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, David E; Krupa, James J; Rohr, Jason R

    2016-07-01

    Foraging modalities (e.g. passive, sit-and-wait, active) and traits are plastic in some species, but the extent to which this plasticity affects interspecific competition remains unclear. Using a long-term laboratory mesocosm experiment, we quantified competition strength and the plasticity of foraging traits in a guild of generalist predators of arthropods with a range of foraging modalities. Each mesocosm contained eight passively foraging pink sundews, and we employed an experimental design where treatments were the presence or absence of a sit-and-wait foraging spider and actively foraging toad crossed with five levels of prey abundance. We hypothesized that actively foraging toads would outcompete the other species at low prey abundance, but that spiders and sundews would exhibit plasticity in foraging traits to compensate for strong competition when prey were limited. Results generally supported our hypotheses. Toads had a greater effect on sundews at low prey abundances, and toad presence caused spiders to locate webs higher above the ground. Additionally, the closer large spider webs were to the ground, the greater the trichome densities produced by sundews. Also, spider webs were larger with than without toads and as sundew numbers increased, and these effects were more prominent as resources became limited. Finally, spiders negatively affected toad growth only at low prey abundance. These findings highlight the long-term importance of foraging modality and plasticity of foraging traits in determining the strength of competition within and across taxonomic kingdoms. Future research should assess whether plasticity in foraging traits helps to maintain coexistence within this guild and whether foraging modality can be used as a trait to reliably predict the strength of competitive interactions.

  10. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XXII. Ixodid ticks on domestic dogs and on wild carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horak, I G; Guillarmod, A J; Moolman, L C; de Vos, V

    1987-12-01

    Ixodid ticks were collected from 4 dogs on smallholdings near Grahamstown, eastern Cape Province, on 1 or more occasions each week for periods ranging from 9-36 months. Fourteen tick species were recovered and the seasonal abundance of adult Haemaphysalis leachi and adult Rhipicephalus simus was determined. Complete collections of ticks were made from 50 caracals (Felis caracal) in the Cradock, Graaff-Reinet and Southwell regions in the eastern Cape Province. The animals from Cradock and Graaff-Reinet harboured 13 ixodid tick species. The caracals from Southwell were infested with 11 tick species and the seasonal abundance of Ixodes pilosus on these animals was determined. A small-spotted genet (Genetta genetta), 1 bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis), 1 aardwolf (Proteles cristatus) and 6 black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas) from various localities in the eastern Cape Province were examined for ticks and 9 species were collected. Complete tick collections were made from a side-striped jackal (Canis adustus), 2 wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), a spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta), a several (Felis serval), 2 African civets (Civettictis civetta), 2 leopards (Panthera pardus) and a lion (Panthera leo) in the Kruger National Park in the north-eastern Transvaal. Twelve ixodid tick specis were recovered from these animals.

  11. Dietary items as possible sources of {sup 137}Cs in large carnivores in the Gorski Kotar forest ecosystem, Western Croatia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Šprem, Nikica, E-mail: nsprem@agr.hr [University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Fisheries, Beekeeping, Game Management and Special Zoology, Svetošimunska cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia); Piria, Marina; Barišić, Domagoj [University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Fisheries, Beekeeping, Game Management and Special Zoology, Svetošimunska cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia); Kusak, Josip [University of Zagreb, Veterinary Faculty, Department of Biology, Heinzelova 55, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia); Barišić, Delko [Laboratory for Radioecology, Centre for Marine and Environmental Research, Ruđer Bošković Institute, PO Box 160, Bijenička 54, 10002 Zagreb (Croatia)

    2016-01-15

    The mountain forest ecosystem of Gorski Kotar is distant from any significant sources of environmental pollution, though recent findings have revealed that this region is among the most intense {sup 137}Cs contaminated area in Croatia. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate {sup 137}Cs and {sup 40}K load in three large predator species in the mountain forest ecosystem. Radionuclides mass activities were determined by the gamma-spectrometric method in the muscle tissue of brown bear (47), wolf (7), lynx (1) and golden jackal (2). The highest {sup 137}Cs mass activity was found in lynx (153 Bq kg{sup −1}), followed by brown bear (132 Bq kg{sup −1}), wolf (22.2 Bq kg{sup −1}), and golden jackal (2.48 Bq kg{sup −1}). Analysis of 63 samples of dietary items suggests that they are not all potentially dominant sources of {sup 137}Cs for wildlife. The most important source of radionuclides for the higher parts of the food-chain from the study area were found to be the mushroom species wood hedgehog (Hydnum repandum), with a transfer factor TF of 5.166, and blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) as a plant species (TF = 2.096). Food items of animal origin indicated higher mass activity of radionuclides and therefore are possible moderate bioindicators of environmental pollution. The results also revealed that possible unknown wild animal food sources are a caesium source in the study region, and further study is required to illuminate this issue. - Highlights: • Radionuclide mass activities were determined by the gamma-spectrometric method. • The highest {sup 137}Cs mass activity in brown bear was 132, wolf 22.2 and lynx 153 Bq kg{sup −1}. • The best bioindicators are a wood hedgehog (TF = 5.166) and blueberry (TF = 2.096).

  12. Immunogenicity Studies in Carnivores Using a Rabies Virus Construct with a Site-Directed Deletion in the Phosphoprotein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ad Vos

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Different approaches have been applied to develop highly attenuated rabies virus vaccines for oral vaccination of mesocarnivores. One prototype vaccine construct is SAD dIND1, which contains a deletion in the P-gene severely limiting the inhibition of type-1 interferon induction. Immunogenicity studies in foxes and skunks were undertaken to investigate whether this highly attenuated vaccine would be more immunogenic than the parental SAD B19 vaccine strain. In foxes, it was demonstrated that SAD dIND1 protected the animals against a rabies infection after a single oral dose, although virus neutralizing antibody titres were lower than in foxes orally vaccinated with the SAD B19 virus as observed in previous experiments. In contrast, skunks receiving 107.5 FFU SAD dIND1 did not develop virus neutralizing antibodies and were not protected against a subsequent rabies infection.

  13. A new species of Abyssocladia (Porifera, Demospongiae, Poecilosclerida, Cladorhizidae) and other carnivorous sponges from the far eastern Solomon Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vacelet, Jean; Kelly, Michelle

    2014-06-16

    Two species, one each of Abyssocladia Lévi, 1964, and Asbestopluma Topsent, 1901, are recorded from the far eastern Solomon Islands for the first time. Abyssocladia lakwollii sp. nov. is characterized by the pedunculate disc-shape of the body, the unusually large size of the isochelae I microscleres, and by the shape of the cleistochelae with crossed central teeth. Asbestopluma (A.) desmophora Kelly & Vacelet, 2011, first described from a seamount on Macquarie Ridge (Australia EEZ) and eastern waters to the north and south of New Zealand, is also recorded from the far eastern Solomon Islands. The specimens differ only slightly from their southern counterparts in dimensions of some spicules, and in the ornamentation detail of the basal teeth of the large and small anisochelae. 

  14. 陕西镇安早更新世的肉食类动物化石%Early-Pleistocene carnivore fossils from Zhen′an,Shaanxi,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李晓晨; 邓凯

    2003-01-01

    记述了地处秦岭中段腹地的陕西镇安黄家湾河流相沉积中发现的6种食肉类动物:变异狼(Canis variabilis)、鬣狗(Hyaendae get.et sp.indet.)、似剑齿虎(Homotherium sp.)、巨剑齿虎(Megantereon sp.)、山西猞猁(相似种)(Lynx cf. shansius)和豹(Panthera pardus),其时代为早更新世晚期.这批化石的发现,对于恢复秦岭地区的古环境和了解我国动物的地理分布具有一定意义.

  15. Wild carnivore and wild bird deposits in an agro-pastoral community during the Bronze Age: Can Roqueta II (northeast Iberian Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albizuru, S., Maroto, J., Nadal, J., Majó, T., Sánchez Marco, A., Carlús, X., Rodríguez, A., Palomo, A.

    2015-01-01

    En este caso la identificación taxonómica indica la importancia de los animales domésticos seguramente debido a su papel en la economía, así como su uso en ofrendas alimentarias y también en ofrendas simbólicas que manifiestan el estatus de los muertos. Por el contrario, el estudio tafonómico indica la escasez de animales salvajes depositados intencionalmente –seis aves y dos carnívoros– y muestra el uso diferencial de estas especies respecto a las domésticas, ya que mientras los animales importantes en la alimentación humana fueron normalmente dispuestos como ofrendas de comida para los difuntos, los animales salvajes parecen estar más estrechamente relacionados con símbolos de la vida o totémicos.

  16. An analysis of partial efficiencies of energy utilisation of different macronutrients by barramundi (Lates calcarifer) shows that starch restricts protein utilisation in carnivorous fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glencross, Brett D; Blyth, David; Bourne, Nicholas; Cheers, Susan; Irvin, Simon; Wade, Nicholas M

    2017-02-01

    This study examined the effect of including different dietary proportions of starch, protein and lipid, in diets balanced for digestible energy, on the utilisation efficiencies of dietary energy by barramundi (Lates calcarifer). Each diet was fed at one of three ration levels (satiety, 80 % of initial satiety and 60 % of initial satiety) for a 42-d period. Fish performance measures (weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio) were all affected by dietary energy source. The efficiency of energy utilisation was significantly reduced in fish fed the starch diet relative to the other diets, but there were no significant effects between the other macronutrients. This reduction in efficiency of utilisation was derived from a multifactorial change in both protein and lipid utilisation. The rate of protein utilisation deteriorated as the amount of starch included in the diet increased. Lipid utilisation was most dramatically affected by inclusion levels of lipid in the diet, with diets low in lipid producing component lipid utilisation rates well above 1·3, which indicates substantial lipid synthesis from other energy sources. However, the energetic cost of lipid gain was as low as 0·65 kJ per kJ of lipid deposited, indicating that barramundi very efficiently store energy in the form of lipid, particularly from dietary starch energy. This study defines how the utilisation efficiency of dietary digestible energy by barramundi is influenced by the macronutrient source providing that energy, and that the inclusion of starch causes problems with protein utilisation in this species.

  17. The impact of large carnivores on the mortality of semi-domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus L. calves in Kainuu, southeastern reindeer-herding region of Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauri Nieminen

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available During 2006-2008 the survival of reindeer calves was studied in the reindeer-herding cooperative of Halla in Kainuu area where totally 546 calves were equipped with radio mortality collars mainly at the age of 1-3 days. The survival was monitored from the calving in May until winter round-ups in October to January. The rate, timing and causes of mortality of reindeer were assessed. In 2006-08 totally 177 radio-collared calves were found dead (mean mortality 32.4% until mid-January. The results showed significant annual variation in calf mortality and predation. Independent of year the mortality of radio-collared calves was highest during the first two months after birth, and the total mortality was 30.7% at the end of October and reached 34.6% by mid-January. The sex of calves and pelt colour did not affect significantly survival of calves. Predation comprised 70.0% of total mortality. Predation by wolf, bear, lynx and wolverine comprised on average 38.4%, 20.3%, 9.0% and 2.3%, respectively. Birth weight of calves lost or killed by predators did not differ from surviving calves. However, birth weight of calves killed by brown bears was significantly lighter (mean 5.84 kg, whereas calves killed by Eurasian lynx was significantly heavier (mean 6.67 kg than birth weight of calves that survived (mean 6.26 kg. Bears killed calves mainly in May to July, wolves in July to October and lynx in August to December. Of 209 radio-collared adult females, 17 were found dead (8.0%. These females had calved in May and they were killed mainly by wolves (52.0% in August to October.

  18. Phylogenetic studies of pantherine cats (Felidae) based on multiple genes, with novel application of nuclear beta-fibrinogen intron 7 to carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Li; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2005-05-01

    The pantherine lineage of the cat family Felidae (order: Carnivora) includes five big cats of genus Panthera and a great many midsized cats known worldwide. Presumably because of their recent and rapid radiation, the evolutionary relationship among pantherines remains ambiguous. We provide an independent assessment of the evolutionary history of pantherine lineage using two complete mitochondrial (mt) genes (ND2 and ND4) and the nuclear beta-fibrinogen intron 7 gene, whose utility in carnivoran phylogeny was first explored. The available four mt (ND5, cytb, 12S, and 16SrRNA) and two nuclear (IRBP and TTR) sequence loci were also combined to reconstruct phylogeny of 14 closely related cat species. Our analyses of combined mt data (six genes; approximately 3750 bp) and combined mt and nuclear data (nine genes; approximately 6500 bp) obtained identical tree topologies, which were well-resolved and strongly supported for almost all nodes. Monophyly of Panthera genus in pantherine lineage was confirmed and interspecific affinities within this genus revealed a novel branching pattern, with P. tigris diverging first in Panthera genus, followed by P. onca, P. leo, and last two sister species P. pardus and P. uncia. In addition, close association of Neofelis nebulosa to Panthera, the phylogenetic redefinition of Otocolobus manul within the domestic cat group, and the relatedness of Acinonyx jubatus and Puma concolor were all important findings in the resulting phylogenies. The potential utilities of nine different genes for phylogenetic resolution of closely related pantherine species were also evaluated, with special interest in that of the novel nuclear beta-fibrinogen intron 7.

  19. Is It Necessary Managing Carnivores to Reverse the Decline of Endangered Prey Species? Insights from a Removal Experiment of Mesocarnivores to Benefit Demographic Parameters of the Pyrenean Capercaillie

    OpenAIRE

    Rubén Moreno-Opo; Iván Afonso; José Jiménez; Mariana Fernández-Olalla; Jordi Canut; Diego García-Ferré; Josep Piqué; Francisco García; Job Roig; Jaime Muñoz-Igualada; Luis Mariano González; José Vicente López-Bao

    2015-01-01

    Mesopredator control has long been used to alleviate the effect of elevated predation pressure on vulnerable, threatened or valuable species. However, the convenience of using mesopredator controls is technically questionable and scientifically-sound research is therefore required to evaluate the impact of predation on prey case by case. In this study we evaluated the effect of the alteration of terrestrial mesopredator dynamics on the demographic parameters of a relict capercaillie Tetrao ur...

  20. Report of the Plant Products in Aquafeed Strategic Planning Workshop: An integrated, interdisciplinary research roadmap for increasing utilization of plant feedstuffs in diets for carnivorous fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Approximately 30 researchers and representatives from federal technical agencies met at the USDA National Center for Cool and Coldwater Aquaculture in Leetown, West Virginia. The goal was to develop an integrated (cross-disciplinary), strategic approach to improve understanding of the factors limit...

  1. Emergence of canine distemper virus strains with two amino acid substitutions in the haemagglutinin protein, detected from vaccinated carnivores in North-Eastern China in 2012-2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jianjun; Zhang, Hailing; Bai, Xue; Martella, Vito; Hu, Bo; Sun, Yangang; Zhu, Chunsheng; Zhang, Lei; Liu, Hao; Xu, Shujuan; Shao, Xiqun; Wu, Wei; Yan, Xijun

    2014-04-01

    A total of 16 strains of canine distemper virus (CDV) were detected from vaccinated minks, foxes, and raccoon dogs in four provinces in North-Eastern China between the end of 2011 and 2013. Upon sequence analysis of the haemagglutinin gene and comparison with wild-type CDV from different species in the same geographical areas, two non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified in 10 CDV strains, which led to amino acid changes at positions 542 (isoleucine to asparagine) and 549 (tyrosine to histidine) of the haemagglutinin protein coding sequence. The change at residue 542 generated a potentially novel N-glycosylation site. Masking of antigenic epitopes by sugar moieties might represent a mechanism for evasion of virus neutralising antibodies and reduced protection by vaccination.

  2. The challenge of monitoring elusive large carnivores: An accurate and cost-effective tool to identify and sex pumas (Puma concolor) from footprints

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Acquiring reliable data on large felid populations is crucial for effective conservation and management. However, large felids, typically solitary, elusive and nocturnal, are difficult to survey. Tagging and following individuals with VHF or GPS technology is the standard approach, but costs are high and these methodologies can compromise animal welfare. Such limitations can restrict the use of these techniques at population or landscape levels. In this paper we describe a robust technique to identify and sex individual pumas from footprints. We used a standardized image collection protocol to collect a reference database of 535 footprints from 35 captive pumas over 10 facilities; 19 females (300 footprints) and 16 males (235 footprints), ranging in age from 1–20 yrs. Images were processed in JMP data visualization software, generating one hundred and twenty three measurements from each footprint. Data were analyzed using a customized model based on a pairwise trail comparison using robust cross-validated discriminant analysis with a Ward’s clustering method. Classification accuracy was consistently > 90% for individuals, and for the correct classification of footprints within trails, and > 99% for sex classification. The technique has the potential to greatly augment the methods available for studying puma and other elusive felids, and is amenable to both citizen-science and opportunistic/local community data collection efforts, particularly as the data collection protocol is inexpensive and intuitive. PMID:28273159

  3. View registration of lobo-guará (Carnivore, Canidae, Chrysocyon brachyurus in the National Forest of Três Barras, SC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anésio da Cunha Marques

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The lobo-guará is the major representative of the family of Canidae in South America. It lives in an open environment, such as fields and scrub. It is also found in nearby swamps and woods along the courses of water. This note narrates the viewing of an adult specimen of the lobo-guará in the National Forest (Flona of Ibama in Três Barras, SC (lat. 26º10’15”S; long. 50º10’15”W and elev. 750m that is characterized by remnants of Mixed Ombrofila Forest and presents huge areas with reforestation of Pinus sp. and Araucaria angustifolia of over 50 years of age. The Flona has an area of 4,458.5ha, with isotherms of 20 to 22ºC in January and 12 to 14ºC in July. The average annual relative humidity of the air is 85% and it precipitates between 1,200 and 1,400mm each year. The animal was seen many times in the morning by employees of Ibama at the end of July 2008 between the co-ordinates lat. 26º12’56”S long. 50º18’17”W and lat. 26º12’33”S long. 50º18’20”W. The individual was photographed for the fi rst time on July 3 at 7:30am and for the second time on July 19 at 7:48am for the same place, on the access road to Flona.

  4. The Black-tailed Antechinus, Antechinus arktos sp. nov.: a new species of carnivorous marsupial from montane regions of the Tweed Volcano caldera, eastern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Andrew M; Mutton, Thomas Y; Hines, Harry B; Dyck, Steve Van

    2014-02-17

    We describe a new species of dasyurid marsupial within the genus Antechinus that was previously known as a northern outlier of Dusky Antechinus (A. swainsonii). The Black-tailed Antechinus, Antechinus arktos sp. nov., is known only from areas of high altitude and high rainfall on the Tweed Volcano caldera of far south-east Queensland and north-east New South Wales, Australia. Antechinus arktos formerly sheltered under the taxonomic umbrella of A. swainsonii mimetes, the widespread mainland form of Dusky Antechinus. With the benefit of genetic hindsight, some striking morphological differences are herein resolved: A. s. mimetes is more uniformly deep brown-black to grizzled grey-brown from head to rump, with brownish (clove brown-raw umber) hair on the upper surface of the hindfoot and tail, whereas A. arktos is more vibrantly coloured, with a marked change from greyish-brown head to orange-brown rump, fuscous black on the upper surface of the hindfoot and dense, short fur on the evenly black tail. Further, A. arktos has marked orange-brown fur on the upper and lower eyelid, cheek and in front of the ear and very long guard hairs all over the body; these characters are more subtle in A. s. mimetes. There are striking genetic differences between the two species: at mtDNA, A. s. mimetes from north-east New South Wales is 10% divergent to A. arktos from its type locality at Springbrook NP, Queensland. In contrast, the Ebor A. s. mimetes clades closely with conspecifics from ACT and Victoria. A. arktos skulls are strikingly different to all subspecies of A. swainsonii. A. arktos are markedly larger than A. s. mimetes and A. s. swainsonii (Tasmania) for a range of craniodental measures. Antechinus arktos were historically found at a few proximate mountainous sites in south-east Queensland, and have only recently been recorded from or near the type locality. Even there, the species is likely in low abundance. The Black-tailed Antechinus has plausibly been detrimentally affected by climate change in recent decades, and will be at further risk with increasing warming trends. 

  5. 辽宁朝阳马山洞的食肉类化石%Late Pleistocene Cave Deposits and Carnivores from the Mashandong Site,Chaoyang Municipality,Liaoning Province

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    傅仁义; 冯兴无; 张双权; 刘晓庆

    2010-01-01

    本文主要记述了辽宁省朝阳市龙城区马山洞发现的食肉类化石.堆积物的上部主要为颗粒细小的砂质黏土,而下部主要为直径较大的角砾.2007年出土的食肉目化石有:似浣熊貉(Nyctereutes procyonoides)、赤狐(Vulpes vulpes)、狗獾(Meles meles)、黄鼬(Mustela sibirica)、中华猫(Felis chinensis)和疑似虎(Panthera tigris)?.其中前5个种在形态上与现生种类非常接近;而最后一个种除与现生虎比较接近外,与现生狮子也有一定的相似性.

  6. A SIMPLE FEEDING BEHAVIOR ASSAY TO STUDY THE ATTRACTANTS FOR CARNIVOROUS GASTROPODS%一种简单的研究肉食性腹足类诱食物质的摄食行为方法

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    林琛; 曾嶒; 罗霞; 冯永勤; 陈学敏

    2008-01-01

    迄今为止,国内外有关腹足类诱食物质的研究工作还很少,且主要集中在鲍等一些植食性种类上。这些工作大多套用在鱼类上常用的相关研究思路与实验装置。Sakata,et al.则专门建立了微晶纤维素平板法(Avicel plate method)利用摄食痕迹检索了皱纹盘鲍Haliotis discus等的诱食物质。在肉食性种类,Hodgson,et al.利用直接施加溶液的方法研究过氨基酸溶液、贻贝抽提液等与织纹螺(Bullia digitalis)伸吻行为的关系。但在肉食性腹足类上尚未见到有关用摄食指标检索诱食物质的研究报道。

  7. A Study on the Cannibalism of Carnivorous Fishes under the Conditions of Cultural Ecology%肉食性鱼类在养殖生态条件下同类相残现象的研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘红梅

    2002-01-01

    肉食性鱼类的同类相残是对生存资源的一种争夺现象,就个体发育进程而言,同类相残的程度分发生期、高峰期、相对安全期三个阶段。同类相残的原因与放养密度、个体大小差异和饵料丰度密切相关。本文从生态学角度提出了鱼类放养临界密度的观点,关系到放养安全和效益。种群的密度调节受饵料丰度、个体大小差异等因素影响,进而提出防止同类相残现象发生的措施。

  8. Importancia de la heterogeneidad ambiental en la ecología de plantas carnívoras mediterráneas: implicaciones para la conservación Environmental heterogeneity and the ecology of carnivorous plants: implications for conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Regino Zamora

    2002-01-01

    En la cuenca mediterránea, la mayoría de las plantas carnívoras pertenecientes al género Pinguicula habitan las paredes húmedas de montañas calizas. Estos escenarios rocosos condicionan la ecología de las poblaciones situadas en distintos exposiciones (solana versus umbría). Las diferencias temporales en la floración entre plantas que crecen en distintos microhábitats, unido a las diferencias espaciales en la distribución y abundancia de las especies de polinizadores, provocan barreras al flu...

  9. The role of incentive programs in conserving the snow leopard Uncia uncia.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mishra, C.; Allen, P.; McCarthy, T.; Madhusudan, M.D.; Bayarjargal, A.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2003-01-01

    Pastoralists and their livestock share much of the habitat of the snow leopard ( Uncia uncia) across south and central Asia. The levels of livestock predation by the snow leopard and other carnivores are high, and retaliatory killing by the herders is a direct threat to carnivore populations. Deplet

  10. Observations on an unusual behaviour in the Carpenter Bee Xylocopa aestuans (Latreille, 1802 (Hymenoptera: Apidae of the Western Ghats, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.A. Punekar

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The Carpenter Bee Xylocopa aestuans is a known pollen and nectar feeder. However, at Anshi National Park of Karnataka (India, the bee happens to be switching over to facultative carnivorous habit as they are found to feed on Red Tree Ants Oecophylla smaragdina. Such a kind of carnivorous feeding habit must have existed which is yet to be reported.

  11. Using landscape and bioclimatic features to predict the distribution of lions, leopards and spotted hyaenas in Tanzania's Ruaha landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abade, Leandro; Macdonald, David W; Dickman, Amy J

    2014-01-01

    Tanzania's Ruaha landscape is an international priority area for large carnivores, supporting over 10% of the world's lions and important populations of leopards and spotted hyaenas. However, lack of ecological data on large carnivore distribution and habitat use hinders the development of effective carnivore conservation strategies in this critical landscape. Therefore, the study aimed to (i) identify the most significant ecogeographical variables influencing the potential distribution of lions, leopards and spotted hyaenas across the Ruaha landscape; (ii) identify zones with highest suitability for harbouring those species; and (iii) use species distribution modelling algorithms (SDMs) to define important areas for conservation of large carnivores. Habitat suitability was calculated based on environmental features from georeferenced presence-only carnivore location data. Potential distribution of large carnivores appeared to be strongly influenced by water availability; highly suitable areas were situated close to rivers and experienced above average annual precipitation. Net primary productivity and tree cover also exerted some influence on habitat suitability. All three species showed relatively narrow niche breadth and low tolerance to changes in habitat characteristics. From 21,050 km2 assessed, 8.1% (1,702 km2) emerged as highly suitable for all three large carnivores collectively. Of that area, 95.4% (1,624 km2) was located within 30 km of the Park-village border, raising concerns about human-carnivore conflict. This was of particular concern for spotted hyaenas, as they were located significantly closer to the Park boundary than lions and leopards. This study provides the first map of potential carnivore distribution across the globally important Ruaha landscape, and demonstrates that SDMs can be effective for understanding large carnivore habitat requirements in poorly sampled areas. This approach could have relevance for many other important wildlife

  12. Using landscape and bioclimatic features to predict the distribution of lions, leopards and spotted hyaenas in Tanzania's Ruaha landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro Abade

    Full Text Available Tanzania's Ruaha landscape is an international priority area for large carnivores, supporting over 10% of the world's lions and important populations of leopards and spotted hyaenas. However, lack of ecological data on large carnivore distribution and habitat use hinders the development of effective carnivore conservation strategies in this critical landscape. Therefore, the study aimed to (i identify the most significant ecogeographical variables influencing the potential distribution of lions, leopards and spotted hyaenas across the Ruaha landscape; (ii identify zones with highest suitability for harbouring those species; and (iii use species distribution modelling algorithms (SDMs to define important areas for conservation of large carnivores. Habitat suitability was calculated based on environmental features from georeferenced presence-only carnivore location data. Potential distribution of large carnivores appeared to be strongly influenced by water availability; highly suitable areas were situated close to rivers and experienced above average annual precipitation. Net primary productivity and tree cover also exerted some influence on habitat suitability. All three species showed relatively narrow niche breadth and low tolerance to changes in habitat characteristics. From 21,050 km2 assessed, 8.1% (1,702 km2 emerged as highly suitable for all three large carnivores collectively. Of that area, 95.4% (1,624 km2 was located within 30 km of the Park-village border, raising concerns about human-carnivore conflict. This was of particular concern for spotted hyaenas, as they were located significantly closer to the Park boundary than lions and leopards. This study provides the first map of potential carnivore distribution across the globally important Ruaha landscape, and demonstrates that SDMs can be effective for understanding large carnivore habitat requirements in poorly sampled areas. This approach could have relevance for many other

  13. Attractivity of omnivore, carnivore and herbivore mammalian dung to Scarabaeinae (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae in a tropical Atlantic rainforest remnant Atratividade de Scarabaeinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae por fezes de mamíferos onívoros, carnívoros e herbívoros em um remanescente de Floresta Tropical Atlântica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno K. C. Filgueiras

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, performed in a remnant of Brazilian Atlantic Forest, three types of dung from animals with distinct alimentary habits were utilized, in order to verify possible differences of attractivity of these dungs to the Scarabaeinae and the influence of seasonality in the attractivity. Three habitats were sampled: edge, clearing and forest core, each with 40 pitfall traps. A total of 2,137 beetles were collected from August 2005 to July 2006. Canthidium sp. 1 (43% and Dichotomius sericeus (41% were the most abundant species. From the total number of beetles collected, 80.5% were attracted to human dung, 11% to jaguar dung, 7.8% to waterbuck dung and 0.7% to the control. The species Canthidium sp.1, Canthidium sp. 2, Ateuchus sp., Canthon nigripenne, Canthonella sp. and D. sericeus came to all three bait types. Eight species were found in the baits with human dung, where Canthidium sp.1 (49% and D. sericeus (39% were the most common. A significant difference in attractiveness of the different baits was observed; the highest abundance found in traps baited with human dung (F = 36.59; g.l. = 3; p Nesse estudo, realizado em um remanescente de Floresta Atlântica Brasileira, três tipos de fezes de animais com distintos hábitos alimentares foram utilizados para verificar possíveis diferenças de atratividade dessas fezes por Scarabaeinae e a influência da sazonalidade nessa atratividade. Três habitats foram amostrados: borda, clareira e núcleo da floresta, cada um com 40 armadilhas de queda ("pitfall". Um total de 2137 besouros foi coletado de agosto de 2005 a julho de 2006. Canthidium sp. 1 (43% e Dichotomius sericeus (41% foram as espécies mais abundantes. Do número total de besouros coletados, 80,5% foram atraídos para fezes humanas, 11% para fezes de jaguar, 7,8% para fezes de cobo e 0,7% para o controle. As espécies Canthidium sp.1, Canthidium sp. 2, Ateuchus sp., Canthon nigripenne, Canthonella sp. e D. sericeus foram aos três tipos de isca. Oito espécies foram encontradas nas iscas com fezes humanas, onde Canthidium sp.1 (49% e D. sericeus (39% foram as mais abundantes. Diferença significativa de atratividade por diferentes iscas foi observada; a maior abundância foi evidenciada em armadilhas iscadas com fezes humanas (F = 36.59; g.l. = 3; p < 0.0001. Diferença significativa foi observada na riqueza entre as estações chuvosa e seca (F = 12.29; g.l. = 1; p < 0.001 sendo a maior riqueza verificada na estação seca.

  14. Concentration of metals in fishes from Thane and Bassein creeks of Bombay, India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Krishnamurti, A.J.; Nair, V.R.

    feeders, compared to plankton feeders and other pelagic carnivores. In general, fish from Bassein creek showed higher concentration of metals than those colected from Thane creek. As Thane-Bassein creek system experiences stress due to anthropogenic waste...

  15. Raccoons of North and Middle America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldman, Edward A.; Jackson, Hartley H.T.

    1950-01-01

    The raccoons, genus Procyon, colloquially known as “coons,” belong to the carnivorous family Procyonidae, which also includes the American genera Nasua, Nasuella, Bassaricyon, and Potos, and the Old World genera Ailurus and Ailuropoda of the subfamily Ailurinae.

  16. From Neurons to Night of the Living Dead

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clasen, Mathias

    2012-01-01

    Life in prehistoric times was dangerous. Our evolutionary ancestors faced a range of potentially threatening organisms: carnivorous predators, venomous animals, invisible pathogens, and hostile conspecifics. Thus, natural selection has produced a species-typical cognitive architecture for danger...

  17. Lipid composition - Sustainable aquafeeds for marine finfish: Effects of vegetable oil replacement feeds containing novel microalgal and fungal oils on growth performance of juvenile sablefish

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The concomitant replacement of fish meal and fish oil in carnivorous marine fish feeds by more sustainable terrestrial alternatives is problematic due to the limited...

  18. Chemical composition - Sustainable aquafeeds for marine finfish: Effects of vegetable oil replacement feeds containing novel microalgal and fungal oils on growth performance of juvenile sablefish

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The concomitant replacement of fish meal and fish oil in carnivorous marine fish feeds by more sustainable terrestrial alternatives is problematic due to the limited...

  19. Growth - Sustainable aquafeeds for marine finfish: Effects of vegetable oil replacement feeds containing novel microalgal and fungal oils on growth performance of juvenile sablefish

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The concomitant replacement of fish meal and fish oil in carnivorous marine fish feeds by more sustainable terrestrial alternatives is problematic due to the limited...

  20. Parasitoid-specific induction of plant responses to parasitized herbivores affects colonization by subsequent herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poelman, E.H.; Zheng, S.J.; Zhang, Z.; Heemskerk, N.M.; Cortesero, A.M.; Dicke, M.

    2011-01-01

    Plants are exposed to a suite of herbivorous attackers that often arrive sequentially. Herbivory affects interactions between the host plants and subsequently attacking herbivores. Moreover, plants may respond to herbivory by emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that attract carnivorous natura

  1. Avian ecology of Izembek Lagoon

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Feeding habits and diets of birds utilizing Izembek lagoon are described. Shorebirds, waterfowl, and gulls that are both carnivorous and herbivorous are described....

  2. An endemic Taenia from South America: validation of T. Talicei Dollfus, 1960 (Cestoda: Taeniidae) with characterization of metacestodes and adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taeniid tapeworms are characteristic parasites in both domesticated and wild carnivores and life cycles are completed through predator-prey associations with rodent, lagomorph or ungulate intermediate hosts that harbor infective larvae. Globally these tapeworms contribute to morbidity and mortality ...

  3. Cannibalism in Tyrannosaurus rex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas R Longrich

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Tyrannosaurus rex was one of the largest terrestrial carnivores of all time, and consequently its ecology and diet have been the focus of much discussion. However, there is little direct evidence of diet or feeding habits in this species. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Examination of museum collections has revealed four specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex that bear tooth marks made by large, carnivorous dinosaurs. Because Tyrannosaurus is the only large carnivore known from the Late Maastrichtian of western North America, we infer that Tyrannosaurus made these tooth marks. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The marks are interpreted as feeding traces and these fossils therefore record instances of cannibalism. Given that this behavior has a low preservation potential, cannibalism seems to have been a surprisingly common behavior in Tyrannosaurus, and this behavior may have been relatively common in carnivorous dinosaurs.

  4. Evidences Dependent Population Distribution Patterns of Tiger and Leopard in Similipal Tiger Reserve, Odisha, India

    OpenAIRE

    Sandeep Ranjan Mishra; H.K. Bisht

    2015-01-01

    The Tiger (Panthera tigris) is an endangered carnivore with uncertain demographic status spanning 13 Asian countries. Due to its larger body size and carnivorous diet in nature it always occurs at low population densities. Further prey depletion due to overhunting (Karanth & Stith, 1998), poaching, habitat shrinkage (Kenny et al., 1995, Wcs, 1995) and direct killing altogether have also become a major factor for depletion of wild tiger populations tiger. Monitoring the abundance and its alter...

  5. Diet and body temperature in mammals and birds

    OpenAIRE

    Clarke, Andrew; O'Connor, Mary I.

    2014-01-01

    Aim We test the hypothesis that endotherm body temperature varies with diet. Location Global terrestrial ecosystems. Methods We compile data from the literature on diet and body temperature in mammals and birds. We analyse these and demonstrate global macrophysiological patterns. Results In mammals, carnivores overall have a lower mean body temperature (Tb) than either herbivores or omnivores. However, within carnivores, those taking vertebrate prey have a h...

  6. The gastrointestinal tract of farmed mink (Neovison vison ) maintains a diverse mucosa-associated microbiota following a 3-day fasting period

    OpenAIRE

    Bahl, Martin Iain; Hammer , Anne S.; Clausen, Tove; Jakobsen, Anabelle; Skov, Søren; Andresen, Lars

    2017-01-01

    Although it is well documented that the gut microbiota plays an important role in health and disease in mammalian species, this area has been poorly studied among carnivorous animals, especially within the mustelidae family. The gastrointestinal tract of carnivores is characterized by its short length and fast transit time, as compared to omnivores and herbivores, which is due to the low level of inherent fermentation. Mink represents an example of this, which have a GI tract only four times ...

  7. Disease: H01153 [KEGG MEDICUS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available H01153 Human echinococcosis Human echinococcosis is a zoonosis caused by the larval...touching carnivore hosts, or after eating food contaminated by carnivore feces. E. granulosus cause...s benign tumors/cysts (hydatid cyst disease) that is most often curable. Disease due to E.... multilocularis (alveolar hydatid disease) is less common but more difficult to treat. In echinococcosis, an...aphylactic reactions might occur with fatal outcome. Infectious disease Echinococ

  8. Tooele Army Depot Revised Final Site-Wide Ecological Risk Assessment. Volume I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-02-01

    Cerridae Deer Cervus canadensis Elk 2 Odocoileus hemionus Mule deer X 1 Order: Carnivora Carnivores Family: Canidae Wolves, Foxes, and the Coyote...NA NA Y Cat Mammalia Carnivora Felidae Felis domesticus N Cow Mammalia Artiodactyla Bovidae Bos taurus N Dog Mammalia Carnivore Canidae Canis...fauna Invertebrata Varies Varies No NA Plants Plantae NA NA Yes (Ute ladies’ tresses, Clay phacelia) Yes ♦ This receptor is a Special Status

  9. Patterns of δ13 C and δ15 N in wolverine Gulo gulo tissues from the Brooks Range, Alaska

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fredrik DALERUM; Anders ANGERBJ(O)RN; Kyran KUNKEL; Brad S.SHULTS

    2009-01-01

    Knowledge of carnivore diets is essential to understand hew carnivore populations respond demographically to variations in prey abundance. Analysis of stable isotopes is a useful complement to traditional methods of analyzing carnivore diets. We used data on δ13 C and δ15 N in wolverine tissues to investigate patterns of seasonal and annual diet variation in a wolverine Gulo gulo population in the western Brooks Range, Alaska, USA. The stable isotope ratios in wolverine tissues generally reflected that of terrestrial carnivores, corroborating previous diet studies on wolverines. We also found variation in δ13 C and δ15 N both between muscle samples collected over several years and between tissues with different assimilation rates, even after correcting for isotopic fractionation. This suggests both annual and seasonal diet variation. Our results indicate that data on δ13 C and δ15 N holds promise for qualitative assessments of wolverine diet changes over time. Such temporal variation may be important indicators of ecological responses to environmental perturbations, and we suggest that more refined studies of stable isotopes may be an important tool when studying temporal change in diets of wolverines and similar carnivores.

  10. Disrupted trophic interactions affect recruitment of boreal deciduous and coniferous trees in northern Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelstam, Per; Manton, Michael; Pedersen, Simen; Elbakidze, Marine

    2017-01-23

    Loss of large carnivore populations may lead to increased population densities of large herbivores, and subsequent cascading effects on the composition, structure and function of ecosystems. Using a macroecological approach based on studies in multiple boreal forest landscapes in the Baltic Sea region and Russia, we tested the hypothesis that disrupted trophic interactions among large carnivores and large herbivores affect the recruitment of both ecologically and economically valuable tree species. We measured damage levels on young trees and large herbivore density in 10 local landscapes representing a gradient from extinct to extant populations of both large carnivores and large herbivores. We also tested the alternative hypothesis that forest management intensity is correlated to reduced recruitment of these tree species. At the macroecological scale there was an inverse relationship between the number of large carnivores and large herbivores. This coincided with a steep gradient in browsing damage on the ecologically important aspen, rowan and sallow as hosts for specialised species, as well as the economically important Scots pine. In one landscape hunting had replaced the presence of carnivores. Mean damage levels of these four tree species were correlated with large herbivore abundance, but not with forest management intensity. We discuss the pros and cons of this macroecological approach, as well as the challenge of governing and managing trophic interactions at multiple scales. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  11. Lions as Bone Accumulators? Paleontological and Ecological Implications of a Modern Bone Assemblage from Olduvai Gorge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arriaza, Mari Carmen; Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel; Yravedra, José; Baquedano, Enrique

    2016-01-01

    Analytic models have been developed to reconstruct early hominin behaviour, especially their subsistence patterns, revealed mainly through taphonomic analyses of archaeofaunal assemblages. Taphonomic research is used to discern which agents (carnivores, humans or both) generate the bone assemblages recovered at archaeological sites. Taphonomic frameworks developed during the last decades show that the only large-sized carnivores in African biomes able to create bone assemblages are leopards and hyenas. A carnivore-made bone assemblage located in the short-grassland ecological unit of the Serengeti (within Olduvai Gorge) was studied. Taphonomic analyses of this assemblage including skeletal part representation, bone density, breakage patterns and anatomical distribution of tooth marks, along with an ecological approach to the prey selection made by large carnivores of the Serengeti, were carried out. The results show that this bone assemblage may be the first lion-accumulated assemblage documented, although other carnivores (namely spotted hyenas) may have also intervened through postdepositional ravaging. This first faunal assemblage potentially created by lions constitutes a new framework for neotaphonomic studies. Since lions may accumulate carcasses under exceptional circumstances, such as those documented at the site reported here, this finding may have important consequences for interpretations of early archaeological and paleontological sites, which provide key information about human evolution. PMID:27144649

  12. Temporal change in functional richness and evenness in the eastern African plio-pleistocene carnivoran guild.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Werdelin

    Full Text Available We analyze functional richness and functional evenness of the carnivoran guild in eastern Africa from 3.5 Ma to 1.5 Ma, and compare them to the present day. The data consist of characters of the craniodental apparatus of 76 species of fossil and extant carnivorans, divided into four 0.5 Ma time slices from 3.5 to 1.5 Ma, together with the modern fauna. Focus is on large (>21.5 kg carnivores. Results show that the large carnivore guild has lost nearly 99% of its functional richness since 3.5 Ma, in a process starting prior to 2 Ma. Measurement of functional evenness shows the modern large carnivore guild to be unique in being randomly distributed in morphospace while in all past time slices there is significant clustering of species. The results are analyzed in the light of known changes to climate and environment in eastern Africa. We conclude that climate change is unlikely to explain all of the changes found and suggest that the evolution of early hominins into carnivore niche space, especially the evolution of derived dietary strategies after 2 Ma, played a significant part in the reduction of carnivore functional richness.

  13. Sima de los Huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain). The site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arsuaga, J L; Martínez, I; Gracia, A; Carretero, J M; Lorenzo, C; García, N

    1997-01-01

    In this article a topographical description of the Cueva Mayor Cueva de Silo cave system is provided, including a more detailed topography of the Sala de los Ciclopes Sala de las Oseras-Sima de los Huesos sector. The history of the excavations and discoveries of human and carnivore fossils in Sima de los Huesos and adjacent passages is briefly reported, as well as the increase, throughout the succeeding field seasons, of the human collection and changes in the relative representation of the different skeletal elements and major biases. The carnivore assemblage structure is also considered. Examining the characteristics of the bone breccia, and the current and ancient karst topography, different alternative accesses are discussed for the accumulation of carnivores and humans in the Sima de los Huesos. Taking into account all the available information, an anthropic origin for the accumulation of human fossils seems to us to be the most likely explanation.

  14. [ROLE OF ANIMALS AND HUMAN BEINGS IN THE SPREAD OF TRICHINOSIS IN THE KURSK REGION].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vagin, N A; Malysheva, N S; Samofalova, N A; Vlasov, E A

    2015-01-01

    Trichinosis is natural focal invasion in the Kursk Region. Porkworms (Trichinella) circulate in natural biocenoses among wild carnivorous mammals, wild boars, and rodents. Trichinosis cases are recorded in synanthropic animals. Carnivorous mammals form the basis for the parasitic system of trichinosis. The animals are infected with Trichinella through carnivorism, necrophagy, and cannibalism. The transport Trichinella vectors, necrophagous insects, naturally play an insignificant role-in the spread of trichinosis. Trichinella infection in animals occurs more commonly through necrophagia and cannibaism during winter months. Not only animals, but also man, play a great role in the spread of trichinosis. Infested wild and synanthropic aninals inhabiting the Kursk Region may carry the risk for Trichinella infection in the population.

  15. Host range characteristics of the primate coccidian, Isospora arctopitheci Rodhain 1933 (Protozoa: Eimeriidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendricks, L D

    1977-02-01

    Studies were conducted on 35 primates, 12 carnivores, and 2 marsupials to determine their susceptibility to the primate coccidian, Isospora arctopitheci. Patent oocyst infections resulted in 12 of the 14 species of animals investigated. These included 6 genera of New World primates native to Panama: Saguinus geoffroyi, Aotus trivirgatus, Ateles fusciceps, Cebus capucinus, Alouatta villosa, and Saimiri sciureus. In addition 4 families of carnivores (2 domestic and 2 sylvatic) and 1 species of marsupial became infected following experimental exposure. These animals are represented respectively by the following 6 genera and species: Canis familiaris; Felis catus; Nasua nasua, and Potos flavus; Eiria barbara; and Didelphis marsupialis. Four Old World rhesus monkeys, Macaca mulatta, and 1 carnivore, Bassaricyon gabbii, did not become oocyst positive. This unusually large host range makes this isosporan unique among the coccidia that have been investigated to date.

  16. Trichinella britovi in a leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) in Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mowlavi, Gholamreza; Marucci, Gianluca; Mobedi, Iraj; Zahabiioon, Farzaneh; Mirjalali, Hamed; Pozio, Edoardo

    2009-10-14

    Nematodes of the genus Trichinella are zoonotic parasites with a cosmopolitan distribution. In Iran, these parasites have mainly been detected in carnivorous mammals, yet information on the Trichinella taxa circulating in this country date back to a time when biochemical and molecular tests were not available. We describe the first detection of Trichinella larvae in a leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) in Asia and its identification at the species level. The larvae recovered from the leopard muscles were identified as Trichinella britovi using multiplex PCR. The detection of Trichinella infection in a leopard confirms literature data on the high prevalence of infection in carnivorous mammals in Iran.

  17. A phylogenetic study of the section moduli of the humerus in bipedal theropod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott; Richards, Zachary

    The section modulus of a bone is a measure of its ability to resist bending torques. Carnivorous dinosaurs including Tyrannosauroidea and Allosauroidea had strong humeri, presumably to hold struggling prey during hunting. The herbivorous dinosaurs of Ornithomimosauria had weak arm bones. This is believed to reflect the fact that their arms were never subjected to large bending torques. The unusual dinosaurs of Therizinosauria had arms as strong as found in the carnivorous dinosaurs. This is consistent with the hypothesis that their manus suggests a digging lifestyle. Other groups including Oviraptorosauria, Troodontidae, Dromaeosauridae and Compsognathidae are also examined.

  18. Audubon Wildlife Adventures. Grizzly Guidebook. School Edition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, Washington, DC.

    This program introduces the young computer players to the world of the grizzly bear, the largest land carnivore in North America. Through a series of four interactive stories, players learn of the bear's habits and human activities that have brought it close to extinction. Playing the part of a park ranger, a research biologist or a natural…

  19. Genetic analysis reveals demographic fragmentation of grizzly bears yielding vulnerably small populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proctor, Michael F; McLellan, Bruce N; Strobeck, Curtis; Barclay, Robert M R

    2005-11-22

    Ecosystem conservation requires the presence of native carnivores, yet in North America, the distributions of many larger carnivores have contracted. Large carnivores live at low densities and require large areas to thrive at the population level. Therefore, if human-dominated landscapes fragment remaining carnivore populations, small and demographically vulnerable populations may result. Grizzly bear range contraction in the conterminous USA has left four fragmented populations, three of which remain along the Canada-USA border. A tenet of grizzly bear conservation is that the viability of these populations requires demographic linkage (i.e. inter-population movement of both sexes) to Canadian bears. Using individual-based genetic analysis, our results suggest this demographic connection has been severed across their entire range in southern Canada by a highway and associated settlements, limiting female and reducing male movement. Two resulting populations are vulnerably small (bear populations may be more threatened than previously thought and that conservation efforts must expand to include international connectivity management. They also demonstrate the ability of genetic analysis to detect gender-specific demographic population fragmentation in recently disturbed systems, a traditionally intractable yet increasingly important ecological measurement worldwide.

  20. Fungal endophyte diversity in Sarracenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fungal endophytes were isolated from four species of the carnivorous pitcher plant genus Sarracenia: S. minor, S. oreophila, S. purpurea, and S. psittacina. Twelve taxa of fungi, eight within the Ascomycota and four within the Basidiomycota, were identified based on PCR amplification and sequencing ...

  1. Effects of plant protein blends on growth performance of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

    Science.gov (United States)

    One of the greatest challenges is to increase the amount of plant protein in the diet of carnivorous fishes because they have been shown to have decreased growth and protein utilization when fed diets containing plant proteins such as soybean meal. The purpose of this study was to determine the eff...

  2. The Limitations and Potential for Plant Proteins in Aquafeeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Current feed formulations for carnivorous fish species have been to reduce the concentrations of fish meal protein replace them with plant proteins. The choice of plant proteins that can effectively substitute for fish meal protein is currently limited, and fish performance is often compromised whe...

  3. Visual Circuits: Mouse Retina No Longer a Level Playing Field

    OpenAIRE

    Dhande, Onkar S.; Huberman, Andrew D.

    2014-01-01

    Unlike humans, monkeys, or carnivores, mice are thought to lack a retinal subregion devoted to high-resolution vision; systematic analysis has now shown that mice encode visual space non-uniformly, increasing their spatial sampling of the binocular visual field.

  4. Assessment of taurine bioavailability in pelleted and extruded diets with red drum Sciaenops ocellatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taurine has been reported to be efficacious in supporting growth of carnivorous fish species, particularly when supplemented to diets primarily containing plant feedstuffs. Although taurine may become unavailable to some extent by heat and moisture, and is susceptible to the Maillard reaction with r...

  5. Infectivity of Trichinella papuae for experimentally infected red foxes (Vulpes vulpes)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Webster, P.; Malakauskas, A.; Kapel, C. M O

    2002-01-01

    To evaluate infectivity for carnivores as well as other biological characteristics of the newly described Trichinella papuae, eight red foxes were experimentally infected with the parasite. Five weeks after inoculation, T. papuae larvae were recovered from nine different muscle types. The larvae...

  6. Hindcasts and future projections of global inland and coastal nitrogen and phosphorus loads due to finfish aquaculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouwman, A.F.; Beusen, A.H.W.; Overbeek, C.C.; Bureau, D.P.; Pawlowski, M.; Glibert, P.M.

    2013-01-01

    A global model is used to calculate feed and nutrient budgets for freshwater and marine omnivorous and carnivorous aquacultural finfish production. The model uses national production data for the period 1970–2010 and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scenarios for production and management for 201

  7. Hindcasts and future projections of global inland and coastal nitrogen and phosphorus loads due to finfish aquaculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouwman, A.F.; Beusen, A.H.W.; Overbeek, C.C.; Bureau, D.P.; Pawlowski, M.; Glibert, P.M.

    2013-01-01

    A global model is used to calculate feed and nutrient budgets for freshwater and marine omnivorous and carnivorous aquacultural finfish production. The model uses national production data for the period 1970-2010 and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scenarios for production and management for 201

  8. Mammal Reproductive Strategies Driven by Offspring Mortality-Size Relationships

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sibly, Richard M.; Brown, James H.

    2009-01-01

    . Artiodactyls, perissodactyls, cetaceans, and pinnipeds, which give birth in the open on land or in the sea, produce a few large offspring, at infrequent intervals, because this increases their chances of escaping predation. Insectivores, fissiped carnivores, lagomorphs, and rodents, whose offspring...

  9. Lions of West Africa : ecology of lion (Panthera leo Linnaeus 1975) populations and human-lion conflicts in Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, North Benin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sogbohossou, Etotépé Aïkpémi

    2011-01-01

    The Earth’s biodiversity is disappearing at an alarming rate in the last decades. Many species, including carnivores, are becoming endangered. The lion was one of the most widely distributed terrestrial mammals and is today restricted to Gir ecosystem in India and to more or less fragmented populati

  10. Arabian Sea oceanography and fisheries of the west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Madhupratap, M.; Nair, K.N.V.; Gopalakrishnan, T.C.; Haridas, P.; Nair, K.K.C.; Venugopal, P.; Gauns, M.

    difference in the composition. In the south, planktonivorous fishes dominate, whereas in the north carnivores are more abundant. This appears to be a puzzle, and not reported hitherto. Based on the lower food-web, which appears to be similar in the two...

  11. The distribution of the chaetognath population and its interaction with environmental characteristics in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Nair, V.R.; Kusum, K.K.; Gireesh, R.; Nair, M.

    . The BoB is traditionally considered a less productive region than the AS. Chaetognatha, a major taxon of carnivorous mesozooplankton, often rank second in abundance to copepods and thus play a pivotal role in the pelagic food web of this region. We...

  12. 77 FR 51958 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the Bay...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-28

    ... North America (BMNA) 2009, p. 1). The Bay skipper is similar in appearance to the Dion skipper (Euphyes...). All of these plants are common or abundant throughout the range of the Bay skipper. These plants are... predators including frogs, lizards, birds, carnivorous insects, and spiders. However, the best...

  13. Dietary nutrient profiles of wild wolves: insights for optimal dog nutrition?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosch, G.; Hagen-Plantinga, E.A.; Hendriks, W.H.

    2015-01-01

    Domestic dogs diverged from grey wolves between 13 000 and 17 000 years ago when food waste from human settlements provided a new niche. Compared to the carnivorous cat, modern-day dogs differ in several digestive and metabolic traits that appear to be more associated with omnivorous such as man, pi

  14. Landscape of fear in Europe: wolves affect spatial patterns of ungulate browsing in Bialowieza Primeval Forest, Poland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuijper, D.P.J.; Kleine, de C.; Churski, M.; Hooft, van W.F.; Bubnicki, J.; Jedrzejewska, B.

    2013-01-01

    Large carnivores can either directly influence ungulate populations or indirectly affect their behaviour. Knowledge from European systems, in contrast to North American systems, on how this might lead to cascading effects on lower trophic levels is virtually absent. We studied whether wolves Canis l

  15. Placentation in mammals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, A M; Enders, A C

    2016-01-01

    chorioallantois, has known functions in ruminants and carnivores and is found in several other orders of mammal where its function has yet to be explored. In human gestation, the chorion (avascular chorioallantois) is important for hormone synthesis. The true chorion of squirrels and hedgehogs is avascular...

  16. Zooplankton mortality in 3D ecosystem modelling considering variable spatial–temporal fish consumptions in the North Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maar, Marie; Rindorf, Anna; Møller, Eva Friis

    2014-01-01

    , production and mortality. In the present study, the index was kept relatively simple and can be further developed with respect to the description of fish as well carnivorous zooplankton ingestion rates. The data input required to create the fish index is i) planktivorous fish stock biomasses and ii) relative...

  17. Significance of terpenoids in induced indirect plant defence against herbivorous arthropods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mumm, R.; Posthumus, M.A.; Dicke, M.

    2008-01-01

    Many plants respond to herbivory by arthropods with an induced emission of volatiles such as green leaf volatiles and terpenoids. These herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) can attract carnivores, for example, predators and parasitoids. We investigated the significance of terpenoids in attracti

  18. New ichnotaxa based on tooth impression on dinosaur and whale bones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland; Bromley, Richard

    2009-01-01

    Traces produced by teeth on bones provide a source of information on the feeding behaviour, predator-prey relationships, and tooth morphology of the tracemaking carnivores and scavengers involved. Studies on mammals, both fossil and recent, have used toothscratched bones as clues to the feeding b...

  19. Predator-prey interactions amongst Permo-Triassic terrestrial vertebrates as a deterministic factor influencing faunal collapse and turnover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codron, J; Botha-Brink, J; Codron, D; Huttenlocker, A K; Angielczyk, K D

    2017-01-01

    Unlike modern mammalian communities, terrestrial Paleozoic and Mesozoic vertebrate systems were characterized by carnivore faunas that were as diverse as their herbivore faunas. The comparatively narrow food base available to carnivores in these paleosystems raises the possibility that predator-prey interactions contributed to unstable ecosystems by driving populations to extinction. Here, we develop a model of predator-prey interactions based on diversity, abundance and body size patterns observed in the Permo-Triassic vertebrate fossil record of the Karoo Basin, South Africa. Our simulations reflect empirical evidence that despite relatively high carnivore: herbivore species ratios, herbivore abundances were sufficient for carnivores to maintain required intake levels through most of the Karoo sequence. However, high mortality rates amongst herbivore populations, even accounting for birth rates of different-sized species, are predicted for assemblages immediately preceding the end-Guadalupian and end-Permian mass extinctions, as well as in the Middle Triassic when archosaurs replaced therapsids as the dominant terrestrial fauna. These results suggest that high rates of herbivore mortality could have played an important role in biodiversity declines leading up to each of these turnover events. Such declines would have made the systems especially vulnerable to subsequent stochastic events and environmental perturbations, culminating in large-scale extinctions.

  20. Genetic characterization of viable Toxoplasma gondii isolates from stray dogs from Giza, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stray dogs are considered as sentinels in the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii because they are carnivores and eat variety of foods, including garbage. In the present study, tissues and sera of 51 stray dogs (Canis familiaris) from Giza, Egypt were examined for T. gondii infection. Sera were examin...

  1. A village dog is not a stray : human-dog interactions in coastal Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruiz Izaguirre, E.

    2013-01-01

    Dogs (Canis familiaris) are considered one of the most numerous carnivores worldwide. Although in the Global North dogs are popular companions, that live inside homes, about 80% of the dogs in the world are village dogs. Village dogs are typically free-roaming, scavenge refuse around human dwellings

  2. Recovery of African wild dogs suppresses prey but does not trigger a trophic cascade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Large carnivores can powerfully shape ecosystems by directly suppressing herbivores, thereby indirectly benefitting plants in a process known as a trophic cascade. In 2002, after a 20-year absence, African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) recolonized the Laikipia Plateau in central Kenya. We hypothesized t...

  3. The effect of host age and inoculation dose on infection dynamics of Angiostrongylus vasorum in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Webster, Pia; Monrad, Jesper; Kapel, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Background: Infections and clinical cases of Angiostrongylus vasorum in dogs are found increasingly across Europe, thus rendering knowledge on its infection biology more important. We used red foxes as a carnivore model to examine the effect of host age and infection dose on the establishment of ...

  4. 78 FR 78783 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-27

    ... gastropods, commonly referred to as whelks, conchs, and snails. This temporary rule, first published in 2005.... In addition, this emergency rule also prohibits the harvest of gastropods from the Temporary PSP... closure does not include gastropods. Gastropods include carnivorous snails, conchs, and whelks that...

  5. Information use by the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis (Acari: Phytoseiidae), a specialised natural enemy of herbivorous spider mites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de J.G.; Dicke, M.

    2005-01-01

    Plants can respond to infestation by herbivores with the emission of specific herbivore-induced plant volatiles. Many carnivorous arthropods that feed on herbivorous prey use these volatiles to locate their prey. Despite the growing amount of research papers on the interactions in tritrophic systems

  6. AFSOC Urban Operations Training & Capabilities Final Environmental Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-12-01

    flatwoods, and baygall communities throughout Eglin. ● Pineland Hoary Pea ( Tephrosia mohrii). The Pineland Hoary Pea, an herbaceous plant, is a...Purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea ). The purple pitcher plant is a native, carnivorous herb. In its southern distribution, this pitcher plant

  7. Jaguars on the move: modeling movement to mitigate fragmentation from road expansion in the Mayan Forests

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Colchero, Fernando; Conde, Dalia Amor; Manterola, Carlos

    2011-01-01

    Road-induced habitat fragmentation is one of the greatest threats to large carnivores. Wildlife passes have been used to reduce fragmentation by mitigating the effects of roads as barriers to animal movement. However, direct observations of animals crossing roads are extremely rare and thus indir...

  8. Hemoprotozoa of domestic animals in France: prevalence and molecular characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Criado-Fornelio, A; Buling, A; Pingret, J L; Etievant, M; Boucraut-Baralon, C; Alongi, A; Agnone, A; Torina, A

    2009-01-22

    Very limited information is available on epizootiology of haematozoan infections in French domestic animals. In an attempt to address this issue, prevalence of piroplasmida was studied in carnivores and ruminants, whereas prevalence of Hepatozoon spp. was only investigated in carnivores. In total, 383 animals were included in the survey (namely 116 cats, 108 dogs, 91 sheep and 68 cows). Parasite diagnosis was carried out using molecular methods such as PCR and sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene. In addition, ruminant samples were analyzed with the reverse line blotting technique (RLB). Results of RLB and PCR plus sequencing were in total agreement. In carnivores, haematozoan prevalence was close to 1%. Two cats were infected by H. canis (1.7% prevalence) and one of them was co-infected by Cytauxzoon sp. (0.8%). This represents the first finding of both pathogens in French cats. One dog was infected by H. canis (0.9%) and another by Babesia canis vogeli (0.9%). In ruminants, haematozoan prevalence (piroplasmida) was significantly higher than in carnivores (4.8% in sheep and 8.8% in cow). Theileria ovis was found in 1 sheep, Theileria sp. in 2 sheep, Theileria buffeli in 5 cows and B. major in 1 cow. Evidence presented in this contribution indicates that haematic protozoa are not widely distributed in domestic mammal populations of France.

  9. Population ecology and community structure of sub-tidal soft sediment dwelling macro-invertebrates of Konkan, west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Vizakat, L.; Harkantra, S.N.; Parulekar, A.H.

    (Shannon Wiener index) varied from 0.44 to 3.58 (X = 1.94, SD = + or - 0.89). Population and community structure were more stable in premonsoon months. Carnivorous species Glycera alba modified the community structure mainly due to prey...

  10. Molecular identification of Taenia spp. In the Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) from Finland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cestodes of the genus Taenia are parasites of mammals, with mainly carnivores as definitive and herbivores as intermediate hosts. Various medium-sized cats, Lynx spp., are involved in the life cycles of several species of Taenia. The aim of the present study was to identify Taenia tapeworms in the E...

  11. Impact of botanical pesticides derived from Melia azedarach an Azadirachta indica plants on the emission of volatiles that attract parasitoids of the diamondback moth to cabbage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Charleston, D.S.; Gols, R.; Hordijk, K.A.; Kfir, R.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dicke, M.

    2006-01-01

    Herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods use chemical information from plants during foraging. Aqueous leaf extracts from the syringa tree Melia azedarach and commercial formulations from the neem tree Azadirachta indica, Neemix 4.5®, were investigated for their impact on the flight response of two pa

  12. Impact of botanical pesticides derived from Melia azedarach and Azadirachta indica plants on the emission of volatiles that attract parasitoids of the diamondback moth to cabbage plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Charleston, D.S.; Gols, R.; Hordijk, C.A.; Kfir, R.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dicke, M.

    2006-01-01

    Herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods use chemical information from plants during foraging. Aqueous leaf extracts from the syringa tree Melia azedarach and commercial formulations from the neem tree Azadirachta indica, Neemix 4.5®, were investigated for their impact on the flight response of two pa

  13. In search of virus carriers of the 1988 and 2002 phocine distemper virus outbreaks in European harbour seals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kreutzer, M.; Kreutzer, R.; Siebert, U.; Muller, G.; Reijnders, P.J.H.; Brasseur, S.M.J.M.; Harkonen, T.; Dietz, R.; Sonne, C.; Born, E.W.; Baumgartner, W.

    2008-01-01

    European harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) populations decreased substantially during the phocine distemper virus (PDV) outbreaks of 1988 and 2002. Different hypotheses have stated that various seals and terrestrial carnivore species might be the source of infection. To further analyse these hypotheses,

  14. General characteristics of the diet of Trachinotus paitensis (Teleostei: Carangidae) from San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz Escalona, V H; Abitia Cárdenas, L A

    2004-03-01

    The food habits of Trachinotus paitensis, in San Ignacio Lagoon B.C.S., Mexico, were investigated. We observed that T. paitensis is carnivorous, feeding mainly on benthic invertebrates (the gastropods Anachis spp., Bittium spp., and the crustacean larvae). We concluded that T. paitensis is an opportunist predator that impacts mainly on epibenthic invertebrates.

  15. Repeated evolution of carnivory among Indo-Australian rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Kevin C; Achmadi, Anang S; Esselstyn, Jacob A

    2016-03-01

    Convergent evolution, often observed in island archipelagos, provides compelling evidence for the importance of natural selection as a generator of species and ecological diversity. The Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA) is the world's largest island system and encompasses distinct biogeographic units, including the Asian (Sunda) and Australian (Sahul) continental shelves, which together bracket the oceanic archipelagos of the Philippines and Wallacea. Each of these biogeographic units houses numerous endemic rodents in the family Muridae. Carnivorous murids, that is those that feed on animals, have evolved independently in Sunda, Sulawesi (part of Wallacea), the Philippines, and Sahul, but the number of origins of carnivory among IAA murids is unknown. We conducted a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of carnivorous murids of the IAA, combined with estimates of ancestral states for broad diet categories (herbivore, omnivore, and carnivore) and geographic ranges. These analyses demonstrate that carnivory evolved independently four times after overwater colonization, including in situ origins on the Philippines, Sulawesi, and Sahul. In each biogeographic unit the origin of carnivory was followed by evolution of more specialized carnivorous ecomorphs such as vermivores, insectivores, and amphibious rats.

  16. Ciguatera fish poisoning: a review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fouw JC de; Egmond HP van; Speijers GJA; CSR

    2001-01-01

    This review on ciguatera fish poisoning contains information on the ciguatera intoxication syndrome and the provoking ciguatoxins (CTXs) and gambiertoxin-4b (GTX-4B), of which CTX-1 is a major component at the end of food chain (the carnivore fish). Data on chemical structures and detection methods

  17. Exploring reservoir dynamics: a case study of rabies in the Serengeti ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lembo, Tiziana; Hampson, Katie; Haydon, Daniel T; Craft, Meggan; Dobson, Andy; Dushoff, Jonathan; Ernest, Eblate; Hoare, Richard; Kaare, Magai; Mlengeya, Titus; Mentzel, Christine; Cleaveland, Sarah

    2008-08-01

    Knowledge of infection reservoir dynamics is critical for effective disease control, but identifying reservoirs of multi-host pathogens is challenging. Here, we synthesize several lines of evidence to investigate rabies reservoirs in complex carnivore communities of the Serengeti ecological region in northwest Tanzania, where the disease has been confirmed in 12 carnivore species.Long-term monitoring data suggest that rabies persists in high-density domestic dog Canis familiaris populations (> 11 dogs km(-2)) and occurs less frequently in lower-density (transmission was more frequently inferred from high-resolution epidemiological data than between-species transmission. Incidence patterns indicate that spill-over of rabies from domestic dog populations sometimes initiates short-lived chains of transmission in other carnivores.Synthesis and applications. The balance of evidence suggests that the reservoir of rabies in the Serengeti ecosystem is a complex multi-host community where domestic dogs are the only population essential for persistence, although other carnivores contribute to the reservoir as non-maintenance populations. Control programmes that target domestic dog populations should therefore have the greatest impact on reducing the risk of infection in all other species including humans, livestock and endangered wildlife populations, but transmission in other species may increase the level of vaccination coverage in domestic dog populations necessary to eliminate rabies.

  18. Acute lead toxicosis via ingestion of spent ammunition in a free-ranging cougar (Puma concolor).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burco, Julia; Myers, Anne Mary; Schuler, Krysten; Gillin, Colin

    2012-01-01

    Lead toxicity has long been documented and acknowledged as a significant health issue of water birds and avian scavengers. However, few instances of toxic effects to higher mammalian carnivores have been documented. Here we present an acute case of lead toxicity in a free-ranging cougar (Puma concolor) in Oregon.

  19. Living with Wildlife and Mitigating Conflicts Around Three Indian Protected Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanth, Krithi K.; Naughton-Treves, Lisa; DeFries, Ruth; Gopalaswamy, Arjun M.

    2013-12-01

    Crop and livestock losses to wildlife are a concern for people neighboring many protected areas (PAs) and can generate opposition to conservation. Examining patterns of conflict and associated tolerance is important to devise policies to reduce conflict impacts on people and wildlife. We surveyed 398 households from 178 villages within 10 km of Ranthambore, Kanha, and Nagarahole parks in India. We compared different attitudes toward wildlife, and presented hypothetical response scenarios, including killing the problem animal(s). Eighty percent of households reported crop losses to wildlife and 13 % livestock losses. Higher crop loss was associated with more cropping months per year, greater crop variety, and more harvest seasons per year but did not vary with proximity to the PA, suggesting that PAs are not necessarily "sources" for crop raiders. By contrast, complaints of "depredating carnivores" were associated with people-grazing animals and collecting resources from PAs. Many households (83 %) engaged in mitigation efforts. We found that only fencing and guard animals reduce crop losses, and no efforts to lower livestock losses. Contrary to our expectations, carnivores were not viewed with more hostility than crop-raiding wildlife. Households reported greater inclination to kill herbivores destroying crops or carnivores harming people, but not carnivores preying on livestock. Our model estimated crop loss was 82 % across surveyed households (highest in Kanha), while the livestock loss experienced was 27 % (highest in Ranthambore). Our comparative study provides insights into factors associated with conflict loss and tolerance, and aids in improving ongoing conservation and compensation efforts.

  20. Reappearance of Taenia ovis krabbei muscle cysts in a roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in Denmark after 60+ years, with a possible role of a grey wolf (Canis lupus) as definitive host

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al-Sabi, Mohammad Nafi Solaiman; Chriél, Mariann; Holm, Elisabeth

    2013-01-01

    Taenia ovis krabbei is a parasite with a sylvatic life cycle in which carnivores are definitive hosts and Cervid are intermediate hosts. Foraging on pasture contaminated with eggs of T. o. krabbei is the primary cause of infection to Cervids, and the larval stages usually develop in heart...

  1. Reappearance of Taenia ovis krabbei muscle cysts in a roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in Denmark after 60+ years, with a possible role of a grey wolf (Canis lupus) as definitive host

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al-Sabi, Mohammad Nafi Solaiman; Chriél, Mariann; Holm, Elisabeth

    Taenia ovis krabbei has a semi-sylvatic life cycle with carnivore definitive hosts and cervid intermediate hosts. Cervids become infected by foraging on pasture contaminated with the eggs. Larval stages usually develop in heart and skeletal muscles causing pathological changes and severe illness1...

  2. Undersøgelse af nye vildtyper af hvalpesygevirus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Line; Jensen, Trine Hammer; Hammer, Anne Sofie

    2010-01-01

    the new wildtype CDVs, performed nucleic acid sequencing and determined the relatedness of the wildtypes. We found that the isolated virus from the investigated terrestrial carnivores (mink, badger, European polecat, beech marten and pine marten) were canine distemper virus, which was phylogeny separated...

  3. Survey of Echinococcosis and Hydatidosis in Kashan Region, Central Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Arbabi

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Hydatidosis is one of the major zoonotic diseases that cause considerable economic losses and public health problems worldwide. The present study was conducted to determine the prevalence of E. granulosus in domestic and wild carnivores and the infection rate of hydatid cyst in slaughtered animals and people in Kashan area, central Iran. A total of 142 carnivores including 70 stray dogs, 40 jackals, 22 red foxes, and 10 wolves were examined for the presence of E. granulosus, as well as, 170510 slaughtered sheep, 162665 goats and 13059 cattle for hydatid cyst infection. In addition, 500 inhabitants in rural areas were examined for antibodies to hydatid cyst. Results indicated that 43.7% of carnivores were infected with E. granulosus. Infection rate in slaughtered animals was 2.7%. Overall, the seroprevalence rate in human cases was 2.4%. Eighty-five patients including 47 females and 38 males were hospitalized. The mean annual incidence rate of hydatidosis in human was three cases per 100 000 populations. In general, the situation of the hydatidosis in the livestock and human and echinococcosis in the carnivores of the Kashan is similar to the other zones in Iran.

  4. Streptaxidae (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Pulmonata) of the Seychelles Islands, Western Indian Ocean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerlach, J.; Bruggen, van A.C.

    1999-01-01

    The taxonomy of the species of the terrestrial carnivorous snail family Streptaxidae of the Seychelles archipelago is reviewed with the exception of the three species of the genus Priodiscus (vide Gerlach, 1995). All 18 species are restricted to the northern, granitic islands. This paper describes 1

  5. Trophic complexity and the adaptive value of damage-induced plant volatiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian Kaplan

    Full Text Available Indirect plant defenses are those facilitating the action of carnivores in ridding plants of their herbivorous consumers, as opposed to directly poisoning or repelling them. Of the numerous and diverse indirect defensive strategies employed by plants, inducible volatile production has garnered the most fascination among plant-insect ecologists. These volatile chemicals are emitted in response to feeding by herbivorous arthropods and serve to guide predators and parasitic wasps to their prey. Implicit in virtually all discussions of plant volatile-carnivore interactions is the premise that plants "call for help" to bodyguards that serve to boost plant fitness by limiting herbivore damage. This, by necessity, assumes a three-trophic level food chain where carnivores benefit plants, a theoretical framework that is conceptually tractable and convenient, but poorly depicts the complexity of food-web dynamics occurring in real communities. Recent work suggests that hyperparasitoids, top consumers acting from the fourth trophic level, exploit the same plant volatile cues used by third trophic level carnivores. Further, hyperparasitoids shift their foraging preferences, specifically cueing in to the odor profile of a plant being damaged by a parasitized herbivore that contains their host compared with damage from an unparasitized herbivore. If this outcome is broadly representative of plant-insect food webs at large, it suggests that damage-induced volatiles may not always be beneficial to plants with major implications for the evolution of anti-herbivore defense and manipulating plant traits to improve biological control in agricultural crops.

  6. Detecting grizzly bear use of ungulate carcasses using global positioning system telemetry and activity data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebinger, Michael R; Haroldson, Mark A; van Manen, Frank T; Costello, Cecily M; Bjornlie, Daniel D; Thompson, Daniel J; Gunther, Kerry A; Fortin, Jennifer K; Teisberg, Justin E; Pils, Shannon R; White, P J; Cain, Steven L; Cross, Paul C

    2016-07-01

    Global positioning system (GPS) wildlife collars have revolutionized wildlife research. Studies of predation by free-ranging carnivores have particularly benefited from the application of location clustering algorithms to determine when and where predation events occur. These studies have changed our understanding of large carnivore behavior, but the gains have concentrated on obligate carnivores. Facultative carnivores, such as grizzly/brown bears (Ursus arctos), exhibit a variety of behaviors that can lead to the formation of GPS clusters. We combined clustering techniques with field site investigations of grizzly bear GPS locations (n = 732 site investigations; 2004-2011) to produce 174 GPS clusters where documented behavior was partitioned into five classes (large-biomass carcass, small-biomass carcass, old carcass, non-carcass activity, and resting). We used multinomial logistic regression to predict the probability of clusters belonging to each class. Two cross-validation methods-leaving out individual clusters, or leaving out individual bears-showed that correct prediction of bear visitation to large-biomass carcasses was 78-88 %, whereas the false-positive rate was 18-24 %. As a case study, we applied our predictive model to a GPS data set of 266 bear-years in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (2002-2011) and examined trends in carcass visitation during fall hyperphagia (September-October). We identified 1997 spatial GPS clusters, of which 347 were predicted to be large-biomass carcasses. We used the clustered data to develop a carcass visitation index, which varied annually, but more than doubled during the study period. Our study demonstrates the effectiveness and utility of identifying GPS clusters associated with carcass visitation by a facultative carnivore.

  7. Evolution and function of fossoriality in the carnivora: implications for group-living

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael James Noonan

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The societies of group-living carnivores that neither hunt nor interact cooperatively may arise due to ecological drivers and/or constraints. In this study we evaluate whether group-living may be intrinsically associated with fossoriality; a link that is well supported in other taxa, but hitherto under-evaluated in the Carnivora. We make two over-arching predictions: i that fossoriality will be associated with carnivoran sociality; and ii that this association will be most evident in those species making extended use of subterranean dens. From a meta-analysis of key behavioural, ecological, ontological, and trophic traits, we demonstrate that three quarters of carnivore species exhibit some reliance on underground dens. Congruence between life-history traits and metrics of fossoriality evidenced that: 1 there are phylogenetic, and morphological constraints on wholly fossorial life-histories; 2 fossoriality correlated positively with the extent of offspring altriciality, linked to the use of natal dens; 3 burrow use increased with latitude; and 4 insectivorous carnivores were more fossorial than predatory carnivores. Corroborating work in the Rodentia, fossorial traits associated strongly with carnivoran group-living tendencies, where species utilising subterranean natal dens are 2.5 times more likely to form groups than those that do not. Furthermore, using comparative analyses, we evidence support for an evolutionary relationship between diet, fossoriality and sociality. We propose that fossorial dens act as a safe haven, promoting fitness benefits, territorial inheritance and cooperative breeding. We conclude that, among smaller (<15kg den-using carnivores, and especially for omnivorous/ insectivorous species for which food resource dispersion is favorable, continued cohabitation at natal dens can promote cohabitation among adults; that is, philopatric benefits leading to (not necessarily cooperative spatial groups.

  8. Comparison of metabolic substrates in alligators and several birds of prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweazea, Karen L; McMurtry, John P; Elsey, Ruth M; Redig, Patrick; Braun, Eldon J

    2014-08-01

    On average, avian blood glucose concentrations are 1.5-2 times those of mammals of similar mass and high concentrations of insulin are required to lower blood glucose. Whereas considerable data exist for granivorous species, few data are available for plasma metabolic substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations for carnivorous birds and alligators. Birds and mammals with carnivorous diets have higher metabolic rates than animals consuming diets with less protein whereas alligators have low metabolic rates. Therefore, the present study was designed to compare substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations in several birds of prey and a phylogenetically close relative of birds, the alligator. The hypothesis was that the combination of carnivorous diets and high metabolic rates favored the evolution of greater protein and fatty acid utilization leading to insulin resistance and high plasma glucose concentrations in carnivorous birds. In contrast, it was hypothesized that alligators would have low substrate utilization attributable to a low metabolic rate. Fasting plasma substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations were compared for bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), great horned owls (Bubo virginianus), red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), and American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). Avian species had high circulating β-hydroxybutyrate (10-21 mg/dl) compared to alligators (2.81 ± 0.16 mg/dl). In mammals high concentrations of this byproduct of fatty acid utilization are correlated with insulin resistance. Fasting glucose and insulin concentrations were positively correlated in eagles whereas no relationship was found between these variables for owls, hawks or alligators. Additionally, β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations were low in alligators. Similar to carnivorous mammals, ingestion of a high protein diet may have favored the utilization of fatty acids and protein for energy thereby promoting the development of insulin

  9. Diet is a major factor governing the fecal butyrate-producing community structure across Mammalia, Aves and Reptilia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vital, Marius; Gao, Jiarong; Rizzo, Mike; Harrison, Tara; Tiedje, James M

    2015-03-17

    Butyrate-producing bacteria have an important role in maintaining host health. They are well studied in human and medically associated animal models; however, much less is known for other Vertebrata. We investigated the butyrate-producing community in hindgut-fermenting Mammalia (n = 38), Aves (n = 8) and Reptilia (n = 8) using a gene-targeted pyrosequencing approach of the terminal genes of the main butyrate-synthesis pathways, namely butyryl-CoA:acetate CoA-transferase (but) and butyrate kinase (buk). Most animals exhibit high gene abundances, and clear diet-specific signatures were detected with but genes significantly enriched in omnivores and herbivores compared with carnivores. But dominated the butyrate-producing community in these two groups, whereas buk was more abundant in many carnivorous animals. Clustering of protein sequences (5% cutoff) of the combined communities (but and buk) placed carnivores apart from other diet groups, except for noncarnivorous Carnivora, which clustered together with carnivores. The majority of clusters (but: 5141 and buk: 2924) did not show close relation to any reference sequences from public databases (identity <90%) demonstrating a large 'unknown diversity'. Each diet group had abundant signature taxa, where buk genes linked to Clostridium perfringens dominated in carnivores and but genes associated with Ruminococcaceae bacterium D16 were specific for herbivores and omnivores. Whereas 16S rRNA gene analysis showed similar overall patterns, it was unable to reveal communities at the same depth and resolution as the functional gene-targeted approach. This study demonstrates that butyrate producers are abundant across vertebrates exhibiting great functional redundancy and that diet is the primary determinant governing the composition of the butyrate-producing guild.

  10. Detecting grizzly bear use of ungulate carcasses using global positioning system telemetry and activity data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebinger, Michael R.; Haroldson, Mark A.; van Manen, Frank T.; Costello, Cecily M; Bjornlie, Daniel D; Thompson, Daniel J.; Gunther, Kerry A.; Fortin, Jennifer K.; Teisberg, Justin E.; Pils, Shannon R; White, P J; Cain, Steven L; Cross, Paul C.

    2016-01-01

    Global positioning system (GPS) wildlife collars have revolutionized wildlife research. Studies of predation by free-ranging carnivores have particularly benefited from the application of location clustering algorithms to determine when and where predation events occur. These studies have changed our understanding of large carnivore behavior, but the gains have concentrated on obligate carnivores. Facultative carnivores, such as grizzly/brown bears (Ursus arctos), exhibit a variety of behaviors that can lead to the formation of GPS clusters. We combined clustering techniques with field site investigations of grizzly bear GPS locations (n = 732 site investigations; 2004–2011) to produce 174 GPS clusters where documented behavior was partitioned into five classes (large-biomass carcass, small-biomass carcass, old carcass, non-carcass activity, and resting). We used multinomial logistic regression to predict the probability of clusters belonging to each class. Two cross-validation methods—leaving out individual clusters, or leaving out individual bears—showed that correct prediction of bear visitation to large-biomass carcasses was 78–88%, whereas the false-positive rate was 18–24%. As a case study, we applied our predictive model to a GPS data set of 266 bear-years in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (2002–2011) and examined trends in carcass visitation during fall hyperphagia (September–October). We identified 1997 spatial GPS clusters, of which 347 were predicted to be large-biomass carcasses. We used the clustered data to develop a carcass visitation index, which varied annually, but more than doubled during the study period. Our study demonstrates the effectiveness and utility of identifying GPS clusters associated with carcass visitation by a facultative carnivore.

  11. Spotted hyaena space use in relation to human infrastructure inside a protected area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belton, Lydia E.; Cameron, Elissa Z.

    2016-01-01

    Increasing human population growth has led to elevated levels of human-carnivore conflict. However, some carnivore populations have adapted to urban environments and the resources they supply. Such associations may influence carnivore ecology, behaviour and life-history. Pockets of urbanisation sometimes occur within protected areas, so that anthropogenic influences on carnivore biology are not necessarily confined to unprotected areas. In this study we evaluated associations between human infrastructure and related activity and space use of spotted hyaenas within one of the largest protected areas in South Africa, the Kruger National Park. Home range size was smaller for the dominant female of a clan living in close proximity to humans than that of the dominant female of a clan without direct access to human infrastructure. The home range including human infrastructure was also used less evenly during the night, presumably when the animals were active. Within this home range, a village area was preferred during the night, when the least modified areas within the village were preferred and administration and highly modified areas were avoided. During the day, however, there were no preference or avoidance of the village area, but all habitats except unmodified habitats within the village area were avoided. We suggest that human infrastructure and associated activity influenced hyaena space use, primarily through alterations in the spatial distribution of food. However, these effects may have been indirectly caused by habitat modification that generated favourable hunting habitat rather than a direct effect caused by access to human food such as garbage. Because of the often pivotal effects of apex predators in terrestrial ecosystems, we encourage further work aimed to quantify how human presence influences large carnivores and associated ecosystem processes within protected areas. PMID:27781175

  12. Light, nutrients, and food-chain length constrain planktonic energy transfer efficiency across multiple trophic levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickman, Elizabeth M; Newell, Jennifer M; González, María J; Vanni, Michael J

    2008-11-25

    The efficiency of energy transfer through food chains [food chain efficiency (FCE)] is an important ecosystem function. It has been hypothesized that FCE across multiple trophic levels is constrained by the efficiency at which herbivores use plant energy, which depends on plant nutritional quality. Furthermore, the number of trophic levels may also constrain FCE, because herbivores are less efficient in using plant production when they are constrained by carnivores. These hypotheses have not been tested experimentally in food chains with 3 or more trophic levels. In a field experiment manipulating light, nutrients, and food-chain length, we show that FCE is constrained by algal food quality and food-chain length. FCE across 3 trophic levels (phytoplankton to carnivorous fish) was highest under low light and high nutrients, where algal quality was best as indicated by taxonomic composition and nutrient stoichiometry. In 3-level systems, FCE was constrained by the efficiency at which both herbivores and carnivores converted food into production; a strong nutrient effect on carnivore efficiency suggests a carryover effect of algal quality across 3 trophic levels. Energy transfer efficiency from algae to herbivores was also higher in 2-level systems (without carnivores) than in 3-level systems. Our results support the hypothesis that FCE is strongly constrained by light, nutrients, and food-chain length and suggest that carryover effects across multiple trophic levels are important. Because many environmental perturbations affect light, nutrients, and food-chain length, and many ecological services are mediated by FCE, it will be important to apply these findings to various ecosystem types.

  13. Antagonistic pleiotropy and fitness trade-offs reveal specialist and generalist traits in strains of canine distemper virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolin, Veljko M; Osterrieder, Klaus; von Messling, Veronika; Hofer, Heribert; Anderson, Danielle; Dubovi, Edward; Brunner, Edgar; East, Marion L

    2012-01-01

    Theoretically, homogeneous environments favor the evolution of specialists whereas heterogeneous environments favor generalists. Canine distemper is a multi-host carnivore disease caused by canine distemper virus (CDV). The described cell receptor of CDV is SLAM (CD150). Attachment of CDV hemagglutinin protein (CDV-H) to this receptor facilitates fusion and virus entry in cooperation with the fusion protein (CDV-F). We investigated whether CDV strains co-evolved in the large, homogeneous domestic dog population exhibited specialist traits, and strains adapted to the heterogeneous environment of smaller populations of different carnivores exhibited generalist traits. Comparison of amino acid sequences of the SLAM binding region revealed higher similarity between sequences from Canidae species than to sequences from other carnivore families. Using an in vitro assay, we quantified syncytia formation mediated by CDV-H proteins from dog and non-dog CDV strains in cells expressing dog, lion or cat SLAM. CDV-H proteins from dog strains produced significantly higher values with cells expressing dog SLAM than with cells expressing lion or cat SLAM. CDV-H proteins from strains of non-dog species produced similar values in all three cell types, but lower values in cells expressing dog SLAM than the values obtained for CDV-H proteins from dog strains. By experimentally changing one amino acid (Y549H) in the CDV-H protein of one dog strain we decreased expression of specialist traits and increased expression of generalist traits, thereby confirming its functional importance. A virus titer assay demonstrated that dog strains produced higher titers in cells expressing dog SLAM than cells expressing SLAM of non-dog hosts, which suggested possible fitness benefits of specialization post-cell entry. We provide in vitro evidence for the expression of specialist and generalist traits by CDV strains, and fitness trade-offs across carnivore host environments caused by antagonistic

  14. Antagonistic pleiotropy and fitness trade-offs reveal specialist and generalist traits in strains of canine distemper virus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veljko M Nikolin

    Full Text Available Theoretically, homogeneous environments favor the evolution of specialists whereas heterogeneous environments favor generalists. Canine distemper is a multi-host carnivore disease caused by canine distemper virus (CDV. The described cell receptor of CDV is SLAM (CD150. Attachment of CDV hemagglutinin protein (CDV-H to this receptor facilitates fusion and virus entry in cooperation with the fusion protein (CDV-F. We investigated whether CDV strains co-evolved in the large, homogeneous domestic dog population exhibited specialist traits, and strains adapted to the heterogeneous environment of smaller populations of different carnivores exhibited generalist traits. Comparison of amino acid sequences of the SLAM binding region revealed higher similarity between sequences from Canidae species than to sequences from other carnivore families. Using an in vitro assay, we quantified syncytia formation mediated by CDV-H proteins from dog and non-dog CDV strains in cells expressing dog, lion or cat SLAM. CDV-H proteins from dog strains produced significantly higher values with cells expressing dog SLAM than with cells expressing lion or cat SLAM. CDV-H proteins from strains of non-dog species produced similar values in all three cell types, but lower values in cells expressing dog SLAM than the values obtained for CDV-H proteins from dog strains. By experimentally changing one amino acid (Y549H in the CDV-H protein of one dog strain we decreased expression of specialist traits and increased expression of generalist traits, thereby confirming its functional importance. A virus titer assay demonstrated that dog strains produced higher titers in cells expressing dog SLAM than cells expressing SLAM of non-dog hosts, which suggested possible fitness benefits of specialization post-cell entry. We provide in vitro evidence for the expression of specialist and generalist traits by CDV strains, and fitness trade-offs across carnivore host environments caused by

  15. Encephalization of Australian and New Guinean marsupials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashwell, K W S

    2008-01-01

    Encephalization of Australian marsupials was analyzed using the endocranial volume (ECV) of 52 species of Dasyuromorphia and Notoryctemorphia, 14 species of Peramelemorphia and 116 species of Diprotodontia from Australia and New Guinea and compared with 16 species of Ameridelphian marsupials and 3 species of native and recently introduced Australian eutherian carnivores (dingo, feral cat and feral fox). Linear regression analysis of the relationship between ECV and body weight for marsupials revealed that allometric parameters for these groups are different from those previously derived for samples of (mainly eutherian) mammals, with higher slopes for Dasyuromorphia and Diprotodontia and lower slopes for Ameridelphians and Peramelemorphia. Absolute ECV for small Australian and New Guinea marsupial carnivores (Antechinus and Sminthopsis) were found to be comparable to eutherians of similar body weight, but large marsupial carnivores such as the Tasmanian devil and thylacine had substantially smaller ECVs than eutherian carnivores of similar body weight. Similarly, members of some superfamilies within Diprotodontia (Burramyoidea, Petauroidea, Tarsipedoidea) had ECVs comparable to prosimians, whereas bandicoots, bilbies and many macropods were found to be poorly encephalized. When both encephalization quotient (EQ) and residuals from regression analysis were used to compare relative ECV of extinct/threatened species with common species there were no significant differences for any of the orders of Australian marsupials, suggesting that encephalization is not a major factor in the current extinction crisis for Australian marsupials. Similarly there were no consistent differences in relative ECV between marsupials from New Guinea and associated islands compared to Australia or between arid and non-arid Australian regions for any of the marsupial orders. The results indicate that marsupials are not uniformly poorly encephalized and that small marsupial carnivores and

  16. An allometric approach to quantify the extinction vulnerability of birds and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilbers, J P; Schipper, A M; Hendriks, A J; Verones, F; Pereira, H M; Huijbregts, M A J

    2016-03-01

    Methods to quantify the vulnerability of species to extinction are typically limited by the availability of species-specific input data pertaining to life-history characteristics and population dynamics. This lack of data hampers global biodiversity assessments and conservation planning. Here, we developed a new framework that systematically quantifies extinction risk based on allometric relationships between various wildlife demographic parameters and body size. These allometric relationships have a solid theoretical and ecological foundation. Extinction risk indicators included are (1) the probability of extinction, (2) the mean time to extinction, and (3) the critical patch size. We applied our framework to assess the global extinction vulnerability of terrestrial carnivorous and non-carnivorous birds and mammals. Irrespective of the indicator used, large-bodied species were found to be more vulnerable to extinction than their smaller counterparts. The patterns with body size were confirmed for all species groups by a comparison with IUCN data on the proportion of extant threatened species: the models correctly predicted a multimodal distribution with body size for carnivorous birds and a monotonic distribution for mammals and non-carnivorous birds. Carnivorous mammals were found to have higher extinction risks than non-carnivores, while birds were more prone to extinction than mammals. These results are explained by the allometric relationships, predicting the vulnerable species groups to have lower intrinsic population growth rates, smaller population sizes, lower carrying capacities, or larger dispersal distances, which, in turn, increase the importance of losses due to environmental stochastic effects and dispersal activities. Our study is the first to integrate population viability analysis and allometry into a novel, process-based framework that is able to quantify extinction risk of a large number of species without requiring data-intensive, species

  17. Four New Species of Nepenthes L. (Nepenthaceae from the Central Mountains of Mindanao, Philippines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Gronemeyer

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Together with the islands of Sumatra (Indonesia and Borneo (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines are the main center of diversity for carnivorous pitcher plants of the genus, Nepenthes L. Nepenthes are the largest of all carnivorous plants, and the species with the biggest pitchers are capable of trapping and digesting small amphibians and even mammals. The central cordillera of Mindanao Island in the south of the Philippines is mostly covered with old, primary forest and is the largest remaining cohesive, untouched area of wilderness in the Philippines. In a recent field exploration of two areas of the central cordillera, namely Mount Sumagaya and a section of the Pantaron range, four new taxa of Nepenthes were discovered. These four remarkable new species, N. pantaronensis, N. cornuta, N. talaandig and N. amabilis, are described, illustrated and assessed.

  18. Biomechanics (Communication arising): prey attack by a large theropod dinosaur.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frazzetta, T H; Kardong, Kenneth V

    2002-03-28

    Prey-capture strategies in carnivorous dinosaurs have been inferred from the biomechanical features of their tooth structure, the estimated bite force produced, and their diet. Rayfield et al. have used finite-element analysis (FEA) to investigate such structure-function relationships in Allosaurus fragilis, and have found that the skull was designed to bear more stress than could be generated by simple biting. They conclude that this large theropod dinosaur delivered a chop-and-slash 'hatchet' blow to its prey, which it approached with its mouth wide open before driving its upper tooth row downwards. We argue that this mode of predation is unlikely, and that the FEA results, which relate to an 'overengineered' skull, are better explained by the biomechanical demands of prey capture. Understanding the mechanics of predation is important to our knowledge of the feeding habits of carnivorous dinosaurs and for accurate reconstruction their lifestyles.

  19. Mammalian energetics. Flexible energetics of cheetah hunting strategies provide resistance against kleptoparasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scantlebury, David M; Mills, Michael G L; Wilson, Rory P; Wilson, John W; Mills, Margaret E J; Durant, Sarah M; Bennett, Nigel C; Bradford, Peter; Marks, Nikki J; Speakman, John R

    2014-10-03

    Population viability is driven by individual survival, which in turn depends on individuals balancing energy budgets. As carnivores may function close to maximum sustained power outputs, decreased food availability or increased activity may render some populations energetically vulnerable. Prey theft may compromise energetic budgets of mesopredators, such as cheetahs and wild dogs, which are susceptible to competition from larger carnivores. We show that daily energy expenditure (DEE) of cheetahs was similar to size-based predictions and positively related to distance traveled. Theft at 25% only requires cheetahs to hunt for an extra 1.1 hour per day, increasing DEE by just 12%. Therefore, not all mesopredators are energetically constrained by direct competition. Other factors that increase DEE, such as those that increase travel, may be more important for population viability.

  20. Evidence of a high density population of harvested leopards in a montane environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia N Chase Grey

    Full Text Available Populations of large carnivores can persist in mountainous environments following extensive land use change and the conversion of suitable habitat for agriculture and human habitation in lower lying areas of their range. The significance of these populations is poorly understood, however, and little attention has focussed on why certain mountainous areas can hold high densities of large carnivores and what the conservation implications of such populations might be. Here we use the leopard (Panthera pardus population in the western Soutpansberg Mountains, South Africa, as a model system and show that montane habitats can support high numbers of leopards. Spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR analysis recorded the highest density of leopards reported outside of state-protected areas in sub-Saharan Africa. This density represents a temporally high local abundance of leopards and we explore the explanations for this alongside some of the potential conservation implications.

  1. T-lymphocyte-rich thymoma and myasthenia gravis in a Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allan, K; Masters, N; Rivers, S; Berry, K; Routh, A; Lamm, C

    2014-01-01

    A 10-year-old captive male Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) presented with acute onset collapse, vomiting and dyspnoea, preceded by a 6-month period of progressive muscle wasting. Following humane destruction, post-mortem examination revealed a large multilobulated mass in the cranial mediastinum, which was diagnosed as a T-lymphocyte-rich thymoma with the aid of immunohistochemistry. Retrospective serology for acetylcholine receptor antibodies (titre 3.90 nmol/l) confirmed a diagnosis of thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis. Thymomas are reported rarely in wild carnivores, but when detected they appear to be similar in morphology to those seen in domestic carnivores and may also be accompanied by paraneoplastic syndromes. The clinical signs of myasthenia gravis in the tiger were consistent with those reported in cats and dogs and the condition is proposed as an important differential diagnosis for generalized weakness in captive Felidae.

  2. Distribution of mammals in Albania

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    Claudio Prigioni

    1996-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Some 63 species have been recorded in Albania from 1950 to 1994, with the exclusion of Cetacea. Another 15 species, including 5 found on the eastern border between Albania and Greece, are considered probably present. Hence 78 species could occur in Albania. According to IUCN red list of threatened animals, 8 species are defined as vulnerable, 15 as lower risk and one (the Mediterranean monk seal as critically endangered. In Albania, the legal protection of mammals includes all bat species, carnivores (except the stone marten, the red fox and the wolf, the chamois, the roe deer and the Mediterranean monk seal. General information on the distributional pattern and the population size is reported for some species, mainly carnivores.

  3. A novel resource-service mutualism between bats and pitcher plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grafe, T Ulmar; Schöner, Caroline R; Kerth, Gerald; Junaidi, Anissa; Schöner, Michael G

    2011-06-23

    Mutualistic relationships between vertebrates and plants apart from the pollen and seed-dispersal syndromes are rare. At first view, carnivorous pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes seem to be highly unlikely candidates for mutualistic interactions with animals, as they form dimorphic terrestrial and aerial pitchers that trap arthropods and small vertebrates. Surprisingly, however, the aerial pitchers of Nepenthes rafflesiana variety elongata are poor insect traps, with low amounts of insect-attractive volatile compounds and low amounts of digestive fluid. Here, we show that N. rafflesiana elongata gains an estimated 33.8 per cent of the total foliar nitrogen from the faeces of Hardwicke's woolly bats (Kerivoula hardwickii hardwickii) that exclusively roost in its aerial pitchers. This is the first case in which the faeces-trapping syndrome has been documented in a pitcher plant that attracts bats and only the second case of a mutualistic association between a carnivorous plant and a mammal to date.

  4. Zinc isotope ratios of bones and teeth as new dietary indicators: results from a modern food web (Koobi Fora, Kenya)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaouen, Klervia; Beasley, Melanie; Schoeninger, Margaret; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Richards, Michael P.

    2016-05-01

    In order to explore the possibilities of using zinc (Zn) stable isotope ratios as dietary indicators, we report here on the measurements of the ratio of stable isotopes of zinc (66Zn/64Zn, expressed here as δ66Zn) in bioapatite (bone and dental enamel) of animals from a modern food web in the Koobi Fora region of the Turkana Basin in Kenya. We demonstrate that δ66Zn values in both bone and enamel allow a clear distinction between carnivores and herbivores from this food web. Differences were also observed between browsers and grazers as well as between carnivores that consumed bone (i.e. hyenas) compared to those that largely consume flesh (i.e. lions). We conclude that Zn isotope ratio measurements of bone and teeth are a new and promising dietary indicator.

  5. Fishes associated with spinner dolphins at Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, tropical Western Atlantic: an update and overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Sazima

    Full Text Available An update is presented for fish species associated with spinner dolphins at Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, tropical Western Atlantic, providing a general view of their diversity. The associates are mostly reef-dwelling fishes that feed on the dolphin wastes. Twelve species are habitual or occasional plankton-eaters and two species are herbivores that occasionally forage on floating pieces of algae. One species is a strict carnivore, one species is a hitchhiker that forages on a variety of foods including parasites and dead tissue from the dolphins, and one species is a carnivore that joins the dolphin groups to forage on schools of small fishes or squids. We predict that the list of fish associated with spinner dolphins will expand mostly with addition of habitual or occasional plankton-eaters.

  6. Wolf population genetics in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hindrikson, Maris; Remm, Jaanus; Pilot, Malgorzata

    2017-01-01

    The grey wolf (Canis lupus) is an iconic large carnivore that has increasingly been recognized as an apex predator with intrinsic value and a keystone species. However, wolves have also long represented a primary source of human–carnivore conflict, which has led to long-term persecution of wolves......, resulting in a significant decrease in their numbers, genetic diversity and gene flow between populations. For more effective protection and management of wolf populations in Europe, robust scientific evidence is crucial. This review serves as an analytical summary of the main findings from wolf population...... (Y chromosome) and biparental [autosomal microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)]. To describe large-scale trends and patterns of genetic variation in European wolf populations, we conducted a meta-analysis based on the results of previous microsatellite studies and also included...

  7. Oxygen, ecology, and the Cambrian radiation of animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperling, Erik A.; Frieder, Christina A.; Raman, Akkur V.; Girguis, Peter R.; Levin, Lisa A.; Knoll, Andrew H.

    2013-08-01

    The Proterozoic-Cambrian transition records the appearance of essentially all animal body plans (phyla), yet to date no single hypothesis adequately explains both the timing of the event and the evident increase in diversity and disparity. Ecological triggers focused on escalatory predator-prey "arms races" can explain the evolutionary pattern but not its timing, whereas environmental triggers, particularly ocean/atmosphere oxygenation, do the reverse. Using modern oxygen minimum zones as an analog for Proterozoic oceans, we explore the effect of low oxygen levels on the feeding ecology of polychaetes, the dominant macrofaunal animals in deep-sea sediments. Here we show that low oxygen is clearly linked to low proportions of carnivores in a community and low diversity of carnivorous taxa, whereas higher oxygen levels support more complex food webs. The recognition of a physiological control on carnivory therefore links environmental triggers and ecological drivers, providing an integrated explanation for both the pattern and timing of Cambrian animal radiation.

  8. The gastrointestinal tract of farmed mink (Neovison vison ) maintains a diverse mucosa-associated microbiota following a 3-day fasting period

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bahl, Martin Iain; Hammer, Anne S.; Clausen, Tove

    2017-01-01

    -throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing to explore the resident gut microbiota of the mink in terms of intra-and interindividual diversity. We report, for the first time, that the mucosa-associated bacterial community within the colon is diverse and dissimilar from the community found in the feed. We found large......Although it is well documented that the gut microbiota plays an important role in health and disease in mammalian species, this area has been poorly studied among carnivorous animals, especially within the mustelidae family. The gastrointestinal tract of carnivores is characterized by its short...... interindividual differences in bacterial composition between individual animals being dominated generally by the phylum Firmicutes, but in some cases also Proteobacteria or Fusobacteria. The bacterial load and community structure within the mucus was not severely impacted by 3 days of fasting, which implies...

  9. Release of infectious cells from epidermal ulcers in Ichthyophonus sp.–infected Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasii): Evidence for multiple mechanisms of transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hershberger, Paul K.; Gregg, Jacob L.; Kocan, R.M.

    2010-01-01

    A common clinical sign of ichthyophoniasis in herring and trout is “sandpaper” skin, a roughening of the epidermis characterized by the appearance of small papules, followed by ulceration and sloughing of the epithelium; early investigators hypothesized that these ulcers might be a means of transmitting the parasite, Ichthyophonus sp., without the necessity of ingesting an infected host. We examined the cells associated with the epidermal lesions and confirmed that they were viable Ichthyophonus sp. cells that were readily released from the skin into the mucous layer and ultimately into the aquatic environment. The released cells were infectious when injected into the body cavity of specific-pathogen-free herring. Our hypothesis is that different mechanisms of transmission occur in carnivorous and planktivorous hosts: Planktonic feeders become infected by ingestion of ulcer-derived cells, while carnivores become infected by ingestion of whole infected fish.

  10. Maternal investment influences expression of resource polymorphism in amphibians: implications for the evolution of novel resource-use phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Ryan A; Pfennig, David W

    2010-02-09

    Maternal effects--where an individual's phenotype is influenced by the phenotype or environment of its mother--are taxonomically and ecologically widespread. Yet, their role in the origin of novel, complex traits remains unclear. Here we investigate the role of maternal effects in influencing the induction of a novel resource-use phenotype. Spadefoot toad tadpoles, Spea multiplicata, often deviate from their normal development and produce a morphologically distinctive carnivore-morph phenotype, which specializes on anostracan fairy shrimp. We evaluated whether maternal investment influences expression of this novel phenotype. We found that larger females invested in larger eggs, which, in turn, produced larger tadpoles. Such larger tadpoles are better able to capture the shrimp that induce carnivores. By influencing the expression of novel resource-use phenotypes, maternal effects may play a largely underappreciated role in the origins of novelty.

  11. Maternal investment influences expression of resource polymorphism in amphibians: implications for the evolution of novel resource-use phenotypes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan A Martin

    Full Text Available Maternal effects--where an individual's phenotype is influenced by the phenotype or environment of its mother--are taxonomically and ecologically widespread. Yet, their role in the origin of novel, complex traits remains unclear. Here we investigate the role of maternal effects in influencing the induction of a novel resource-use phenotype. Spadefoot toad tadpoles, Spea multiplicata, often deviate from their normal development and produce a morphologically distinctive carnivore-morph phenotype, which specializes on anostracan fairy shrimp. We evaluated whether maternal investment influences expression of this novel phenotype. We found that larger females invested in larger eggs, which, in turn, produced larger tadpoles. Such larger tadpoles are better able to capture the shrimp that induce carnivores. By influencing the expression of novel resource-use phenotypes, maternal effects may play a largely underappreciated role in the origins of novelty.

  12. Oestrus ovis L. (Diptera: Oestridae Induced Nasal Myiasis in a Dog from Northern Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio A. Zanzani

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A companion dog from Milan province (northern Italy, presenting with frequent and violent sneezing, underwent rhinoscopy, laryngoscopy, and tracheoscopy procedures. During rhinoscopy, a dipteran larva was isolated from the dog and identified as first instar larval stage of O. ovis by morphological features. Reports of O. ovis in domestic carnivores are sporadic and nevertheless this infestion should be considered as a possible differential diagnosis of rhinitis in domestic carnivores living in contaminated areas by the fly as consequence of the presence of sheep and goats. This report described a case of autochthonous infestion in a dog from an area where O. ovis was not historically present but it could be affected by a possible expansion of the fly as a consequence of climate change. This is the first record of Oestrus ovis infestion in a dog in Italy and, at the same time, the most northerly finding of larvae of sheep bot fly in the country.

  13. The role of wild canids and felids in spreading parasites to dogs and cats in Europe. Part II: Helminths and arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otranto, Domenico; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Brianti, Emanuele; Pfeffer, Martin; Genchi, Claudio; Guberti, Vittorio; Capelli, Gioia; Deplazes, Peter

    2015-09-30

    Over the last few decades, ecological factors, combined with everchanging landscapes mainly linked to human activities (e.g. encroachment and tourism) have contributed to modifications in the transmission of parasitic diseases from domestic to wildlife carnivores and vice versa. In the first of this two-part review article, we have provided an account of diseases caused by protozoan parasites characterised by a two-way transmission route between domestic and wild carnivore species. In this second and final part, we focus our attention on parasitic diseases caused by helminth and arthropod parasites shared between domestic and wild canids and felids in Europe. While a complete understanding of the biology, ecology and epidemiology of these parasites is particularly challenging to achieve, especially given the complexity of the environments in which these diseases perpetuate, advancements in current knowledge of transmission routes is crucial to provide policy-makers with clear indications on strategies to reduce the impact of these diseases on changing ecosystems.

  14. Cadmium and lead concentrations in the fish tissues of a coastal lagoon system of the SE Gulf of California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintero-Alvarez, J M; Soto-Jiménez, M F; Amezcua, F; Voltolina, D; Frías-Espericueta, M G

    2012-10-01

    Mean Cd trend in the muscle of omnivorous (O), planktivorous (P), benthopelagic-carnivorous (BPC), and benthic carnivorous (BC) fish of one lagoon of NW Mexico was BPC > BC > P > O (0.89, 0.59, 0.55 and 0.24 μg g(-1)). That of Pb was P > BC > O > BPC (1.07, 0.48, 0.17 and 0.04 μg g(-1)). In the liver Cd was P > BPC > O > BC (5.09, 2.40, 2.07 and 1.95 μg g(-1)). Pb was P > O > BPC > BC (0.63, 0.40, 0.13 and 0.07 μg g(-1)). There were no differences in Cd and Pb contents due to feeding habits, and the correlations between metals and troph level were not significant (p > 0.05 in all cases).

  15. Anatomical stomach description of dog fish, Hydrolycus armatus (Jardine & Schomburgk, 1841, (Teleostei: Cynodontidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerlane de Medeiros Costa

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Hydrolycus armatus (dog fish is a Teleostei of Cynodontidae Family that forms a distinct group of Neotropical Characiformes. This species is a predator, pelagic, freshwater and carnivorous and ichthyophagic feeding habits. Biological studies on fish are important in fishery, already that they are used as parameters to keep the exploitation to sustainable levels. This study aimed to describe the stomach anatomy of H. armatus, in order to generate basic information of this body of this vertebrate. We used ten (10 specimens of H. armatus, from the Teles Pires, city of Carlinda-MT, being this dissected and analyzed. The stomach of saccular format presented the regions cardial, pyloric and fundic, last being this last larger than the others. The anatomical features presented by the liver and stomach of H. armatus confirmed the relationship between the anatomy of these organs and their feeding habits being these, therefore, characteristics of predatory species, carnivorous and preferably ichthyophagics.

  16. Energy of the oscillating legs of a fast-moving cheetah, pronghorn, jackrabbit, and elephant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrand, M; Hurley, J P

    1985-04-01

    Lifelike models of the oscillating legs treated as three-segment systems show the course of kinetic and potential energy over the locomotor cycle for a cheetah, pronghorn, jackrabbit, and elephant running at speeds approaching their maxima. The models can be adjusted to eliminate differences among the animals in time intervals, mass or length of limb, and joint angles. This facilitates analysis of the influence on total energy of each of these variables and of the distribution of mass among leg segments. Fast-cycling legs of the carnivore type have significantly more energy than those of the hoofed type. This may contribute to the lesser endurance that is usual for carnivores that hunt using a high-speed dash.

  17. Vertebrate Paleontology in Central America: 30 years of progress

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Vertebrate paleontology began in Central America in 1858 with the first published records, but the last 30 years have seen remarkable advances. These advances range from new localities, to new taxa to new analyses of diverse data. Central American vertebrate fossils represent all of the major taxonomic groups of vertebrates—fishes, amphibians, reptiles (especially turtles), birds and mammals (mostly xenarthrans, carnivores and ungulates)—but coverage is very uneven, with many groups (especial...

  18. Water Mongoose Atilax Paludinosus in the Tsitsikamma Coastal National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. J. M Crawford

    1982-11-01

    Full Text Available In a catalogue of 38 mammals recorded from the Tsitsikamma Coastal and Forest National Parks, Robinson (1976, Koedoe 19: 145-152 mentions only one type of mongoose, the Cape grey mongoose Herpestes pulverulentus. However, Stuart (1981, Bontebok 1: 1-58 also includes the water mongoose Atila-x paludinosus. His list of mammalian carnivores occurring in the Tsitsikamma National Parks other- wise agrees with that of Robinson.

  19. Detection of a high-endemic focus of echinococcus multilocularis in red foxes in southern Denmark, January 2013

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Enemark, Heidi L.; Al-Sabi, Mohammad Nafi Solaiman; Knapp, J.

    2013-01-01

    The Danish surveillance programme for Echinococcus multilocularis was initiated in September 2011, and so far 679 wild carnivores have been examined. In April 2012, one infected fox was detected in Højer near the Danish-German border, and in January 2013 three additional foxes from the same area...... were found infected. Local prevalence in the area was 31% (four of 13 foxes) which is a new epidemiological situation calling for re-evaluation of the national risk management....

  20. A Communal Sign Post of Snow Leopards (Panthera uncia) and Other Species on the Tibetan Plateau, China

    OpenAIRE

    Juan Li; George B. Schaller; Thomas M. McCarthy; Dajun Wang; Zhala Jiagong; Ping Cai; Lamao Basang; Zhi Lu

    2013-01-01

    The snow leopard is a keystone species in mountain ecosystems of Central Asia and the Tibetan Plateau. However, little is known about the interactions between snow leopards and sympatric carnivores. Using infrared cameras, we found a rocky junction of two valleys in Sanjiangyuan area on the Tibetan Plateau where many mammals in this area passed and frequently marked and sniffed the site at the junction. We suggest that this site serves as a sign post to many species in this area, especially s...

  1. Limited Genetic Diversity Preceded Extinction of the Tasmanian Tiger

    OpenAIRE

    Menzies, Brandon R; Renfree, Marilyn B.; Thomas Heider; Frieder Mayer; Thomas B. Hildebrandt; Pask, Andrew J

    2012-01-01

    The Tasmanian tiger or thylacine was the largest carnivorous marsupial when Europeans first reached Australia. Sadly, the last known thylacine died in captivity in 1936. A recent analysis of the genome of the closely related and extant Tasmanian devil demonstrated limited genetic diversity between individuals. While a similar lack of diversity has been reported for the thylacine, this analysis was based on just two individuals. Here we report the sequencing of an additional 12 museum-archived...

  2. Evaluation of Survey Methods and Development of Species Distribution Models for Kit Foxes in the Great Basin Desert

    OpenAIRE

    Dempsey, Stephen J

    2013-01-01

    Historically, kit foxes (Vulpes macrotis) once occupied the desert and semi-arid regions of southwestern North America, ranging from Idaho to central Mexico. Their range-wide decline has warranted the kit fox to be listed as endangered in Colorado, threatened in California and Oregon, and designated as a state sensitive species in Idaho and Utah. Once considered the most abundant carnivore in western Utah, the kit fox has been in steep decline over the past decade, creating a demand to determ...

  3. Ecologia e comportamento della lontra eurasiatica (Lutra lutra) in un'area mediterranea (Alentejo, Portugal)

    OpenAIRE

    QUAGLIETTA, LORENZO

    2012-01-01

    Despite being a highly studied carnivore, the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) still offers the opportunity to explore many aspects of its ecology and behaviour that are poorly known or have only been investigated in temperate areas. From April 2007 to October 2010, the OPA research project (Otter Project in Alentejo) was conducted in the south-central Alentejo region of Portugal, in an area of roughly 800 km2. Through the capture and subsequent radio-tracking of 16 wild Lutra lutra individual...

  4. Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain Region (Version 2.0)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-01

    switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), rushes (Juncus spp.), and sedges ( Carex spp.). The Gulf coastal plain in Texas was originally prairie laced with hardwood...sunlight produce highly diverse understory assemblages of grasses, sedges , and other herbaceous plants. Pitcher plants (Sarracenia spp.), other carnivorous...typical bog vegetation containing pitcher plants, grasses, sedges , orchids, and yellow-eyed grass (Xyris spp.), surrounded or broken by areas of shrubs

  5. New body mass estimates of British Pleistocene wolves: Palaeoenvironmental implications and competitive interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flower, L. O. H.

    2016-10-01

    Body mass was reconstructed for early Middle Pleistocene Canis mosbachensis and late Middle to Late Pleistocene Canis lupus from key assemblages in Britain, to explore the presence of temporal size variability and whether size fluctuations were related to changes in climate and environment or to differences in Pleistocene carnivore community structure. Using the well-known body mass predictor of lower carnassial (m1) tooth length, combined with an extant canid dataset incorporating 25 species, least squares regression was used to assess allometric scaling prior to modelling the relationship between body mass and m1 length, producing a new predictive equation of Pleistocene canid body mass. The medium-sized C. mosbachensis had relatively stable body mass, with remarkable consistency in size compared to populations in the late Early Pleistocene of Europe. Periodical fluctuations in climatic conditions had a minimal effect on C. mosbachensis size over time, with the terrestrial connection between Britain and mainland Europe at this time key in promoting body mass stability by enabling movement away from less favourable conditions and to follow prey into refugia. Overall changes in carnivore guild structure were of minimal influence to C. mosbachensis in Britain, as the continued predominance of larger carnivores, in particular a larger canid, effectively constrained C. mosbachensis. In contrast, the body mass of larger-sized C. lupus was highly temporally varied, with an increasing size trend evident into the Devensian. Similar body size in the penultimate interglacial (MIS 7) and Middle Devensian (MIS 3) populations likely reflects palaeoenvironmental similarity and comparable carnivore community and prey spectrums, with larger predators effectively constraining C. lupus. However, the severely cold conditions of the Early Devensian (MIS 5a) may have caused a Bergmannian response in wolves, leading to their comparatively much larger size, with C. lupus further

  6. Effects of dietary methionine on feed utilization, plasma amino acid profiles and gene expression in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

    OpenAIRE

    Rolland, Marine; Skov, Peter Vilhelm; Dalsgaard, Anne Johanne Tang

    2014-01-01

    Aquafeed formulation has evolved dramatically in response to shortages in marine raw materials, driven in part by the sustainable management of the wild stocks and an increased demand for nutrient-dense diets. Aquaculture of carnivorous species such as salmonids relies on extruded feeds with optimal protein and energy ratio to maximize the growth performances. To support the increasing demands, aquafeeds contain increasing contributions of protein products from alternative origin. Plant raw m...

  7. Response of a small felid of conservation concern to habitat fragmentation

    OpenAIRE

    Fleschutz, Mira; Gálvez, Nicolás; Pe'er, Guy; Davies, Zoe G.; Henle, Klaus; Schuttler, Elke

    2016-01-01

    Habitat loss and fragmentation are major drivers of biodiversity loss. A key question, particularly relevant to carnivore conservation, is to which extent species are able to survive in human-modified landscapes. Currently, conservationists are concerned about the impact habitat fragmentation may have on the long-term persistence of the forestdwelling guin˜a (Leopardus guigna), given the increasingly modified landscapes in which they live. Here we evaluate the effect habitat cover, fragmentat...

  8. Inverse nickel-responsive regulation of two urease enzymes in the gastric pathogen Helicobacter mustelae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoof, Jeroen; Breijer, Simone; Pot, Raymond G J; van der Neut, Daan; Kuipers, Ernst J; Kusters, Johannes G; van Vliet, Arnoud H M

    2008-10-01

    The acidic gastric environment of mammals can be chronically colonized by pathogenic Helicobacter species, which use the nickel-dependent urea-degrading enzyme urease to confer acid resistance. Nickel availability in the mammal host is low, being mostly restricted to vegetarian dietary sources, and thus Helicobacter species colonizing carnivores may be subjected to episodes of nickel deficiency and associated acid sensitivity. The aim of this study was to investigate how these Helicobacter species have adapted to the nickel-restricted diet of their carnivorous host. Three carnivore-colonizing Helicobacter species express a second functional urea-degrading urease enzyme (UreA2B2), which functions as adaptation to nickel deficiency. UreA2B2 was not detected in seven other Helicobacter species, and is in Helicobacter mustelae only expressed in nickel-restricted conditions, and its expression was higher in iron-rich conditions. In contrast to the standard urease UreAB, UreA2B2 does not require activation by urease or hydrogenase accessory proteins, which mediate nickel incorporation into these enzymes. Activity of either UreAB or UreA2B2 urease allowed survival of a severe acid shock in the presence of urea, demonstrating a functional role for UreA2B2 in acid resistance. Pathogens often express colonization factors which are adapted to their host. The UreA2B2 urease could represent an example of pathogen adaptation to the specifics of the diet of their carnivorous host, rather than to the host itself.

  9. Seroprevalences to viral pathogens in free-ranging and captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) on Namibian Farmland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thalwitzer, Susanne; Wachter, Bettina; Robert, Nadia; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Müller, Thomas; Lonzer, Johann; Meli, Marina L; Bay, Gert; Hofer, Heribert; Lutz, Hans

    2010-02-01

    Cheetah populations are diminishing rapidly in their natural habitat. One reason for their decline is thought to be a high susceptibility to (infectious) diseases because cheetahs in zoos suffer from high disease-induced mortality. Data on the health status of free-ranging cheetahs are scarce, and little is known about their exposure and susceptibility to infectious diseases. We determined seroprevalences to nine key viruses (feline herpesvirus 1, feline calicivirus, feline parvovirus, feline coronavirus, canine distemper virus, feline immunodeficiency virus [FIV], puma lentivirus, feline leukemia virus, and rabies virus) in 68 free-ranging cheetahs on east-central Namibian farmland, 24 nonvaccinated Namibian captive cheetahs, and several other wild carnivore species and conducted necropsies of cheetahs and other wild carnivores. Eight of 11 other wild carnivores were seropositive for at least one of the viruses, including the first record of an FIV-like infection in a wild felid west of the Kalahari, the caracal (Felis caracal). Seroprevalences of the free-ranging cheetahs were below 5% for all nine viruses, which is significantly lower than seroprevalences in nonvaccinated captive cheetahs and those for five of seven viruses in previously studied free-ranging cheetahs from north-central Namibia (L. Munson, L. Marker, E. Dubovi, J. A. Spencer, J. F. Evermann, and S. J. O'Brien, J. Wildl. Dis. 40:23-31, 2004). There was no clinical or pathological evidence of infectious diseases in living or dead cheetahs. The results suggest that while free-ranging wild carnivores may be a source of pathogens, the distribution of seroprevalences across studies mirrored local human population density and factors associated with human habitation, probably reflecting contact opportunities with (nonvaccinated) domestic and feral cats and dogs. They also suggest that Namibian cheetahs respond effectively to viral challenges, encouraging consistent and sustainable conservation efforts.

  10. Implications of diet for the extinction of saber-toothed cats and American lions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larisa R G Desantis

    Full Text Available The saber-toothed cat, Smilodon fatalis, and American lion, Panthera atrox, were among the largest terrestrial carnivores that lived during the Pleistocene, going extinct along with other megafauna ∼12,000 years ago. Previous work suggests that times were difficult at La Brea (California during the late Pleistocene, as nearly all carnivores have greater incidences of tooth breakage (used to infer greater carcass utilization compared to today. As Dental Microwear Texture Analysis (DMTA can differentiate between levels of bone consumption in extant carnivores, we use DMTA to clarify the dietary niches of extinct carnivorans from La Brea. Specifically, we test the hypothesis that times were tough at La Brea with carnivorous taxa utilizing more of the carcasses. Our results show no evidence of bone crushing by P. atrox, with DMTA attributes most similar to the extant cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, which actively avoids bone. In contrast, S. fatalis has DMTA attributes most similar to the African lion Panthera leo, implying that S. fatalis did not avoid bone to the extent previously suggested by SEM microwear data. DMTA characters most indicative of bone consumption (i.e., complexity and textural fill volume suggest that carcass utilization by the extinct carnivorans was not necessarily more complete during the Pleistocene at La Brea; thus, times may not have been "tougher" than the present. Additionally, minor to no significant differences in DMTA attributes from older (∼30-35 Ka to younger (∼11.5 Ka deposits offer little evidence that declining prey resources were a primary cause of extinction for these large cats.

  11. Use of Non-Wildlife Passages Across a High Speed Railway by Terrestrial Vertebrates

    OpenAIRE

    Rodríguez, Alejandro; Crema, Giulia; Delibes, M.

    1996-01-01

    Seventeen culverts and pathway passages across a high speed railway were monitored for one year in order to determine factors influencing their use by terrestrial vertebrates. 2. Carnivores, lagomorphs, small mammals and reptiles used the passages. Crossing rates generally reflected the spatiotemporal variation in vertebrate abundance and activity, suggesting that the passages could be valuable in allowing movement across the railway. 3. Wild ungulates known to be present did not use the pass...

  12. Evolutionary biology of plant defenses against herbivory and their predictive implications for endocrine disruptor susceptibility in vertebrates.

    OpenAIRE

    Wynne-Edwards, K E

    2001-01-01

    Hormone disruption is a major, underappreciated component of the plant chemical arsenal, and the historical coevolution between hormone-disrupting plants and herbivores will have both increased the susceptibility of carnivores and diversified the sensitivities of herbivores to man-made endocrine disruptors. Here I review diverse evidence of the influence of plant secondary compounds on vertebrate reproduction, including human reproduction. Three of the testable hypotheses about the evolutiona...

  13. A theropod tooth from the Late Triassic of southern Africa

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sanghamitra Ray; Anusuya Chinsamy

    2002-06-01

    An isolated, large recurved and finely serrated tooth found associated with the prosauropod Euskelosaurus from the Late Triassic part of the Elliot Formation is described here. It is compared to the Triassic thecodonts and carnivorous dinosaurs and its possible affinity is discussed. The tooth possibly belongs to a basal theropod and shows some features similar to the allosauroids. This tooth is of significance, as dinosaur remains except for some footprints and trackways, are poorly known in the Late Triassic horizons of southern Africa.

  14. Meta-analysis of attitudes toward damage-causing mammalian wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kansky, Ruth; Kidd, Martin; Knight, Andrew T

    2014-08-01

    Many populations of threatened mammals persist outside formally protected areas, and their survival depends on the willingness of communities to coexist with them. An understanding of the attitudes, and specifically the tolerance, of individuals and communities and the factors that determine these is therefore fundamental to designing strategies to alleviate human-wildlife conflict. We conducted a meta-analysis to identify factors that affected attitudes toward 4 groups of terrestrial mammals. Elephants (65%) elicited the most positive attitudes, followed by primates (55%), ungulates (53%), and carnivores (44%). Urban residents presented the most positive attitudes (80%), followed by commercial farmers (51%) and communal farmers (26%). A tolerance to damage index showed that human tolerance of ungulates and primates was proportional to the probability of experiencing damage while elephants elicited tolerance levels higher than anticipated and carnivores elicited tolerance levels lower than anticipated. Contrary to conventional wisdom, experiencing damage was not always the dominant factor determining attitudes. Communal farmers had a lower probability of being positive toward carnivores irrespective of probability of experiencing damage, while commercial farmers and urban residents were more likely to be positive toward carnivores irrespective of damage. Urban residents were more likely to be positive toward ungulates, elephants, and primates when probability of damage was low, but not when it was high. Commercial and communal farmers had a higher probability of being positive toward ungulates, primates, and elephants irrespective of probability of experiencing damage. Taxonomic bias may therefore be important. Identifying the distinct factors explaining these attitudes and the specific contexts in which they operate, inclusive of the species causing damage, will be essential for prioritizing conservation investments.

  15. Heavy metals in carabids (Coleoptera, Carabidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruslan Butovsky

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Carabid beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae are one of the most studied soil groups in relation to heavy metal (HM accumulation and use for bioindication of environmental pollution. Accumulation of Zn and Cu in carabid beetles was species-, sex- and trophic group-specific. No differences were found in HM contents between omnivorous and carnivorous species. The use of carabid beetles as indicators of HM accumulation appears to be rather limited.

  16. Maternal Investment Influences Expression of Resource Polymorphism in Amphibians: Implications for the Evolution of Novel Resource-Use Phenotypes

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    Maternal effects--where an individual's phenotype is influenced by the phenotype or environment of its mother--are taxonomically and ecologically widespread. Yet, their role in the origin of novel, complex traits remains unclear. Here we investigate the role of maternal effects in influencing the induction of a novel resource-use phenotype. Spadefoot toad tadpoles, Spea multiplicata, often deviate from their normal development and produce a morphologically distinctive carnivore-morph phenotyp...

  17. Gelatinous plankton: irregularities rule the world (sometimes)

    OpenAIRE

    Boero, F.; Bouillon, J; GRAVILI C.; Miglietta, M. P.; Parsons, T. R.; Piraino, S.

    2008-01-01

    In spite of being one of the most relevant components of the biosphere, the plankton-benthos network is still poorly studied as such. This is partly due to the irregular occurrence of driving phenomena such as gelatinous plankton pulses in this realm. Gelatinous plankters rely on their life cycles and histories to exploit temporarily abundant resources with an undeniable, but often overlooked, impact on marine food webs. Dramatic increases of gelatinous filter-feeders and/or carnivores (both ...

  18. Dioctophyma renale: extrarrenal case description in a canine dioctofimosis of Argentina

    OpenAIRE

    Butti, Marcos Javier; Gamboa, María Inés; Terminiello, Jonathan; Luna, María Florencia; Blanco, Marianela; Radman, Nilda Ester

    2016-01-01

    Dioctofimosis is caused by the nematode parasite Dioctophyma renale which has an indirect cycle. The intermediate host is a freshwater oligochaete and the final hosts are wild and domestic carnivores. The adult worm usually develops in the kidney or other tissues of the definitive host. Ectopic parasite localizations complicate the diagnosis due to the lack of specific symptoms. The objective of the work was to describe a case of extra-renal dioctofimosis in a canine, its biochemistry and his...

  19. The use of camera traps for estimating jaguar Panthera onca abundance and density using capture/recapture analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Silver, S. C.; Ostro, L. E. T.; Marsh, L. K.; Maffei, L.; Noss, A. J.; Kelly, M J; Wallace, R B.; Gomez, H.; Ayala, G

    2004-01-01

    Across their range jaguars Panthera onca are important conservation icons for several reasons: their important role in ecosystems as top carnivores, their cultural and economic value, and their potential conflicts with livestock. However, jaguars have historically been difficult to monitor. This paper outlines the first application of a systematic camera trapping methodology for abundance estimation of jaguars. The methodology was initially developed to estimate tiger abundance in India. We u...

  20. Estudio de las poblaciones de carnívoros del Parque Nacional de Doñana usando métodos no invasivos

    OpenAIRE

    Palomares, Francisco; Soto Navarro, Carolina; López-Bao, José V.; Rodríguez,Alejandro; Godoy, José A.; Roldán, Eduardo R.S.; Gomendio, Montserrat; Göritz, Frank; Jewgenow, K.

    2011-01-01

    [EN] The main objectives of the project were 1) to determine whether supplementary feeding had a positive effect on reproduction of the Iberian lynx, 2) the development of non-invasive techniques for the mon- itoring of lynx populations, 3) the study of distribution and abundance of domestic and generalist carnivores of the Doñana National Park (PND) using primarily census tracksurveys, and 4) to evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns to control the red fox population as usually performed wi...